The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
client login


      Sir Francis Newport lived in England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries where he purportedly was the head of an atheist club. To those who gathered around his deathbed, Newport is reported as saying, “You need not tell me there is no God for I know there is one and that I am in His angry presence! You need not tell me there is no hell, for I already feel my soul slipping into its fires! Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know I am lost forever!”     
      The quote associated with Sir Francis Newport well-summarizes and emphasizes the Reality of Hell, the Realm of Hell, and a Rendezvous with Hell presented in previous editions of From Daniel’s Den. Despite the hopelessness and helplessness conveyed in Newport’s statement, however, a Remedy for Hell is available to you and becomes operative in you when first recognizing your sin. While society, both historically and currently, seeks to make sin acceptable by diminishing the negative outcome of sin by deceitfully disguising sin with attractive and enticing “benefits,” sin has serious consequences. Therefore, a discussion of the remedy for Hell is incomplete apart from discussing sin and the difference that sin makes in a person’s life.
      Writing to the church at Rome, the apostle Paul presented the truth that “There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one” (3:10-12). Paul later emphasized this truth in summary fashion as “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (3:23) while also asserting that the “wages of sin is death” (6:23a). Physical death to be sure but also spiritual death marked by an irrevocable self-prescribed and eternal placement in a lake of unquenchable fire surrounded by continuous and unstoppable weeping and gnashing of teeth…a place the Bible refers to as Hell.       
      Seeing the spiritual insensitivity of humankind and the accompanying inability to make a course correction on our own, God provided the gift of the Holy Spirit to confront us with the fact of our sin, to convict us of the error of our sin, and to correct us in the course of our sin (John 16: 8-14). Recognition of sin leads to confession of sin and paves the way for a new beginning (Matthew 3:6; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 32:5).
      The Remedy for Hell involves acknowledging your spiritual condition and altering your current course by repenting from your sin. The preaching of John the Baptist focused on “repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4). Following the healing of the lame man at the temple gate, Peter likewise preached a message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (namely) “…repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19, also 2:38). At the outset of his public ministry, Jesus also called people to repentance while “proclaiming the good news of God: ‘the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news’” (Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14-15).     
      The Greek word translated “repent/repentance” literally means “a change of mind.” As presented by New Testament writers, “to repent” is much more than simply changing one’s mind and involves a change of one’s way…a change of one’s direction…a change of one’s course. Southern Baptist scholar and theologian Frank Stagg notes that the call to repentance in the New Testament is not limited merely to one’s mind but involves and includes the entirety of the person. As such, repentance involves a radical and complete turning from the former way of life to new life in Christ (Stagg, NT Theology, 119). Evidence of such a radical turning (or conversion) of one’s heart direction is demonstrated through actions and attitudes that “produce fruit consistent with repentance” (Matthew 3:8; Luke 6:20-45).
      Jesus called sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32) and he illustrated repentance – a radical change in heart direction – through the Parable of the Prodigal Son…a son who returned to his father (Luke 15:11-32). In short, repentance in the New Testament emphasizes a turning from sin and a turning to God.     
      The remedy for Hell not only requires recognizing and repenting from your sin, but also involves receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord is a response of faith offered to the One who made salvation possible by “becoming sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). In his Ephesian letter, Paul stressed the role of faith in salvation (2:8). John wrote “But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name” (1:12) and “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (3:16). The English word “believe” translates the Greek term for “faith” in John’s gospel and in other New Testament verses. Thus, according to John’s inspired testimony, whoever “faiths” Jesus as Savior and Lord is adopted as God’s children and experiences everlasting life.
      Ever since “the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14), we have been confronted with the choice…the decision to surrender completely to God’s sovereign rule in our individual lives. Accepting Jesus’ call to repentance is a call to faith… faith that is necessary for those who would enter the Kingdom of God…faith that is a “response of trust to God’s self-giving” (whereby one) receives Christ into his innermost personas a transforming presence (that) reverses the course of that life (and is expressed as) “an openness of heart, mind, and life to God to receive what he has to give and to yield to what he demands” (inasmuch as) “the New Testament offers no salvation which leaves optional the Lordship of Christ. He is Lord (kurios) or he is not Savior (Jesus). One thus enters the Christian life at the point of decision made as he stands in the presence of God” (Stagg, 119-120).     
      Residing in the Kingdom of God is the eternal outcome of turning to God in repentance and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord in faith. Even as Jesus promised the repentant thief “Today, you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43), he promised residence in the Kingdom to his followers (Matthew 25:34; John 14:1-3) where they have eternal life, will never perish, and cannot be removed from the Good Shepherd’s guiding and guarding hand (John 10:27-30).

      Echoing and candidly summarizing Peter’s teaching on God’s patience “not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), C.S. Lewis appealed to readers of his book “Mere Christianity,” with the exhortation “Now is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It won’t last forever. We must take it or leave it.” Recognizing and repenting from sin, receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, and residing in the Kingdom of God for all of eternity is the ultimate and only remedy for Hell!


Dear Heavenly Father, during the last few weeks I’ve learned just a little bit about Hell from a study of your holy word. While I realize that additional study would reveal further insights and truths concerning Hell, I am convinced that Hell is not where I would want to spend eternity nor the place where I would want anyone else to reside in eternal separation from You. May I not only be mindful of Hell’s reality, realm, and eventual rendezvous for those who depart this earth not having received you as their personal Savior and Lord, but may I also share with others regularly and continually the ultimate and only remedy for Hell. Amen.