Do Christians really believe in Hell? And do they really believe that anyone who isn’t a Christian will be tormented in a lake of fire for all eternity? How could a loving God send people to Hell?
Few aspects of the Christian faith are as difficult to understand, and unpleasant to ponder, as the doctrine of Hell. Add to the mix the common stereotypes about lakes of fire, pitchfork-wielding devils, and a condemning God, and you have a doctrine that’s seriously misunderstood by most people (including many Christians!).
But it’s just too important a part of the Gospel story to ignore; if there were no Hell—no threat of eternal separation from God—there would be little point to Jesus’ death and resurrection! So today, let’s take a look at some resources that explain what Hell is, why Christians believe it’s real, and what it all means for you right now.
- Probably the #1 question people have about Hell is how could a loving God make people suffer in Hell? It’s a good question—and the Bible has some good answers. Answers in Genesis has an excellent breakdown of this question, asked by a Christian who was having trouble grasping this idea.
A similar question worth asking is do Christians really believe that people who haven’t heard of Jesus will go to Hell? Here’s a second answer to that question if you want more.
- If you want to read for yourself what the Bible says about Hell, here’s a list of verses from the Bible that talk about Hell (and Heaven too). And if you need a hand interpreting what they all mean, you can’t do better than RBC Ministries’ online booklet What the Bible Says About Hell.
- Pastors and church leaders—are you shying away from talking about Hell in your sermons or study lessons because it’s such a touchy subject? It’s really not a subject you can just ignore—here are some ideas for broaching the subject of Hell in logical ways during sermons.
- A famous creed of the Christian faith states that Jesus “descended into Hell” after his crucifixion. What does it mean that Jesus descended to Hell?
There’s lots more about Hell and the afterlife over at Gospel.com’s Hell topic page. It’s not a fun subject by any stretch of the imagination—but it’s important, and while it’s tempting to just ignore or breeze over the doctrine of Hell, it’s too important a part of the Gospel story to just overlook. So take a few minutes and see if the above links don’t answer a few of your questions about Hell!