Actually Paul spoke repeatedly about hell
Sometimes Christians can say the dumbest things – and the most unscriptural things. Stupid and useless memes found on the social media provide regular examples of this. How anyone calling themself a biblical Christian can post some of these things really does my head in.
Examples of this are legion. One has to ask if the folks posting these things – and/or writing them – have actually ever read their Bible carefully. You certainly have to wonder given the utter baloney we so often find online. I came upon another one this morning and it was a shocker. It said this: “Paul never mentioned Hell. He spoke only to the Goodness of God.”
Wow. A meme like that is just so bad and so unbiblical that it really is amazing that any Christian could post it. It is just so wrong on so many levels. Let me count the ways for you:
One. Arguing from silence is one of the more foolish mistakes any believer can make. Um, Paul did NOT speak about internet porn, environmental degradation, sexual harassment in the workplace, nor – interestingly – even the virgin birth of Christ. Does that mean he did not believe in or care about such matters – at least in a more general sense? Of course not.
Two. In the biblical languages and in the various English translations, different words for both hell and judgment to come are used. Even if one particular word may not be found in one place, plenty of other terms will be found. As will be seen in my final point, there are many of these that Paul uses quite regularly.
Three. Even if Paul had not said one word about the wrath of God and the fate of the wicked (which is patently false), Jesus most certainly did speak about these matters. Indeed, he spoke about hell and judgment more than anyone else in the New Testament, and he spoke about these things even more than he spoke about heaven and the fate of the those who are his. See just a small portion of such passages here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/06/26/whatever-happened-to-hell/
Four. One verse alone blows this stupid meme out of the water. It speaks of the goodness of God – AND his severity – in the same breath! It reads:
Romans 11:20-23 Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
So spare us this completely false claim that ‘Paul spoke only to the Goodness of God.’ And that is just one verse of many that can be appealed to here.
Five. We of course have a wealth of other biblical evidence on this. Paul most certainly DID believe in hell and future judgment. He spoke of it repeatedly. There are many passages where Paul does speak unequivocally and forcefully about the wrath of God and judgment to come. Consider these texts:
Acts 24:24-25 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Romans 2:4-9 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,
Romans 5:8-9 But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
2 Corinthians 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
Galatians 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Ephesians 5:5-6 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Philippians 1:28 This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.
Philippians 3:18-19 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
Colossians 3:5-6 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 2:16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!
1 Thessalonians 5:8-9 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
So, Paul never spoke about hell and wrath to come? Fail. Go to the back of the class and try again.