Revelation 16:10-11 gives us a peek at sheer hell.
You’ve probably heard the jokes from pagans. Heaven will be a boring place where you’ll wish you had something to do like read a magazine. In Hell you’ll be so busy shaking hands with friends you won’t have time to think about what a rotten place it is.
That’s not the picture in this passage.
We see the people who rejected God inhabiting this place. If you thought they’d be like the rich man in the parable (Luke 16:19-31) and regret their decision to go there, think again.
Let’s take a look at the rich man’s words and get a better picture.
His first request of Abraham is to “get me out of this torment.” He saw Abraham and Lazarus standing together and in no pain. He wanted some of their pleasure, not the God who gave it to them. Granted, he now knows God is responsible for this but he still doesn’t express any desire to be part of the kingdom.
What he really wants is his old life of God’s common grace back.
Notice the second request he makes. “Tell my brothers so they can avoid this place.” Abraham replies that they have “Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.”
Isn’t preaching and the Scriptures the gateway to Heavenly citizenship?
God adopts believers into His family. The Church is God’s family here before we get to Heaven. Sure, it’s not perfect. But it’s better, or should be, than living a lie anywhere else. If you get involved a genuine community of grace, you won’t have to lie anymore. Your sins won’t define you in that place. God’s love will. And those who understand that will live in the freedom Christ shed His blood for us to have.
Here’s a bold statement. God doesn’t send anyone to hell against his will. We don’t get a vote on whether or not God is in control of life beyond the grave. But He allows us a say wherever we go. Look at the people suffering in the torment of God’s wrath. They’re cursing His name.
And it doesn’t hurt Him one bit.
Conversely, in Heaven, we’ll be singing His praises forever.
Either way, He will be the subject that occupies our every thought.
You think about that.