Visions of Hell
Bill Weise is a clean-cut real estate agent from Southern California. His wife, Annette, describes him as emotionally stable, churchgoing and certainly “not a complainer.”
Yet Weise can’t stop talking about what happened to him on Nov. 23, 1998, the night he tumbled into one of the raging theological debates of modern times, the night he was plucked from his bedroom and sent straight to hell.
“We came home from a prayer meeting on the night of the 22nd, went to bed, and at 3 o’clock in the morning, the Lord picked me up and dropped me off in a prison cell in hell,” Weise explained in a recent television interview. “I did not realize where I was, but I noticed immediately the heat.”
Sharing his cell, Weise says, were two 13-foot-tall reptilian creatures, pacing around and cursing God. When they noticed Weise arrive, the first one set about breaking Weise’s bones against a stone wall, and the second one used its huge claws to tear the flesh from Weise’s body. Later, Weise beheld a lake of fire crammed with sinners, and was carried up a long tunnel to kneel at the feet of Jesus before being returned to his house in California. It’s a story Weise has spread worldwide since the release of his book: 23 Minutes in Hell: One Man’s Story of What He Saw, Heard and Felt in That Place of Torment.
The funny thing about hell is that a decisive majority of Americans believes it is an absolutely real place, but those who try to describe what goes on there come off sounding like lunatics.
The pressure to explain hell comes from its enduring – indeed rising – popularity. According to a recent Harris poll, far more Americans believe in a literal hell (62%) than believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution (42%). Twice as many believe in hell than in witches, and hell beats out UFOs (35%), ghosts (41%) and the Virgin Birth (60%).
In fact, polls by the Gallup organization claim to have tracked a long upward trend for belief in hell, rising from 52% in 1953 to a peak of 71% in 2001 before relaxing to 69% last year. That’s a 13 percent jump for literal hell from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush.
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Go to heaven for the climate. Hell for the company.
AC/DC - Hell ain't a bad place to be (live in Paris)
A different take on Hell sung by Bon Scott who died from alcohol poisoning in 1980. It is reported that his is the most visited grave in Australia.