No one likes to talk about
Hell; it's a hideous thought. Yet at the same time we must admit the
reality of a place called Hell. The Bible clearly teaches that there
is a place prepared for the Devil and his angels called Hell. The only
place we can turn for information about Hell is the Bible. No man has
ever been there, observed the horror, then returned to tell about it.
Scientifically we are limited to things in this life which we can observe.
If men are to ever understand anything about the future beyond this
life we must learn it from God. God=s Word is the sole source of information
about Hell. Any other information gathered from other sources is fraudulent
because it's based on man's limited opinion rather than's God's authoritative
False views about eternity abound can be grouped into three basic viewpoints:
Annihilationism teaches that after death man ceases to exist in any
form material or spiritual. This view is especially popular today with
those who insist there is no God, Humanist and Evolutionist. This particular
view fails to take into account that we're made in the image of God
(Genesis 1:27). We are made differently than the animal kingdom. Being
in the image of God we're made with an everlasting soul that must live
somewhere forever. Hebrews 9:27 states reality, And as it is appointed
unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Scripture says the
wicked will die in their sin. The key idea of the word death is separation
Restorationism teaches that God is too kind to permit man to suffer
forever for his sins. The idea is "No matter how long it may take,
God will eventually restore all creation, including man, to fellowship
with Himself in heaven" (HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN TRUTH). Most religions
that reject the Bible or add to it will take exception to Scripture
in this area. To reject this point of Scripture is to reject the Holiness
of God. Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God." Hebrews 7:26 "For such an high priest became
us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made
higher than the heavens." Because of His character, God cannot
be defiled by sin. There must be a place of eternal punishment separated
from God's presence; God must maintain His Holiness. But the fearful,
and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers,
and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in
the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second
death (Revelation 21:8).
Presentism teaches that men experience their heaven or hell right here
in this present life. Reward for goodness or revenge for sin is meted
out here on this earth. Now, while it is true that we reap what we sow
here, this life is not the ultimate reward or payment. There is much
to come. Hebrews 9:27
In the languages in which the Bible was written several different terms
are used which are translated "Hell" in our English Bibles.
In the Old Testament Hebrew sheol is translated grave or hell. It has
the root idea of a "Hollow place." The word refers in every
case to the realm of the dead, but can be used to indicate one of three
meanings: 1) sheol can mean "grave" as in a specific location
for the dead (Prov. 1:12 Num. 16:33 Jonah 2:2). 2) sheol can indicate
a concept of death but continued existence (Psalm 18:5 Gen. 37:35 I
Sam. 2:6 Job 14:13 Psalm 16:10). 3) sheol is used in specific instances
to show God's judgement upon the wicked and the burning in the lowest
hell (Prov. 9:17 Deut. 32:22 Prov. 15:24 Isaiah 14:14,15).
In the New Testament Greek
the word hades is used to indicate an temporary abiding place of the
dead, similar to the second usage of sheol. "It never denotes the
grave, nor is it the permanent region of the lost... it is between the
decease and the doom of gehenna" (VINE'S). Four times the Lord
Jesus used this term (Matt 11:23 16:18 Luke 10:15 16:23). It is used
of the Lord in Acts 2:27 and 31. Christ proclaimed he has the keys of
it in Revelation 1:18. Luke 16:19-31 is the most descriptive passage
of the place called hades. It speaks of two compartments with a great
gulf fixed between the two. The righteous side it is referred to as
Paradise. Abraham was there and we know that Abraham was saved by faith.
So was Lazarus. Luke 16:19-31 goes on to describe the unrighteous side
of hades. The souls and spirits of unbelievers are still confined in
this compartment of torment awaiting the Great White Throne judgement
where they will be sentenced to an eternal destiny in the lake of fire
Another term used in the
Greek New Testament is the word gehenna. Each time it was used by the
Lord Jesus. He used it as a prophetic symbol of judgement (Matt 23:33).
It speaks of the final destiny of the wicked described as the lake of
fire. Revelation 20:11-15 describes this final scene. Hell was originally
prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matt 25:41).
What do we know for sure
about the place of eternal punishment?
1. We know it endures forever.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous
into life eternal.
2. We know it is a place
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the
soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and
gnashing of teeth.
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.
3. We know it will be a place of judgement
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some
to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
4. We know it will be a place
of darkness and loneliness.
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take
him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and
gnashing of teeth.
***It is important to note
that God does not send people to hell. Hell was not prepared for man,
but for the Devil and his angels. Man, however, makes his own choice
as to his eternal state.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not
is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the
only begotten Son of God.