Translations: Chinese GB Big5

HELL

In Luke 16 Jesus tells a story of a man being sent to hell where he was tormented in flames, which was central to the story. "I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment. .. if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent." ... Abraham replied, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." Lk 16:27-31 Note the he was conscious, though it was not his conscious choice to be there. Rather it caught him by surprise. But he reckoned he was there because of unrepentant sin, of which he also recognized in his brothers. And this despite the fact that he loved his brothers and even from hell tried to save them. Indeed this rich man was more selfless than many today who only think of themselves. Yet by God's standards he was worthy of being tormented in hell.

God has provided sufficient proof, validating Jesus' testimony and that of His apostles by miracles and in particular by raising Jesus from the dead.

"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. ... God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact." Acts 2:22,32

"God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."
Acts 17:31b

Yet most refuse to listen to Him because they love their sinful lifestyles more than they love God.

But how do we reconcile Jesus' portrayal of God's judgment being so harsh, with God's love?

God's love does not nullify his justice. These two aspects of his character were united in the cross through which He demonstrated His love by delivering from His wrath those who would believe, by killing His own Son in a sacrifice of atonement.

"And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Rev 20:10

And likewise those who follow the devil:

"If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." Rev 14:9-11

Hell is a place of eternal torment. 
Jesus portrays His Father as one who hands the uncontrite and ungracious over to be tortured. "In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." Mt 18:34,35

Yet there are those who claim to know Him, but refuse to recognize this aspect of His character, who may consider Him more of a mere Santa Claus figure. Such make God in their own image, according to their own concepts of God and not according to how He describes Himself in the Bible.

Beware, for the kingdom of God (Christendom) is presently a mixture:

"The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matt 13:46-50
Those who argue that a "good" God would never create a hell where people suffer seem to ignore the sufferings in the world as if God were not in control. For if a "good" God would not allow suffering, then why is there suffering in the world? Yet the sufferings in this world are nothing compared to the sufferings in hell where all hope is lost for any redemption. And many will be caught by surprise when Jesus says:
"Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Matt 25:41


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources


Jul 29,2015