11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. – Revelation 20:11-15
It’s one thing to affirm the reality of hell in our heads, but it’s another thing entirely to be gripped by this truth to the point it affects our actions. If we truly believe that people who do not know Christ will face eternity without Him in judgment, then certain implications follow. Right now, one third of the people on our planet claim to be Christians. Two thirds do not name the name of Jesus. Some estimate that there are 3 billion people who have little to no access to the gospel. There are more than six thousand Unreached People Groups.
As Christians, it is not enough for us to check off the box “Hell” on our list of doctrines. This truth is meant to change our lives. It’s meant to give our mission a sense of urgency. God doesn’t expect us to speculate endlessly about the fate of the unevangelized or the nature of hell. He expects us to believe what He has said and to get busy telling others about Jesus.
When it comes to missions, many people pray like this, “God, if you tell me to go, I’ll go.” Instead, considering the urgency of our mission, we ought to pray this way: “Here I am, Lord. Send me. Use my life as a seed to bring great harvest.” You don’t have to go overseas to be a missionary. You can be a missionary in your community. You can support those who do go to the hard places where people have never heard the gospel.
Your life will look different than mine. The Holy Spirit will use you in ways unique to your gifts and situation. But make no mistake. He will use you if you are surrendered to His plan and purposes. Don’t deny the doctrine of hell, ignore it, or downplay it. Affirm the truth, and then surrender to God’s global mission.
Pause and Reflect
What are you doing to help get the gospel to people who have never heard the name of Jesus?
What is your responsibility to share the gospel with the people in your own community?
– J.D. Greear
The Gospel Project