Two days ago, I noticed a wasp in the house. I tried everything to put him back outside. I opened doors and windows, I chased him with a broom, but to no avail.

Yesterday evening as I was doing the dishes, I noticed the desperate buzzing of an insect overhead. It was the wasp. Somehow one of his body sections was stuck to the fluorescent light fixture over the sink. In one last effort to save his life, I scraped him off the light and transported him outside. As he tried unsuccessfully to turn himself right-side up, however, I realized the inevitable: it was too late.

Have you noticed there are relatively few sermons on hell anymore? As a result, hell remains a stumbling block for many people.

The first category of people who stumble over the hell doctrine are those who either believe that people don't go to hell or that they don't stay there. The problem is, a thorough study of the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16) assures us of the falseness of these beliefs. The rich man is in hell, and though he recognizes his wrongs and repents, though he desires for Lazarus to go and warn his brothers so that they will not suffer his fate, he stays in hell! The truth is, people go to hell every day, and once there, there is no way out!

The second category of people who stumble over the hell doctrine are those who believe that God does indeed send people to hell, and as a result, they don't want anything to do with Him.

But does God truly send people to hell?

A thorough study of John 3:17-18 tells us the contrary: "...He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:17-18, NKJV)

Wait. You didn't catch the reference to hell? Read it again:

"But he who does not believe is condemned already..."

Friends, God doesn't send sinners to hell! That's where they are already headed! Just like that wasp was doomed to die the moment he decided to come inside my house, anyone born in this world after Adam is headed straight for the fires of hell! God never wanted us to take the path of sin and death, but Adam chose it anyway, and as a result, all of us, through Adam (1 Cor. 15:22), are already condemned! Hell isn't God's ultimate punishment for sin. It is simply the end of the road we are already on!

In contrast to the image of an angry God sending people to hell, we have a loving God, standing there, waving His arms and calling out: "I made a way!" "...but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:17)

Once that wasp refused to turn from his path of eternal destruction, there was nothing I could do to help him, and it made me sad. In the same way, once we make the decision to refuse Jesus Christ, there is nothing more God can do either, and it makes Him very sad. The wasp cannot come back from the dead, and we cannot return from hell. But there is another Way, and His name is Jesus Christ!

Think about it!

In His love,

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.