Pascal’s wager is well known. He deals in the prospect of a Heaven and a Hell where obeying God or not will determine the outcome. He suggests that betting on God has great potential if it is true and no downside. But betting against the existence of this Judge could reap little benefit and potentially a cataclysm that is unbearable. Bet on God, get Heaven and lose nothing, bet against God, get Hell and gain nothing.
|Bet the odds!|
Now, what if there was no Hell?
How would this change our betting? How would this change your life? Would you strive for souls? Would you purify yourself?
If there is no Hell, Stalin and Moa won’t be punished for the murder of a 100 million people. They will die outside Heaven into nothingness and non-existence like my aunt who didn’t follow Jesus either. They get the same punishment as my wonderful aunt who only crime was not loving God. She never killed anyone, yet she would get the same light sentence as Lenin and Douhlmer.
Death would mean RIP. You would sleep forever, not much of a punishment.
The Apostles and Jesus would be liars. They claim we were sons of the Devil destined for the fiery lake with all those outside of Christ. If this is not true, what about the promise of Heaven? Could they be trusted?
If there is no real punishment, just sleep forever, then there is no deterrent to sin and especially for the most vile types of iniquity. This would prove to promote a “live for today” attitude with ultra-selfish ambitions. This would produce a real chaos.
If there is no Hell, I think the sacrifice of God’s only Son on the Cross is the most grotesque waste of beauty. He would have saved us to Heaven and saved us from dying forever. But eternal rest isn’t a bad alternative to Heaven. No more bills and bad marriages, no more tears or sorrows…doesn’t that sound eerily like Heaven? If there is no Hell there is no down side. Why spend His beautiful Son for this?
The economist says if there is no Hell; and Heaven is just a maybe. Do what you want now. Bet the sure thing. The worst case is you miss Heaven but have the life you wanted with no restriction. And this is how many live. They wish away Hell and live as they want, not believing that missing Heaven would be a loss.
Hell is a piece of the puzzle without which Christianity would make no sense. The day there is no Hell is the day I leave the faith. I’m an economist. If there is no tension for souls then there is no reason for sacrificial living. I am not an altruist. My pre-Christ nature is “everyman for himself.” Jesus changed me to a value system of love but not for loves sake but for my souls. I do not want to go to Hell.
Since I know that Hell is as real as Heaven, I am willing to sacrifice myself in this burning world that some may escape Hell’s flame. I wouldn’t sacrifice my life for an annihilationist philosophy. I would not bother caring for any but me and all that pleased me.
Hell is real.
Rev 20:10-15 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.
Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. NIV
Thank God the Father through Jesus His son.
Without Hell I wouldn’t have known Him. Thank God for Hell!