The Comprehensive and Eternal Retributive View of Hell: Conclusion

Here we are now; we have completed the task at hand and reached a conclusion for our theological investigation. In answer to our question as to what the Bible teaches about Hell; our conclusion has been that the Comprehensive and Eternal Retributive view of Hell is the model that most faithfully represents the Bible’s teaching on Hell. This view can be summarized in this manner; Hell is the place where the Devil, his angels, and all the unrighteous throughout the history of the world will be sent after the final judgment. It is characterized by eternal retribution against the sins of man and the pouring out of God’s wrath in a way that is unimaginable; this wrath is meted out in different degrees in accordance with ones deeds in life and is free from the presence of God and the glory of His power. In response to our question of the tenability of this view of Hell in the face of scepticism, the conclusion reached was that the Comprehensive and Eternal Retributive view of Hell remains the most biblical and logical model of Hell. Finally, in response to the question as to the difference this doctrine makes, we saw that there is a multitude of applications across various spheres of our lives: the Doctrine of Hell should affect our piety, in driving us towards praise and holiness; our relationships with unbelievers, in giving us a burning passion for their salvation and a desire to preach the Gospel; and the ministry of our churches, in encouraging the preaching of the whole Gospel and inspiring beautiful and heartfelt praise. The doctrine of Hell is terrifying, it is a doctrine that should not leave us calm and at ease. We have peace because we have been delivered from this fate by the spotless sacrifice made by Christ, because of the perfect life He lived so that we may gain His righteousness and the agonizing death that He died so that we may be free from the wrath of God and forgiven of our crimes against Him. But the whole world does not share this peace; our friends and family need to hear the Gospel. They need to experience the love and joy that comes with a relationship with Christ, but they also need to be delivered from the awful wrath of the holy and righteous God. The doctrine of Hell brings Christ’s salvific work on the Cross into striking focus; this event is at the heart of Christianity and Hell should direct all who hear of it straight to the Cross. What shall we do then in response to this doctrine? We need to take very seriously Jesus’ call for us in Matthew 28:29-20; “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (ESV).[1] We need to take up the call to preach the Gospel, the whole Gospel at that, for “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” (ESV).  Let us be those feet that bring the good news of the Gospel of peace to those who are desperately in need of the truth that they can have peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 4-5).

< Table of Contents Glossary >


[1] Crossway Bibles, ESV Study Bible: English Standard Version, ESV text ed (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles, 2008).


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