If you have not yet figured it out, I am passionate that theology and doctrine is taught. NOT just so that we may grow in head knowledge because you can be a Bible-head and still chose to deliberately violate the will of God. 1 Timothy 4:16 says “Watch your life and doctrine closely.” The two are tied together, thus learning doctrine without it affecting your life is meaningless - we need doctrine to melt our hearts and cause it to shape us into loving God and people more, and wanting to follow His will for our lives as a result.
The Gospel is not just, about what happens when we die, but about our lives being changed here. I know that like most Christians, we do not want to dwell on the reality of hell, but at the same time, we must never forget there is a hell, even if it is a mystery to what it is specifically. Other wise what is the point of examining yourself to see if you are in the faith? Therefore, we must address the issue of Hell. However, do so; we must confront our own view of God.
“Do you want to believe in a God who shows His power by punishing non-Christians and who magnifies His mercy by blessing Christians forever? Do you want to? Be honest. Do you want to believe in a God like this? Here’s my gut-level, honest answer: No.
No way. I have family and friends who reject Jesus. I do not want to believe in a God who punishes non-Christians. Okay, maybe He should punish extremely wicked people – that makes some sense. But punishment in hell for seemingly good people, or those who simply chose the wrong religion? That feels a bit harsh, at lest according to my sense of justice.
But let me ask you another question.
Could you believe in a God who decides to punish people who don’t believe in Jesus? A God who wants to show His power by punishing those who don’t follow His Son?
The problem is that we often respond to the second question because of our response to the first. In other words, because there are things that we don’t want to believe about God, we therefore decide that we can’t believe them.” Francis Chan in his book ‘Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity and the things we made up’
We cannot let pop culture define hell as something cartoon- or fable-like and harmless. No partial truths.
Key Facts about Eternity
1. Everyone will exist eternally either in heaven or hell (Daniel 12:2,3; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:14,15)
2. Everyone has only one life in which to determine his or her destiny. (Hebrews 9:27)
3. Heaven or hell is determined by whether a person believes in Christ alone to save them and does what Christ commands. (John 3:16, 36)
4. Hell was designed originally for Satan and his demons. (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10)
5. Hell will also punish the sin of those who reject Christ. (Matthew 13:41,50; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).
6. Hell is conscious torment. (Matthew 13:50; Mark 9:48; Revelation 14:10)
7. Hell is eternal and irreversible. (Revelation 14:11; Revelation 20:14; Revelation 20:15)
As a Christian, we need to remind ourselves that the Gospel is not just about what happens when we die, but about lives being changed here, thus we must talk about Hell. Because if we care about the people Jesus loves, the people He died for so that they would not experience hell, but have abundant kingdom life here on this earth and be with Him for all eternity. How can we not?
Or to quote Charles Spurgeon “If sinners be dammed, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”