Over the course of July, I have been preaching a series dealing with the Judgment of God and how God is just to judge sinners. The first week, I preached on God's righteousness. The next week, God's Wrath. I was going to preach on Hell last week, but we had some other stuff come up and I needed a good bit of time to cover it. So, I preached on Hell this week. It is not something that I usually preach on, but I think that it is important for us to understand.
My main point was simply that God's mercy only makes sense to us if we understand His justified wrath against sinners. We are enemies of God. We are under His wrath and the inclination of our hearts is to rebel against God. So, Hell only makes sense for those who are choosing against God at every turn. It was initially created for the Devil and his demons because they rebelled against God in their pride. When we rebel against God, it only makes sense that we join the Devil in his fate and eternal punishment.
After a great deal of study, I am convinced that most of our objection ot the Doctrine of Hell comes from us working from a human-centered focus. We don't like the doctrine. It makes no sense to us. So, we soften it or change it up to make it more compatible with our ideas of what fairness is. We would not send anyone to Hell, so we don't understand why God would. But, it is true that we are enemies of God and that we are already under His wrath. God, in His mercy, offers us salvation through the way that He has created – His Son, Jesus Christ. If we reject Christ, there is nowhere else to turn. We have rejected God. So, God just gives us what we want – life and eternity apart from Him.
If you are interested in my notes, here they are. Of course, I filled in a lot of commentary between them and probably left some stuff out in what I actually preached. But, this gives you a decent outline.