THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
|“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”|
The word “hell” is one of the most commonly used words in the English language, yet it is one of the least-discussed topics.
There is actually a place called Hell in the state of Michigan. The town got its name in 1841, when George Reeves, an early settler in the low, swampy place, was asked what he thought the town should be named. He said, “I don’t care, you can name it Hell for all I care.” So they did, and the name remains to this day.
But hell really is no laughing matter. According to the Bible, it is a real place. And most people don’t think they are going there. For every American who believes he or she is going to hell, there are 120 who believe they are going to heaven. So it appears that we believe in hell for some people, but certainly not for ourselves.
However, that is in direct contradiction to what Jesus said: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13–14).
Most of the biblical teaching on the topic of hell came from Christ Himself. Of all the parables that Jesus told, more than half of them relate to God’s eternal judgment of sinners. So we cannot go to the Bible and pick and choose things that personally appeal to us and throw the others aside.
As one theologian has pointed out, an endless hell can no more be removed from the New Testament than an endless heaven can.
So if you want an endless heaven, then you have to also accept an endless hell.
Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.