Whatever Happened to Hell?
“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 a few find it.” Matthew 7: 13-14
“Hell disappeared and no one noticed,” said church historian Martin Marty from the University of Chicago. And while the stereotyped “fire and brimstone” preachers may have disappeared, hell certainly has not. But –it’s rarely discussed in modern religious circles. Why? Is it too uncomfortable? Too negative? Maybe it seems too exclusive in today’s politically correct, all-inclusive society. The fact is, Jesus spoke a lot about the afterlife and so should we.
Jesus was never one to avoid controversy. When Jesus said that few would enter heaven, it was a shocking statement. It might even surprise many people today. Because didn’t Jesus come to offer salvation to everyone – no matter their background or baggage? Yes, He did. In fact, it’s because He loves us that He talks about hell. He cares enough to tell us the truth, to warn us of the eternal consequences of missing out on an eternal relationship with God.
If this topic makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself one question: Is Jesus a liar or does He tell the Truth? Jesus not only tells the Truth, but He is the Truth about the afterlife: Heaven and Hell. I realize the overwhelming majority of people – even Christians – don’t really believe their kind neighbor and coworker is going to spend eternity separated from God. But Jesus says that hell is very real. It has not disappeared, but it’s out of love for us that Jesus came to offer us another way. It’s referred to as salvation, because it’s through Jesus Christ that we are saved from this fate. Salvation is available for each and every person– we just have to accept it, by trusting in Him through repentant faith.
So what will it be? If you were to die today, where would you go? Don’t miss out on an eternal relationship with God (Heaven) versus an eternity separated from God (Hell). Accept the gift of salvation and walk in confidence knowing that you have been saved by the grace and love of Jesus