The Pastor Who Didn’t Believe in Hell

post date: October 23, 2011


Recently I read about a pastor who lost his faith in hell and then found it again. Having been trained in a liberal seminary, he simply dropped his belief in hell without telling anyone else. He regained his belief first by reading the Bible and then by doing some serious repenting before the Lord.

When asked how a loving God could send amazingly good people to hell, he had a simple answer: “I don’t know any amazingly good people.” He added this for emphasis:

We are all fundamentally flawed at the core and it is only in our own hubris where we want to lift ourselves up. . . . I reject the idea that there are amazingly good people out there.

He’s exactly right. All those “amazingly good people” who somehow end up in hell turn out not to be so amazing after all. The best among us are just wretches in need of God’s grace, and as for the rest of us, we’re like wretches squared, if such a thing were possible.

“There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).

If we believe that, then we’re all going to hell unless God does something to save us. It’s not as if we good and other people are bad. That’s not what the Bible teaches. The point is, we’re all in the same boat and the boat is going down. Apart from God’s grace, we’d all end up in hell.

The pastor ends his interview on this note:

The main point I want people to take away is hell is real and it is really hard to stomach, but God loves us with such an amazing love that we have to tell people about that. Hell is not the point, heaven is the point. Loving people into heaven in a gracious and humble way. 

He’s exactly right. If we believe what the Bible says about heaven and hell, we’ll tell them the truth about Jesus and invite them to trust him.

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