Be cautious of a popular and up-and-coming figure in the expanding field of Bible teachers. Tim Mackie, the founder of The Bible Project, is a popular and rising star in the growing landscape of Bible teachers. He began his spiritual journey as a teenager when he attended Skatechurch, a Portland ministry that communicated the stories of the Bible to skateboarders. Despite initially only attending to skate, he became drawn in by the stories he heard about Jesus during his last years of high school.
Tim Mackie and his team produce popular YouTube videos that are graphical depictions of the Bible with summarized narratives and explanations of each book. These short videos are engaging and easy to understand, making them particularly appealing for parents who want to use them to help explain the Bible to their children.
But are they safe and is Mackie teaching good, sound doctrine?
The Bible mentions two eternal destinations for the spirits of those who do not go to Heaven: Hades and the lake of fire. Hades is the current location for the spirits of those who have passed away apart from the forgiveness of Christ. It is described as a place of torment and suffering and the rich man in Luke 16, as he calls out to Father Abraham for mercy, describes the place as being in anguish because of the fire (Luke 16:23-24).
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The lake of fire, on the other hand, is the final place of punishment for those who die in their sins. This place is also described as a place of torment and suffering, and it is mentioned in several passages in the Bible, including Revelation 20:15, which states that anyone whose name is not found written in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire.
According to the Bible, God created Hell as a place of eternal punishment, a place of darkness, fire, and suffering, for Satan and his angels who rebelled against Him (Matthew 25:41). However, because man, like Satan, also sinned against God, those who reject God and His Son who came to earth in the form of a man to bear God’s wrath in our place will also be sentenced to Hell as punishment for their rebellion against Him (Revelation 20:15).
And perhaps the most vivid description of Hell in the Bible is in Revelation 14:9-11, which clearly states that Hell is eternal and that it is the wrath of God—not merely the “hell” of the human mind and sin—that will be poured out for all eternity in the presence of the Holy angels:
9 And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
This is a vivid and disturbing depiction of the eternal punishment that awaits those who remain in rebellion against God. However, Tim Mackie seems to have adopted the theological liberal position that Hell is a concept created by humans rather than by God.
This false teaching stems from a lack of understanding of the true nature and character of God. Theological liberals often try to argue that God is a loving and merciful God who would never send anyone to Hell (Ezekiel 18:23) and that He wants all people to turn to Him and accept His love and forgiveness (John 3:16). Based on this, they wrongly conclude that Hell is simply a human invention that reflects our own fears and biases about punishment and suffering, rather than a place that God has ordained as punishment for those who reject Him.
Contrary to Mackie’s argument in the clip below that God didn’t create Hell because it wasn’t mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis, the Bible clearly states that God created Hell. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus speaks about the final judgment and states that the cursed will be cast “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
It is unclear whether Tim Mackie is intentionally trying to deceive or mislead people, but it is evident that his tendency to deny the literal existence of a Hell created by God for the eternal punishment of the reprobate raises concerns. If Mackie denies that God’s wrath is being poured out eternally on sinners in Hell, it is not a stretch to suggest that he also denies that the wrath of God was poured out on Jesus at the cross. This is hinted at in the clip below, and if this is what he believes, it is a false gospel. As such, readers should exercise caution when considering Mackie’s teachings.