Most of the things we remember from early childhood were traumatic in some way. I could not have been more than 4 or 5 when I was playing with matches in the kitchen floor. Mom was in there and now that I have been a parent, I suspect she knew what I was up to. Naturally, I burned my finger. She turned to my cry and said that hell would be like that but it would not ever stop.
Maybe, but the memory of that has kept me from a lot of sins. You see, I happen to believe that she was right. Oh, I do not expect literal flames any more than I expect literal streets of gold, but Jesus described hell in the worst possible terms imaginable. Consider them a while and it will help you stay on your diet—you won’t want to eat.
Would you warn your child firmly and frighteningly of the dangers of a snake? Or of some other hazard?
Some people treat HELL like it is a joke or only a mild curse word. We do not hear about it much anymore. We have become ashamed of frightening people into obedience. Jesus was not ashamed like that, “It is better to pluck out your eye than to enter hell”. I hold Dene when she jumps up and down from the pain of one of her eye medications and I can only imagine the pain of pulling out an eyeball and that is BETTER than hell?? In other words, “be good or else, big time or else”. We are not showing much love when we fail to warn people. We would jerk an enemy back from a rattlesnake or push a stranger from in front of a train, but we will not warn our friends of eternal hell.
My mom loved me.
And in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ Luke 16:23-24
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Matt 25:41
‘Where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ For everyone will be salted with fire. Mark 9:48-49