Topheth has long been prepared; it has been made ready for the king. Its fire pit has been made deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze.
- Isaiah 30:33
The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
- Revelation 20:13-15
“’Mai ki po mai,’ say the natives when asked how long Pele has burned, which means, ‘From chaos until now.’
“Hell is an abstract thing; Halemaumau is an actuality. It antecedes history, and as you look at it you feel that it will append time. Promises of heaven and threats of purgatory wither, and the end of all is a dead planet, cold as the moon. …”
- Harry Hervey, Where Strange Gods Call
My mother-in-law kept things that related to her homeland, Indonesia. Who knows where she found this book by Harry Hervey, published two years before she was born, but near the end of the book, the author travels to Indonesia. Thus, my mother-in-law obtained a copy of the original hardback book and gave it to my wife. My wife is the second oldest of nine children and the oldest girl, old enough to remember Indonesia, and thus as I was cleaning out cabinets in my wife’s absence in Tennessee this past Spring, I picked up this moth-eaten book, printed in 1924, and I added it to my reading list. The edges of the pages (on very thick paper) crumbled as I made my way through the book.
The book is still in print. I must agree with Amazon to a certain extent. The traveler (author) absorbs the various beliefs and cultures as the boat reaches each port. As the author begins and ends the book, he mentions only three ports of call among the many with poetic license … “Angkor … Penang … Zanzibar.” An “A” to “Z” of his travels.
“This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.”
- Amazon Abstract for Where Strange Gods Call
In these days of being politically correct and sensitive to other cultures, all except Christianity, I can see how the secular among us are attracted to it. The author does not state that he is rejecting Christianity for anything and everything else, but he is leaving what was considered a Christian nation in the late 19-teens and early 20s. He learned and documented bits of culture everywhere he went. He also absorbed the people to an extent with some wanton living, but this is not a sex book. It focuses on culture and eastern religious beliefs, in many cases superficial quirks as opposed to any deep thought. Even handed among all culture, yet ignoring Christianity, unless to mock as seen in this quote.
The quote struck me. He is standing next to a volcano and considering how the Biblical account was such a myth, an abstract concept, yet this volcano was real. In his thoughts, it predated God and would still exist after mankind had all killed each other and thus, God would be no more.
While in one sense, the author is being poetic, but the author is being horribly pessimistic. He boils down all of Christianity into two thoughts: a promise of Heaven and the threat of Purgatory and/or Hell. There is nothing mentioned of God’s love. There is nothing mentioned about Jesus who dwelled among us and paid the sacrifice so that if we believed in Him, we need not fear Purgatory or Hell. But what is Hell called in the Scripture above? Those whose names are not written in the book of life with be cast into the Lake of Fire.
The author is staring into a lake of fire and calling God’s punishment an abstraction.
It is bizarre, but when you have closed off all thought toward the true God, seeing God’s power and might through His creation are brushed aside. The creation then becomes eternal while the Creator comes later and leaves, with His creation still burning.
And in thinking of the author’s timeline, he could have been swayed by the new atheist thought of his day that the earth was millions of years old. It was not widely accepted in that day. Today, in spite of evidence that the earth cannot be more than about 10,000 years old, the millions of years thought is pervasive. It has been said that there were 2,000 years from Adam to Abraham, 2,000 from Abraham to Jesus, and 2,000 from Jesus to the present time. It might be more accurate by saying Adam to Judah to Jesus to Now, but I won’t quibble – but I guess I just did. That is why Ewell, in the 19th century postulated millions of years with no real evidence and Darwin jumped at the chance to add evolution to the mix. Then with a few scientific errors due to faulty assumptions…
It is odd. Until lately, I have not given the origin scenario much thought as my children and grandchildren went to school, the younger three now in school. I was never taught “origins” except in Sunday school, never the concept of millions of years or evolution. Those are not needed to learn real science: Physics, Chemistry, and such. Now, it seems mandatory to teach something that cannot be proven and indeed has been disproven – the evidence against silenced by those who hold fast to the atheist narrative. Indeed, Satan is working overtime in our school systems and our world governments. Satan gives them the idea that they can lie successfully with the following concept. “Do not bother getting your facts straight. If you lie with complete confidence and you talk loud enough and you have people backing you up with money, the people will believe and repeat the lies.”
But even if the author was just writing this quote metaphorically, the world may one day become cold as the author suggests. It may fall into the sun and burn to a crisp. I recently heard a religious leader that I respect talk about hope for the earth, in that the earth will be spared. But the Revelation speaks of a NEW heaven and a NEW earth, not a refurbished old earth. I am unsure of the mechanism, but by the time all of the trumpets blast and the bowls are poured out, it might be easier to hit a rest button and move to a new heaven and new earth rather than fix this broken one, that being spoken by an old construction and maintenance manager.
And oh, what adventures could we have exploring the new earth and gazing into the new heaven, once we have gazed into the face of our Savior for a few eons.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.