Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Belief in the Eternal Hell

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

It is in the latter part of October as I write this, and people are getting all excited Halloween, which is the most important holiday for witches and Satanists. People get cutesy with it, portraying the Devil as a red dude with a short beard and horns who carries a pitchfork. They often believe he is the the boss of Hell. All of these images are like the crowded bathtub version of Noah's Ark: cute stories for kids, but big people don't believe them. I'll allow that there are more somber depictions of Hell that are a bit closer to biblical reality.

Satan and Hell are often presented as jokes. Both are serious subjects
Fallen angels in Hell by John Martin, ca. 1841
Some rock stars and People who reject or simply do not bother to learn the truth in God's Word are going to having a miserable eternity. We can debate about whether or not the flames of Hell are literal or figurative, but it should be clear that Hell is not a place to go and have wild parties with friends; it will live up to its name. People who believe that Hell is a fun place seem to be smart as the average scarecrow. Study on it a moment: Hell is a place of punishment, not a refuge from people who interfere with your good times, you savvy that? It is not a myth or a joke.

Some aberrant religions like Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses, along with an increasing number of professing Christians, believe in what they call conditionalism. That is a new way of saying annihilationism. Either way, they believe that the lost are going to Hell, and they will be consumed by the flames and cease to exist. I have seen adherents of that view focus on converting others to that instead of proclaiming the gospel. (More on this in "Hell, Creation and Side Issues" and its sequel, linked at the end of the article.) A more important question remains.

No matter which view of Hell (annihilationism or eternal torment) that you may accept, we need to make sure that is is theologically sound. While some conditionalists present arguments that sound plausible, they are usually rooted in poor theology. An example of poor theology is where an angry atheist calls creationists "liars" because they present evidence that he dislikes, so they are liars. He uses the Bible that he rejects and the God he denies to send people to Hell. Even if someone did tell a lie, that's not a loss of salvation, old son. Likewise, similar bad theology can be found in the annihilationist camp. God's love and mercy are everlasting, but his nature requires justice as well.

Here is where I offer you some resources.
  • "Is annihilationism biblical?" is a concise article from Got Questions.
  • "Hell is for Liars" (in two parts, the second part is linked at the end of the first) is somewhat tangential to the annihilationism issue, but still has some useful information
  • Finally, I saw a post from Why?Outreach on an examination of annihilationism. It links to an in-depth article in PDF format (I had it converted to my ebook's format, you may wish to do the same) that I recommend for those who are serious about learning. Click here for "The Destruction of Hell: Annihilationism Examined" by Jeff Spencer. It says "Microsoft Word", but it really is a PDF document.
I hope these resources prove helpful. Perhaps they will also motivate people to spread the gospel message to those who are heading for hell. Are you going there? Are you sure you're saved? I urge you to be certain, and check out the "Examine Yourself" section of this site.


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