Hell is Voluntary

by Jan 26, 2010

N.D. Wilson, in Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl:

We sat around a table, nursing two dollars in liquid form and eating free cheese. My Catholic friend was talking about professors. An atheist was complaining about parking. Another atheist, a girl, was sitting thoughtfully, staring at us, at the “believers” outed in various seminar discussions.

When the conversation lagged, she asked her question.

“Do you think I’m going to Hell?”

“Yes,” my Catholic friend said without hesitation. He looked around. “I do.”

People laughed, not because it was a joke, but because he was serious and unembarrassed. He was never embarrassed – an attribute I admired.

She looked at me and leaned forward, waiting for the Protestant version.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Don’t you want to?”

“What do you mean?” She made an excellent questioning face – cocked head and eyebrows behind glasses. It was perfect for the classroom. “Why would I want to go to Hell?”

“God is who He is. Do you want to be with Him?”

Hell is voluntary. Would you like to go?