I just watched the second installment of ABC’s “The Ten Commandments,” and I’m grateful that the movie prompted me to think about some things the Bible says. For instance, there was a scene in which the faithful Israelites killed the idolatrous Israelites who refused to worship Yahweh after the golden calf incident (see Exod 32:26–29). As I watched these scenes, what came to my mind was the fact that not only do those who refuse to worship Yahweh meet with misery and death in this life, they face an eternal conscious torment.
Why do people go to hell forever?
Has this landed on you? Is it real to you that those who do not know God as he is will face his wrath forever? Have you thought about whether you think people deserve to suffer forever for not worshiping God? Can you think of any reason that would justify eternal conscious torment for a human being?
It can only be because this God whom they have refused to honor and thank as God is of infinite worth. Do we know God in this way?
If we don’t know God in this way, we probably won’t take worshiping him very seriously, which probably explains why so many churches don’t seem very serious about knowing and worshiping God.
When we think of God, do we think of him as being this worthy?
When we speak of God, do we speak of him in a way that reflects that he is this serious about his rights as God?
When we sing to God, do we do so in a way that corresponds with the gravity with which he regards himself?
To know God as he is means that we hold him so highly that we regard eternal conscious torment as what is justly due to those who neither honor him as God nor give thanks to him.
To understand mercy is to perceive that the only difference between those who will be saved and those who will face his wrath forever is that God was pleased to show mercy to the saved and justice to the damned.
Do you worship God in a way that reflects the awful weight of a mercy that freely pardons those who trust Jesus—forgiving us of sins for which we rightly deserve to suffer forever?
Is the God you worship so important that those who spurn him deserve hell? If not, your concept of God is not biblical.
You are hereby invited to trust this God. Call on the name of the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved (Rom 10:13).