We live in a time where many, MANY, churches do not preach in depth on Hell. They might mention it briefly as an alternative for Heaven, but preachers do not go in depth as to what Hell is like.
Some do this because they want to focus on positivity. Others do not want to “scare” people into believing in Christ for salvation.
With regard to the latter position, if Hell is real enough to someone that they turn to Christ, then Christ must also be real enough for them to turn to. One can absolutely be saved out of fear, and it is just as legitimate as doing so out of love. In fact, it was hearing about the reality of Hell that had me “scared straight” when I accepted the gift of salvation at eight years old.
The Gospel message is simple – believe with your heart that Christ died and rose again for your sins and you will be saved. There is no condition on motivation for belief. As a matter of fact, I believe that these Hellfire ignoring churches are missing a major part of the message. “For the wages of sin is death . . .” Well, we all die a physical death, but the wages of sin are eternal death. If eternal life in paradise is not contrasted with eternal death in torment, it is not fully contextualized.
So, because our churches will not broach the subject, I will.
“If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”
Hell is but one name for the place of damnation and torment spoken of throughout the Bible. There are other names as well:
The congregation of the dead (Proverbs 21:16)
Nether parts of the earth (Ezekiel 31:17)
Prison (1 Peter 3:9)
Outer darkness (Matthew 8:12)
Furnace of fire (Matthew 13:42)
The pit (Isaiah 14:15)
We know that many of these are speaking of the same place because of the phrase, “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
WHAT IS HELL
We can come to a quick conclusion as to what Hell is like simply by looking at the aforementioned list of names for the place. It is a prison that houses the congregation of the dead. It is a dark pit engulfed in fire (yes, I realize that fire would produce light, rendering darkness impossible – so consider the heat of fire without the light) in the nether parts of the earth.
The first mention of the word, Hell, is 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.”
Right away we see an association with fire and burning. Keep in mind the idea of “lowest hell.” We will return to this.
The next verse is 2 Samuel 22:6, “The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;”
Hell is filled with sorrow.
Job 11:8 reads, “It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?”
Hell is deep, in contrast to the heights of heaven. In fact, there are several verses throughout the Bible that mention “down” (Psalm 55:15), “depths” (Proverbs 9:18), and “beneath” (Isaiah 14:9). This leads me to believe that Hell is below us – probably in the core of the Earth.
As I mentioned before, it seems that there are levels that are “lower” than others. I do not believe these indicate that each level is somehow “worse” than the one before, as Dante wrote, but that Hell is a physical place that is very deep.
Psalm 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Hell is where the wicked and wicked nations go.
Psalm 39:8 says, “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.”
God is in Hell, because God is omnipotent. Remember that some will tell you that “hell is the absence of God” – this is impossible, because God is in Hell.
Hell is, according to Scripture, a place that is filled with burning and sorrow so intense that the damned will forever be weeping and gnashing their teeth.
Weeping is not crying. We are talking those deep, painful, sobbing tears that make your face hurt and breathing difficult. If you have ever lost a loved one or broken a close relationship, you know what kind of weeping I am talking about. Except in Hell, you will spend eternity remembering all the times that you rejected the Savior, the times you took the Lord’s name in vain, the times you sinned, the times you cracked a joke about Jesus or the Father, the memes, the laughs, the mockery, the rebuffs and scoffs at Christians and their peculiarities – all the chances you had to accept the free gift of salvation and found it foolish or stupid.
You will weep from the physical pain as well as the emotional. This pain will be so intense that you will gnash, or clench and grind, your teeth. Go ahead and clench your teeth together right now, as hard as you can. Now imagine doing that in perpetuity because the flames of hell are burning your flesh that will never be destroyed. Your skin will not bubble, scab, or be removed. You will ALWAYS feel the heat. You will ALWAYS gnash your teeth. You will ALWAYS thirst – as the rich man who begged for a drop of water, but never found relief (Luke 16). You will ALWAYS weep the tears of regret, loss, sorrow, and pain.
