Who would have thought, six months ago, that the final week of campaigning towards yesterday’s election would involve the contenders trading theological pronouncements about hell? Although there was not much substance or authority to the statements they made, I think I am pleased that hell is in the news, because unpleasant as it is, there is no more important subject. Long after the taxation, labour market and environmental policies taken to yesterday’s election have been forgotten, every Australian voter will be either in heaven or in hell.
This is the clear testimony of Scripture (e.g. Luke 12:5, Revelation 21:8). And for all the talk of a “vengeful God” that we have heard in the media, it should be obvious that Scripture warns us about the reality of hell because God does not want us to go there. At the centre of our faith is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ who underwent the punishment of hell to redeem sinners from the hell that we all deserve.
Hell is not reserved for especially heinous sinners. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. But the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14). The way to life is through faith in the crucified Christ.
If you are not sure you are on the road to life, tell me at the door, and let’s talk about it urgently.