Hell may not be the eternal lake of fire as envisioned by John in Revelation, but it will be the total separation of unrepentant sinners from God. For all eternity. Which is a long, long, time to be waiting without any hope. Or so I’m told.
My early conceptions of Hell were formed by the Medieval Inferno, by Dante. And, of course, the descriptions in John’s Revelation, which, when I first read it, was named “The Apocalypse.” Much catchier name, don’t you think?
When I learned that Hell is actually a state of the soul, and is the final, and total separation from God, I started to think differently about it. Hell, I believe, differs for each of us. For some of us, Hell might be having to listen to the same Barry Manilow song, over and over and over, for eternity. For those who might actually like such a thing, it wouldn’t be Hell, of course. And I suspect that many who do like such a thing will have a particularly nasty version of their own private Hell…
This brings me to the good news this morning: the confirmed death of al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Yes, I know. We are enjoined to pray for our enemies. But that does not mean that we sit back and let them continue to kill innocents. Well, al-Z is in some form of Hell, which for him would not be those 72 virgins (or white raisins, or whatever the Islamist pagans imagine).
No, not for our good buddy al-Z. He’s probably surrounded by do-gooder liberals, who will chatter and bloviate about how al-Z didn’t even get a fair trial before an appropriately sluggish international tribunal in Geneva or Brussels. Imagine an eternity surrounded by idiots like that.
Oh, and for food in the afterlife: nothing but fried pork rinds.