A Biblical Examination of Hell

By Dr. Max D. Younce, Pastor

P.O. Box 573| Walnut Grove, MN 56180 | Telephone (507) 859-2519


I shall never forget a relative of mine whom I loved very much as a young boy.  As years passed, he and his family had moved away and then I heard he was dying of cancer and close to death.  The following was related to me by a member of the family.  He was hospitalized and unable to sit up or feed himself.  The nurse had come in to feed him and--all of a sudden--he sat straight up in his bed, eyes enlarged, let out a horrifying scream, "No! No! and fell back dead in his bed.  I had been told that he did not believe there was a God and that he was an atheist.  The nurse told a couple of the relatives it was the most terrifying experience she had ever witnessed.  She stated to them she never wanted to be with another atheist at death.

This is only my personal opinion; but, I believe that God gave him a glimpse of Hell about five seconds before it became a reality for all eternity.  It was sure a testimony to the nurse, by an unbeliever, that Hell is a real place!  It breaks your heart when someone you have loved and respected, because they have treated you so nicely, ends up this way.  We, as Christians, should have a burning desire in our hearts to witness whenever we have an opportunity.


As a pastor, I have been with a few whom I have tried to lead to Christ just prior to their passing, with no success!  They just plain rejected Christ up to their last grasp for air.


One I remember in particular occurred while I was going through Bible college.  I was pastoring the Goodland Baptist Church in Marco Island, Florida.  A lady came to me and asked if I would visit her father in the hospital, as he was dying with cancer.  She advised me he was an atheist and hated preachers and churches.  She gave me a little or no hope of reaching him with the Gospel, but wanted me to try.  She was a Christian, herself, but rejected by her father because of her faith.

When I arrived at the hospital and entered his room, it was like walking into a den of demons!  I walked over to his bedside and introduced myself--with no response, even though he was fully conscious.  The nurse warned me before I went in about the condition of his face.  His chin was gone.  His jaw and cheek bone were missing and his facial features, because of the cancer, were beyond description--to say the least!  Some of the outerspace figures we see on television science fiction programs would be "movie stars" compared to this unfortunate man.

I began.  I told him that God loved him and Jesus Christ died for him and he could have everlasting life by receiving Christ's payment for sin.  He stared at me the short time I was there with a hate such as I have never experienced.  In response to everything I said he just kept staring at me and shaking his head, "No, No, No!"  He couldn't talk as, due to the cancer, most of his tongue had been removed.  He died a couple of days later and his daughter asked if I would conduct the services.  Our church was full at the funeral and at the conclusion of the service I gave an invitation.  Several indicated by raising their hand that they were receiving Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  God got more glory at this man's funeral than he did in 80-some years while he was living!


What a difference it is with those who are saved!  Joe and his wife moved into town a few years back.  He was in his 70's and, due to some prior bad experiences with churches and preachers, he was not interested in the Lord.  His wife began to attend church and finally got him to come.  After a few home visits he trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior.  I remember him saying, "I can't stand the thought of her (his wife) going to heaven without me!"

Some time later he came down with cancer and later went on to be with the Lord.  At the hospital he was passing out tracts to the nurses and witnessing to them  One of the chaplains came to see him and the first thing Joe asked him was, "Do you know if you're going to Heaven when you die?"  Joe told me later the chaplain didn't want to talk about that and left almost immediately.  Knowing he was not going to recover, Joe came home for the last few days before going to be with the Lord.  In my last visits with Joe, I saw a man with peace in his heart, a smile on his face, and joy unspeakable although looking death in the face.  he knew the time was drawing near when he would be passed from death unto life.  One night, the Lord looked down from Heaven and, while Joe was sleeping, decided this was the most gentle time to summon him Home.  Joe left his body while sleeping on February 15,1999, escorted by the angels to meet his wonderful Savior, face to face.


