I read a great post on Greg Stier’s blog just a few minutes ago. He has some sobering things to say about the topic of hell that should spur us on to better evangelism. It is a great post. Here is a clip;

I have a confession to make that may surprise you. I have a serious problem with the doctrine of hell. It’s hard to imagine a loving God that would create an eternal place of suffering for sinners. Don’t get me wrong I think that sinners should suffer some. But an eternity of agony in “fire and brimstone” for all those who happen not to be Christians? Come on!

It’s a lot easier to imagine hell as a place where people are not physically tortured but psychologically tormented until they regret and repent. Maybe at this point they are even given a second chance to respond to Christ. This kind of hell seems to have the best of both worlds, sinners are punished and then mercy is demonstrated. Perhaps the exception to this rule is the worst of the worst sinners. Those who commit mass murder in the name of some warped ideology like Hitler and Stalin could burn forever as far as I’m concerned.

Or maybe hell could be mere annihilation, eternal extinction of the soul if you will. When people are plunged into that infernal inferno it is a final purging of existence. Their slates are wiped clean and they cease to be. As horrible as that may sound it is infinitely more fathomable than an eternal hell.

I have a problem with accepting a doctrine that condemns the sinner to a forever future without hope, without escape, without a second chance. To be honest my heart begins to hurt and my brain starts to ache when I think about it. Questions flood my mind and question my convictions. Questions like how could a loving God send people to an eternity in fire and brimstone? And if God is so merciful why would he cause people to suffer for so long in such pain?

But no matter how many times I try to explain hell away or redefine and make it palatable to my puny brain, there it is in black and white again and again throughout the pages of the Bible. No matter how I try to imagine it away or tone it down one thing is clear, the Bible describes hell as for real and forever.

You can read the whole thing here.