Hell, No!

Do you believe in hell?

Hell, no! A simple "no" would have done it.

Funny how when we want to give our words an emotional charge, we'll invoke concepts taught by the historic Christian faith. Not to mention how often we find "Christ!" or "God!" or "Damn it!" punctuating ordinary conversation. But I digress.

I do believe there's a hell. In fact hell witnesses to the true significance of human beings and God's respect for us. The true God is an awesome God indeed. There is abundant biblical support for the notion of hell, a place of eternal suffering. Jesus warned of hell frequently. But you'll not find me quoting Scripture here. If you believe the Scriptures, then hell isn't in question for you. If you don't believe the Scriptures, quoting them won't convince you of the existence of hell.

My purpose here is to show that the existence of hell is an eminently reasonable conviction to embrace.

You really do believe in hell!

In fact, if you are a wise parent you give your kids hell every day. When your child disobeys there are consequences. Right? Often the consequence is an angry look or emotional explosion. Not the best form of discipline, but we've all fallen prey to it. On our better days we calmly impose a consequence appropriate to the child's age. Time outs, docking allowances, holding back the car keys are all precursors to a more severe consequence to come if the behavior continues. Disobedience is, after all, a rejection of the parent. Children are naturally disobedient because they possess from conception humanity's sinful nature. Wise parents recognize and accept that. Their love and discipline is administered with the prayer that the gospel will take hold early on in their hearts.

But suppose the child grows up to adopt values and goals contrary to his upbringing. A sensitive parent will, no doubt, grieve such a development. But a wise parent will not continue to impose consequences that were appropriate to childhood. What to do? It doesn't come easily, but we let the person go. We don't own our children. Respect for them in their adult life requires that we accept their choices whether we approve of them or not. Often those choices will be unwise and hurtful, perhaps even self-destructive.

The Thinker
The Thinker | Source

I'm getting along OK without God

Indeed there are many attractive atheists, agnostics and worldlings who aver to a very comfortable and happy life without any involvement with God. This claim shows how long-suffering and merciful God is. He indeed allows a life that is far more comfortable than we deserve. His call to follow him is like a still small voice often drowned out by the clanging claims of the world. Yet in the quiet of the night, alone with our ruminations we hear it. That's when we once again choose either to respond or to deny and drown Him out. One day there will be no more quiet nights in which to make that choice.

God, a wise parent

Should we expect anything less of God? During our earthly life we make choices that are either in line with His call or contrary to it. When we disobey we experience God imposed "time outs" or we don't get the "car keys." Ultimately, if we insist on living out our lives apart from God, He respects our choice by allowing us to live for all eternity without him. Whatever images you associate with hell, at its core hell is eternal separation from our Creator. When you consider that we were created for intimacy with Him there can be no greater suffering than forever being separated from Him. You may fault God for such a harsh outcome to disobedience. If he overruled a person's choice to live without him, would He not be like that frantic parent still trying to control his 40 year old son?

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Comments - I'm listening. 29 comments

liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

SwordofManticorE , Scripture is always good to quote.


SwordofManticorE profile image

SwordofManticorE 3 years ago from Burlington

Romans 16:17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Good to have you stop by Pastor Brad. Thanks for your commendation.


Pastor Brad profile image

Pastor Brad 3 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

LiftAndSoar ... Always moved by your gracious words, even in the light of rather scathing accusations. You are an encouragement and a great testimony, my friend.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

I respect an opposite opinion not because you need it, but out of faithfulness to the Lord we both serve. Besides there's a large audience listening in on our conversation. Ultmately, we'll both answer for our words and thoughts. My confidence rests not in being right, but in Christ alone. I hope that's where yours is. Let's leave it there.


SwordofManticorE profile image

SwordofManticorE 3 years ago from Burlington

My anger is no different than Christ and Paul's anger was. Christ called them hypocrites and vipers. The religious leaders who thought they alone were saved, just as you do. I am of no need of your respect. If you want to delete my posts, go right ahead. I said what I had to. And just as I suspected about you. You cannot handle constructive criticism. You have been given an opportunity and you wasted it due to your pride and arrogance. If you combine a carnal view to scripture with fear, blind ego, self-righteous pride, a hidden desire for vengeance and spark the religious engine with a pharisaical spirit. You get a determined believer of hell. A spiritual terrorist. To suppose that God would bring beings into existence for both His purpose and pleasure who He knew in advance without mercy would be infinite losers by that existence, is to charge him a hypocrite with the utmost malignity. Spiritual terrorists like you are responsible for the deaths of many who have committed suicide because of their fears of hell.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Wow! a lot of anger there, SwordofManticorE. Note that I approved your response as an indication of my respect for your opposing point of view. Wouldn't it be easier to have a rational conversation without calling into question another's love or integrity?


