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Eternity

It would be well for us to consider for a moment the eternality of our souls which shall dwell either in the bliss and felicity of Paradise or in the well-deserved punishment of Hell.

How long will that be?

William Munsey describes to us something of the meaning of eternity, something which so often people thrust from their minds:

"Eternity cannot be defined. Beginningless and endless it cannot be
measured -- its past increased, its future diminished. It has no past, it has no future, it has no ends, it has no middle, it has no parts--an unanalyzable, tremendous unity. If all the mountains of all the worlds were pressing upon the brain, they could not weigh it down more heavily than eternity's least conception. Eternity is unoriginated, beginningless, endless, measureless, imperishable, indescribable, undefinable thing. Itself is its only definition.
If asked, What is eternity! we can only answer 'Eternity,' and in our answer confess our weakness and folly."

It is an infinite circle which can never be measured.  We might conceivably measure the circle of the earth or the circle of our galaxy, or even conceivably the circle of the universe, the great ecliptic that covers the vast spawnings of galaxies around the world. Says Munsey:

"Mount Phoebus' solar car, and seat yourself beside the driver, and search for the end of the ecliptic.  Lay on the burning whip, and see the fiery-maned and foot-winged steeds dash through the constellation admiring worlds standing out of your tracks, and space's abysms gaping beneath you; and drive on till the wheels of your car shall shiver, and their worn-out axles break, and the over-driven horses die, and you are lost where no angel will find your bones -- and you will find no end to the ethereal circle. But these circles are finite."

Eternity is an infinite circle. Because it is infinite its center is the great imponderable, portentous "now." "Now" is an infinite circle whose center is everywhere within the compass of that circle. This is boggling to the mind, since it has nocircumference and its center is everywhere.

"Eternity," says Munsey,

"is an infinite line. The strongest winged angel who cleaves the illimitable ether may track it, and track it forever, yet he can no more find its end than he can find the cradle or tomb of God.... It is a day without a morning, a day without an evening--an eternal noon. It was just noon when the world was made, it will be lust noon when the world is destroyed--high noon forever.
O Eternity!

The idea deepens, widens, and towers, till the human mind, confounded and crushed, shrinks into infinite littleness"

Forever and ever and ever. When you have been in hell a hundred billion, trillion eons of centuries, you will not have one less second to be there--to be lost forever. You will be in utter darkness, fleeing this way and that with never another mortal soul to converse with, with never an angel to cross your track, turning this way and that, up and down one plane in forever and ever -- lost, lost, shrieking out, lost, forever and ever, where no echoes will ever mock your misery. Immortalsoul, lost in an infinite darkness, flying on and on in a journey that will only end when you will come to fold yourwings upon the gravestone of God, forever.

Where will you spend forever?

Go Here to Read About how you can know for sure about
your Eternal Destiny

Though the Bible declares it in a thousand places, and Jesus boldly asseverated that it was true, there may be some who still do not believe in hell.   I have heard the testimony of a man who went to hell.  He is a living man, and his testimony is on tape. He has given me his permission to use it in any way that I wish. He described himself as an atheist He believed neither in soul nor spirit nor angel nor God. "when you are dead," he said, "you are dead like a dog." One day he planned to crawl into a hole and pull the top in over him. He did not believe in heaven or hell or God. But then he did, in a very enlightening way--he died! Not long ago he had a cardiac arrest, and the doctors pronounced him clinically dead. (In the last year or so numerous scientists have reported on over 500 people who have been pronounced clinically dead and have been resuscitated. Whatever that means, we may not wholly know, but the reports that they bring back have convinced scientists that there is life beyond death.) Later he was resuscitated, but he told me that during his "death" he experienced the following:

He sank into a realm of darkness, a place of dark shadows --yet still he had a body he found himself in great agony pushing a huge stone into a pit. (The Bible speaks of a pit.) He was in great pain and there was nothing he could do to diminish it.

"If you got shot in the arm, " he said, "you could  at least grab your arm and get some slight lessening of pain, but not so with this."

I asked, "Where was it? Was it localized!" His answer was,

"No, it was everywhere I am quite certain that if I had cut my throat I would not have lessened that pain at all."

I questioned how severe the pain was, he said,

"it was worse than anything I have ever experienced in this world."

I thought perhaps he had never known much pain. I asked, "Have you ever really suffered any pain in this world?"

He said,

"Well, when I was nine years old a freight train ran over my leg and left it hanging by a tendon. Somehow I picked it up, dragged myself to a crossing, and was finally picked up by a man in a car. 1 never passed out but my blood squirted all over his windshield as he drove me to a hospital. I was never unconscious."

"How did that pain compare to the time when the doctor said you were dead'" I asked.

"It was insignificant," he answered. "I wouldn't even compare it. "

I told him that I once burned my hand rather severely and experienced a pain unlike anything I have ever known before or since. Did you ever burn yourself?"

He said,

"Yes, I knocked a can of gasoline off a shelf over a candle onto my leg and set my remaining leg on fire. As a result I spent several weeks in the hospital."

He raised his pants leg and showed me the scars. I said, "I know of nothing in this world that compares to the pain of burning. How did the pain you experienced when you died compare with that?"

He answered,

"It was one thousand times worse than when my leg was on fire! I tried every way I knew to explain that away, but everything dissolved before my attempts to do it. I did not believe in hell before and I did not want to believe in it then. 
On the face of this earth, no matter what you did to me, I don't think you could experience the pain that I experienced when I died in that hospital."

I asked, "What do you think that was!"

"Why, I feel that it definitely had to be something other than on this earth,
so the only place I can think of is that there must be a hell, and I was in it."

He told me that when he thought about that after he got out of the hospital, he began to tremble with an uncontrollable trembling.  Hell is real! He believed it did not exist at all, just as some who are reading this believe. He thought it was a myth. He did not believe Christ. He did not believe God, he did not believe the Bible. But he died, and he believes it now!  Tragically, some will only believe it when they experience it -- when it will be too late.

If the Bible teaches anything at all, it is that there is an everlasting too late -- that there will come a moment when it will be eternally too late, when the door of grace will have slammed shut forever. Then the sinner would give the universe itself for just one minute to repent and turn to Jesus Christ.

I believe there is a hell because Jesus Christ not only taught it, he experienced it. We read in the Scripture that on the cross of Calvary, Christ took upon himself the sin of the world; he was made sin for us, and our guilt was imputed to him. God the Father looked down upon his beloved Son whom he had loved everlastingly, in whom he was well pleased, and saw him as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. And God poured out the cauldron of his wrath against sin itself and it all poured out upon Jesus Christ who cried, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!" (Matt. 27:46), and then descended into hell.

 

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In that darkness at noon Christ suffered an infinite penalty there upon the cross in our place. He said, "It is finished. It is paid." Those who will trust in him can hear his words that the wages of sin, though it is death, is paid forever by Christ. And those who place their trust in him have his word that they will never perish. The truth of the Scripture is that the anger and wrath of God will one day fall upon our sins.

The only question is: Will it fall upon us in hell forever! Or will it fall upon Jesus Christ upon the cross? That choice is ours to make. We will live forever -- somewhere!

This text is taken in part from:
"Why I Believe" by
D. James Kennedy
Word Books [1980] Waco, Texas

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