Hell’s Outer Darkness

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David Cravatta,Wells Fargo
Associate VP, Investments

“…I say unto you that many will come from east and west, recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness in that place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 8: 11-12; Matt. 22: 13; Matt. 13: 42-50; Matt. 24:51 and Luke 13:28).

Stumbling along in the dark is not very fun. I’m sure it’s happened to everyone at some point, and it can be quite unnerving when it does happen when you least expect it. I remember a vivid experience when it happened to me many years ago. I was driving for several hours on a trip when I decided to stop at the closest establishment off the interstate, which happened to be a 7-11, to take a well-deserved break and to also use the boy’s room.

Just as I finished, the electricity went off…not just in the bathroom but area-wide, which included the entire 7-11 store…and the room was pitch black. There was no window, no keyhole, no emergency lighting. It was a nighttime and there I was standing in this blackness. Try as I might, I couldn’t see a thing. I did my best to retrace my steps while reaching and groping for anything I could grab or hold onto, bumping into the stall door and sink as I fumbled and bumbled about.

I must digress for a moment: I have a very intense fear of the dark, most likely due to my dad scaring me when I was a young boy. Evidently, he had thought it was funny when I had cried out after he made spooky voices in my dark bedroom.

Back to my story: so here I am, standing in this pitch black room straining my eyes for anything that hinted at a glimmer of light. At this point, I began to become nervous and started yelling out for help.

No response. Yelling louder now as some panic began to set in…still nothing. “Oh my God, I’ve got get out of here!”

Now yelling at the top of my voice for assistance, and an employee heard my cry as he scampered by and opened the door. A dim light shone in with an occasional bright flash from his flashlight, and I high-tailed it out of there, back to my car and started it immediately. Holy cow, that was awful! To my great astonishment, only a few minutes had gone by, though it felt like an eternity. I remember thinking I couldn’t imagine staying in that room within total darkness another five or ten minutes, much less another twenty minutes.

Think for a moment how unfathomable eternity in darkness would be. Jesus told us of a place where this blackness exists, referencing an “outer darkness” at least three times all in the book of Matthew. The problem I’ve had in finding answers to this is there’s no general agreement among scholars as to what it is, where it is, or for whom it’s intended. Whether it’s a place void of light—since God is pure light—or Hell itself. Most say it’s the place where souls dwell who do not accept or have rejected the Word of Christ. One thing is certain—Hell’s outer darkness is a place of total darkness and total obscurity void of God’s presence…which brought me back to my brief encounter many years ago.

Total obscurity, a blackness that allowed me to be totally blind and briefly void of life described to the tee what complete separation from God must be like: anguish, despair, fear, and hopelessness for eternity; the worst consequence imaginable. Foolish people joke about this judgement, but it’s no laughing matter to me. A terrible and grievous punishment that lasts forever in a place of unimaginable damnation in which there are no good things, no comforting breezes, no rest, no kind words, unending fear, no end to the oblivion, and no end to the total blackness.

David Cravatta, Associate VP – Investments
Wells Fargo Advisors
11300 State Road 54 Trinity, FL 34665
Tel 727-815-3000 • Fax 727-372-7964
Toll Free 800-759-3599
David.Cravatta@wfadvisors.com
www.wfadvisors.com/david.cravatta

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