Yes, you read that right: HELL. What’s the “7734”? Back a decade or so, it was the way you could “spell-out” the word hell on an old calculator — enter 7, 7, 3 and 4, then turn the calculator upside down to read the word. (You could also enter a decimal point first, then 7734, to add the letter “o” to form the word hello!) You may also recall the phrase “H, E, double-hockey-sticks” as a euphemism for saying “hell” outright. I mentioned these as I introduced my sermon on hell (an unscheduled topic) last Sunday.
Why don’t people like to mention hell, or talk about it? Even many Bible-believing Christians [should there really be any any other kind?] don’t like the doctrine of hell as taught in the New Testament. The answer is a growing way of thinking (and behaving) that is not God-centered but man-centered. Such thinking views “sin” as simply an offense between people – not God. Such man-centered thinking views God only in terms of being like the best “man” imaginable – and such a “God” would never send anyone to hell.
But the TRUTH revealed in the Bible (like it or not) is this:
• there is a real place, created by God called hell;
• Jesus spoke about hell more than He did about heaven;
• hell is a place of retributive (not remedial) punishment;
• there is no such place as purgatory;
• hell is the permanent (eternal) abode of the wicked
I’m putting this in my journal to see if there is anyone interested further in these statements (or my defense of them); I’d be happy to elaborate. Let me know….
I do hope to add (this week, DV), comments about how the doctrine of hell brings real benefits to Christians here and now… really! There are several good points to be made.