“‘Hell’ may be a very popular word, but hell is a hugely unpopular subject” (p.5). So writes Blanchard in his introduction to this helpful little book. We may not want to think or speak about hell, but we must discover what the Bible says on this serious topic. A clear grasp of the truth about hell will stir us up to pray and to urge hell-bound people to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.John Blanchard has already written a full-length volume about hell, but this brief treatment meets an important need. Its five short chapters are excellently written; they are engaging, concise and thoroughly biblical. A brief appendix, ‘Why you can trust the Bible’, rounds off the book.
The first four chapters establish the essential truths that hell is factual, fearful, fair and final. The chapter ‘Hell is fair’ is especially helpful, as so many people — Christian and non-Christian — struggle over this. Blanchard shows that God is love and God is holy and ‘has zero tolerance of sin’ (p.35). This is the crucial fact that helps us understand the fairness of hell.He turns the question ‘How can a God of love send people to hell?’ by helping us to see that it’s not simply neutral ‘people’ who are condemned to hell, but sinners. The chapter concludes, ‘Those who had no desire to enjoy God’s presence while they lived on earth will have no part in its enjoyment in heaven. Why is that not fair?’ (p.40).
The final chapter, ‘Escape!’, brings the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ: how his life, death and resurrection secured the great salvation that we all need. The chapter closes with an urgent appeal to receive Christ. Indeed, it is to unbelievers themselves that this book is particularly addressed. They are exhorted to realise that hell awaits them unless they come to Christ.
The truth about hell presents a sobering subject in a challenging and God-honouring way. We can be thankful that John Blanchard has written this excellent book. Read it to stir your love for the lost and for your Saviour. Give it to your curious non-Christian friends in the confidence that they will get a clear, compelling and biblical call to flee the coming wrath and trust in Christ.