I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the boy and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear; fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you fear Him! – Luke 12:4-5
The Bible teaches us that there is a hell to avoid. Scripture makes it unequivocally clear that there is a place called hell, and it is a place of expressed dreadful torment and suffering. Hell is a place of excruciating pain, the Bible says. It is described as a place where the fire is never quenched, a place of outer darkness, of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It is a place where the worm never dies. It is a place of everlasting punishment and eternal damnation. There are those liberal pastors and theologians who say that all of this is just figurative expressions, but the figure is never as great as the reality. That means the reality is twice as much the figurative language.
Hell not only is a place of excruciating pain, it is also a place of punishment for disobedience. Hell is a place where there will be the inflicting of pain for sinners’ disobedience. It is punishment as the penalty for violating God’s law. God executes this punishment because His enemies deserve to be punished. Did you hear that? Man’s problem is not that he needs rehabilitation; man’s problem is that he’s a disobedient sinner who ought to be punished. That’s the greatest rehabilitation there will ever be. In Matthew 25:46, Jesus said, “These will go away into eternal punishment.”The Apostle Paul again taught the same doctrine in II Thessalonians 1:9, “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction.”
Hell is also a place of justice. Sinners in hell are punished at the demands of perfect justice. All sin and transgression must receive just penalty. Now, many attempt to explain away hell today. They attempt to explain away hell by appealing to God’s goodness. But we must not divide up God or the attributes of God as if there were some sort of God buffet line and you get to go around and pick out the aspects or attributes of God that you like and leave out the ones you dislike.
What you have to understand is the whole of His attributes is what the Bible calls the perfection of holiness. It is the height of wickedness and taking God’s name in vain to subjectively define God as it pleases you. Let us be done with the blasphemous notions that you can separate God’s truth and justice from God’s goodness. It is good that God is just, and His justice is in perfect harmony with His goodness. He would cease to be good if He were to cease to be just.
Jesus says do not fear the limited power of man. Man may kill the body, but there is no more he can do. Fear God who has authority and power to kill your body and throw both body and soul into eternal punishment.
Now note here, He did not say to fear hell. He did not say to fear eternal wrath. He said to fear the One who can kill the body and then cast into hell. Brothers and sisters, hell is not your problem. God is your problem. God is to be feared much more than hell. He created hell and He has all power and authority to throw you there. There is an eternal state for all of mankind. Our bodies and our souls will exist forever. One group rises to the heavens and abides even higher than the angels; the other group descends down into hell and abides even lower than the demons.