Friday, February 12, 2010
The Reality of Hell
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
—2 Peter 3:9
When I was being interviewed on a Christian television show, I was asked why I spoke so much about eternity. I had never really noticed that before. I thought about it for a moment and said, "You know, I guess the answer is that when you get down to it, it is the most important thing there is."
Most people believe in heaven, and most people believe they are going there. But Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it" (Matthew 7:13). If we believe the Bible, then we have to accept this simple fact: Most people are actually headed to hell. We are very uncomfortable with that. But the truth is that hell is a real place.
Jesus Christ spoke more about hell than all of the other preachers of the Bible put together. It has been estimated that of the 40 parables that Jesus told, more than half of them dealt with God's eternal judgment and hell. Most of the teaching we have on the topic of hell was given to us by Christ himself. For the very reason that He is the personification of love and grace and mercy, He doesn't want any man or woman uniquely made in His image to spend eternity in hell.
As a pastor, I want to teach the Word of God. I want to help people grow in their faith as followers of Jesus. But when it is all said and done, the greatest thing I want to see happen is that people who were on their way to hell will be on their way to heaven instead. I want people to change their eternal address. That is why I do what I do.
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.