Is There Really a Place Called Hell?
“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him.” (Luke 12:5).
Have you ever heard a pastor preach a sermon on the topic of hell? You probably haven’t heard many. Why? Because, in today’s society, hell is not very politically correct. It’s not a popular topic. We don’t want to talk about hell because it might offend people. How different our world is today from the world that Jonathan Edwards lived in from 1703-1758 when he preached his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Consider the words of this “hellfire and brimstone preacher.”
“So that, thus it is that natural men are held in the hand of God, over the pit of hell; they have deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully provoked, his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering the executions of the fierceness of his wrath in hell, and they have done nothing in the least to appease or stop that anger, neither is God in the least bound by any promise to hold them up one moment; the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and would lay hold on them, and swallow them up… they have no interest in any Saviour, there are no means within reach that can be any security to them. In short, they have no refuge, nothing to take hold of; all that preserves them every moment is the mere arbitrary will, and uncovenanted, unobliged forbearance of an incensed God.”
Some of you might wonder why I would choose such a topic for my daily devotional. It doesn’t seem very encouraging! Well, first of all, as Charles Spurgeon said, “I believe that the more the church of God strains after the forgiveness of sinners, and the more she seeks in her life prayer to teach sinners what sin is, and what the blood of Christ is, and what the hell that must follow if sin be not washed out, and what the heaven is which will be ensured to all those who are cleansed from sin, the more she keeps to this the better.”
Why talk about hell? Because hell is real, and the Bible tells us that the penalty for our sins is to suffer and be punished eternally in a place called hell (Matt. 25:46). But God never intended for any human being to go to hell. The Bible says that hell was created for the devil and his fallen angels (Matt. 25:41). However, the Bible also makes it clear that because of our sin nature, we too are destined to go to hell, unless we receive forgiveness for our sins. Consider this story that Jesus told about a rich man who went to hell.
“So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in hell, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’” (Luke 16:19-31).
“The same Bible which teaches that God in mercy and compassion sent Christ to die for sinners, does also teach that God hates sin, and must from His very nature punish all who cleave to sin or refuse the salvation He has provided. God knows that I never speak of hell without pain and sorrow. I would gladly offer the salvation of the Gospel to the very chief of sinners. I would willingly say to the vilest sinner of mankind on his deathbed, “Repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” But God forbid that I should ever keep back from mortal man that scripture reveals a hell as well as heaven…that men may be lost as well as saved.” (JC Ryle).
Everyone will die one day. After you die, there is only one of two different places where you can go – Heaven or hell. Do not go to hell! Today, if you will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – if you will call upon the name of the Lord – you will be saved. If you will trust in Jesus, then God has promised that you will live forever in a paradise called Heaven. You don’t have to go to hell, but if you reject Jesus as Lord and Saviour, then that is where you’re headed. Don’t wait until tomorrow – call on His name today!
~ To see my critical response to Rob Bell’s heretical book “Love Wins” click HERE.
Pastor Chris Jordan