Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore has stressed the horrific nature of Hell and cautioned Christians against downplaying the reality and severity of Hell to appear “more loving” to non-Christians.
In a recent video posted on his website, Moore said Hell has been “trivialized” in today’s culture — or simply avoided altogether. He offered three reasons many professing believers refrain from thinking about or discussing the doctrine of Hell.
“Sometimes that’s because they’re embarrassed about seeming to be ‘hellfire and brimstone’ to the people in their communities, as though somehow we were more compassionate than God,” he suggested.
“For a lot of other people though, there’s just a gravity of it all. We can think of people we know who don’t know Christ, and there’s a burden there when it comes to the doctrine of Hell,” he continued.
“And then for other people, there can be legitimate questions. They can say, ‘Why would somebody who’s rebelling against God in this short little period of time … then endure Hell forever and ever and ever and ever with no end in sight?’”
However, throughout His earthly life and ministry, Jesus repeatedly talked about Hell and used a variety of different forms of imagery to describe the awfulness of Hell and judgment, Moore stressed.
Deep within their heart, every human understands the necessity of justice and judgment, he said, adding, “We have a longing for love and we have a longing for justice. And that’s present in everyone. That’s why sometimes it’s hard for people to forgive.”
The first thing to understand about Hell is that “sin is more serious than we think it is,” Moore stressed.
“A sin is not just about the consequences of the way that we relate to one another. Sin is a violation of the holiness of God,” he said. “And we don’t understand that. Of course we don’t because we’re finite. But also because we’re sinners. We’re implicated in this cosmic rebellion against God, but also because of the nature of the punishment itself.”
Those condemned to Hell will be completely cut off from God and “handed over” to who they truly are, apart from His grace, Moore posited.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett