What's Hell Got To Do With It, Part 1

The first step to understanding Hell is making sure we understand God.

"...I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to answer and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity." Jonah 4:2b

Hell is tough concept for modern Christians to understand, and all the more to reconcile it with a belief in a loving God. This is made especially hard given our predisposition to focus primarily on God's love, and especially His love for us...and while that makes it hard to think of, understand, or reconcile Hell, that also is the very thing that's key to understanding it.

Whether it's Hell as the biblical concept, a place of eternal separation from God, or Hell as a symbol for the challenges, hardships, and tragedies of our life of our lives ("My life is Hell!" "I'm going through Hell" "This ____ is putting me through Hell"), the key to understanding "Hell," is first understanding God.

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

What the Bible's contending is that God IS love. That's what He *is,* it's not just an emotion He has or a thing He does, or even a thing He does well. He IS love. What that tells us is that all of His attributes and actions are birthed in love, flow from love; even the ones hard for us to understand, even the ones hard for us to believe, even the ones that seem painful to us.

If we want to understand Hell, we must start by understanding God. God IS love. Beginning there is a tool for seeing reality, and all its components, clearly, because we finally begin to see its Author clearly.


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