Did You See The Way He Treated His Wife?


I AM CHIEF AMONGST SINNERS.

Those of you that have read any significant portion of my BLOG are probably thinking to yourself “You have told us that before.”

I know, but it is an important fact, and it can neither be stressed enough nor repeated enough.

The other day we went and saw the movie “Journey To Hell“:

The movie is an adaptation of John Bunyan‘s book by the same name probably written sometime between 1672 and his death in 1688. You may recognize Bunyan’s name as he was also the author of “The Pilgrim’s Progress“, arguably one of the most well know Christian allegories ever written.

WARNING: The rest of this post will go into detail of the storyline of the book and some adaptations of the modern movie that may be considered spoilers. If you believe you might want to see the movie, and such revelations bother you, it would probably be best if you went and saw the movie and then came back and finished reading this post afterwards.

Like “The Pilgrim’s Progress“, “Journey To Hell” is also an allegory. In the story a young man drowns, dies, and finds himself in Hell. Having been a “good” person during his lifetime, and having attended church, and professed Jesus Christ, he is a little more than surprised to find himself in Hell. At first he believes it is just a really realistic dream and that he needs to wake up. But as he slowly comes to grip with the reality and the gravity of the situation, he begins to seek recourse with the demons of Hell for a way out, a second chance as it were.

It is at this point that the reasoning of Bunyan’s argument begins to take shape. The demons of Hell begin to introduce other occupants of Hell to the wayward young man. Starting with Judas Iscariot. The wayward young man immediately has questions. “Why did you betray our Lord and Savior?” he asks, “I wanted the money.” Judas answers. The wayward young man asserts that he is better than that and would never betray the Lord. The demons of Hell remark that while that may indeed be true, he still has a heart of betrayal. It is at this point there are flashbacks from our wayward young man’s life with a focus of his betrayals.

Next the demons begin to introduce other figures from throughout human history. This is where the movie takes some creative license and makes a few updates. Our wayward young man meets Adolph Hitler in Hell. Obviously, Adolph Hitler was not alive at the time John Bunyan wrote “A Journey to Hell“, but the adaptation to insert slightly more modern historical figures into the film, probably makes a more impactful and more relevant point.

Our wayward young man had been pretty decent within his lifetime. He was married, took care of his wife, they went to church, and he had even prayed to receive Jesus Christ. He said he believed in God, and he believed himself to be a moral man. Not that he wasn’t without fault, clearly, he was not. However, other than some larger-than-life level of success (he was a multi-millionaire), he was a pretty average person and might pass for a coworker, neighbor, or any other member of the city in which you or I live.

So, it is not too surprising that he begins to build his case with the demons of Hell. People like Adolph Hitler belong in Hell. Clearly, he does not. There has been some sort of mistake. Judas Iscariot, Adolph Hitler, the Columbine School shooters, the Zodiac Killer, and others from history, ALL belong in Hell. Each person he is introduced to, he becomes more and more convinced that there has been some terrible mistake made. These people clearly deserve an eternity in Hell. But how can he, a person who has gone to church and believes in God, end up in Hell?

And yet, our demons explain, here he is. In Hell. Where he belongs. And to add insult to injury, our lead demon explains to our wayward young man that God has never made a mistake, will never make a mistake, and is incapable of making mistakes. And besides, the demon explains, he personally has knowledge of the contents of the Lamb’s Book of Life and knows for a fact that our wayward young man is not listed in it.

I sometimes tell folks that if asked the question “Why should God let you into Heaven?” (a rather common question that philosophers seem to like to ask), that I have one and only one answer. “I PLEAD THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN“. And then I tell them “However, if God in his infinite Wisdom and Glory, were to tell me, ‘No. I will not let you in. Depart from this place.’, that I will sing ‘Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him’ as I am led to the very gates of Hell.” This angers some of my friends as they explain that would make God a liar.

However, as John Bunyan so eloquently points out in Journey To Hell, neither you nor I could ever make God a liar. God is the very definition of Truth. And our wayward young man is told that he, and he alone, put himself in Hell. For all of the church services he attended, all of the prayers and good deeds, he was the one that left God, God did not leave him.

And our wayward young man eventually finds himself in the lowest depths of Hell. And it is here that he realizes that because he had been blessed with the Truth and had ignored it, that he deserved to be here, more than Hitler or some serial killer, or even Judas Iscariot. It was he who was Chief Amongst Sinners. And it was he who deserved all that Hell had to give.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Our wayward young man was a little annoyed at his wife always asking him to pray with her, read the Bible together, go to Bible study, even attend a Christmas Eve service at Church during his life. He was so annoyed with her and her constant suggestions that he eventually said he was tired of it all and wanted a divorce!

As we left the theater after the movie, a comment was made that I overheard. That comment was ‘Did you see the way he treated his wife?‘.


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