There is one that goes to Hell and comes back. Not that looks at a world gone to Hell, but that goes goes there himself and comes back. That goes to death and comes back. Turns around and in one hand holds a candle, in another keys, and says he has found a way out and will show you.
That’s the sense you get when you read Isaiah or the revelation of John. You get the sense the tongue of Isaiah and the hem of John’s robe still burn from brimstone and Angel of Fire as they shout and dance and scream. There is nothing dull in those writings. There is nothing gray about what they’re saying. They stand towards the listener with eyes wide open, then glowing in mouth, spewing fire.
It is often complained by those both inside and out, that when the Church talks of End Days it is a talk of frightening things by frightened people. But my complaint against them is that they are not frightened enough. It is only the prophet who has gone to Hell and come back and who is still smoldering with embers, who has been to the belly of the whale and come out, who speaks with conviction and properly placed fear and can direct his message with true courage.
It is only the Savior who has gone and talked to Satan, who has come back with keys to the gates of Hell and death, who can burn brightly with the white light of the spirit and truly speak as one who has seen and knows about death and fear and salvation.
It is why the pacifist who says “war is horrible“ should either be slapped or their mouth should be sealed up shut and why only the soldier who has been there should be the one to speak of its uses, either horrible or not, or it’s glories either wonderful or not. It is the one who’s been to Hell who knows and feels what it is. Otherwise it’s just one’s opinion, And to properly talk about the End Days as all the prophets of old, as of John the Baptist and John the gospel writer, and as Jesus the true Savior himself, God himself, is to properly hear they are not sharing their opinions, they are sharing their experience with reality and coming back to talk about it.
The end times are not something you talk about secondhand.
The sudden, striking, frightening realization that your failure to recognize your present state of fear that destroys your life is your final failure at the judgment.
Your failure to recognize that this very life of yours is your kingdom life and your failure to recognize that your current state of Hell and fear that kills life is your failure at the judgment. The winnowing fork separates the exact people who thought they were wheat into chaff. They were chaff but they called themselves wheat. They were goats but they called themselves sheep.
And He never knew you.