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Hell, no; we won’t go

Good people do go to Hell. That’s the scary part. It doesn’t seem right.

And animals get to Heaven – we’re looking to Isaiah 11:6 - 7, where wolf, lamb, leopard, goat, calf, etc are mentioned living in peace and harmony in the upcoming Messianic Age. Pet lovers – rejoice!

According to human reasoning, the good should go to Heaven and the bad go to You-Know-Where. We should just make doubly sure we have enough frequent flyer points for the redemption and that no expiry or blackout dates disrupt.

If entry to Heaven or Hell depends on where one might be on the Good-Bad continuum, contemporary secular people feel they will surely make the cut. On the balance of things, they might score themselves at least 6 out of 10, if not much higher. Almost everyone feels they have done more good than bad in life. Add to that the view that few people are intentionally wicked or deserving of eternal punishment. Rosy.

All of us know of someone who feels he or she does not need religion in general or Jesus Christ’s way of salvation in particular. Essentially because they sincerely believe they are good people. Period. They automatically qualify for Heaven. If there must be a Hell, they’re exempted. Waiver applies.

If they can have their druthers, then do away with Hell. Can’t someone argue that Hell is really unwanted and unnecessary? Vote it out of existence at an international conference. Life on earth has been tough enough. Surely a better life should be next on the agenda.

David Briggs (Association of Religion Data Archives) wrote that Hell anxiety has been largely an unexplored topic. According to him, “Researchers from Baylor University developed a series of measures on ‘Hell anxiety’ and found that, ‘the more religious an individual was, the less likely they were to display Hell anxiety’.”

“Basically, if you believe in a harsher form of Hell, you’re pretty sure you’re not going there,” said lead researcher Stephen Cranney. On the other hand, “in addition to respondents who thought Hell was a likely option, those experiencing the greatest Hell anxiety were people who were more likely to believe their choices are determined by forces outside their control and those expressing fear of God.”

But good or bad deeds are not the criterion for admission. Rather, it hinges on whether the person is cleansed of their sins or not. Everyone in Heaven has received forgiveness and justification, washed by the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14).

Neither good nor bad people need to go to Hell. There is hope for all who turn to God – He is not willing any should perish but all be saved (2 Pet 3:9). In the first place, Hell was created for the devil and his fallen angels (Jude 1:6; 2 Pet 2:4; Mt 25:41). But it has become the default terminus for those who refuse the kingship of God.

By the way, who’s in charge of Hell?

Very subtle. But cartoonists seem to suggest something outside of their preserve. Mike Brown of Creation Science Prophecy observes: “Often Satan is pictured as being in control of Hell where he tends the fires of the agonizing wicked. Thus Satan is pictured as tormenting the wicked. Is that truly what is going to happen? Is that happening now?

This kind of arrangement would seem to make God and Satan partners, because who is it that would have to set up Satan as the one in charge of the punishment of the wicked? Would God be in agreement to this kind of arrangement?”

Fear not. This is not something out-sourced by God to Satan. They are not partners – they are enemies. And Satan knows his time is running out – “…for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Rev 12:12)

Stick with the original Scriptures for accuracy and reliability.

As a contrast of both destinations, Evan Lyn amplifies: “If Heaven is the place where you never want to leave, then Hell must be the place where you always want to leave but can’t. The place worse than death.” In short, Heaven is all that Hell is not. It’s the Father’s home promised and prepared ahead for us. Hell has no part in all this.

Ought to be obvious, right?

Dr Andrew Goh is the editor of Impact magazine.


The article can be found in the vol. 43 no.4 of IMPACT Magazine.

Hell Talks... Take heed lest you are sucked in

Fire And Brimstone... Reflections on the necessity of Hell

Call To Action... Rescuing those in living hell

A Heaven to Gain and a Hell to Shun. (Panel Interview)

Did Jesus Descend Into Hell?

The Joseph of Kenya... Interview with the sixth Archbishop of Anglican Communion

Abba, Father... A journey into sonship

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