It's Time to Start Talking About Hell Again

The church has done itself a grave injustice by refusing to connect sinful living with the clear expected outcome of eternal torment.
The church has done itself a grave injustice by refusing to connect sinful living with the clear expected outcome of eternal torment. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Hell. Most people go there but few preachers talk about it.

"Therefore My people go into captivity because they have no knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore Sheol has enlarged itself and opened its mouth without measure; so their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he who rejoices shall descend into it" (Is. 5:13-14).

If ultimate, eternal judgment would visit God's very people, Judah and Jerusalem, due to their drinking and partying ways, what is to become of those who openly rebel and reject God and His mandates?

The church has done itself a grave injustice by refusing to connect sinful living with the clear expected outcome of eternal torment. Our arguments against the homosexual movement and the horrifying evil on display at Planned Parenthood clinics in our nation have been reduced to a debate about morals and human rights. It's no wonder we are accused of hatred when we are standing in the way of behavior that so many argue has no real impact on society. We have been forced into a position of analyzing metrics that reveal debatable negative trends in our culture that are a result of the behavior that we abhor.

For pro-lifers, it's extremely easy to be sickened by abortion—and certainly by what's been uncovered in the recent undercover videos that have exposed the evil practices at Planned Parenthood. However, the pro-abortion crowd is convinced that legal abortion is healthy and appropriate. Is our best, most-effective tactic trying to convince them that the baby is a person or is there another approach that would be more impactful?

Homosexuality has an even stronger position that their behavior is personal and private and what happens behind their closed doors has no impact on you or me. Of course, I disagree that their behavior has no impact on my life or on our nation. Their agenda has been possibly the most aggressive in recent history by forcing their beliefs on us through parades, sitcoms, legislation and other advances. However, the church's response can easily be seen as selfish and hateful, as it demands everybody adhere to a code that doesn't even apply to those not in Christ.

I do feel there is a place to meet the mission of Planned Parenthood, the homosexual movement, immorality in Hollywood, corruption in government and the innumerable other strategies that the spirit of the age has been pushing on our nation at various more natural levels. We can and should support the defunding of Planned Parenthood. We absolutely must reject impurity that comes through movies and other media. We should be wise and understand that our liberties as Christians are at risk when we can't even refuse to bake a cake for an event we don't support. It's important that we vote for political candidates who will help restore our nation to its Christian roots by confronting the advances of various special interest groups.

Additionally, as many Christians propose, we should function in great love when dealing with others who don't support our biblical worldview.

However, as I said, stopping there compromises our efforts.

We will always look like haters if we demand people adhere to our code of values.

We will always look passive and with little concern if we simply grin and tell people that Jesus loves them.

The reason we so passionately sound alarms and alert homosexuals, abortionists, pornographers, liars, thieves, murderers and others who are living outside of God's brilliant plan for their lives is simple—we are broken over the fact that they will be tormented non-stop, forever with no relief in hell.

We need to let them know that heaven won't be the same without them! Hell must not win on the day of their physical death!

"His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean His floor and gather His wheat into the granary, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matt. 3:12).

I had an encounter of being dragged toward hell by an invisible demonic entity over 20 years ago. I almost went mad in that indescribable, horrifying experience. I can't even think of that moment for more than a few seconds before I have to shut the thought down. It's that terrible.

After I came out of that life-changing, uninvited revelation God spoke clearly to me: "John, many Christians will be shocked to find themselves in hell one day."

Just like those addressed in the passage I shared above from Isaiah, today many professing Christians will soon be in hell with no chance of ever leaving. Some of those are people who are convinced they are believers but who are following Jesus in an unsaved condition. Others are truly saved and will one day choose to fall away. That falling away will be great—and terrible.

If this is true for Christians, what then is to be expected for those who openly defy God?

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