In my last three posts I’ve espoused quite a bit on the subject of Hell. I’d like to take a final (for now) post to summarize and add a few concepts that I’ve not had the opportunity to cover in those posts.
I’ve had the great honor and privilege to sit under and be taught by some great men of God. One of these individuals was Dr. Darrell Orman (no physical relation to me, although we certainly have a Spiritual relation), Pastor of First Baptist Church of Stuart Florida. These individuals have taught me how to study and discern not only the truths of Scripture, but of the world around me. And this has then translated into the development of my world view (essentially my theology). Usually when you look at a building you do not see the foundation that it is sitting upon. So you do not see the footers that were dug and poured that form the basis for holding that building up. The same is true for an individual’s life. You may not always see the foundation for which I base my arguments on, but I at least want you to have a clear enough picture to be able to discern for yourself their validity or their ineffectiveness. I’ll attempt to provide some of those insights here.
I’ve stated that I believe Hell is a finality. It is an end state that is eternal. In Isaiah 66:22-24 the prophet writes that the New Heavens and the New Earth which the Lord will make shall remain before Him. A reference to the end state of humanity. God says that one day this Earth (present day) and the Heavens above it will pass away and He will make a New Heavens and a New Earth to replace them and that the new creation will remain before him, that is it will exist forever and ever. This is referenced again by John in Revelation 21:1. Personally I think this is pretty exciting. During the first Creation (Genesis 1) you and I were not around to witness the great work that God did. But the second time around, I get a front row seat. Imagine being able to witness first hand the Glory and the Splendor of all of Creation being brought into existence right before our very eyes. How awesome will that be? But also note what will transpire in that new Heaven and Earth. Once a week and once a month God will bring all flesh (you and I) before Him, and those that are His children will go forth and look upon those that have transgressed (Sinned) against Him. I believe this is God’s baseline. His constant reminder to us of the great work he has done for us. We will never, ever forget the great Mercy, and Grace, and Love he has shown us and the great work he performed on our behalf. Hell is a finality (for all of eternity) because an eternal Hell balances an eternal Heaven. Just as God’s great Mercy is for all of eternity, so is His great Judgement for all of eternity. That is why this life is so precious and important. The choices we make now will impact us for all of eternity.
I’ve also stated that Hell is God’s holding place (prison) for Sin. The passage in Isaiah tells us that those who have transgressed against him (along with this passage in Revelation 20:10-15) will be imprisoned there and that they will not die. I have heard theologians teach that everyone, part of God’s family or not (we would say the saved and the unsaved) will receive a new, incorruptible body. Those in Hell will remain there and they will not die because their incorruptible bodies will not succumb to the fire. But at the same time, they will not experience relief from that fire. This is not a foreign concept to us. Most countries today have individuals that they imprison for life with no chance of parole. If we, as humanity can see fit to imprison those within society that we deem unworthy of freedom, how much more can a Holy and Just God see fit to imprison those who have transgressed against him for all of eternity?
I’ve stated that we (humanity) are faced with a choice as to where our destiny lies. Essentially the question that Nicodemus asked of Jesus Christ as recorded in John. And Jesus’ answer, in John 3:16 tells us that we simply need to believe in Him. Jesus tells us that we have that choice to make. We may believe in Him and have eternal Life, or we may reject Him and join the vessels of dishonor in Hell.
I’ve stated that God allowed us (humanity) to be immersed in that which was not Him in order that we could truly make that choice for His Honor and His Glory. This is a theological conclusion on my part and is based on us being joint heirs with Jesus (Romans 8:17) having suffered through being transgressors of God and bought and paid for with a price that He paid. And from this standpoint, Hell is a part of God’s great plan.
A great many people in the world today think that Christianity wants to threaten them with the prospect of Hell. Many want to turn Hell into a threat that God makes in order to get us to do what He wants us to do (if you don’t do good you’ll go to Hell). Nothing could be further from the truth. God doesn’t need to threaten us to have us do his will. He is, after all, God. Hell is not a threat, it is a consequence. It was not created for us and we have to choose to end up there. It is however, very much a reality and an integral part of God’s great plan. In order to show us who He is, God first chose to show us who He is NOT. And that required a place to keep that which God cannot have within his presence, Sin. And thus we have Hell.
Hell makes perfect theological sense if you work it through. But the only way you will escape it is through the person of Jesus Christ and his death on the Cross. You cannot escape it by explaining away its existence as the Evolutionists try to do. You cannot escape it by ignoring it as the Agnostics try to do. And you cannot escape it though your own good works and efforts. You must be rescued from it by Jesus Christ himself through belief in Him.
I truly hope that you realize you need to place your trust in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and believe in Him so that you do not spend an eternity in the finality that is a very real Hell.