Flight Out of Darkness: Is There a Hell? Part II

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In my last post, we looked at a terrifying subject – the reality of hell, the center of Satan’s kingdom. It is a place beyond human description where people who have rejected all truth about themselves and their lives await final judgment. Witnesses have been given to us, people who have experienced brief moments in hell and come back to tell about it.  But those voices are almost overwhelmed by the many, many near death experiences that seem to prove that hell is not an issue that anyone should worry about.

Beginning with Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and Dr. Raymond Moody, dozens and dozens of books have been written that tell stories of people who appear to have crossed over into the afterlife and no matter what their backgrounds or beliefs, they are met by a loving being of light who affirms them.  Many experience a life review and when it’s over they are sent back, with vague messages of universal love that urge unity and an end to violence.  They tell us that we’re destroying the planet and we’ve got to take care of it.

Most of all these messages tell us that everyone is heading in the same spiritual direction, growing through various stages of spiritual development.  They tell us that there’s nothing to fear about death.  Ultimately, everyone is going to Heaven. In all of this literature extremely rare are experiences of hell.

So what’s going on here?

If hell is real and if the warnings of Jesus are true as I quoted in my last article, as heartbreaking as it is to say, the vast majority of the human race will not be going to Heaven at all.  Didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 7:14 that narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life and there are few who find it? According to Jesus, tragically, the vast majority of the human race are going toward eternal death. Which of these diametrically opposed messages is true? Of course, if you are an atheist you think none of it is true.  But that is a statement of blind faith without the slightest evidence and it goes against the eye-witness accounts of former atheists. I’d call that a high risk.

I believe that Satan (who is a very real and powerful being) is deeply concerned that God’s eye-witnesses who have experienced hell be overwhelmed by false visions created by his Angels of Darkness.  Jesus called Satan a Liar and the Father of Lies, but his lies are very subtle. To the best of his ability he will copy anything that he sees God doing.  And as much as possible he will salt truth and beauty into his lies. That’s why temptation is so tempting.  We see something that he presents and we want it. We know it’s wrong, but it’s painted so beautifully with all sorts of twisted logic giving us selfish reasons why it would be good for us.

Falling for Satan’s lies is addictive.

Doing so over and over makes us spiritually blind and stupid.  We start doing the one thing he wants for us more than anything else.  We start worshiping ourselves and our own desires.  We become our own little gods. As this happens, we give up the ability to understand any deeper truth, especially truth about who we really are. This the heart of every sort of addiction.  Facing truth about ourselves makes us very uncomfortable. It can cause deep pain, so we run and hide in a thousand ways. If we honestly confront who we are we would have to repent and our pride refuses to let that happen.

As I have studied the literature of near-death experiences, I have come to the conclusion that Satan uses two strategies that couple with our natural inclination to run from reality. These blind us about the truth regarding hell.

In January of 2010, an interesting man passed away.

His name was Maurice Rawlings.  He was a medical doctor, a cardiologist. In the early 1970’s Rawlings was definitely not a Christian.  That changed in 1977 because of a disturbing experience.  He was working with a team of nurses who were doing a stress test on a man who was having chest pain.  Rawlings instructed them to work the man harder until the pain returned.  While he was on the machine the patient had a heart attack.  His heart stopped beating.  As Rawlings worked to resuscitate him, a strange thing began to happen.  Several times the man revived, but then his heart would stop again.  And each time he regained consciousness he started screaming in absolute terror, pleading for the doctor to save him because every time his heart stopped he was in hell.

Being a good scientific materialist, Rawlings assumed it was just hallucinations. But his patient’s shrieks kept on and they were aggravating.  When he was conscious, the man pleaded with Rawlings to pray for him.  The doctor felt insulted.  He wasn’t a priest or a psychiatrist.  Finally, just to shut him up he made up a make-believe prayer.  He told the man to say, “Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  Keep me out of hell and if I live I’m on the hook.  I’m yours.”

Of course, the words were all a fantasy.  Rawlings didn’t believe any of it.  But the man did as he was told and, suddenly, the strangest thing happened.  No longer was he a screaming, wild-eyed lunatic.  He became relaxed and calm.  The terror vanished.  Seeing such a transformation frightened Dr. Rawlings.  Ultimately, it led to him ask Jesus to forgive his sins and be his Lord and Savior.

