I get the opportunity to write a pastoral article for the local paper each week for a month. October was my month this year. I thought I would share these articles here as well. This was my first submission.
For the last 6 months or so I’ve known what God has wanted me to write about in these 4 weeks I have the opportunity to share with you. And I’m not happy with God about it. I’ve been hopeful another pastor would write on the topic so that it would seem redundant for me to write about it. No such luck! Yes, I will be sharing on the topic of Hell for these coming weeks. I do not enjoy sharing about Hell. I do not expect you will enjoy reading about Hell. So why in the world am I writing about Hell?
I believe everyone has a profound sense that there is something more than just the here and now. There is more to our existence than what we can see, hear and touch. Although, we may never ask them out loud, we have questions like, ‘what happened to my father when he died?’ ‘What will happen when I die?’ ‘How can I be sure?’ I believe we ask these questions because God has set eternity in the hearts of people (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Whether I or we like it or not Hell is a necessary part of this discussion.
It is a necessary part of the discussion because of Jesus. I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. I believe the Bible is the ultimate authority in all matters of faith and conduct. I take what the Bible says seriously. I take what Jesus says seriously. And Jesus talked a lot… a LOT about Hell. Here are a few examples:
Matthew 25:45-46: ‘He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’
Matthew 13:49-50: ‘So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Matthew 10:28: ‘Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear God who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’
We will look at these words of Jesus next week and begin to draw some conclusions. To conclude, one of my primary concerns as I write on Hell is that my desire to see everyone rescued from Hell might not come through on paper. Our attitude should be that of Jesus who does not want anyone to go to Hell but all to repent (2 Peter 3:9). It is shameful when followers of Jesus Christ have an attitude toward people of, ‘I can’t wait till all those evil people go to Hell and get what they deserve.’ The truth is all of us deserve Hell (Romans 3:23, 6:23). The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you this week.