Hell:  A Controversial Subject

"What about hell?" or "Is there fire in hell?" and similar questions are on the minds of many. This unpopular subject cannot be ignored, although it makes people uncomfortable and anxious. It is probably the hardest of all Christian teachings to accept.

Some teach "universalism" - that eventually everybody will be saved and the God of love will never send anyone to hell. They believe the words "eternal" or "everlasting" do not actually mean forever. However, the same word that speaks of eternal banishment from God is also used for the eternity of heaven.

Others teach that those who refuse to accept Jesus Christ as Savior are simply annihilated, they no longer exist. The Bible does not seem to offer convincing evidence to support this view. The Bible teaches whether we are saved or lost, there is an everlasting existence of the soul.

Some believe God gives a second chance. But the Bible says "Now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2). We invite people to accept Christ right now, for we do not know when we will pass into eternity.

The Bible teaches there is hell for every person who willingly and knowingly rejects Christ as Lord and Savior. Many passages could be quoted to support that fact.

"But anyone who says, 'you fool!'
will be in danger of the fire of hell" (Matthew 5:22).

"The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out
of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13:41-42).

"Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.
The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found
written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire"
(Revelation 20:14-15).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "It is better for you
to lose one part of your body than for your whole body
to be thrown into hell" (Matthew 5:29).

Will a loving God send a man to hell? The answer from Jesus and the teachings of the Bible is, clearly, "Yes!" He does not send man willingly, but man condemns himself to eternal hell because in his blindness, stubbornness, egotism, and love of sinful pleasure, he refuses God's way of salvation and the hope of eternal life with Him.

Suppose a person is sick and goes to a doctor. The doctor diagnoses the problem and prescribes medicine. However, the advice is ignored and in a few days the person stumbles back into the doctor's office and says, "It's your fault that I'm worse. Do something."

God has prescribed the remedy for the spiritual sickness of the human race. The solution is personal faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. Since the remedy is to be born again, if we deliberately refuse it, we must suffer the horrible consequences.

Yes, there is an alternative to heaven. No matter what your conception of it may be, we know it will be separation from God and all that is holy and good. John Milton described it in Paradise Lost:

A dungeon horrible on all sides round;
As one great furnace, flamed; yet from those flames;
No light, but rather darkness visible;
Serv'd only to discover sights of woe;
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace;
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes;
That comes to all; but torture without end

Our Patient Merciful God
The Bible and the Gospel speak of God's great mercy for us ...

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