Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Reality of Hell

In today's reading of Matthew 24:29-51, most of us would gloss over verse 50-51
50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This is a description of hell, something we are not comfortable talking about and probably not researched further. God must have thought it important to include many of His thoughts about hell in scriptures. Go to and there are many good bible tools in there. Search for the words "judgment", "hades" and "hell". Here's an excerpt from something I have kept for my sermon illustrations. Good mini article:

Many things we don't know about hell. But Jesus and the New Testament writers used every image in their power to tell us that hell is real, it's terrible, it's something to be feared, and something to avoid. In his description of the last judgment, Jesus taught that some would go to eternal punishment, some to eternal life (Matt. 25:46*). In other words, hell will be as real and as lasting as heaven.

The horror of hell is not physical pain. After all, the Bible tells us hell was "prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41**), and they're not physical beings. Rather the fire and outer darkness and the thirst depict spiritual separation from God, moral remorse, the consciousness that one deserves what he's getting.

Hell is disintegration -- the eternal loss of being a real person. In hell the mathematician who lived for his science can't add two and two. The concert pianist who worshiped himself through his art can't play a simple scale. The man who lived for sex goes on in eternal lust, with no body to exploit. The woman who made a god out of fashion has a thousand dresses but no mirror! Hell is eternal desire -- eternally unfulfilled.

But there's another side. G.K. Chesterton once remarked, "Hell is God's great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human personality." Hell, a compliment? Yes, because God is saying to us, "You are significant. I take you seriously. Choose to reject me -- choose hell if you will. I will let you go." 

Lieghton Ford, Good News is for Sharing, 1977, David C. Cook Publishing Co., p. 34.

That was his way of stressing the fact that the very God who loves us is the one who respects our decisions. He loves us, but he does not force his love on us. To force love is to commit assault. He allows us to decide. He loves us, he encourages our response, he woos us, he pursues us, he urges us, but he does not force us, because he respects us.

No one who is ever in hell will be able to say to God, "You put me here," and no one who is in heaven will ever be able to say, "I put myself here." 

John Hannah.

*Matt 25:46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

**Matt. 25:41 “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.

In my next post, I'll point you to a wonderful article about heaven. A Christian philospher biblically answers some of the most interesting questions we can ask about heaven!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Pastor Chris Kam,

    I am sending you some real experience and reading to add to your article above. Most people including Christians themselves do not believe in Hell. They feel what the world had to offer is so great that they are so reluctant to even think of Heaven and Hell.

    God is working in a remarkable way during this end times. He has brought many of his saints to Heaven and Hell to experience and tell His children on earth that these do EXIST and it is REAL!.

    I have attached some URL supporting to your article above. You may have come accross some of them but it could also be useful to those whom are not expose yet.

    1- Christians Going to Hell

    2- 23 Minutes in Hell

    3- Revelation of Hell

    4- Hell's Best Kept Secret

    5- Hell is real I went there

    6- A Devine Revelation of Hell