Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Is hell just giving people what they ultimately desire?

The idea that hell is nothing more than a place most people want has recently been something on my mind. As I look around our world I see mostly a disdain for Jesus. I see a world, which for the most part, rejects his claims and mocks his name. We have flippantly made Jesus out to be our homeboy rather than the King of kings. Many want nothing to do with Jesus. As I thought about that reality and heard the idea that hell was nothing more than the desire of most people already, I wondered if hell was the place most people would desire. If they don’t want God now than it would just be a natural thing that they would want to be separated from him for all eternity, right? “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” (2 Thess. 1:8-9).

Where the idea that hell is nothing more than giving people what they already desire goes wrong is it leaves out God’s common grace. God is so gracious that “he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). God shows grace to every single human being. The fact that people who reject him as Lord and Savior are breathing right now is evidence of his common grace to all. But when judgment occurs and men and women are casts away from his presence for all eternity those common graces will cease. The sun won’t rise for them and rains will come no longer. Hell is total separation from God. While here on earth they may have rejected God but God was still faithfully pouring out his grace to them. They may not have realized his work but none the less he still gave them grace. This is the kindness and compassion of our Lord that even as we mock him and spit in his face he still pursues us with his grace. He is loving and patient with us all but if we reject him for all of life he will reject us on the great Day of Judgment.

Hell is real and it’s eternal. God is the Judge and a compassionate Judge. He is patiently giving you grace right now so that you will trust in his Son for the forgiveness of your sins. He wants you to experience a life change where your desires will be satisfied in him forever. He desires that you trust in his Son and not only know his common grace but his sweet saving grace as well. Hell will be like nothing ever imaged. Separation from God is the worst possible thing that could happen to a person but God being a holy and just God must punish sin. If he does not punish sin than he ceases to be God. To save us he paid the cost of his Son on the cross to bear our sins.

We must repent and trust in his Son’s finished work in order to inherit eternal life with him. The bible says if you continue to reject Jesus than on the Day of Judgment he will “throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 13:42). Hell is not a place any human being desires which is why Christians ought to proclaim the gospel so that men and women may call upon the Lord and be saved from their sin.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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