Hell - Is It A Real Place?
"There are a million roads to Hell and no exits!" - Leonard Ravenhill
Prior to becoming a Christian I used to tell people often to go to Hell. Sometimes it was my close friends I was joking with or angry with for some reason, and at other times it was said to someone who was not my friend and causing me grief in some way or the other and I spoke the words in anger hoping to make them angry and retaliate. It should be noted that I was clueless about what I was saying or I would never have said it.
1. Who will go to Hell, for how long, and is there a way out?
2. We would far rather believe it doesn't exist than deal with its truth!
There are at least two subjects that most people avoid discussing and they are death and Hell. For some life after death is an unknown because they are not sure if there is, or is not, something beyond the grave. Others believe in eternal Heaven but
deny an eternal lake of fire.
For some death means losing all the valuable possessions they must leave behind. For others the biggest concern is for family members that they may never see again or, if they are younger, losing someone they want to hold on to for as long as possible.
For some death means nothing because they reject the concept of God and believe life ceases to exist after death. For Christians who are exercising faith in God death is only a doorway to eternal peace and joy in the presence of a loving God who has redeemed them through the death of his son Jesus Christ. So death is something we would rather not talk about without a sure knowledge of what lies beyond the grave.
Hell is never a popular subject to either Christian or non-Christian because of the horrors it holds for those who might go there. As I stated above I used to be telling a lot of people to go to Hell before I became a Christian. During those years I never wanted to speak about hell from a biblical sense because I didn't know whether or not I would end up going there. I can easily relate to anyone on either side of the issue, and find no pleasure in considering or speaking on the subject of Hell. A great preacher once said that any man who can preach on hell without tears in his eyes knows nothing about the love of Christ. I believe with all my heart that what he said is true. How could anyone who believes the holy scriptures find anything but grief in thinking of someone going there?
It is with this thought in mind that I want to present a study from the Bible concerning this vitally important and misunderstood subject. I will draw from both the Old Testament and the New Testament scriptures for this study.
WHAT CAN BE KNOWN ABOUT
HELL AND THE LAKE OF FIRE
The first mention of Hell is found in Deuteronomy 32:22 - "For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase,and set on fire the foundations of the mountains." - The word used here is sheol, and means the world of the dead with its inmates and all its accessories.
The final mention of hell in scripture is found in Revelation 20:13-14 - "And the sea gaveup the dead which were in it, and death
and hell gave 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. Hell is mentioned twice in these verses. The word here is hades, which means
the place of departed souls.
In between these two verses there are 30 additional Old Testament verses and 22 New Testament references to hell given, and most of the New Testament verses are clearly spoken by Jesus Christ. It is my strong belief that when God chooses to
repeat teaching on a particular subject it is because it is important to him and should be important to anyone who believes the
Bible to be God's word. A perfect being such as the God of the Bible is not given to wasting words.
One additional thought: Jesus did not come to act as an eternal fire insurance for the wicked. He came to seek and to save the
lost which is everyone on earth past, present and future. Hell is reserved for the devil and demons. People who go to hell go there because they choose to rebel against God and reject the free gift of salvation.
2 Peter 3:9 in the KJV says; “For God is not willing that any should perish but that all men should come to repentance.” This is
clear evidence that God leaves the choice up to us to repent. Just like a child that is told something but still refuses to believe his parents mean what they say is punished for it, so it shall be with those who reject God's laws and his commandments. There will be
no argument on the day of judgment. God will have the last word and punish the law breakers who have rejected his gift of salvation!
HELL IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
The word for hell in all the Old Testament is sheol (sheh-ole') - It means hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat) including all it's accessories and inmates, grave, pit. While man would vastly prefer it to mean the grave, the full definition shown here will not allow it. The idea of accessories and inmates would invalidate grave as a stand alone definition.
HELL IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
The word hell in the New Testament is three different words; gehenna, hades and tartaroo.
Gehenna (gheh'-en-nah) - It means the Valley of Hinam (figuratively), a place or state of everlasting torment, and it is found in the following verses: Matthew 5:22:29 and 30, Matthew 10:28,Matthew 18:9, Matthew 23:15 and 33,Mark 9:43-47. Luke 12:5, and James 3:6.
Tartaroo (tar-tar-o-o) - It means the deepest abyss of hades, to incarcerate in eternal torment (see 2 Peter 2:4) speaking of angels that are demons now.
HELL IS NOT ETERNAL!
Hell is not eternal as some would teach. Revelation 20:14 says; "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire; this is the second death." So death is vanquished along with hell forever. The sad thing is what is found in Revelation 20:15 - All whose names were not found in the Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire. (See also Revelation 21:8) Jesus came to earth, lived among men and died to pay the full price for our sins with his own blood. Afterward, he resurrected from the dead to make it possible for all men to have eternal life in peace and joy forever. People who choose to reject the gift of salvation he died to give go to Hell and the lake of fire by their own choice. It is my most earnest prayer that all who read this would not be among them. Turn to the Lord today for salvation. Seek his forgiveness for your sins and he will grant it.
C R Lord © 2015
The poem below is written for those who refuse to deal with reality and do whatever they can to avoid the hard truths of God's Word. It is inspired and dedicated to my friend on Facebook Bill Brown.
"We look at all the tragedies in life such as sickness, death abortion,political corruption and murder among many other atrocities and we are sometimes overwhelmed. BUT another thought struck my mind as I was thinking on these things; a thought that held much more force than all these others issues combined;
"ONE MORE SOUL ENTERED HELL TODAY!"