Christians and non-Christians alike are uncomfortable with what Jesus teaches about hell. But the difference between the two groups is that Christians don’t usually like to talk about hell, whereas non-Christians are very interested in talking about how Christians can believe something as horrible as the doctrine of eternal separation from God.

It’s important to understand that the Bible’s teaching on hell is the negative side of the Bible’s much more positive offer of new creation and restoration, and the imagery of torment is a highly powerful vehicle for communicating the horror of the infinite pain of eternal separation from God. In addition, it’s important to note that hell is, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “locked from the inside.” People reject God in this life, and hell is a place where he allows them to continue rejecting him for eternity. In this sense, hell is exactly what people who reject God choose.


Aaron Mueller
Chuck Rathert