Not the Pit!

“Jesus asked him, saying, What is your name? And he said, Legion, because many demons had entered him.   And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.”  Luke 8:30-31


Let’s turn our attention to realities, realities that are amongst us, the fullness of which is not known, but where the Bible has shed enough light to give us understanding and knowledge that we might turn our ways unto God through His Son, Jesus Christ.


Just –what- word to use here?  I had thought to use pit and when I went to look up the verse that was on my mind I see that in the VW-edition it is ‘abyss’ and in the KJV it is ‘deep’.  So I got out my old Webster’s University dictionary and looked it up, finally determining I would just leave the word ‘pit’ in the title of this article, as it seems appropriate enough.


Abyss, n.


1.) A bottomless gulf; also a deep mass of waters, once supposed to have encompassed the earth in the beginning; as, the face of the abyss, in the Septuangint

2.) That which is immeasurable; that in which anything is lost.

Thy throne is darkness, in the abyss of night. – Milton

3.) The bottomless pit; hell; Erebus.

4.) An immensity of time, space, depth, or scope, usually with the idea of intellectual or moral depravity; as, an abyss of ignorance, as abyss of crime.

5.) In heraldry, the center of an escutcheon; as, he bears azure, a fleur-de-lis, in abyss.


Syn. – Chasm, cleft, crevasse, gorge, gulf, pit.


Webster’s Universities Dictionary Unabridged; Webster; 1942


Now let’s take this pit or abyss, the opening verses and go one step further in our understanding in order to set the stage for the purpose of this writing.


“And when He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.  And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with You, Jesus, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”  Matthew 8:28-29


Last weekend we went camping for one night on the Belle Fourche reservoir in far western South Dakota.  As always, we got out the fishing poles and cast in, looking at the fairly immense body of water (for the area) with the high plains and a few buttes in the background as far as someone can see. 


This place is rural, not much population of any size beyond the nearby city of Belle Fourche, simply ranches and the great western lands.  We have never caught a fish from these shores, though this was our third year trying, occasionally seeing the big one jump.  What we do catch is some peace and quiet, a beautiful night sky, on a clear night, showing the handiwork of our Creator, something that is not seen with the light pollution found in Rapid City. 


That evening we could see the stormy skies around us, but it never came our way, dissipating and promising to return the next day, which it did, but we had already returned home, seeing the towering cumulus in the rear view mirror. 


But as I sat out there with the pole in the water, hoping that this was the year that I would at least pull something small out from the reservoir, I looked out at the horizon, pondering the things of God, how man responds, what the truth of this world is.  Recently I had considered man’s time under the sun, now I was considering what was under this very ground, somewhere, where my feet were planted, viewing this post-Flood (Genesis 6-9) landscape that my eyes were beholding.


I began to think of the fallen angels, (Revelation 12:4) the demons who begged Jesus not to go to the ‘abyss’.  Those who pleaded with the Messiah not to be placed there ‘before the time’.  Oh!  Imagine life without Jesus Christ paying the penalty for our sins!  Would we be any better off?  Would we recognize the reality of the world, God’s Creation, the consequences for our fallen nature (Genesis 3)?


All we would have to look forward to would be the same thing as demons, who do not inherit Salvation.  We, God’s Creation, mankind, would have sinned and there would be –nothing- that we could do to pay the penalty for that which we had done against a holy and mighty God, the one and only God!


“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?  Woe to him who says to his father, What are you begetting? Or to the woman, What are you writhing over?  Thus says Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, and the One who formed him, Do you ask Me of things to come? Do you give command to Me about My sons, and about the work of My hands?  I have made the earth, and created man on it; I, with My hands, have stretched out the heavens; and all their host have I ordained.  I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways; he shall build My city, and he shall set free My captives, not for price nor reward, says Jehovah of Hosts.”  Isaiah 45:5-13


“Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer Jehovah of Hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and besides Me there is no God.  And who shall proclaim as I do, and shall declare it and set it in order for Me; since I founded the ancient people? And the things that are coming, and shall come; let them declare it to them.  Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you and declared it since then? Thus, you are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Yea, there is no other rock. I have not known any.”  Isaiah 44:6-8


Salvation is something that the angels even desire to look into (1 Peter 1:12), but it is for mankind and only through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).  You see, true Believers will actual judge the angels (1 Corinthians 6:3)


Underneath us, the ground that we all walk on, is the truth, the destination of all mankind whose names are not written in the Book of Life:


“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. And books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, out of the things which were written in the books.  And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one, according to their works.  And Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.”  Revelation 20:12-15 


Looking out at that great expanse of open prairie, I know that somewhere underneath the ground, there is a literal place called Hell, a place where those who did not repent towards God and by faith believe into Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Acts 20:21), accepting the free gift of Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), there those people, unfortunately the majority of mankind who refused to slow down (Matthew 7:13-23), listen, to seek God, to cry out to their Creator (Acts 17:30-31; Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38; Romans 10:8-10) to be Saved through His Son Jesus (John 3:16-21), who died on the Cross for our sins (Colossians 2:14; 1 John 2:2; Isaiah 53:5-6) and rose again from the dead (Mark 16:6; 16:9; Hebrews 1:3, 10:12; 12:2), sitting at the right hand of God Almighty. 


There is a literal place called Hell, one which has a door for even Jesus made mention of the ‘keys of Hades’ (Revelation 1:18).  (Please see an old article: Bible Study – Hell)  Some may scoff, in fact perhaps most, for even many who call themselves christians do not believe what the Bible says, to their own demise. 


