I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Luke 12:4-5
A while back we gathered questions from our members at Brookwood Church. From those questions, our pastor, Perry Duggar, created a message series. (You can watch it here). This week we will look at the question, “Is There Really a Hell?” Aren’t you glad you got out of bed to read this? Be encouraged. Next week we get to talk about “What Heaven is Like.”
Hell is not something that we really like to think about. Hell is unimaginable. Hell is torturous.
Many people question why a good God would create such a place. To some the idea of Hell makes God a little less good. To others Hell just seems impossible. They have relegated Hell to mythology and superstition. But, there’s a problem with writing it off.
Jesus talked about Hell more than any other person in the Bible. Just surf over to biblegateway.com or youversion.com and search the word “Hell.” The word pops up more in the Gospels than in any other place in Scripture. If Hell wasn’t real, then why would Jesus have dedicated so much of His teaching to it?
Honestly, I don’t like to think about Hell. But, here’s the deal, if we are going to believe any of Jesus’ words, we have to believe all of them. It’s easy to hold on to the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). Our hope is that others especially would hold on to that one.
Jesus promised the hope of salvation. Jesus offered the pathway to healing and wholeness. Jesus pointed to a heavenly home. Jesus also outlined the consequences of a life lived apart from God: an eternity in Hell.
If there was no consequence, would people do good just to do good or avoid evil just to avoid it? The fear of Hell was never meant to paralyze us, but to move us forward.
If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ and trust Him for your salvation, then you don’t need to worry about Hell. That’s settled. What we do need to consider is how to help others connect with God. As we live our lives in the flow of God’s Spirit, we make ourselves available to God and His work. We don’t need to work hard to coerce anyone into the Kingdom. As Rick Warren says, “If the fruit is ripe, you don’t have to yank it.”
Who has God put in your path that you can influence for Christ? Pray for that person, and then look for opportunities to serve them. Separation from God in Hell will be horrible, but separation from God on earth is not that great either.