"The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:17)
Hell, is it a real place? Will the wicked really go there? Will there be fire in Hell? Do you know what the Word of God has to say about this place? Hell is our topic of discussion.
The teaching of Hell in the local church is a forgotten doctrine. It either watered down or not taught at all. Hell is not a popular message for any preacher who wants fame or notoriety. But this message must be taught, and taught with clarity. This study is designed to help Christians and non-Christians to better understand the eternal judgment of God.
Today, there are many views on the subject. Some teach that Hell is a state of mind and others teach that Hell is not a real place at all. Some would go further and say that our loving God, who created all things, would never make such a place. But as you study this teaching of Hell, you will have a deeper understanding about this place of eternal judgment.
My prayer to God is that the reader will gain a true burden for souls and in each heart a strong love and compassion will ignite for the lost souls. To the preacher that studies this material, I pray that this will not just be information to brow beat those who would hear this message, but that a reality of Hell would be birthed in the preacher's heart to deliver this message in fear and trembling, having care and concern for the lost.
The Reality of Hell
What is this place called Hell?
Hell is a place of torment, sorrow and loneliness for those who would choose to rebel against God. Hell is place where the wicked will go. Hell is a place of literal pain and agony, a place of endless suffering from a burning fire. Hell is the place of eternal judgment on those who reject God!
Note the Websters New World Dictionary definition of Hell:
In the Bible, the place where the Spirits of the dead are.
The place where fallen angels, devils, etc. reside
To which sinners and unbelievers go after death for torment and eternal judgement;"
The Zondervan Pictorial Dictionary gives its meaning of Hell:
The existence of Hell is irrefutably taught in scripture as both a place of the wicked dead and a condition of retribution for unredeemed man.
The word carries the connotation of doom, hopelessness and futility.
... it may be translated, its meaning is clear, it represents the place of future retribution. The abode of the wicked, a place of punishment.
Hell is, therefore, both a condition of retribution and a place in which the retribution occurs. In both these aspects, the three basic ideas associated with the concept of Hell are reflected:
Absence of righteousness,
Separation from God,
Who created Hell?
Many today have a false idea about Hell. Some think that Satan created Hell and has control over it. But in fact, Satan did not create one flame in Hell. Hell was created by God. That's right, Hell is a creation of God! Are you surprised? Don't be. The Word of God declared that this place was prepared for Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Many think that Satan will be down in Hell with a red suit and pitch fork in hand. Not so. In Hell Satan suffer face the judgment of God.
"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 forever and ever."(Revelation 20:10, Isaiah 14:9-19).
God created Hell to destroy the rebellion of Satan and to put an end to sin. In the beginning, Hell was not created for man, but when man first sinned in the Garden of Eden, God had to accommodate man's fall. Hell was created to rid God's creation, (meaning God's heavens and the perfect earth,) of sin.
Hell is the eternal home of all sin and rebellion. Is Hell a place of pain? Today, it is taught that Hell is not a place of actual suffering. The reasoning behind this is that many do not want to believe that the God of love in which we serve would ever make a place of suffering such as this. But we will see that Hell is a place of sorrow, weeping, torture and torment. There are many who teach that when a person dies, without Christ, he goes to the grave and that's it. But not so. Those who die without Christ will face the wrath of God in the pains of Hell.
Luke 16:19-31, The Rich man and Lazarus
This Scripture records the account of a certain rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. In the account, Lazarus died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's Bosom. The rich man died also and was buried. In verse 23, the rich man lifted up his eyes in Hell, being in torment.
The word torment means: 1.) Extreme pain or anguish of body or mind 2.) A source of vexation or pain.
In verse 24, the rich man stated that he was tormented in the flames. The flames of Hell are very real. Let me make it clear that the rich man was not in Hell because he was rich, but because he did not repent. He wanted his five brothers to know about the pains of Hell, in the hope of causing them to repent.
There are some who would call this account a parable, thus trying to explain the suffering of the rich man in more symbolic terms. But I submit to you that in this account, Jesus, used real people not ficticious ones. He spoke of father Abraham, Moses and the Prophets, none of these men are ficticious. This is not a parable. This is a real account of a man in Hell!
Here are other Scriptures that declare the truth about the pains of Hell.
Revelation 14:10, 11 "...and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone..."
Matthew 13:42, 50 "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
Mark 9:44, 46-48 "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
Revelation 19:20 "These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
Isaiah 66: 21-24 "...for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."
II Peter 2:9 "...and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:"
Revelation 2:11 "...He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death."
The second death is the Lake of Fire, the place of everlasting hurt and pain. (Revelation 20:14-15, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43).
