Sunday, 6 November 2016

Jesus and the Fact of Hell

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)

How can it be that Jesus Christ, who taught so strongly the importance of love and forgiveness, could speak such words as these? Actually, Jesus had more to say about hell and eternal punishment than any other speaker or writer in the Bible. Since He is the Creator (Colossians 1:16), the coming Judge (John 5:22), and the only man who has died and risen permanently from the dead (2 Corinthians 5:14-15), we would do well to believe and heed His warnings. He knows whereof He speaks!

Listen to these prophecies, for example: “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49-50). “If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:47-48). There are other such warnings from Christ, but how can we reconcile such threats of everlasting doom with His own nature of love?

The fact is, however, that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, not for people. The devil has been a rebel against God since the beginning, wanting to be his own god. When people follow the devil in this same rebellious path, rejecting God’s Word, they are showing they would be more comfortable with Satan than with Christ in eternity. Therefore Christ, because of His great love, has repeatedly warned them of what is coming, and so should we. “Of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire” (Jude 1:22-23).

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