by Rick Warren — September 21, 2022
From Eternal Realities
“I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.”
1 John 5:13 (NLT)
You probably have a picture that comes to mind when you think about what hell must be like. Your image likely has some red and black tones in it, a lot of fire, and maybe the devil looming over everything.
Hell is described in the Bible as a place of torment. Matthew 13:42 says it is a “blazing furnace, where the people will cry and grind their teeth with pain” (NCV).
That description sounds terrible, but do you know what the worst part of hell is? Hell is total separation from God, which means hell is the exact opposite of everything God is.
The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (NIV). The opposite of love is fear. Living without love means you’re scared to death all the time. That’s hell.
God is love, so there is no love in hell. God is light, so hell is complete darkness. God is good, so there is absolutely nothing good in hell. God is life, so that means hell is eternal death. God is gracious, so that means there’s no grace in hell.
Just think what eternity would be like without the joy of knowing God and being loved by him—an eternity without any joy at all.
It would be terrible—unthinkable, really. But that is the reality for anyone who does not choose to love and follow Jesus in this life. The Bible says, “If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be separated from God—lost forever!” (1 Corinthians 16:22 NCV).
If you go through your entire life saying, “I don’t want God in my life,” then that means you will also spend eternity without God. Whatever you choose on Earth is your forever choice.
But there is good news! There is a way for you to be absolutely certain you’re going to heaven and not hell. The Bible tells you how to settle your destiny: “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13 NLT).
You don’t have to guess or wonder about something that is inevitable and could happen at any moment. You can know for certain today that when you die, you will spend eternity in God’s presence. Don’t put it off any longer.
Settle your future today.