I set up the radio studio for another overnight shift.
I pulled on the lever to raise my seat before I touched the middle computer monitor sending the first song on today’s music play list everywhere we were connected in the USA.
I had my show prep outline sheet at my right side and my “I luv Radio” coffee mug and water bottle at my left
My first break would happen in seven minutes.
Then the red light on the phone blinked.
“Thanks for calling … what can I do for you?”
Usually the call is for a song request, someone to add to the prayer list, or a frequent listener just saying, “Hiya.”
TALKING AND LISTENING
But not this time.
“So Lee, whaddaya think, is there a place called hell?”
I chuckled. “Yeah, there’ve been a few times I felt like I’ve visited there (smile) I’m trying to avoid it… who am I talking to?”
“This is James.”
“James I’ll give you my opinion, alright?”
“Let me give you mine first. I don’t think there is a hell because a good God wouldn’t send anyone there.”
“So, do you think there is a heaven?” I took a quick swallow of coffee. It burned the back of my throat. I fought off a gag and cough.
“How do you get there?” I reached for my water bottle to cool the burn.
Okay, sure, I like the idea of living in a fun place where I’m forever happy.
I resist thinking about an alternative.
What helpful words could I say to James?
Maybe, “Interesting James but actually a good God doesn’t send you to hell, you do.”
Or perhaps, I read a survey recently that asked: Is there a hell?
And then the survey gave a multiple choice,
C) Not sure, or
D) No because there is no god.
Or I could use the Bible, Matthew 10: 28 gives a pretty clear answer: “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Or how about Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus? (Luke 16)
“Well James, I’d say there is more to it than just dying. There is a hell and hell is in fact being disconnected from God without another chance of being reconnected.”
What would you say?