Is there a real Hell?
There are several places in America that are named Hell, such as the Hell in Michigan and Arizona. But what about the other Hell, the place of eternal torment for those who do bad things or resist God?
Ever heard of a hellfire and damnation preacher? Not too many preachers today covet that title, and if they do, they haven’t amassed much of an audience. Jonathan Edwards preached on the certainty of Hell in "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," a sermon that has become a classic of early American literature.
A classic sermon on Hell? Not many potential parishioners relish the idea of a pulpiteer who works to convince listeners they are worthy or destined for Hell. It requires no effort to find preachers today who dismiss the possibility of a real Hell.
Some say a loving God could never put people in such a place. Others say Hell is not for people — it is for the devil and his angels. Still others say that without Hell, there is no ultimate punishment for those who have committed horrible evils against humanity. Few people think they themselves deserve such a place, but many can name those who might.
In the end, only two questions about Hell matter at all. One, is it real? And two, who goes there?
The answers matter. Whether you believe in Hell does not change whether it exists. Either Hell is real or it isn't. Your opinion about Hell is just your opinion. You could be right or wrong regardless of your level of conviction.
And if Hell is real, you don’t want to go there, even if all your friends are there. Various religious perceptions of Hell suggest it's not a friendly, welcoming or tolerable place.
Jesus spoke of a real Hell. Now, I don’t trust every preacher today, and sometimes I don’t trust myself -— I know that I’m a fallen, fallible human. But Jesus is credible, and if he is credible, then Hell is real. Virtually every religion in the world holds Jesus up as good and righteous and holy, and Jesus believed in a place of torment called Hell.
You might want to update your perception of Hell with a credible source. You don't have to take it from me — take it from Jesus. Read the Bible and ask God to tell you the truth. Find a source better than your best guess and do a little homework.
If eternity is forever, you have a lot to gain by finding the truth. If Hell is real, I can promise you, you don’t want to go there.