For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them. They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.(Deuteronomy 32:22-24)
The doctrine of the Divine judgment of sinners is terrible to truly contemplate. So terrible that many evangelicals are retreating from it as though it is somehow beneath the concept of a loving and merciful God. But hell is of God, He ordained it as a place of punishment for unrepentant men and angels. The wrath of God is a Divine attribute, it is His glory as much as His mercy and truth are .
Earlier we made the point that Hell is a Divine revelation of the hatefulness of sin, and of the justice of God. We should be glad that we worship a God who truly, deeply hates evil in all of its malignant forms. I would hate to think of a universe where goodness goes unrewarded, whilst Evil goes unpunished. Hell teaches us that sin will always receive the punishment it deserves , forever.
We have a God who has placed us into a moral universe. Be assured, both good and evil are rewarded in kind. No matter how many people band together in unity and consensus to do evil, the infinite, personal, holy God will have the final word.
Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished…(Proverbs 11:21)
We also showed how Hell is an eternal demonstration of the Infinite worth of God. All sins are against the infinitely holy and good being, to whom we owe our very existence.
Who is this God that people routinely sin against? For a wrong done is aggravated according to whom it is the wrong is done against. Striking me would be bad enough, but striking the governor, or the president or the king would be much,much worse ! We are talking about the consequence of sins against the infinite, personal God , the King of the universe!
If people could see God, they would instantly know that there is a hell and that they deserve to go there, for hating Him. All beauty is derived from Him, He isn’t merely beautiful, God is beauty itself! God doesn’t have goodness, God is goodness itself. God doesn’t merely love, God is love! God is Truth! God is the very concept of Right-ness. What shall be done with those who hate and resist Beauty, truth, goodness and love forever?
Continuing on with this subject, here are more aspects of how Hell glorifies God;
* Hell and the Cross – There is much in common with the awful prospect of going to the lake of fire forever, and the obscene spectacle of the cross of Jesus, the Son of God hanging naked, tortured and helpless before his enemies, abandoned by all, including God himself.
To both the cross of Jesus, and the lake of fire, the unbeliever asks the question, Why? Why did it have to be so awful? How could a God of love allow this? How is it that this is what it took to save us? Why would a loving God send anyone there?
The cross is awful and of course the lake of fire is awful, but the rebellion of mankind against the thrice Holy ,good,God of truth and mercy, is infinitely awful. Evil is so toxic and terrible , and so deeply ingrained in humanity, that the cross of Jesus was the only righteous way to eradicate it!
Rebellion cannot stay in God’s universe forever, iniquity must and will be removed! Either by the cross of Jesus who bore the wrath of God for our sin, or by the lake of fire as an eternal holding place for those who refuse to part with it.
“Could there be anyone so high and exalted that to sin against him would merit eternal suffering ?”. The answer is yes. God is truly so Holy and beautiful that sinning against him is of eternal consequences.
* Hell is testified to by the faith of those who repented , believed in Jesus and suffered for the gospel –
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;( 2 Thess 1:7-9)
There are millions of people who have heard God’s gospel call to repent and believe the gospel, and have done so, in spite of tremendous pressure, rejection, and pain. They have turned their backs on families, tribes, false religions, special privileges that they might be saved from the wrath to come. There have been millions of martyrs over the centuries. The fact that they have done so is a heavy witness to the reality of hell.
How? Do you really think that such sacrifices are not going to count for anything in the end? Is the universe run like the US department of Immigration, in which people around the world are required to pay a heavy price, jump through several hoops, wait for years in some cases, pay high fees and pass tests, in order to become citizens of the USA, only to see others criminally cross the border, and almost instantly receive the benefits of full citizenship at the whim of self-serving politicians?
We live in a moral universe, most people know that in the back of their minds. The fact that they know it deeply, is why the world is in bondage to the fear of death itself. They know this universe is moral, and that there will be an ultimate accounting for everything, even though they work hard to suppress that knowledge.
A God who winks at and tolerates evil is not worthy of worship, because he is no god at all. The infinite personal God of the Bible is the thrice holy Creator,Redeemer, and Judge. He is a God who hates sin and lawlessness and will punish with “everlasting destruction” those who ignore his Authority.
* Because Holy Love is the only Good, and those who reject it reject all good – Jesus told a rich young ruler one time, There is only one good, that is God. How few actually believe this! The only good this world has ever known is from God. Any good anywhere else is good only to the extent that it derives from God. Those who reject God, reject all good, Hell is the only place for them, in the end.
This is why I believe that for the sinner and the unrepentant, the only place worse for them than hell, would be heaven. They would hate heaven even more than they would hate hell, because God is there, and the people who believe and trust in God are there, it would be unbearable to them to have to go there.
Oh my reader, I pray that you will not have to go to hell ! There is still time to repent, make your peace with God, and believe that Jesus died for your sins! Read the gospel of John and allow Jesus to speak to you, He is in those gospels for they are living records! I beg you, flee the coming wrath!