Would a Loving God Really Send People to Hell?

October 5, 2014 Speaker: Jeff Bedwell Series: You Asked for It

Passage: Revelation 20:11–20:15

Would a Loving God Really Send People To Hell?
Revelation 20:11-15

Reflections on a Sobering Reality

1. The Bible teaches the reality of Hell

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2, ESV)

“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.” (2 Thessalonians 1:5–10, ESV)

2. Jesus taught about the reality of Hell

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels...And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41 & 46, ESV)

“And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:47–48, ESV)

3. There will be Degrees of Punishment in Hell (see also Matthew 11:20-24)

“And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:47–48, ESV)

  • Hell is Suffering and Punishment, but it is not Torture

4. God is both Loving and Just

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8, ESV)

“The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4, ESV)

“Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23, ESV)

5. We will all receive either Mercy or Justice from God, no one will receive Injustice

  • We tend to have a Low view of God and a Low view of sin

“These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.” (Psalm 50:21, ESV)

“The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty.” (Nahum 1:3, ESV)

Hell is both:

  • A Just Punishment for our sin
  • A Natural Consequence of our choices

6. Hell is a testimony to God’s value of Human Dignity and Human Choice

  • As God’s image bearer’s God values us too much to Annihilate us
  • As one endowed with the freedom of choice, God will not Force us to love Him or choose to be with Him

Responding To This Sobering Reality

Jesus purpose in proclaiming the reality and severity of Hell was not to condemn people, but to Save people!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:16–18, ESV)

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9, ESV)

“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others…For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:11, 14–15, ESV)