“Heaven tourism” is a genre of religious books that take the reader on a trip to Heaven to experience what it might be like. Usually these stories are told as part of a near-death experience. These books have climbed the bestseller charts and even spurred Hollywood to make some into movies. Most of these books are interesting and compelling — but a far cry from (and often direct contradiction to) the pictures Scripture paints.

It’s striking that “Heaven tourism” has taken over entire shelves at Christian bookstores, but “Hell tourism” is virtually nonexistent. Scripture has plenty to say in describing Hell:

• Hell is being cast “away from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
• Hell is “eternal destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
• Hell is “burning like an oven” that sets the wicked ablaze and destroys their future (Malachi 4:1-3).
• Hell is a place that is filled with “the gloom of utter darkness” (Jude 13).

On top of these, Jesus compares the fate of the wicked to an eternally burning garbage dump (Mark 9:43-48) with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth where one drop of water would be the greatest prize imaginable (Luke 16:24).

When you read the Bible’s description of eternal judgment, you understand why Hell tourism isn’t popular: Nobody wants to go there! The great tragedy, of course, is that many will go there. Many who go there will find themselves there precisely because they ignored the possibility.

Epicurus said, “While I am, death is not; and when death is, I am not. Therefore death is no concern to me.”¹ Unfortunately Epicurus didn’t understand that there is much more to human life than its brief span on earth. Fortunately, there is another way. The old poem says, “Life is short, death is sure. Sin is the cause, Christ the cure!”

Today, I will… contemplate the Biblical descriptions of Hell and thank God for delivering me.
¹This quote is from Epicurus’