Hell is Real

"I don't believe in hell." "Hell is not real." And then there is the ever popular "I believe that hell is right here on earth." How many of you have heard people make one of these comments concerning the validity of hell? Well, I have heard people make these statements or comments similar to these on more than one occasion, and I just wanted to show everyone once and for all that hell is real!

In this paper I will use the Bible to try to open the eyes of those who are fooling themselves into believing that hell is not real. And speaking of the Bible, did you know that in the Bible, there is verse after verse talking about hell? There are about 50 verses containing the word "hell" and referring to hell as a place. There are over 17 verses that speak of a literal "lake of fire" or "eternal fire," which is hell. There are at least 10 verses that touch upon some of the suffering that will go on in hell, referring to "weeping" "gnashing of teeth," "eternal punishment." There are verses that speak of the separation that one will experience in hell, referring to "outer darkness." In total, there are about 162 verses in the New Testament alone which speak of this final eternal place of torment for those who die in their sins. As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ himself made many references to hell!

So, first of all, if you do not believe in hell, you obviously do not read your Bible, and, secondly, in denying the existence of hell, you are calling Jesus a liar.

Now, you don't have to take my word for it. I will show you verses so that you can see them for yourself. Here are some topics I will cover as we go:

(1) The Bible's description of hell and why I know that hell is not here on earth

(2) Why did God create hell?

(3) Who will end up in hell?

(4) What are some of the things Jesus said about hell?

(5) What is the only way to avoid hell?

And I will warn you ahead of time that this lesson on hell is kind of long. But I felt that this important topic deserved to be covered thoroughly. So go grab something cool and refreshing to drink, get comfortable, and let's get started...

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(1) THE BIBLE'S DESCRIPTION OF HELL

Hell is described in the Bible as a place of great despair, sorrow, and agony. Read the following verses, and you will see what I mean.

Matthew 8:11-12, "Many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Matthew 13:41-42, "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

Matthew 13:49-50, "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

Yes, hell is truly a place of torment. And those in hell will face not only physical torment, but mental anguish as well. For, you see, those in hell will be fully aware of the fact that they could have gone to heaven if only they had not chose to reject Christ. Luke 13:28, "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." In hell people will learn the true meaning of regret.

 

"BUT THE WORLD IS SO BAD NOW, I FEEL THAT HELL IS RIGHT HERE ON EARTH"

To those who say, "hell is right here on earth," you haven't seen the half of it. Think about it. No matter how bad things seem here on earth, your life here will some day end. You will live what? 80 years? 90 years? Then theoretically your death would put an end to this earthly so-called hell. Here on earth you have an escape from all sickness or evil. Death is your escape.

But the real hell which awaits those who reject the Lord IS NEVER OVER. That is how I know that hell is not here on earth, because where hell is concerned, there is no escape! Mark 9:44 says that hell is "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." And Matthew 25:46 tells us, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." And in Revelation 14:11 we read, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night..." Friend, a heart attack cannot end the true hell. A bullet to the head will not end hell. Nothing will put an end to the torment of hell.

Your worst experience here on earth pales in comparison to the place called hell that Jesus spoke of. Therefore, comparing the evil that is happening on earth to hell is like comparing a slight sunburn to being set on fire -- a fire that cannot be quenched. There is no comparison!

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(2) WHY DID GOD CREATE HELL?

Now you might be thinking, "Why would God create and send people to a place as terrible as hell?" First, you have to realize that hell was not even originally created for people. Hell was created for Satan and the angels that followed Satan. Matthew 25:41, "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

Second, you should know that God does not send anyone to hell. God does not want any person to go to hell. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Hell was never intended for man. But if a person rejects Jesus Christ, thereby rejecting heaven, then that person must accompany Satan forever. God gives us a choice, either eternal life with Him or eternal suffering with the devil. You would think that it would be an easy choice for people to make, but, unfortunately, many people reject Jesus Christ and God's offer of heaven.

And God will not force heaven or Jesus on anyone. There will not be one person in heaven who did not want to be there. So if a person chooses to reject Christ, that person has chosen hell for himself or herself. God did not send them there.

