The result of living without Jesus is . Not just a fantasy, not just a short-term separation from what is good. It is a final loss, a final “mercy” of God to those who refuse any blessing. He will not let an evil person go on hurting others into eternity, or even themselves; so He places them in outer darkness (Matthew 8:11-12), alone and apart from any source of light or life, because that is what they have chosen. “All that are in hell choose it. Without that self-choice, there could be no hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find; to those who knock it is opened.” (C.S.Lewis, The Great Divorce)
If they would choose to know The God Who Is Here, anyone can enter into His Life, Light, Joy, Peace and every other blessing that comes from living in consistency with “the universe.” There is only one way to know The God Who Is Here, and that is by getting to know Jesus, the Messiah, aka Christ. “Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) There simply is no other way. Father loves each one of us so much that if there was another way, He would inform us and provide us with the alternatives. But THIS is the nature of the universe. It is what He created and knowing Him is the only way. (Acts 4:10-12)
Like the Children of the Day sang, “Don’t try to drive the darkness out; You just turn on the light.” Hell is the absence of light. It is the absence of love. It is the absence of community. It is the absence of peace. It is the absence of selfless joy. It is the absence of life.
Note, by that I do not mean the end of existence. It that were the case, “hell” would not be all that bad. If when we died we simply vanished into nothingness, there would be no reason for warning and inviting people to Life. However, God created each of us, created YOU, to enjoy Him forever. There is no Infinity Stone that can simply snap away our existence. The gift of existence is without do-overs. (Romans 11:29) We were created for eternity and “He has put eternity into man’s heart.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
One of Job’s visitors described hell as the destiny of all those who do not know God, a dreadful place he calls “the king of terrors.” Hell will be a place of eternal death, because its inhabitants will be separated eternally from the Source of Life. There, like the demons who believe and shudder (James 2:19), its occupants will hate God and the exposing light of his glory. “It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to.” (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain)
Before Him “Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water” (Ezekiel 21:7). Just as the kings of the earth will call to the mountains and rocks, “Hide us from the face of Him who is seated on the throne” (Revelation 6:16), in hell God will give them what they want, a place of complete eclipse, darker than anything we can imagine. (Matthew 22:13; 25:29-30)
As we have noted before (see ), anyone who longs for joy can find it. Moses said in Deuteronomy 4:29, “If you will seek Yahweh your God, you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” But this is not like trying to find Easter eggs, either in the yard under bushes, or a hidden message in a movie. You do not have to scour the internet or decode mysterious anagrams or learn a particular language. God is not hiding, making you wade through mazes or difficult terminology to find Him. He makes Himself clear to anyone willing to see Him (Romans 1:19-22) Further, He has revealed Himself throughout history via prophets, priests, church leaders and lastly through Jesus.
It would be nice if we could say those who go to hell will only stay there for a little while and then be granted entry into Heaven, kind of like an earthly prison sentence. But remember those who go there go by their own choice because they do now want to live in God’s Kingdom; they refuse to live with someone else that is there; they object to His rulership.
So what awaits one who refuses to believe what God has revealed about Himself?
“This is what Yahweh, the LORD, says:
“Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’
Therefore hear, O nations, and know what will happen to them.
Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people,
the fruit of their devices,
because they have not paid attention to my words;
and as for my law, they have rejected it.…
Therefore this is what Yahweh says:
‘Behold, I will lay before this people a stumbling block against which they shall stumble;
fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.’” (Jeremiah 6:16-21)
You have this opportunity while you live. (Hebrews 9:27-28) There is no guidance on making this decision after you die, and why would anyone refuse the Lord of Life now while they can learn to know Him before that time? The choice is yours to make. we will look a little more at the choice.