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My late uncle, Harold Edward “Eddie” Mitchell, Jr., once engaged in some meteorological small talk with some fellow Airmen. Both of Uncle Eddie’s compatriots were discussing the weather conditions of their respective homes. One of the Airmen said, “I’m from Alaska where it can get really cold; but, it is not too bad because it is a ‘dry cold.'” In response, the other Airmen replied, “I’m from New Mexico where it can get really hot; but it is not too bad because it is a ‘dry heat.'” To this exchange, my uncle, Eddie, wryly added, “Well, I’m from Mississippi where it is really humid; but it is not too bad because it is a ‘dry humidity.'”

If you have ever lived in the deep South, you know well the role that humidity plays in making weather conditions that are already oppressive even more unbearable. For example, a 90-degree day may feel more like 105 degrees when you factor in the unseen atmospheric moisture. In addition, if you happen to have breathing difficulties, such as those resultant from asthma, you will discover that even the lightest outdoor activity quickly becomes a much greater chore. This truth has prompted many Southerners, myself included, to exclaim, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” In other words, we Southerners can take the heat; it is, rather, the humidity that makes us so uncomfortable.

Even so, the “lazy, hazy days of summer” only last so long. Soon, fall and winter bring welcome respite. Yet imagine if those hot and humid conditions never ceased. Jesus said, concerning hell,”If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.” (Mark 9:43-44 NASB). Elsewhere, Jesus likewise alluded to hell in a parable, saying: “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'” (Matthew 22:13 NASB). Finally, we look to those words penned by the apostle John in Revelation 20:15. “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (NASB)

The conclusion concerning hell is that it is a dark, vast, sad, and painful place. Worse than these truths is the reality that one would be separated from his God with no hope of a reunion with Him. We should warn our friends, family, and neighbors about this place called hell so that they may avoid it. After all, in hell, it is not theĀ  heat…it is the eternity!