I received an article, entitled "When Hell Burns Out." In this article, it was stated that when the fires of Hell have finished their destruction, Hell will burn out. The article also stated that sinners will not be eternally punished by the flames of Hell.
My friend, Hell, is not a comforting message. For so long, we have watered down this message. When our Lord preached Hell, He preached the agony and horror of this place.
Hell is so horrible, that it caused Jesus to leave Heaven and come down to earth to die for us, so that we could miss such a place. Hell's judgments will never burn out! Such watered down teaching takes away the desired result that God wants this message to have. Hell is an eternal place, and the flames of Hell are eternal also. Here's proof:
Mark 9: 43-48 "...and the fire is not quenched."
Matthew 18:8 "...to be cast into everlasting fire."
Matthew 25:41 "...Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"
Matthew 25:46 "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment..."
Revelation 20:10 "...and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever."
Revelation 14:10, 11 "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night."
Isaiah 66:24 "...neither shall their fire be quenched;"
2Thessalonians 1:7-10 "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord,..."
Man in his wisdom and reasoning tries to explain away the judgment of God. But, if God can cause a bush to burn and not be consumed like he did in Exodus?, and God can place a sun in space to give us light and warmth, surely He has the power to keep Hell burning for eternity, and cause those who rebel to burn forever.
Who goes to Hell?
The Word of God gives us the answer to this question in such detail that there should be no doubt as to who goes to Hell.
The wicked (Psalm 9:17).
The harlot or prostitute (Proverbs 7:5-27, 9:13-18, 2:18).
Those with a lack of knowledge (Isaiah 5:13, 14).
Those that have transgressed against God (Isaiah 66:24)
The fearful, unbelieving, abominable, idolaters, murderers, sorcerers and all liars (Revelation 21:8).
There are many more that the Word of God reveals. If you find yourself listed in one of these categories, repent today and give your life to Jesus Christ.
The Five Compartments of Hell
The word of God speaks of five different compartments of Hell. Knowing these compartments will help us to understand more about Hell and rightly divide the Scriptures on this subject. Many people have taken Scriptures out of their context and have created a false doctrine on the subject of Hell.
What are the five compartments of Hell?
Abraham's Bosom (The Paradise of old)
Hades or Sheol
The Abyss (Bottomless Pit)
The Lake of Fire (Gehenna)
Tartarus is the Greek form of the word Hell. It is the compartment where fallen angels are kept, reserved in chains of darkness until they are judged by God and cast into the final Hell, the Lake of Fire (II Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6).
"For if God spared not the angles that sinned, but cast them down to Hell (Tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;"(II Peter 2:4)
Abraham's Bosom is the place referred to as the Paradise of old. It was the compartment where all the righteous dead of the Old Testament were kept. There was no torment or suffering in Abraham's Bosom. It was simply a place of holding until the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus paid the price by shedding His blood. At the resurrection of Jesus, Abraham's Bosom was emptied and removed from the heart of the earth and is now located in heaven. All the captives were set free and resurrected (Matthew 27:51-53). The account of Abraham's Bosom is found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 16 verses 19-31.
"And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angles into Abraham's Bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried." (Luke 16:22, 23, 25).
"And in Hell he lift up his eyes, being in torment, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." (Luke 16:23).
"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." (Luke 16:25).
Hades or Sheol
This is the place for the wicked after death. When the sinner dies, his spirit and soul go immediately to this place of torment.
The term Hades is the Greek form of the word Hell. The definition of the word Hades is as follows: the place (or state) of departed souls; the grave; Hell.
Because the word grave is mentioned in the definition of Hades, it is said by some that Hell is the common grave; and from this, the doctrine of soul sleep is derived. My friend, Hades is more than the common grave. The rich man of Luke chapter 16 was in Hades and his soul was not asleep; it was in much turmoil.
The term Sheol is the Hebrew word for Hell. In the Hebrew language the word Sheol is defined as: Hades or the world of the dead (as is a subterranean retreat). It's accessories and inmates: grave, Hell, pit.
Hades or Sheol are the Greek and Hebrew terms for the word "Hell." Don't let those who try to impress you with theological terms throw you off track and teach you that Hell is just the common grave. Note some Scriptures where they are used:
Hades - Luke 16:23; Revelation 20:13.
Sheol - Isaiah 14:9; Psalm 9:17.
