Ur Video: Mark Driscoll on Hell
The punishment fits the crime, and the preaching fits the subject.

You knew it was coming. We couldn't feature a series on hell without Mark Driscoll. His bold, in-your-face preaching on the subject is a vivid contrast with Erwin McManus' pastorally sensitive approach from last week. Which style is a better fit for your ministry context?

Displaying 1–10 of 42 comments

Scott

August 07, 2010  4:44am

Ok, so this post is old. But the subject intrigues. I wanted to comment on the idea that man is eternal and finite at the same time. In a similar yet, different way Jesus was eternal and finite, as well. And of course this all relates to the subject of an eternal hell I know that I just opened up a whole new can of worms that nobody may ever see. But its good for me to express anyway. God is first and foremost eternal. He was and always has been. God is also omniscient meaning that He has known everything always (which includes one of His defining characteristic as being eternal). For everyone there seems to be only two alternatives here. That is either matter has always been eternal or God has always been eternal. The very nature of nature is that something never comes from nothing prescribes this thought. With all of that being said, God had each and everyone of us (our personalities, mind, hearts, etc...) before we were ever created. In this sense we have been eternal in God's mind. God didn't just think a unique thought one day and say, "Hey I never thought of this, but I'm going to allow for the creation of Paul or Scott or ... you fill in the name." No we were like little sparks or ideas that hadn't taken physical form yet. But in some sense we've always been around even if we were only in the thought of God. Hence God has set eternity in our hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. With all of this being said, God by the very law of eternity doesn't or can't undo eternity. I know, I know. Its the old argue of "Can God create a rock larger than He can lift?" Of course He can... Now let that sit for a while. God is bound only by His own nature. So He can't sin because He can't sin. He can't unthink eternity because He is eternal. Therefore, He can't just undo us or make us not exist eternally (nihilism). So do you think that He is going to let us continue to live destructive lives that infect and damage others in eternity? Because if we don't change in this life with all of the opportunities that He gives us with grace and then sanctification, then we won't change in eternity either. So God created a place/place/dimension where those who have chosen not to accept life change through Christ to be without infecting everything else in eternity. There is justice in this for both those who choose eternal life and those who choose eternal death. And we have the option to choose. And if we do not choose the only way to true Life, then we choose an eternal death, existence of being without everything that true life has to offer. Such offerings are relationship, fellowship, goodness, etc... Hence, making such a choice will truly render us an existence of eternal torture. Ok, I could go on. But I'd have to write a dissertation. Thanks for opening up the forum for us to discuss it. And oh by the way, I think that Erwin McManus's sermon is truer to the heart and soul of God and His scriptures.

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Karen

March 29, 2010  2:47pm

Is it reasonable to see a disjunction between a belief in the destruction of Death and Hell as proclaimed in Revelation, and the belief that the unrighteous nevertheless go back into this same state of being "dead" in the "lake of fire" after the post resurrection judgment? Don't Death and the Grave/Sheol/Hades, by definition, continue in existence as long as they have the power to keep their victims and contain tenants?

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jim

March 05, 2010  12:21am

Randy, maybe fire for the body and worms for the soul? Just kidding. Blessings.

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Randy

March 03, 2010  6:03pm

Sheerahkahn, Perhaps I wasn't clear; the Bible to my knowledge nowhere says that God will take the mortal unsaved man and grant him immortality just to punish him eternally. The promise of everlasting life is only for believers. The rest will either be saved and therby become sons of God by adoption or they will perish. Good question about Mark 9:1-9 but not difficult. If you look at the context and the parallel passages in Matthew 17 and Luke 9 you will get a clearer understanding. Cutting to the chase, it was a vision as stated in Matthew 17:9. They were heavy with sleep seemingly awoke to this vision and then "poof" it was gone and Moses and Elijah with it. Feel free to keep the questions coming. You'll have more. That's how we both get challenged to a deeper walk. Another thought for you. Have you ever wondered why Paul never discusses or mentions the word hell (hades). Peter only uses the word once (tartarus) and applies the place to fallen angels. James only uses the word once (gehenna) in reference to a slandering tongue. Luke in the book of Acts only quotes David in the Psalms in reference to the resurrection of the body of Jesus. Don't you think it strange that the apostles don't delve into this matter in the light of Jesus's references to hades and gehenna? Perhaps, just perhaps, the hell referenced by Jesus has nothing to do with our concept of hell as a place of torment for the eternal souls of unbelievers. A few more questions for you to ponder: If separation from God in death and destruction is punishment and those dead are never bodily resurrected to eternal life, then isn't that punishment everlasting? Other than the Luke 16 passage, is hell ever connected by Jesus to conscious torment? Have you ever wondered why living worms are also consigned to hell along with us? Are these specially resurrected bad worms? Do these worms have some kind of spirit body to keep them from burning up while the unsaved dead are tortured in flames for eternity?

