The Lack of Preaching on Hell “…No traditional Christian doctrine has been so widely abandoned as that of eternal punishment. Its advocates must be fewer than ever before. The alternative interpretation of hell as annihilation seems to have prevailed even among many of the more conservative theologians.” (Richard Buckham).
Challenges of Teaching on Hell Preachers do not want to appear unloving People desire a marketable Gospel Churches do not want to drive people away
The Bible Doctrine of Hell What is hell? Who will be in hell? How does God’s grace allow for hell to exist?
Hell is a Place of Suffering Two words are translated “hell” in modern versions - tartarus and gehenna Gehenna is taken from the valley of Hinnom where King Ahaz and Manasseh offered their sons as sacrifices to Baal and Molech – 2Chron 28.3; 33:6 The valley became synonymous with God’s judgment and wrath
Hell is Hopeless Separation from God Separation from God without hope of reconciliation is the true punishment of hell – 2 Thess. 1:7-9 Pictured as “outer darkness” Matt. 25:30 The wicked are walled off from fellowship with God – Rev. 21:27
Hell is Eternal Jesus’s quoting of Isaiah 66 is intended to emphasize the unending nature of this punishment The punishment of hell will last as long as the glory of heaven – Matt. 25:46 The destruction of the one in hell refers to “loss, not of being, but of wellbeing.” (Vine’s)
Who Will be in Hell? The Devil and his angels – Matt. 25:41 The most horrible sinners – 2Thess. 1:6-9; Rev. 21:8 Many “good” people – Matt. 7:21-24, 15:7-14; Heb. 10:26-29
How is Hell Consistent with God’s Grace Grace is not God God’s desires and His holiness are demonstrated in His attributes Grace does not prevent God from establishing conditions