Is this life a living hell?

Hell is alive and well. It is inside of every human person. All the depravity that will be present in hell is present in principle now, although it is mercifully restrained by God.

But this world is not hell in the very significant sense that it is presently marked by common grace. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. There is genuine goodness that we experience in this life. The beauty of the oceans, the birth of babies, the love shared among friends and husband and wife.

And yet all of these things are marked by the curse. There are tsunamis in the waters, pain in childbirth, brokenness and hardness of heart that touches relationships. We experience true goodness with a mingled sorrow that intrudes upon everything. Everything groans for redemption.

But hell is the fallen condition with all common grace removed. It is the curse without any redemptive influence. It is not only sinners in the hands of an angry God, but sinners in the hands of angry sinners.

Hell will reveal that there is not a problem of evil, but a problem of goodness. When the evil of humanity is displayed and its consequences are felt in full force, it will not be the suffering of life but its joys that will have been a mystery. This is why Jesus tells us that our response to the tragedies of life is always to be repentance (Luke 13:1-5).

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About Evan May

Evan May is a student at Reformed Theological Seminary and a pastor at Lakeview Christian Center in New Orleans.
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