No, it is not hotter than hell…

(This post is from August 2010. That year, the heat was almost unbearable. I described it in this post, and I took the title from a sign that I saw in front of a church not far from our home…I hope you enjoy it.)

Matthew 13:42
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:50
And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Mark 9:45-46
And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

If you live here in the south, then you know about the heat. There are days when it is so hot that it seems like the heat wraps itself around you like a blanket when you step outside. Sometimes it is so hot that you cannot breathe. The air is dry, the sun is bright, and the temperatures are soaring.

It has been that way most of this summer. The temperatures have ranged from hot to ridiculous. For those of us who suffer seasonal allergies, the heat is difficult for a number of reasons. Once it gets so hot, the air quality is just not good anymore, and that cause sinus infections, post-nasal drip, and allergy attacks. I have suffered more this summer with my allergies than I think I ever have in my life. One of my daughters struggles with allergies as severely as I do, but my whole family has suffered. The heat has gotten to us.

The bright sunshine is also very draining. For anyone who has to work outdoors for any amount of time during the summer months, I have so much compassion for you. My suggestion is to drink plenty of water, but drinking more water does not cool you off. The heat is so exhausting that after I have been outside for more than just a few minutes, I have to come inside and sit down. I have cut grass in the heat. Now, after cutting the grass with a non-self propelled push lawn mower up and down the hill in my front yard, I have to do more than sit down. I usually have to lie down in the middle of the floor underneath a ceiling fan to cool off.

I hate the summer months. I hate the heat. I have lived in the south all of my life and I should be used to it by now but I never get used to it. I have never and suspect that I will never like heat.

But there is a heat that is nothing near what I have described to you. There is the “furnace of fire”. My fear is that several people that I know and love are headed for that furnace. The heat there is immeasurable. My grandmother used to say that hell is “seven times hotter than the hottest day you have ever lived”. Now, how she thought that she could measure it, I will never know. But I do know this: when Jesus comes to set up His earthly kingdom, I want to be a part of it. I do not want to be one of the ones who dies without the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I do not want to have lived my entire life only to die physically, meet the Savior, and have Him tell me to depart. Then, worse than that, I do not want to have to be sentenced to eternity in the place where the “…worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:44) I have experienced the heat of the southern states. That heat is enough for me. And I am sure that the heat that I have experienced is nowhere near as hot as the heat to which the soul that dies for all eternity will experience. So, just in case you are wondering, wherever you may be today, the answer is no, it is not hotter than hell.

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