Perhaps you have heard the theory that suggests some people in Hell would be just as miserable if they had gone to Heaven. I beg to differ. You see, everyone eventually wants to be saved.
Jesus described Hell as a place “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. Everyone will be salted with fire” (Mark 9:48,49).
Jesus also said, “The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49-50).
Everyone in Hell today desperately wants to be saved from their excruciating agony. I am not suggesting they want to love and worship the Lord. This holy desire is absent from the heart apart from repentance and faith in Christ. Spiritual conversion makes you “a new creation,” (2 Cor. 5:17) and it produces a holy love for God in your heart. Once a person is thrown in Hell, however, the miracle of conversion (John 3:3-7) is no longer available. “People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Those who do not love Jesus while on Earth will no doubt hate the Savior after being thrown into Hell. God would have saved them and given them a new heart if only they had repented of their sins and trusted Christ for salvation. In fact, “God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
Perhaps you currently have no interest in being “saved” from Hell, and no concern about paying the punishment your sins deserve. As far as you are concerned, the only “hell” people ever experience is right here on Earth. The fact of the matter is that both of the eternal destinations described in the Bible are extreme.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13,14).
The Messiah endured hours of agonizing torture on a cross because the Savior’s death was the only way the penalty for our sins could be paid in full. (1 Peter 1:18,19).
“Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1,2).
You only benefit from Christ’s death if you receive Jesus as your Savior. Those who place their faith in the Messiah are forgiven. If you refuse to come to Christ in repentance and faith, you remain lost in your sins, just like some of those who heard the Gospel from the Apostle Paul.
“Some were convinced by what Paul said, but others would not believe” (Acts 28:24).
What about you? Are you refusing to believe in Jesus as your Savior? Are you hardening your heart to God’s command to repent of your sins? (Acts 17:30) God’s gracious offer of everlasting life is available to you today.
“Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17).
Everyone in Hell right now is dreadfully thirsty. Jesus spoke about a rich man who went to Hell,
“where he was in torment. He looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire” (Luke 16:23,24).
The rich man’s request was denied. Since he chose to love money rather than thirst for God during his life on Earth, he has now learned from firsthand experience that “wealth is worthless in the day of wrath” (Proverbs 11:4).
The only thing that pays for sins is the blood of Jesus shed on the cross 2000 years ago.
As Charles Spurgeon put it, “Morality may keep you out of jail, but it takes the blood of Jesus Christ to keep you out of Hell.”
You cannot work your way or buy your way into Heaven. You can only believe your way into Paradise by trusting in the death of Christ and the blood the Savior shed for your salvation. If you want to be saved today, then come to the cross. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
If you currently have no interest whatsoever in being saved, I assure you from God’s Word that one day you will want to be saved from Hell. You will either come under the conviction of your sins here on Earth and want to be saved and forgiven, or you will die without Christ and be thrown into Hell by God’s angels. You will be horrified to realize that parole is not an option and that your eternal sentence in this gruesome prison cannot be reduced.
A familiar phrase states: “You can pay me now, or pay me later.”
When it comes to your immortal soul, you can accept Christ’s payment for your sins now, or you can pay for your sins later and forever in Hell. Which will it be?
Everything God says in the Bible about Heaven and Hell is completely true. Are you smarter than God?
Holy angels love and serve Christ, whereas fallen angels (demons) hate and fear Christ. Your attitude toward Jesus throughout eternity will resemble either the joyful mindset of holy angels or the hopeless desperation and vitriol of demons.
Are you burdened by your sins today?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Here is a simple profession of Christian faith:
“Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. I repent of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to pay for my sins. Wash me, Jesus, with your precious blood. Please give me a new heart that loves you and seeks to live for you every day. Amen.”
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.