These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power…2 Thessalonians 1:9
Before we go any further, Christians and non-Christians alike must accept one basic truth: Hell is a real place. This needs to be shared because there are false teachers among us; those who claim they are Christians, but teach that Hell is not real.
Who are these guys?
Well sadly, the list is long, but a few of the more popular heretics on the scene today are: Rob Bell (who also preaches everyone who wants to go to Heaven, goes to Heaven), Brian McLaren (who does not believe making disciples equals making adherents to the Christian religion), and Joel Osteen (who rarely mentions Hell, so as to not offend anyone).
Needless to say, these folks, and many like them, should be avoided. Are they even Christians? Only God knows, but whatever their Spirit condition, what pours out of their mouths is proof-positive they should not be teachers of God’s word. Even a baby-Christian can figure out that if Hell isn’t real, than Christ Jesus died for naught.
What the Bible Declares
While it is debatable if God spoke more about Hell than Heaven, the reality is that the place of everlasting damnation is spoken about a whole lot in the Bible. I won’t list them all, but check out some of the descriptors God uses:
- A place of darkness with weeping & gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12)
- A tormenting fire (Revelation 14:9-11)
- Suffering is endured consciously (Mark 9:43-50)
- Fiery and eternal (Revelation 20:15 and Jude 1:7)
- A place or torment (Luke 16:23)
- A place of sorrows (2 Samuel 22:6)
- A bottomless pit (Revelation 9:2)
- A place of no rest (Revelation 14:11)
As horrible as we can envision Hell to be, these things are not the worst of it. What makes Hell truly horrific and terrifying is that God is not there. Consider for a moment Christ’s experience in the Garden of Gethsemane. On the evening before His arrest, humiliation, torture, and murder, Jesus, being in agony the likes of which we have never known, sweat great drops of blood.
Was Jesus afraid of being humiliated, tortured, and murdered?
While I don’t believe He was looking forward to any of those things, I don’t think they were the primary source of His dread and agony. I believe the agonizing horror Jesus faced was being completely separated from His Father, even though it was only going to be for a relatively short period of time. Jesus knew that even one second apart from the Father was too much to bear. This is why the God-Man sweat droplets of blood.
That should give every person pause. Can we imagine the terror of momentary separation from God, let alone an eternity?
A while back I wrote a piece called ‘We Have No Idea,’ where I mulled over this passage of scripture:
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. Psalm 139:17-18
I was determined to calculate (as best I could), how many times God thinks about us individually (you can read that piece in its entirety via the link). I came to the conclusion that God thinks about each of us approximately three hundred million times per second (a number I believe to be very conservative by the way).
If this is true (and I believe it is), then we must give thought to what God could possibly be thinking about so frequently? Is He merely recounting 3oo,000,000 times a second how much He loves us? Maybe, but I contend that God is demonstrating His love for us, over and over, in practical hands-on ways.
God, by means of each divine thought, is orchestrating every minuscule thing that’s going on inside our body, from the knitting together of damaged cells, to the beat of our hearts, to the digestion of our food, to the healing of that pimple on the tip of our nose. On a grander scale, He’s producing the oxygen we need to breathe, while spinning the planet on its axis, while providing the sun and the rain, and maintaining gravity so we don’t all float away. Everything that needs to be done to keep Dave Wells (and you) going, God is doing in a loving, practical way.
Oh, and by the way, He’s doing it for the non-believers too. What they fail to grasp is that when they die, He will do nothing for them ever again.
This is Hell.
If the non-believer could experience God’s absence in this way for just five seconds, they would know the terror Jesus felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. Can you imagine Godless-ness for eternity? God paints the picture, the question that remains is, do we see it and do we believe it?
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1
- What do these passages say about God?
- What do hey say about us?
- What is our recourse?
These articles may or may not be related. As you read them, see if they line up with what God says in His Word the Bible.
- Jesus and Forgiveness (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Coming to a deeper understanding of the Fear of the Lord (adw.org)
- I don’t care how nicely you ask, I really do not wish to go to hell, thank you anyway though. (deanaohara.com)
- Did Jesus come to save us from hell? (keriwilliams.wordpress.com)
- Heaven: Where is it and How do I get there? (fredswolfe.wordpress.com)
- Universalism (theophilusmaranatha.wordpress.com)
- Questions About Hell (counselofafriend.wordpress.com)
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