WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HELL? HELL IS A REALITY!!!!!
Written And Preached By A Great Servant
Of the Lord Who's Name Is Now Only
Remembered In Glory!
An earmark of cultic religions is their views about hell. If they do not use the fear of going to hell to bring people into bondage, then they try to discount hell altogether. One of Satan's favorite lies is to try to convince people that they suffer their hell on earth and that there is none hereafter. He also tries to get them to believe the lie that death only brings a state of sleep or rest. Another doctrine teaches that hell is only temporary and eventually after being in the fires of hell people become cleansed and purified to the degree that they will then be accepted into heaven. These terrible heresies are believed by many Christians who are ignorant of what God's Word has to say about it. Cults also teach that hell is a place where souls are simply annihilated and therefore no longer exist. Some teach reincarnation, giving people another chance to be born on this earth for as many times as it takes to become purified, progressing to higher forms each time they return. Others say hell is only a place away from God, but it is not a literal burning fiery hell. All of these are lies of Satan to cause people to minimize the reality of hell.
What does the Bible say about hell?
To make a point, Jesus described this place as such a place of horror that it would be better to sever a member of our body that would lead us there, than to end up in that place of torments.
"And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched'' (Mark 9:43-48).
We don't have to cut our limbs or pluck out our eyes to be free from hell, Jesus made a way for us to escape this evil through our repentance and acceptance of what He did for us on the cross when He died for the sins of our flesh. However, we see clearly that His statement signifies the exclusion of the hope of restoration and that punishment is eternal once a person is there. He repeats the words, "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched," three times for emphasis.
Another account of the torments of hell is found in Luke 16:19-26:
"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." Hell is described not only as a fiery place of torment, but also as a separation from God and His saints, a place where there is continual torment.
HELL WAS MADE FOR SATAN
This place was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels. It was never meant for man to go there. Man is going there by choosing to follow Satan and his evil ways by rejecting the free grace Jesus is offering to mankind. "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" (Matthew 25:41).
The Greek word for hell in the New Testament, "hades" means the same as "sheol" in the Old Testament Hebrew. It is also spoken of as the grave, the pit, and the place of the dead. It is described as below the surface of the earth (Numbers 16:30, Psalm 55:15), beneath the depths of the sea, and is also spoken of as "the deep." It has gates and bars that hold its prisoners. The wicked go down into the region of hell where they are kept in torment until the day of the White Throne Judgment. Hell is a place of shame, remorse, consciousness, memory, and anguish. PARADISE
There was also a region surrounded by "hell" known as "paradise" where the righteous dead went prior to Calvary. It was separated by a great impassable gulf from the lower regions. It was a place of peace and comfort and was the place referred to as "Abraham's Bosom." Not only was Abraham there, but all the Old Testament saints were kept there until Christ's crucifixion. Christ then descended into hell (sheol, hades) (Psalm 16:10) (Luke 23:43) and at His ascension He led "captivity captive" and delivered the prisoners of hope from paradise and led them to heaven. Ephesians 4:8-10 says, "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things! Thousands saw this with there own eyes!)"
One note here: Jesus did not take the punishment for our sins in hell. He took our punishment for sin on the cross as a type of a sacrificial lamb. He bore our iniquities on the cross. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 the Bible says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." When it says "He was made to be sin," it means He was made to be a "sin offering." He bore the sins of many on the cross. He did not bear our sins in hell. He went to hell (Sheol, the abode of the dead) to take the keys of death and hell away from the devil and to set the captives free and take them from paradise to heaven. All those who had died in faith, prior to the cross were kept in paradise which was a temporary place of rest and blessing until Christ paid the price for His own to enter heaven permanently. Although the location of paradise was in Sheol (the abode of the dead), it was not a place of torment. It was a special protected place until the day the Lord would free those in that place of captivity.
The Bible speaks that Jesus went to hell for three days and three nights after His death on the cross. Matthew 12:40 records this statement, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." He was not in hell (Sheol) to receive torment but rather to preach to those that were there awaiting their release to be taken to heaven with Him. After those three days and three nights in hell (Sheol) Jesus took all the Old Testament saints with him to heaven (including one of the thieves that was crucified next to Him. Luke 23:43: "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.") This explains why Jesus said He would be in hell for three days and three nights and yet would that day also be in paradise. Paradise was that safe place in hell (Sheol) that all the Old Testament saints were kept until their sins were atoned for on the cross.
Jesus is now seated on the right hand of God in a position of all authority and power over all things. He is awaiting the time of His second coming to this earth to get the rest of His people and take them to heaven also. For Christians, this will be a joyous time. His second coming for the evil and wicked however, will not be a joyous event as they will be judged and then sent to hell.
1 Peter 3:18-22: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."
The gates of hell (sheol and hades) do not prevail against the church today as they once did against the righteous in the Old Testament (Matthew 16:18). All true believers go directly to heaven at death and do not wait in paradise as the Old Testament saints did. II Corinthians 5:6-8: "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
LAKE OF FIRE
Christ has the keys to death and hell which will ultimately have to give up its wicked dead for judgment. "Sheol" and "Hades" (the present hell) will then come to an end and "Gehenna" (the "Lake of Fire") will take its place.
Revelation 20:1-3: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season."
Souls will burn forever there with no escape; this is the second death. The only escape from this fate is accepting Jesus as our Savior. He is the only one that has the keys of hell so we can be released from our prison of hell and condemnation.
"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Revelation 1:18).
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, From whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire"(Revelation 20:10-15).
Hell and hellfire are realities according to God's Word and any that speak otherwise are in error and are promoting false doctrine. The only way to escape this dreaded place is becoming a child of God so we can go to heaven. It is man's sin that is leading him to hell. If we repent of our sin and ask Jesus to come into our heart we not only can be saved from the hell to come but also delivered from the hell in this earth.
Who will be thrown into this ETERNAL FIRE? Those who do not have their names listed in the book of life (Rev. 20:15). The antichrist and false prophet (Rev. 19:20). Satan (Rev. 20:10). The cowardly, unbelieving, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, idolaters, liars, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexual offenders, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers (Rev. 21:8; 1 Cor. 6:9,10). See also Gal. 5:19-21. Those who are not Biblically born again (Jn. 3:3-7). Those who didn't forgive others who sinned against them (Mt. 6:14,15; 18:22-35). Those who begin with Jesus, but don't remain in Him because they afterwards believed and accepted a wrong plan of salvation (1 Jn. 2:24,25; 2 Jn. 9; Gal. 5:2,4; 1 Cor. 15:1,2). Those who don't produce fruit (Mt. 25:14-46; Jn. 15:5,6), endure to the end (Mt. 10:22 cf. Jn. 6:66) or don't continue to believe, but "fall away" in time of TESTING (Lk. 8:13 cf. Mt. 13:21). [Persecution, in one form or another, is a TEST that comes to ALL godly people (2 Tim. 3:12; Lk. 6:22; Jn. 15:20).] All who receive the mark of the beast and worship his image during the time of the Antichrist, which includes former Christians who do NOT patiently endure and remain faithful to Jesus (Rev. 14:9-12; 13:8-10). Everything that causes sin and ALL who do evil (Mt. 13:41,42). All who are self-seeking, reject the truth and follow evil (Rom. 2:8).
The doctrine of hell is one of the most neglected doctrines in all of Scripture. When hell is mentioned today, it is generally ridiculed, as if the whole idea of hell were so old fashioned that only the naive and ignorant would really believe that such a place actually exists. This is not hard to understand. Natural men hate the idea of being held accountable for their lives to a holy God, because they love sin and do not wish to part with it.
The carnal mind throws up objection after objection to the idea of hell because it does not want to face the reality of it. Men live their lives thinking that maybe if they ignore a difficulty long enough, it will go away. Even conservative religious leaders are now attacking hell. Let men do what they will, the frivolous objections of the foolish will not do away with hell. Amid the clamor to annihilate hell, those who believe the Bible to be true must stand and speak. Your consideration of the terrors of hell maybe one of the most important things you can do in this life. "Then he who hears the sound of the trumpet, and does not take warning, and as word comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head" (Ezekiel 33:4). Please, I implore you, invest the time it takes to read this chapter and book to the end. Why should we be so concerned about hell? Why should we spend time reading about hell? There are several reasons why it is profitable to do so: 1) Hearing about the terrors of hell may shock your conscience and awaken you out of your false security. 2) Hearing about hell helps to deter men from committing sin. Both the godly and the ungodly are persuaded not to sin as much when they are regularly reminded of the terrors of hell. 3) Hearing about the terrors of hell may help to awaken those among us who may think they are saved because they believe in Christ or the facts of the gospel, but who are not really saved and are on their way to hell, but don't know it. 4) Preaching the doctrine of hell is profitable to both the godly and the ungodly alike, as will be demonstrated. Why aren't people fearful of hell? There seems to be a real lack of fear today of the reality of hell. This applies to both those who are in the church and those who are in the world. People are not afraid of hell. Why? You would not be afraid of a lion when it is only painted in a picture upon a wall. Why is this? Because it is only a picture. You know that it's not real. But if you were left alone in a jungle and came face to face with a real lion that growled ferociously at you, you would be terrified. The consciences of men are much like the man who only views the painted lion. We hear of hell in the Bible. We know that the Lord YAHUSHUA spoke of hell. In fact, Christ spoke more of hell than anyone else in the Scriptures. Why do men not believe hell is real? Because they do not hear enough about it. We don't study what the Scriptures say about hell. It is not just what we hear which makes up what we believe, it is what we don't hear as well which helps to form our belief system. Only the Spirit of God can present the terrors of hell to our hearts in such a way as to see them alive before us. The doctrine of hell has been used by God more often to the conversion of sinners than any other doctrine in the Scriptures. Pray now that as you read this chapter the Holy Spirit will set hell before you as real indeed. THE NECESSITY OF HELL Most who scoff at hell today probably do so for several reasons. Primary among them is a desire to pursue their own paths of sin without having their consciences troubled about the consequences of their actions. They do not want to hear that what they are doing is wrong. They do not want to hear that their sin will be punished. I can hear someone say, "But isn't eternal torment in hell inconsistent with a merciful and loving God? How could a good God punish people in hell forever?" A misunderstanding of the character of God and the nature of sin can easily lead to such questions. Why is hell necessary? Let us examine several reasons for the necessity of hell. 1) The Great Evil in Sin and the Holiness of God. The difficulty most people have in understanding the necessity of hell is related to an incomplete and inadequate understanding of both how awful sin is and how glorious God is. We do not see what a great evil is in the least sin, nor do we understand God's holiness, His justice, and His wrath. If we saw sin as the greatest evil in the world and realized that every sin is a rejection of God's rule over us, a sneering at Him, a shaking of our fist in His face, and a hurling of dung at Him, we would begin to understand a small bit of what our sin is like to God. Every time we sin, we either set ourselves, or a pet lust, up in our hearts as a rival god. Sin rejects the Creator as God and sets up the creature in His place. If we could comprehend God's holiness and what it means to be holy, pure, perfect, upright, and untainted by the least sin, we would have a better idea of why God hates sin so much. Absolute holiness cannot tolerate the least sin, "Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil, and Thou canstnot look on wickedness with favor" (Habakkuk 1:13). If we could understand the glorious holiness and purity of God and also the abominable nature of sin more, then we would have no problem with the absolute necessity of hell. "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). The human heart is sick. The human heart is wicked. The human heart is deceitful. The corruption the heart causes us to be deceived about the awfulness of sin as well as many other things. 2) God's Infinite Nature. In understanding what our sin is really like, we must view it through the eyes of God. God is an infinite, eternal being. Every act of sin is committed against an infinite, holy God. In every act of sin we dethrone God and set ourselves above God. In every sin this question is the issue, "Whose will shall be done, God's will or man's? Now, man by sin sets his own will above the Lord's, and so kicks God as filth under his feet." 1 A single act of sin committed against a holy, infinite God deserves infinite punishment. It is an infinite evil to offend an infinite God even once. 3) Divine Justice. Even one sin against God calls for God to vindicate His name and His justice by punishing it as fully as it deserves. God can and will vindicate His justice. He promises to do so in Romans 12:19 where it says, "leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' " One of the greatest preachers that ever lived, Jonathan Edward's, wrote, "The glory of God is the greatest good; it is that which is the chief end of creation; it is of greater importance than anything else. But this is one way wherein God will glorify Himself, as in the eternal destruction of ungodly men He will glorify His justice. Therein He will appear as a just governor of the world. The vindictive justice of God will appear strict, exact, awful, and terrible, and therefore glorious." A DESCRIPTION OF HELL Hell is a furnace of unquenchable fire, a place of everlasting punishment, where its victims are tormented in both their bodies and their minds in accordance with their sinful natures, their actual sins committed, and the amount of spiritual light given to them, which they rejected. Hell is a place from which God's mercy and goodness have been withdrawn, where God's wrath is revealed as a terrifying, consuming fire, and men live with unfulfilled lusts and desires in torment forever and ever. In Matthew 13:47-50 the Lord YAHUSHUA tells a parable relating to the judgment. In verses 49-50, the Lord describes the fate of the wicked: "So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." In examining these words of the Lord YAHUSHUA we should first notice that hell is described as being a furnace of blue fire. Nebuchadnezzar's furnace was heated seven times hotter than normal and is described as "a furnace of blazing fire" (Daniel 3:23). John the Baptist spoke of "unquenchable fire" and Revelation describes hell as "a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19:20). Can we really imagine the horror of which these words speak? Imagine every part of your body on fire at the same time, so that every fiber of your being felt the intense torment of being burned. How long could you endure such punishment? Christ tells us that "there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." The lost will wail and gnash their teeth from having to endure the most intense pain and suffering they have ever felt as the flames consume them and constantly burn every part of their bodies. And there will be no relief. Jonathan Edwards describes in graphic language what the fires of hell will be like: "Some of you have seen buildings on fire; imagine therefore with yourselves, what a poor hand you would make at fighting with the flames, if you were in the midst of so great and fierce a fire. You have often seen a spider or some other noisome insect, when thrown into the midst of a fierce fire, and have observed how immediately it yields to the force of the flames. There is no long struggle, no fighting against the fire, no strength exerted to oppose the heat, or to fly from it; but it immediately stretches forth and yields; and the fire takes possession of it, and at once it becomes full of fire. Here is a little image of what you will be in hell, except you repent and fly to Christ. To encourage yourselves that you will set yourselves to bear hell torments as well as you can, is just as if a worm, that is about to be thrown into a glowing furnace, should swell and fortify itself, and prepare itself to fight the flames." Hell is also described as a place of darkness. The Lord tells us of the guest without wedding clothes who was cast "into outer darkness" (Matthew 22:13). Jude writes of those in hell "for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever" (Jude 13). Christopher Love says in his work Hell's Terrors: "darkness is terrible, and men are more apt to fear in the dark then light: hell is therefore set forth in so terrible an expression, to make the hearts of men tremble; not only darkness, but the blackness of darkness".' Hell is compared to Tophet in Isaiah 30:33. Tophet was the place where the idolatrous Jews sacrificed their children to the heathen god Molech by casting them into the fire. Day and night shrieks and howls were heard in that place, as day and night shrieks, howls, and wailing are heard in hell. Isaiah speaks of "the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone" setting hell ablaze. There is good evidence from the Scriptures that God Himself will be the fire in hell. Hebrews 12:29 says, "Our God is a consuming fire." The ungodly on earth ignorantly dance for joy when they hear pastors speak about the love and mercy of God, but they will be the beneficiaries of neither, unless they repent. To them God will bean all consuming fire. Hebrews 10:30-31 warns: "For we know him who said, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' And again, `The Lord will judge His people.' It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God." It is a fearful thing, it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God! You shall not escape hell, sinner. God will be your hell and His wrath will consume you and be poured upon you as long as He exists. "Who understands the power of Thine anger?" (Psalm 90:11). It is because God Himself will be the fire in hell that words cannot possibly express the terrors of the damned in hell. "There is no reason to suspect that possibly ministers set forth this matter beyond what it really is, that possibly it is not so dreadful and terrible as it is pretended, and that ministers strain the description of it beyond just bounds...We have rather reason to suppose that after we have said our utmost, all that we have said or thought is but a faint shadow of reality." In Luke 16:19-26 Christ tells us of two men. One of them was rich (he has traditionally been called Dives); the other man was poor (his name was Lazarus). Both men died. The poor man was carried by angels to heaven and the rich man went to hell. The rich man did not go to hell because he was rich, nor did the poor man go to heaven simply because he was poor. The Lord shows us through this contrast that our circumstances may change drastically when we pass from time into eternity. We are not to be fooled that just because God may not have dealt harshly with us here, that he will not do so after death. The eternal abiding place of both men resulted from the condition of their hearts before God, while they were on earth. Lazarus was a true follower of God. Dives was not. We want to carefully note what the Scriptures tell us about Dives and his condition, for from that we may learn much about hell. Verses 23-24 indicate to us that Dives is "in torment." What does it mean to be "in torment?" This torment refers to both torment in body and torment in soul as well. As we have seen, men's bodies will be tormented in a furnace of fire. Every part of the body will feel the pain of that fire. Men with severe stomach pains can be in great agony from that alone, but this pain will be far greater. Death from cancer is sometimes said to cause extreme pain in the body, but the pain of hell will be far worse. If your body were afflicted with many different and painful diseases all at the same time, you still would not begin to approach the pain of the damned in hell. Men's consciences shall be in torment in hell as well. Conscience is the worm that will not die which the Scriptures speak of (Mark 9:48; Isaiah 66:24). Dives is told to "remember that during your life." Men will be tormented with extreme pain, but they will also be tormented by their own memories. They will remember hearing of hell and scoffing at it. They will remember being warned and told to repent or told that accepting the blessings of heaven without submitting to Christ as Lord falls short of salvation, but they took no heed to those warnings. They will be tormented by seeing at a distance the glories of heaven (as Dives was able to do), and knowing that for all eternity they will be damned. They will be tormented by unfulfilled desires and unfulfilled lusts (Dives is not able to receive even a drop of water to cool his tongue). They will be tormented by the knowledge that they will never escape from hell (Dives is told that "neither can you pass to us"). They will be tormented by the cries, shrieks, and curses of the damned around them. The most extreme torments a man can experience on earth will be like flea bites compared to the torments of hell. Jonathan Edwards speaks of men unable to find even a moment of relief in hell in his sermon on The Future Punishment of the Wicked: "Nor will they ever be able to find anything to relieve them in hell. They will never find any resting place there; any secret corner, which will be cooler than the rest, where they may have a little respite, a small abatement of the extremity of their torment. They never will be able to find any cooling stream or fountain, in any part of that world of torment; no, nor so much as a drop of water to cool their tongues. They will find no company to give them any comfort, or do them the least good. They will find no place, where they can remain, and rest, and take breath for one minute: for they will be tormented with fire and brimstone; and they will have no rest day nor night forever and ever." 6 THE ETERNITY OF HELL The most terrifying aspect of all about hell is its length or duration. Hell is eternal. Hell will last forever. Can you comprehend eternity? No mathematical equation or formula can explain it. Your mind cannot conceive of eternity, but it is none the less real. This aspect of hell alone should cause men to cry out in repentance. It is not surprising that skeptics of all ages have attacked the eternal nature of hell, substituting doctrines like the annihilation of the wicked in its place. Let us look at the Scriptures to verify the eternal nature of hell and to try and understand eternity better. Then we will explore why hell must be eternal. "And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10). This verse clearly gives us the duration of hell. Hell is forever and ever. How could a stronger, more certain expression be used? If the Spirit of God wanted to communicate the eternal nature of hell to men what could communicate it better than the expression "forever and ever?" The Scripture has no higher expression which is used to denote eternity than "forever and ever" for it is the very phrase used to tell us of the eternal existence of God Himself, as in Revelation 4:9: "to him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever." Does anyone doubt that God will live to all eternity? How then can you doubt that hell will not last to all eternity when the same expression is used for both? "We can conceive but little of the matter; but to help your conception, imagine yourself to be cast into a fiery oven, or a great furnace, where your pain would be as much greater than that occasioned by accidentally touching a coal of fire, as the heat is greater. Imagine also that your body were to lie there for a quarter of an hour, full of fire, and all the while full of quick sense; what horror would you feel at the entrance of such a furnace! and how long would that quarter of an hour seem to you! And after you had endured it for one minute, how overbearing would it be to you to think that you had to endure the other fourteen! But what would be the effect on your soul, if you knew you must lie there enduring that torment to the full for twenty-four hours...for a whole year...for a thousand years! "Oh, then, how would your hearts sink, if you knew, that you must bear it forever and ever! that there would be no end! that after millions of millions of ages, your torment would be no nearer to an end, and that you never, never should be delivered! But your torment in hell will be immensely greater than this illustration represents." Christ, describing the great day of judgment, tells of the separation of the wicked and the righteous using these words: "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (Matthew 25:46). Is there anyone who would deny that heaven exists eternally? Will the lives of the blessed in heaven be brought to an end one day? Of course not. But the same Greek word is used here in this verse to speak of the eternal life of the righteous and the everlasting punishment of the wicked. Hell will last as long as heaven does. In hell there will be different degrees of torment appointed to men as indicated by a number of Scriptures. Luke 12:47-48 says: "And that slave who knew his master's will and die not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few." Christ says in Matthew 11:24: "Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you." The verses in Matthew indicate that the people in Capernaum will receive a greater punishment on judgment day than those who had lived in Sodom. The verses in Luke speak of a differentiation in judgment based on the amount of light received: some will receive many stripes and others will receive few. Those who commit greater sins than others or more sins than others will receive greater punishment in hell (John 19:11). Religious hypocrites, those who profess Christianity but are not real Christians, will be punished more severely than others (Matthew 23:14-15). The Lord said of Judas Iscariot," It would have been good for that man if he had not been born" (Matthew 26:24). How could any of these things be said to be true if annihilation were what awaited men after death? The presence of different degrees of punishment only makes sense in light of the ability to sensibly feel the torment. Could it be said that it would have been better for Judas if he had never been born if annihilation was all that awaited him? Annihilation is like no punishment at all. Each time the unbeliever sins he is adding to his torment in hell. The person who sins twice as much as another with similar light will receive twice as much punishment. Every day that sinners continue to live and breathe here on earth without repenting, they are adding to their torments in hell. Romans 2:5 tells us: "But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God." The Lord YAHUSHUA encouraged the righteous to lay up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. The wicked are increasing their future wrath and torment in hell every day by their continued sinning. They add to their punishment daily. In hell men will wish that they had never been born. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said: "In hell there is no hope. They have not even the hope of dying--the hope of being annihilated. They are forever--forever--forever lost! On every chain in hell, there is written "forever". In the fires there, blaze out the words, "forever". Above their heads, they read, "forever". Their eyes are galled and their hearts are pained with the thought that it is "forever". Oh, if I could tell you tonight that hell would one day be burned out, and that those who were lost might be saved, there would be a jubilee in hell at the very thought of it. But it cannot be--it is "forever" they are cast into the outer darkness." Christopher Love uses an illustration to try and help us understand what eternity means: "Suppose all the mountains of the earth were mountains of sand, and many more mountains still added thereto, till they reached up to heaven, and a little bird should once in every thousand years take one (grain of) sand of this mountain, there would be an innumerable company of years pass over before that mass of sand would be consumed and taken away, and yet this time would have an end; and it would be happy for man, if hell were no longer than this time; but this is man's misery in hell, he shall be in no more hope of coming out after he hath been there millions of years, then he was when he was first cast in there; for his torments shall be to eternity, without end, because the God that damns him is eternal." Earlier we looked at the necessity of hell or why there must be a place like hell. Now we will look at why hell must not only exist, but why it must exist eternally. Why is it necessary that hell be eternal? There are several answers to this which we shall explore briefly. The first reason we will look at is the one mentioned by Christopher Love in the passage just quoted. The God who damns men is an eternal God. "Ultimately the eternality of hell is based upon the nature of God." Is God's Word eternal? Is God's nature eternal? The Scripture tells us: "YAHUSHUA Messiah is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). "His righteousness endures forever" (Psalm 111:3). "The Word of the Lord abides forever" (I Peter 1:24). If God's Word is eternal, if God's righteousness is eternal, if God Himself is eternal, then why shouldn't His wrath be eternal as well? As eternally existent, all of God's attributes are eternal and immutable; therefore, hell, as an expression of God's wrath, must be eternal. Hell must be eternal because God's justice could never be satisfied by the punishment of sinners no matter how long it lasts. Christ makes this clear when He speaks about settling with your accuser before you get to court, otherwise you shall be cast into prison and "I tell thee, thou halt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite" (Luke 12:59). Man can do nothing to pay for his sins. No amount of punishment in hell, no matter how long, can ever atone for sins. It is impossible; therefore, hell must be eternal. Thirdly, hell must be eternal because the Scriptures tell us that the worm which gnaws the conscience of men in hell never dies. "For their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched" (Isaiah 66:24). If the worm never dies, then those being tormented by the worm shall never die. Lastly, hell will be eternal because men continue to sin in hell. They increase and compound their guilt there. Hell is a place where tormented men curse God, curse themselves, and scream and wail with blasphemous language at their fellow men around them. Wicked men will increase each others torments as they accuse, blame, and condemn one another. Men will not repent in hell because the character of sinners does not change. They remain sinners. Men will sin to eternity, therefore, God will punish them eternally. APPLICATION TO BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS The Old Testament prophets warn us repeatedly of the dangers of hell: "Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?" (Isaiah 33:14, KJV)." Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire" (Nahum 1:6). Sinner, are you so arrogant as to think you can bear the wrath of God poured out in full measure upon you? You may think that hell is not so hot and that you will be able to bear it quite well. If you believe that you are more than a fool. The terrors of hell cause the devils to tremble and are you so foolish as to be unmoved by them or make light of them? Do not think that simply because you go to church, or believe in God, or believe intellectually in the truths of Christianity that you will escape hell. The majority of those who regularly attend churches every week, all over the world, will go to hell. Thomas Shepherd, pastor and founder of Harvard University, wrote: "Formal professors and carnal gospelers have a thing like faith, and like sorrow, and like true repentance, and like good desires, but yet they be but pictures; they deceive others and themselves too...most of them that live in the church shall perish." You who profess to be Christians, but do not read your Bible much and pray little: how shall you escape the damnation of hell? You who are not especially bothered by little sins or troubled by the vain and filthy thoughts which you have: are you ready to go to hell? You who think the kingdom of God consists in a verbal profession of Christ or intellectually believing that YAHUSHUA died for your sins, but who are not concerned with living a holy, godly life and give little or no thought to God during the week: are you prepared to endure the torments of hell, day and night, forever and ever? You had better be, because if these things are true of you, you are headed straight for hell, unless you repent. Do not delude yourself! Christianity does not consist in words, or pious statements, or mere intellectual belief, but in a new heart and a new life dedicated to not sinning and living for the glory of God. If your heart and life have not been changed by God, you are still in your sins. If you are living in known disobedience to the word of God and are unconcerned about it, you have no right to assume you are going to heaven: you are on your way to hell! Repent of all your sins and turn to YAHUSHUA Messiah and surrender to Him as Lord. Listen to the words of Christ: "If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into the fiery hell" (Matthew 18:9). "Nothing short of the complete denying of self, the abandoning of the dearest idol, the forsaking of the most cherished sinful course--figuratively represented under the cutting off of a right hand and the plucking out of a right eye--is what He claims from every one who would have true communion with Him." 12 But remember, the difficulty involved in forsaking all for Christ is nothing compared to spending eternity in hell. I do not believe anyone can be scared into heaven, but I do believe they can be scared away from hell, so that they might begin to seek God with all their hearts, and to beg Christ to have mercy on them. Men stand on the brink of the pit of hell and are ready to fall headlong into it and yet they are completely unaware they are in any danger. If hearing about hell can cause otherwise senseless men to consider eternal truths, then preaching about hell is valuable indeed. It is better to view hell now, while you are living, and be terrified by it, than to have to endure hell forever when you die. I would not have you to be more afraid of hell than of sin. Sin is your real enemy. Sin is worse than hell because sin gave birth to hell. Would you be willing to go to hell for all eternity for the enjoyment of a little pleasure and lust here on earth? Flee from sin! Flee from living for self and self pleasing to YAHUSHUA Messiah. When you die it will be to late. All opportunity to repent ends at death. This doctrine is useful to the godly as well as the ungodly. The doctrine of hell should stir up within the righteous a fear of God. A godly fear is useful in many ways. The one who has a fear of God in his heart has a greater respect for the commandments of God. He who truly fears God will not fear men and would rather displease men than God (Isaiah 8:12-13). This doctrine should increase your faithfulness and joy in Christ that you have been delivered from the torments of hell and should likewise increase your love for Christ who endured the wrath of God upon the cross for you. The doctrine of hell should stir up within you a fear of sin. It should cause us to fear even little sins and be careful to confess and forsake sins of the heart and thought life also. Let the doctrine of hell keep you from the practice of sin. The doctrine of hell should help the godly to be patient under all outward, temporary afflictions which come to them. No matter how great your afflictions are in this world, they are far less than the torments of hell from which the Lord has freed the godly. You may have to undergo lessor torments while on earth, but remember they are only temporary and you have been freed from the greatest of all torments so you may rejoice even in a time of affliction. This doctrine is useful to motivate you to tell others of the message of Christ. Eryl Davies wrote in his book The Wrath of God: "The eternity of hell's sufferings should make us the more zealous and eager to tell people of the only One who is able to rescue them. Do we shrink from declaring these solemn truths? Does the thought of hell displease us? Remember that God will be glorified even through the eternal sufferings of unbelievers in hell. His injured majesty will be vindicated...What is supreme in the purpose of God in the election and reprobation of men is His own glory, and hell also will glorify the justice, power, and wrath of God throughout eternity. In the meantime it is our responsibility to pray and work for the salvation of sinners before such awful punishment overtakes them." I cannot leave without one final word to those who think they are converted, but are not; and also, to those who know themselves to be unconverted. Can you conceive of eternity? Stop now and try to imagine being tormented unceasingly, forever, without end. Does this not terrify you? Never a chance for a moment's rest. Never a drop of water to cool your parched throat. Think again of how long eternity is. Try to imagine it: day and night, forever and ever, burned with fire like a spider in a furnace of flames. Shrieking, howling, wailing, cursing the day you were born, and being cursed by the devils and damned souls around you eternally. Remembering, forever remembering, how you were warned on earth and how you ignored those warnings: self-satisfied and self deceived that all was well with your soul. Job's wife told him to curse God and die. Unless you repent and flee to YAHUSHUA Messiah, who is your only hope, you shall curse God eternally and be tormented by Him in His presence in the awful fullness of His wrath, and you shall never die. You shall never die. You shall never die! Eternity is forever!
The Roman's Road to Heaven
In one minute I can explain to you how you can know for sure that if you died today you would go to Heaven.
All you have to know are 4 things.
1] Man is a sinner. Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
2] There is a price on sin, eternal death. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
3] Jesus paid that price on the cross. Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
4] By faith in Christ we can be saved. Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
HERE IS HOW YOU CALL UPON THE LORD
Do you admit that you are a sinner?
Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?
If you are sorry for your sins and would like for God to save your soul, just ask Him.
Please forgive me of my sins. I trust you today, JESUS, and only You, to take me to HEAVEN when I die. Thank you for saving me.
Just as you were born to your parents, you were born into the Kingdom of God when you called on Jesus!