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sheerahkahn

March 03, 2010  11:07am

Randy, I have to say your idea of Y'shua using the parable of the Lazarus and the Rich man as a sarcastic twist on the relationship between Y'shua and the Pharisees is a new one on me...and to be honest...quite plausible. I don't have a problem with it...in fact, it does make me think a bit more about that interaction. However... "By the way, only God is immortal: 1 Timothy 1:17;6:16. We only have immortality if He grants us the status in Him. As Matt implied, apart from Him we are dead in our sins and dead is dead until it no longer exists." And once again...really, where did I say we are immortal by self directive? Please read my posts before responding...it's getting rather irritating having to address this. BTW, Randy, in response to your "dead is dead" commentary...I present for your consideration...Mark 9:1-8. Please, illuminate why Moses and Elijah seem to be very coherent and alive I have yet to encounter a coherent explanation for this event? For me...perhaps, things in this universe are not as clear cut as we would like them to be...I'm not so traditional or egotistical that my thoughts become an immovable citadel to be vigorously defended when challenged with new information.

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Randy

March 03, 2010  1:37am

Dominique, Suppose in the context of Luke 16 Jesus is as usual showing the Pharisees the error of their ways and beliefs. Suppose the Pharisees had in their traditions the exact same picture of the afterlife Jesus is about to describe. Jewish historian Josephus (who became a Pharisee) erroneusly believed and described this same kind of picture without any acknowledgement of this reference by Jesus in Luke. Suppose Jesus who said he would never speak to the Pharisees except by parables was taking their own belief and turning it back on them. Suppose they were the mammon loving rich man. Suppose Jesus was talking about the same Lazarus he raised from the dead. Suppose it was this raised Lazarus's witness Jesus is talking about and Jesus is showing these hypocritcal Pharisees once again they are holding to their power enabling traditions (this erroneous view of the afterlife instead of believing Moses and the prophets...read in John 11 what the Pharisees said after the raising of Lazarus). In case all this is seemingly nonsensical, my point is that this is not a Biblical illustration of heaven and hell but rather another sarcastic response to the Pharisees. As for your statement, "using sight, hearing, taste and touch (feeling). In hell, people were able to remember, to feel, communicate and regret," I invite you to read the following Scriptures about the place and state of the dead before the resurrection: Psalms 6:5;Psalms 49(whole chapter);Psalms 88:11; Psalms 115:17; Psalms 146:2-4; Isaiah 38:18. I just want believers and enquirers to think and search the Scriptures and learn the context and meanings of words used apart from tradition of man. Here is another thought provoker. Read Acts 2:29,34;13:36 and consider that David (a man after God's own heart)is used here to illustrate David's death and non resurrection as compared to what happened when Jesus died. Sheerahkahn, Your view of separation and example is traditional. No where in Scripture is your view explained and it is only inferred if one holds the traditional view. By the way, only God is immortal: 1 Timothy 1:17;6:16. We only have immortality if He grants us the status in Him. As Matt implied, apart from Him we are dead in our sins and dead is dead until it no longer exists. Melody, Keep searching for truth. Jeremiah 29:11-13 Reece, Truth. Still, Thanks for the great quote from C.S. Lewis Matt, I think you are pretty much right on. Ryan, I feel your pain and anguish. It is almost palpable but don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Read the Scriptures with scepticism but not with loathing. If you want to know what God is like look at Jesus Christ. Everything negative He says is directed at the Scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees ie. the religious hypocrites of His day. When you criticize Christians for their hypocrisy, you are in good company. When you criticize God you are doing so because of misunderstanding of who He is. In a sense you are judging Him in the light/darkness of your own image thus playing God yourself. This is understandable based on your beliefs. Just remember, your beliefs and feelings though genuine may also be wrong. Continue to seek truth, but be careful not to fall into the traditions of unbelievers even as some of us fall into the traditions of believers. Everyone else, I'm too tired to answer each of you right now. I do, however, want you all to know that I believe that the bottom line is that in Jesus is life: 1 John 5:11-12 Jesus really only gave us three commandments: Matthew 22:37-40 and Matthew 28:19-20 ie. Love God, Love each other, and teach others to do the same. And this love is evidenced by discipleship: Luke 6:46 and this love is beautifully described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and is further evidenced by fruit bearing: Galatians 5:22 I am tired of hatred and fear and greed wherever it appears. Blessings to all.

