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Monday, March 30, 2015

Some Thoughts of Hell

How Is Hell Reasonable?
Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Rev 20:10).

It is not hard to think that Hell is reasonable for the Devil and his demons. For two reasons:
1. From an eternity past as a covering Cherub angel (Ezek 28:16), he not only tried to replace the Creator God, but he deceived and led a third of the angels of God to rebel against God (Rev 12:4).
2. Hell was created for Satan and the rebellious angels that followed him (Matt 25:41).

But How Is Hell Reasonable for human beings?
“. . if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev 20:15). And, that “forever?” (Matt 25:46)!

There are many who don’t believe that Hell exists, especially for human beings! Even Abraham asked: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?" (Gen 18:25).

There are many inadequate and false understandings about this biblical doctrine that need clarification. In the first place, is Hell just a lake of fire where all suffer alike?

“... the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” (Rev 20:12). Punishment will be “according to their deeds.” And, in Luke 12:47, 48, punishment will be modified according to the amount of their knowledge of God’s will, hell then is not all the same! And, while Satan and his demons are fallen angelic beings, what are human beings? Some think that people are just high grade animals and have no more existence after death than any other animal!

Of first consideration, what is the nature of human beings that they have an eternal existence? First, the human race was created having the image of God (Gen 1:27). But even more than that:
“Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Gen 2:7 NASU). 

 Since God is eternal, man was created to have an eternal existence. For his soul became eternal, having received the breath from God. However, life is not only in existence, but in the quality of existence. The life of rebellious, unregenerate people is:

“. . the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, . .” (Gal 5:19-21 NASU). People who have this lifestyle often describe it finally as “a living hell!” They have no peace, and even more so, as they live in the power of unregenerate life which is described as:

“. . dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, . .” (Eph 2:1-3 NASU), “. . having no hope and without God in the world.” ( Eph 2:12 NASU).

While these are the words of Scripture, yet as a person observes the words of those who reject Christ and the Scriptures, many will describe their lives: “as sure as hell” and “die like dogs” without hope after death and having had no enduring good purpose in life! The evidence of this can be seen in the publications in most every convenience store! So often this is the story of the rich and famous as well as the down and outers of skid row!

The Scripture as well as history bears witness that who or what people choose to follow determines their future life. Indeed, elections are determined by the promises and later performance of those who would become leaders, whether of nations or individuals. As the men of the Constitutional Convention saved their meeting by following the advice, reportedly by Benjamin Franklin, who said to effect: “How can we expect a great nation to arise without invoking the guidance of deity (the Christian God)?” And, after prayer, they finished writing the Constitution and the States ratified it. The result: The United States of America became the most prosperous nation of the World. In recent history, it must be noted the fate of nations who followed the teaching of Karl Marx and Charles Darwin. These tried to conquer the World and their followers experienced untold suffering and destruction, namely: Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Mao.

Having observed that nations and people groups experience good or evil according to who and what philosophy they follow in temporal affairs, it must be considered how does this apply to the reasonableness of the existence of eternal experiences for human beings? As has been observed from Scripture, humans have an eternal existence having their souls formed by God’s breath.

Human history also bears witness that people have always been concerned about life after death. Some built pyramids. Even atheists build philosophies respecting life after death, to deny that there is none! These can be thought of as in Shakespear’s Hamlet, it was said: “Me thinks that the lady protests too much!”

Built into human beings is the conviction that good and evil have origins greater than their experiences. They have even given names for some greater than man to be the underlying sources of purity and corruption. This is the testimony of even those who make idols and graven images.

This simply agrees with what Scripture reveals. God is the source of every good and Satan is God’s rebellious fallen angel and the deceitful source of evil. The irrefutable testimony of every thing man sees is caused by something. Therefore, there must be the Great First Cause of good and a strong bad cause of everything evil. When people deny the one, they will usually question the existence of the other.

There has been much said about man having a “free will,” the ability to responsibly choose good or bad, intelligently or foolishly. Again, it depends more as to where humans get their information. This is obvious in both ordinary affairs and in spiritual matters. From the very first, and in the present, there are many battles over who to believe about whatever. We are bombarded with advertising, political arguments, and religious proclamations. In the spiritual, there are eternal consequences as to those who honestly contemplate over the issues.

Since any competent and thorough examination of the Judeo-Christian Bible testifies that it is inspired from God, it is only logical to accept its testimony. There has been a battle of faith from the first humans whether to believe the Creator God versus Satan. It has been established through out history that people experience whatever is the nature of the destiny of who they follow. Since Hell was made to be the final destiny of Satan and his cohorts, it is only reasonable that those who follow him share Hell as their final residence.

Conversely, those who follow Christ have a home in Heaven where He resides and is making a place for those who follow Him (John 10:27 & 14:1-3).

Satan’s gospel is try to be like him, be your own god by your own intellectual ability to desire what is good and evil. He used suggestion and denial, God uses truth for those who will seek it from Him consistently (James 1:5-8).

How Is Hell Reasonable? Hell is Satan’s destiny and for all who disbelieve God. For they have followed Satan’s suggestion by rejecting God’s Word. Therefore, they could not receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior!

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