This place is also known by the name "The Bottomless Pit." This compartment of Hell is where Satan will be bound for 1,000 years during the reign of Christ on earth (Revelation 20:1-7). Also during the time of the Great Tribulation period, it will be where the locust-like scorpion creatures will come and torment mankind for five months, (Revelation 9:1-11). The Abyss will not be the eternal home of Satan. He will be loosed from this prison to be judged, then cast into the eternal Hell, the Lake of Fire forever, (Revelation 20:10).
The Lake of Fire
The Lake of Fire is the eternal home of all sin and rebellion. Another name for this place is called "Gehenna." At the close of the White Throne Judgment of God, this will be the home of the wicked (Revelation 20:11-15). The Lake of Fire will be the home of those who rebelled against God. There fallen man will be, for all eternity, to suffer the pains of an eternal Hell.
Satan will be there for all eternity to suffer also. According to the Scripture, Satan will be tormented day and night forever and ever, having no rest. Also, Hades and Sheol will be cast into the eternal Hell. Those who inhabit Hades and Sheol will be resurrected to face God's Judgement, then cast into the Lake of Fire. In the very end of God's judgements, the wicked, Satan, fallen angels and sin will have their home in the Lake of Fire.
The Spirit, Soul, and Body in Hell
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians, exhorted his brethren and prayed that God would sanctify them wholly and that their spirit, soul and body would be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (I Thessalonians 5:23).
Paul's prayer was that the total man be saved. Many think that once you die, that's it, but not so. Some even think that their physical body will not feel the fires of Hell. The truth of the matter is that, when men are cast into the eternal Hell (the Lake of Fire) they will be cast as a total, complete and physical man. When an unrighteous man dies, his spirit and soul are separated from his body. His body goes back to the dust of the earth, and his spirit and soul go to Hades and Sheol to be tormented there until the White Throne Judgment of God. Many think that the body will stay forever in the dust (grave) of the earth. The Word of God declares that those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame and contempt (Daniel 12:2).
Another account states that those that are in the graves shall hear God's voice, those that have done good and those that have done evil. The righteous awake to everlasting life, and the wicked awake to everlasting damnation (John 5:28, 29). There is coming a time when the lost will be physically resurrected to face God. In the eternal Hell, man will be in his physical, resurrected body to face the pains of Hell. Paul's prayer was that you be preserved blameless spirit, soul and body. Men that die without Jesus will be judged spirit, soul and body. The reason for this total judgment of man is because on earth man sinned in his total body. God will judge the total man. Many try to reason and figure in their mind how the physical body of a man can stand the eternal flames of Hell and not die or be destroyed?'
The Word of God speaks of the judgment of the last enemy called death (I Corinthians 15:26). The Spirit of death will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14). When death is cast into the Lake of Fire, the power of death will be broken. Death will no longer be able to touch man after his resurrection, man will never die again; and since death only affects the body, man will live in the eternal flames of Hell in his physical body forever. Just think of it...man in his body will burn forever.
Have you ever been burned before? Think of that being multiplied many, many times all over your entire body forever. Please give your life to Jesus today. Hell will not be a house party, as some would like to beleive. Hell, my friend, is a serious place of eternal judgment for all that are lost. Note other Scriptures that declare the resurrection of the dead: Isaiah 26:19; Hosea 13:14; Acts 24:15.
The Scriptural Mandate on Hell
Throughout our study of Hell, we have given you what the Word of God teaches on the subject. I hope now that you can see the reality of this place of judgment on sin. We have not shunned to give you the whole counsel of God. Now let's go back to see the scriptural mandate given in this study.
We learned that Hell will be a place of pain and sorrow for the lost, (Luke 16:19-31).
We learned that Hell was created by God and not the devil, (Matthew 25:41).
We noted that the flames of Hell are forever and will never burn out, (Mark 9:43-48; Isaiah 66:24; Matthew 12:8).
We saw those who are candidates for this place, (Psalm 9:17; Proverbs 7:5-25; Revelation 21:8).
We learned about the five compartments of Hell: (1) Tartarus (2) Abraham's Bosom (3) Hades or Sheol (4) The Abyss (5) The Lake of Fire.
We learned that the sinner's complete body will be in Hell's fire, never to die or to be physically destroyed, (after his resurrection and judgment at God's White Throne.) (Revelation 20:11-15; John 5:28, 29).
In closing, I know that this message is not a pleasant or an uplifting one, but it is one that is needed today in the Body of Christ and in the world. The Word of God is straightforward in its doctrine on Hell. It is people who watered it down. We need to know the reality of God's judgement on sin. For so long, we have been deceived with false teachings that try to convince us that this is not a horrible place. Let's preach the truth that men and women can miss such a place. Beware, my friends. Don't forget the reality of Hell!