Heaven, Hell, and Hades (part 2)
Greetings precious people. In last weekís article we began to look at what the Bible has to say concerning the subjects of Heaven, Hell, and Hades. We spent last week looking at what Hades is. If you missed the article and would like a copy of it, just let us know and we will be happy to send you a copy. In todayís article we will be looking at what the Bible has to say concerning Hell.
The word Hell is used a lot in our society. When we get angry with someone, we tell them that is where he or she ought to go. In most every society and religion there is some belief in the existence of a literal place known as Hell. Some have the idea that only "real bad people" go there. Others believe that it is a place of endless partying with their friends. And still others discount the existence of Hell all together attributing the idea of such a place to the invention of religion in order to control people.
We will be looking at what the Word of God; the Bible has to say concerning the reality and existence of Hell. First, lets look at the description the Bible gives of this place. Hell is described as: everlasting fire, Matthew 25:41, "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Everlasting punishment, Matthew 25:46, "And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Outer darkness,
Matthew 8:12, "But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Everlasting destruction, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, "These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." A lake of fire, Revelation 19:20, "Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone." A furnace of fire with weeping and gnashing of teeth, Matthew 13:49-50, "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
Many have trouble with why a loving God would create such a place as Hell. Some say they could never believe in a God that would create such a horrible place. The Bible tells us that God did create Hell and the reason why. God prepared Hell for the Devil and the demons that followed him in his rebellion against God. Matthew 25:41, "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." 2 Peter 2:4, "For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment." For the wicked that insistently refuse to humble themselves before the Almighty God and reject Him. Rev 21:8, "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Psalm 9:17, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." For the disobedient, Romans 2:6-11, "Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath; tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God." For the Beast and the false prophet and all that chose to follow them rather than God. Revelation 19:20, "Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone." Revelation 14:11, "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
God does not desire that any human being end up in Hell. The question often arises, "How does a person end up in Hell? What does a person have to do to go to Hell?" The answer is simply nothing. A person doesnít have to do anything to go to Hell. If a person does nothing about Jesus Christ that died on the cross of Calvary for their sins; if they continually spurn Godís attempts to bring them to salvation in Christ by rejecting Him, refusing to repent of their sins, then that person will find themselves in Hell for all eternity. Be not mistaken, God desires that no one goes to Hell, but He will not violate a personís free will.
The Scriptures are clear on this matter. 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." John 3:15-18,
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
When a person consistently rejects Jesus Christ, it is a slap in Godís face and insists that what God did through Christ on the cross is not worthy of their consideration. Hebrews 10:26-30, "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people."
Dear person, please listen. Hell is real; it is not something that has been made up by "religion". Jesus spoke often about the reality of Hell. It is nothing to be taken lightly. Are you born again? Do you have a personal relationship with the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth? Have you humbled yourself before God and come to Him on His terms rather than your own? If not, do so right now. The Bible says, "Today is the day of Salvation." Donít wait for tomorrow, tomorrow may be too late for you.
If you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, are you telling people about Him? Are you warning them to flee the wrath to come? Donít think that "someone else" will tell them. You need to tell them. Begin to earnestly pray for the lost around you and ask God to five you boldness in witnessing to them. He will, God is faithful.
Next week we will be looking at what the Bible has to say about Heaven. Until then may the Lord richly bless you beloved.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail email@example.com
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine