It seems odd to have a section that only highlights the benefits of why one should believe in the eternality of hell. It’s crazy to think there are pluses to this immense minus. But there are many.
First I would put this doctrine in my category of “Devastatingly Beautiful.” This is where I put the doctrines that are so dangerous and devastating but also afford and allow for such worship as cannot be brought by any song I’ve heard or sung.
The eternality of hell is devastating because real people go to a real hell – forever. There are no second chances after death. In fact this life we live has second chances every second. After death there is one place for those who have spurned God’s call and shunned his righteousness and aimed to live their own life without God. God mercifully gives them what they desire – an eternity without his closeness. We cannot come to this dry-eyed or bushy-tailed. This ought to take the wind out of our sails and crush us on the rocks of devastation. People will die and they will suffer forever…
Think about that, people you know will die and they will suffer endlessly. Think about their screams; try to imagine their pain. Now think there’s a way out of that torment – that terrible suffering – a way has been made to release you and them from your and their just damnation and his name is Jesus! He bore that incomprehensible wrath in your place for your sins! Do you love your friends? Of course, now tell them to be saved, redeemed by Jesus! At the heart of the arguments on the limitations of hell is a dangerous plot to lose the urgency of missions. Our dying world must be saved from the just torment of eternity. And only God can save them from his own wrath through Jesus’ atoning death.
Now think about the beauty of salvation! See the storm clouds of God’s divinely just wrath poured out completely on Jesus – you see the only way that Jesus could bear the eternal wrath of God is because he himself is a part of the eternal Being. The only possible way for God’s entire eternal wrath to be cleared from your name is if Jesus being fully God and full man stood and took that wrath for you – it’s the doctrine of propitiation - because only an eternaly Being could bear an eternity of wrath in on the cross.
We cannot lull our friends or family into a false sense of security by allow them to think hell is ending or that it is not going to be terrible. To allow them to think such things would be like leading them there yourself. Spurgeon said in Lectures to My Students something that has stuck with me for years essentially it is this: Do not be a blind pastor leading you people blindly to hell; an unredeemed pastor is like a blind man making claims about beautiful paintings or a deaf man telling the world of Mozart, he cannot tell the world of what he does not know. Therefore make sure you know and believe the gospel lest you lead your congregation to hell and be greeted there by their screams of torment, “You lead us here!” This will be the screams of those we love if we do not tell them urgency and dangerousness of hell and the beauty of the salvation of Jesus.
Ask yourselves what makes missions seem more urgent hell that is ending or hell that is eternal? Ask yourself what makes God’s hatred against sin more perfect hell that is ending or hell that is eternal? Ask yourself what makes God’s salvation more inescapably beautiful hell that is ending or hell that is eternal? Ask yourself what makes God’s glory so vast as to truly show us that what we know of God is limited and finite hell that is ending or hell that is eternal? Finally ask yourself what shows God’s way to be far higher than our ways, hell that is ending or hell that is eternal?