Does Hell scare you? It really should

Published 9:37 am Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A few months ago, during a trip to a Wal-Mart in Whitesburg, Ky., I wandered into the book section to check out the new reads. One book jumped up and smacked me across the face.

The title, “23 Minutes in Hell” was the marketer’s way of ensuring my $10.97 would be spent on this book.

What a priceless investment that was!

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On Nov. 23, 1998, Bill Wiese went to Hell for a 23 minute period that seemed like an eternity. Once back to Earth, Wiese wrote his book to warn all who would listen about this very real place we often dismiss as fantasy.

In his vision, which he says was not a dream, Wiese entered the pits of eternal despair the Bible warns about for those who live their lives outside of Jesus Christ. During his visit, his faith in Christ was temporarily lifted from his mind.

For this brief time, he didn’t know Jesus and sorely wished that he did. This, he would later explain, was for the purpose of knowing he had no escape from the torment.

There was no way out.

Naked, exhausted and continually tormented without a moment’s rest, Wiese described what is written as reality in the King James version of the Holy Bible. According to his research, approximately 150 different verses in the Bible point to the eternal destination of those souls who live their lives without knowing Jesus Christ.

This book made me think. Since our souls never die, ascending to glory in Heaven or to despair in Hell, why would any of us take the chance of spending an eternity in chaos and misery? Why would any of us risk forever on the whims of this short life?

The Bible states that Satan, the devil, is very real. Lucifer, his angelic name, was once the most beautiful angel in Heaven. But pride got him kicked out of God’s graces, along with about one-third of the other angels who decided to follow his lead.

Now, this once mighty angel is at war with God. He is also at war with you and me. His offering of fruit to Eve in the Garden of Eden was the prelude to our sinful nature. From that moment, his wicked ways have ruled this world.

Luckily for us, God provided a lifeline in his only son.

The Bible says that many will follow the path to destruction, and Wiese claimed to have seen multitudes of people falling into the fiery pits of Hell once their lives on earth ended.

Satan knows he won’t win the overall war. He just wants to take as many of us down with him as he can.

When Jesus walked this earth sinless, died and came back to life, the battle ended. Despite his best efforts, Satan couldn’t make Jesus sin.

As a result, everyone who puts their faith in Christ is assured of being pardoned from the awful punishment of Hell.

Think about the term “eternity.” It means forever. Also, think about what this world would be like without the love of an all-knowing God. Sure, the cynics among us can say, “What kind of God would allow innocent children to starve to death,” and the like. But, we aren’t capable of knowing his entire plan. Can any of us create water or hang stars in the sky?

I totally believe Bill Wiese’s vision and hope that many others will read his book, along with the Bible.

This life is very short. The only accomplishments here that will count in eternity are the selfless deeds we do by helping each other.

Read Bill Wiese’s book, “23 Minutes in Hell.” Then, live your life like you don’t want to spend one second in that place.

Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at or by visiting his website,