[This post is a work in progress as part of the CAA Catechism.]
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Summary in 400 words or less:
Hell is known as a lake of fire and also outer darkness in the Bible. This is a place where the wrath and anger of God is going to be poured out on sinners in full after judgment. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and those there will be consciously tormented day and night forever. They will be forever separated from God.
Craig Blomberg says that this punishment is not arbitrary or vindictive, but rather it is a just and fair expression of God’s love in honouring the choice of individuals. (Craig Blomberg, New Testament Survey Lectures – specifically on Romans 1)
So instead of God’s presence, rivers of living water, no more tears, no more pain and no more sorrow, God creates a place void of His presence and glory for those who do not want it. There will be unquenchable fire, suffering and weeping instead.
C.S Lewis wrote, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it” (Lewis, Clive Staples. The great divorce. Inktree, 2013. p.69)
The traditional historical view of the majority is that this punishment lasts for an eternity because we have sinned against a perfectly just and holy infinite being. Only an infinite and sinless person can pay this infinite debt for us, who is Jesus Christ our Lord. So those who put their faith in Christ will be justified. Note that the view of eternal judgment however is not agreed by evangelicals who believe in annihilationism (or conditionalism), they instead believe in eternal death/destruction which is known as the second death, where one ceases to exist after they perish in hell.
Hell is one of the solemn teachings of the Bible. So when we talk about it, it should break our hearts for those who don’t know God, as much as it breaks God’s heart.
The glory of God is going to be displayed in Hell through God’s judgment on those who broke his law. Augustine likened it to a beautiful painting, where you have your darks and your lights. The dark parts in the painting amplify and magnify the light parts. In the same way Hell is going to be the dark to the glory of God, displaying His loving kindness, judgment and righteousness.
Scripture for YouVersion:
Matthew 18:8, Matthew 25:41-46, 2nd Thessalonians, 1:9 Hebrews 6:2, Jude 7, Daniel 12:2; Luke 16:19-31, Revelation 20:14-16
http://oneminuteapologist.com/searchpage#hell (Video #94)
Three questions (1 fill-in-the-blank, 1 multiple choice, and one discussion question):
References for further reading:
Crockett, William, ed. Four Views on Hell. Zondervan, 1996.
Morgan, Christopher W., and Robert A. Peterson, eds. Is Hell for Real or Does Everyone Go To Heaven?, Zondervan, 2011.
Fudge, Edward William, and Robert A. Peterson, eds. Two Views of Hell: A Biblical & Theological Dialogue. InterVarsity Press, 2000.
Shedd, William Greenough Thayer. The Doctrine of Endless Punishment. Scribner, 1886.
Collaborators: Sergio Flores, Frederick Choo, Peter Grice, Jonathan Hanna, D. Preacher, Zack Kendall
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