When someone jokes about wanting to go to Hell because “all my friends will be there,” remember that they desire torment the likes of which cannot be experience in your current state because it would kill you.
When Lil Nas X makes a music video where he gives Satan a lap dance in Hell, remember that he is actually choosing eternal suffering, not a place where he will dance, sing, and seduce the Devil.
There will be no pleasure in Hell, only pain; unimaginable pain.
WHO IS HELL FOR
As I mentioned above, the wicked (Psalm 9:17) are destined for Hell, but that is not for whom Hell was designed.
Another term the Bible uses for Hell is “everlasting fire.” Matthew 25:21 tells us, “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:”
Hell, or everlasting fire, was prepared for the Devil and his angels. It was not designed for human souls. However, because of sin – the father of which is Satan – sinners will find themselves there if they reject faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 2:4 says, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment”
Again, the sinful fallen angels that fell with Satan are in hell while Satan walks about on the earth seeking whom he may devour (2 Peter 5:8).
Jesus Christ has the keys to hell according to Revelation 1:18, thus, debunking another myth that Satan is somehow the “king of Hell” and sits on a throne down there personally torturing souls.
God is the king of Hell, and His Son holds the keys.
God created Hell for some of the most powerful and dangerous spiritual beings in existence. The suffering I mentioned above was meant for them, and will be so terrible that the Devil, himself, will be in torment forevermore. And anyone who is unsaved is headed to that place. God help you.
THE ULTIMATE HELL
Hell is not the final “resting” place for the damned. Revelation 20 speaks of the “Great White Throne Judgment” at which the works of the unsaved, along with the Devil, Antichrist, False Prophet, and fallen angels will be judged by God.
Revelation 20:10 tells us the end of the “unholy trinity” – “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.”
Verse 13 shows us that, “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.”
In other words, all of the dead souls who have been in Hell since the beginning of time will be resurrected and judged one final time.
Finally, in verse 14, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
This is it. This is the second death for which the “wages of sin” (Romans 6:23) pay.
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that Hell is easily avoidable, but that won’t stop the majority of humans from choosing it as an eternal destination.
The Lord Jesus Christ laid down his life to pay the “wages of sin” on our behalf. All we have to do is accept the absolute Truth that all of us have sinned. Have you told a tiny little white lie at any point in your life? Then you are a sinner. Have you ever picked a penny from the street and put it in your pocket? Sinner. Have you ever once in your life thought a sexual thought about someone you are not married to? Sinner.
We have all sinned, and the wages of that sin is eternal death in Hell and the Lake of Fire.
When Christ was crucified, He took all the sins of the whole world down to Hell and rose again to defeat death and demonstrate His deity.
Imagine being found guilty of a crime with a death sentence. The judge then steps in and agrees to fulfil that sentence with his own life. Imaging being so foolish that you say, “no thanks” to the offer. That’s what you do when you reject Christ.
Now, if you believe in your heart – not just pay lip service, but have real, true faith that Jesus Christ died for your sins – and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, then you can be saved from the second death. You will be born again into the Body of Christ and will surely go to heaven when you die – and death WILL come to all unbelievers. The Church, however, will be Raptured one day (soon) and avoid death altogether.
Heaven is the place of eternal light, goodness, mercy, grace, love, and all the other amazing and wonderful things of which we dream. It is the opposite of Hell. No pain. No suffering. No torment. Just eternal bliss, rest, and relaxation with the God of the universe.
Heaven is where you want to be, even if, right now in your sinful state, you think that the pleasures of this world are all you need. In death, you cannot take your wealth, sexual conquests, or substances with you.
Invest in your eternal future now. Forego the lusts of this life for heavenly rewards. The 75 or so years that you have in this life are like a vapor compared to eternal punishment to come if you reject Jesus Christ.
Find a good, local, Bible believing, (preferably Baptist) church near you or reach out to me and get your eternal life straightened out right now.