Outside of my campus' most famous eatery, I enjoyed a snow cone, courtesy of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. Whilst gnawing through the solid, brick-like portion of the cone, I partook in evangelism. An older gentleman was questioning younger one on his standing on salvation. In the end, the younger one left with much to think about.
I had two responses, which I relayed to the older gentleman. The first is a question of the effect the speech had on the younger one's soul. Many people are quite against the Christian ideal of Hell. The arbitrary “pit of fire” seems like a threat to many people, Christians included. I would like to share my two cents on the subject.
First, to the non-religious crowd: I’m sorry, I don't have much of a witty remark here. Hell ain't rosy at all. I wish I could say something more kind on this matter, but I honestly cannot. Hell sucks. But it is not necessarily a pit of fire. Let me describe it like this. Many people understand drowning. Most of the world has seen water, and felt the need to hold one's breath when submerged. Though, when one drowns, it is not a climatic event; when one begins drowning in earnest, they just float there, nearly paralyzed. I’m not sure why, they simply do. It looks almost calm.
Burning alive, on the other hand, is different. Many people have not been set on fire; it is a terrifying mystery. What we know is that, when we put our hand on the hot stove, it burns. Thus, a pit of fire is seen as quite an excruciating eternity. Thus, it is a common image of Hell.
In reality, Hell is ultimate separation from God. To a religious man, it is a fate literally worse than death. For my idea on how one gets to this place, see below.
To the religious crowd: I’m not about to get on a high horse and order you, so I’m going to simply state my own opinion on the subject. I believe that, by default, I am going to Hell. In lieu of the actions I have done, and the man I am, I deserve and expect it. Now, if it turns out that God would like me to be with Him for eternity, then I will be eternally grateful and undeserving. That's for God to decide.
This is simply my view on the matter, as I have not studied enough of this subject to make a statement that concerns everyone. I would love to learn more, for, as a Christian and a human being, Hell excites and terrifies me. I offer these two stanzas of an as-of-now unfinished song as my closing:
O great father, I don't deserve the gift,
I’ve taken your inheritance and squandered it,
What I’ve done to deserve your love, I can't think of,
But let me work in your fields til the kingdom come!
Why do you kill the fatted calf for me?
After all I’ve done- I made you weep!
Is your love really this strong?
Tis the inspiration of this song!