Hell, Visions, and my Dad

“Time to get serious. No more time for playing games with lives around you.”

Those words were not directly spoken to me but through images, daydreams, visions, or what have you I was given insight into some of the most disturbing images I’ve ever seen. I grew up in a home where god was seen saving lives but rarely doing miracles such as those done through paul in the book of acts. That lack of seeing God’s power gave me a feeling that maybe he wasn’t as powerful as i thought (i don’t feel like this now) That feeling came not because God was any less powerful than he is today but that it was a problem with his people and me in particular. I limited god to the confines of a book i rarely read and a country over the ocean 2,000 years ago, but he doesn’t do that today, not in edmond oklahoma, not in my life.

As i faithfully began reading and examining god’s word -really exploring to see if it’s all it has been cracked up to be- I saw that some of the most amazing things that were ever done through scripture started with dreams or visions. Think about it; Mary and Joseph were told by the angel of the lord that marry was pregnant with the son of god. After Saul -the worst persecutor of christians of that time- was converted on the damascus road Ananias saw a vision telling him to meet saul, now paul, and to be confident when you meet him. John saw incredible visions of what heaven is to be like, and in revelation he gives a very vivid picture of what the end times of earth will look like. In the old testament all of the prophets and oracles spoke by what was said to them in visions and dreams. The thing that ties them all together is that after they heard they acted on it.

Now i’m in no way trying to compare myself to any of these people of scripture, i just believe that without a doubt God let me see something that will forever change my view of life and how uncertain this life is.

Over the past few weeks I have read a book on hell. i have never taken time to go through hell at an in depth look. But for some reason that’s where God lead me. I began to read and as i got further and further into it my heart began to break, and at that point it was for no one person in particular. as i continued to read, verse after verse talked about the gnashing of teeth in hell (Matthew 8:12, 13:42,50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, and Luke 13:28) All these verses talk about being thrown into outer darkness, and the gnashing of teeth, but matthew 13:42 (hcsb) says:

They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So not only do you have darkness, and gnashing of teeth but there is also a burning furnace. (some call it a lake of fire) in Revelation 20:15 John describes hell as a lake of fire, that anyone not found in the book of life will be thrown into it. Fire. darkness. gnashing of teeth. these are not enticing characteristics but this is the fate that awaits “many”- Matthew 7:13

So where does the first half, the half about the visions and the half about hell meet? How does it relate? I want to see great miracles of god’s people in my own life and i felt that to prepare for them i must seek wisdom. I prayed for god to pour out discernment and wisdom, that he might grace me with insight in things that would benefit his kingdom. i prayed and prayed, and prayed, and prayed. nothing. I continued to pray and had almost given up and then it happened. Sitting on the front pew at church god implanted a vision into my mind. I don’t remember what happened for those minutes during the service i just remember standing as i watched. It was as if I was looking to the depths of hell with all it’s despair and crying out of the people damned there for eternity. Spending forever in darkness, in fire, a place where it’s inhabitants gnash their teeth constantly and experience eternal torment. as faces passed by i was broken. i saw the looks on their faces, their absolute lack of hope. They all were screaming in agony and my heart just wept. Many people passed my line of vision but one i recognized. Then i lost it. All those who i didn’t recognize, but this one i did. it was my dad. he had the same agonizing look on his face as the others yet this i could help stop, this i could play a part in making sure he never has to experience what i saw in my dream. I’ve never seen something so gruesome. He gnashed his teeth and was screaming in pain as he passed by. As his son i just started crying, i couldn’t keep my eyes closed.

So what if Joseph had divorced mary? would she have been stoned? what if isaiah hadn’t seen visions of countries being destroyed? what if ananias hadn’t met paul where the angel told him to? what if lot wouldn’t let in the angels of the lord? or listened to them when they told him the city would be destroyed by raining sulfur? What if? What if? What if i don’t talk with my dad? what if i wait till its too late? What if… what if?

Don’t wait till it’s too late

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