Does a Person Have to Believe
in Hell to Be Saved?
(Or, I sure HOPE the Holy Bible is true, or I'm going to be in big trouble when I die!)
By David J. Stewart | April 2018
Although I don't think a person must believe in a place called "Hell" to be saved, I DO believe though that they should at least be willing to admit that IF THERE IS SUCH A PLACE, they deserve to go there. A person must know that they are a guilty sinner to be saved, and that means punishment. A person DOES need to admit they are a sinner to be saved. NO ONE has ever been saved who didn't know they are a sinner. And so does a person have to believe that there is eternal punishment in Hell to be saved? That is a very good question. I truly am careful not to give a bold answer here, because where the Scriptures are silent I think we would be wise to remain silent. Albeit, since a question was asked, I don't think it is wrong to speculate, just so long as we understand that it is mere speculation and not irrefutable Bible doctrine.
My feelings are this: If there is a literal place of Hell (and I am confident that there is according to the Word of God), I think a man should concede that he deserves to go there to be punished for his sins. Otherwise, why would he need a Savior? So, no, I do not think a man needs to believe that a place called “Hell” exists to be saved, but he should at least be willing to admit that if such a place does exist, he deserves to go there and suffer for his crimes against God. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” The LAW was given so that men could realize their sinnership, their guilty condition as a sinner in the sight of a holy God. Being “guilty” means deserving of punishment. So if there is no Hell, then how could a man be punished?
Faith is Not Knowing, it is Hoping
And remember dear reader, faith is not KNOWING that the Bible is 100% true, faith is HOPING that it is true. Quite frankly, we don't know if it is true, do we? I've never seen or met Jesus in person. I've never visited Heaven. I've never seen Hell. I've never met an angels. I have no idea if it is all true, but I BELIEVE it because of the world that I see around me. That is exactly what Romans 1:20 teaches...
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."
I love the following Scripture passages, which reiterates what I just said, about believing even though we haven't seen yet...
1st Peter 1:7-8, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
Faith is trusting in what we aren't sure really is true. Is there a Hell? I think so because the Bible says so, but I am placing my hope in the Bible, hoping that it is true. Here are three Bible verses about "HOPING" for salvation...
1st Thessalonians 5:8, "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."
Titus 1:2, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began."
Titus 3:7, "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
I have shared these truths with you friend, to comfort you that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to have doubts. The Lord knows that you have no idea if He really exists or not, yet YOU HAVE PLACED YOUR HOPE IN HIM. I mean, if you go to Hell it will be Jesus' fault because you are relying upon Him alone to give you eternal life and cleanse away your sins. That is MY HOPE! I have been hoping in Jesus since I was 13 years old. And listen to what the Bible says about those who hope in Christ in Romans 10:11, "For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." This verse does NOT mean that we will never be embarrassed about the Lord. Peter was ashamed and denied Him 3 times. This verse is saying that if you place your trust (hope) in Christ, HE WON'T LET YOU DOWN!!! Jesus will not fail you! That is what this verse is saying.
Here is an important article that will help you to grasp the LAW verses GRACE. Make sure you understand the difference between the Old Testament (LAW) and the New Testament (GRACE). The law condemns all men as sinners, bringing death; but Jesus Christ brought truth and grace, and salvation! ...
I hope that helps my friend. I am glad to answer your questions. I am sorry that you have had so much worry and uncertainty in your soul about salvation. You are not alone. Many people are also struggling in this area. I thank God that I am here to help sort through some of this and help others to find their way through the Holy Scriptures.
Have a good day!
Souls Are Dying!
Precious Christian Testimonies
How Permanent Is Your Salvation?
(an excellent MP3 sermon by Pastor Hank Lindstrom, 1940-2008)
of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”)
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!