The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 77

“It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell (Matt. 5:29, emphasis mine).

In modern society, hell is not a popular subject. Billy Graham in his book Facing Death And The Life After recounts the results of a Gallup Poll on ‘hell’ conducted in the USA. The survey revealed that 53 percent of the general population believed in hell. The percentage decreased rapidly among people with a college education and those with high incomes. In other words, the survey showed that the more education and money people had, the less likely they were to believe in hell. It showed that 66 per cent of the population believed in a heaven ‘where people who have lived good lives are eternally rewarded’. But, even among the Protestant denominations, only very small percentages thought their chances of attaining heaven were excellent!

What answer would you give to someone who asked you about the reality of hell? Let me give you some pointers.

Firstly, hell exists, whether people believe in it or not. Jesus used the strongest possible words to describe the horrors of hell. He warned, “Be afraid of the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell” (Matt. 10:28). If there is no hell, then Jesus is a liar. But we know that Jesus is Truth itself! The New Testament is full of warnings about hell. God forbid that we water down the clear teaching of Scripture!

Secondly, it is the individual who makes the choice to go to hell! Many passages specifically state that there is a hell for every person who willingly and knowingly rejects Christ as Lord and Saviour. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus bears out the fact that the one in hell had been given a choice of direction during his life on earth, and was simply reaping the consequences of that choice, (that is, living for himself instead of for God).

Beware of these three popular teachings that contradict the truth of Scripture. Universalism teaches that eventually, everybody will be saved because a God of love would not send anyone to hell. But the truth is that God clearly does not do so willingly, but because man condemns himself. “Annihilationism” teaches that those who do not accept Jesus simply cease to exist. But the Bible teaches an everlasting existence, regardless of whether one is saved or not! “ Second Chance” is the belief in another chance after this life. But the Bible says,“Now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). We are called to make a decision NOW, because no one knows when he or she will pass into eternity! This is the truth we speak (and will be blessed for it).

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues