Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”
- Daniel 12:2
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. …
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
- Matthew 5:22, 27-30
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- Mark 10:45
“The horrors of hell are such that they cause us to instinctively recoil in disbelief and doubt. Yet, there are compelling reasons that should cause us to erase such doubt from our minds.
“First, Christ, the creator of the cosmos, clearly communicated hell’s irrevocable reality. He spent more time talking about hell than he did about heaven. In the Sermon on the Mount alone (Matthew 5-7), he explicitly warned his followers about the dangers of hell a half dozen or more times. In the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25), Christ repeatedly warned his followers of the judgment that is to come. And, in his famous story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16), Christ graphically portrayed the ﬁnality of eternal torment in hell.
“Furthermore, the concept of choice demands that we believe in hell. Without hell, there is no choice. And without choice, heaven would not be heaven; heaven would be hell. The righteous would inherit a counterfeit heaven, and the unrighteous would be incarcerated in heaven against their wills, which would be a torture worse than hell. Imagine spending a lifetime voluntarily distanced from God only to find yourself involuntarily dragged into his loving presence for all eternity; the alternative to hell is worse than hell itself in that humans made in the image of God would be stripped of freedom and forced to worship God against their will.
“Finally, common sense dictates that there must be a hell. Without hell, the wrongs of Hitler’s Holocaust will never be righted. Justice would be impugned if, after slaughtering six million Jews, Hitler merely died in the arms of his mistress with no eternal consequences. The ancients knew better than to think such a thing. David knew that for a time it might seem as though the wicked prosper in spite of their deeds, but in the end justice will be served. Common sense also dictates that without a hell there is no need for a Savior. Little needs to be said about the absurdity of suggesting that the Creator should suffer more than the cumulative sufferings of all of mankind, if there were no hell to save us from. Without hell, there is no need for salvation. Without salvation, there is no need for a sacriﬁce. And without sacrifice, there is no need for a Savior. As much as we may wish to think that all will be saved, common sense precludes the possibility.”
- Hank Hanegraaff, The Bible Answer Book (Question 61, Why Should I Believe in Hell?)
I had a wonderful friend who passed on a couple of years ago. He had a page of fine print, all verses stating that Jesus died for “all.” I would quote the last Scripture above or its counterpart in Matthew 20 that Jesus’ own words state that He died as ransom for “many.” My argument was usually most of the last paragraph. If everyone is saved, then why go to the trouble? If we are saved, we have to be saved for some reason. I tried to argue that most of my friend’s verses meant that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient in case all would come to the faith, but even Jesus knew that hell would be packed with people.
I like the C. S. Lewis metaphor that once the saved are all in Heaven, we will find that Hell is such an insignificant place that if a butterfly were to swallow it, Hell would not provide a taste. What Lewis is getting at, I think, is that Heaven will then be an infinite beautiful wonder, not soiled by a boundary between heaven and hell. That was his idea. I like it, but the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man seem to show that we will be able to see Hell.
But the point here, and the reason for Jesus speaking on the subject so often, Hell is real and the way to avoid Hell is to commit your life to Jesus.
Bringing up a belief in Hell should only be accompanied with a Hope in Jesus Christ. It is a cautionary tale that Jesus is the only salvation from eternal damnation. Thus, we have Hope, Hope in Jesus Christ.
Thus, pastor do not need to dance around “Hell and Brimstone” as if that is a long since lost concept that turns people off. Hell is real and Heaven is not only a better place, it is the only place where there is no pain and suffering. Besides, God will be there to wipe away our tears.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.