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Reconstructing Hell & the Gospel?

What do you believe about Hell? Is it different from what the Bible teaches? A great article titled "Remodeling Hell -- Americans Redefine the Doctrine" by Dr. Albert Mohler was posted today on his blog.

Here are some notable points:

  • "In the Pew study, just 59 percent of those surveyed indicated belief in a concept of hell 'where people who have led bad lives, and die without being sorry, are eternally punished.' That figure, Honey reports, is down from 71 percent "who said they believed in hell" as recently as a 2001 Gallup poll."
  • "Reasoning from their own experience and emotions, rather than from the Bible, many who call themselves evangelicals are just deciding that a 'good' God would not send persons to hell -- at least not anyone they know."
  • "No doctrine stands alone. There is no way to modify belief in hell without modifying the Gospel itself, for hell is an essential part of the framework of the Gospel and of the preaching of Jesus. Hell cannot be remodeled without reconstructing the Gospel message."
  • "Here is a sobering thought: Hell may disappear from the modern mind, but it will not disappear in reality. God is not impressed by our surveys."

Have you allowed your emotions, experiences, and society to form your understanding of Hell? Or have you allowed God to define it through His Word alone?

Scripture is very clear on the issue of Hell:

  • Jesus in Matthew 10:28 "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."
  • Psalm 21:9 "At the time of your appearing you will make them like a fiery furnace. In his wrath the LORD will swallow them up, and his fire will consume them."
  • Luke 16:23-24 "In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "
  • Matthew 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.'"
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:9 "These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power"
  • Revelation 21:8 "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
  • Matthew 13:42 "They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
  • Revelation 20:15 "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
  • Matthew 3:12 "His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

"The lost enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded..." C.S. Lewis

"Disbelieve hell, and you unscrew, unsettle, and unpin everything in Scripture." J.C. Ryle

A proper understanding of Hell should convict us of the serious situation of the lost around us. This image of our unbelieveing friends and family burning in Hell should be one aspect of our motivation to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with a spirit of boldness and courage.

It is my hope and prayer that I more consistently view and interact with the world around me through a more eternal and spiritual perspective as described by God.

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