by DeWayne Bricker
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I recently wrote a short 19 word poem and posted it on Faith Writers. Out of the forty or so articles and poems I have written it has received the most attention by those of you that read my work. It is titled HELL. I guess the word alone demands attention or at least curiosity. What is it about that word? It is the fear of what we do or don’t really know about it or is it the curiosity of what others think about it. Whatever the reason, the subject demands attention.
Our Lord Jesus spent a great deal of time and effort telling us and warning us about this terrible place.
It is my intention to take the poem word by word and expound on it in order to get a better understanding of what hell is really like. Keep in mind: all this is from my thoughts and my understanding of hell gleaned from the Bible and life itself. The Bible does not specifically use each of these words in it’s descriptions of hell. Here is the poem.
All definitions in parenthesis are from the Online Dictionary.
Boiling: “fiercely churning or swirling, intense, fierce, heated, steaming or bubbling up under the action of heat.
Hell is fueled by something. Obviously there is a fire of some sort causing it to boil. Since God created everything including hell then the fire is created and fueled by God Himself. It is well known that fire consumes any and everything that is thrown into it; if it is hot enough. The Bible tells us the story of the rich man and Lazarus and how the rich man cried out to father Abraham and asked him to send Lazarus to quench his tongue with a drop of water because he was tormented in these flames. Notice that the man was tormented but not consumed. This fire is not like the fire on earth. It tortures the captive, but does not consume him or her. Fire itself does not boil, but the liquid below it or in it does. Boiling fluid on earth eventually evaporates, but the Bible states that this fuel and flame is not quenched and will last forever. So, that tells us that the fire of hell will churn and hold while burning and torturing those that dwell there. Just this paragraph alone should scare the _ _ _ _ out of you.
Churning: “the act of a person or thing that churns.”
This word does not seem so ominous when we first look at it. But, remember it is God that created hell and fuels the flames. It seems to me that it is also Him that set it in motion to churn. I see in my mind huge waves like at sea when there is a great storm. The waves roll with some measuring over fifty feet in height. They crash down smashing both boat and man alike. A person that is unlucky enough to find himself stranded in the sea without a boat can find himself being raised up fifty or more feet in an instant then thrown down into deep troughs of frigid water. Water weighs over six hundred pounds per cubic yard. The churning liquid of hell must be even far worse that a churning sea. I hope that you are not stranded there when eternity knocks.
Murky: “dark, gloomy, and cheerless, obscure or thick with mist, haze, vague, unclear, confused.”
As a human we hate the dark. We are afraid of what we can’t see or recognize. Fear of the unknown haunts us from childhood to death. As a child I slept with my back to my older brother because I wanted to see if anything was going to get me at night. Have you ever found yourself stumbling in the dark. You move very slowly, unsure; you hold your hands out in front of you and feel your way along. You never know what’s about to get you or what you will run into. Notice in the definition the words cheerless and obscure. Hell is a place where there is no joy or hope. Remember the rich man wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers to prevent them from coming to such a place. I imagine hell as being sort of a maze of fire, hopeless and no way out. I hope the direction you are going in life does not lead you to the murky, hopeless fires of hell.
Fire: “a state, process, or instance of combustion in which fuel or other material is ignited and combined with oxygen, giving off light, heat, and flame. a burning mass of material, as on a heart or in a furnace. the destructive burning of any material.”
Fire is a terrible and wonderful thing. Since the first man used it to cook and heat the cool night air fire has been an integral part of our lives. It is beautiful watch and listen too when we are sitting in front of the fire place during the winter. It is a wonderful thing until you get burned. I have treated many burn patients in my emergency room and it is one of the worst injuries you a person can have. The smell of burnt flesh is most appalling. The pain that these victims experience is indescribable. Fire as I understand it needs three things to work. A source, fuel and oxygen. The fires of hell have already been started so the source is there. There must be oxygen because the fires are burning. The source is all the poor lost souls that are already burning there. Don’t you ad fuel to the flame.......
Secluding: “to set or keep apart, as from social contact with others, to screen from view; make private.”
I find it very relaxing to be alone at times. I enjoy getting away by myself and praying and talking with God. I enjoy a good movie all alone with no one to interrupt. I have though on occasion found myself lost and alone in the middle of nowhere. That is not such a good feeling. The difference between the two types of alone is choice. It is okay to choose to be alone for a time, but not so good when you want or need someone else. I imagine hell will be the loneliest place imaginable even though there will be millions of other people there. The difference is you won’t be able to see the others there with you because of the murkiness we discussed earlier and the walls of churning burning fluids. But, what I think the real seclusion will be from will be the fact that you will be secluding from God and his loving grace. Here, we enjoy His presence and blessings even though we may not be living for him. In hell, the real hell will be not being in the light of God at all. Oh, one last note on this subject. When you are alone, you have time to think about all the wrong choices and all the regrets. That will be the real seclusion and that will be the only time when God can’t help you. Don’t wait until then to seek his presence and help.
Longing: “strong, persistent desire or craving, especially for something unattainable or distant.”
Wow, I think that definition says it all. I believe in hell that every longing and every desire, including sexual, physical and metal will be multiplied a billion times over and those desires will never be satisfied. Take a moment and think about something that you wanted more than anything else in your entire life and how it felt waiting for it. Even more, think about how you felt when you did not get it. The scriptures tell us to seek first Gods kingdom and righteousness and all things will be added unto you. In hell, your greatest desire will be your greatest pain.
Empty: “containing nothing; having none of the usual or appropriate contents. destitute of people or human activity.”
How sad that definition sounds. To be void of all human love, and peace and companionship is a greater torture than I can imagine. It is even worse than the burn of a fire. Think of a time in your life when you felt so alone and maybe you were depressed and sad and felt no one cared, not even God. Now picture total darkness; horrific physical pain, the total absence of God and a deep, dark loneliness that can never be satisfied. Jesus said, “If you believe in me you will be filled.” In hell even what you have will be taken away from you.
Dire: “causing or involving great fear or suffering; dreadful; terrible.”
Think about the scariest movie you ever watched and how you felt watching it. Think about your greatest fears and anxieties. Add them all up and multiply them by trillions of times. See the images of the faces you dread most in your dreams. Feel the shadows that haunt your nightmares. Take all of these and know that there will never be a moment in eternity that they will cease to exist.
Lonely: “destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, support. solitary; without company; companionless.”
This one is a lot like seclusion, but the difference is you can be lonely even when you are with others. This makes loneliness even worse than seclusion. I know; when I was younger I always felt alone, even though I had a loving family around me. It was like no matter what I could not fill that loneliness. That feeling never left me until Jesus filled it up. We all need a friend and I don’t know a better one than Jesus. In hell you won’t have Him and He won’t be there to comfort or help you, ever. Take a moment to seclude yourself and let Him be your friend forever.
Miserable: “wretchedly unhappy, uneasy, or uncomfortable, manifesting misery.”
Have you ever had severe diarrhea and or vomiting? I’d rather take a beating than throw up. Now, think about being cold and wet, starving, having the runs and vomiting all at the same time. Wow, talk about misery. Now take all this and add to it the sorrow of a broken heart, the pain of every known and unknown disease, darkness, unquenching fire, churning and turmoil, and total loneliness. They say misery loves company, but remember there won’t be any.
Agonizing: “to suffer extreme pain or anguish; to distress with extreme pain; torture.”
I think torture is the word most of us think of when we think of hell. A place we are sent to be tortured by God forever. We’ll, the reality is God does not send us to hell; we send our self by not believing in Jesus and accepting Him as our savior. Yes, torture is a good word to describe hell. There will be torture by fire and demons, but the greatest torture will be the regret we feel knowing that all we had to do was ask Jesus in to our lives to be our Lord and Savior. It’s that simple.
Mire: “a tract or area of wet, swampy ground; bog or deep mud. to plunge and fix in mire; cause to stick fast in mire.”
When I imagine hell I see people drudging through a thick substance like mud, but full of vile smells and bound with heavy chains. The chains are the sins they committed here on earth and the mire or mud is the sorrow they now feel. No matter how hard they try or how much they desire to get out, they never, ever will. Don’t drag someone else into the mud with you by living a life without Christ.
