“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 20 v 11 – 15
When you face God on the Day of Judgement what are you going to say to him? What defence will you use to justify yourself before him? What line will you take? What angle will you go for? Maybe you’ll excuse yourself by saying that you never believed in God. But standing before him saying that is going to sound a little pathetic. Maybe you’ll try and point to all the good deeds you have done and how you are too good a person to go to Hell. But when faced with absolute, perfect and infinite holiness of God you’re deeds are going to be thrown into sharp relief.
The simple truth about mankind is that left to our devices we are naturally rebels against God. Left on our own we are depraved beings. Left to our own devices we make very poor company indeed. Left to our own devices everything we do is a sin. Left to our own devices we run our Hell bound race indifferent to the cost.
Don’t believe me? As Paul writes:
“and everything that does not come from faith is sin.”
Romans 8 v 23
Paul relates our moral standing not to how we treat our fellow man but to our relationship with God. If we have no faith in God then nothing we do is morally good. For if we have no faith in God we have no faith in truth, no faith in righteousness, no faith in good for all these things are God.
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Romans 1 v 21
Welcome to my two part mini-series on Hell. Part number one will deal with the question:
How can a God of love punish people in hell?
There are many who would say that Hell cannot exist, that God loves us all too much for hell to exist and that the church shouldn't tell people about hell. Unfortunately the church has turned away from preaching 'hell and damnation' preferring to preach an 'easier' message that is more what people want to hear. We shall see over the course of the next two articles how pathetic this is. But first let us turn our attention to the existence of both Hell and a loving God. Can both exist together without contradiction?
“What the theologians would technically call [finger-quotes] hell [finger-quotes]”
I heard a minister say this at a church once. I didn't walk out; looking back on it I wish I had. For it is this kind of insidious thinking that damages the church. Over the course of this article I will prove that not only is Hell an entirely logical part of the Christian faith it is also necessary. Without Hell Christianity is nothing.