Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hell -

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And littered with sloppy analysis!

Where will you be sitting in eternity? Smoking or non-smoking?

If you're waiting for Hell to freeze over, you're skating on thin ice.

People will go to hell their own way, but must enter heaven God's way.

Old Scottish Presbyterian Minister, in full spate anent the eternal miseries of Hell: "And you will be chained on the Fiery Lake, and your tongue will blacken, and your roasted eyeballs will start out of your head, and in the midst of your torment you will cry out, 'Lord! Lord! I dinna ken, I dinna ken!' And the Lord, in His infinite mercy and compassion, will reply: 'Well, ye ken noo!'"

Too hot to go to Church? What about Hell? ~ Poster in Dayton, Ohio

As the enjoyment of God is the heaven of the Saints, so the loss of God is the hell of the ungodly. And, as the enjoying of God is the enjoying of all, so the loss of God is the loss of all.... Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul. -- John Calvin

WHAT is the difference between Christ and Satan? It is quite simple. Christ descended into hell; Satan fell into it. One of them wanted to go up and went down; the other wanted to go down and went up.--G K Chesterton 'The Ball and the Cross.'

When the church does not clearly teach the doctrine of hell, society loses an important anchor. In a sense, hell gives meaning to our lives. It tells us that the moral choices we make day by day have eternal significance; that our behaviour has consequences lasting to eternity; that God Himself takes our choices seriously. When people don't believe in a final judgement, they don't feel ultimately accountable for their actions. There is no firm leash holding back sinful impulses. As the book of Judges puts it, there is no "fear of God" in their hearts, and everyone does "what is right in his own eyes." The doctrine of hell is not just some dusty, theological holdover from the unenlightened Middle Ages. It has significant social consequences. Without ultimate justice, people's sense of moral obligation dissolves; social bonds are broken. People who have no fear of God soon have no fear of man, and no respect for human laws and authority. Chuck Colson

The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality.-- Dante

Here lamentation, groans, and wailings deep
Reverberated through the starless air,
So that it made me at the beginning weep.
Uncouth tongues, horrible shriekings of despair,
Shrill and faint voices, cries of pain and rage,
And, with it all, smiting of hands, were there,
Making a tumult, nothing could assuage,
To swirl in the air that knows not day or night,
Like sand within the whirlwind's eddying cage."Dante, THE DIVINE COMEDY, translation by Lawrence Binyon, Copyright 1947 Viking Press Inferno, Canto III, Lines 22-30

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God's hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.
O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread,with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment.-- Jonathan Edwards, 1703-58, SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD , preached Enfield, CT in 1741

Can the believing husband in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving wife in Hell? Can the believing father in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving children in Hell? Can the loving wife in Heaven be happy with her unbelieving husband in Hell? I tell you, yea! Such will be their sense of justice that it will increase rather than diminish their bliss.-- Jonathan Edwards

Of a Jamaica gentleman, then lately dead -- "He will not, whither he is now gone (said Johnson), find much difference, I believe, either in the climate or the company." Piozzi: Anecdotes of Johnson

The national anthem of hell is "I Did It My Way." Peter Kreeft, A Turn of the Clock

The safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) The Screwtape Letters

In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of Hell is itself a question: 'What are you asking God to do?' To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? But He has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not be forgiven. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what he does. -- C.S. Lewis: The Problem of Pain, chap 8, para 12, page 128.

There are only two kinds of people in the end; those who say to God, Thy will be done , and those to whom God says in the end, Thy will be done All that are in Hell choose it. Without that self choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. C.S. LEWIS, The Great Divorce

Most of God's people are content to be saved from the hell that is without. They are not so anxious to be saved from the hell that is within.
Robert Murray McCheyne, ,letter: 27.2 1839.

A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round
As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery Deluge, fed
With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd:
Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd
For those rebellious, here thir Prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and thir portion set
As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n
As from the Center thrice to th'utmost Pole.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book i 61-74

Never, literally never in recent years, have I met anyone who gave me the impression of believing in the next world as firmly as he believed in the existence of, say, Australia. Belief in the next world does not influence conduct as it would if it were genuine. ... Even very devout Christians will make jokes about Hell. They wouldn't make jokes about leprosy or RAF pilots with their faces burnt away: the subject is too painful. George Orwell 'As I Please' 14 April 1944

The basic reason why moderns disbelieve in hell is because they really disbelieve in freedom and responsibility. To believe in hell is to assert that the consequences of good and bad acts are not indifferent. --Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979) _Preface To Religion_ [1946]

Some have staggered over the doctrine of eternal punishment, because they could not see how that could be consistent with God's goodness. I have only one question to ask concerning that: Does God reveal it in the Scriptures? Then believe it, and leave to him the vindication of his own consistency. If we do not see it to be so, it will be nonetheless so because we are blind.--Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) _Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit_ Volume 49 [1903]

The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions. --Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897-1963)

When I reflect upon the number of disagreeable people who I know who have gone to a better world, I am moved to lead a different life.-- Mark Twain

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