When I came to Jesus, in 1979, I was on drugs and alcohol and dropped out of prestigious Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, affectionately called “The Harvard of the South.”
I flew to Miami from Tennessee in 1977 and to my parents who were in a midst of a divorce after a twenty eight year marriage.
A year and half later in 1979, I met Jesus by myself without the assistance of a pastor, or priest.
Jesus encountered me in an empty church, embraced, and befriended me just where I was at.
He not only found me on drugs and alcohol.
I was steeped in pornography and adultery.
I don’t judge people for their sinful condition. I was one!
God can, and will forgive every sin.
The only sin which cannot be forgiven is that of routinely rejecting Him.
The unforgiveness is not on God’s part, but ours, for we pronounce that we don’t want to live where God does, but wish to be separated from Him.
This is hell!
Hell is the piece of real estate that we choose to live in.
We tell God that we don’t want His home in heaven, so He indulges us.
God does not send us to hell. We choose it.
This is why it’s called the unpardonable sin.
And we seal our fate.
By 1980, God had changed my heart towards alcohol and given me a thirst for His Spirit and Word.
I was still smoking marijuana and when offered the more expensive cocaine, which was too expensive, I would indulge it.
So this is my account of hell, for God allowed me to experience its horrors, even if for a minute or two.
More than that could have prompted a heart attack.
Kenny Loggins, the famous rock star, was coming to South Florida. Though he is not one of my favorite musicians, Kenny is very gifted, and I was delighted to see him in Ft. Lauderdale.
I did not know any Christians and was still hanging out with unchurched friends.
We purchased tickets and drove up to beautiful Sunrise Musical Theater.
I was pleasantly surprised when one of the guys pulled out a stash of high-grade cocaine.
As the concert progressed we snorted more and more of the white powder and were flying sky high.
Today, when a concert ends, people shout “encore” or “more”, pull out their lit cell phones and wave them in the air.
In the 80’s we had no cell phones.
People would light matches or pull out their lighters into the air.
When Kenny completed his last song, the shouts of “encore” and “more” resonated through the marijuana smoke laced auditorium.
Thousands of matches and lighters in unison irradiated the dark theater.
Right then, Jesus transported me in the Spirit into a vision.
Cocaine does not produce hallucinations, so I knew that this came from the Holy Spirit.
In the vision thousands of matches and lighter flames became enmeshed into one massive fire that engulfed me.
The myriads of voices surrounding me screaming “more” became thousands of shouts of demons saying “more fire”, “more fire”, “more fire”.
It was sheer terror, utter fear, and a perception of not been able to focus on anything else but upon the episode of the immediate horror surrounding me.
There was a perfect absence of a love, for God is love, and hell will not contain God.
I think that the worst feature of hell is that it is the place where people will congregate forever without love.
What will people be capable of doing to each other where there is no love?
If on earth where we still have the love of God, people can do such hideous things, imagine hell!
I crashed from the drug high in less than a minute.
I was numb and in a silent state of catatonic panic.
A minute more in hell would have triggered a heart attack.
The lights came on, and all of my friends, stoned and red-eyed, congregated to remark on the incredible concert.
I could not speak.
I just nodded.
I could not drive myself home.
Somewhere in the one hour trip back to Miami, I heard the Lord say in His sweet and quiet voice, “My son, no more drugs.”
This was instantaneous repentance without anyone legislating to me morality.
It was solely the Holy Spirit’s work!
All of my drug habits were instantaneously cured on that day in 1980.
I have never touched a drug again, because I never want to experience the fright and the horrors of hell.
Jesus preached about hell three times more than he preached about heaven.
It’s not His wish that anyone would go there.
I do not desire hell on the worst of my enemies.
It’s hard to understand why so many mock this picture.
What if all that Jesus said was true and they are wrong?
Ask God to give you your own vision of hell, if you doubt mine!