A 2007 Gallup poll revealed that 81% of people believe in heaven, but only 69% believe in hell.
That seems strange to me. But it’s also very telling. We like to believe in things we like, but not in things we don’t.
The Scottish theologian James Denney did a survey of Jesus’ teaching and found that 13% referred to judgment or hell. Speaking about final judgment in Matthew 25:46 Jesus said that some people will “go into eternal life,” but others “will go away into eternal punishment.” And yet, we often close our eyes and ears to this reality simply because we don’t like it.
That’s why one of the most important questions we can ask about reality, how we make decisions, and how we go about our lives, is this: What is true?
If something is true, then it’s true; we need to deal with it. But if it’s not true, we don’t. Simply wishing something wasn’t true won’t make it untrue even if we want it to be untrue!
For example, if I’m driving my car and see a huge tree in the middle of the road, I can’t make it disappear simply by wishing it wasn’t there. I need to stop or go around it… or crash!
If judgment isn’t real why did Jesus talk about it? If hell isn’t real why did Jesus talk about it? If faithfulness, forgiveness, and love don’t matter, why did Jesus make them central to his teaching and work?
As you live your life and make decisions in an time when many people think that “everything is relative,” remember that truth matters.
Live wisely—not based on what you want to be true, but on what actually is.
By Matthew Ruttan