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The Bible describes Hell as a real place!

 

The typical first reaction to hell is often a refusal to accept it. A person who is told he has a terminal illness, for example, may go through a stage of denial before he comes to terms with reality. Many react to the bad news about hell in a similar way. They feel it is just too awful to be true, or that this place we live now is hell, and some even believe hell will be a place to party with friends. They think God is too loving to create such a place. They say eternal punishment based on a relatively brief life span would be like sentencing a person to the electric chair for a parking ticket. We must not underestimate the seriousness of rejecting God. It is not merely a matter of doing something a little wrong and then having God overreact. The sin we commit by rejecting Him is a monstrous crime, and our punishment given is just what we asked for...an eternal separation from God; and its inhabitants will endure varying degrees of physical suffering (Matt. 11:20-24). Some people want to believe that Jesus is so loving and merciful that He would never send anyone to a place like hell. We can't straddle the fence, and we can't wait to make a decision until after we have passed through death's door either. 
While it is true that God is love (1 John 4:8), He is also just God (Nehemiah 9:32, 33; 2 Thessalonians 1:6) who will judge each individual justly, and God is also a God of wrath. (Romans 2:5; John 3:36; Eph. 5:6; 1Thes. 1:10; Romans 1:18) God is eternal (Psalm 90:2;1 Timothy 1:17).and so are we. We will either live with God or apart from Him when we die. The Bible warns that those who reject Christ will taste a 'second death'  - eternal separation for God (Revelation 21:8). God will therefore punish the evil doer (Isaiah 13:11) and this punishment will be eternal. It will be conscious. It is a place of "torment." We tend to forget what pain is like when we don't have it. Can you imagines how terrible it would be to be in agony, with no hope of relief? 

 

Many human beings go insane if they are merely isolated for a long time from other people. Imagine how terrible it would be if God simply withdrew all the things we hold so dear -- friendship, love, color, light, peace, joy, laughter.  Most of us have heard about Hell, a place of torment. None other than Jesus Christ warned of this place more than He spoke of Heaven. He also made it clear that the torment of the wicked was as eternal (Greek aionios) as the life of the blessed (Matthew 25:46). Hell isn't just a place with an absence of God's blessings; it is punishment for sin. It is literal torment, forever. That's why the Bible warns that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. God does not delight in the death of the wicked. "Say unto them, As I live, said the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn from your evil says; for why will you die, O house of Israel?" (Ezekiel 33:11).  Our loving God, despite our sinfulness, wants us to spend an eternity with Him. There is no conflict between the statements 'God is all-powerful and loving' and 'the world is full of suffering and evil.' For God to rid the world of evil would require ridding the world of us! Instead, God wants us to be saved from His wrath to come.  One day, God will indeed rid the world of evil. We have two options: separate from our sins (repent and turn from them) and trust in Christ, and dwell with God forever; or cling to our sins, in which case God will grant our wish and separate us from Himself for eternity. This is why Jesus on the Day of Judgment says to evildoers, 'Depart from me...' (Matthew 7:23, Luke 13:27). These evildoers will be thrown into the Lake of Fire,....into Hell FOREVER!!!

 

The fate of the unsaved is described below...

 

There are three words translated “Hell” in Scripture:


Gehenna (Greek): The place of punishment (Matthew 5:22,29; 10:28; and James 3:6)


Hades (Greek): The abode of the dead (Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 16:23; Acts 2:27)


Sheol (Hebrew): The grave (Psalm 9:17; 16:10)

 

There are those who accept that Hell is a place of punishment, but believe that the punishment is to be annihilated—to cease conscious existence. They can’t conceive that the punishment of the wicked will be conscious and eternal. If they are correct, then a man like Adolph Hitler, who was responsible for the deaths of millions, is being “punished” merely with eternal sleep. His fate is simply to return to the non-existent state he was in before he was born, where he doesn’t even know that he is being punished. Some who are enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season will brush off thoughts of God's eternal justice by joking, " I don't mind going to hell. All my friends will be there." Obviously, those who flippantly say such things don't believe in the biblical concept of hell. 

 

 

They are like a slow-witted criminal who thinks that the electric chair is a place to put up his feet for a while and relax. Their understanding of the nature of God is erroneous, so it may be wise to speak for a few moments about the reasonableness of hell. Explain that God will punish murderers and rapists, and the place of punishment -- the "prison" God will send them to --is a place called "hell." However, God is so good, He will also punish thieves, liars, adulterers, fornicators, and blasphemers. He will even punish those who desire to murder and rape but never took the opportunity. He warns that if we hate someone, we commit murder in our hearts. If we list, we commit adultery in the heart, etc. All are sins that will send us to hell. Scripture is quite clear: hell is a real place. It is not mere unconsciousness. It is not temporal, and it is not a place that you can party.

 

However, Scripture paints a different story. The rich man who found himself in Hell (Luke 16:19-31) was conscious. He was able to feel pain, to thirst, and to experience remorse. He wasn’t asleep in the grave; he was in a place of “torment.” If Hell is a place of knowing nothing or a reference to the grave into which we go at death, Jesus’ statements about Hell make no sense. He said that if your hand, foot, or eye causes you to sin, it would be better to remove it than to “go into Hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-48). 

The Bible refers to the fate of the unsaved with such fearful words as the following:

Revelation 14:10,11 tells us the final, eternal destiny of the sinner: “He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone...the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day or night."

Jesus said that if your hand, foot or eye causes you to sin, it would be better to remove it than to "go into hell,  into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:43-48). Jesus spoke more of hell than of heaven and spent much time warning people not to go there. After all, if people just stopped existing, why did He warn them? 

Here's some good news. If there is no hell: You won't know a thing after you die. It will be the end. No heaven, no hell. Just nothing. You won't even realize that it's good news. Here's some bad news. If the Bible is right and there is eternal justice: You will find yourself standing before the judgment throne of a holy and just God. Think of it. A holy and perfect Creator has seen your thought-life and every secret sin you have ever committed. You have a multitude of sins, and God must by nature carry out justice. Ask Him to remind you of the sins of your youth. Ask Him to bring to remembrance your secret sexual sins, the lies, the gossip, and other idle words. You may have forgotten your past sins, but God hasn't. hell will be your just dessert (exactly what you deserve), and you will have no one to blame but yourself. This is the claim of the Bible. If you don't believe it, it is still true. It will still happen.

 

What about Purgatory? 
Some people believe that even those who are saved by grace will endure some sort of "hell" before they are able to enter heaven. They say that prayers for the dead, acts of devotion, and gifts of money to the church will help shorten a person's stay in a place they call purgatory. There is absolutely NO Biblical support of this view. In fact, it deprecates the effectiveness of Christ's death on the cross by implying that God's son was not able to fully pay the price to cleanse us from all our sins. According to the Scriptures (the Bible) there is only a Heaven and a Hell, and purgatory is another place man made up to earn his way to heaven.

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