Eight Myths About Hell

The reality of hell and eternal punishment is not a popular topic, even among Christians.

One of the more blasphemous notions about hell is that there are people in hell who don’t deserve to be there. Nothing could be farther from the truth. God’s justice is impeccable and he never consigns anyone to punishment in hell who does not fully deserve to suffer there.

 

The reality of hell and eternal punishment is not a popular topic, even among Christians. Part of the problem is that the nature of hell has been horribly distorted in our culture and portrayed as an experience that is far from what we read in the NT. When I’m asked why I believe in hell, my response is three-fold.

First, I have such unshakable and robust confidence in the inerrant truth of every word in the Bible that the matter is already settled before I even read the text. I believe, as the Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16, that “all Scripture [even texts such as Revelation 14:9-11] is breathed out by God and [is] profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

Second, by God’s grace I have come to understand, at least to some degree, the immeasurable magnitude and majesty of God’s holiness and beauty and authority and the honor that is due to him from all of his creatures, including you and me.

Third, again by God’s grace I have come to understand the immeasurable horror and ugliness and self-centeredness of humanity’s sin and depravity and wickedness.

So I can honestly say that to the degree that you and I struggle with the concept of hell and eternal punishment is the degree to which we don’t understand God’s holiness and honor, on the one hand, or the horror and depravity of mankind’s sin, on the other. In other words, if hell strikes you as unreasonable or unfair or disproportionate, it can only be due to the fact that either you don’t believe the Bible is inspired and true, or you don’t believe that God is infinitely holy and just, or you don’t believe that mankind is morally depraved and has committed cosmic treason and is thus deserving of eternal condemnation.

As noted, contributing to the problem of hell are the numerous myths or false beliefs that surround it. Here are eight of them.

Myth #1 – There is widespread belief among non-Christians that hell is a place where they will be united with their unbelieving friends and drink beer all the time in an endless party. The fact is that hell is a place of utter isolation, loneliness, and deprivation.

Myth #2 – Another false belief is that hell is the place where Satan and his demons exercise their authority to rule and reign. The fact is that hell is the place where Satan and his demons suffer eternal punishment. Satan and his demons are inmates in hell, not its warden or guards. See Matthew 25:41 for one clear statement to that effect.

Myth #3 – Directly related to the previous myth, there is the notion among many that in hell Satan and his demons torment human beings who also are there. No. There is not one text in the Bible that suggests Satan and his demons afflict or torment human beings. They themselves, instead, are the object of God’s punishment.

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