Blog Posts on Heaven & Hell

The Presence of the Lamb and the Sufferings of Hell

John Piper

Two of the passages of Scripture that express the unending nature of hell most clearly point to seemingly opposite reasons it will be terrible. One speaks of being “away from the presence of the Lord.” The other speaks of suffering “in the presence of the Lamb.”

“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

“If anyone worships the beast . . .…

Continue Reading

What Does Paul Mean: “Christ Will Reconcile to Himself All Things”?

John Piper

Some have used Colossians 1:20 to argue for universalism — that all rebel creatures, including the devil will be reconciled to God in the end and there will be no eternal hell.

Colossians 1:19–20,

In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

What's Said Elsewhere

I don’t think such universalism fits with…

Continue Reading

Heaven and Hedgehogs

Tony Reinke

A small emergency struck our home last week when my 4-year-old son’s favorite hedgehog stuffed animal went missing.

The hope of finding him was beginning to shrink with every search under the couch and with every sweep under the bed. The outlook made it likely that (once again) my wife would need to search eBay for an exact replacement. (A few hot-water-and-bleach wash cycles wear the replacement down to faded authenticity.) But we had not lost hope. Yet.

It may…

Continue Reading

Hell Can't Blackmail Heaven into Misery

Jonathan Parnell

God is for your everlasting joy. Real joy and really everlasting. Nothing can impede it, not even the simultaneous reality of hell. Pastor John writes in Future Grace,

When God's patience has run its long-suffering course, and this age is over, and judgment comes on the enemies of God's people, the saints will not disapprove of God's justice. They will not cry out against him. On the contrary, the apostle John calls on them to "rejoice" and to shout…

Continue Reading

Ages and Ages of Immeasurable Riches

Tony Reinke

Ephesians 2:4–7

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Continue Reading

David Platt on the Doctrine of Hell

Jonathan Parnell

The doctrine of hell is important — and extremely unpopular.

In this episode of Theology Refresh, David Platt talks about the priority of God's word as we approach this doctrine and faithfully serve the gospel in light of its reality.

Platt explains that hell is the manifestation that our sin against an infinitely holy God warrants infinitely eternal punishment. Moreover, when we minimize the reality of hell, we actually malign the mercy of God — because central to the fact…

Continue Reading

Why Does the Truth of Hell Rise to Watershed Significance?

John Piper

If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life,
he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!” (Revelation 15:3).

My eyes flow with rivers of tears
because of the destruction of the daughter of my people” (Lamentations 3:48).

If God is not bound to save anyone from hell, he is not bound to save anyone from suffering.

If God…

Continue Reading

Eternity: Infinite Damnation or Infinite Happiness

Josh Etter

Jonathan Edwards writes:

God aims at satisfying justice in the eternal damnation of sinners; which will be satisfied by their damnation, considered no otherwise than with regard to its eternal duration. But yet there never will come that particular moment, when it can be said, that now justice is satisfied. But if this does not satisfy our modern free-thinkers who do not like to talk about satisfying justice with an infinite punishment; I suppose it will not be denied by
Continue Reading

Universalism: Not a New Temptation

Jonathan Parnell

The temptation is not new: silencing certain biblical texts in order to say that eventually everyone will be saved. In fact, we could just call it recycled liberalism.

Desiring God focused on this subject 21 years ago at the Conference for Pastors — "Universalism and the Reality of Eternal Punishment."

In his sermon that assesses the biblical and theological arguments for universalism, Sinclair Ferguson reminds us:

There is a mighty sermon in Gresham Machen’s book, God Transcendent,…

Continue Reading

Holier and Happier Forever? How?

Tyler Kenney

Jonathan Edwards believed that Christians in heaven will only increase in holiness and happiness forever and ever.

He based this on the idea that, once in heaven, a Christian's bank of memories will forever be growing, which only means that the number of ideas in their mind will forever be growing also. Of course, this is just another way of saying that a Christian's knowledge will always be increasing—and here is Edwards' connection—

. . . and if their knowledge,…

Continue Reading