Adam and Eve brought three curses on their descendants: physical suffering, death, and hell. Hell is an eternal condition, first in soul and then soul and body. People today don’t appear to take it seriously; after all, no one has ever seen the real thing and come back to tell about it. The word hell is either an adult spice word for emphasis or else the scene of The Far Side cartoons where a red-suited devil with a pitchfork and horns bosses unhappy people around. It seems that most Americans, and sadly many Christians, don’t believe in a literal hell.
Jesus did. He helped design it—a place of endless desolation, torment, hatred, and despair. Jesus did—he experienced it on the cross so that he could release us from its threat. Jesus did—and he described its misery in this parable:
“In hell, where he was in torment, [the rich man] looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire’” (Luke 16:23,24).
Do you get it? Even the small relief brought by a drink of water will be denied the people who have rejected their Savior. Please—you must listen to the utterly earnest voice of Jesus.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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