Burning Questions: Would a Loving God Really Send Someone to Hell?
What we believe about ETERNITY impacts how we live TODAY.1 Peter 3:15NIV
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Why this question specifically?-There are a growing number of influential leaders who have famously argued against even the existence of Hell.-The growth of universalism – which argues that everyone goes to Heaven – states that because God is love, Hell is only make believe. It is used to scare us into being good, but no one will actually end up there.-We love the idea of grace and extravagant love, and have trouble reconciling a God who would allow anyone to suffer eternally.
There are over 162 references in the New Testament alone which warns of hell. Over 70 of these references were uttered by Jesus himself
It’s difficult to ignore:-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.”-Matthew 23:33: “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”-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.’ “-Luke 13:28: “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.”-Luke 16:23: “In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.”
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So 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.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ’
The point of this parable of Jesus is to pay close attention to your ETERNAL status and not necessarily your EARTHLY status.
Why would a loving God SEND someone to hell?-Biblically, Hell is a choice. It’s YOUR choice and mine.-A choice that people are allowed to make.-God doesn’t WANT anyone to perish (John 3:16), but He grants people the freedom to reject him.-Biblically, Hell is a choice – a choice to reject Heaven.
Two of the scariest lies in our world right now:
LIE #1: We are all good people-Romans 3:9-12 – “there is no one righteousness”-Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and fallen short of His glory”
LIE #2 God would never punish me-He is a God of truth & grace. He is a God of love AND a God of justice.-Revelation 20 – “each person was judged according to what they had done.”
There’s an equally important question we MUST answer today.
The important question as regards to the reality of Hell is: What are we doing about it? Add your private notes…• • •What we believe about ETERNITY impacts how we live TODAY.