Hell – A Place of Passionate Desire.
But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” – Genesis 3:9
The Cosmic Story
The bible is a cosmic story about death and rebirth.
From the very first words out of chaos and darkness, life and light were created.
It is a thread of crimson that is woven into the heart of creation.
From Noah reborn from the deluge, Abraham reborn into the promise, Isaac born from bareness. Israel reborn from Egypt, Esther reborn from captivity, Nineveh reborn through repentance and Jesus born from the light.
God is all about creating life from the grip of death.
It is in times of this grip of darkness that God shines light into the confusion we make of this life
It was the prophet Jonah rescued in the belly of a great fish that revealed the dilemma of mankind. “Those who regard and follow worthless idols. Turn away from their [living source of] mercy and lovingkindness.” – Jonah 2:8.
Jesus said the same thing, “Lose your life and you will find it.”
Paul said, “ I am crucified with Christ : nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
And that is how creation works, the old dies and the new brings forth new life.
Life comes through death.
Life out of chaos
Light out of darkness
Completeness out of emptiness
God reaching out in his unconditional love and embracing us in our darkness.
And this embracing of us is passionate. It was a burning fire of desire for intimacy with the delight of His heart.
It is Gods consuming love that ignited the cosmos from chaos into glorious life.
Man – The Pinnacle of Creation
One of tragedies of mankind is that we don’t value and prize our own creation the way God values our creation.
For man is pinnacle of the heart of God, man is the child God passionately desired with a love beyond our wildest imagination.
And mankind is the object and centre of Gods unconditional love.
For God is love
And Jesus has reconciled us back to God. Jesus has brought us close. Jesus has found us. Jesus is the unconditional love of God poured out for us in human flesh.
It is here we see that we were made and birthed in the image of God.
We were birthed in the passionate love of God and our hearts are a fountain of passionate desires.
We give our desires and our love to whatever captivates our hearts!
And God loves us so deeply that He gives us what we want.
Jesus suffered and died so that you could be delivered from the bondage of your captivity into the glorious freedom of His unconditional love.
His cry to us from eternity and from the cross is, “Where Are you?”
A New Creation
God’s plan and purpose before time and in time was to create an earthly realm from a spiritual realm where his passionate love would flourish and thrive.
It is this New Creation of rebirth where those who have thrown their lives on God’s finished work in Christ will live in eternal bliss forever. And where those that have embraced idols and God’s of their own desire, centred on their self-effort and self-performance will be granted their wish and be left outside that eternal bliss forever.
Hell will be knowing that you are unconditionally loved by God but knowing that your desire to follow you own God of your unbelief has left you outside that love for eternity.
Hell is a real place, a real existence and a real reality. A place of darkness and a burning fire of despair and regret that people choose themselves over the unconditional love of God.
This is the essence of how Paul describes the final days in 2 Thessalonians 1 v 9 -10- “They will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction, banished from the Lord’s presence and from the manifestation of his glorious power. This will happen on that day when he outwardly adorns his holy ones with glory, and they will be marvelled at among all believers—including you, since in fact, you believed our message”
We can read here that the only reason God would let us slip into Hell is when we follow the passionate desire of our own God’s and idols. For in doing so we reject God’s unconditional love and the death and resurrection of Christ and the inward drawing of the Holy Spirit and therefore we close our hearts in unbelief to the work of God in Christ on our behalf.
God does not send us to Hell, He grants us our hearts desire and we go there because we desired it.
The Book of Nahum contains a stunning picture of the slip of a once repentant Nineveh back into the love of their own Gods. 150 years after the intervention of God through Jonah, the prophet describes the heart condition of mankind in unbelief.
Nahum 3 :4-6
4“All this because Nineveh,
the beautiful and faithless city,
mistress of deadly charms,
enticed the nations with her beauty.
She taught them all her magic,
enchanting people everywhere.
5 “I am your enemy!”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“And now I will lift your skirts
and show all the earth your nakedness and shame.
6 I will cover you with filth
and show the world how vile you really are.”
It is in the pursuit of other Gods and Idol’s that enchantment comes and captures the hearts of people.
We may adorn ourselves with our own wisdom and our own achievements, but underneath we are the glory of our own passionate desires and our own self-righteousness.
Hell is the reality that the enchantment of self-pleasure and self-preservation was an enchantment that kept us from the unconditional love of God.
Sin never had the power to keep us captive, because all sin was forgiven at the cross, it was our power of our self-centre blindness and unbelief in the goodness of God that gave us the eternity that we wanted.
Hell and Heaven
Hell is therefore an eternal reality where you are placed in the unconditional love of God and you realise that God has granted you the passionate desire of your heart, to spend eternity in darkness, regret and captivity that you wanted to walk in.
Hell is staying in the wilderness when you could be living in the Promised Land.
Hell is the heartbreak that Christ came to heal.
Hell is the captivity that Christ came to set you free from.
Hell is choosing your own God and turning away from the mercy of God.
Hell is living outside of salvation’s bliss.
And Heaven is an eternity enjoying the passionate desire of Christ planted in your heart – enjoying Christ forever.
Heaven is living your New Creation life, in a New Creation Earth, in Heaven alive on Earth.
This post is part of the May Synchroblog, in which numerous bloggers around the world write about the same topic on the same day. Links to the other contributors are below. If you enjoyed my article, you will also enjoy reading what they have to say about the topic of hell.
- An Investigation into the Biblical Concept of Hell – Justin Steckbauer
- To Hell and Back – Soulcare Ministries
- The HELL You Say! – Nathan Jennings
- Forbidden Fruit = Hell’s Flames – Michael Wilson
- How long does hell last? – K.W. Leslie
- Hell – A Place of Passionate Desire – Alan
- The problem of those unable to Love, or the question of hell as a reality – Bram Cools
- Hell No! – Mike Edwards
- Five Misconceptions about Annihilationism – Wesley Rostoll
- Knowing Who You Trust – Tim Nichols
- Heretic (Belated) Fridays – Bradley Jersak – Her Gates Will Never Be Shut – Scott Sloan
- Hell – A Place of Passionate Desire – Alan Stevens
- Christians Should Go to Hell – Jeremy Myers