A number of short articles on hell. Although many of the authors are great, including Hamilton, Naselli, and DeYoung, only Dever's short exhortation to Pastors is truly excellent.
In sum, hell glorifies God because
- it shows that he keeps his word;
- it shows his infinite worth, lasting forever;
- it demonstrates his power to subdue all who rebel against him;
- it shows how unspeakably merciful he is to those who trust him;
- it upholds the reality of love by visiting justice against those who reject God, who is love;
- it vindicates all who suffered to hear or proclaim the truth of God’s word;
- and it shows the enormity of what Jesus accomplished when he died to save all who would trust him from the hell they deserved. If there were no hell, there would be no need for the cross.
Pastors, don’t be lured into the culture’s standards of what to fear and not to fear. Don’t be fooled by the culture’s sneering at fear. They’re afraid, too. Instead, follow Jesus in warning others about the fearful future that awaits those who do not repent of their sins and trust in Christ.
Obviously, it would be inaccurate to characterize Jesus and the apostles as nothing but sandwich-board fanatics with vacant stares screaming at people to repent or perish. It flattens the New Testament beyond recognition to make it one large tract about saving souls from hell. And yet, it would be closer to the truth to picture Jesus and the apostles (not to mention John the Baptist) passionately pleading with people to flee the wrath to come than it would be to imagine them laying out plans for cosmic renewal and helping people on their spiritual journeys.