THE REALITY OF HELL
2 Thessalonians 1:7-9:
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Judgment of this world has been handed over to Jesus Christ alone.
It is not for us, but for Him, to recompense the wicked, at the appointed time.
Notice that judgement will come w/ FLAMING FIRE …
… & that Jesus will take vengeance on those who do not know God & who reject His Gospel.
RECENT SURVEYS indicate that 89% of Americans believe in God.
This is not the Christian God necessarily, but belief in a general or universal understanding of God.
This was from a PEW RESEARCH POLL conducted in 2014.
So about 1 in 10 people today, say that they don’t believe in any sort of God.
PEW also did a poll on the existence of HEAVEN & HELL.
As it turns out, 72% of Americans believe in HEAVEN …
… but only 58% believe in the existence of Hell.
I find that statistic interesting, because it reveals not only people’s bias, but their false sense of optimism.
People are willing to believe in heaven, than a literal fiery, Hell as the future abode & punishment of the wicked.
Most People don’t want to believe that a good God would punish anyone in eternal flames of fire for all eternity.
We tend to view God from our own perspective & create God in our own image …
… rather than letting the Bible define who God is.
Even within the history of Christianity, Christians have always believed in a literal Hell, except for the minor aberrations …
… even within the early church, such as ancient heretics like CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA & his pupil ORIGEN …
Who taught a universalist doctrine & believed that the wicked could be redeemed from Hell after a sufficient amount of suffering …
… that Hell was simply a temporary, remedial institution for the wicked …
… that Hell’s purpose was to reform the sinner, rather than to punish him for all eternity.
• But that is absolute heresy!
THE BIBLES TEACHES the reality of a LITERALL ETERNAL HELL, which burns forever with fire & brimstone …
THE FIRST TIME that HELL appears in the Bible is in Deuteronomy 32:32, and it is associated with God’s anger and with fire: “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.”
Because God is utterly holy & we are sinners, the Bible says that God IS angry with us every day!
Psalm 7:11 says: “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”
Without the saving grace of Jesus, the Bible teaches that we are at constant enmity with God.
Romans 8:7-8 says:
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
And it is only through Jesus that we are reconciled to God.
Epheisians 2:13-16 says:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
As men, we like to create God in our own image, and in our own likeness …
… & so we attribute to him our own feelings & our own sense of justice & judgment …
And we may ask: “HOW CAN A LOVING GOD SEND ANYONE TO HELL?”
But as sinners who have transgressed God’s perfect Law, God’s wrath abides continually on the man or the woman who does not know Jesus as their personal Savior.
Romans 1:18 says: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”
And Ephesians 5:6 says that because of sin: “… cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”
So it is because of our inherent sin nature … because we are, at the end of the day, unclean & unholy, without Christ!
Isaiah 13:9: “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.”
So a day of reckoning is at hand …
A day will come when all those who do not believe in Jesus will be punished …
This is NOT something that God wants … His will is that all repent and believe in Him.
Ezekiel 33:11 says that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked …
But God WILL NOT force His will upon any one.
He has given us the freedom to either choose to RECEIVE or REJECT Him, to be saved for all eternity or to be damned for all eternity.
The Bible says in Romans 2:5 that the unbeliever is storing up judgment against himself, the way that a man stores up treasure: “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;”
In the same way, Romans 6:23 tells us that the “wages of sin is death” …
And we’re not only talking about the physical death, but the eternal death, damnation, and torment in the LAKE OF FIRE …
… which the Bible calls “the second death” in Revelation 21:8.
Hell is not a MYTH, or a FANTASY or an ALLEGORY, but a REALITY that the Bible describes as a place of NEVER-ENDING SORROW & PAIN.
2 Samuel 22:6 says: “The sorrows of hell compassed me about …” & Psalm 116:3 says: “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.”
That is how the Bible begins to describe Hell.
Jesus Himself describes Hell as a place of such great suffering & torment that you should do everything within your power to make sure you do not end up there!
In Mark 9:43-48, he says:
43 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:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. [Jesus repeatedly described Hell as never-ending fire].
45 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:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 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: [Again, Jesus uses the word HELL & FIRE together to describe the everlasting state of the wicked].
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
AND WHAT DID JESUS MEAN when he said that Hell is a place where their “worm dieth not?”
Worms or maggots consume dead, decaying & decomposing bodies.
Jesus is using figurative language to say that, in Hell, the soul is always being destroyed, is always being consumed.
Jesus was actually quoting Isaiah 66:24, in reference to those who had transgressed against God: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”
This is a Hellish picture of maggots & worms always eating away at you.
In Hell, the worms never stop … The worm never dies.
This is a picture of eternal torment that gnaws away at you.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus also tells the story of a rich man who did not know God & a beggar named Lazarus who suffered horribly while on this earth.
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 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 so we have a picture of two men, one who received every blessing in this life, but who as we will see, rejected God.
And the other, a man who suffered grievously, yet who’s soul was saved].
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom [so the beggar dies & goes to heaven]: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. [The rich man knew he was in Hell. He was conscious, he was cognizant & aware of his pain.
Hell is not pictured as a place of eternal annihilation, or non-existence as some teach, but of conscious eternal pain].
24 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.
25 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.
26 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. [The unbeliever is separated from the saved. There is no escape from Hell. It is a permanently closed door.]
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Once in Hell, the rich man had serious regrets.
He feared that his family would suffer the same fate as himself.
If he could only go back and warn them, BUT THERE IS NO GOING BACK.
If only someone else could go back and warn them … but they cannot …
The only SOLUTION, the ONLY WARNING, is the Word of God & Jesus rising from the dead.
Stop looking for other ways to be saved.
There is no other way.
The Bible says in Psalm 9:17 that: “The wicked shall be turned into hell …”
And you might think you’re not wicked. You’re generally a good person.
But the Book of Revelation says that even telling a SINGLE LIE, is enough to warrant your place in Hell.
Revelation 22:15: “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”
God is holy and will not allow even the smallest amount of unholiness to pollute His presence in heaven.
There are only 2 choices: holiness & perfect in heaven or any amount of unholiness & imperfection in Hell.
There is no purgatory, there is no nirvana, there is no re-incarnation, there is only HEAVEN and there is only HELL.
And to enter into heaven, you MUST be perfect.
And to attain perfection, can only be done when you have the righteousness of Christ imputed unto you …
through His substitutionary atonement.
That’s why it’s all or nothing. You either receive Him or reject Him.
You either become righteous in Him or remain dead in your sins.
Revelation 21:8 says: “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.”
We see a similar list in Galatians 5:19-21, speaking of the WORKS OF THE FLESH:
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Does that mean that unless we live a life of sinless perfection that we cannot enter the Kingdom of God?
That would be impossible for any man!
The sinful works are a list of the things that will damn us to Hell without Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21 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.”
It is through Christ’s righteousness, not our own, that we are saved from Hell.
THAT’S WHAT SALVATION IS: Deliverance from Hell.
That’s what we are being saved from!
We see a similar list also in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
But the answer is in the next verse, 1 Corinthians 6:11: “And such were some of you: How did they escape the punishment of Hellfire? It’s in the rest of the passage] but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
It is only by the name of Jesus that we have any hope of escaping the damnation of Hell.
Philippians 2:9-11 says:
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Whether you confess to Jesus being Lord NOW or in HELL, one day you WILL confess that there is no other way but Jesus.
You can mock now and scoff, but in Hell, you will believe.
Acts 4:12 says: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
That’s why we persuade men …
That’s why we WARN people about Hell.
Jude v. 21-23 says:
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
There is a place for HELLFIRE & BRIMSTONE preaching, when done in the spirit of love in order to save.
2 Peter 2:4 says that God did not even spare the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell …
& Hebrews 10:31 says that: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
God is not the God that some envision.
Yes, God is full of mercy, grace, and compassion …
… but that mercy, grace and compassion is offered only through His Son Jesus Christ …
Jesus gaves His life to save you from Hell …
And if you reject that love & that sacrifice, then there is no more opportunity to make peace w/ God.
If you scorn His offer, If you reject His Son, God will reject you!
Jesus said in Matthew 10:33: “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
& There will be no more hope after death.
Hebrews 9:27 says: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
EVERYONE WILL DIE ONE DAY.E
ARE YOU READY?
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO YOU if you were to die today?
If you were to take your dying breath, are you 100% SURE you would go to heaven?
The DAY OF JUDGMENT is coming!
Revelation 20:11-15 says:
11 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.
12 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.
[Notice that the the Bible calls unbelievers the dead, because they have not been regenerated by the Spirit of God.
& notice that the DEAD are judged according to their WORKS.
And their works are evil.
13 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.
[Notice also that the dead were already in Hell before the judgment of God.
The moment an unbeliever dies, they go immediately to Hell, awaiting the judgment.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
After the judgment, DEATH AND HELL ITSELF are cast into THE LAKE OF FIRE, which is the permanent abode of the wicked.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
There is a time & a place for HELLFIRE & BRIMSTONE PREACHING.
The Bible says that the FEAR OF THE LORD is the beginning of wisdom …
Jesus Himself says in Matthew 10:28: “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 in hell.”
Jesus preached about Hell more than anyone else in the Bible.
John the Baptist said of Jesus in Matthew 3:12: “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
People sometimes think that Satan sends people to Hell.
But it’s God!
Satan himself will be tormented day & night.
He has no authority or power in Hell.
He will not be ruling over the dead, but being punished alongside them.
You can’t sign your soul over to Satan.
You are already on your way to Hell, if you don’t belong to Jesus!
In Ezekiel 18:4, God says: “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
I’ve been preaching that as Christians we ought to love the lost & preach the Gospel to him …
But the greatest love is to tell him the truth.
… There will come a day of judgment & of justice, when the wicked shall be judged according to his abominable works.
Deuteronomy 32:35: “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”
God will “in flaming fire” take “vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
But in the meantime, we are instructed to be patient & not to avenge ourselves, (“vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord”) …
… but the day will come when God will judge the secrets of men.
The Bible says in Romans 2:11-16:
11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. [You see, the Bible says whether you know about the Bible or not, you are deserving of Hell. The Gospel is only your lifesaver if you choose to receive it].
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
In fact the Bible says that you are condemned already in John 3:18: “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.”
The unbeliever who has not received Christ, is already doomed by his sins.
Even those who have not heard the Gospel are guilty before God …
… because God’s laws are written in their hearts and they know that they have sinned!
Even the atheist believes in God deep down inside.
Romans 1:18-20 says:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:.
THE BIBLE SAYS THAT HELL HAS ENLARGED ITSELF.
HELL keeps expanding to make room for more souls.
14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
15 And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:
16 But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
THE VAST, OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF ALL PEOPLE OF ALL AGES will end up in Hell …
Throughout history, there are more people born who will go to Hell …
… then there are those who will believe in Jesus & go to heaven.
& the numbers aren’t even close.
Jesus said NARROW IS THE WAY & FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.
Matthew 7:13-14 says:
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
ARE YOU ONE OF THE FEW?
Many people today don’t believe in Hell …
But God is going to destroy this earth with fire anyway …
… The Bible says that even the elements will melt with fervent heat.
People want to believe in fairy tales like the Mandela Effect & parallel universes & aliens …
… but they refuse to believe in the reality of Hell.
The best DECEPTION & CONSPIRACY that Satan could come up with was to get people to disbelieve in Hell.
People believe all kinds of things today …
… but the greatest conspiracy is that you’ve been told that HELL IS NOT REAL.
If you don’t know Jesus, you are on your way to Hell right now …
But you can be saved, by calling on Jesus.
Romans 1:16-17 says:
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The prophet Isaiah had some strong words for the King of Babylon who had oppressed God’s people.
The prophet said in Isaiah 14:9: “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.”
Don’t let that be you.
Hell awaits you, if you do not know Jesus Christ.
Later in Isaiah this verse was applied to Lucifer, who the Bible says weakened the nations.
Isaiah 14:12-15 says:
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Many seek to exalt themselves above God.
But even the Kings of the Earth will be nothing when they are turned into Hell.
The Bible says in Psalm 9:17: “all the nations that forget God” shall be turned into Hell.
The rich shall be there & the poor alike, the mighty and the weak …
The average man who goes to work every day and works hard to provide & care for his family …
will end up in Hell like all the rest who reject Jesus Christ.
… the hero and the villain alike …
All will be turned into Hell … because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
But the Bible has this 1 promise for you.
Romans 10:8-13 says:
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
That is the only way to escape Hellfire.
Jesus is that way.
Are you humble enough to receive Him?
Proverbs 15:24 says: “The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.”