TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
During the summer before my senior year of high school, I went to Go-Tell Camp at Liberty University with my church youth group.
One night that week, they let the youth come up and give their testimonies if they felt so led.
I can’t really remember most of the testimonies that were given that night, but there was this one that I may always remember.
There was this group of kids who took the stage and they made it known they had gotten into some trouble with the law. But that really wasn’t the focus of their testimony.
They told the story about what they experienced after they had received their punishment. The summer before that one, that group of kids was forced to attend a slightly different type of camp.
The purpose of Go-Tell Camp was to get youths on fire about the Lord and get the preparation needed to go and tell about The Good News.
But prior to Go-Tell Camp, this group of kids went to a camp where they got scared into being a Christian.
They talked about how the whole time they were at that particular camp, the focus was solely on how scary Hell was and how you should get saved just to avoid eternity in a lake of fire.
But one year later, at Go-Tell Camp, they wanted to let everyone know they were Christians because they loved Jesus Christ, and not just because they were afraid of Hell.
I’ve never been one to preach “Hell, fire and brimstone.” Like those kids said, I’m a Christian because I love Jesus and I am saved by His wonderful grace.
But there is no denying that Hell is a very real place.
I’ve been fortunate enough in my lifetime to never experience any real significant fires or burns.
The only time I ever remember receiving any type of burn was this one time when I was about 10 years old.
For some reason, I wanted to test out a magnet to see if it actually worked.
That normally sounds like a pretty safe activity.
But I happened to test it on my mother’s clothing iron, which, of course, happened to be turned on.
Long story short, the magnet did actually work, and when it stuck to the iron, my finger was right there with it.
I immediately ran to the bathroom to run some cold water over my burned finger, but the pain was there for quite some time.
I can’t even imagine how annoying it would be to experience a burn like that little one for all of eternity. But to have your entire body engulfed in flames for forever is something that I never want to even think about.
Revelation 21:8 tells us, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Again, I don’t scare myself into being a Christian, and I hope I don’t scare any readers with this column, but I believe we forget that Hell truly exists.
We are all going to die one day and leave this earthly home. If you lead a life full of sin and never ask the Lord into your heart, Hell might be where you ultimately end up.
But the glorious thing to know is that you don’t have to end up there.
Our Lord offers us all eternal life if we turn from our wicked ways and ask for His forgiveness of our sins.
By that way, and that way alone, we can assure ourselves a home forever in Heaven where no irons or magnets can hurt us.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com. You can also visit his blog at hallthingsconsidered.blogspot.com