Colossians - 2 Thessalonians 1

"He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power."

II Thessalonians 1:8-9, NIV

 

One of the hardest things for people who do not read the Bible to understand is how a loving God can send people to Hell. It is such a difficult topic that many, even among religious teachers, have concluded that there will be no such punishment for unbelievers.

 

When they do this, they deny the very words of Christ! The word most commonly translated Hell in the New Testament is the Greek word, "Gehenna." It is the name of the "Valley of the Sons of Hinnom" where sinful Israel burned their children in a twisted sacrifice to pagan idols. It was this terrible place of smoldering ashes and smells of burning human flesh that Jesus used to let people know how bad the punishment for unbelievers would be. Gehenna is used only 12 times in the New Testament, with all but one of those times having been used by Jesus. It is Jesus who warns us of this eternal place of suffering! Are we going to believe Him, or will we go along with the men who reject His clear teaching on this subject? 

 

Make no mistake: Jesus came into this world to save sinners from the doom of Hell, but He also let us know that this punishment is precisely what we will receive if we do not follow His way. So, we read the Bible to find out what His way is. And then we live that way to the very best of our ability. We can pretend that Hell does not exist. Many people, even among so-called "religious scholars" do not believe in Hell... but Jesus does... and so, therefore, should we!

 

I am glad that Jesus has warned us about this place that is so bad that He died so that we would not have to go there. I am glad that He has shown us in very specific terms how to live so that we would not have to go there. I am glad that He has revealed exactly how we can repent and have our sins washed away so that we will not have to go there! This is one of the main reasons that we read the Word: It is not only so that we can be saved, but also so that we can see, in no uncertain terms, what we are being saved from.

 

Aren't you glad that you have decided to read your Bible? Today's readings are Colossians, I Thessalonians, and the first chapter of II Thessalonians.

 

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

John 8:32, KJV