Over the years, I’ve been to countless judgment houses. I even attended them before I became a Christian. One common error was how the “hell scene” was portrayed.
In most of the judgment houses I’ve attended hell looks more like Hollywood’s version than the Bible’s truth. In some cases, the Devil walked with us through the death scenes, until he finally revealed himself in Hell. In almost every case, the Devil sat on his throne and laughed as he condemned sinners. This error was common place among the judgment houses at evangelical churches that I attended.
This “Hollywood Hell” communicates that…
1) The lost should fear the Devil’s wrath, not God’s wrath. This eliminates the fact that God rules hell, not the Devil (Matt. 25:41; Luke 12:5). Hell is terrible because it is 100% of God’s wrath with 0% of His mercy for eternity. Satan will burn there as well (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10); he does not rule hell.
2) Jesus died to pay the Devil a ransom: a medieval heresy. Robert Morey explains that “Christ did not pay a ransom to Satan as some medieval theologians thought. But, rather, Christ’s ransom was paid to God to remove sin for it is by sin that Satan holds us captive. By removing our sins through the death of Christ, God delivered us from the power of darkness” (Morey, Studies in the Atonement, 35). R. C. Sproul agrees when he writes, “Jesus did not secure our release from the Evil One through paying a price to Satan but by crushing the Devil’s head and doing what was necessary for God to consider our debts paid in full” (“The Ransom Theory”).
3) The Devil rules Hell and Jesus rules heaven; which is a Hollywood Dualism (heresy). Jesus and Satan thus are placed side-by-side, one as the glory of heaven, the other as the glory of hell. The implications look more like Mormonism (Jesus and Satan are brothers) than Christianity.
4) They have no reason to fear God, but should rather fear the wrath of the Devil. This is blatantly unbiblical since God alone is the One we should ultimately fear. He is the One that casts sinners into hell (Luke 12:5).
5) The Devil has obedient angels as well. Often times demons are the ones that drag the lost to hell in judgment houses (which is blatantly unbiblical). Just as angels do God’s bidding, demons do the Devil’s bidding. This truth is not unorthodox; however, because Satan is the one that is often pictured as ruling hell in judgment houses, this dualism between him and God/Christ is further perpetuated through comparing their angels. “Just as God has angels, Satan has angels as well” is the assumption. It appears Satan leads his own army of demons (fallen angels), but he and his angels only exist because God provides them life. They are not self-sustaining, and their end is sure (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10)!
Please, if your church is planning a judgment house, make it biblical! Biblical orthodoxy should govern everything the church does in Christ’s name!
What do you think?