He that loves not, knows not God, for God is love (I John 4:8). I think we can all agree that Jesus was a messenger of love. We cannot disagree that he came to this earth with a heart of compassion and unsurpassed affection for mankind. His instruction for our life was love for God as well as love for one another (Mark 12:30-31). It would seem paradoxical that Jesus, who himself is divine love, has more to say about hell and eternal punishment than anyone else in the bible. Jesus certainly put his first emphasis on God’s goodness and his love for man. That same great love caused him to warn us of the reality and dreadfulness of hell, that final abode of all lost souls. Jesus plainly teaches that there will be a day of judgment for all mankind (Matt. 10:15, 11:22, 12:36). The judgment passage of Matthew 25:31-46, concludes with the everlasting punishment for some and eternal life for others. Jesus taught that the decisions we make in this life will be judged with divine justice, according to God’s truth (Romans 2:2). He taught that we alone are responsible for our actions and our rewards or punishments are according to our works (Matt. 16:27). This judgment will be thorough, for Jesus says, “but I say unto you, that every idle word that man shall speak, they shall give an account of in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed, neither hid, that shall not be known” (Luke 12:2). Not only will the obvious candidates for hell be cast into outer darkness, but also many who claim to be religious and doing works in the name of Christ will be told, depart from me, I never knew you (Matt. 7:21-23). Without exception, the road we choose in this life will terminate either in life eternal with God, or everlasting punishment in hell, with the devil and his angels (Matt. 7:13-14). It is amazing that so many are perfectly willing to accept what Jesus said about love and heaven, yet totally dismiss what this same Jesus, said about punishment and hell. It is not that Jesus is vague with his teachings on hell, it it just that people do not want to accept the conclusion that hell is a real place and many many souls will spend eternity there. Just as the rewards and bliss of heaven will last forever, the agony and defeat of hell will last just as long.
Hell is described as a lake of fire and brimstone in Rev. 21:8. The fire of hell is an everlasting fire prepared for Satan and his angels, but we can go there if we so choose. We can be in the company of the earth’s most depraved and vilest of mankind, it is our personal choice. There will be murders, drunkards, whore mongers, thieves, liars, sodomites, prostitutes, addicts, adulterers, extortioners, idolaters, blasphemers, sorcerers, braggarts, unbelievers, and haters of God, all thrown into this seething burning furnace of fire, that is never extinguished, far from the light of God in outer darkness, for ever and ever. (Rev. 21:8, 22:15, Gal. 5:19-21, I Cor. 6:9-10, Matt. 25:41)
How can a loving God allow his children to go to such a place one might ask? First of all he is God, creator of all things and there is none other. He speaks righteousness and declares things that are right (Isa 45:18-19). He is a righteous God and rightly demands that we, his creations, keep his word. God sent his one and only begotten Son into this sinful world to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). He came to save us from this eternal destruction of hell. God doesn’t send anyone to hell, he even provided us a way of escape. We make the choice to go there, when we refuse to accept Jesus Christ and his commandments. We were created in the image and likeness of God, a creature of choice, as is so aptly demonstrated in the garden of Eden (Gen. 1:27,3:1-24). Where will you choose to spend your eternity, with God or with Satan?
“ I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life” Deut. 30:19
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00.