New Atheism

'A Weekend in Hell'?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
A nationwide chain of atheistic summer camps advertises one of its family programs as "A Weekend in Hell."

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Camp Quest, a nationwide chain of atheistic summer camps for kids and families, advertises one of its family camps as "A Weekend in Hell." They don't understand how close to the truth this is.

Satan's Family Camp for the Godless

Camp Quest has campgrounds in six locations (and counting) in the United States and Canada, and recently announced plans to expand into Europe. Modeled after church camps for kids and families, Camp Quest offers a godless alternative to traditional church summer camps and vacation Bible school programs. Camp Quest's advertising slogan is, "It's Beyond Belief!"

One of Camp Quest's facilities is located, appropriately, in the town of Hell, Michigan. (Yes, there is such a place, about 60 miles west of Detroit. There is considerable debate but no conclusive evidence about the origin of its name.)

Of course, professed atheists don't believe in the Biblical Hell. And so the people who run this camp for the godless think they can locate their camp in a town of the same name, and sardonically advertise their weekend of atheistic indoctrination as "A Weekend in Hell" without fear of divine retribution. People can be led to think that "A Weekend in Hell" is simply a fun time for the family in a town that bears the same name as a place of eternal punishment for unbelievers, that doesn't really exist.

Authentic Christianity in Contrast

In contrast, the Word of God gives us the true picture. A rich man whose only interest was in living this life to the fullest heard this verdict from God: "Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?" (Luke 12:20). Jesus also spoke of another man who died after having lived only for the present: "And in Hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments..." (Luke 16:23).

Scripture teaches the consciousness of the soul after death (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Luke 16:19-31, 23:43) and a literal Hell in which the Devil, fallen angels, and unbelieving men shall suffer punishing torments forever (Psalm 9:17, Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 20:11-14, 21:8). The souls of the unjust are cast into Hell and experience darkness and torment, awaiting the final judgment, and their final consignment to the Lake of Fire for eternity (Isaiah 5:14, 14:9, 14:15; Psalm 9:17; Matthew 10:28, 11:23, 23:33; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:23-24; Acts 1:25; Hebrews 9:27; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:10-15).

Hell is as literal as Heaven. Scripture speaks of the conscious torment of those in Hell (Matthew 8:12). The rich man of Luke 16 was in such torment. Scripture speaks of the "shame and everlasting loathing" of those condemned to Hell (Daniel 12:2). The punishment of Hell is eternal. The fire of Hell is spoken of as eternally unquenchable (Matthew 3:12, Mark 9:43-48, where Jesus quotes Isaiah 66:24); an unquenchable fire would be unnecessary if the damned were annihilated. Jesus Himself speaks of the punishment of Hell as eternal (Matthew 25:46). The lost will share the condemnation of the Lake of Fire with the Devil, the Beast, and the False Prophet, and "will be tormented day and night forever" (Revelation 20:10-15).

Our Scripture-Driven Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the Gospel minister to preach these awesome realities. But sadly, both the doctrine of Heaven and the doctrine of Hell are greatly neglected truths in our day. As they seek to avoid offending peoples' sensibilities, many Evangelical churches offer no Biblical answer to the scoffings of the atheist regarding eternal punishment. A man-centered focus on the "here and now" has supplanted fervent preaching about a Heaven to be gained and a Hell to be shunned. A Scripture-driven church will preach the great and awesome truths of Heaven and Hell, and salvation from the wrath to come through Jesus Christ alone, with fervency and without apology.


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