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I was told by someone of Jewish background that hell was a state of being where all your rationalizations that make the mistakes and wrongdoings of daily life manageable were stripped away and you were left to face how truly awful you are. If that is the case, I think I have encountered hell on earth. Some days, none of the excuses you make for yourself seem to fly. You know are screwing things up, and you know it is your fault. You are not a perfect person, not even as close to perfect as you would like to believe. And when faced with a reality with a total lack of excuses, your ego is ripped away like so much tissue paper and you can do nothing but quiver helplessly and hope that tomorrow your rose coloured glasses will be back from the repair shop. Thankfully there are days in which the exact opposite happens and everything seems to be wonderful. Life is beautiful and you can cope. If you are lucky, these days balance each other out completely.

Hell on earth

Hell, contrary to how people have traditionally interpreted the Bible, is not a place created by God specifically for the eternal torment of those who choose to oppose his way of doing things, but the future condition of this creation as it will be rendered by its own inhabitants.

Existence consists of only two realms: heaven, the immaterial realm in which God dwells and rules; and the cosmos, the material universe in which God's creatures dwell and rule. The book of Revelation (Rev 22:10-15) depicts these dual realms as the interior and exterior of the New Jerusalem.

Paradise is within the gates, and Hell is without. The condition of existence outside the city of God is referred to as the 'Lake of Fire' (Rev 21:5-8). Now, it seems pretty obvious to me that this world isn't Paradise. Obvious by virtue of the overwhelming data available against the idea (Poverty Facts):

  • At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day
  • Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
  • Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
  • The truth of the matter is, as expressed by the creator of the cosmos,  we currently dwell in the realm that will be, is being, transformed by our own shortsighted rejection of God's laws for abundant life, into Revelation's 'Lake of Fire'. God didn't create this planet for that purpose. Quite the opposite, it was intended to be the launching pad for the exploration and colonisation of the cosmos, since God gave man the authority and wherewithal to administer all He created (Gen 1:26) in order to achieve this purpose. But what kind of administrators have we been? How close have we come to our purpose? It is only by God's protective hand that we haven't already slipped into the abyss.

    Time and space is the framework God has given us in which to do stuff. Can you see the wisdom in giving each person a finite number of years to do their stuff? When each of us has spent our three score and ten, we will have left a legacy for our descendants. What legacy will we have left them? The legacy we leave is the measure of our love for those who follow. Why should we love them? Because they are our creation!

    I don't believe it's possible to prevent this Hell on Earth from becoming a reality, but I do believe that the "stuff we do" with the time and space we have to do it, is the only real measure of what our hearts desire. Jesus says "... where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Mat 6:19-21). Does our treasure lie only within the confines of our own short lives or does it transcend the span of those years?

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