Response to the Topic of Heaven or Hell (May24 CSLI)

A Monthly Reflection

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions!



Over the past couple of years, I have said at random times to various people, that I believe the world is suffering from two things right now, deception and debauchery.  The former from the father of lies and the latter right behind it from the world itself with the ideas of you live only once, you do you, don’t judge me, and all of the rampant addictions to worldly values and outlets.  We scream if we don’t get our way to do what we want when we want however we want.  So that quote above is not just good intentions – it is now directly full in-your-face pride.  No longer do we hide in the shadows and keep our dirty little secrets – we brag, we boast, and we outright demand that others respect us for our choices, our lifestyles, and our (albeit false) identities.

The cost? – is what the last part is, our own deception.  We lie in our own waste of self-indulgence and pride.  We go after the mirages that will never satisfy.  We exchange the truth of G-d for a lie and while we are at it – thumb our noses up at Him while we engage in this or that sin.


That is the question of the hour – really of mankind.  Sure, we can try to pin our little personal sins to the (donkey) tail of mankind’s sin.  We can even try to excuse it way as truth is now considered to be relative instead of absolute and complete.  We even lie to ourselves that if we aren’t hurting anyone else besides ourselves than we aren’t really harming anyone or doing something wrong.

Wrong – hand in hand they feed each other – debauchery is strengthened by lies and lies form ideas and actions for debauchery – yielding a sad state where anything goes and it is all “ok”.

The sadness is that it doesn’t.  It doesn’t go away.  It lingers and the lie is that is does not hurt anyone and that there is a logical end.  To quote Wayne Martindale in his book, “Beyond the Shadowlands” where he is talking about C.S. Lewis’, “Out of the Silent Planet” book – “The one good quality left to Weston that gives the Oyarsa hope for him is loyalty to his species, though he has perverted it, as happens to all things not subordinate to G-d.  What would space as settled by Weston and Devine look like?  Nothing but cosmic killing fields, populated by the deluded and self-centered.”

This forms along the same lines I mentioned earlier with deception and debauchery.  How can it not lead to this logical end? 

We are deceived that it is ok.  We’ll be all right.  Take now, give back later – maybe.  Love misguided and mal-intended.

The cure – a refocus.

As Romans 12:2 clearly defines, chase after a renewing of the mind.  Be wise about who our enemy is and even more about whom our longing is for.  We weren’t made to be without our Maker. 

This is where the anchor of Heaven vs Hell stretches our backs or breaks our legs.

What do you believe right now about these two?

Is it a crushing set of concepts to think about?  Is it too much pie-in-the-sky, never to be?  Is it a hope to an end of your suffering?  What about answers and longings – do you hope for a better tomorrow or feel deep inside there is more to life – more to your/our existence?

Are you ever truly satisfied with X or are you still chasing Y?

What is missing from your life?  Have you spent time thinking about what happens after your final breath?

Some of these questions rattle your soul – or should?

What does happen next when we die?

Animals don’t think about this, fish don’t either.  They don’t even know they are alive.  We do.  We know.  This is what the topic is about this month.  A strong hard look at Heaven and Hell.  What’s next!  It is so easy to think that it does not matter but it does.  It so does.  Recently I heard a younger pastor state one of the earliest lines (in bold) of an A. W. Tozer book:

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.

The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.

For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.

We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God.

A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: HarperCollins, 1978)


Yet, and very interesting, when reading “The Weight of Glory” he takes the opposite approach.

I read in a periodical the other day that the fundamental thing is how we think of God.

By God Himself, it is not! How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance except in so far as it is related to how He thinks of us.

It is written that we shall “stand before” Him, shall appear, shall be inspected. The promise of glory is the promise, almost incredible and only possible by the work of Christ, that some of us, that any of us who really chooses, shall actually survive that examination, shall find approval, shall please God. To please God . . . to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness . . . to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son—it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.

C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory” (1941)

At first, I liked the idea, the question, about what do we really think about G-d as individuals and while it is a good thought exercise – after reading Lewis – I tend to align more along his lines.  The truth will be in the final breath and initial moment of seeing Jesus’s face to face.  We will be inspected and we will hear (or not) those words, “well done good and faithful servant”. 

That’s what Heaven is all about.  A snow-white washing before Him as he hugs us home (or at least I hope).  I want Him to delight in me.  I want Him to smile upon Himself for what He created 40+ years ago.  I want Him to be glorified while I rest peacefully in His arms.

The question now – do you?

“…there is no neutral ground in the universe.”  It points up to the further truth that we bring into our earthly experience intimations of either Heaven or Hell by our choices.  We are becoming every moment souls suited for one or the other.”

And a final quote from Lewis, for you to ponder deeply?

If a transtemporal, transfinite good is our real destiny, then any other good on which our desire fixes must be in some degree fallacious, must bear at best only a symbolical relation to what will truly satisfy.

The Great Divorce

What road are you on?

One response to “Response to the Topic of Heaven or Hell (May24 CSLI)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

x  Powerful Protection for WordPress, from Shield Security
This Site Is Protected By
Shield Security