Over the following decades Rawlings entered into deep research about near-death experiences.  As a cardiologist he had many opportunities to witness people die.  From those experiences he wrote several books including Beyond Death’s Door and To Hell and Back. During his years of observation Rawlings noticed some very strange phenomena. First, he observed people who had clear and terrifying experiences of hell and communicated those awful visions during the crisis of resuscitation.  But very quickly as they recuperated, something odd occurred.  The memory of hell that they had witnessed so clearly entirely vanished.

What had happened? Where had the terrifying memories gone?

Rawlings concluded that there was a logical answer. What happens when we go through other experiences that are deeply shocking and traumatic such as brutal car accidents?  To protect us, our conscious minds simply refuse to recall the trauma.  The whole event submerges into our subconscious where it remains inaccessible, but it still affects us. Rawlings came to believe that this natural tendency toward psychological protection is the first reason why near-death experiences of hell do not appear with great frequency in the literature.  The vision is so horrible that the majority of “experiencers” automatically wipe it from their conscious memories.

But Rawlings discovered another reason why we don’t read more about near-death visions of hell.  As the years passed and he accumulated more and more records of these events, he contacted Dr. Kubler-Ross and other leading writers in the field, offering to share his files with them.  They didn’t want to see them.  They didn’t want to write about such negative visions.  This led Rawlings to believe that near-death experiences of hell are being consciously suppressed by many in the medical community. And it’s understandable. Medical personnel are frightened of them and prefer not to think about them.  And for those who are writers, you sell a lot more books by telling people what they want to hear and making them feel good.

But there is a third reason why near-death experiences of hell are not common.  One day Rawlings was doing a questionnaire with a patient who had been shot in the chest.  One of the bullets had nicked his heart and before he was resuscitated he had a near-death experience.  In it he was taken up into a loving white light where he was welcomed and affirmed.  No serious life examination took place at all.  The white light did not mention that three years previously he had murdered two people during a robbery.  All he felt was peace and love.

Why had he been shot in the chest?

He had been in a bar and had started dancing with what he thought was a beautiful, young woman. But very quickly, he discovered that his partner was a cross-dresser.  He hated homosexuals so he had beaten him up.  The man had gone behind the bar, pulled out a gun and shot him.

So what did this man say to Rawlings about his near-death experience? These are his words:  “Well, it felt good to be in this beautiful place, but I kept wondering why the light never asked me about beating the heck out of the cross-dresser.  And the light never mentioned the two killings from the past.  I was glad he didn’t ask me about those things, but if he was from God, why didn’t he?  I thought about bringing it up, but I said to myself, why knock a good thing and kept my mouth shut.  I knew I should be in hell instead of this nice place.  Doc, does God ever make mistakes?”  What had happened?  Did God make a mistake or just overlook this man’s awful deeds?

Why are there not more experiences of hell? 

Because many people are given lying visions.

If you want to read some darkly hilarious literature I suggest reading books that come from “advanced spirit beings” that “channel” their wisdom through a human “medium”.  One of the classics of channeled literature is a book called Seth Speaks.  According to the jacket, (and I quote) “Seth is a personality no longer focused in physical reality.”  (I have known a network executive or two who fit that description.)

In 1963, a woman named Jane Roberts and her husband started playing with a Ouija board.  Suddenly, messages began coming from it. This led Jane to become a trance medium in order to channel the wisdom of an entity who called himself Seth.  Was Jane really channeling “Seth” or was it all just regurgitated from her imagination?  I think there is good reason to believe she was actually in touch with something beyond herself.  The voice and the style of speech were entirely different from her own. What it said was completely out of character for her. What she experienced was spirit possession. If you don’t believe in that I have a shelf of books that you should read.  I’d be happy to share titles.

When you read so-called channeled literature you are wading in a swamp of mental goop right up to your eyeballs.  But in the middle of all the asinine blather you may come upon a fragment of fascinating information. Seth had a very big mouth and he loved to boast.  He wanted everyone to believe that in him resides the wisdom of the ages.  In his book he spends a number of chapters telling people what will happen to them after death.  Needless to say, nothing that he shares agrees with Jesus and the Bible.  But buried in the blather a scintillating factoid is dropped that I think represents truth.

