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Fulton County Gospel News

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Trips to Hell on the Weekends

By Gary W. Summers

Keeping up with thousands of “stars” is not really relevant to daily living; so, admittedly, this writer had no idea who Javier Bardem is, but there was a question about him in the January 23rd [2011] “Personality” section of Parade.  After the writer’s question concerning him was answered, it was pointed out (why is anyone’s guess) that he has a peculiar take on the afterlife.  His words (recorded below) were intended as a joke, but some of us are not laughing: 

I don’t know if I’ll get to heaven. I’m a bad boy,” jokes the actor, 41. “Heaven must be nice, but is it too boring? Maybe you can get an apartment there and then go to hell on the weekends” (2).

At the risk of sounding like a spoilsport, hell is not the proper subject for religious humor.  Many jokes that show some of the foibles of Christians or that demonstrate a lack of understanding are appropriate, but some topics should be off-limits.  Mr. Bardem is not the only one to minimize the nature of hell; many others seem to think that it is the place where all of one’s friends are—the place one would rather be.  Of course, such an idea is absurd, and the Scriptures debunked that notion nearly 2,000 years ago.
 
Jesus characterized hell as the place where the fire shall never be quenched (Mark 9:43).  Even the Hadean realm, the place where all await the Day of Judgment, contains one location where the righteous rest and another location where the lost suffer torment.  The rich man went there but sought relief from the flame (Luke 16:23-24).  He was not having a good time with all his friends, nor did he want his five brothers to come there for a wonderful family reunion (Luke 16:27-31).   

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