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Escaping Hell's Fury (2 of 5)
Series: Foundations Of Faith
OPENING: Looking over the rim of the volcano's crater, the American tourist remarked, "Reminds one of Hell, doesn't it?"
The guide threw up his hands and exclaimed, "These Americans, they've been everywhere."
APPLICATION: The tourist was noting that the volcano's pit was not a comfortable place. And he was also declaring that this fiery pit reminded him of another place he would find uncomfortable: Hell.
I. The very concept of Hell makes people uncomfortable: they tend to ignore it, reject it, or mock it.
ILLUS: In 1990 (according to U.S. News and World Report 3/25/91)
78% believed in Heaven and believed they were going there
60% believed in Hell, but only 4% believed they were going there.
ILLUS: (ibid.) The Rev. Mary Kraus observed "My congregation would be stunned to hear a sermon on hell." Her parishioners, she says, are "upper middle class, well-educated critical thinkers" who view God as "compassionate and loving, not someone who's going to push them into eternal damnation."
ILLUS: Ted Turner, founder of Turner Broadcasting (TBS,TNT,CNN) blasted the Christian faith at a speech to the National Press Club.
"Remember, heaven is going to be perfect. And I don't really want to be there... Those of us that go to hell, which will be most of us in this room, most journalists are certainly going there... (Laughter). but, when we get there we'll have a chance to make things better because hell is supposed to be a mess. And heaven is perfect. Who want to go to a place that is perfect? Boring, boring." (Laughter).
Also in late 1989, Turner told Dallas Morning News that "Christianity is a religion for losers." Christ died on the cross, but Mr. Turner said He shouldn't have bothered. "I don't want anybody dying for me. I've had a few drinks and a few girlfriends and if that's gonna put me in hell, then so be it."
Hell makes people uncomfortable to the point o ...
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