Seth is a very busy entity and he has many associates.

According to him, all advanced beings are deeply interested in helping poor benighted humans like us.   Seth informs us that one of their most important activities is to assist people at the moment of “transition out of the body.”  It is one of their regular assignments.  Seth and his associates have a great concern.  It is their desire to meet the spiritual expectations of every human when we “die”.

Seth wants us to know that all human belief systems are just hallucinations. Once we are dead, he and his friends become guides to help us transition through and beyond our infantile religious beliefs.  According to Seth, in order to facilitate this important work he and his entity cohorts become whatever “god” you expect to see.  Let’s read his own words as “channeled” through Jane.

“The situation is rather tricky from a guide’s viewpoint, for psychologically, the utmost discretion must be used. One man’s Moses, as I discovered, may not be another man’s Moses. I have served as a rather creditable Moses on several occasions – and once – though this is hard to believe – to an Arab.

“The Arab was a very interesting character.  Let me tell you about him. He hated Jews, but somehow was obsessed with the idea that Moses was more powerful than Allah and for years this was the secret sin upon his conscience.  He was killed by the Crusaders in the most horrible way.  They forced his mouth open and stuffed it with burning coals as a starter.  As he died, he cried to Allah, then in greater desperation to Moses.  And as his consciousness left his body, Moses was there. He believed in Moses more than he did Allah and I did not know until the last moment which form I was to assume.”

With consummate pride, Seth tells us that he and his associates staged a grand pageant for this Arab’s benefit with Allah and Moses fighting each other for his soul because, for some unknown reason, that was what the man expected. Beneath all this asinine hilarity, a chilling statement is being made.  When St. Paul writes in II Corinthians 11:14 that Satan can masquerade as an angel of light, we should take that very seriously.  Before his fall, Satan was in God’s Presence.  As one of the most powerful angels, he is able to mimic the Light and Love of God.  Now I’m sure what he creates is a very poor copy, but for people who have never experienced the original it is an alluring counterfeit.   He can make it feel as though you are in God’s presence, then tell you anything he wants.

What is the purpose of this counterfeit?

In many near-death experiences, people meet whatever god they believe in and are sent back with messages of false hope.  Most of all, the focus of those messages is this:  Jesus is not who the Bible says He is.  He is just one of many great teachers and avatars who have appeared throughout history.  He is not the only savior of the world.  Certainly, He is not the only way to Heaven. Most of all, Satan does not want you to know and believe that Jesus really did come and give His life to save the human race from hell.

Satan knows very well what happened in the heart of his kingdom almost two thousand years ago.  I fear that an understanding of what happened in the kingdom of hell has been lost in the church of today.  It’s time we reclaimed it.  Here’s how it began.

Luke 22:63-23:47 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him. As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe.  And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go.   Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” 

Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.”  And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.” Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”

Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”   So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.” But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean.  And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.  Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.  And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.

Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.  I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).  

And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas” — who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder. Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.” But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.   So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.  For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’  Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”‘  For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?” 

There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

And they divided His garments and cast lots. And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God. “The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.'” Having said this, He breathed His last. So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

I’ve read the story of Jesus Christ’s death so many times.  I’ve seen films about it, and probably you have too, the Son of God taking the sins of the world upon Himself. It’s clear from the Biblical record that behind the human conspiracy that led to Jesus’ crucifixion, Satan and his Angels of Darkness were working feverishly.  If you remember, during the Last Supper, it says that at a certain moment Satan himself entered into Judas Iscariot, the betrayer.  Satan desperately wanted Jesus to die.

But there is an element to this story that bothered me for a long time.

Now, I am not a theologian. Neither am I a professional Bible scholar.  I’m only a Hollywood storyteller.  But every good storyteller asks logical questions.  As writers, we have to understand our characters, their motives, their hopes and their dreams.  Especially this is true when we create antagonists.  As evil as an antagonist may be, if your story is going to make sense, the villain has to make decisions out of a logical framework based on his view of reality.  Even if he is insane, he has some kind of consistent viewpoint. He wants something and he has reasons for wanting it. Though the world may view him as horribly evil, in his own eyes he is the hero of the story, a victim of cruel injustice who is terribly misunderstood and maligned.  In his self-pity, he sees everything he does as fully justified.  In every great antagonist there is a logic of self-preservation. Certainly that would be true for the most formidable antagonist of all, Satan.

