Rational Faith

Hell is for liars

 


 

 



 

The Christian doctrine of hell.  Conscious, painful, separation from God for all eternity for those who refuse God's salvation. Perhaps the most difficult doctrine to deal with - for both Christians and non-Christians alike. This is such a difficult teaching there are plenty of people, cults and religions who outright deny it. After the denial of the deity of Christ, the doctrine of  hell is one of the first Biblical teachings to go.  In its place - everything from annihilation of the soul to universal salvation. Apparently the doctrine of hell is so scary even annihilation - eternal nonexistence -  is preferable to the Biblical doctrine of hell. According to one account, the Catholic doctrine of purgatory (a temporary place of punishment to pay for any un-forgiven sins) came about because punishment consisting of eternal wrath could not be countenanced by at least one early church father[1]. But the doctrine of purgatory is strictly a Catholic add on teaching - it's not in the Bible.

Let's be clear about what we're talking about.

Hell - as we typically think about is actually called in the Bible the Lake of fire - a place of eternal, painful, separation from God. (Rev 20.14-15) There is another painful  prison used to hold unbelievers until the final judgment. That  place is called "hell" (Luke 16.20-31). But it is clear that place is used to hold unbelievers until the final place of  eternal judgment, because occupants of hell are eventually dumped into the Lake of fire - where they exist in torment forever. (Rev 20.14)

So to be clear, the "hell" we're talking about is:

  • Eternal (2 Thess 1.9)
  • Hopeless - since you will be there all eternity, there is no hope of escape
  • Those there are conscious (aware of the fact that) they're there (Matt 13.42) and no doubt conscious that their own decisions in life are directly responsible for them being there (Luke 16.29-31)
  • Painful (Matt 13.42, Mark 9.48, Rev 20.15) - Flames, and worms acting upon the body are no doubt meant to convey the concept of pain.
  • People will exist there in resurrected bodies that cannot cease to exist: (Dan 12.2, Rev 20.5) - No annihilation here
  • There will be no sense of the presence of the Lord (2 Thess 1.9)
  • And since there will be no sense of the Lord, there will be no  trace of the good things the presence of the Lord brings.  Those who wanted to be free from God will finally get their wish. So no more light (since God is light, (1 John 1.5)), No more good things - since all good things are from God (Jam 1.17), no one to wipe away tears, mourning and pain - since again, God will be doing all that (Is 25.8, Rev 21.4); no healing - that will be exclusively in the domain where God exists (Rev 22.2); No river to quench your thirst - that will be exclusively in heaven -in the domain of God (Rev 22.1).  I suspect like Tantalus, you will desire, but will never be fulfilled, since God is the fulfillment of all our desires. (Is 55.1, John 7.37-39, Rev 22.17)
  • No party - many joke that they'll be partying in hell with their friends. The idea of being bound in darkness (Matt 22.13) is no doubt an attempt to convey lonely solitude that you cannot change (you're bound after all, and you can't perceive what's beyond you).
  • If there is any company there, it is from the devil and his angels who will no doubt share the torment and agony they're in with you (Matt 25.41, 8.29) By the way isn't it interested that the demons know there's an appointed time for their "torture" to begin? Like many things spiritual the unbelievers of this world are ignorant of the fact that a specified day for eternal torment to begin is hanging over the heads of unbelievers.

This then, is the hell as presented in the scriptures. My goal here is not discuss how a loving God could send people to hell[2] or why a loving God would create hell[3] or whether and how you can believe in a God who would send people to hell[4]. Those topics have been well covered. Instead I have a simple, two fold purpose. That is to tell you these two things:

1. Hell is for Liars
God has a very dim view of liars. In fact he hates unrepentant liars (for we were all liars at one point) and refuses to let them into heaven:

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
Rev 21.18
 

2. Some of the lies that will get you to Hell
The lies that I am about to present are not necessarily attacks on the heart of the gospel, or some outrageous heresy.  What they are, however, is sufficient enough to keep you from God if you seriously believe them, and use them as an excuse to refuse to repent and believe (Mark 1.15) as Jesus calls you to do.  But God gives us free will. He doesn't make us repent and believe. You're free to believe what you want. And I'm telling you if your belief in the following lies keeps you from repenting, believing God and following Jesus. you're going to wind up in the hell I described above.  So without further ado:

Some of the popular Lies that will keep you separated from God

  • Atheism "There is no God"
    Whether the hard claim there is no God, or the softer claim there's no proof for God. That's a lie.  Stay on this road, and you're headed for hell. "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Ps 14.1)
     
  • Agnosticism "You Can't know if there's a God"
    The claim you don't know or can't know whether there's a god. Another lie.

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
    19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
    20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
    Rom 1.18-20
     
  • Abortion "A woman's body is her own - it's her decision"
    That's a lie. A baby is a separate person. Therefore abortion is murder of another person. Unforgiven murderers do not go to heaven: "...you know that no murderer has eternal life in him." 1 Jn 3.15
     
  • The Big Bang "The universe began from a 'singularity' 13.7 billion years ago"
    I have often called the big bang a fairy tale for adults. That was being nice. To be blunt - the big bang is a lie. Actually it's a series of lies. I document many of the problems on this site. But you need not read all those articles to know it's false. All you have to understand is that the big bang is an attempt at a materialistic origin of the universe - without having to appeal to God to start it.  You need merely read Gen 1.1 to know that is false: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
     
  • Evolution "All life is descends from a single common ancestor; all evolved via processes of natural selection over millions of years."
    Just as the big bang attempts to show the origin of the universe apart from God, evolution - in its broadest sense[5] - attempts to show the origin of life apart from God. Another lie. There is no life apart from God
     
  • Denials of Biblical Morality "Anyone can marry anyone. Love wins"
    Another lie. Scripture is rather clear  "...a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (Gen 2:24) "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Cor 6.9-10)

Hell was made for the father of lies (Jn 8.44, Matt 25.41). And if you persist in lies like these without repenting and turning to Jesus, you too will suffer the same fate as the father of lies. Or as Jesus said, "I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." John 8.24

These are but some of the lies that will keep you from God. But what is it that motivates people to hold to such obvious lies? What's at the heart of these lies that drives people to hold so strongly to them? We'll look at that question in part 2 of this article.


Duane Caldwell | April 15,  2018

 


Notes  

1. Michael Horten, "How can I believe in a God who sends people to Hell", Core Christianity, Dec 4, 2017, https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/how-i-can-believe-in-a-god-who-sends-people-to-hell Back

2. See Sean McDowell, "How could a loving God send a good person to hell?" http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/how-could-a-loving-god-send-a-good-person-to-hell
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3. See Al Serrato, "Why did a loving "good" God create hell", Cross Examined, 10/10/2017, https://crossexamined.org/good-god-create-hell/
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4.
Michael Horten, "How can I believe..."
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5. Evolutionists will quibble over whether "Evolution" includes the origin of life. Darwinian evolution in its strictest sense does not, but Evolutions - in its broadest sense as I stated - necessarily includes the origin of life. See,  Meme: Evolution can't explain how life started, http://rationalfaith.com/evolutionist-misconceptions/Evolution-can%27t-explain-how-life-started.htm                                                                                          
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