Here is the real blog for tonight. I missed last night, and this morning I did my usual Friday At the Movies guide. Of course there were only 2 movies to cut and paste into the blog this morning, but I did it anyway!

Now for the real blog of the day.

Last night, I was reading a book called “Growing Deep in the Christian Life” by Chuck Swindoll. The use of the word “Hell” came up. Actually the discussion was on the overly casual use of the word. He quoted from an article called “Whatever Happened to Hell?” by Jon E. Braun. In the article Braun points out that we often say things like, “What the hell were you thinking?”or “who the Hell do you think you are?” Sometimes I have even jokingly said to someone, ” Go to Hell!” At any rate this kind of made me stop to think for a moment. How often do I casually use the word “hell” myself on any given day? Probably more than I realize. I would be willing to wager that most of us do.

Braun asks us to consider if we are actually wanting to know, “What the place of punishment were you thinking?” or “Who the opposite of Heaven do you think you are?” Or are we actually suggesting that someone literally go to Hell? Part of the problem, according to Braun is that Hell has become an unreal concept to us. If the concept of Hell is not real, then the word is just a word. However words are very powerful. This leads to the question, if Hell doesn’t seem like a real place to us, is Heaven any more real? If so, why? If we accept that Heaven exists, then to me, we must accept that Hell also exists. Hell is a place where lost souls are punished for eternity. So using the word with impunity is plain wrong. Maybe not as wrong as using the name of The Lord in vain, but wrong nevertheless.

I know that I have used the term quite a bit without thinking about it, but as a general rule I usually don’t invite anyone to go to Hell, though I probably have said it flippantly in the past. I obviously can’t speak for anyone else, but as for myself, I intend to try to think a bit more, before I casually use the word, Hell. I know I will probably forget this from time to time, being human. I do plan to try. It’s interesting what God places in your heart and in your thoughts. Perhaps we would do well to wish for someone to go to Heaven, and then showing them the way.