Written by Earl Sutton, included in the weekly bulletin of the church of Christ at Elkins on 5/18/2014
HELL IS NO FIGURE OF SPEECH!
By: Earl Sutton
Today the term “Hell” is used lightly, jokingly and as a minor threat. Some liberal preachers even refer to it as only a “metaphor,” but the word should carry with it the awesome impact of eternal (“Aionious”) damnation (Matthew 25:46).
Today “Hell” has become a “figure of speech” or a place that we have created here on earth for ourselves! Why are some liberal preachers afraid to take Hell seriously? The denial of the true nature of Hell is, in fact, a basic denial of the truthfulness of God’s word.
A 1976 Christianity Today article, “Putting Hell in its Place,” provides a typical example of a careless, “soft-line” liberal view where the author implies that preaching on this topic is too harsh!
Today the modern evangelical movement finds a hard line on Hell too embarrassing and counterproductive and avoids the subject in their presentations. Today we need to preach that (1) Hell is eternal (Matt. 25:46) (2) Hell is a place of darkness (II Peter 2:4) (3) Hell is a place of fire (Matt. 13:42) (4) No rest in Hell (Rev. 14:11) (5) No relief in Hell (Luke 16) (6) No hope in Hell (Matt. 25:46).
The BIBLE’S teachings on this subject are very clear that at the end of time, all will appear before Christ for judgment: and the wicked, those who have departed this life in disobedience to God, will be sent into an eternity of punishment (“Kolasin”) “Hell.” (John 5:28-29)
The New Testament is totally unambiguous on the duration of “eternal punishment.” Jesus expressed himself clearly and without room for any doubt. My friends, retribution for an ungodly life is eternal -- without end.
Today those who peddle the poison that Hell is only a metaphor are in reality trying to destroy the wholesome fear of God in others. The truth is unchanged. The BIBLE has spoken, and it plainly reveals the reality of eternal punishment called “Hell” which can be avoided by all “if” they will accept God’s way!