Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Hell series #1 Why Do We Have a Problem with Hell?

Eternal damnation of the lost in hell fire is a joke with the average man.  They mock the idea of hell and punctuate their conversation with the word “hell” dozens of times a day. In fact, the typical unsaved person uses the word “hell” far more each day than we Christians who believe in the awful reality of Hell fire.   

Eternal damnation in Hell fire is  a troubling doctrine for most of us Christians.   We don’t even like to think about it and most of us preachers take no pleasure in  preaching about it.  We Christians know many friendly, kind, thoughtful  neighbors, relatives and friends who have never trusted Christ, and we find it very difficult to approach and warn them about an eternity in Hell.   We are far more concerned with how they will regard us than we are in warning them to flee from the wrath to come.   

If a neighbor’s house were burning and we knew they were inside asleep, we would make every effort to awaken them.  We would pound on their door,  shout at the top of our lungs,  break their windows or break down their door in order to warn them to flee from a horrible death in the flames.   Yet, when it comes to warning them to flee from the wrath to come, we get cold feet.    

Down deep in our hearts, we Bible believing Christians; though we believe the doctrine of Hell, try to ignore and even reject the thought of our good relatives and friends who have never put their trust in Christ spending eternity in a molten lake of fire and brimstone. It seems to our minds to be far too severe.  We have no problem with the goodness of God, as declared in Romans 11:22, but we have a problem with the severity of God as taught in the same verse.  

Though we Christians love the Lord and believe His Word, we find it impossible to think and judge as God thinks and judges.  That’s understandable.  God  explains to  us in Isaiah 55:8-9 ” For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, My ways, saith the Lord. For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”     

When I think on these thoughts,  I am comforted in knowing that Abraham had the same concerns; but when he realized that God was going to rain down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah where his nephew Lot lived, he declared and we can declare with him in Genesis 18:25, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Of course He will. I am also comforted knowing with Ezekiel,  “God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” Ezekiel 33:11 

So if I find Hell so difficult and uncomfortable to think about, why do I preach it?  I preach it because the Bible clearly warns about it and God has already proven His severity in His dealings with sin when in a world-wide flood, He drowned the entire population of the earth; except for Noah and his family who were safe in the ark.  He also showed His severity when He sent down fire from Heaven and destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins.  Peter reminds us of this in II Peter 2:4-6 and 3:3-18.    

We Christians need not be depressed by the reality of Hell.  What we need, rather, is for our hearts to be broken for the lost who will spend eternity in Hell unless we warn them to flee from the wrath to come.  Paul shares with us  in Romans 9:1-3  and 10:1-4  his broken heart and burden for his own people who in spite of their religious zeal are lost and bound for Hell.   

Follow along with us over the next several weeks as we bring summaries from a series of messages we are preaching on hell from Luke 16:19-31.  In our next article we will, Lord willing, explain some names related to Hell.  Then we will deal with the story Jesus told of the rich man and beggar, Lazarus.  In another article we will deal with Hell’s evangelist.  Finally we will consider why Jesus makes a point of telling us that the rich man went to Hell, while the beggar went to Heaven.  Why would Jesus make such a point?

January 26, 2008 - Posted by | HELL

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