So here is the question that bothered me.  Why would Satan want to kill Jesus Christ?  He’s the Son of God.  Satan knows that.  He’s taking on the sins of the world.  Satan knows that.  He’s tried to tempt Him to a different course, to personally sin, to be disobedient to God’s laws and purpose and it hasn’t worked.  Based on that alone, then this has got to be the logical reality from Satan’s viewpoint.  “If I kill Him, he’s going to Heaven and His death will redeem the human race.”  It’s in the Old Testament.  Satan is an expert on the Bible.  He knows Isaiah 53 and all the other passages about the suffering Messiah.  And he knows the passages about Him being a conquering King.

Let’s apply some story logic.

Given this understanding, if you were Satan wouldn’t you want to keep Jesus alive in this world forever? Wouldn’t you protect him so He would die a natural death in old age, not giving his life for anyone? Why would you want to facilitate your own destruction?  So what are we missing here? What is going on that we have overlooked?  Let me present an idea. What if Satan had an entirely different understanding about what would happen to Jesus when He died? I believe that Jesus Himself gave us some hints about Satan’s motives.

Let’s look at a fascinating parable. Matthew 21:33-46:

“Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.  Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit.  And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another.  Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. 

Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’  But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’  So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.  “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” 

They said to Him,” He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?  

 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.  And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”  Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.

Who is Jesus talking about in this parable?

Clearly, first of all He is talking about the hypocritical religious leaders who are in His audience.  These men wanted to kill Him.  In a number of places He calls such men children of their father, the devil.  Strong words.  It means that to Jesus they were the human representatives of Satan and the kingdom of hell.

But let me ask a question.  As much as they hated Him, did those religious leaders view Jesus as the Son and Heir of their Kingdom?  Absolutely not.  In His trial they wanted to crucify Him for claiming just such a thing.  So on a deeper level, who was Jesus talking about?  Who did know that He was the Son and Heir and who did want to kill Him because of that?  Satan and all of his fallen hosts.  What does the parable say about the motives of the murderers?  They believed that if they could kill the son the vineyard would be theirs.

So what might Satan have believed?  First, he believed the eternal truth stated in Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death.  St. Paul wrote those words. What is he saying?  What does death mean in this context? Just physical death? If that’s true as soon as our hearts stop beating the price for sin is paid and we all ought to go to Heaven.  But it doesn’t mean just physical death.  In Luke 12:4-5 Jesus warned that we shouldn’t fear the one who can kill the body. We should fear God, the One who can cast the soul into hell.

The Bible teaches that because of sin, the curse of death is a two-part experience.  First, comes physical death.  That is the minor part.  After that there is the death of the spirit in eternal suffering apart from God. The Bible calls this the Second Death. So what might Satan have believed about the moment when Jesus’ Spirit left His body?  The perfect Son of God who has never sinned has come into this world to do what? 2 Corinthians 5:21 says it clearly: For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin (to be) sin for us. Those two little words “to be” do not exist in the Greek.  They’ve been added to make it more readable in English.  What it says is that God made Jesus sin for us.  He didn’t make Him commit sin for us.  He turned Him into sin for us. It was the ultimate sacrifice mirrored in the entire Old Testament system of sacrifices. The animal hadn’t done the sinning, it was the people.  A substitute for the sinner took on the sin and paid the penalty.

What sin?  Whose sin?  John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” What sin?  The sin of the whole world. By God’s decree, Jesus became guilty of all the sins that have ever been committed from Adam and Eve down to the last child who will ever be born. No wonder in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus cried out, “Father if it is possible let this awful cup pass from me.”

So what did Satan understand?

The Law of God is clear and immutable.  The soul that sins must die.  Not just physical death, spiritual death in hell.  So what must happen to Jesus?  In becoming the sin of the entire human race, He is transformed into the most the most vile, wretched and filthy man who has ever lived, guilty of everything from the murders of the Holocaust to child rape and on and on.  God will not be able stand the sight of Him.  If we had seen it all, we couldn’t have stood the sight of Him. Satan would understand that into hell Jesus must go to suffer the second death and remain under his evil control. With the Son in hell, what will happen to the world?  It will belong to the Prince of the Power of the Air forever. The “vineyard” will be his.  Suddenly, it is brutally clear why Satan may have wanted Jesus to die.

And at His death, into hell Jesus went.  One of the oldest statements of faith in the history of the Church is the Apostle’s Creed.  It says, “He descended into hell.”  It doesn’t say He was dragged there.  He went there. What is this statement based on?  What does the Bible say happened when Jesus entered hell?  Let’s look at some mysterious passages.

Ephesians 4:7-10 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”   (Now this, “He ascended” — what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)  Those are the words of St. Paul.

Among the Jewish people of Paul’s day the concept of the lower parts of the earth never meant simply a grave in the dirt.  It meant going down into hades – into hell.

Colossians 2:11-15 tells us this: In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Disarming principalities and powers, making a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them, these are words of absolute violence.  The people of the Roman world would have understood what Paul meant.  They had seen such things.  They had seen Roman generals going into enemy territory and fighting terrible wars.  When the enemy was defeated a Roman general would chain up all the soldiers left alive and lead them in a humiliating parade to show how he had triumphed over them. That’s what Paul is saying Jesus did.  What other time for this to have happened than when He descended into hell, when Satan thought he had power over Him?

Sometime before His Resurrection, the war of the ages took place in the heart of Satan’s kingdom.

Remember that “time” does not mean the same thing in every dimension.  An hour in this world could be ten thousand years in a different reality. So Jesus could say to the thief on the cross, “This day you will be with me in Paradise” and be true to His word, while remaining in Satan’s Kingdom for what felt like an eternity.  I believe that in that war…in the heart of hell…the Great Victory was won.  All Satan’s evil hosts were defeated by Jesus alone through the Power of God’s Holy Spirit. He didn’t destroy them.  That comes later.  But He bound them, limiting their power.

But before His great victory what happened to Jesus in hell?  For some unknown period did He suffer there the Second Death for the sinners of the world?  The Bible does not tell us.  But I believe that’s what Satan expected to happen.

1 Peter 3:18-20 says: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison.  

God would not leave Jesus, His Only Begotten Son, in hell.  The Spirit made Him alive. And after His victory over Satan, He preached the greatest sermon in the history of the world to a vast audience locked in darkness.  Based on that victory, how does Jesus describe Himself now? You can read it in Revelation 1:18I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”  He won those keys by the giving His Life for you and me.

 How can we communicate what Jesus has done for us?

Where are the words?  There is no greater responsibility for a Christian storyteller than to try to communicate what Jesus’ death, His descent into hell and His resurrection really mean for humanity?  How can we communicate the sin and evil that He became for us, the sin and evil that we do and that we are as a race?  How can a storyteller communicate our “utter lostness”?

I tried to do this in a chapter of a novel that I wrote entitled, Dagon’s Illusion.  I have turned that novel into a dramatic podcast of the same name.  Below you will find a link to Episode 35 that I called The Dark Parade.  While it comes in the middle of the novel, I think you will find that it stands alone.  Every evil described in it has actually been committed by we humans at some point in our history. I invite you to listen.

https://anchor.fm/coleman-luck/episodes/Dagons-Illusion—Episode-35—The-Dark-Parade-e3oh82

The writer of the New Testament Book of Hebrews asks the ultimate question:

“…How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”

That is a question that you need to ask yourself right now.  My friend, our lives are so short. Before you know it, yours will come to an end.  As you have read already, the message of the Bible is clear.  God loves you more than you could ever know.  No matter what you have done, no matter what sins you have committed, Jesus gave His life for you to give you His Eternal Life forever. You are invited right now to lay your life at His feet, to give your life to Him.  Be honest with Him about the things you know that you have done that are wrong. Ask Him to forgive you and become your Savior and Lord. He will do it.  His Life can be yours. There is no other path to Heaven.

If I can be of help to you, email me:  Colemanluck@gmail.com

 

 

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