Five Myths About Hell: #1

Over the years I have encountered a number of myths about hell attached to people's theology. Some are taken more seriously than others, but they are all active myths that bear bad fruit in people's lives. This is a brief, five part corrective.

Myths #1 - #2 - #3 - #4 - #5

Myth #1: Hell is a Place Where Satan Reigns

Many people think of hell as the place where the Devil reigns. It is viewed as his home, or castle, or fiery Bat Cave where he devises plans to destroy the church and rule the world. If it's not a war room, then it's some kind of dungeon where the Devil inflicts misery on those who have been sent there to suffer (think, Farside comics).

But hell is not the devil's castle, and he occupies no position of authority there. Hell is the devil's ruin. It is his future, everlasting prison and place of judgement (Rev 20:10).

I think one of the reasons people hold onto this idea of the devil ruling in hell is because, if he is in hell he isn't anywhere near us. So, at least in their mind, it removes him from any place of influence or danger. He isn't here, he's there, so we don't have to give him much thought at all. But the devil is here. He is a very real, and present danger. Peter says that the Devil prowls our cities, suburbs and countryside looking for people to devour (1 Pet 5:8). He does not reign in hell, but he does seek to reign over you and ruin you.

In all of this our gospel hope and confidence is that the devil has been cast down and bound through the ministry Jesus, is destroyed by Christ's work on the cross, and that the church has been set free from the bondage and deceit of the Devil and will eventually trample the deceiver underfoot. The devil has been beat, but is awaiting his final judgment. Hell is his end, not his stronghold.