More About Hell? Part II
"If anyone's name was not found written in [God's] book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."1
Yesterday we shared experiences that Dr. Maurice Rawlings had when working with near-death patients. "Dr. Rawlings was a specialist in cardiovascular diseases at the Diagnostic Center and area hospitals of Chattanooga. He served in both the Army and the Navy and became chief of cardiology at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. He was the personal physician at the Pentagon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which included Generals Marshall, Bradley, Patton, and Dwight Eisenhower. In civilian life Dr. Rawlings was appointed to the National Teaching Faculty of the American Heart Association, specializing in teaching methods for the retrieval of patients from sudden death."2
A study of near-death cases by Dr. Rawlings was also reported in Omni magazine. "It is no longer unusual to hear about people who have almost died who speak of seeing a bright light, lush green meadows, rows of smiling relatives and experiencing a deep sense of peace. However, Dr. Rawlings obtained additional information from his patients by interviewing them immediately following resuscitation while they were very much in touch with their experience.
"Dr. Rawlings says that nearly fifty percent of the 300 people that he has interviewed have reported lakes of fire, devil-like figures and other sights reflecting the darkness of hell. Rawlings says that these people later change their story because they don't want to admit where they've been, not even to their families. 'Just listening to these patients has changed my whole life,' claims Dr. Rawlings. 'There is a life after death, and if I don't know where I'm going, it's not safe to die.'"3
Of one thing we can be certain and that is that death happens to us all as nobody gets out of this place alive. Life can be dreadfully uncertain. A friend's husband was on his motorbike when a dog ran out at him. Trying to dodge the dog he fell from his bike and was killed. Last month another friend's 49-year-old wife died of cancer. Last week a long-term friend of my wife's died suddenly of a heart attack. Not so long ago my oldest sister died. I wrote today to another friend whose husband died suddenly in his sleep. He was in his early to mid-40s.
How foolish it is to make all sorts of preparation for this life but none for the next. Time and again God has warned us in his Word, the Bible, that there is a heaven for all who have accepted God's forgiveness and a hell for all who haven't. As Jesus said, "This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."4
As God warned ancient Israel, his Word also applies to us today: "Prepare to meet your God."5 God's Word also reminds us that, "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment."6 Also, God is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."7
It's not God's will that anyone should go to hell. He has given his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins so we can be freely forgiven and delivered from hell. So whatever you do, don't neglect God's warning regarding the terrible doom of hell for all who have never accepted Jesus as their Savior, and God's forgiveness and gift of eternal life.
Accepting Jesus as your Savior and God's forgiveness is God's "passport into heaven." Whatever you do don't leave earth without it. And don't leave it until it's too late to "apply for it." You can receive it today by praying a simple prayer such as the following.
"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the wrongs and sins that I have committed. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me and I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart and life as Lord and Savior. I commit and trust my life to you. Please give me the want to be what you want me to be and the want to do what you want me to do. Thank you for dying for my sins, for your free pardon, for your gift of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Amen."
If you prayed this prayer, please Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to let us know you have done this and to receive your e-copy of "How to Grow" and the URL for the "Ten Steps to Christian Growth" … all without charge.
For further help be sure to read the article, "Passport for Heaven," online at: http://www.actsweb.org/passport.php.
1. Revelation 20:15 (NIV).
2. Eugene P. Harder, "Positive Praying for People in Danger Pastor," Sermon, April 20, 1996. New Hope Community Church.
3. Aaron Burgess. "Winning the Lost," Sermon, SermonCentral.com, http://tinyurl.com/7n4xn.
4. Matthew 13:49-50 (NIV).
5. Amos 4:12 (NIV).
6. Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV).
7. 2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV).