The Biblical reality of Hell!
Today we will talk about one of the most misunderstood teachings in the Bible; hell. Most people don’t believe hell is a real place; others claim that they would not believe in a God who sends people to hell. According to Lifeway Research 60 % of Americans believe that hell is a real place but you have to be real bad to go there. 67 % of Americans believe heaven is a real place. 45% believe there are many ways to heaven. The beliefs about heaven and hell come from the Bible, but people have been making these beliefs more palatable as they continue to refuse the authority of the Bible and create their own beliefs in order to feel more comfortable. Ed Stetzer said it right. “People like to believe in a generic Christian-ish god with cafeteria doctrines”
This is why we must redefine our theology, our beliefs and in order to do so, we must go to the Scriptures. Jesus believed in hell and he spoke many times about this dreadful place.
Hell is a place created for Satan and his angels and the wicked will end up there as well. Matt.25:42,
Jesus was teaching about the end times and how he will separate the people in two categories. Here they are called: sheep and goats. (Righteous and unrighteous)
The righteous inherit the kingdom of God and the unrighteous will be punished in hell.
Verse 41 Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (v.46) They will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Jesus teaches us that hell is an eternal place; Satan, his angels and the unrighteous (wicked, sinful) will go.
Jesus said hell was made for the devil and his angels. “Prepared” (made ready) (v.41). Jesus described hell as an eternal fire (you find this description throughout the New Testament), eternal punishment (v.46)
Satan and his angels rebelled against God. 2 Pet.2:4 Hell is the destiny for those who rebel against God.
The word for hell here is Tartarus (the place of the damned or condemned)
Jude 1:6 eternal prison, place of darkness.
Hell exists because evil must be punished. “Sin has no excuse” (Randy Alcorn). Satan sinned, he will be punished in hell. People sin, then they will be punished in hell for their sins. The wicked in the Bible are those to whom Jesus said” Depart from me, I never knew you. They are the ones who don’t follow God
Hell is a testimony to God’s justice. Jude 5-8
God has determined to punish evil and sin one day in hell.
Every society in the world has a justice system. Prisons or punishments for those who break their laws. The justice system is a system of accountability, you break the law, then you will pay the consequences. God will hold everyone responsible who breaks the law. Justice will be served at Day of Judgment.
-God does not leave the guilty unpunished Ex.34:6-7;
Nahum 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger ad great in power, and the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.
God will put an end to wickedness, evil and sin. This is comforting to know that God one day will end all the evil in the world. What is God waiting for?
God is giving the world a chance to turn to him. Ez.18:23, 32. 33:11
1 Timothy 2:4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
2 Peter 3:9 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.
God is not sending people to hell, but the choice we make are real and have consequences. God is giving the world the chance to choose him, choose life. Turning away from God is to choose hell.
In the Old Testament God said to his own people, I lay before you today, a blessing and a curse. Det.11:26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse-the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods.(a blessing if you follow the Lord and don’t turn from him) a curse if you forsake the Lord and go after other gods) God told his people to choose life. 30:19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.
God is telling the world today, to choose life and not destruction. The choices we make are obvious. Our actions tell other what we have chosen. Choose Jesus!