Consider the Debate on Hell
October 31, 2023, 8:37 AM

There are many Christians attracted to the teachings of theologians who promote three alternative ideas to hell. The first is Universalism. The teaching of Universalism is that everyone sooner or later will be saved.

They argue that when Jesus died for sin, He did so for the whole world, taking the punishment for everyone so no one is guilty anymore. There are different views as to how long before one goes to heaven, but isn’t it wonderful to know everyone will go there? The only problem with that is you have to ignore some very pointed Bible verses that teach differently. Matt 7:13-14 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only few find it.

Jesus teaches about the separation of the sheep and goats and those who will be thrown into the darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth.

These images are disturbing so some Christians have adopted a belief of Annihilationism. Likewise, proponents of this theory teach that hell is not conscious, but unconscious. Some will say it is immediate death for the unsaved and never will be conscious again.

Others will hold a view that there is a second resurrection and indeed judgment, but the teachings of hell will include the idea of destruction and separation, which implies eventual death. Instead of going to heaven you pay for your sins and then are annihilated. You may not be in heaven, but you will not be eternally in state of conscious torment.

Some will treat it similar to purgatory, a Catholic idea, where those who are believers must spend some time to suffer for their sins and eventually make it to heaven. Depending on how good of a Christian you are reflects how long you must be suffer.

A third thought is that everyone will get a second chance to say yes to Jesus Christ after death. He will be revealed in power and authority, and many who refused to respond to the gospel will then respond to Jesus as Lord and go to heaven after the resurrection.

Space doesn’t allow me to look up the verses used to support those ideas, but in each incident, there are other verses that must be ignored or denied.

The problem we face is the difference of man’s ideas or God’s revealed truths in the Bible. Who is the final authority and why? God chooses to reveal Himself in history and in the Bible. One must ask, are there evidences of such things?

God’s warnings are for our good.

Prayer: Lord, as I ponder these things, I am prompted to pray for the salvation of souls and the urgency to share Your Truth with the world and those around me.