What did Jesus teach about Hell?
1. Real (Mark 9:42-48)
- Jesus spoke about hell more than anyone in the bible.
2. Terrible (Mark 9:48)
- Worm never dies.
- Fire never ceases.
- The presence of God is what makes heaven marvelous and hell miserable. (Psalm 139:7-12; Revelation 20:7-10, 15; Revelation 14:8-12)
- The greatest thing about heaven is beholding the face of God and seeing him. (1 Peter 1:8; Rev 22:4)
- The most horrific thing about hell is being constantly crushed under the wrathful glory of God.
Why does Hell exist?
1. Justice – Jesus is returning to bring justice upon the earth. (Rev 19:11-16 > Isaiah 63:1-9)
2. Love – As strange as it may seem, hell exists because God is loving. Jesus is going to right every wrong. He will bring retribution for every injustice. Every woman who has been taken advantage of, will have justice. Every criminal who has stolen, will be found out. Every crooked cop, every mocking skeptic, every hardened murderer, every abuser, every vile sinner will receive the just payment for their deeds. This is good. We want this. It is wrong for us to take out vengeance, but it is completely right for God to do this. (Romans 12:9) It is actually biblical for us to want to justice. (Rev 6:9-11). By displaying justice on earth, God is loving his people. He is taking care of them. He is shepherding them and protecting them. (Rev 19:1-5)
Why does Hell last forever?
The punishment must fits the crime – If asked you to come over to my home at 7pm and you didn’t show up until 8:30pm, and then I asked you why and you just said, Oh, I didn’t feel like it, that would be offensive. But it would not be anywhere near as bad if I was the President of the United States. The offense is more severe if the person has a greater status and honor.
God deserves an eternal amount of praise. God is infinite. He is beyond imaginable in his might and glory. Every second of eternity past has been devoted to praising his name. Holy, Holy, Holy the angels cry in Isaiah chapter 6 and the never cease.
When we sin against God, we are sinning against someone who deserves an eternal amount of praise. He deserves an infinite amount of glory and therefore the only punishment that would fit his honor would be eternal punishment – because it is matchless. The punishment can never match his glory – this is why it lasts forever. If we are upset that hell lasts forever, it is because we do not understand how glorious God is. If we are angry at God that he would do something like this, it is because we are only thinking in finite terms and we have not seen what the angels in heaven have seen.
How could God send people to hell if he is loving?
1. God loves himself (Matthew 22:37)
- God first and foremost loves himself. We must define love by this standard. (1 John 4:8) Love is not putty that can be turned in any direction. Love is real and love has a name – Jesus. The first priority God has is himself. (John 15:9) Jesus is not an idolater. If we think life is all about us, it is not true. God loves his own glory more than he loves us and God will send us into hell if he thinks he will get glory by doing so.
2. God loves his people (Romans 5:8)
- The fact that God loves himself is good news for us. This means that is loving for God to bring us into fellowship with himself. Does your heart beat for you or for the glory of God? Do you come to God in order to praise his glory or do you come to God so that you can escape hell?
- God loves himself and he invites you to come love him. This is the only thing that will satisfy you and this is what you were created for. God created you to know and love him. And that is not selfish of God – because God is worthy. If I was to say, everyone of you should bow down and praise me, it would be a hideous sin. But not Jesus – it is right and good. And God is loving when he allows us to come and worship him.
3. God cannot overlook sin. (Romans 3:21-26)
- “God’s smile is not an all-approving grin.”
- The cross is the perfect display of this reality. Jesus took hell upon himself for all who would believe in him. He was the only one who could do it. He was the only one who was infinitely worthy to die and bear the weight of sin.
How should we respond?
- Rely only on the blood of Jesus (John 19:30)
- Rejoice in the blood of Jesus (Revelation 1:5)
- Relay the good news