Sunday, January 03, 2010

Was watching Twilight Zone (1960's version) New Years Day - I like to catch a few episodes when the marathon is on. The episode that I caught was about a guy who had everything that he wanted; if he wanted it, he got it: money, girls, winning every game he played, etc.; kind of a Midas Touch fable revisited. The last scene was him complaining to the "angel" standing next to him that he wanted a challenge - that he didn't want everything to be handed to him that he wanted to check out "the other place" (thumb pointing down) to see what that was like. The "angel" emphatically stated that this was the other place and that he was doomed to spend eternity like this - his every "self centered wish" (my words) coming true. Cue the maniacal laugh and Rod Sterling.

This started me thinking about heaven and hell. Heaven is living in the presence of God; walking in His light, experiencing total goodness. It is a place where we can worship Him in perfection without all the weights of sin that easily drag us down (see the book of Hebrews). It is less about a physical place than it is about the quality of relationships (in particular with our Savior)of the physical place.

What is the opposite of heaven? Hell. If heaven is living in the presence of God what is living without the presence of God going to be like? What would it look like if there was no restraint to our sinfulness? What would it look like if every decision we made and every decision every body else around us made was totally self centered and devoid of good? If we have lived long enough, we have had a taste of what evil run a muck could look like. History is replete with stories of evil taking center stage (think Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan, etc.) These situations are often described as a "living hell" - probably a pretty accurate statement. Something to ponder......

Note that God does not send people to hell. The scriptures record that God is not willing that anyone goes to hell (see the letter II Peter 3:9). People choose to go to hell. Instead of choosing to follow God and His ways and therefore be the recipient of life with Him forever, they choose to reject Him and follow there own devices. I believe that this is a big part of what hell is going to be like - everyone following their own devices in an unrestrained, dare I say, "perfect" manner. Not a pretty picture.

OK, not a inspiring post to start the new year....

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