The Reality of Hell

Real Life and the Reality of Hell


I recently received some very bad news. My wife, Jeanette, stepped into my office in tears. She told me about an e-mail she’d just received from a friend. This friend’s daughter had been taken out of college and put into a drug rehab program because of her problems with drug addiction. But the friend wrote that she had been “kicked out of the program, because she wouldn’t admit she had an addiction problem.”


I thought that was the end of it, but Jeanette said, “While her daughter was in counseling, though, she told the real story. As a freshman, she was raped in her dorm room by three massive football players. During the ordeal, they taunted her about her virginity, which apparently they knew about, as she had been a fervent witness for Jesus. These three beat her physically, raped her, sodomized her, and then left. She bled for four days, but told no one about it because of the shame, because of her belief that no one would support her. Later, these three football players were exposed. They had done this to several other women. Two of them were expelled. But the one who was too good a player to expel plays in the NFL today.


I sat there in tears as I listened. Jeanette said her friend told her that “her daughter’s faith in humanity has been deeply shaken.”


To date, this young woman won’t reveal who these men are, nor will she pick up a phone and seek counseling from her church or anyone else. The mother said she believes her daughter’s faith has been “rocked to its foundations,” maybe obliterated.


In a later e-mail, the mother wrote me, after I corresponded with her several times trying to offer some comfort, that she “wishes she could have her precious daughter back, where she had been before the rape.” But she believes now that she will never see that happy, charming, and loving person again.


In truth, this is the kind of situation that turns my stomach. How could God let something like that happen in this world? And to a Christian, to whom he has written over and over in the Bible that he will protect us, and deliver us from evil, and be present through any trial or trouble?



As I look over the news today, it is, as usual, a picture of the same old horrors:

            Suicide bombings.

            Insurrections in Libya and Syria where the government is murdering peaceful demonstrators daily.

            A serial killer on the loose.

            A drunk driver killing a small child.

            A drive by in which several people were killed, including two children.


I could go on and on. Yet, people see this and some don’t even think evil exists. “It just happens. There is no devil, no evil being or person out there getting these things to happen. It’s just part of the human condition,” I heard Richard Dawkins, the famous atheist, say on a show. No one knows why. It’s just a fact of life.

How do you offer anyone hope and comfort in the face of such events?




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