Scripture: Luke 16:19-31
Scripture Memory: 1 Cor 9:21-22
Journey: Some people object to Christianity because of the concept of hell. There is a popular image of God as a malicious being who grabs people, against their wills, and at the end of their lives tosses them into a place of eternal punishment while they are screaming, “No, no, no!!” Other than that about the only time you run into a reference to Hell in our society is in a joke or a Halloween costume. Kids were running around in November with little plastic pitchforks and horns and tails—Hell is just a kind of joke.
The Small Group discussion guide for this week reads, “People can accept the idea of a loving and forgiving God — but cannot accept a God who would knowingly send people to hell. Hell seems incompatible with the idea of a loving God.”
Are the two ideas of love and wrath incompatible? How would you explain to someone the concept of hell and God’s punishment of all wrong in this life?
For sure, it’s no joke. The Scriptures teach that the human soul is not disposable and that human beings face an eternal destiny. They teach that this will either be an eternal destiny with God, or an eternal destiny apart from God, one or the other. Come along today and think about how you can be prepared to explain this critical biblical doctrine that seems to be offensive to so many people.
To know Him and make Him known,
Will (for the pastors)