by Dan Amos
Before Pastor Martin’s latest sermon, he mentioned to me that he’d be preaching on my “favorite subject.” That could have meant all kinds of things, so I hesitatingly asked him what that would be. His answer was, “Hell.” I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be known as the guy whose favorite sermon topic is Hell. It’s definitely not my favorite topic, but it is one I’ve been known to say we need to hear about more often.
Hell is one of those uncomfortable topics. The reality is we will exist eternally and we will do so in one of two places. You can think of it as a carrot and a stick. Heaven should motivate us in a positive way, and Hell should be a negative motivator. Once we die, our opportunity to repent and be saved ends and our eternal fate will ultimately be judged.
For those who have received Christ, Heaven will be a place of indescribable beauty and constant wonder. It will be a place of absolute fulfillment, intimate communion with our Creator, and productive activity. It won’t be sitting on clouds, dressed like a cherub and strumming a harp. Who would want that?
The other option, as well as the antithesis to Heaven, is Hell and the lake of fire. It won’t be a party. It won’t be a place of torment by Satan and his demons; it was created as a place of torment for them. In our rebellion, we chose that as our default destination, too. It will be a place of unending, infinite torment, loneliness, separation, unquenchable desires, and pain.
Those are the two options. None other exists. It is a difficult reality, but it is the reality Jesus repeatedly and fervently told us about. He died to save us from one and adopt us into the other. And we believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. And for salvation, there is no other choice.