For I tell you and I preach to you the truth, that which is found in God’s Word.  Somewhere in the earth there is a literal place called Hell, one that will be cast into the ‘Lake of Fire’ (Revelation 20:14) when this earth, this ground is destroyed after the Millennial Reign of Christ (1,000 years; Revelation 20:4) and we, whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27)  find ourselves on a new earth with new heavens (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1), living in New Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12; 21:2), with God being the Light of the world (as He always was (Revelation 21:23; John 8:12)) for all eternity (John 3:16; Matthew 19:29; John 5:24; etc.).


“And at that time, Michael shall stand up, the great ruler who stands for the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of distress, such as has not been since there was a nation until that time. And at that time, your people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the Book.  And many of those sleeping in the earth’s dust shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproach and everlasting abhorrence.”  Daniel 12:1-2


“And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.  And they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.  And there shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”  Revelation 22:3-5 


You only get one chance (Hebrews 9:27-28) there are no second ones once we die and no longer are under the sun.  Consider your choice, to serve God, to accept His free gift of Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ or not.  Let us ponder for a moment, if you will…


As I looked over that expanse of the prairie in the background of the Belle Fourche reservoir, I thought about the forgotten people.  Those who graves, marked or not marked, even on the prairie, from the settlers coming across, the Indians who died, even long before the white man had seen the land, others who fell in battles or those who simply have resided in the cities scattered here and there, not the names of the famous ones found in the area, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane and others, but the average person, the native who might have been named Kill Deer and the farmer who might have simply been Frank Smith.


Both walked this earth, both were Created by God Almighty (Psalms 139:15; Acts 17:26), both had a responsibility, irregardless of their culture, their societial beliefs (consider that the far vast majority of churches are now fully apostate (1 Timothy 4:3-4, etc.)) to seek their Creator, to sit, in such a place as this, one even prior when their was no reservoir but that very land was simply the post-Flood landscape of open prairie, prior to being the biggest earthen dam on the face of the earth at the time (1914?), where these people, Created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), could have stopped and pondered things.


“For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is clearly recognized by them, for God has revealed it to them.  For ever since the creation of the world the unseen things of Him are clearly perceived, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they know God, they do not glorify Him as God, nor are thankful, but become vain in their reasonings, and their stupid hearts are darkened.”  Romans 1:18-21


“Seek Jehovah while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Jehovah, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”  Isaiah 55:6-7


“And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13


So both the famous, the wealthy, the banker, the good-looking woman, the handsome man, the political leader, governors, mayors, Crazy Horse, Custer, all who have been before us, walked under the sun, on this very open prairie, even the janitor ( 😎 ), all had the same one chance.


Let us contemplate this ordeal, to perhaps fully gather a bit more understanding at how great of a gift (2 Corinthians 9:15) that God provided through His Son Jesus (Isaiah 53) and how thankful that we should be and how all mankind should greatly prize this gift, accepting it with incredible joy!  (1 Peter 1:8; 4:13)


Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3) and sin entered the world.


“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to every person, because everyone sinned.”  Romans 5:12


… “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”…  Romans 3:23


“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23


Let us get a better understanding of what Christ did on the Cross (1 Corinthians 15:55; Hebrews 2:14-15)


Now we began with how the demons fear the abyss and do not want to go down to the abyss ‘before the time’, how they begged Jesus.  They do not inherit Salvation, for them, they know their future:


“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire having been prepared for the devil and his angels:” … Matthew 25:41


What if the same had been true with us, God’s Creation, are not the angels another type of His Creation?  (Yes, Ezekiel 28:13).  Our original parents Adam and Eve sinned.  There was ABSOLUTELY nothing that they could do to pay the penalty for that sin and the wages of sin is death.


What type of life would we have?  Would we be better off than the demons?  I would imagine ours would be this vain pursuit of trying to eat as healthy as possible, workout, etc., so that we might walk under the sun as long as we could.


In a world like that, I could see fruit and vegetable stands in every neighborhood, gyms on every block, people running in the park in crowds, biking up large hills, etc.  For each person would know that these were their lives, lives to be enjoyed, but then afterwards they would go to the pit. 


There would be no hope for them, there would be no way to pay the penalty for the sins that were committed, not only through their inherited sin nature, but their own sin as well (Psalms 51:5; 1 John 1:8).


“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like a menstruation cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”  Isaiah 64:6


Families could look at their children and know that they had no real future, they too were destined to the pit.  Grandfathers and grandmothers could put their grandchildren on their knee, knowing too that they had no real future, they also were destined to the pit. 


What hope would there be?  Would the world really have a health-nut kick or would it be full of psychiatrists, handing out anti-depressants? 


Well Jesus overcame death for us:


“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but partake in the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,  but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has deprived death of its power and brought life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel,” …  1st Timothy 1:8-10


What a shame it would be to end up in Hell for all eternity, when we, mankind, Created in the image of God, have been given, through Christ, a free gift that as readily available, so that we do not have to live in fear, but we can be set free (John 8:32).  This is your one chance.


“For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not accounted when there is no law.  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.  But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.  And the gift is not like it was through the one who sinned. For the judgment from one offense was unto condemnation, but the free gift from many offenses is unto justification.  For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who are receiving abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.  Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment was to every person unto condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift is to every person unto justification of life.  For as through one man’s disobedience many were declared sinners, so also through one Man’s obedience many will be declared righteous.  Moreover the Law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 5:13-21