Hell is therefore a prison in which the doors are first locked from the inside by us and therefore are locked from the outside by God (Luke 16:26.) Every indication is that those doors continue to stay forever barred from the inside. Though every knee and tongue in hell knows that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11,) no one can seek or want that Lordship without the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3.This is why we can say that no one goes to hell who does not choose both to go and to stay there. What could be more fair than that?
I went to lunch today with a friend of mine and she told me about an article that she had read in a magazine. The article is titled ‘What put the fear of God into these kids?’ and tells of churches in the US who, each year in the lead up to Halloween, run what is known as a hell house or judgement houses. Inside these ‘houses’ which are usually demountable classrooms set up to look like an old haunted house, actors (usually members of the church) reenact scenes of a school massacre, abortion, date rape, suicide, child molestation, drink driving accidents and in previous years a scene of a gay man dying of AIDS. The scenes are acted several times a night for group of up to 20 children, often as young as 11. All these scenes are narrated by ‘the devil’ – who wears a mask and a black cloak and hood, much like the grim reaper. The final scene ends with a message from a pastor of the church – “There’s only one way to heaven and thats if you have a relationship with Jesus. You must make your choice.”