Is There Really a Hell?

Michael Wittmer, Ph.D., Professor of Systematic & Historical Theology provides clear and understandable answers to today’s difficult questions often in two minutes or less.

There is a hell. The Bible mentions it many times, as does Jesus Himself. Hell is the
ultimate destination of all enemies of God, both human and angelic. The last book of the
Bible tells us of “the pit of fire,” a deeper part of hell reserved for Satan and his demonic
horde. Hell is a terrible place of unquenchable fire, of weeping and bitter despair -- most
of all because there is no hope of salvation in this place totally separated from God.

God, being perfect, cannot tolerate any evil in His heaven. God, being just, cannot
simply let everyone into His heaven so they’ll think he’s a nice guy. God could only
reconcile His perfect goodness and His perfect justice in the Cross. As Leslie
Schmucker says,
The one truth that allows me to accept the justice of hell is the indisputable
certitude of the goodness of God. While the notion of hell is difficult for me to
grasp, Jesus (with nail-scarred hands) is worthy of my complete trust. His
goodness causes me to look ultimately not to hell, but to the cross.
[See Appendix IV for this complete article.]

At the cross the perfect, sinless Man was crucified by a scoffing crowd... not for
anything He had ever done, but only to pay for your debt of sin, and mine. Because He
did that, our pardon is bought. Our freedom from bondage to sin is achieved. The
accusations of the Enemy have no power over us. On that Cross, the last thing Jesus
cried out was, “Tetelestai!” (It is legally finished, completely paid for.) With His own
blood He paid for all the sins of all mankind. His suffering – not only physical but of His
Spirit – was nearly infinite. Only an infinite God-Man could take it on. And He did, so you
and I who believe on Him can find peace with God and walk the road to heaven.

How dare we think God has no “right” to send anyone to hell? He suffered hell Himself
to save us from it! How dare we blame Him for being unjust or uncaring? Over
centuries of patience with us humans, God has done everything – literally everything –
to open the highway to heaven to us humans who by ourselves deserve only hell.

No one can complain of injustice if they are sent to hell. Far from it. As John MacArthur
says, "God unfair...? Fair would be to send everyone to hell. You don't want fair, you
want mercy." God’s amazing mercy allows those of us who trust Him, who take His
road, who accept the Savior He sent, to go to Heaven. God’s mercy is real, and so is
His justice.

In his classic Knowing God, J. I. Packer writes of the goodness and severity of God:
The character of God is the guarantee that all wrongs will be righted someday;
when the ‘day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed’
(Rom 2:5) arrives, retribution will be exact, and no problems of cosmic unfairness
will remain to haunt us. God is the Judge, so justice will be done.

The amazing thing is not that anyone goes to hell, but that anyone goes to heaven! And
it is only possible because of our loving God and His amazing grace, freely given in
Jesus Christ. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved... saved from a worthless
life, saved from our fears and our inadequacies, and saved from an eternity spent in a
very real Hell.

Helpful Additional Resources:

Is hell real? Is hell eternal? An article by Got Questions

Hell is more than a choice, An article by The Gospel Coalition

How Can a Loving God Send Anyone to Hell?  An article by Beliefnet