Whatever Hell might be – an underworld prison built out of skulls, a lake of bubbling lava, or a pitch black abyss – it’s an eternal separation from our God and creator. It is a completely permanent sentence served out in total seclusion with full consciousness and awareness, accompanied by physical, emotional and spiritual torment forever and ever… and every single person ever born is headed for it.
You and I are sinners. We have coal black hearts that continually think of doing evil. We are born physically alive but spiritually dead and we wreak from the stench of our decaying spirit, trapped and rotting inside our flesh. From the day we’re born our sinful stink emanates and pollutes this cursed and corrupt world.
(But I’m a good person, how did this happen?)
In the beginning God created all things and declared them good. He was pleased with what He saw and ordered the living creatures to reproduce according to their own kind. God took the first two humans and placed them inside a beautiful garden and placed them in charge of caring after it. They had complete dominion over the land and all the animals, with one command – “Do not eat the fruit from the tree of good and evil – if you ever eat the fruit, that day you will die.”
Some time later an enemy of God came into the garden and asked Eve about the tree “Did God say you can eat from this tree?”
Eve replied “No we can’t eat that fruit, we can’t even touch it or we will die.”
“You won’t die” the enemy reassured her “God doesn’t want you eating this fruit because He knows it’ll make you gods like Him.”
The enemy tempted and convinced them to eat by lying to them, and they ate. Immediately they died spiritually and they could feel their nakedness, all the while their bodies began breaking down and started aging. They were no longer immortal, and they were no longer good.
Death was not a punishment, but a consequence. God did not curse them with death, but He fairly warned them in the beginning not to disobey Him because He knew the outcome would be separation and death.
Like a child who is warned of a hot stove, if they choose to ignore the warning and grab the stove anyway they will be burned, not as a punishment but as a consequence. Parents do not want their children to get burned, hence the warning. Likewise, God did not want Adam and Eve to die so He warned them of the natural consequences, but like the child who burns their hand, they cannot be un-burned. They will be permanently scarred, and so humanity would now be permanently scarred with the consequence of disobedience – the consequence that God had hoped to avoid through His warning.
Humanity was now dead inside and wasting away to the grave. “From dust you were created, and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19
From that point on, Adam and Eve were in a sinful and fallen state and could only reproduce like kind, as God had ordered. Any descendants of Adam and Eve would inherit the sinful nature. Like a photocopier, the reproductions can only be as good as the master-document. Any flaw or error will be transferred down into the subsequent documents. Any sin in the first parent will transfer sin to all subsequent children – and so we have a world full of billions of corrupted humans headed to Hell.
(This doesn’t sound like good news at all!)
All that I have just told you is the truth – but it’s certainly not good news. This is all important background information that builds the framework for the good news. It’s what makes the good news so good!
If a man doesn’t know he is sick, then offering him a cure for cancer has no appeal to him. However, revealing to him his true condition will open his eyes to the urgency and necessity of the cure.
Once we understand our own situation and grasp the reality of our dire condition, we too will open our eyes to the urgency and necessity of a cure. If we only knew just how sick we are, we would be begging for a remedy.
This truth prepares us for the good news.
(So what is the good news?)
The good news is that God loves us so much, He is not willing to just let us go to Hell and be permanently separated from Him.
12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
This is Gods plan for redemption. God Himself became a human and lived a perfect life of love and obedience, in order to undo the consequences that Adam brought upon all the world – then He died as a sinless sacrifice in our place. Now all those who join themselves to Christ and believe in Him will be born again, which is the only way to escape death and Hell.
“3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God…I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again’.”
At the crucifixion Jesus Christ took our sin upon Himself. The weight of every sin ever committed was nailed to Him on that cross.
When we come to Jesus Christ and trust Him as savior, the rotting spirit that is laying dead inside of us is replaced with a brand new spirit from God and we become born again.
(That’s not good news… That’s GREAT news!)
I said at the beginning of my post that the whole world is going to hell – but it doesn’t have to, and that’s the good news. God has provided a way to escape because He loves us. He never intended for us to die and His will is that none will perish, but unless you’re born again the weight of the dead spirit inside of you is dragging you to hell. Please, accept redemption today!