IS HELL REAL?
2 Thessalonians 1:3–12
Anyone who has read my writings much or heard me preach can attest that I enjoy a measure of humor. God created us in His image, and I am convinced that on numerous occasions, Jesus expressed immense joy and happiness throughout His earthly ministry.
It is hard to imagine Him receiving the little children with a scowl or walking on the water with a frown.
However, there is one subject I will never find funny or share a joke about, and that is the real place called hell.
While some make hell a curse word or use it in a flippant manner, it is an eternal place of torment and separation from God. We should not desire for anyone to be bound to this place.
Hell provides us with a more complete picture of the gospel and the consequences of rejecting its truth.
God watches over His faithful followers. (3–7a)
Christians and non-Christians alike would rather not talk about hell.
The subject makes people uncomfortable, and others choose to deny its existence.
Paul mentions here that early believers were facing special persecution due to their faithfulness. Persecution against the Church will happen, and Christ told His disciples to not be surprised when it occurs.
Do not miss the last couple of verses in this section. It indicates that those who persecute Christians will be repaid by God with afflictions and suffering of their own. These words lend themselves to the coming judgment of those who reject Christ.
Those who do not follow God will face eternal destruction. (7b–10)
Our culture is permeated with the need for instant gratification. For each of us, the return of Christ will happen in an instant. That is great news for all who know Him as their Savior but devastating for those who do not. In His holiness, God cannot overlook or dismiss sin.
The cross of Christ that saves all who believe will also condemn those who have rejected His offer for salvation.
The penalty and punishment given to those without Jesus is earned as a result of their choices. Those who are saved will fully realize the depth and measure of God’s atoning love.
We are called and equipped to do good and bring glory to God. (11–12)
I was listening to a radio show recently, and they asked where the moon gets its light. The moon simply reflects the magnificent light from the sun more than 90 million miles away. As Christians, we should take note.
There is no glory or righteousness of our own that we possess or can manufacture. The glory and hope we share reflect the Son, Jesus. We must be ever mindful of those who need to hear and see the good news of Christ.
Each of our words and witness can either help bring others closer or push people further away from Jesus. Yes, hell is real but so is Jesus!
The closer we are to God, the more our hearts will have a burden for the lost people in our world. It should be our desire that we live in such a way that others will desire to know of the hope that is within us. You can be anything in this world. Be a moon and reflect Jesus.
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi