Eight Myths About Hell – Happy Halloween 2020
Hell is a popular topic and commonly discussed in a flippant manner, especially during this time of the year.
Sam Storms of Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City addresses eight popular myths about Hell. I think he is right on target, and so, for your reading pleasure here is a portion of his text:
“As noted, contributing to the problem of Hell are the numerous myths or false beliefs that surround it. Here are eight of them:
Myth #1. There is widespread belief among non-Christians that Hell is a place where they will be united with their unbelieving friends and drink beer all the time in an endless party.
The fact is that Hell is a place of utter isolation, loneliness, and deprivation.
Myth #2. Another false belief is that Hell is the place where Satan and his demons exercise their authority to rule and reign.
The fact is that Hell is the place where Satan and his demons suffer eternal punishment. Satan and his demons are inhabitants in Hell, not its warden or guards. See Matthew 25:41 for one clear statement to that effect.
Myth #3. Directly related to the previous myth, there is the notion among many that in Hell Satan and his demons torment human beings who also are there.
No. There is not one text in the Bible that suggests Satan and his demons afflict or torment human beings. They themselves, instead, are the object of God’s punishment. There have been numerous books written by people who claim to have visited Hell in which they describe a scene where demons are tormenting humans who have been consigned there. This should be the first indication to all careful, Bible-believing readers that such an experience is fabricated.
Myth #4. Yet another misconception is that there are people in Hell crying out for mercy who want to reconcile with God.
Nothing in Scripture indicates this is so. Instead, those in Hell are eternally defiant of God and hate Him all the more with each passing moment.
Myth #5. One of the more blasphemous notions about Hell is that there are people in Hell who don’t deserve to be there.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. God’s justice is impeccable and He never consigns anyone to punishment in Hell who does not fully deserve to suffer there.
Myth #6. A related myth is the notion that there are people in Hell who wanted to go to Heaven while they were still alive, but God wouldn’t let them.
That is utterly false. Jesus Himself made this clear when He said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst. . . . whoever comes to Me I will never cast out . . . . For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:35, 37b, 40).
Myth #7. A seventh myth is that there are people in Hell who will eventually be released and granted entrance into Heaven.
As much as we might wish this were true, it isn’t. The Bible does not teach the doctrine of universalism, that is, the idea that everyone will eventually be saved and given eternal life in the new Heaven and new earth.
Myth #8. Finally, there is the myth that in Hell people will be rid of God and have no experience of Him.
That is not true. It is true they will have no experience of God’s loving and gracious presence, but they will most assuredly experience His presence in justice and wrath. In fact, we read in Revelation 14:10 that they will be tormented “in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb,” that is, in the presence of Jesus Christ.
I’ll conclude with two brief observations:
First, I can’t read biblical portrayals of Hell and eternal punishment or think about it without feeling a deep and unrelenting agony in my heart. We should never talk about Hell without weeping, for it is real and people are going there. This is not a subject for joking or lighthearted banter. It is an issue that should provoke within us both anguish and an urgent commitment to share the gospel with those who remain in unbelief.
My second reaction is one of unfathomable gratitude. When I read about Hell in a passage like Revelation 14:9-11 I’m reading about what I deserve. God would have been perfectly just and righteous had He chosen to consign me to eternal torment. But in mercy He has drawn me to faith in His Son. In mercy He has poured out His wrath on Jesus in my place, a wrath and judgment that Jesus lovingly and willingly embraced and endured. Every single one of us deserves damnation. God owes us nothing but justice. The fact that He has given us mercy instead, and forgiveness instead of condemnation, ought to awaken in us the most heartfelt and passionate gratitude and praise.”
Amen and Thank you, Sam.
And my thoughts are: