A Heavenly Journey Toward Hell
Every proposition I make to you carries the presupposition of belief in the Scriptures. I find the Bible to be true and reliable; but whether I believe it is true, or not, is inconsequential for its claim to being truth (Ps 119:160; Jn 17:17). Therefore, when I write to you about hell, there are no alternate views. My premise is simply: hell is an awful place of eternal consequence for unrepentant sinners, many of whom enjoy a pleasant journey en route to their eternal home (Eccl 12:5).
Sin is the wide way leading toward destruction, and there are many who travel this way (Mt 7:13–14). The atheist does not believe the Bible (Ps 14:1; 53:1), but if he did, he would agree his eternity includes: fiery hell; outer darkness; gnashing of teeth; waterless torment; bondage in chains; weeping; eternal separation from the love of God and the love of anyone else. Sin leads to death (Rom 6:23), and death is the gateway to judgment (Heb 9:27).
God is very gracious to show us evil in this world. Evil serves as a warning for the repentant, and it serves as a warm-up for the wicked. At the same time, God restrains evil. He places civil authority over us (Rom 13). God is true, and He is not a liar (Rom 3:4).
If God were to somehow sugar coat our self-destructive sinful lives, then we could argue we were deceived, and He would simply be another devil. Instead, He permits the proper allocation of trouble for our benefit (Jn 16:33).
Life is difficult because God is slowing our descent on the slippery slope toward hell. As the primary cause of all things, God has made provision for days of evil (Prv 16:4). Bad providence serves as a precursor to greater punishment for the wicked (Mt 25:46; Jude 7), but it is a gracious, even loving, discipline for the repentant (Heb 12:4–11).
Having forgotten our integrity in Eden, man has been debased from the position of a little lower than the angels to a spot equal with the demons (Mt 25:41). Man, at his worst, is lower than the animals, which operate in alignment with their instinct and nature. Man has lost his mind, his position, and his integrity. Sin has become our human nature (Eph 2:3). Man functions with a marred image of Adam’s glory. Adam means “man,” and every man has joined in Adam’s rebellion against Yahweh (Rom 3:23; Rom 5:12–21). Sin is lawlessness (1 Jn 3:4).
The devil makes sin taste good, despite each dose being encapsulated poison that kills us. Temptation is a tantalizing taste, but sin is a bitter pill when it has been swallowed. Some sins breed familiar addictions. Sin is contagious, too. Sin is worse than a self-medicating pill to make you sick; it is the full orb of our environment. We live in a world of sin, and the god of this world, Lucifer, is the father of sin.
Satan has enslaved man in the dominion of sin (Acts 26:18). He loves to steal, kill, and destroy (Jn 10:10). Man is ever falling into the pit, having been blinded from seeing the truth of God (2 Cor 4:4). Man’s solution to his hopeless misery, which he denies because of pride, is to regain dominion by his own wisdom and power (Utopia). He engages in competition to become king of the mountain, to better himself, but he oppresses his fellow man in the process (Totalitarianism). Man is born a child of the devil (Ps 51:5; 1 Jn 3:10), and he serves in the image of his father, who has been a liar and a murderer from the beginning (Jn 8:44).
The devil hates humanity (image bearers of God), and he deceives men by twisting truth. He has made sin pleasurable, and the wicked take pleasure in sinning (Jn 3:19). His subtlety is undetected by natural man (1 Cor 2:14). Humanity simply does not carry the same wisdom and power as the one who is charged with posing as, “an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14).”
Man plays his games, performs his shows, competes in his sports, works his business, governs his politics in the power of an ever-striving demonic spirit. To not participate in the world’s vanity makes you a loser, especially in the eyes of those who have given their souls over to futility. To win at the game requires you to steal glory from God, which you do because you live as a practical atheist, even if you refuse to be identified as one doctrinally.
Sin is humanity’s daily bread. Sin’s yeast puffs us up with pride of place, position, power, and pecuniary prowess. We think we are getting ahead in the world, but we are only advancing toward our end. If our sinful lives are delusional, then our sinful end finds us in utter denial. Nobody thinks they are going to hell. Many speak of a future in heaven, but who has ever given witness to his future in hell? The deception is great.
The Bible does not tell us how many will be in hell, nor how many will be in heaven with any specificity. When someone reads the Bible there is a clear implication, however…there will be far more in hell than in heaven. Many souls travel the broad way to destruction, while few find the narrow way. Israel was least among the nations, and Jesus referred to His disciples as, “little flock (Lk 12:32).” There is a remnant according to God’s gracious choice (Rom 11:5).
It is the majority of unbelievers who persecute the minority church, and when evil men take control of Christ’s church in the world, they exalt themselves and oppress people. They, too, are imposters, being false teachers, false prophets, false apostles, false leaders, and false Christs. The spirit of anti-Christ is operating in every generation (1 Jn 2:18, 22; 4:3), and he lures people into religion. Anti-Christ is so persuasive, he entices earnest Christians into becoming obsessed with him, at the expense of devotion to Jesus Christ (Mt 24:24).
Jesus said, “I am the way (Jn 14:6).” This way is the truth, and the truth lights the way, so men do not stumble into the pit of darkness (Mt 15:14). This is real life, abundant and eternal (Jn 10:10; 17:2–3). Those who travel the narrow way must navigate the snares and traps set by the enemy. As noted, the way is difficult, and traversed in small company. We might say, it is a hellish journey toward heaven. Many are called to travel it, but few are chosen, who actually do (Mt 22:14). Why?
