The Irrelevance of Hell


In our postmodern culture that plays by the tolerance guidelines of modern day instances, we have been taught to be “nice” and to pursue happiness at all fees. Soon after all, if we can not say something good, we shouldn’t say something at all. For the majority of individuals inside our urbane culture, hell is the sort of subject that is not discussed in the nearby coffee shop nor is it the center of consideration in most Sunday sermons. Let’s face it—hell is not relevant to a sophisticated culture. But, why has hell turn out to be irrelevant?

Our Culture Loves Itself To Death

It is not excuse that our culture is filled with self-enjoy. We love generating substantially of our amusements and entertainment is nearly viewed as a standard human ideal in our culture. We have trivia shows, all sorts of game shows, and even shows that spotlight other people’s funny videos created to hold us laughing. Neil Postman, in his classic operate, Amusing Ourselves To Death, observes the following:

Every thing in our background has ready us to know and resist a prison when the gates commence to close about us . . . But what if there are no cries of anguish to be heard? Who is ready to take arms against a sea of amusements? To whom do we complain, and when, and in what tone of voice, when severe discourse dissolves into giggles? What is the antidote to a culture’s becoming drained by laughter? [1]

Just fifty years ago, funeral directors anticipated lengthy mourning periods for loved ones gatherings at the funeral property. These days, the standard funeral is more than from begin to finish inside a couple of hours. Historically speaking, following the death of a loved 1, households would mourn for days or weeks, but today’s culture is rapid to acknowledge the death—but households are rapid to jump ideal back into the standard quickly-paced ruts of life straight away afterwards. Practically nothing can cease entertainment—not even death!

Inside a culture of entertainment, not extremely substantially is going to be stated about hell. In truth, even when individuals die who weren’t religious and didn’t have a life committed to Christ—it’s widespread to hear their close close friends and loved ones reassuring everybody that their loved 1 is in a far better location now. Heaven is actual, but hell has been relegated to a mythological land match for the story books. The culture that loves entertainment hates hell and such a culture supports the concept of universalism—where everybody dies and goes to the fantastic Disney Globe in the sky. For that purpose, hell has turn out to be irrelevant inside our entertainment saturated culture.

Preachers Worry Man

The trap of several ministers is the worry of man. We reside in an age of achievement exactly where pastors have been relegated to the position of campaign manager or evangelical fundraiser for the achievement of ministries and expansion projects for the church campus. Consequently, sermons filled with the intense heat of a literal hell do not precisely match the profile of a man who is searching to raise funds for ministry incentives. Ministers who method the pulpit with that mindset will most likely keep away from sequential expository preaching which would force them to deal with the doctrine of hell. For that purpose, hell is irrelevant in most nearby church ministries.

When most ministers are hired by a congregation, they’re generally asked a thing about a vision for their church. The expectation is that the minister will lead the church to golden years of development and achievement, so for a minister to say something in the pulpit that does not make individuals delighted or that could lead potential members out the door dissatisfied is generally avoided like the plague. Just a rapid consideration of the Bible’s language on hell is not precisely fitting with the standard sermon series on happiness.

Contemplate the terms applied in Scripture to describe the location of hell:

  • Matthew five:22 – “hell fire”
  • Matthew eight:12 – “outer darkness” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
  • Matthew 22:13 – “outer darkness” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
  • Luke 13:28 – “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
  • Mark 9:44-48 – Three times the Bible mentions “worm dies not” and “fire is not quenched.”
  • Mark 9:47 – “hell fire”
  • Revelation 20:14 – “lake of fire”

Beyond certain references to hell, the Bible likewise utilizes other references in a extra indirect manner to describe the judgment of God upon sinners.  Such references incorporate:

The fantastic query for preachers to look at is whether or not they worry man or God? Will the minister of the Word in fact minister the Word to the congregation—including the complete counsel of God’s Word? Joel Beeke observes:

Modern day pastors who do not preach on hell could worry the consequences of preaching on such an offensive subject on a Sunday morning. Vocal critics may well fault a minister for becoming also unfavorable. Guests purchasing for a church may well uncover the subject a colossal turn-off. Regardless, God has referred to as us to declare “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) regarding the way of salvation. [2]

The greatest instance for modern day preachers is none other than Jesus Christ in his earthly ministry. He declared extra about hell than he did about heaven, and but who amongst us holds the position that he wasn’t filled with enjoy for the individuals? The pastor who loves the individuals will certainly warn the individuals of a actual hell and point them to a actual Savior—Christ the Lord.

A single-Dimensional View of God

A widespread error when pondering of God is to manufacture a god of your personal imagination and contact it “God” when in reality your concept of God is not in line with his self-revelation in Holy Scripture. This is the way culture seeks to define God. Sadly, it is the way several Sunday college classes and Sunday sermons define God as properly.

It is not uncommon to hear individuals speak about the God of the Old Testament in radical contrast to the God of the New Testament. It was a popular skeptic in history, Bertrand Russell, who wrote in his book Why I’m Not a Christian that Jesus’s teaching on hell is “the 1 profound defect in Christ’s character.” The 1-dimensional view of God is 1 that tragically separates the enjoy of God from the wrath of God or even views God’s wrath as a defect. We need to not overlook that Jesus not only preached on hell, but Jesus developed hell. In like manner, Jesus was not absent and disconnected when hell was raining down from heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah.

Hell is irrelevant to a individuals who concentrate merely upon the “God of love” and see him as the New Testament meek and mild God of acceptance. Not only is that a gross misrepresentation of God, it is a tragic neglect of God’s character to recommend that we need to separate hell from the God who is enjoy. In truth, God loves his holiness so substantially that he developed hell. The enjoy of God for sinners is demonstrated in a hellish assault upon his personal Son on the cross in order to satisfy the holy demands of the law and to spend for our sin (Rom. five:eight eight:1-four 1 Peter two:24 Is. 53:10).

Our religion becomes irrelevant as we seek to make hell irrelevant. Such an try undermines the gravity of our sin and the holiness of God.

  1. Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Enterprise, (New York: Penguin, 2006), 156.
  2. Joel Beeke, Encouragement for Today’s Pastors: Assistance from the Puritans, (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2013), 179.


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