The Doctrine of Hell is perhaps the most difficult doctrine for Christians to understand. There are many different perspectives on this topic ranging from an eternal Hell, to annihilationism, to universalism. It’s important that this question, and any other theological question is tackled biblically first. There are a number of key points to look at when studying the doctrine of Hell.
1.) God is Holy
The first thing that needs to be established when looking at the Doctrine of Hell is the holiness of God. In Isaiah 6:5, the prophet Isaiah is in the throne room of God, and says, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” The prophet Isaiah recognized how we are all sinners, deserving of punishment for our sins. There are no innocent people.
2.) Hell is Real and Eterna;
When we look Biblically, the Bible is clear that Hell exists. Even Jesus, who many postmodernists see as someone who just talked about love, actually talked about Hell more than anyone else in scripture. The Bible describes Hell as an eternal place. Matthew 25:46 describes Hell as “Eternal punishment” in contrast to the “Eternal life” that the righteous will receive. 2 Thessalonians 1:9 say that Hell is, “The punishment of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord.” Both of these verses state clearly that Hell is eternal punishment.
3.) Hell is Not a Good Place
The Bible is also clear that Hell is a place that we would want to avoid. Jesus says in Matthew 13:50 that Hell is a place of “Weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Additionally, Revelation 21:8 talks about how the people sent to Hell will face their “Second death.” These verses make it clear that Hell is a terrible place worth avoiding at any cost.
4.) We Need Jesus to Avoid Hell
Perhaps the most controversial part of the Christian doctrine of Hell is the question of who goes to heaven, and who goes to Hell. Some believe that everyone goes to heaven, no matter what, but this is not what the Bible teaches.
God is an all-loving God, and He loves His creation enough to not force them to be with Him (heaven) if they don’t want to. The Bible is clear that we need Jesus to be saved. John 3:16 says, “Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Anyone who believes in Jesus will not go to Hell. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” There are no innocent people, but through Jesus, we can be made right with God and can enter His holy presence.
Throughout the Bible, we can see constant truths about Hell. Hell is eternal, Hell is a bad place, and to Hell is where those who are not saved by Jesus will go.