This morning on my radio program on the only secular radio station in Gaylord, Michigan, I answered the question, “Is there really a hell?” I know that this is a controversial topic, even in the church. It seems that more and more pastors and theologians are diminishing the Biblical account of a literal hell or an eternal hell. Some will teach what we might call “A Second Chance View” which says that after death there will still remain a way to escape hell. Others teach “Universalism” that teaches that at the end of the day everyone will go to heaven. And still others teach what we would call “Annihilationism” which teaches hell simply means that we cease to exist. This view says that this life is all there is so “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die!”
However, I am more of a literalist when it comes to the Bible. I believe that the best way to interpret the Bible is to do so literally unless it obviously is meant to be symbolic. In other words, I literally believe things in the Bible like that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in it in a 6-day period. I believe that there really was a universal flood that destroyed all life except for Noah, his family and the animals on the ark. I believe that a guy named Jonah was actually swallowed by a great fish and survived in the stomach of that fish for 3 days and 3 nights. So, as someone who takes the Bible literally, I also believe that there is a literal and eternal hell. So below I have listed some literal facts seen in Scripture that I really do believe is true about hell:
-I believe that everyone will exist eternally in either heaven or hell (Daniel 12:2, 3; Matthew 25:46; John 5:28; Revelation 20:14, 15).
-I believe that everyone has only one life here on earth in which to determine their eternal destiny (Hebrews 9:27).
-I believe that your eternity in heaven or hell will be determined by whether you put your trust in Christ alone for your forgiveness of sins (John 3:16, 26).
-I believe that hell was originally designed for Satan and his demons (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
-I believe that hell will also be a place of eternal punishment of sin of those who reject Christ (Matthew 13:41, 50; Revelation 20:11-15).
-I believe that hell is a conscious torment (Matthew 13:50; Mark 9:48; Revelation 14:10).
-I believe that hell is eternal and irreversible (Revelation 14:11; Revelation 20:14, 15).
Perhaps one of the greatest arguments against a literal and eternal hell is the age old question, “How can a loving God send people to a horrible hell?” Actually, nothing shows the love of God more than the reality of hell. I will explain how in my blog posting tomorrow.