John Piper: Why fear of Hell won’t scare people into Heaven

19 12 2011

There is much of value here. It would be a worthwhile 3:25 min for you





To Hell with it… (or) why Americans are losing their belief in Hell

19 12 2011

Reasoning from their own experience and emotions, rather than from the Bible, many who call themselves evangelicals are just deciding that a “good” God would not send persons to hell — at least not anyone they know.

Undoubtedly, much of this can be traced to currents in the larger culture, where non-judgmentalism, a therapeutic view of life, and a thoroughly modern view of fairness lead many to reject hell as a place of everlasting torment and punishment for those who never come to faith in Christ.

As Professor Segal observed, “They believe everyone has an equal chance, at this life and the next.”  Thus, “hell is disappearing, absolutely.”

That this is true within the culture at large is not surprising.  But when those who claim identity as evangelical Christians begin to modify the doctrine, this should set off alarms.

No doctrine stands alone.  There is no way to modify belief in hell without modifying the Gospel itself, for hell is an essential part of the framework of the Gospel and of the preaching of Jesus.  Hell cannot be remodeled without reconstructing the Gospel message.

Here is a sobering thought:  Hell may disappear from the modern mind, but it will not disappear in reality.  God is not impressed by our surveys.

read the whole thing here





R.C. Sproul on Hell

19 12 2011

There is no biblical concept more grim or terror-invoking than the idea of hell. It is so unpopular with us that few would give credence to it at all except that it comes to us from the teaching of Christ Himself.

Almost all the biblical teaching about hell comes from the lips of Jesus. It is this doctrine, perhaps more than any other, that strains even the Christian’s loyalty to the teaching of Christ. Modern Christians have pushed the limits of minimizing hell in an effort to sidestep or soften Jesus’ own teaching. The Bible describes hell as a place of outer darkness, a lake of fire, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, a place of eternal separation from the blessings of God, a prison, a place of torment where the worm doesn’t turn or die. These graphic images of eternal punishment provoke the question, should we take these descriptions literally or are they merely symbols?

I suspect they are symbols, but I find no relief in that. We must not think of them as being merely symbols. It is probable that the sinner in hell would prefer a literal lake of fire as his eternal abode to the reality of hell represented in the lake of fire image. If these images are indeed symbols, then we must conclude that the reality is worse than the symbol suggests. The function of symbols is to point beyond themselves to a higher or more intense state of actuality than the symbol itself can contain. That Jesus used the most awful symbols imaginable to describe hell is no comfort to those who see them simply as symbols.

read it all here