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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Lee

So, You're Saying I'm Going To Hell

Throughout the years I have had numerous Bible studies and discussions with people. Many of them have gone well, while others have been challenging. When discussing the subject of salvation, Heaven and Hell naturally come up. Jesus taught about both, especially in the Sermon on the Mount.

 

In Matthew 5:12 Jesus says, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you…

 

Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

 

In Matthew 5:28-29 Jesus says, “…But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

 

One of the more challenges when studying with people is having them read from the Scriptures what the Bible says about salvation. When they realize what they have done does not align with the Scriptures an objection is often raised. Something I’ve heard is, “So, you’re saying I’m going to hell?”

 

When someone asks this, it can become unsettling to the one who is teaching.

There are some things to keep in mind.

  1. God’s word is the standard, not me or anyone else.

    1. We will be judged by His words according to John 12:48-49.

    2. One should take seriously whether their conversion story aligns with what’s revealed by the Holy Spirit.

    3. In the New Testament, there are no examples or commands for a person to say a prayer to receive salvation. How then can one be confident in something they can’t hear about in the scriptures? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, Romans 10:17.

  2. God is the Righteous Judge.

    1. He knows the hearts of men and will judge accordingly, John 2:25.

    2. Yet, this does not mean that we can’t share and teach what is explicitly revealed in God’s word. We should believe what Jesus says when He says, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; He who does not believe shall be condemned, Mark 16:16.” We should believe it and act on it.


There’s something else very important to consider as well when this objection arises.

In Acts 13:43-46 as Paul and Barnabas were preaching the gospel, there were some who refused to believe. Paul says something interesting as a result. He says, “Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, ‘It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.” Let’s consider some additional thoughts from this and the statement, “So, you’re saying I’m going to hell?”

  1. The word of God had been preached to these people.

  2. They repudiated it (or rejected it).

  3. Paul said they had judged themselves.

  4. Because of their rejection of the truth, because of their stubborn hearts, Paul said they were unworthy of eternal life.

  5. What is the opposite of eternal life? Jesus said in Matthew 25:46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Those who reject the gospel and refuse to believe in Jesus judge themselves unworthy of eternal life. They (as well as all of us) will have to give an account before the Lord on Judgment Day. No one has to go to hell. Jesus died so we can be saved from our sins. The choice is ours. We must choose if we wish to be in heaven or hell. Have you judged yourself unworthy of eternal life?

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