If hell is not real, what’s the point? (1)

 

Hell_-_Unknown_Master_-_Portugal_-_1st_third_of_16th_century_-_oil_on_oak.JPG

“Inferno by unknown master”, photo by José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Reading: Matthew 18:8-9

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

“And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?  I face death every day….  If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’” – 1 Corinthians 15:12-13,30-32

I have come across a series of posts discounting the idea of hell as we’ve always imagined it to be.  I am not a learned person when it comes to theology, especially with the Greek and Hebrew languages, and I must admit the arguments laid out were almost very convincing—to me, that is, but in my heart I am still not convinced.  But there is also a part of my character that does not want to leave any stone unturned, so, pulling out a door-stopper of a concordance inherited from a friend (which I rarely use), I went straight to “hell” (you know what I mean 🙂 ).

I know that some people who do not believe in God adhere to the idea that we are all just matter—that when we die, we just fall into unconsciousness forever, with our physical body disintegrating into the basic particles that used to hold together to give us human shape.  For me, personally, if that were the case, then there’s no hell or eternal torment to be bothered about, and neither would I be very much interested in resurrection—I would just live my life as what the apostle Paul has quoted—“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”!

But the apostle Paul said they endangered themselves every hour and faced death every day, by preaching the hope of resurrection.  If the alternative to this hope is just everlasting unconsciousness in a cemetery called Gehenna in a valley outside Jerusalem—I wonder if Paul would have thought that worthy a cause to endanger his life?  And I repeat the same argument—if the alternative is just everlasting unconsciousness, would Jesus tell us that it is better to cut off our hand or foot or gouge out our eye and enter life maimed (thank God for his Holy Spirit who sanctifies!), than to be whole and be thrown into the fire of hell?  If hell is just everlasting unconsciousness—then I would rather choose that than have all my limbs cut off and my sense organs removed!  But if Jesus desires it so much that I enter life even at the cost of my bodily parts—then hell must be serious!!!  And again—if Jesus desires it so much that I enter life even at the cost of HIS own life—then hell must be very, very serious!!!!!!  That is a warning, my friend!

I do not want you to lose interest in this topic by giving you a long read, so I will continue in my next post.

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5 thoughts on “If hell is not real, what’s the point? (1)

  1. I believe that Paul would have continued to endanger his life because he was motivated by the love of his lord. Meaning for Paul hell was separation from his God. His love for God was so great. I do understand that their our people who do not believe in hell. Their eyes blinded to the truth. Hmmm, just thinking out loud.

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