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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Real Hell

There are many descriptions of hell in the Bible. None of them sound like a place I would like to go. Maybe it is described metaphorically. Maybe it is literal. I have no idea. I will not go there and do not concern myself so much with the descriptions. I am not better than others. I simply have a promise from God.

I read a novel recently that said that people fear nothingness. It said that a literal eternal painful hell was not as scary as dying into nothingness. This appears to be an observation made from this side of the grave. Those who suffer in hell may want desperately to end it all. However, hell has no end at all.

There are those who preach a hell that lasts for only a time. They say that God will give people another chance to come to heaven with Him. I wish that was true. I can see no evidence of that in the scriptures. The word "eternity" seems to capture all of time forever.

I know that some people think I am setting myself up as superior to others when I say that there is a hell and all who refuse Jesus will end up there. They think that all religions are the same and that I am merely condemning others' religions. They want to believe that good people will go to heaven regardless of their religious affiliation. That is not what the Bible says.

The Bible tells us that hell is a place where the non-believer will spend eternity. Knowing this should change my prayers. It should change my words and actions. It should change my giving and sacrifice. It should change my devotions. It should bring me to my own calling.

Jesus didn't come into the world to condemn the world. The world was already condemned. He came to save the world from hell. I, personally, have come into this world to be saved by Him. He has called and sent me to preach the Kingdom of Heaven. He has called me to remember the presence of hell. He has called me to bring as many people as I can into heaven.

We have a great attendance when we musicals at the church. We have a great attendance when we offer special services for Maundy Thursday or Christmas Eve. We have fewer people who come to our baptism services. Each person being baptized has written their own testimony of what they were like before knowing Christ, what happened to change them and why they are being baptized. Each one tells the story of how their journey to hell was diverted to a journey to heaven.

Does the average Christian believe in hell? I don't know but it seems that they don't. Otherwise there would be an urgency to see others come to know Jesus.

How can the love of Christ abide in us if we are complacent with others going to eternal hell?

2 Thessalonians 1:5-9 (ESV) 5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

1 comment: said...

If there is no Hell to come, there was really no need of Jesus to have come.
If there is no Hell to come, there is really no need of the gospel to be embraced.
If there is no Hell to come, there is really no need of holiness and righteousness.

Yah, there are those who preached and wrote books on sinners who would be placed in Hell would not be there, for long.  And I agree with you, Ps Prentis, I have looked into the Word, and cannot agree with such supposition, for there is just no support for that, in Scripture.  Even, if it turns out, that people do not remain in Hell for eternity, it is not hinted in Scripture.  What God does not reveal, there is no point speculating, when overwhelming sayings in Scripture are that those placed there, stay there for eternity.  

The argument that God is love, and therefore, cannot be doing that, sending people to Hell fire for eternity, does not hold water.  God is not just love, He is first of all, holiness.  "But that is a cruel thing to do, to roast people for all eternity!"  Well, if this is His holiness' demand, who are we to disagree!  Cruel! For that, some then argued that men would instantly be burnt up to nothingness.  That is less cruel? Not necessarily so! Well, it is up to His holiness.  Do you know, that despite our penalty was to go to Hell, from The Fall, Jesus did not go to Hell, even though He was to take our place, to suffer? His holiness only demanded that Jesus had to go to Hades, and not all the way to Hell! Who is to argue with that! Let God be God.  And don't fight His Word. 

Life or death, choose;
Heaven or Hell, choose;
Eternal blissfulness in the light with God or eternal torment in lake of fire with Satan, choose.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions