Do NOT expect a theological study with scripture references and philosophical justifications for a loving God creating a place of eternal torment. That is not what this post is about.
As I look to Jesus' words I find that perhaps his own justifications for the acceptance of a belief in Hell were bolstered by the same justification I have recently embraced.
Jesus appears to speak of Hell most frequently in the presence of the religious elite - the Pharisees, and Sadducees. My favorite Bible verse on the subject is just such a context, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves." (Matthew 23:15)
The kind of people to whom Jesus is speaking are my most recent self-justification for believing in Hell. It is NOT Adolf Hitler, although he is certainly high on the list of people who have become justifiable arguments for needing a place like Hell. Other similar evil world leaders do NOT become my justification.
Like Jesus, my justification for believing in Hell is found in religious leaders.
I live in Boston. Every day for a couple years, it seemed that the Boston Globe carried the ongoing story of the priest abuse scandal on the front page. I am convinced there is a Hell.
The same story continues today in Ireland with an ongoing and yet connected Irish priest abuse scandal. I am convinced there is a Hell.
When worldwide ministries appear to be robbing widows with false promises of healing, prosperity, and miraculous divine favor when in actuality they repeatedly. These are a few of the things which convince me there is a Hell.
I wonder if these same kind of things convinced Jesus of the existence of Hell. It works for me. It is not this wicked world, which convinces that there is a place called Hell. It is the wickedness found in those who deceive honestly religious people for selfish and sick purposes who convince me there is a place of torment designed by a loving God.