Faith Matters: Do people still believe in Hell?

  • Moores Corner Church in Leverett. Staff file photo/Paul Franz

  • Pastor Michael Grant in the Moores Corner Church in Leverett. Staff photo/Paul Franz

  • Pastor Michael Grant in the Moore’s Corner Church in Leverett. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Moore’s Corner Church
Published: 8/2/2022 12:10:02 PM

(Each Saturday, a faith leader offers a personal perspective in this space. To become part of this series, email religion@recorder.com)

By PASTOR MICHAEL GRANT

Because there is so much injustice in the world, many if not most people who believe in an afterlife do get the sense that there must be some sort of system of rewards and punishments in the life to come. Historically, the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have all had some concept of hell and, of course, we’ve all heard of the fire and brimstone preachers of the past — men like Jonathan Edwards, who preached one of the most famous sermons of all time, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” Back then, it was understood: Man was bad, and God was mad.

Those days seem to be over. If there is one thing modern churches and ministers agree on, it is the statement in 1 John 4:8 that says, “God is love.” Some take it even further. I drove by one church and the sign out front said, “God is love. PERIOD.” OK, but whatever one’s view is, we should be able to admit that this new idea that God no longer has anger or wrath is not in line with traditional Christianity nor is it in line with the life and ministry of Jesus.

“Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.”

—John 2:13-15

The fact is, Jesus expressed what we would call a righteous indignation. He recognized how people were corrupting the faith in order to line their own pockets and He was always keenly aware of how people wanted to use Him to further their political agenda to drive out the Romans and to restore Israel to a position of dominance. What does this have to do with hell? Jesus called the religious/political leaders of his day “snakes” at one point He says to them, “How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33)

Whatever a person’s opinion is about hell (and I say this with all due respect), such opinions ultimately are irrelevant since the existence of such a place is not dependent on what a person thinks about it. A Christian is a person who follows the teachings of Christ; therefore, historically, Christianity has taught the existence of hell for one simple reason — because Christ taught it.

“And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”

—Mark 9:47-48

Thankfully, Jesus also taught about heaven and salvation through faith in the Gospel. The clearest expression of God’s love according to Scripture is that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). On the cross, Jesus absorbed the wrath of God for us; therefore, the issue now is how we respond. To the humble believer God is a compassionate heavenly father, but to the stiff-necked rebel He is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).

About Moore’s Corner Church

Moore’s Corner Church is a Non-Denominational Christian Church that was founded in 1896 by two students of Evangelist D.L. Moody. We exist to support missions and to disciple and encourage the Body of Christ through the ministries of the local church. You can listen to us on 97.3 FM WLPV out of Greenfield, Sundays at 7 a.m. and Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m. We are also on WVNE Life Changing Radio 760 AM Worcester / Boston Sundays at 1:15 p.m. For more information or to contact us, visit our website – moorescornerchurch.com


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