This is my second submission to our local paper.
Last week I introduced the topic of Hell. I shared that even though I may not enjoy writing about Hell and you may not enjoy reading about Hell it is necessary to do so.
While we often do not want to talk or think about Hell Jesus had no such problem talking about Hell. In fact, He did it a lot. As I write this my goal is not to share my opinions on Hell. My goal is not to convince you to believe what I do about Hell. However, my goal is to clearly communicate what Jesus thinks of and has taught about Hell. I will do this as faithfully and honestly as I am able. My prayer is that your beliefs and feelings regarding Hell would be derived from God’s Word as found in the Bible and specifically what Jesus has taught us about Hell.
So what has Jesus taught us about Hell?
Jesus said in Matthew 25:46, ‘Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’ Jesus said in 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.’ Jesus said in Matthew 5:30, ‘It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.’
First, Jesus clearly teaches that Hell is a real place. The belief of 1st century Judaism was that Hell was a real place of punishment some people went to after death and Jesus affirms this teaching.
Second, Jesus clearly teaches that Hell is eternal. This means there is no end. Jesus describes Hell as ‘eternal punishment’ in Matthew 25:46 not temporary punishment.
Third, Jesus clearly teaches that a person’s eternal condition is set upon death. There is no evidence anyone will have a second chance to avoid Hell after death.
Fourth, Jesus clearly teaches that Hell is a place of pain and suffering. In Matthew 8:12 Jesus describes Hell as a place of complete darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth. In Matthew 13:40-42 Jesus uses imagery of fire to describe Hell. It is clear that Hell will not be the party AC/DC describes in the song Highway to Hell; no matter how great the guitar riff in that song may be.
Fifth, Jesus clearly teaches that some people will go to Hell. It may not be a popular message but it is the message of Jesus Christ regarding Hell.
If you have read up to this point please do me a favor. Please read next week’s column. What I shared this week is not the whole story. There is more to come. See, Jesus not only taught us about the realities of Hell. He did something about it. We will expound on that next week. May Jesus Christ give you grace and peace today and at all times.
I work for the Minnesota Iowa Baptist Conference as their Web Administrator. Part of my job is to make sure that we post accurate contact information on the convergemibc.org website. While doing so, I came across your new website and blog.
I appreciate your willingness to talk about hell and that you support what you say with scripture. It is not an easy subject, but God’s holiness and justice demands a consequence for our sin – eternal death. Thankfully, God lovingly paid the sin-debt that we owed through His Son. I would really like to see your next article in which you expound on what Jesus did. That is the joy and awe of a gracious God.
I hope you have a blessed day.
A man who preaches the full counsel of God! A man of God who shines light in dark places!
What a powerful message about how much God loves mankind, about how important it is to repent of our sins and trust in the only one worthy to take away the sins of the world and Save us from an eternity in a place of eternal torment.
May the Lord bless you Pastor for sharing the truth.
, I just don’t understand how that can be meissd, nor why some other, supposedly more comprehensive obedience is required or expected in order to get saved. Exactly But like Pearl said, the answer may be keeping those religious peddlers in business. Though, as you say, The results are God’s problem, not the messenger’s I am often so frustrated when folks can’t see the simplicity of the Gospel that, were it possible, I’d reach right through the computer screen and drag them out of there to sit beside me at my desk and talk to them until they understand.. Yet I surely realize that, however we persuade, they may never want to understand (willingly ignorant) it is still their decision and we cannot force it. Too often theologians, educated beyond their ability to communicate, make simplicity complicated.In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Though, as you say, “The results are God’s broplem, not the messenger’s” I am often so frustrated when folks can’t see the simplicity of the Gospel that, were it possible, I’d reach right through the computer screen and drag them out of there to sit beside me at my desk and talk to them until they understand..I forgot about that end of things. That is very true though a different angle than I was thinking of.When witnessing I have to remind myself that salvation is between the sinner and God and I am just the messenger. It has nothing to do with me: it is neither my blood nor my message, and I am not authorized to diminish or augment or otherwise change the message in hopes of gaining satisfaction that the person really did believe, or even understood me correctly. Nor am I responsible for their rejection. I am only responsible to keep on task and make it about Christ vs. their sin, leaving the results up to God. It is very difficult and takes a lot of faith on my end. I always want to add something from myself to make sure they understood, or whatever, but then I find there is really nothing I can say that won’t just complicate things and make a mess of it. All I can do is present the gospel as it is and realize only the Holy Spirit can bring the conviction of it’s truth to the sinner in need. I cannot make them see anything, nor can I make them make the right choice, nor can I assure myself that they really did get saved because only the Holy Spirit can see their heart (though rejection is pretty straightforward). But that is really as it should be because the whole thing is between God and them and not even my business, except to present the message. It is really a lowly place God has given us, and rightly so, that it might be all of Him. But that position makes it really scary to preach Christ alone because our natural bent is toward doing something, or adding something from ourselves into the equation so we can make sure it was done right (walking by sight, not faith). At least, that is how it is for me.But doing that always fails, as the LSers always show (whether they mean to or not) in that it is never enough. First it is make a public commitment to Jesus as Lord. But that is not enough because now it must be shown by a changed life. But that is not enough because now that change must be permanent. But that is not enough because now there must be more and deeper change. But that is not enough and it never ends and never really is enough so we have men like MacArthur saying you can have assurance but never certainty. Which is almost semi logical because what sight demands is never going to be enough. There are never enough signs or other indicators to generate faith. Faith comes by hearing, not by sight. But now I am officially rambling.Anyway, I almost think it takes more faith to share the gospel than to believe it.JanH