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Dominique

March 01, 2010  9:20pm

You know what I found out about Jesus' teaching about hell? Something very, very interesting! Some people like to allude to hell as a 'state of mind' or some kind of idea, or that the Bible is not REALLY that clear on it. Hmmm... Notice something very simple in the story of Lazarus & the rich man in Luke 16, that made it different than ALL the other parables Jesus ever spoke: He used names (Lazarus & Abraham). He described two specific places. This may not mean much to you...but it means so much to me. Jesus did not typicially use names in His parables. In fact He would usually say "The kingdom of GOD is like...". With this description of hell, He used facts, people's names, a description of heaven and hell, using sight, hearing, taste and touch (feeling). In hell, people were able to remember, to feel, communicate and regret. Unlike a parable, which is a story designed to teach truth...this strikes me as a true story. Father Abraham's response to the rich man strongly reminds me of when Paul made the statement of being 'surrounded by a cloud of witnesses'. Father Abraham knew of the rich man's life and Lazarus. Believe what you may, Jesus has warned us about hell. I'd rather take the 'risk' and choose to believe His word & description on it (even based on this description alone!) versus someone else's who would rather not choose to believe it simply b/c the literal idea of hell being a real place deep down inside makes them uncomfortable

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sheerahkahn

March 01, 2010  11:15am

Hmm, I think I'm seeing where you are coming from, and I think we have a differing view of separation. How to explain my view...hmm...okay, how bout this. A husband and wife have been married for thirty years, they live in the same house, eat at the same table, talk about the kids, and yet the emotional connectiveness that makes a marriage a marriage is not present...they're like two room mates, but with no affection...the relationship has gone cold, and now their going through the mechanizations of a marriage though their hearts are far apart. That is part of the separation I'm speaking of...the one where the wife reaches out to her husband, but he eschews her for his own "thang." and conversely, where the husband reaches out to the wife, but she is far to enamoured with her own wishes to be bothered by his constant "want." So yes, their in conversation, but no, they are never together...a "sort of" relationship where the individual is constantly reminded of what they eschewed for their own desires...and here is the gripper, also addressed by the rich man...he was not interested in bridging that gap between him and G-d...nope...he was only thinking about how to get out of his predicament. That is what the people existing in hell will be like...always wanting the end to the torment/ordeal, but never wanting to be in a relationship with G-d...which is what Christianity is all about...or should be. One other thing...it's okay to develope a philsophy about life, the bible, G-d, etc, it's quite another to allow it free rein...I keep my philosophy aligned with the bible...so if my "nature" does get the better of me...I can self correct with the word of G-d. Just something I do.

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Matt

March 01, 2010  10:56am

Melody, Good question. There's more than just metaphor and literal to deal with too. There's "signs" like the sign of Jonah. There's simile - in those days it will be like in the days of Noah... It's hard to set rules here. Hyperbole. We assume Jesus doesn't really advocate self-mutilation, even when he speaks in the imperative. There are a LOT of biblical imperatives that we routinely ignore without much guilt. Parables are pretty obvious but we have a hard time interpreting them unless Jesus gives it to us. And even then, there's a lot we can miss. What about places where everything seems literal but does that mean it is perfect communication? As already stated: "I am ascending to the Father." I know all this is messy and I know that people are afraid of the slippery slope. I'm so sick of that fear.

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Melody

March 01, 2010  8:06am

I agree that the stream is fairly well spent but I have one last question: How does one tell when a Biblical passage is speaking in metaphor or speaking literally?

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