Some years ago, I read a WeChat article about a legend, “The Well to Hell”. The legend purportedly holds that in 1970, in an unnamed place in Siberia, a team of Russian engineers, drilled a hole that was 14.4 kilometres deep before breaking through to a cavity. They lowered an extremely heat-tolerant microphone, along with other sensory equipment, into the well which was very high in temperature. The equipment recorded the tormented screams of the damned. I heard the soundtrack attached, and was greatly troubled. However, I was unsure if this legend was true, so I did not share it with others. As I searched the internet again, it confirmed to be a hoax.
But hell does exist, and as the Bible describes, it is much more horrible. On another occasion, I read about the book “Beyond Death’s Door” written by an American Cardiologist named Maurice Rawlings. He was an atheist, but after hearing many of his patients, who survived clinical deaths recount their experience of either being in heaven or hell, he then became a devout Christian.
In the account of Luke 16:19-31, it mentioned the rich man calling out to Abraham to send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water to cool the rich man’s tongue, for he was in anguish in the flames of hell. So sometimes, when I feel very thirsty, I think of the extreme thirst the non-believers would experience if they die without Jesus.
Besides, while working in the hospital I have seen the death of many patients and the separation from their loved ones more often than others. Through all these encounters, God has put a huge burden for the unsaved in my heart. So, I have been praying for the salvation of my parents and my brother almost daily. I cannot bear the thought of seeing them go to hell and suffering horribly for eternity. I thank God that my mother received Jesus in 2016 (even though the strengthening of her faith in God is another daily prayer and challenge). I am holding onto God’s promise for me in Acts 16:31. I have also been praying for my relatives’ salvation, and have tried to share the Gospel with them whenever I return to my hometown yearly.
In my workplace, God had also given me the opportunities, courage, wisdom and empowerment to share the Gospel with my patients and colleagues. I have my regrets and failures, but I am learning to surrender it all to God, and do my part in His plan. We are not the saviours of the world, only God is. Hell is a reality and God is a loving Father who is longing for the return of His prodigal sons and daughters. Christ has already reconciled us to Himself and has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18), and God “is patient toward us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Let us examine ourselves, we all know the Father’s heart. But our passion for God’s Kingdom and compassion for the lost could be hindered by our preoccupation with our addictions (e.g. TV dramas/games/novels) or stubborn sins (e.g. self-centeredness/ jealousy/ comparison/ complaining/ ungratefulness) and more. May the Holy Spirit help us examine the way we live, and help us “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and run the race with endurance” (Hebrews 12:1).
By Yin Yapei (YCKC Bulletin 22 December 2019)