Have you ever visited a cave and the tour guide turned out all the lights? The first thing you notice is that everyone falls silent. Suddenly, the joking and light conversation have ceased as you await your next move. Then you notice the utter blackness of your surroundings. You literally cannot see your hand in front of your face. After just a few moments, you begin to feel uncomfortable and move a little closer to the person next to you, just to feel the warmth of their presence. A thought flutters across your brain, "What if they can't get the lights turned back on for some reason?" Of course, the tour guide has a backup flashlight, and several people have the light of their cell phones or lighters, so all is well.
Most adults claim to not be afraid of the dark, but how many of us have actually spent time in utter darkness? Even when we're in bed at night, there is auxiliary light emitting from somewhere: the clock on your nightstand, the night light in the hall, or moonlight filtered through a curtain.
If we begin to panic after just a few moments of darkness, how would we feel after a few hours, or days, or even years? The Bible tells us that the "blackest darkness" is reserved for false prophets. (II Peter 2:17) Now we know through other passages that hell is also a place of "burning sulfur" (Rev. 20:10), so traditionally, we picture hell with flames and writhing bodies suffering in the intense heat. But have you ever looked into the depths of an intensely hot fire? It is black. So it is possible to have a searing fire that does not emit light.
Now, imagine just the darkness without the heat. You can hear the screams of other tortured souls, but you cannot see them. You can hear the laughter of the demons, but they cannot see the anger and frustration in your eyes. How long do you think it would take for you to go completely out of your mind? For some, maybe a half hour, others, perhaps days, but no matter...you are there for eternity...there's no escape, no second chances.
Jesus said, "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 3:16) In other words, if you don't know Jesus as Lord and Savior, your fate is as described above. You don't need to complete some complicated ritual to be inducted into the family of God. It's as simple as A,B,C.
A. Admit you are a sinner. "...as it is written, "There is none righteous, not even one...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God'" (Romans 3:10,23)
B. Believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and eternal life. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
C. Confess Jesus as your Savior and Lord and turn from your sins. "...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved...for 'Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved'" (Romans 10:9,13)
Don't put off this decision, however. No one knows how long they have on this earth. If you do know Him, praise Him! And don't put off witnessing to that friend or family member!
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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I understand and somewhat appreciate the intent of this article. I don't feel as if the connection between the title and the article itself was sufficient. Perhaps a different title? Also, you made a statement about "fire" that can be scientifically supported, but cited no sources; that gives your article a cliche' feel to it, as if you are simply repeating something you've heard but don't quite believe it yourself. I realize this is the first time I've critiqued your work, but this is one of the ways we come to know if we really want to be a writer or do we just want to talk. There were hints of a good writer here, but with all due respect; it came across "canned", meaning that you just opened up a container of words and poured them across a page. I don't think those were your intentions, were they?