In part one of this article, I told you I wanted to share the stories of two different men who had literally visited hell and been allowed to come back to tell about their experiences. The first gentleman was Bill Wiese, who subsequently penned a book about what he saw and heard on his unexpected journey called, 23 Minutes in Hell. I highly recommend it, as well as giving a copy to your unsaved friends and family.
Let me briefly recap what happened to Mr. Wiese, who was a Christian at the time. He was awakened at 3am one morning by the sensation he was falling. He states he was fully awake and conscious of his surroundings when he landed, naked, in a dimly lit cell with stone walls and iron bars for a door.
He was totally confused and terrified as well as astonished at the suffocating heat and stench of his surroundings. All light disappeared from the room and he was left in darkness so profound, he felt it enter into him. Unfortunately, there were two huge, demon-like creatures in the cell with him who took turns throwing him around and shredding the skin of his torso with their monstrous claws.
Inexplicably weak physically, mentally and emotionally, he crawled from the cell only to shortly find himself standing by a massive pit filled with fire whose flames shot up high into a huge cavernous room. In the unbearable heat, he could see people writhing in agony, screaming in the flames. Hideous demons perched on the perimeter of the pit, preventing any hope of escape.
One of the most profound aspects of this nightmarish journey was the utter hopelessness of his situation because he was completely separated from God. He instinctively knew he would never leave, never be able to speak to or share the misery with another human being and was totally at the mercy of the demons who took delight in torturing the inhabitants. No rest. No peace. No moisture or water. Just continual suffering throughout eternity.
He was lifted up, out of that place of torment by Jesus, who explained that he was allowed to visit hell for just a few minutes because He wanted Bill to spend the rest of his earthly life telling others about his experience and warning the lost that hell is indeed a real place with real suffering. Jesus wants everyone to understand that He died so that NO one would ever end up in that place that was created for satan and his demons.
Now, you may not believe such a fantastic story from this first man because it IS such an incredible tale of horror. Although I don’t personally know Mr. Wiese and I’ve no reason to doubt his word, I freely admit that I can’t be 100% certain this actually happened to him in 1998 as he reports.
However, I can be 100% sure of the second man’s story because he was my grandfather and his personal tour of hell occurred 37 years earlier, in 1961!
Chester Herman Robinson was my mother’s father and he was not a nice man. He spent a great deal of his adult life as a cynical, critical, very angry man who, though never physical, was emotionally and verbally abusive to his wife and children. He was a hard smoking, hard drinking alcoholic whose hair-trigger temper caused him to quit job after job, cursing a blue streak at anyone who crossed him.
My grandmother, Roxie, was a Christian woman who took her children to church every Sunday and made sure they were brought up with the knowledge of the Lord and His Word. Chester, called ‘Jack’ by friends and family, refused to attend services with his family but he never prevented his wife from going or taking the children. However, he would get into heated arguments with Roxie about God and the Bible, especially when he was drunk.
He would taunt her with the fact that he’d heard that Jesus was coming back all his life but it hadn’t happened yet, so he didn’t believe it ever would. “Where’s your Jesus? When’s He gonna come back?” My grandmother answered with a soft, sad answer, “I don’t know, Jack.”
She faithfully prayed for her husband’s salvation for 30 long years, and stayed with him through thick and thin, enduring his abusive ways, trying to make the best home for her children she could.
In 1961, when Chester was 55 years old, he developed a life threatening torsion or twisting of his intestines, which quickly became gangrenous. He was deathly sick and rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. His family gathered the waiting room, preparing themselves for his probable death due to the doctor’s prognosis. Roxie sat there, head bowed, praying fervently for her husband and reminded God that He had promised her He would not take Chester’s life before he was safely saved.
Almighty God, being the highly intelligent person He is, knew it would be best not to disappoint Nana (Roxie), so He answered her prayer in grand fashion!
Because he had abused his body with cigarettes and hard liquor for years on end, Chester was not in the best physical shape to fight off a serious infection like gangrene, much less endure major, open abdominal surgery and while he was on the operating table, his heart stopped several times.
He didn’t have a warm, fuzzy near-death-experience of traveling through a tunnel towards a loving source of light. Nope, he got a personal tour of hell from Jesus Himself.
In subsequent weeks, while he was recovering, he began to recount to his family and friends what he experienced while he was in cardiac arrest. He said he was fully awake and conscious and became aware that someone had taken his elbow and was escorting him downward into a place of darkness.