At a pastorate in Ohio, one of our deacons brought a man to church who was nothing more than a 110-pound drunk!  He trusted Christ as his Savior and what a change the Lord brought about in his life.  Clem joined our church and was one of our most fruitful members.  Once a year on our church grounds we would have an all-day event.  The night before Clem would come with his camper and, along with the other men of our church, would put a whole pig on a spit which would then cook all night.  Of course, it was all under Clem's supervision.  He had his own recipe for flavorings that he injected into the pork and this made it taste "out of this world!"  What wonderful times these were.  Clem and his wife were a blessing to all of us.

Then one day Clem was working on the roof, repairing something, and fell off.  Soon after he developed cancer.  At the hospital Clem witnesses to his nurses and his Jewish doctor.  I made several visits to the hospital, praying with Clem that he would recover.  On my next to last visit with him I remember it was all I could do to keep back the tears as I walked over to his bed and gave him a hug.  I talked with him a short time, then held his hand and bowed my head to pray.  Clem said, "Pastor, you don't have to pray for my recovery anymore.  Last night the Lord let me know I am not going home; at least, not to this earth."  Tears trickled down over his wrinkled, old cheeks and there were some sliding down mine, too.  He said, "I can't wait to see my Jesus, face to face, and I am going to throw my arms around Him and thank Him for dying on that cross for me."  Driving home I could hardly see to drive for the tears.  I cried all the way.  I knew it wouldn't be long and I knew I was sure going to miss this little man whose testimony was that of a giant.

My wife and I visited with Clem the next day in the ICU.  We knew it would be the last time we would see him alive.  When we prayed, Clem looked up at us with such a peace in his face and said, "I'll say 'Hi' to Jesus for you when I get to Heaven; because I am going to see Him before you do."  We all hugged and said "Good bye."  As we were leaving, I looked back and he raised that little hand to wave "Goodbye" with the smile of an angel on his face.  He died that night.  At his funeral there were many who trusted Christ as their Savior.  At the conclusion of the graveside service, one of his old drinking buddies waited until almost everyone had gone and came over to me.  He asked, "Preacher, if Christ could save Clem, do you suppose He could save me too?"  I had the privilege of leading him to the Lord right there at the graveside.  What a difference between Clem's "home going" and that of a dying atheist!


While pastoring in Indiana, our song leader called one day to ask if I would visit his mother in the hospital.  She had been diagnosed with cancer.  We prayer together that, if it be the Lord's will for her to recover, then she would. On one of my last visits I walked into her hospital room and she had one of the biggest smiles on her face that I had ever seen.  At the sight of that smile I asked, "Did you get some good news from the doctors?"  "No," she said, "I got some good news from the Lord.  He let me know that He is ready for me.  Pastor, I did ask the Lord if He would wait until I called some of my close relatives, out of state, to say 'Good bye.'  He let me know I could."  To those who came, she gave her testimony.  My last visit with her before she went home to Heaven was as pleasant as if she had been a young woman in her teens.  Most people only get excited over earthly things, but she was excited over the trip to Heaven she was going to make in a few days.

This woman surely proved the Word of God to be True.  "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want ... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me" (Psalm 23:1,4).  How true 1st Corinthians 15:55,57 is, "O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?  But thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."


Once a person dies, their destiny to Heaven or Hell is sealed for all eternity by the decision they made while they were living.  My earnest prayer is that, after reading God's Word concerning Hell; if you are not saved you will, right now, put your faith in Jesus Christ as the One Who died for you.  He did this for you so that you will never have to go to this terrible place.  God's Word is very clear!  "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."  I have only related a few of the hundreds of deaths, both of the saved and the lost, that I have personally witnessed.  If, after reading this book, you have received Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, it would be our privilege to hear from you, letting us know of that decision so we can rejoice with you.

Table of Contents

Dr. Max D. Younce, Pastor

P.O. Box 573
Walnut Grove, MN 56180
Telephone (507) 859-2519

Web: www.heritagebbc.com

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