Continuing my thoughts on Jonathan Edward’s Resolution 10: The pain of a tooth that, like the small, pompous eleventh horn of Daniel’s vision, is trying to uproot those around it, though unpleasant, can’t be described as excruciating even on an earthly scale. It is limited not only in intensity, but also in scope - all the rest of my body is feeling fine (if a little tired), and mentally I’m at peace. There are also many things around that can take your mind off it, and not just preoccupations but positive comforts too (hot drinks seem to help a bit). Last but by no means least, the discomfort is sure to go sooner or later — either by means of Nurofen, a kind dentist, or God’s intervention.
The same cannot be said of hell. The pain is described as burning, or a lake of fire - its clear that the whole body will be in the severest agony. But the physical pain will probably be outdone by the mental - the incessant wailing and gnashing of teeth, the intolerably loneliness of outer darkness. There will no activities to concentrate on - no work, or play, or communication, no companion’s except your own runined, tortured mind. There will certainly be no comforts - not even a drop of water to cool the tip of the tongue. And as for the duration, the Bible is exceptionally clear: it will be everlasting destruction; the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night; Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.
It is this hell that is the just reward for any and every sin. It is this hell that Jesus came willingly to bear for me. It was this punishment that the Father in love sent His own beloved Son to take in my place. It is this hell that thousands, millions, billions, including some of my own friends and familly, are heading towards. It is this hell that is the inevitable destination of those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.