A lot of people say they don’t believe in Hell, but they still seem to like using the word. But I think by using it so often to punctuate a sentence, people are admitting that deep down inside, they really believe that a place called Hell actually exists.
There is, by the way, a town in Michigan called Hell. How does a place end up with a name like that? There are several theories. One is that it was a swampy, undesirable area, and when someone asked George Reeves, an early settler there, what to name it, he reportedly said, “I don’t care. You can name it Hell for all I care.”
So, they did. Apparently, the residents have made it a bit of tourist destination with various events and business that play on the name.
But really, the subject of Hell isn’t a joke at all.
Sometimes we don’t want to talk about it, and sometimes people will acknowledge there could be a place like Hell for really, really bad people—for the Hitlers of the world. But we don’t ever want to think that we could go there or that someone we know could go there.
Yet of the 40 parables that Jesus told, half of them relate to God’s eternal judgment of sinners. As J. I. Packer pointed out, “An endless hell can no more be removed from the New Testament than can an endless heaven.”
Jesus Christ bore our sins on the cross. He did that for us so we don’t have to go to Hell. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (NKJV).
The gospel is a universal declaration that Hell is not God’s desire for anyone.