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The saddest thing I think about God's solemn warnings and the host of examples given to us in scripture of the destiny of the lost is that folk have endless means of distracting their minds from pondering these facts. They refuse to allow the reality of God's warning to weigh in on their decision making process. They do this by distracting themselves of death and judgment.
TOPHET (The First Picture of Hell)
It might help to pause a moment and interject an important truth about why people yield to sin- seemingly blind and deaf to the breadth and length and depth and height of the future far reaching consequences of their actions. There was a firey pit outside Jerusalem known historically as the Valley of Hinnom (later renamed Gehenna). It was the mass grave for ancient Israels enemies that burned continually. It was the trash dump outside Jerusalem in the time of Jesus where worms would eat through the carcasses and garbage as it burned day and night.
In ancient Israel it was the place where idol worshippers would bring their firstborn sons to sacrifice to the god Molech. In some cases it was a firey pit that the mothers and fathers would throw their infant offspring in to. In other times there was a brazen image that was hollowed out and a fire lit inside. As its outstretched arms began to glow red these devilish parents would place their babies to roast the skin off their bodies and burn to death. Even as deranged and lust filled for status and success (for this is why the sacrificed to Molech) as these idolaters were, they would still be troubled by the horrific screams of the babies.
To deal with this some inventor of evil suggested a strategy to beat drums and play music to drown out the screams. Hence the place was first called Tophet- which means the beating of drums. And this is the first picture we have of the place we know as HELL- Drums drowning out the screams that would prick the conscience and sway a persons judgment. Drown is any VOICE of reason that would take hold of the mind and draw it back to its senses.
Satan: The Ultimate Percussionist
Did Adam ever think that his actions would set his children on a coarse for Hell? The lies of Satan, that formidable percussionist drowned the sound of their consciences in a cadence of lies. Had he been able to see for even the slightest moment the finality of his actions surely he would have chosen otherwise. Satan has a myriad of means with which to drown out the conscience of men- to distract them from the screams of both their own future burning souls and their children. The ROAR that offsets the voice of conscience and the prodding of the Holy Spirit is growing louder as new means (devices) of distracting men's minds are created.
The Wisdom of Preparing Hell
One great picture of this future quarantine is in our Lords use of the Greek name Gehenna. This was a perpetually burning burial pit for the decaying bloated corpses of the enemies of Israel. Gehenna was known in the Hebrew tongue as the, Valley of Hinnom (Matt. 5:28, 29). This was formerly Tophet. In the pits at Gehenna the fire purified and destroyed the disease that could potentially be spread by diseased dead bodies.
Sin is like a plague and God will not only punish Satan and all of his sinful angels and sinful human followers, but He will protect once and for all the faithful angels and the redeemed saints from anything sinful that could defile them (Revelation 21:27). Nothing that could harm or defile will be allowed in heaven. This is one of the great expressions of Gods love towards us.
The means by which Sin could spread is temptation and temptation implies a tempter. All tempters will be shut up and sealed off in Hell forever and ever. Who can question the wisdom of such a procedure? No one will remain that could possibly lead the creation in some rebellion or deceive them into disobeying God. Gone forever will be Sin and the terrible suffering and sorrow that it brings. Sin is like a flesh eating disease that eats away and destroys Gods perfect creation and creative order. Sin corrupts. Sin destroys and destroys mercilessly.
Sin must be contained, destroyed and then remediated like mold or poison; Sin is the ultimate hazardous substance. God will deal sharply and wisely to eliminate sinners and sin and the suffering they cause. He will reestablish heaven as a place of His rest purged of anything that could defile and destroy. This is why, that though there are a million roads into Hell there is not one road out. (Ravenhill)