As human beings, we don’t want to believe in Hell. We tend to want to see Heaven as a reality for anyone who is “good” and follows the rules. The world constantly tells us that anyone who isn’t truly “bad” will go to heaven, but this is not a biblical reality. The default for sinful humanity is Hell.
On Good Friday, we face the reality that we have sinned against a holy and righteous God and deserve punishment and separation from Him forever. Many ask, “How can God allow a good person to go to Hell?” Truth be told, the mystery of the cross is that God takes the wrath we deserve to give us the very thing we could never earn–eternal life with Him.
From a Biblical perspective, eternal life is more than “not dying.” The grand reality of eternal life is never ending, always good, and found in and through Jesus alone. Heaven grants a Christ follower a life filled with the goodness, presence, and glory of God. Eternal life means gaining our true life.
As a result, abundant life beyond our greatest expectations becomes the extravagant, gracious gift of God at Easter. In Christ, we receive what we were created for: a bountiful life exploring the heights of mountains like the Himalayas without risk, experiencing the seas without the worry of a squall or raging torrents, and where no suffering exists.
Ultimately, we live for the reality of worshipping God with the true fullness of our being as we see Him face to face. Heaven and eternal life is the remaking and restoration of a life which sin rotted and destroyed. Eternal life is walking with God; not with shame, but rather with everlasting satisfaction. Randy Alcorn in his book Heaven describes it like this: “Think of friends or family members who loved Jesus and are with him now. Picture them with you, walking together in this place. All of you have powerful bodies, stronger than those of an Olympic decathlete. You are laughing, playing, talking, and reminiscing. You reach up to a tree to pick an apple or orange. You take a bite. It’s so sweet that it’s startling. You’ve never tasted anything so good. Now you see someone coming toward you. It’s Jesus, with a big smile on his face. You fall to your knees in worship. He pulls you up and embraces you.”
The opposite of eternal life is everlasting punishment. The Bible states that the punishment for sin is not only unending, but also unquenchable. Many times we whitewash Hell from the Christian experience or blame God for sending people to Hell; however, the truth we find in scripture is that we have all fallen short of the glory of God and therefore deserve eternal punishment. Hell is exactly what we along with all of humanity deserve.
Beloved, Hell is not a mere literary device or allegorical fantasy. Hell is real. Embracing this reality is crucial because it creates an urgency to proclaim the gospel, and it illustrates the need for a Savior and Messiah.
Luke 16:19-31 describes Hell as a place of anguish. Hell is what the heart that rejects God receives: a place without the presence of the Lord. God is good, and any place where His presence does not reign is the epitome of horror. There is no love; there is no grace; there is no joy; and there are NO SECOND CHANCES.
As we see in Luke 16, once we have passed on from this life, there is full accountability. The question that remains is: who will be accountable? The wages of sin make us accountable for ourselves, but the gift of the Cross means that Lord Jesus is accountable for those who follow Him.
On this Good Friday, we also celebrate that the Lord is patient in His judgement. In 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, Paul says, “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Today, we celebrate that we live in that time of great grace and patience. God is withholding His judgment and offering sweet mercy for our rebellious hearts.
While we celebrate, we must also acknowledge the urgency of today. The day of salvation will not last forever. At a time the Father has appointed, this day will draw to a close and the day of the Lord’s vengeance will arrive. So beloved, there is an urgency to preach the Gospel and to proclaim the Kingdom to those who are perishing. At Lifeline, this urgency is found in our mission to manifest the Gospel to the 153 million orphans and vulnerable children around the world.
On this Good Friday, may we have an unquenchable desire to rescue the perishing with the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ. May our desire no longer be for the things of this world that will pass away, but for souls who can know eternal life found only in Christ. Today, let us resolve to go to all nations making disciples of Jesus understanding the eternal weight of our sin and the immense gift of Salvation through Christ.
Lifeline Children’s Services
Has the Lord put your family in a place where you could adopt or foster a precious child in need and in so doing, disciple them in the gospel of Christ? Has the Lord burdened you with His command in James 1:27 to care for orphans in distress? If so, partner with Lifeline today. Visit lifelinechild.org/donate to give to the cause; or lifelinechild.org to apply to adopt; to sign up for a trip through our (un)adopted® ministry by visiting orphans in need; to apply to be a foster parent for a child in United States foster care; to volunteer in one of many ways for the sake of orphans; or to ultimately partner with us as we seek to take the gospel to the fatherless.