“Sin, Salvation, Service”

Stob, Henry

Board of Publications of the Christian Reformed Church, 1984

p. 16

Alluding to statements of Jesus that picture hell as “the outer darkness,” and then, a few verses later, as “the eternal fire” (Matt. 25:30, 41), Stob suggests that these images reflect the natural outcome of the sinner’s posture toward God.  “Hell in the Bible . . . is wither very hot or very cold, depending on whether the sinner is perceived as a rebel or an alien.  In either case hell is not a divine creation.  Hell is made by those who climb the holy mountain and try to unseat the Holy One who, ablaze with glory, dwells in light unapproachable.  Those who mount an attack on God and cross the barrier of his exclusive divinity die like moths in the flame of him who will not and cannot be displaced.  And hell is made by those who, turning their backs on God, flee the light and move toward the eternal blackness that marks God’s absence.  Hell, then, is unarrested sin’s natural and programmatic end.  Sin is either rebellion or flight, and, when persisted in, leads either to the fiery furnace or to the cold and desolate night.”