Hell. Now there is a place we don’t really want to talk about. The concept of a location designed for everlasting torment is unsettling to us … and for good reason! So, people have tried to assuage their minds concerning Hell in a variety of ways:
- Some make Hell a punchline in a joke. In this approach, Hell becomes a cartoonish location that looks like a bonfire-lit cave at Silver Dollar City, managed by a down-on-his-luck demon with a potbelly and a pitchfork. If we can laugh at the idea, the emotional release might distract us long enough to avoid any deep reflection on the significance of the place.
- Others make Hell temporary. This version of Hell is a spiritual “timeout corner” where people can sit and think about what they should have done differently, before they ultimately return to life. If we think Hell is an overnight lodging, not a permanent abode, that helps us feel better.
- Still others dismiss Hell altogether, thinking it just a device religious leaders made up to keep people in line. If Hell is not real, then talk of Hell has no more real world significance than Aesop’s Fables … just a fantasy location around which we learn a moral lesson.
- Finally, others take Hell and make it the location for whoever they think is THE WORST. If Hell is the place for Satan, the anti-Christ, and Hitler … then it is mostly avoidable for anyone we know and love … and that is easier to swallow.
In general, I think people (even Christian people) minimize Hell in their own minds. We turn it into enough of an abstraction so we can sleep at night and avoid some of the implications that might ensue if we understood what Hell truly is.
Now, an argument can be made that as Christians we should not focus much on Hell. Why scare anyone with a discussion of it? Why not think about only what is “noble, and right, and good?”
This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in Part 4 of our “Lord of New Heaven and Earth” sermon series, we will be talking about Hell. Hell as a real place of eternal torment that the Bible (and Jesus specifically) talks about … plus we will talk about the population of Hell. Why are we going to do this?
Because God wants us to know about it.
That is why God put info about Hell into the Bible, and Revelation 20:11-15 is a central passage. This Sunday we will explore the passage together. As we do so, I want to prepare our hearts …
When we understand what the Bible says about Hell, it should MOVE US:
- It should MOVE US TO FAITH … trusting Christ as our rescuer from sin and judgment.
- It should MOVE US TO THANKFULNESS … appreciating anew what Jesus has saved us from.
- It should MOVE US TO TEARS … as we reflect on the eternal judgment to fall upon the lost.
- It should MOVE US TO ACTION … mobilized to share our faith with a dying world while they have time to repent.
Get ready to be moved by God’s Word this week.
Prayerfully approach this passage before worship on Sunday as we see the Great White Throne Judgment of God in Revelation 20:11-15.