Much conversation has occurred within the church recently about the increasing number of people who believe that hell is not real. I’ve actually known a couple of people in the past, who were professing Christians and who were perhaps sincere, who “felt” the same way long before the current wave of people proclaiming this came onto the scene. It’s not really a new teaching, but a re-packaging of a very old doctrine of demons.
Yes, I said doctrine of demons because who but the devil would have so much to gain if he could just get people to believe that the very reason they should have a real and genuine fear of God, the very consequence that shows how serious sin is in the eyes of God, the very thing Christ came to save us from…who else but the devil would have so much to gain if he could get us to think that this thing called hell didn’t even exist.
Friends, the devil is the father of lies and he is a deceiver. It never ceases to amaze me how successful he can be at twisting things just enough so as to make them palatable to the sincerest of people. He finds a willing vessel (perhaps unbeknownst to them) and he gives them smooth sounding words full of deceit and people buy-in to it even though it flies in the face of any clear reading of God’s Word. He did it to Eve when he asked, “Did God really say…?”
Here is a link to some bible verses on Hell. There is no hermeneutical way to misunderstand them or to come away from them confused. Use concordances, use historical commentaries, use bible dictionaries, use the original Greek, use whatever sound, biblical, historical, contextual resource you like and you will not be confused. It says what it says and it means what it means.
Surely it must take an incredible amount of pride for someone to think that they have stumbled across a “truth” that the great saints of old and all of church history have missed. “Graham, Moody, Booth, Spurgeon, Wesley, Finney, Edwards, Bunyan, Luther, Augustine, etc. were all wrong and God has revealed something to me that He did not reveal to them. I understand something that they could not understand.” It’s pride at its highest level!
Any denial of hell puts you in the obscure minority in terms of genuine professing Christians but it puts you in the overwhelming vast majority of the world’s population who agrees with you on there not being a literal hell—they also don’t believe in Jesus or that there is even necessarily a “god” or if there is it matters not how you get to him. Combined with this doctrine of hell not being real, you often find the idea that everyone goes to heaven.
Don’t disconnect those two doctrines of demons. 1) Hell is not real. 2) Everyone goes to heaven. What could be clearer than God’s word which plainly describes the reality of hell and repeatedly makes it clear that God’s people are a remnant, a small portion, a people set apart, a chosen few. They were, are and will always be the few, the minority, who walk thru the small gate and who stay on the narrow path that leads to life (Matthew 7:14).
What are we to do with the topic of hell? If you buy-in to the rhetoric that it isn’t real and that it isn’t eternal and that it isn’t really all that bad and that this life on earth might even be what hell is…well then you choose to create a God to suit yourself and you go against every clear teaching of the bible and of historic Christianity thru the ages. A world who loves its sin and a church who wants to sugarcoat its message may not like it, but hell is real.