A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

What Kind of People Go to Hell?

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.

***

Revelation 21:6-8,” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. (7) The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (8) But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

What kind of people will populate Hell?  Or, more precisely, the Lake of Fire?  The answer would surprise most people.  The Apostle John lists some of them here:

  • Cowards
  • Faithless
  • People who practice detestable things
  • Murderers
  • Sexually immoral
  • Sorcerers
  • Idolaters
  • Liars

I don’t pretend to know exactly what each of these items mean.  Sorcerers, for example.  What is that?  A witch perhaps, or a practitioner of some black art, a Satan worshiper?  But I have a hunch that this category also includes more subtle things as well.  What are the detestable?  They must be some kind of person like Howard Stern, the Shock Jock radio personality who majors in the vulgar and obscene.  Idolaters, murderers.   Then the faithless.  We overcome the world by our faith in Christ, though we do not see Him, we love Him.  We believe His Word.  Not so the faithless.  He has to be hands on or he will have none of it.

But do you know who else will end in hell?  It’s at the top of the list: cowards.  Let me translate that for you: nice guys.  Nice people are at the top of the Lord’s “do not enter” list.  Nice, you see, is much different than loving.  Nice people make everyone happy.  Nice people are popular.  Nice people…. let us do whatever we want.  So we like them.

Oh, but don’t ever count on Mr. Nice Guy to back you when you are in trouble.  That would require him to take sides, and that is something he simply cannot do.  Nice precludes such a thing from him.  Nice people, you see, are cowards.  They really aren’t nice at all.  They are incredibly selfish.  It’s all about them.

Which brings me to my point.  What kind of a pastor do you want?  When churches are looking for a pastor, how do they evaluate the candidates?  (By the way, there has to be a much better way to call a pastor than the standard resume cut followed by interview followed by preaching a few times and answering a few questions.  No wonder we are in the mess we are).  Most people want a pastor who is “nice.”  I know some people who absolutely loved their first pastor because he always gave candy to the children.  The children “loved” him.  So the parents were happy.  It was all so, “nice.”  People want a pastor who will pat them on the back, tell them how well they are doing, hold their hand in a hard time, and pronounce them saved at their funeral.

Let me burst your bubble.  The reason many of you have been so sorely treated with gross injustice at the hands of your churches is because the leadership is sooooo, “nice.”  That’s the problem.  They are nice to everyone, including your abuser.  Nice people just want to smooth out the rough spots so all can go on as it always has.  Fine for them.  Not fine for you.

You see, in the end, we don’t need nice guys as pastors and elders.  We don’t even need them as friends.  What we need for a pastor or elder is a just and righteous judge who refuses to show partiality.  A man who hungers and thirsts for righteousness and who is willing to stand with the weak and oppressed even if it costs him his job.  Think about it.  Let’s say that some wicked person commits some gross evil against one of your children.  What kind of a judge do you want when the evil man is brought to trial?  Judge Nice?  You know you don’t.  You want justice, not nice.  Because justice is right.

Jesus is not nice.  The Son of God is everything His Father is, and He has been appointed the Judge of all men, living and dead.  He is not going to be nice on that Day.  He will be loving toward His own.  He will be gracious and merciful when He chooses and for His glory.  But He will not be nice.  EVERY deed, EVERY word will be judged.

So, if your church has leaders who give out candy, whom everyone just absolutely loves, who are known in the community as the nicest guy ever known…. well, good luck to you on the day you go to such a man seeking justice for and rescue from your abuser.  Such cases require a Jesus who charges into the Temple, whip in hand.  Not a nice guy.  Not a…. coward.

7 Comments

  1. Good application of the text, Jeff, as it relates to pastors.
    Also, I’d like to point out the last item on the list: Liars.

    Abusers are liars. Inveterate deliberate liars.
    According to the word of God, liars will go to the lake of fire.

  2. Anonymous

    Ps Crippen, as usual, your posts are very challenging.

    Nice…Yikes, I think about how nice I was as a person. I myself didn’t take sides when abusive couples came across my path. When women poured their sorrows to me, I tried to be there for them but I didn’t confront their husbands and never publicly took sides. My kids probably thought I was too nice to their father…too nice to be of any help to them.

    Yet I was angered and outraged when certain people of authority didn’t take sides, didn’t offer protection to the vulnerable ones in our family, saw it as a mutual issue, didn’t hold him accountable.

    I used to have a desire to be in full-time ministry, before I married my ex-husband, that is. Now I am so glad that I didn’t – I would’ve been too nice.

    Thank God for second chances.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Ah yes, second chances. Like Paul, we can then forget what lies behind and press on following Christ, getting it right this time!

  3. Anonymous

    Oh my, this post is so well written.
    “You see, in the end, we don’t need nice guys as pastors and elders. We don’t even need them as friends. What we need for a pastor or elder is a just and righteous judge who refuses to show partiality. A man who hungers and thirsts for righteousness and who is willing to stand with the weak and oppressed even if it costs him his job. ”
    Hmm, would you mind if I made copies and posted it on ALL the local church doors? I am sooo tempted. Actually, my heart is just saddened because recently I attempted to fellowship at a function which included many denominations; there was such an emptiness. They, reverends, pastors, elders and believers (?) all seem embarrassed to speak of THE CHRIST, THE SAVIOUR. This was supposed to be a ‘prayer breakfast’!!
    And then there are those who become very mystical if they are going to enter into a “spiritual dialogue”. I don’t judge some of them too harshly, however it is the intentional “wolves” that I have no compassion for; those who abuse by keeping true Christianity away from the downtrodden.

  4. citizen of Heaven

    Excellent post!

  5. Hannah

    This was such a helpful piece of information and scripture. Thank you.

  6. Finding Answers

    (Airbrushing…dense fog…led by the Holy Spirit…Why?)

    From Pastor Jeff”s original post: What kind of people will populate Hell? Or, more precisely, the Lake of Fire? The answer would surprise most people. The Apostle John lists some of them here:

    Cowards
    Faithless
    People who practice detestable things
    Murderers
    Sexually immoral
    Sorcerers
    Idolaters
    Liars

    (Some Bible translations use the word “fearful”, not “cowardly”.)

    Jesus sees the heart.

    Jesus discerns the true coward from the victim / survivor.

    Mr. Nice Guy goes to Hell.

    The victim / survivor is given the water of life.

    Now whose side do you want to be on?

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