Heaven and hell

Faith & Inspiration

A friend of mine suggested gingerly that I am bipolar. He said something about swinging from highs to lows. I always thought that was fairly common.

I have to say that for the last couple days (it broke this morning) I have been in Charles Spurgeon's "dungeons beneath the castles of despair." That's about as low a tier of human existence as there is. So dark is it that the view of joy from there feels like light-years away. In fact, to a guest in that bleak hotel, it is unnecessary to prove through philosophy or theology that there exist two kingdoms, a Kingdom of Light and a Kingdom of Darkness-the yawning gulf, the utter lack of commerce between the two regions, the absence of even a speck of light in the Dark realms, are existential proof.

Last week I was at a conference where Randy Alcorn, author of Heaven, made the comment that for the person who eventually goes to hell, his time on earth will be looked back on as the closest he ever got to heaven; and for the person who eventually goes to heaven, earth will have been the nearest he ever got to experiencing hell.

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Very early this morning I had another thought. So great was my misery that I thought I might not live. I would not have to commit suicide; my heart would just stop beating of its own accord. I felt myself to be at the extremities of the human capacity to suffer without dying. On the other hand, I have also experienced the opposite: such joy that it seemed it was not possible to contain a greater joy without bursting the seams of this mortal coil.

Then I considered that the range of temperatures you and I experience on earth seem to be very extreme: 100 degrees is almost unbearable, and 10 below zero is almost intolerable in the other direction. But of course we know that this range of heat and cold represents the thinnest slice of the total spectrum of temperatures in the universe, our Sun's inner core topping the thermometer at 27,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

By analogy, I suspect that the spectrum of human joy and misery that you and I experience on earth, and that seem like the outer and impassible limits, are only the smallest taste of both the torments that hell will inflict and the joys that heaven will confer. Makes me want to avoid the one place and aspire to the other.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again.


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