Is Hell Too Severe?

Is Hell Too Severe?

How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
–Hebrews 10:29

One reason some people give for not believing in hell is that hell is just too severe a punishment for wrong beliefs. They say, “Isn’t God overreacting just a little bit? Is a good, moral Muslim father who tries to live a righteous life really going to be condemned to an eternity of suffering in the same way as a man who abuses children?” It seems too much that people are going to hell just because they have not believed the right things about Jesus. But when we say that, we really do not understand what a person is doing when he rejects or even neglects the gospel. Look at Hebrews 10:29: “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” I want you to notice three specific words in this verse. First is the word “trampled.” The Greek word, “katapateo,” referred to what people would do with salt once it had lost its saltiness. They would throw it out on the road, and people passing by would trample it. That salt was worthless. The writer was saying when you reject Jesus Christ, you are treating His death as worthless. Can you imagine what that does to God’s heart when we say the death of His Son is worthless?

Second is the word “unclean.” That word was originally used to refer to the mangy, filthy dogs that would roam the streets of Jerusalem. When a person says no to the gospel of Jesus Christ, he is saying the blood of God’s own Son is unclean–it has no more value than the blood of a mangy dog. It is unclean, unholy.

The third word I want you to notice is “insulted.” The writer of Hebrews said a person who rejects the gospel “has insulted the Spirit of grace.” Imagine you are looking out your window, and you notice that your neighbor’s sprinkler is flooding his yard. So you send your eight-year-old son to tell your neighbor what is going on. When your son knocks on the door, the neighbor says, “Get outta here, you snot-nosed little kid!” You are insulted, but you do not want your neighbor to suffer from an inflated water bill. So you send your mate over to try and warn him. Your neighbor opens the door and calls your mate every filthy name in the book before yelling, “Get off my property!” How are you going to respond now? Do you feel compelled to say anything else to your neighbor? I doubt it. When a person rejects or simply neglects the gospel, that person is continually insulting the Holy Spirit of God who is moving in his heart to cause him to accept the gospel. The fact is, every person who will occupy hell deserves to be in hell. They have rejected the death of Christ, devalued the blood of Christ, and insulted the Holy Spirit.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Answers To Those Who Say, ‘Hell? No!’” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.