Charles Peace was a British criminal who was about to receive the death penalty for his crimes. The chaplain came to speak to him - to see if he wanted to receive salvation before his death - and to tell him about heaven and hell. This is what Charles Peace had to say in reply:
"If I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be on hands and knees, and think it worthwhile living just to save ONE soul from an eternal hell like that."
My thoughts: I do believe in heaven and in hell. Heaven is a place of joy and bounty and blessing - and hell is a place of darkness and agony and torment.
It's easy to believe in heaven. We die, our soul separates from our bodies, and we walk through the pearly gates to be reunited with those who have gone before us and, more importantly, to finally see the face of Jesus.
It's hard to believe in hell. To believe that those who do not choose Christ are choosing to be tortured in the dark for all eternity. But the Bible is very clear on the matter: Hell was created to punish satan and his angels - and those who choose to reject Christ wind up there too. That is NOT God's plan for any of us - He plans for everyone on earth to choose to follow Him and to be with Him in heaven one day. The choice is ours.
But do I live like I believe in hell? Do I speak out when the opportunity arises to persuade another person to follow Christ? Do I pray for my unbelieving friends and family members? What am I doing to help populate heaven?
(By the way, the current sermon series at LifeChurch.tv is "So You're Dead...Now What?" and it explores what the Bible has to say about heaven and hell. Check it out at Lifechurch.tv.)