Anyone who tries to convince you that Hell isn’t real is wasting their time and yours. This was the subject of a discussion between some military servicemen and their chaplain one day. The servicemen asked the chaplain, “Say Chap, do you believe there is really a Hell?”

Without blinking, the chaplain said, “No.”

The military personnel said, “Then sir, with all due respect, you are wasting your time and ours. If there is no Hell, then we don’t need you. If there is a Hell and you are telling us a lie, then we don’t want you here.”

That sounds logical. If there is no Hell, then there was no need for the chaplain to stand by the troops and provide spiritual support. The troops could engage in whatever conduct they chose without fear of God’s harsh judgment. There would be no need for the chaplain to concern himself with where the wounded soldiers in his division would spend eternity when they drew their dying breaths. His office was as good as vacant. His work was an exercise in futility.

If there is no Hell, then there is no judgment for the devil and the demons. There is no battle raging for the souls of men and women. There is no eternal judgment for sin. There is no outlet for God’s wrath. There is no need for a Savior. There is no motivation for evangelism. And there is no need for preachers — therefore, I would quit the ministry. As you can see, there is much riding upon the reality of Hell.

Jesus affirmed that Hell is a literal place of eternal, fiery torment. Therefore, we should live like this is a reality, one which will infuse our lives and vocations with purpose. It should cause us to see every contact as an opportunity to snatch someone from Hell’s flames. It should encourage us to uphold our testimony before the world as if it will really make a difference in their decision for Christ and their eternal destiny — because it will. It means our labor of love is not an exercise in futility, and we should stay the course.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.