I did not wake up in a cold sweat. It was more of a hot sweat. Kicking the covers off, I went to see what the air conditioner thermostat was set on. It said 72 degrees. Then I noticed the temperature register. It was at 82. Time for panic. We were living in Texas in the middle of a record string of days with temperatures over 100 degrees. And now the air conditioner was not working. We were not the only ones among our friends and neighbors to suffer from the heat. Civil authorities were issuing constant warnings for the elderly to be aware of the dangers. Pets, construction workers, and athletes were all recipients of special concern.

Jokes about hell were rampant. Messages were posted for Satan to come retrieve his residence. The phrase “hotter than hell” was used often. People would even joke about needing to go to church if this is what hell was going to be like. The outbreak of wildfires across the state contributed to the jokes about hell. And every one of them was missing the point. It wasn’t just that the heat and fire here cannot really compare at all to what the reality of hell will be. It is that the heat and fire are not the worst part of hell.

The most frightening part of hell is that we will be separated from God forever. Our rebellion against God – our sin – has separated us from God. He is perfect and holy. Sin cannot exist in His presence. Yet He loves us so much that He could not stand the thought of us being out of His presence. So He sent His only Son to this earth to do what we could not. His Son came and lived a holy life here. He did what He should do and never did what He should not have done. He was perfect and holy. And then He died to pay for our sins. So that by sharing in His death we could be restored to relationship with God.

Fire. Heat. No God. No hope. That is hell.
God fixed it so that we could live forever in His holy presence. Unholy people can be made holy by the gift of Jesus. Believe in Him and live with God forever. Choose not to believe and be separated from God forever. That is that scariest part of hell. God has fixed the problem with hell by offering His Son. Believe it. It is the best news you will ever hear. I would enjoy talking about it with you. Write me at steve@hopeforlife.org or join the blog discussion at www.hopeforlife.org.

(Expressed written consent must be obtained prior to republishing, retransmitting or otherwise reusing the content of this article.)