Pastor’s Corner – Hell is Real

Dear Friends,

This past week I taught on Hell. I think this was the first time I have taught exclusively on Hell since I’ve been in ministry. Hell is a sobering topic to study.

I’ve really enjoyed the Foundations teaching series on Heaven: What the Bible Says About the Afterlife. When we consider the eternal destiny of people, we can’t talk about Heaven and not talk about Hell. As C.S. Lewis once said,  “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”

With that said, I want to share a summary of seven truths about Hell that I taught this past week. 

1.  Hell Is Real. In Matthew 25, Jesus plainly describes Hell as a place. Three times in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus mentions Hell as a place of eternal punishment.
There are over 245 references in the Bible warning us against the terror of Hell. There is more teaching in the Bible from Jesus on Hell than Heaven. The reality of Hell is something we need to grapple with often. 

2.  Hell Is a Manifestation of the Glory of God. How can that be? Think of it this way, if God is three-times holy and sin cannot be in the presence of God, then it must be utterly obliterated. The Bible speaks often of the white-hot-glory and holiness of God and that He dwells in unapproachable light – Isaiah wanted to die before Him in Isaiah 6. It is because of this that sin must be burned out of existence before Him. It is the holiness of God that cannot tolerate evil and must be dealt with in extreme ways by an extreme God. Our God is consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).

3.  Hell Is Eternal. In Matthew 25, it is called eternal punishment. It does not end – there is no stopping point. There is no annihilation of souls out of existence. This theory is not supported in Scripture. There is no opportunity to repent in Hell. There is no opportunity to escape Hell.
Hell is forever. God created man in His image – an eternal being with an eternal destiny.

4.  Hell Is Eternal Fire. In Mark 9:43, Hell is an unquenchable fire. Remember the rich man and Lazarus parable: “And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’” (Luke 16:24 ESV)

“The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  (Matthew 13:41–42 ESV)
It is called the Lake of Fire in Revelation: “Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:13–15 ESV) Is it a symbol? … If it is, it is nothing compared to the real thing. A symbol is not as great as the thing it symbolizes.

5.  Hell Is Eternal Punishment. Hell is morally deserved. There will not be anyone in Hell who does not belong there. Bruce Milne remarks, “Hell is the judicial outworking of the wrath of God upon those who have, by their deeds of omission and commission, brought this judgment down upon their own heads. The Judge of all the earth will do justly; how could he who is the origin and standard of all justice do other-wise?” The justice of God is upheld by Hell that meets out His righteousness. This can actually be a comfort to us in a world full of evil – that the righteous Judge of all the earth will punish evil. 

6.  Hell Is for Those Who Have Rejected Christ. Hell has been prepared by God for those who hate Him. We must not think of Hell as simply a place where bad people go. It is those who have rejected Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”  (John 3:36 ESV)

7.  Hell Shows Us How Much God Love Us. What is the one verse in the Bible most essentially captures the Gospel? … John 3:16. Have you ever noticed the teaching on Hell from this verse? It is the word perish. God sent us His Son to magnify His love and save us from the pains of Hell.

It is sometimes thought that Hell is somehow a great blemish on God’s love. The Bible teaches us the opposite. Hell, in fact, magnifies for us the love of God by showing us how far He would go and what He would do to His Son to demonstrate His love.

Is that not worthy of our praise? 

See you Sunday.

by His grace and to His praise, 

Wilson
Preparation for Worship – November 3, 2019
This Sunday’s sermon: The Preeminence of Christ: Heavenly Minded – Col. 3:1-4In preparation for the sermon: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”  (Colossians 3:3 ESV)Click here for this week’s bulletinHymn of the week: You Are My All in AllCatch up on sermons on iTunes or on our the Cornerstone App.We are LIVE STREAMING! Click here.
Wilson’s Weekly
Four Ways to Battle “Minor Offenses” in MarriageWhat is Heaven Like? Podcast by RC Sproul The Reformation Rescued the Gospel 


Turn BACK your clocks this weekend!