Quite a long time ago I was working in a dairy cooler training a younger employee to unload milk pallets. Watching carefully for milk crates to come crashing down, that would send a deluge of milk toward us, our discussion went into Christianity. We had talked before, but this time I didn’t bring up Salvation, he did.
Answering question after question I was fully explaining the Gospel and he was seemingly understanding it. I thought perhaps he would make a decision for God. Then the look came in his eyes, I knew he understood it, he knew…suddenly there was a large backlash.
“You mean to tell me that my family and friends who have died are in Hell!!!!”, followed by a bleepitly-bleep. He had not asked about his friends or family, but when the sudden realization that without Jesus Christ as your Savior, without accepting Him, without repenting to God Almighty, one is deservingly condemned to Hell, became known to him, he had concluded such a fact. Such a fact is hard for many to swallow, yet in it is truth, those without Christ, yes even those whom you loved, yet have died, are in Hell. I stood there for a moment, a loss of words as he then stormed out of the walk-in cooler, slamming the door.
The remainder of the time I would work in that grocery store we would never again have a conversation. While we would pass a few words between us, as necessary to complete our assigned tasks, there would be no conversation. To my former friend I had become odious. I had told him the truth as laid out in the Gospel, yet he refused to repent and accept Christ, he did believe. The truth was so horrible that he continued on his way to Hell, to join them.
For years this would trouble me, what could I have said? I had talked to others, a few had mentioned such things, usually simply stating that ‘someone would only be in Heaven if they accepted Jesus’ was suffice. In America the argument about numerous people being in Hell is one that is often not considered. There is SO MUCH false christianity that most people assume the masses are going to Heaven. Therefore if a loved one who passed away had believed in Jesus or went to church or professed to be ‘saved’ at any point in their life, there is hope left to those who are still on this earth.
I am not the judge, so I do not know where an individual goes when they die. Yet I can boldly proclaim that if they haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, they are in Hell…THERE IS NO OTHER PLACE FOR THEM! Yet therein lies the delusion. Many people proclaim salvation, yet they do not understand:
“They have not known nor understood; for He has shut their eyes so that they cannot see; and their hearts so that they cannot understand.” Isaiah 44:18
After so many years since the incidence with the young man, now I am sure in his thirties, probably with a family of his own, suddenly I realize the answer to such a response. If those whom he knew, his family and friends, who without Christ are indeed in Hell, could speak to him they would cry out with a loud voice:
DON’T JOIN US!!!
Those who have died have seen the afterlife, they have realized their way was wrong, there is no hope. Those without Christ will spend an eternity in Hell, they will never have an appeals court, their sentence with never be exonerated, nor completed. The Holy Scriptures gives us an example of such:
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it happened that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, nor can those from there pass to us. Then he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, that they not also come to this place of torment. Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. And he said, No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent. But he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one should rise from the dead.” Luke 16:19-31
You are responsible for yourself. God has not hidden Himself, nor has He made the Way of Salvation difficult to find. No vain religion is going to save you, nor is attendance at church. No belief that there is a God is going to help you, nor the acknowledgement of Jesus. You must be Saved, you must be born again.
“I am Jehovah, and there is none other, no God besides Me; I embraced you, though you have not known Me; that they may know from the rising of the sun, to its setting, that there is none besides Me. I am Jehovah, and there is no other; forming the light and creating darkness; making peace and creating evil. I, Jehovah, do all these things. Rain down from above, O heavens, and let the clouds pour down righteousness. Let the earth open, and let salvation bear fruit; and let righteousness spring up together. I, Jehovah, have created it. Woe to him who strives with the One who formed him, a potsherd among the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to the one who forms it, What are you making? Or your work, He has no hands?” Isaiah 45:5-9
“Declare and approach; yea, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from antiquity? Who has told it since then? Is it not I, Jehovah. And there is no other God besides Me; a just Mighty God and a Savior; there is no one besides Me. Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am the Mighty God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Isaiah 45:21-23
“Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
The choice truly is yours and yours alone. No one can make a decision for you, nor will anyone ultimately be responsible for the choice that you decide to make. You will be held accountable for your sins and without repenting and believing into Jesus Christ, accepting Him as your Savior, you will also join those whom you know and knew in Hell, for eternity. You too will be one who would cry out to those who are still alive and walking under the sun to not join you. You will then see the errors of your ways and know in horror that those whom you loved have the same destiny without Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the ONLY way.