The call reveals the cost, “Come follow Me,” sounds easy enough, but it becomes less desirable when accompanied by, “take up your cross and follow Me (Mt 16:24).” It is a daily walk of dying to one’s self. We must decrease (Jn 3:30). There are encouraging promises to journey in this direction, but faith is required (Heb 11:6), or men simply will go their own way. At the end they will boast, “I did it my way.” They did not learn: all roads lead to hell except God’s one way (Jn 14:6).
Your way is the way of the devil despite your claim to being your own man, novel and unique. Many who are rich in this world, will give credit to God for blessing them with wealth. What they mask, but hope is implied, is that their righteousness, done by works, has merited material wealth here. Jesus charges them, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Rev 3:17).” If this is His assessment of some pretenders in the church, today, when all is revealed on the day of judgment, how much worse will be the final accounting?
Are you beautiful? Do men worship your beauty? Do they lust after you in their flesh? How exhilarating it must be to be worshipped as a goddess? Or do you think God made you beautiful because he foresaw some good thing in you and rewarded you with a favorable outward appearance? Cursed is beauty and cursed are riches for they lead the beautiful, the rich, and your worshipers away from God. So, you have 62 million followers on Twitter? They like your nude photos. Together, you will marvel at each other’s presence in hell. Was Satan not the fairest of them all?
Or maybe you are ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim 3:7). You love knowledge, but your quest for knowing has only puffed up your pride (1 Cor 8:1). If the beginning of wisdom is the fear of God (Prv 1:7), have you even begun to learn, despite your doctorate and professorial position? You have deemed the things of God to be foolishness (1 Cor 1:18), but have you not heard this is his design? While the mysteries of heaven are being revealed to simple, humble people, you remain in darkness, and worse, oblivious to your own darkened mind (Eph 4:17).
Think economically about these things. You come into the world with nothing, and you will leave the world with nothing (1 Tim 6:7). Your beauty is fading. Who will remember your great thoughts? Your riches have wings to fly away (Prv 23:5). You have stored up treasures in an unlocked safe (Mt 6:19), in a house that is on fire (2 Pet 3:10–12). When you wish for redemption, how much will it cost you? What will you pay with? What is the currency of heaven? Can you trade all of your trophies of silver and gold? Will you even have the notion of your need for salvation before you find yourself before God’s just throne of judgment (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11)?
Remember how you cursed God and His Christ for all of the trouble you encountered in this world? How much trouble and how much cursing await you in eternal hell? Sin was truly not the way of salvation. Sin was your master (Rom 6:6), and you faithfully served him. Sin gave you endless promises, and it never occurred to you that he was your troubler. You have reaped what you sowed (Gal 6:7), and what you have sowed is sin leading to death (Rom 6:23). This is your life, a heavenly journey toward hell.
Examine yourself. Consider the world around you. Take seriously the words I have shared with you. This is the biblical and Christian worldview regarding: man; sin; Satan; judgment; death; and eternal hell. If this resembles the course you have been on to this point in your life, I encourage you to repent (Mt 3:2; 4:17; Acts 5:31). You are on a very familiar path, common to many. Some have encouraged you that this is the way it is for everyone, but I am telling you something different.
Be assured, sin is destroying you and your traveling companions. Death, all around you, is the evidence. You must heed the Bible, today. It is God’s gracious Word to those who will trust Him. He has warned humanity of our plight, and He has made one way of deliverance. He sent a Savior, His own eternal Son (Jn 3:16).
Jesus Christ’s journey was perfect, without sin (Heb 4:15). At the end of His life, He could have returned to heaven as a demonstration of one life lived well under God’s Law (Mt 5:17; Lk 24:44). Instead, He offered Himself up as a sacrifice for our sins (Lev 16; Heb 7:27; 9:14; 1 Pet 2:24), the sins of those who have trusted in His redemption. There is salvation in no one else (Acts 4:12).
Today, my task is to point you to Jesus Christ, the one and only Savior of sinners (Tit 2:13). He is the One you need. Your heavenly journey to hell is avant-garde delusion, propagated by a deceiver. If you see and understand, then call upon the name of the Lord Jesus (Joel 2:32; Rom 10:9). If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you and to cleanse you from all of your unrighteousness (1 Jn 1:9).
God will show you His way (Jn 14:6). He will grant you His Spirit, who will guide you through your remaining perils in this life (Jn 16:13; Gal 5:25). He alone is to be trusted (Ps 118:8). His promises are in the Bible, and they are true because He is true (Ps 119:160; Jn 17:17; Rom 3:4).
Come and present yourself to Jesus (Jn 6:37), He will receive you, and He will never forsake you (Heb 13:5). Who can deliver you from eternal hell? He can, for He is able (Mt 16:18; 1 Thess 1:10; Heb 7:25; Jas 1:21).
If not, enjoy your heavenly journey toward hell, for you will have had your best life now, which is nothing in comparison to life eternal, obtained by a journey of faith in Jesus, who walked before us on the road marked with suffering. Are you on the right road?
Spokane Valley, Washington
March 12, 2021