Why Hell is Real
John Piper - Powerless Pulpits Deny the Existence of Hell
A Biblical Defense of the Doctrine of Hell
There is a movement to remove the doctrine of hell from Christianity. Many churches used to preach hell fire and brimstone. Now, churches rarely preach on the reality of hell anymore out of fear of offending someone or because it does not fit the version of god they created. One of the leaders of the emergent church, Rob Bell, wrote a book called “Love Wins”, in which he argues that there is not an eternal punishment for those who reject Christ and that God does not receive glory for by punishing someone in hell. This argument is full of problems when compared to what scripture actually says.
Biblical Interpretation Guidelines
Anyone one can take a verse of scripture and twist it to fit whatever theology they want. It is important to use proper Biblical hermeneutics, the science of interpreting the Bible. The Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry offers some suggestions to examine a passage of scripture.
- Look at who wrote the passage. Determine whom the author was writing.
- Read the passage and determine what it actually says.
- Do any words in the passage need to be examined further by using a New Testament dictionary or a concordance. As a word of caution, be careful not to change the context of any word that you look up.
- Read the context of the passage, a few verses before and after. Understand the passage as a whole. Is it a story with a meaning to be learned? Is it direct teaching?
- Look at the context of the chapter and book the passage appears in.
- Look at any related verses to the subject of the passage. How do they affect the meaning of the passage?
- Look at the historical background of the passage. When was it written? Are there any cultural influences affecting the meaning of the passage?
- Develop a conclusion about what the passage is saying.
- Test your conclusions against related areas of scripture. Also, test them against what others have said.
- Determine the application to your life.
The basic concept is to let scripture interpret scripture. Be careful not to include any biases when interpreting scripture. The most important thing is to ask God to help you understand what you are reading.
Do you believe in Hell?
Biblical Words for Hell
There are three words commonly associated with hell in the Bible: Gehenna, Hades, and Sheol. Gehenna is the Old Testament word for hell. It was located outside of Jerusalem and was famous for pagan kings burned human sacrifices. In Aramaic, the word means “fireplace”. Jesus used this term twelve times in the New Testament referring to a condition and not an actual place. Hades is a holding area for everyone that has died apart from Christ while awaiting the Great White Throne Judgment. The story Jesus told of Lazarus and the rich man uses Hades when describing where the rich man is. Sheol has a few different meanings, but commonly refers to the grave.
The Case for Hell
I wish that there were no hell. I wish that everyone would go to heaven. Unfortunately, that is not what the Bible teaches.
Justice of Hell
John MacArthur on Hell
My Thinking on Hell
I was raised going to church so believing in hell is second nature to me, but I have come up with some logical arguments that layout the case that when answered, leave very little wiggle room.
- If there is no hell, there can be no justice in life – Takes some time and think about that before going on. Hitler, Capone, Stalin, Bin Laden, Nero, etc. killed many, many people. Their lives are full of hate and wickedness. Did they have to pay for their wrongdoing in this life? No. So if there is no hell, how can all of the people that they killed receive justice? Better yet, if God is a God of love, how can He allow these wicked people to go unpunished? Would a judge be good if he let them go free?
- If there is no hell, why was Jesus brutally beaten and crucified? – John 3:14-16 is an excellent verse for this, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” If there is no hell, why did God give his only Son to die? The Bible does not make sense if there is no hell. The Old Testament talks about obedience to the law. The New Testament talks about forgiveness of sins. Why, if there is no hell? Logically, it does not make sense in light of scripture.
- If there is no hell, why tell others about Jesus? – At the end of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus told his disciples to go out into the whole world and preach the good news. What is the point if there is no hell and everyone gets to heaven anyway?
The Biblical Case for Hell
Character of God
The starting point for this discussion needs to be the character of God. We cannot approach this topic with human reasoning because we are not God. Isaiah 55:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” What is God like? God is love (1 John 4:8), God is holy (1 Samuel 2:2), God is righteous (Ezra 9:15), God is just (2 Thessalonians 1:6), God is all-knowing (1 John 3:20), God is Truth (John 14:6), and so much more. For our discussion sake, we need to focus on the fact that God is holy.
Erasing Hell - Francis Chan
God is Holy
Let us start by looking at a few verses. “He is a holy God; he is a jealous God” – Joshua 24:19. 1 Samuel 2:2 says, “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” Isaiah 43:3 says, “For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” What does it mean to be holy? Webster’s online dictionary defines holy as “Spiritually whole or sound; of unimpaired innocence and virtue; free from sinful affections; pure in heart.” Habakkuk explains this further, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” – Habakkuk 1:13. Holiness is perfection.
Humans are Sinful
Romans 3:23 helps to make the case for the necessity of hell, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” What is sin? It is anything that is contrary to the will of God. Think of the Ten Commandments as a starting point, but balance that against what Jesus taught. For example, if you look at a woman lustfully, you are guilty of committing adultery with her. Same with murder, if you are angry with your brother, you are guilty of murder. Jesus was teaching us that it is not only the overt act, but also the thoughts that can lead us into sin. The whole purpose of the Ten Commandments and the Old Testament law was to show us that we are sinners and have no hope of keeping the law. I wrote a hub a few months back called, “How can a loving God Send People to Hell?” that uses an example of a courtroom to explain the justice of hell.
All that Matters is what God has to say about Hell
Penalty for Sin
There is a verse in Psalms and another one in Romans that says that there is no one righteous, no not even one. Let us also look at Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” The death it is talking about is eternal separation from God, hell. Matthew 25:46 lays this out, “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Wrath of God
- Universalism and The Reality of Eternal Punishment: The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of Eternal Pu
- The Doctrine of Hell | CRI
- David Platt on the Doctrine of Hell - Desiring God
- God so loved the world that he gave his only son… PeaceWithGod.net
PeaceWithGod.net is an interactive four-step journey to peace with God. Enjoy your visit to this site!
- Need Him Ministries
What Hell is Like?
Hell is worse than you can possible explain or imagine. It is a place of torment. It was originally created for the devil and his angels, but since man fell in the garden, we are now under judgment. “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” Matthew 23:33. The Bible describes it as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30). Is hell for eternity? John 25:46 gives us the answer, “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew adds that it is a fiery furnace (Matthew 13:42). Revelation 20:14 calls it a lake of fire. Mark (9:48 ESV) adds to the last two verses by saying that there is no death and that the fire is unquenched.
There is Hope
Hell is real and many people are going there. Jesus said that narrow is the road that leads to life and the road that leads to hell is broad. Unfortunately, most people are on the road to hell. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” That is why Jesus died on a cruel Roman cross over 2,000 years ago. God loves you so much that He will willing to kill His own Son on a cross so that you and I can be reconciled with Him. Jesus says in Revelation 3:20 says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Do you hear Him knocking? Accept his payment for your sins today and change your eternal destination to heaven to be with Him forever. Hallelujah!
My Hope is Found in Jesus Christ
You may be wondering how do I know I will go to heaven? I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life (never having sinned), was crucified, rose again from the dead, and is alive forever more. My faith is in Jesus Christ to save me from my sins because I cannot save myself. My hope is in Him and Him alone. “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” Cross references: John 3:18.
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© 2012 Eric Cramer