Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hard, Sad, But Necessary Truth

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



Anonymous said...

Debra, it is wise to investigate what is known about anyone who teaches, which this woman could be said to be doing (teaching). And to match up what is said against what Scripture we have. I have no way of knowing one way or another, but I did find it interesting seeing what this article says as well: and no doubt there are many other places to check things out. I am not saying hell is not real either, please do not misunderstand. I do agree that it is so important the relationship we have with GOD, but we must also be careful in the details, esp. what we learn from others.

I agree that forgiveness is important to practice. I have often wondered if one reason GOD allowed a drunk driver to kill my 20 year old brother so many years ago, was because he was one of the best "forgivers" I have known. I wonder if that is one thing that perhaps determines the length of time we are in this earthly life?
Elizabeth in NC

Debra said...

Hi Elizabeth---I recommended this article because for the past few days I've read many like it and this one rang true with me. It also matched up with many others I've read, including one today by the very respected author of Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan. An angel took him to both heaven and hell and his account of hell was very similar to Mary Kathryn's. You can find his account here:

Both of his writings about heaven and hell were amazing. Blessings, Debra

Anonymous said...

I didn't know these existed. Thank you Debra. Sarah

Debra said...

Sarah--you're welcome. I didn't know these existed, either, and I'm grateful that God led me to them. They've rekindled some things I'd let slide and were necessary for me, though very hard to read because of their realness and subject matter. Blessings, Debra