What is Hell?


Hell can be one of hardest Christian beliefs to endorse. It can seem unloving to believe in a place of such torment and agony. What is hell and why is it important? In this two-part post, pastors Tom Nelson and Sandy Willson help us navigate through the definition and significance of hell. 

This first section is with Tom Nelson, Senior Pastor of Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kansas. He walks through the narrative of Scripture to explain the doctrine of hell.

Tom said it is best to immerse the doctrine of hell in the entirety of Scripture. By examining hell in the context of the whole Bible, we can see God’s character shine through. 

How did Tom define hell? Do you agree with his definition? Why or why not?
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How does hell fit into the biblical story? How did Tom weave it together with sin, death, and salvation?
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If a friend asked you to define hell for them this week, how would you answer? Which of Tom’s points would you include? How could you explain hell in a way they could easily understand?
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The light of salvation outshines the grimness of hell. Even if you struggle to understand or believe in hell, allow the hope we have in Jesus to be your lifeline. 

What Is The Importance of Believing in Hell?

The Bible describes hell as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. If hell is such an awful place, why should Christians believe it exists? In the last section, Tom Nelson defined hell from a biblical standpoint. In this final section, Sandy Willson, Senior Pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, talks about hell and how it fits into Christian doctrine.  

Sandy said it’s possible to be a Christian and not believe in hell. But he also said hell cannot be removed from the biblical story because it’s essential to Christianity. 

How did Sandy describe a Christian who does not believe in hell? Do you agree with his conclusion? Why or why not?
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Why did Sandy say it’s impossible to tie all of Christian doctrine together without mentioning hell? How does hell fit into Christianity and reveal God’s character?
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Has your attitude toward hell changed? If so, how? How could you use your understanding of hell to fuel the way you evangelize this week?
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Jesus burst open the door to God and eternal life. Whether or not you believe in hell, our mission as Christians is to share the truth about Jesus to the entire world. Let your love for Jesus drive you to preach the gospel to your friends, family, and coworkers this week. 

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