Monday, September 30, 2013

Going to Hell 9/3/2013

"Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it." Isa 5:14 (KJV)

On the tiny western Caribbean island of Grand Cayman exists Hell. To be sure it is a real place. More specifically it is a town named Hell. Interestingly enough, it is quite an attraction for cruise ship passengers and other tourists. In fact, it is a mandatory stop on most tours about which the guides enthusiastically remark, "Today I'm going to take you to Hell and back."

When you visit there, you find that there is a post office, a gift shop and a rock formation that gives the place its name. There is also a "Satan" who runs the store which sells all manner of t-shirts, hats and other tourist baubles.  He runs around in horns, a tail and a tuxedo jacket and happily interacts with all of the visitors.  Of course there are numerous sayings and jokes that turn on the word hell such as, "What in Hell do you want?" or "I guess its time to get the hell out of here." You can even send friends and family post cards from Hell and receive a passport stamp saying that you have been there. No thanks.

Beloved, I guess the place is all in good fun, but I could not bring myself to join in because I know something of the real hell. This area is named such because of some pretty creepy rock formations that definitely put one in mind of the place, but the formation is easily explained, not threatening to anyone, not hot, and you can come and go as you please. The bible is replete with warnings about hell and advisements to do all that can be done to avoid it. Sheol, Tataurus and Gehenna are some of the biblical words used to variously describe it but you might more readily recognize it as "the lake of fire," "the pit," "the second death," "outer darkness," and a place of "weeping and gnashing of teeth." Trust that it is the last place you ever want to be and nothing about which to trifle.

The one thing Hell in Grand Cayman has in common with the real hell is that there is an acknowledgement of the saving power of Jesus . I'm sure that everyone who will ultimately find their eternal home there will have no doubt, albeit too late. To quote Joshua, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," Joshua 24:15.


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