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What About the Reality of Hell?

Some, even many, have trouble with certain teachings of the Bible. They ask about them and challenge them. Some consider these a stumbling block to their faith or use them as an excuse or reason for not receiving Jesus Christ or the Bible. Some continue to believe the Bible. They think it is true and they love God. However, they still struggle sometimes with these teachings. One of them is the doctrine of Hell, what the Bible teaches about Hell, or what we could call, eternal death.

The challenge, it seems very often, is the horrific nature of Hell. It is so terrible that for many it is beyond comprehension. A related question to its exis-tence is “why Hell is so hard or harsh.” First, the Bible does teach Hell as eternal, fiery torment (Matt 5:22, 29-30, 10:28, 18:9, 25:41, 46; Mk 9:43, 45, 47-48, Lk 12:4-5, and Rev 20:11-15). Jesus talks about Hell more than any single biblical author, so that you might call Jesus, the theologian of Hell. Second, Hell is never described or instructed as annihilation, like someone ceasing to exist. Third, Hell is eternal separation from God. Someone who goes to Hell is away from the presence of God (Matthew 25:31-46, 2 Thessalonians 1:9).

How to think about Hell? Not necessarily in this order but (1) Jesus became and died so that we would not have to go there. (2) Sin must be and is so bad that it deserves, especially since Jesus did pay the penalty of sin. (3) God did not design man to go out of existence. (4) God gave man a choice and enough revelation not to go to Hell. (5) Hell is a necessary impetus for men to consider to avoid it.

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