He said it wasn’t normal darkness as we know it, but a darkness that inspired a feeling of abject terror. The deeper they went and the darker it got, the more he wanted to fight and escape the unseen danger and mounting panic he felt. He found himself in a very large cavern like space, whose only light was from a huge fire. In the suffocating heat, horrible demon-like creatures kept crawling out of the flickering shadows to leer at him.
He described a huge pit filled with flames and he watched as many, many people were being shoved and pushed into it by these hateful creatures. Their agonized screams were deafening and constant but there was no one to help them escape or provide relief for their suffering. Although engulfed in fire, they were not being consumed by the flames. They just kept burning and burning…
He looked around and could see other people seemingly attached to the walls of the cave, though he couldn’t tell how. They were unable to move or escape. He watched as huge demons plunged their long, sharp talons into the prisoner’s chests, shredding their skin all the way down their torso, leaving the tissue hanging in ribbons like they were being filleted.
Somehow, their skin would mend itself, only to have the demons tear them apart again and again. He noticed the creatures of unparalleled evil seemed to take great delight in torturing the people and hearing their screams for mercy. However, even though these physical torments were beyond the stuff of nightmares they couldn’t compare to the worst aspect of the suffering.
Every human being is made in the image of God. There is a spark of the divine in all of us which allows our hearts to be touched with joy when we hold our baby for the first time or when we marvel at a gorgeous sunset or feel the touch of a loved one.
Even the most evil serial killer on earth experiences fleeting moments of transcendent joy and wonder during their earthly lives. They may deny the existence of God and commit atrocities but their spirit is still connected to their Creator until the moment they die.
When recounting his tour of hell, Chester described what it was like to realize he was completely cut off from all contact with God forever; that he would never again, for all of eternity, have any connection to the One who made him in His image. Therefore he would never know light and peace and rest and joy again. He felt entirely orphaned.
The feeling was that of complete hopelessness, overwhelming grief, despair and the most profound loneliness beyond his wildest imagination. And it would last forever and ever and ever. No rest. Not one second of relief from the continual harassment and torture by the demons surrounding him. Unable to defend himself. Constant panic. No escape. No camaraderie or conversation with any other human being, ever. Totally alone.
NO. HOPE. FOREVER.
The tour guide holding his elbow told him, “I can leave you here if this is what you really want or you can go back and totally surrender to Me. What is your choice?” He quickly made up his mind to give his heart to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and knew he would not be given another chance if he didn’t live up to his promise.
2nd Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
That was certainly true of Chester Herman Robinson from then on! God answered Roxie’s faithful prayers and saved her husband. But God didn’t force his decision; Chester still retained his free will to choose. God simply made sure he understood the ramifications of making the wrong choice.
Before his hellish tour, Chester was not a man to ever be caught weeping! Afterwards, he was a broken, humbled, grateful man who was gentle and kind, whose heart was completely changed. For the remaining four years of his life, he was unable to recount his experience, especially the horror of being completely separated from God, without breaking down in tears. He and Roxie are now together in the presence of their Creator and Savior and will enjoy each other forever!
Why did I tell you these two stories? First, I want to make sure every single person reading this understands that they have a decision to make before they die and ignoring the issue IS deciding ‘no.’ We all have to decide whether we will accept the pardon for our sins that the Son of God, Jesus, died to freely provide for us. There are only two choices. Eternal life or eternal death. What kind of blithering, rebellious idiot would a person have to be to choose eternal death?
Second reason is this: I want you to notice the incredible, undeniable similarities between these eyewitness accounts, made 37 years apart, by two very different men who never met. What are the odds the details of their stories would match so closely? Zip. Absolutely zero odds!
Listen up, people! None of us are guaranteed another hour of life, much less another day. You could be in a car wreck today. You could contract a deadly disease. You could be the victim of murder. Don’t be a fool and assume you’ll live to a ripe old age!
2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “For He (God) saith I have heard thee in a time accepted and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
Hell is a real place with real physical, emotional and mental suffering beyond our comprehension. Think about it. Two accounts, that similar cannot possibly be lies! Now, you’re correct when you claim a loving God would never send anyone to such a place.
Hell was never meant for men and women, but for Lucifer and the angels who participated in his weak, pansy rebellion against God. But people who join in that rebellion by rejecting Jesus will automatically join them in that place of punishment.
Christ died in our place, giving us a chance to choose to serve Him and live with Him in heaven forever. Therefore, the people who end up spending an eternity in hell freely CHOOSE to go there!
No excuses. No whining. No escape. Forever.
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