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  • Mark Clary

Should We Be Concerned About Hell?

What do you fear the most? The most common fears range from a corrupt government, loved ones dying, sickness and diseases, poverty (economic collapse), public speaking, snakes, etc. All of these fears are temporal in nature. God's Word commands us in Matthew 10:28 to fear God, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” I have to admit it is difficult to contemplate fearing God when our daily lives involve working at our jobs or business, to avoid poverty and to provide the necessities to function on this earth. It is evident that we are all guilty of fearing the things of this world far more than the eternal realm of which we all will enter when we die here on earth. I doubt anyone loves pain and misery, right? The uncertainty of life forces us to lessen the risks and problems in our lives through means such as insurance policies, retirement and estate planning, etc. We are infatuated with preparing for our “golden years” here on earth, yet we do not take seriously the warnings and punishments of hell which will befall most of you reading this blog. As the great puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards said, “The reason why men no more regard warnings of future punishment is because it doesn't seem real to them.”

Many of us believe and grew up with the notion that God is all loving and merciful, and wonder how could a God of love send people to hell, right? We hardly ever heard of the wrath of God and the punishments of hell. Hell was always reserved for the really bad people, but not us. Let me quote Genesis 19:14 in which the Lord God was about to annihilate the great cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. “And Lot went out, and spoke unto his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, 'Up, get out of this place' for the Lord will destroy the city.' But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting.” Lot had warned the inhabitants of Sodom about the impending judgement of God that was coming because of their many sexual perversions and sins. God is very gracious in using any means possible to warn people of the dangers ahead. But it did not seem real to the people of Sodom, nor does it seem real to us living in America today. Lot's sons-in-law, and many in America, will not heed the warnings of hell and destruction. As a result the entire population of Sodom and Gomorrah, including Lot's sons-in-law, was destroyed and the inhabitants are now experiencing maximum torment and agony in hell. Many of you reading this may have a hard time believing this because you don't know if this is true or not. As Jonathan Edwards says, the reason men do not take seriously the threatening of hell is that “sin has a great influence to benumb and stupefy our understanding.” Your opposition to this truth is because of your sinful and wicked disposition and wanting to be your own god. On earth our senses are cued into our surroundings; we can see with our eyes and hear with our ears, but hell is of another world that we cannot see or hear. Therefore, it does not concern us as much as the things we can see and hear on earth during the course of our daily lives. Lastly, many of our neighbors, politicians, news media and churches do not seem to be overly concerned about the punishments of hell either, so why should I worry and fret about it?

If you think you are eternally secured in heaven because you believe that God is all loving and sends no one to hell, or because you have decided to trust Jesus as your personal Savior, then you are gravely mistaken and hell is gaping to devour you. If there be no punishment for your sin in this world, then you might as well sin at will and do what is right in your own eyes. As stated in Isaiah 66:24, in the new heaven, “Then they will go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched; and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.” If this has awakened you to some degree, then you need to earnestly seek the narrow way and beg for mercy before it is too late.

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