CLERGY CORNER: Go to hell?

Posted on 11 July 2019 by LeslieM

The phrase “go to hell” is an all too common phrase and often accompanied by the one-finger salute or a few choice words. It is obvious that people don’t really consider the seriousness of hell when they make such a statement.

At the risk of sounding as though I interpret the Bible literally (which I do without apology), I believe that hell is a real place. Jesus taught more about hell than He did about heaven; so either hell is real or Jesus is a liar! The Bible describes hell as a place of physical, mental and spiritual torment; where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. It is a place of outer darkness with unending suffering, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Society’s trivial approach toward hell has caused cynicism about it. Hell has been downplayed, glorified and portrayed as a party. Rock-n-Roll classics about hell include “Straight to Hell,” “Burn in Hell,” “Go to Hell,” “Highway to Hell,” “Hells Bells,” “Vacation Hell” and many more. The Charlie Daniels Band told us the “Devil Went Down to Georgia” and Terri Gibbs told us the Devil has blue eyes and wears blue jeans.

Popular television shows and cartoons including Family Guy, Futurama, The Simpsons, South Park, Tom & Jerry and others have used hell as a plot. Popular comics Dilbert, The Far Side, Hellboy and Spawn used hell as their theme. Even Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck and Pluto have been depicted as being in hell. Is it any wonder that people have become desensitized to the severity of hell?

We would expect the secular world to be confused about hell but, sadly, even today’s churches seem to have varying opinions. There was no confusion in the minds of history’s great evangelists. Jonathan Edwards, Oliver Green, D.L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, George Whitefield, Billy Graham and numerous other great evangelists preached a literal hell. They didn’t avoid truth for the sake of popularity as this generation does.

I believe some people have a hard time accepting that a loving God would ever send anyone to hell. The fact is that He doesn’t … He lets us choose. Because of Adam’s sin, all mankind is separated from God; but “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish (in hell), but have everlasting life” – John 3:16. Matt 7:13-14 LB reads, “Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. 14 But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him” – John 14:6. So, the choice is yours – heaven or hell – but avoiding the topic won’t make it any less real.

Dr. Gary A. Colboch is Lead Pastor at Grace Church located at 501 NE 48 St. in Pompano Beach. For more information, call 954-421-0190 or pastor@gbcfl.org.

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