Hell is for real.
Jesus speaks of it often. It can be argued that He actually speaks more about eternal judgement than He does about eternal life.
In Luke 12:35-48, Jesus tells a parable about a faithful and wise servant who is prepared for his master’s return. Jesus concludes this teaching by saying that the servant who knows the master’s will but doesn’t do it will be beat with many stripes, while the servant who unknowingly disobeys his master will be beaten with few stripes.
Is Jesus saying that there will be varying degrees of punishment in hell?
In Matthew 10:15, he says, “I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town.”
Then in Matthew 11:22, “But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgement than for you.” And Matthew 11:24, “But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgement than for you.”
Hebrews 10:29 says, “How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot…”
So apparently the answer is “yes.” There will be varying degrees of punishment in hell. From worse than we could ever imagine… to even worse still.
Often Jesus speaks these words to unbelievers. It’s a warning. Don’t die separated from God, facing judgement.
But he also speaks these words to his disciples. It’s motivation. Don’t neglect your responsibility to tell others the Good News.
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, once told his students, “If I had my choice, I wouldn’t send you to school. I’d send you to hell for five minutes, and you’d come back real soul winners.”
Do you remember the old commercial, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” Jesus was accused of being “a friend of sinner.” I think His warning of hell’s horrors are His way of telling us, “Friends don’t let friends die, destined for an eternity in hell, without telling them the Good News.”
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