If you are a Christian and have one or more relatives or friends who are not believers, you have likely felt concern over their eventual fate. Perhaps you have even lost sleep over it. Maybe you have been praying for someone for many years and seemingly no progress has been made.

If any of this sounds like you, please know that you are not alone. Other Christians have felt the same concern over those whom they love. I, too, have felt that concern. If you are unfamiliar with the situation regarding my daughter and her husband having left the faith, feel free to read my previous post on the matter.

Is Hell for Real?

Are there eternal consequences for our decisions made here on Earth? Is Hell a real place where people go if they don’t accept forgiveness of their sins as offered through Jesus?

Hell

Those of us who believe that the Bible is true – all of it – believe that people eventually go either to Heaven or Hell when we die. (There is more to the story as explained here by Dr. William Lane Craig.) Heaven is a wonderful place and no one has any concerns about going there. Hell, on the other hand, is a terrible place. No one even wants to think about it. In fact, many people pretend that it doesn’t exist. If we don’t think about it, perhaps it doesn’t exist, right? And even if it does exist, a loving God wouldn’t send people there. Or so we hope. Quoting from the introduction to “What Does the Bible Say About Hell,”

Why did someone as good and loving as Christ spend so much time warning us about ‘the fire that shall never be quenched’ – a place of ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’? Why did He talk more about the fires of hell than about the joys of heaven? The subject of hell is so sobering that many are more comfortable ignoring it.

The uncomfortable truth is that Hell is a real place where those who choose not to accept the free gift of salvation will spend eternity. Referring to the judgment at God’s throne, Revelation 20:15 says

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

There can be no more terrifying, tragic fate. Many people, including some whom we know and love will ultimately suffer this fate if they do not acknowledge their error and sin, and ask God’s forgiveness. God will send them to Hell only because they have made it clear by their thoughts and actions that they do not want to be with God.

Is There Any Hope?

Thankfully, God has made a way of escape. Romans 6:23 says

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

sunrise

Romans 10:9-10 later says

…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Amazingly simple, isn’t it? Yet so many will never take that step. Christians should do all that we can to help others know Jesus and what He has done for us. Pray like their lives depend on it, because they do. God will not give up on our non-Christian relatives and friends, and neither should we.