“A lot of Christians today want to say, ‘Surely it is better to think of hell as a place where there will be some temporary punishments until eventually people simply lose all consciousness: annihilation.’ Others think that it is manipulative and cruel to think of hell at all: ‘Just talk about the love of God.’” These observations from D.A. Carson’s book, The God Who Is There, are then followed by four truths to ponder.
These are important for anyone who ministers the Word of God in any context.
- The person in the Bible who talks most of Hell is Jesus. “There are no friends in hell. Jesus speaks of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. So it is not surprising that he weeps over the city when people in it do not repent and believe.” Read Matthew 10:28.
- There Are Some Small Hints that this place of suffering goes on. “It is an illusory comfort to suppose that those who end up here will eventually be annihilated.” Read Revelation 20:9-10.
- Those in Hell can no longer repent. “Hell is full of people who do not want to bend the knee.” Read Revelation 22:11.
- Any Christian who teaches on these things without tears is betraying Jesus. “Christian faith and thought are not helped by angry preachers whose tone almost suggests that they take a kind of vicious glee from the tragic end of others.” Read Matthew 9:36, Acts 20:31, and Romans 9:3.
When was the last time you pondered the reality of hell, eternal condemnation under the wrath of God? Eight years ago, I preached a sermon entitled Hell: A Horrifying Reality. You may wish to listen here.