In his morning Transcript today, Cal Thomas, wrote about the recent death of Swedish actress Anita Ekberg. I didn’t recognize her name or the famous film that Thomas mentioned. So I googled her name.
Anita Ekberg is described as an “International Screen Beauty” and a “1950’s Sex Symbol.” But she did appear in the movie “Abbott and Costello Go to Mars.” So, I may have seen her years ago and didn’t remember! However, what caught my attention was a quote that came during an interview at her 75th birthday.
Ekberg told the reporter that she wasn’t afraid of death. “I’m just angry because I won’t get the chance to tell others about death, where the soul goes and if there is a life afterward.” Now here’s the incredible part of the quote:
“I don’t know if paradise or hell exist,” Ekberg opined, “but I’m sure hell is more groovy.”
In all my years of ministry, I’ve heard Hell called a lot of things, but never a “groovy” place. Cal Thomas commented, “I am always amazed by otherwise intelligent people who exhibit such a cavalier attitude toward eternity and where they will spend it.
The Bible does not speak of Hell flippantly. Both Jesus and the apostles spoke of Hell in a sober and serious manner.
Jesus warned, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt 10:28-29)
Jesus denounced the hypocritical religious leaders of his day saying, “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? (Matt 23:33)
In Matthew 25, our Lord describes the day of Judgment like a Shepherd dividing the sheep from the goats. He says, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (V. 46)
The apostle Paul writes that at Christ’s second coming he will be “revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, ( 2 Thess 1:7-9)
John, the apostle of love, speaks of Hell in the Revelation letter. He says at the end of time the devil and his cohorts will “be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone” and “tormented day and forever and ever.” (Rev. 20:10)
The Bible is quite clear.
(1) Hell is a real place. It’s not the figment of the imagination of a fundamentalist preacher.
(2) Hell is a place where those who deny God and refuse the gospel message will reside.
(3) Hell is a place of suffering and torment. The metaphor of “fire” says it all. Hell is a place of pain.
(4) Hell is eternal. It lasts as long as heaven does. For eternity!
I know some folks object to the teaching of Hell. They question, “How could a loving God send someone to Hell?”
God is not a sadistic Being hoping to send people to Hell. That’s why He sent Jesus to earth to die for our sins (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8 That’s why He gave us the Bible (Eph. 3:1-6) That’s why he provided a plan for our salvation (Eph 1:3-23). In fact, Peter puts it this way: “(God) is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2Pet 3;9)
God doesn’t want you to go to Hell. He knows that Hell is not a groovy place!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman