Hell is not simply the natural consequences of rejecting God. Some people say this in order to reject the thought that God sends people there. They say that people send themselves there. That is true. People make choices that lead to hell. But it is not the whole truth. Jesus says these choices are really deserving of hell. “Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to [that is, guilty of, or deserving of] the hell of fire” (Matt. 5:22). That is why he calls hell “punishment” (Matt. 25:46). It is not a mere self-imposed natural consequence (like cigarette smoking leading to lung cancer); it is the penalty of God’s wrath (like a judge sentencing a criminal to hard labor).
— John Piper, quoted in Why We’re Not Emergent by Kevin DeYoung, p. 197