Recently hell has been a hot topic of debate in evangelical circles (No pun intended). Many have wrote about Rob Bell’s book that eskews the concept and idea of hell. So it is time for me to jump on the bandwagon… not so much to evaluate Mr. Bell’s book as others have done so well in other places… (Click… Click… Click… Click… Click) but to offer a few thoughts of my own.
Below is a promotional video by Mr. Bell about his book. Once you watch it, you may understand the passion of the links above…
Hell is mentioned in Scripture many times. In the Old Testament it is described at the pit or grave. In the New Testament it is more fully developed with Jesus having more to say about it than anyone else. What follows are a few links to passages you can read to get an idea of what it is like…
Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:36-43; Matthew 18:7-9; Matthew 25:30; Luke 12:4-5; Luke 13:27-30; Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 19:20… 20:10… 20:13-15… 21:8… Isaiah 66:22-24.
From these passages of Scripture, I suggest the following for contemplation:
Faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin is the ONLY way to escape the tortures of hell.
It is impossible for words to describe in complete accuracy and detail what hell is like. Therefore Jesus used terms that were graphic enough to picture the horrors of hell.
Hell is such a horrible place that it is worth (Metaphorically) taking extreme action to avoid it. Note: This is what God did by sending Jesus to die on the cross for all who would believe. God did the “extreme action” that we couldn’t do so as to be saved!
Hell is forever.
Hell is a place of utter and complete darkness.
Hell is a place of extreme retibutive punishment from God for rejecting salvation through Jesus Christ.
Those in hell do not want to leave (The Rich Man of Lk 16 didn’t ask to leave… but to have relief).
Hell is your worst nightmare… your biggest fear… your most extreme anxiety… your greatest physical and emotional pain… all rolled into one which increases exponentially for ever and ever and ever without any relief.
There is no escape from hell.
In hell people remember this life and their opportunities to be saved.
People in hell can see those in heaven in some manner, and thus know what they are missing.
Hell, and all who are in it, are eventually thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the final place of the damned.
At the final consummation, all believers will somehow… at some time… observed those in hell and confirm that they deserve what they receive for rejecting God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. This is found in Isaiah 66:22-24…
For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain. 23 From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the Lord.
24 And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.