Sadly, there are going to be a whole lot of people in hell, even so-called nice people. So many in fact that hell had to be enlarged! Isaiah 5:14, "Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure."

God died on the cross for your sins to make a way for you to get to heaven. If you reject His free gift, there is no one to blame but yourself. It has been said that the door of hell is locked from the inside.

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(3) WHO WILL END UP IN HELL?

There are a lot of so-called good people who are going to find themselves in hell, and there are a lot of people that this world would label as bad who are going to make it to heaven. Why is that? Because the only truly "good" thing that you can do that counts towards your salvation is to repent and accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. And the only unpardonable "evil" thing that you can do is to never accept Christ as your Savior. When you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, your name is written in the Book of Life. If you die and your name isn't written in the Book of life, Revelation 20:15 warns "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

2 Thessalonians 1:8b-9 also shows us that those who die without believing in Christ will go to hell: "Them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power."

So in general, anyone who dies without repenting of their sin and asking Christ to be their Savior and Lord will end up in hell.

Now, here are some more verses detailing those who will end up in hell. (Keep in mind that there is no sin too big that Jesus' blood cannot cover it. But if you insist on rejecting Christ and you die in your sins, these verses show you the fate that awaits you):

Revelation 21:8, "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."

Psalms 9:17, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."

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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Revelation 14:11, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."

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(4) WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT HELL?

Jesus made it clear that hell is real and that you should do everything possible to avoid going there. Here are just a few of the things He said concerning hell:

Luke 12:4-5, "And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Matthew 5:29-30, "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."

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 wanted us to know that the people or things of this world are not to be feared, that there are worst things than whatever this world throws your way. Christ wanted you to be concerned about what would happen to you eternally after you died.

And Jesus illustrated in a very dramatic way that you should do whatever you have to do to keep yourself from hell. It is better to give up something (or someone) now than to hold on to those things (or people) and suffer eternal loss in hell later. 

And I don't know about you, but since Jesus said that hell is real, I'm going to believe Him and heed His warning.

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(5) WHAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO AVOID HELL?

Many years ago the question was asked:, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matthew 23:33)

The only way to not end up in hell is to repent and ask Christ to be your Savior and Lord. Only Jesus can save you. Revelation 1:18 says this of Jesus: "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Again, Jesus is the only way!

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In conclusion, yes, hell is real, but if you are a follower of Christ, you have nothing to fear. Christ died on the cross at Calvary so that you could be with Him in heaven.

If you are not a true born-again follower of Christ, you do need to be concerned about hell. But living in denial will not help you. "Positive thinking" or saying that hell does not exist will not save you from hell.

I am reminded of an old joke, "What did the Jehovah's Witness and the Scientologist say to each other when they died and found themselves in hell? The Jehovah's Witness said, 'Hey, the elders told me that this place didn't exist.' And the Scientologist said, 'It's not really hot, and I'm not really here.'" Sadly, the end result for these people is no joke. There is nothing funny about hell.

God knew that people would try to pretend that hell doesn't exist. The Bible even speaks of all of those people, groups or individuals, who are living in sinful denial regarding hell. In Isaiah 28:15, it reads, "Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves."

Yes, there are many who have made lies their refuge. But, friend, lying to yourself or being in denial might give you a certain sense of comfort for now. But if you die without repenting of your sin and accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior, all of the denial in the world won't stop you from being in utter torment for eternity in that place that you tried to "wish" away. Hell is real, and there are going to be a lot of real people really suffering there.

Don't you want to by able to say these same words that David said: "For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell" (Psalms 86:13)? Well, then you'd better make sure your soul has been delivered by Jesus Christ before it is too late!

"For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation" (Hebrews 2:2-3).

 

(More reference verses: Isaiah 14:9, 15, Ezekiel 32:27, Numbers 16:30-33, Jude 1:7, Matthew 18:8, Matthew 22:13, Matthew 25:30, Matthew 24:51, Mark 3:29, Mark 9:43, Luke 16:23-27, 2 Peter 2:4, 2 Corinthians 5:10)

 

 

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