Hell - Part 1

I was asked the other day in a conversation at work if Hell really existed. I replied that I wish I didn't have to believe in Hell.While seeing the need for eternal justice, the thought of cruel and unusual punishment that lasts forever sounds morally wrong to me. Yet, the Bible describes God as a great King who creates a lake of everlasting fire for rebels who want no part of His kingdom.As a child, I thought of Hell as being like the agony of falling into a real fire. More than 30 years later, I'm trying to believe no more and no less than what the Bible requires us to believe.I've thought a lot about the story Jesus told of a callous rich man who died and found himself in Hades. Even before the final judgement, the man was suffering in flame and torment (Luke 16:19-31). Whether Jesus was speaking in a parable or not, I've found some solace in the fact that the man in the fire was able to carry on a conversation. He was not suffering in the way I imagined as a child.Admittedly, Jesus didn't tell the story to comfort us. He went on to describe how the man in the flame asked for a messenger to be sent back to the land of the living. He wanted his 5 brothers to be warned about this place of torment. But he was told, "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead" (Luke 16:31).The end of Jesus' story raises a question. What did Moses and the prophets say that amounted to fair warning?NEXT: Hell in the Old Testament

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