Hell, by Becky Hunter
So today, in the grocery store, I passed a “lady” saying through clenched teeth to the guy she was with that he could “go to hell.” And why did she say that? Well, as far as I could discern, he had put a box of cereal into the cart that she didn’t want there. He was pretty mature about it, though, because as he was setting the cereal back on the shelf he responded, “No, you go to hell.” Now before you begin thinking, like I did, that there must be more to that story, let me just say that no matter what the backstory is, hoping for someone to experience eternal damnation is seriously inappropriate feedback.
What is there that makes people mean enough or crazy enough to throw around eternal curses. I don’t get it. But even Christians aren’t exempt from using such horrific profanation. I’ve never done an actual survey, but based on being around lots and lots of people who call themselves Christians I’ve come to the unscientific conclusion that way too many may actually find it easier to tell someone to go hell than to encourage someone in a life with Christ that will make sure they don’t.
Jesus talked about hell, but He certainly didn’t clench His teeth and tell them to go there! Just the opposite! He explained the way to go to God, and then provided the way for all people to stay far away from hell. In Scripture we learn that Hell is separation from God. It’s darkness. It’s misery. God doesn’t want any of us to be separated from Him forever. Maybe it’s time to respond to people, especially to those whose choices annoy us, “Go to heaven!”
“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” - 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)