SwordofManticorE profile image

SwordofManticorE 3 years ago from Burlington

That I am furious at those who believe and teach that the God of absolute love would create such a place and trap new believers in the fear of going there is no different than Christ's harsh words to the Pharisees that set traps for Him. Only a carnal minded person such as yourself could interpret scripture the way you do and end up believing that God could be that horrible. You read the print in the bible but fail to read the white between it. I admit that I believed in that foolishness, and feared going there when I believed in it, but a friend of mine taught me how to read scripture and its spiritual meaning. What I have learned is beyond amazing, and I would share with those who desire to leave the foolish belief of eternal torture or annihilation. As for those who would refuse to disbelieve in hell, why should I even attempt. The reality of hell and its existence is simple. You find its existence in the hidden desires of the hearts of those who want it to be real. It is not God who demands justice, it is people like yourselves. You talk, act and play the holy part, but your hearts desires in your belief of hell expose the pharisaical hypocrisy in you. This hub for example is spiritual terrorism and a poor and lazy way to save mankind from this mythical place. If you truly love your fellow man as you should, you would not have to make such a useless hub, when all you need to do is be a shining example to the unbeliever and they will follow God willing. That you use the rich man in Luke 16 to support your belief in hell is another example of a carnal interpretation of scripture. The rich man is not some guy who is now in hell, and it does not say that all the poor go to heaven. This parable is about the prophecy of God's wrath on Judah (rich man), and the coming age of the new covenant with the blessings of God given to the gentiles (Lazarus). You think yourself wise in your carnal interpretation of scripture, but you fool yourself. You have been given the opportunity for something wonderful right now, but if your heart is not in the right place, you will lose it.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

SwordofManticorE , glad you stopped by. You're certainly entitled to your opinion. A few observations. Yes, I just read your hub, "If Hell is Real."

I find it curious that those who deny hell become so indignant and furious with us who believe there is a hell. The very reaction you assume to be a right for yourself, you deny to God.

None of us can make any judgment regarding what percentage of human beings go to hell. We just don't have the data. So your numerous allusions to God sending most of his creation to hell is groundless.

While you raise some interesting questions regarding some isolated Scriptures, you ignore the overwhelming Scriptural evidence that indicates that there is a hell. Jesus spoke of a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth no less than six times.

Further if there is no hell, tell that to the rich man mentioned in Luke 16 who begged for a little water to cool his tongue for he was anguishing in flame.

You can parse Greek words such as hades and gehenna all you want but the context makes it quite clear that they describe a place one would not want to visit.

Having written the above, there is no place for the "hell fire and brimstone" attitude that some who believe in hell exhibit. I'm offended and put off by them as much as you are. Further it is never appropriate to declare that anyone is in hell. That is God's prerogative. If the thief on the cross was saved at the last minute, who's to say there aren't others who turn to Christ at the 11th hour. Finally, only God knows the heart of man. Jesus warned that many will call out "Lord, Lord" but will not be recognized by the Father. We'd be wise to hold our peace regarding the eternal state of any man or woman, dead or alive.


SwordofManticorE profile image

SwordofManticorE 3 years ago from Burlington

I use to believe in hell, thanks to my heavenly father fron sparing me from that utter nonsense.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks, Anon, for a good observation/question. It's important to see that in the Bible, as in human conversation, words get their meaning from the context in which they are spoken. If you hear the words "Slow down" out of context they could means "stop talking so fast" or "make the car go more slowly so I can read the house number" or "if you don't slow down some you can expect a heart attack." See? Same words, but each with its own special nuance.

So it is with "fear" in the Scriptures. The fear (read respect) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Perfect love casts out fear (read fear of condemnation from God. His love is perfect in that for He gave his only Son that whoever believes may have eternal life.

Christians believe in hell not out of fear, nor to intimidate folks their way. Rather it's taught in the Scriptures so we believe it. Fact is that over and over God addresses his people with the words "do not fear" Everyone who has embraced Christ by faith need not fear God's condemnation.