Painful: “affected with, causing, or characterized by pain: a painful wound; a painful memory; exacting; difficult: a painful life.”
It is easy to think of hell as a place of physical pain, but there will be much more pain than that; the pain of lost loved ones, of regret, of wounds spiritual and physical and mental. We have all felt these types of pain, but the loneliness and seclusion in hell will let these pains magnify in our minds and flesh many times over. All of this will be compounded by the pain of regret and what we should have done while we were living. While you still have the chance live a life of loving and giving because love is the only thing that can remove the pain.
Anguish: “excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain: the anguish of grief. to inflict with distress, suffering, or pain. to suffer, feel, or exhibit anguish: to anguish over the loss of a loved one.”
We have covered most of this already, but the last sentence is where anguish will hurt us the most. I have been asked many times this question: “what will we feel if a loved one is not in heaven with us?” We’ll when we are in heaven the scriptures tell us we will have a new body and we will not marry or give in marriage. The scriptures do not tell us that we will have a new body in hell. I picture the bodies we have now in the fire with our flesh rotted and full of sores with worms boring through our skin eating us alive. With this in mind I believe the anguish of never seeing our loved ones again will amplify the physical anguish as well. If you are a Christian stop waiting to share Christ with your family and friends. If you are not a Christian run to a Christian family member or friend and ask them how to get saved. The only time you have is now.
Regretful: “full of regret; sorrowful because of what is lost, gone, or done.”
Earlier we talked about being empty, destitute, separated from God and other people. Here we are seeing fullness; full of regret because of what is lost. Once in hell, all is lost; all hope of freedom, all hope of comfort, all hope of fulfillment, all hope of ever escaping the torment. The only things we take to heaven with us are the relationships we had with others. The only things we take to hell with us are the regrets.
Wanting: “deficient in some part, thing, or respect.”
This almost sounds like longing, but remember longing is a desire for something that you want or need. The above definition of wanting refers to a deficit or lack of something; just short of the whole, or not enough to finish to completion. Remember the hand writing on the wall and Daniel’s interpretation that went like this: “you’ve been weighed in the balance and found wanting; your kingdom is divided and can not stand.” In hell you will be much less than whole because the word of God tells us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. In hell the Holy Spirit will not be there or in you so you will not be whole. It is the Holy Spirit that teaches and reminds us of God’s daily and renewed mercies. Without His Spirit we will be wholly empty and lost forever.
Desire: “a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment. sexual appetite or a sexual urge.”
For sure we will long for many things unobtainable, but the greatest of these in hell will be sexual urges. Hell is the complete opposite of heaven. The word tells us we will not be married or have those types of relationships in heaven. So, knowing this and the fact that the misuse of sex here on earth represents many, many sins, I believe that sexual desire will drive us absolutely crazy because they will never be fulfilled. Sex is a wonderful, beautiful thing designed and blessed by God himself. Keep it inside your marriage or that thing you think you want will be the very thing that plagues you for eternity in hell.
Unfulfilled: “of persons; marked by failure to realize full potentialities; unfilled and uneasy men, unrealized dreams and ambitions.”
I hate to fail or have a dream or want not come to pass. I, like many of you am goal oriented. I love to start, work and complete a task. In fact, I like to do multiple task at the same time. The reason most men and women never live up to their full potential is they do not let God run their lives. It’s that simple. We seek and work and strive for the things that bring temporary happiness when it is the presence of God only that brings contentment. Fulfill your life by filling it with God’s presence and you will fill many other lives.
Forever: “without ever ending; eternally, incessantly.”
This one’s the kicker. This word completes and wraps all the others into one final package. Take all that I’ve said in this article and add any and every horrible thing you can imagine and end it with forever. There you have hell. Do you still think that you want to wait until you are ready to accept Christ? You might say: “I don’t believe all that superstition and junk.” I say to you: “Can you afford not too?”
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I think I see the reason for your writing, but still, Jesus had more to say about money than He did about Hell. I've been redeemed from the hell I deserve...money plagues us more than a place we'll never see. Right? Say, brother, can you spare a dime?