Must We Believe in Hell?

Posted: February 27, 2012 by Ryan Vincent in Hell, Scripture

The following is a sermon outline for Luke 16:19-31 that defends the traditional view of the doctrine of Hell.

Unbelievers deny its existence, and uninformed believers doubt it. It has been called cruel,
inhumane, and barbarous, and it seems too harsh a punishment just for failing to believe. But
the issue of hell stands ever before us. Must we believe in hell? Yes! In a day when many are
changing basic beliefs, we still believe in a real, literal hell for the following reasons:

I. The Bible Teaches It
    A. Jesus taught it
1. This story—it is probably not a parable because of the specific name used
2. There are other references (Matt. 10:28; Matt. 25:41; Mark 9:43–44)
B. The greater N.T. teaches it
1. Revelation 20:13–15
2. 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9
II. God’s Love Demands It
    A. Love is often used as argument against it; it is actually an argument for it
B. Love cannot act coercively, only persuasively (He cannot ravish; He can only
woo—because He is loving); thus love demands:
1. Those who do not wish to love Him must be allowed not to love Him
2. Those who do not wish to be with Him must be allowed separation
III. Human Dignity Requires It
    A. Forcing people to do something against their wills affronts their dignity
B. There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done” and those
to whom God says “Thy will be done”
C. Forcing people to go to heaven against their will would turn heaven into hell for them
D. The very people who fight against hell are those who insist on freedom of the
human will (you can’t have it both ways)
IV. God’s Justice Insists on It
    A. Justice demands a reward for good and punishment for evil
B. God has chosen not to finalize judgment in this life (this is the reason why it is
correct to say that life isn’t fair)
C. There must be a place of reward for goodness and punishment for evil in the future
or life makes no sense
V. God’s Sovereignty Determines It
    A. The Bible speaks of God’s sovereignty some day being absolute
B. Sovereignty is not finally absolute unless good triumphs over evil
C. The triumph of good over evil is not meaningful without separation
VI. The Cross Presupposes It
A. The Cross is at the center of Christianity
B. The Cross is the means of salvation
C. Jesus endured great suffering on the cross
D. Why the Cross if there is no hell?
1. No hell to shun? The Cross a sham!
2. There is no significance to the Cross if there is no eternal separation from God

We will walk through this and discuss several of the biblical texts mentioned next week.

Love you guys!


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