Est. May 2008

23 September, 2012

Denying Hell


It’s difficult for me, having read and studied the Bible as much as I have, to wrap my head around the idea that some people still want to deny the doctrine of hell.  Jesus talks about it repeatedly; the apostles wrote about it; John wrote a book (Revelation) which makes it clear that hell exists.  In each and every reference to it, hell is the place where unrepentant sinners end up at the end of their lives.

Some folks don’t agree; there’s even a movie out about it.

And, actually, I can see why people wouldn’t want to believe in an eternal place of punishment.  When you consider that there are plenty of people out there who’ve adopted the ‘I’m-a-good-person’ mindset, you can almost empathize with them, can’t you?  I mean, I’ve got friends who I certainly hope are going to be in heaven with me, but I’m not about to say they will – I’m not God to make that decision.  And with the Bible being my guide, I know there are an awful lot of folks who aren’t going to be real happy once God makes His final decisions about where they’ll spend eternity.

One thing I’ve noticed from folks who try to deny the doctrine of eternal hell is that they can’t answer the question, ‘Why should I listen to God?’  If hell doesn’t exist and everybody’s going to go to heaven, it doesn’t really matter if we do good things for others here on earth, does it?

And even if hell is temporary, like a ‘time-out’, eventually you’ll be going to heaven, right?  So you can just go ahead and suffer through it because eventually you’re going to get out.

These folks who deny the reality of hell keep telling us all we have to do is love Jesus and we’re in.  Okay, here’s another question: if you love somebody, don’t you usually listen to what they say to do and, if they ask you do to something, don’t you usually do it?  Of course you do.  Then how are you showing your love for Jesus when you say something along the lines of, ‘Well, Jesus wasn’t really talking about an eternal hell.’?  And if Jesus wasn’t talking about an eternal hell, what else wasn’t He entirely truthful about?

See?  Now maybe you’re doubting that Jesus was completely trustworthy in what He said; now you’re not trusting Him, so guess what?  You’re not loving Him.

And remember when Jesus told His disciples to keep His commandments?  Why should we?  I mean, after all, we’re all going to go to heaven, anyway, so what’s the big deal?  Now maybe you’re thinking you don’t have to obey all of His commandments.  Guess what?  Yep, you’re not loving Him (John 14:15).

These same folks who deny the existence of hell tell us a God who consigned people to hell would be cruel and monstrous.  Really?  What’s crueler: a God who tells you that if you don’t shape up and believe in and love His Son you’ll end up with an eternal fourth-degree sunburn or a God who tells you that and then, at the end, tells you, ‘Hah, hah, just joking!’?  Personally, I think God #2 is the crueler of the two.

God doesn’t lie, He doesn’t break His promises, and He doesn’t make empty threats.  When He told us in His book that there’s a hell and those who don’t come to love and obey Him are going to end up in it for all eternity, I think the wise course of action is to take Him at His word.

Or pack a lot of sunscreen.

1 comment:

Right Truth said...

I've heard the argument that a "loving God would not sentence anyone to a Hell". But my comeback for that is that Hell exists, God does not sentence anyone to Hell, you make that choice yourself using the free will provided by a loving God, the one and only God.

Debbie
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com