Uh-oh. Yesterday I discovered something online which I found beyond scary, I read the entire thing and now feel I must share it with you.
What was it? It's a book about hell by Mary Kathryn Baxter, published back in 1983. For thirty nights Jesus walked through hell with Mary so that she could later write about what she beheld as a warning to the rest of us.
Now. I realize it's popular today to not even believe there is a hell (or a devil), to instead, cast off the whole idea as just being a product of pagan stories from ancient times. Do a Google search and you'll see all sorts of conversations centering around statements like, "Only stupid Christians would believe a good God could allow people to go to so-called hell."
Well, call me stupid, but I believe He does. Yet does it make total sense to me? Do I understand and agree with all the whys about it? No, truthfully, I don't. And it all doesn't seem to match-up with the God I have come to know and love through experience.
Yet that only means something is faulty with my understanding of God, not that something is wrong with Him. (Heaven forbid that my comprehension of God would attempt be usurp truth about Him!) For always, what the Bible declares must stand tallest and all over the New Testament hell is mentioned as being real, as is satan, with whom Jesus even spoke (what do Christians who don't believe in satan do with Matthew 4:1-11, you know, when Jesus was out in the desert with satan?).
So anyway, here is the book: A Divine Revelation of Hell by Mary Kathryn Baxter. (Scroll down the page until the book begins.)
You remember how yesterday I wrote about our needing more compassion for people? Well wow, I came away from reading this book with more of that godly compassion-- in spades. Oh dear. Many parts were extremely difficult to bear--it's always agonizing watching people suffer--and it set a dark tone for the remainder of my day. But it was, is, all necessary to keep me awake to reality, to remind me to pray for people and to do my part in keeping others (and myself) from one day wandering into such torment.
One other thing--as I read this book, I felt God telling me not to begin wondering if perhaps, by specific name, this person or that one was now in hell experiencing such anguish. He reminded me that I do not know hearts and I do not know who may have asked for forgiveness from Jesus days or moments before their deaths. I could easily be all wrong about who's there, He told me, and also for my own mental health I need to mind my own business and just do my unique part in helping to save a hurt and dying world.
And lastly, I came away with these things: always obey the convictions, those not-so-loud promptings of the Holy Spirit. Love God more than anyone else. Obey Him, remain humble, repentant. Love people from the heart and forgive everyone. Forgive, forgive, forgive.
To read Mary Kathryn Baxter's writings about Heaven (which, of course, are much easier emotionally to handle) go here. (Again, scroll down.)
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." ... John 14:6