Hell is not real to moderns. It would imply the undeniable, authoritative judgment of a just God above, which is inconceivable to the modern who aims to be a critic of all things. Like capital punishment for government, hell is the ultimate divine exercise of authority over sin. The mere existence of hell is not an indicator of God’s attitude towards man, since it was prepared for the Devil and His angels (Mt. 25). But it it does tell us about the seriousness of sin and satanic rebellion against God. Our God is no easy pushover, but is truly just. To say He is unfair, or hell should not exist, is to try to be a bigger god than He is.
The modern person implicitly has no authority higher than his own opinion. So, whatever does not fit his predilections or tastes is tossed out the window. Christians believe in hell, because our Lord reveals it in Scripture. The existence of evil and Satan is not theoretical. It is our sense of justice and sin against God that is warped. Where hell is denied, Satan is doing his work well. Where the crime (sin) is minimized, so will the punishment (eternal wrath in hell). But Christ died and rose to free us from eternal wrath, so we are all the more grateful for our present release from the prison of hell and its master. –ed.