Anon 4 years ago

Doesn't the bible also say that God is perfect love and that perfect love CASTS OUT fear? So, do we fear God or not?


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

HI Trish, good to hear from you again. As usual you offer thoughtful comments with a gracious spirit. I too am troubled that noble people who offer a lot to society may end up in hell. In fact I wrote a hub recently addressing this. http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/When-Peopl...

But as you know, I'm committed to the Scriptures. There are those who twist Scripture to justify their denying hell. I think that lacks integrity. When it comes to who suffers hell, there are issues at stake that mere mortals are not privy to. That's where I must leave it.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

I doubt very much that hell exists. I can't know for absolute certain, but I consider it unlikely ~ even though there may be people who might deserve it.

This does not mean that I do not believe in the continuation of the 'life' of the 'soul' after death. I don't really know enough to be sure about that.

What I find sad is the Christian suggestion that those who don't, or can't, accept the 'truth' of the Bible stories ~ of God and Jesus ~ are destined for eternal horrific punishment.

They are not the people who, in my opinion, deserve punishment. It is the murderers, torturers, child abusers, etc, who don't deserve 'heavenly' rewards.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Yes I did. Sorry, not convinced. But hey, time will tell.


Hell N0 4 years ago

Obviously you missed my Rich man and Lazarus Parable hub. I've covered it all. Hellers have no leg to stand on against those who know a few key things about scripture, and Gods plan of saving the world. I've written several hubs using plain English on this very subject.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

OK, I read your hubs. The disdain with which you hold us who continue to believe the doctrine of hell makes it a little hard to process what you say. The number of times a word is used somewhere is totally irrelevant and that Paul didn't mention hell is also beside the point. The rich man in Luke 16 was in a place he wished he could leave. He begged that warning about this place be given to his family. I know the word used there is Hades, but clearly Jesus' meaning here is that there's a heaven and there's another place we'd rather not be. Yes, there are absurd caricatures of hell. It is these that need to be rejected, but not the concept itself.


Hell N0 4 years ago

Wrong. My hubs pretty well destroy the concept. The concept is totally unscriptural and hell is a mistranslation every time it is used. So yes, I do deny that the scriptures teach such an evil and life draining concept.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Well, Hell NO, we obviously live in two different world and life views. You're entitled to your opinion, but you can hardly deny that the Scriptures teach that there is hell. Jesus spoke of it often. I accept the Scriptures reliable and useful to know and serve God. And why would belief in hell not be healthy? Christians gratefully recognize that Jesus took our hell for us. So there is hell but believers need not fear it so long as they are in Christ.


Hell N0 4 years ago

Fear of the Lord does not involve fearing some made up pagon teaching of burning in fire eternally. Nor is it healthy.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Don't know where you're coming from Anon, but there is a healhy fear that is part of life. You stay on the right side of the road out of fear that you might have a head on crash with an oncoming vehicle. You pay taxes lest youi face a stiff fine from Uncle Sam. A soldier fears the enemy. So yes, a healthy fear is a good thing. "The fear of the Lord is the begining of wisdom." Proverbs 9:10


Anon 4 years ago

It's all about fear, isn't it?


prosperous 4 years ago

the 2 subjects that need to be spread in this society today are, salvation and hell, either you will spend eternity in peace here on earth with King Jesus Christ or in hell with satan and his demons, who are causing so much havoc.

very good continue to write about hell, in the bible the word say hell hath enlarged itself, hell was only meant for satan and his demons.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Glad to meet you, Hell NO. Didn't realize I'd used your screen name.

You seem pretty certain about there being no hell. Well, I guess time will tell.


Hell N0 4 years ago

Someone call me? I'm Hell No. And of course hell does not exist.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

It's great to read your responses. Thanks for stopping by.


Samantha Gold profile image

Samantha Gold 5 years ago

I agree with you MsDora.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 5 years ago from The Caribbean

"Whatever images you associate with hell, at its core hell is eternal separation from our creator." This is frightening and enough to make us strive for the alternative. Thanks!


rednickle profile image

rednickle 5 years ago from New Brunswick Canada

Well though might really exist, i look at the whole hell ideology as a form of punishment people get on earth as a result of the accumulated sins they have committed. It really becomes necessary for people to learn the consequences of their actions as time goes by

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