As some of you may know, I’ve kinda got into a lunchtime routine at home now of watching Neighbours, Doctors (out of the corner of my eye), and Diagnosis Murder. Good old Dick Van Dyke! DM is like the highlight of my day (if I don’t count Ellie), but yesterday I didn’t get to see most of it. Just as it was starting Esther rang me to get me to pass on a message to Phil because she was running out of credit, then over the next couple of hours my boss kept ringing me with questions and problems, each call lasting 1-10 minutes, separated by 5-15 minutes. So what I saw of DM wasn’t really enough to understand the plot at all. I felt quite cheated.

I went to the theatre again with Ellie tonight, to see a play called “No Exit”, which was about hell. Interestingly they described hell more as a psychological torment than a physical one, which actually lines up more accurately with the Bible’s version of hell anyway, from what I can tell. Very interesting. I’m also feeling quite cultured just of late, having been to the theatre three times this term to see fairly intellectual and arty plays. Oh, and The Woman In White a few weeks ago too. Also very good.

This morning I’ve been trying to import all my old blog posts into WordPress using a script that Phill wrote. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get it working yet, but I’ve sent him an e-mail and hopefully we’ll be able to get it all sorted soon! I’m going into town later with Ellie to go shopping – we’ve got a Murder Mystery evening next weekend, so we’re gonna tour the charity shops looking for costumes. I’m playing the part of a French poet and artist, so I’ll have to brush up my French accent… and figure out what I’m supposed to believe in, as my character is an anti-fascist… I never did understand politics!

Categories: Miscellaneous


Joe B · 14 November 2005 at 8:45 am

Um … The play sounds interesting, but actually the Bible does talk about hell as a physical place rather than a “state” … just as the New creation is also a physical place (a city in Revelation 21)

Mark 9:42-48 is Jesus describing that hell is such an awful place that it would be better to be maimed and enter life than be “perfectly healthy” and be thrown in to hell, a place of terrible, terrible torment. In Luke 13:22-30 Jesus tells us to strive to enter through the narrow door, the door to the kingdom and that one day that door will be shut, no more will people be able to enter in … v.28 “In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out.”

The terrible reality is that hell is a physical place of eternal torment, separated from God’s good presence … The wonderful reality is that because of Christ, humanity has the hope of heaven, a physical place of such glory and wonder and beauty, where God will live among his people – we will perfectly relate to him and to one another and we will enjoy him forever!

If that’s not a motivation for evangelism, I don’t know what is!

Matthew · 14 November 2005 at 9:08 am

Thanks for that, Joe! Actually I did know that hell was a physical place, I guess what I was meaning was that most people forget that there is a psychological part to it all as well. True, those condemned to hell will be physically separated from God, but one must not forget the eternal mental torment of knowing that God exists, knowing that they could have been in heaven if they had only believed, and having to spend eternity without God’s love. And without wanting to be jumping up on my soap box and shouting hellfire and brimstone at everyone, I think hell and judgement has been left out of a lot of recent evangelism techniques for fear of offending people… Not sure I recall Jesus ever holding back for fear of offending his listeners…. 😉

Joe B · 15 November 2005 at 9:09 pm

Cool … I steamed in rather quickly there with that one (and realised later that it was probably me misunderstanding what you meant!) Sorry about that and I think you’re right – Jesus doesn’t hold back from talking about hell as a real place and a terrible reality. It’s actually a very important part of our evangelism! As the Christianity Explored course puts it, “Grace is only amazing when our sin is clearly seen.” It’s only when we realise what we deserve for our sin and what we have been saved from that we can fully understand and appreciate the depth and wonder of what Christ achieves on the cross.

Next time, I’ll try to remember to clarify first and not just assume I know what someone means! D’oh …

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