Several years ago I heard a Baptist preacher tell the story of the greatest single tragedy that ever occurred in Texas. It was an explosion that killed four hundred school children and their teachers in the New London school house. The school was dismissing for the day when a streak of lightning coming from the ground instead of from the skies, the great building was blown to ashes, and lives of teachers, boys and girls were snuffed out in a flash. One family had five children (all they had) in the explosion. Scores of families lost three or four, their little bodies were so mangled that identification of many was impossible. A gloom of deep, dark sorrow swept over our state and the nation. The government sent secret service men to investigate the cause. They labored for days. One of the investigators was questioning a lady, the wife of a man who had worked on the construction of the building. She said:
"My husband told me before this tragedy happened that he knew there was faulty construction in the gas line under the building."
"What?" said the inspector. She repeated her statement. Then the inspector asked:
"Did your husband know that the construction of the gas line was faulty?" "Yes," she answered.
"Did he report it to anyone?"
"Then your husband is a criminal," he said.
My friend, Christian people know there is a Hell and that lost people are doomed to go there unless some saved person leads them to Christ. Are you concerned for the lost? Are you picturing to them the doom that awaits them? If not, you are just as responsible for their doom as that man who knew of the faulty construction in the gas line, was for the death of those children.—Florida Baptist Witness.
It was a one-man church, and candidates for the pulpit were being heard. An applicant came and preached on the text, "The wicked shall be turned into hell." The rich man turned thumbs down on him. This preacher was followed by another, who by a strange coincidence used the same text. The rich man said, "He'll do; call him." Folks were amazed. "Why, he used the same text as the other minister," they said. "True," replied the rich man, "he preached that the wicked would be turned into hell, all right, but he was, oh, so sorry; but the other man was glad of it."—Sunday School Times.
Hell is not what we make of our lives down here (Luke 16. 22, 23), nor is it annihilation (Luke 16. 23), nor soul sleep in an unconscious state (Luke 16. 23-25), nor purgatory to fit the soul for heaven (Luke 16. 26). It is not a place or state that makes communication with those living on earth possible (Luke 16. 26-29), nor is it the final state of those who perish (Rev. 20. 11-15). The Lord Jesus made all this abundantly clear in the incident He narrated in Luke 16, which is not a parable. What then is Hell?
It is the place of the departed spirits of those who have lived and died without Christ. Jesus said to the Pharisees: 'Ye shall die in your sins; whither I go, ye cannot come.'
(John 8. 21)
On an American troopship during the Second World War, the soldiers crowded around their chaplain, asking, `Do you believe in hell?' He answered, 'I do not.'
`Well, then,' they said, 'will you please resign, for if there is no hell we do not need you; and if there is a hell we do not want to be led astray.'
(Ps. 9. 17; Prov. 9. 18; Luke 16. 23; 2 Pet. 2. 4)
In January, 1833, Samuel Hebich was in Mangalore. The residential surgeon there was seriously ill, and Hebich went to visit him, but was again and again refused admission. Finally his persistence won, and at last he was shown in. The surgeon said to him, `I'm too weak to talk to you.' As Hebich was about to go, he asked, 'Is there a hell?' `Certainly,' replied Hebich, 'unless the Word of God lies.' On a subsequent visit the surgeon said to him, 'I am not a very great sinner, hence I hope for salvation.' Hebich's reply was, 'I am so great a sinner that, without a Savior, I must go to hell.' Later on the surgeon said to him, 'What a great sinner I am!' Then he added, 'Almost it would have been too late.' The surgeon died trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ to save him from the penalty due to his sins, to save him from hell.
A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
As one great furnace, flamed; yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only 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.—Milton
A God-fearing gentleman was once called to visit an unhappy old man who lay at the point of death. For several years he had boasted of being a confirmed infidel. He had openly scoffed at Scripture, and blatantly ridiculed the justice of God and the future punishment of the wicked. After a brief conversation with his godly counselor, he died convinced, but not converted. His death was truly awful. With his last quivering breath he exclaimed, "Now I know there is a hell, for I feel it!"—Whitecross