Jesus spoke more about Hell than all the other preachers of the Bible put together. Hell was not made for bad people. Hell was created for the devil and his angels.
The idea of divine judgement—that people can end up in Hell—is probably one of Christianity’s most offensive teachings, but we cannot ignore it just because it is uncomfortable to talk about.
- In Hell, people suffer. I know that’s a hard thing to wrap your mind around, but it’s taught in Scripture. The word torment is used four times in the text of the story.
- Once you are in Hell, you cannot cross over to Heaven. Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body. When we pass from the visible world into the invisible world, it’s a one-way trip.
- You’re conscious in Hell and fully aware of where you are. It is clear from the text that people in Hell understand that they are there. The rich man in the story wanted to keep his brothers from coming to the same place and would warn them if he could.
- If you don’t believe there’s a God and you don’t believe there’s an afterlife and you don’t believe there’s a final judgment, what constraints do you have? Why not just do whatever you want to whomever you want, whenever you want, because there’s nothing to pay for later? Teaching about Hell is important.
- The moment you leave this life, you are escorted by angels into the presence of God.
- When nonbelievers die, they don’t go to purgatory. There’s no such place as purgatory. Nor do they go into a state of soul sleep. That doesn’t exist either. Nor are they reincarnated as a higher or lower life form depending on what kind of life they’ve lived.
If you believe in a judgment, it will affect you in the way that you live. Belief in the afterlife affects us in this life as well as the next life. The belief in Heaven is a motivation to live a godly life. Belief in Hell is a motivation to not live a wicked life.
The gospel is a universal declaration that Hell is not God’s desire for anyone. For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God loves you and He invites you to Heaven. But if you don’t want to go to your Father’s house, you don’t have to. He won’t make you. You decide where you’ll spend eternity by what you do with Jesus Christ.