One Step At A Time Christian Growth Series - Step 26 - Hell
“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments ...”
Luke 16:23

Hell. The most startling reality in the universe. Have you ever wondered why it is the most-used curse word? It’s because the devil tries to minimize the reality of it. Have you ever wondered why you lack compassion and do not care for the souls of men as you ought? What causes it? We forget what actually awaits a person who dies without Christ. We need a reminder. Notice the only passage that gives in detail the account of an unsaved man in hell: Luke 16:19-31, “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 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 it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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. 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. 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. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Some people say this is only a parable. Not so. Jesus never gave anyone’s name in a parable.

Hell is rarely preached on in churches today. Is it a myth? If the Bible is true, and it is, there is a literal place called hell. Not a myth. Not symbolic.

Matthew 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” God never wanted one person to go to hell. Years ago a soldier told his chaplain that he did not need him. He said, “I’ve never heard you preach on or even mention hell. If there is no hell, I don’t need you and if there is a hell, since you’ve never warned me of it, I don’t need you.”

If all the unsaved people in the world were put into a line, they would circle the globe 30 times, and that line grows 20 miles per day. Imagine the multitude lost on their way to hell! It is estimated that 345,000 babies are born daily who will never hear the name of Jesus.

WHERE IS HELL?

The Bible does not give an exact location. It is very possible it is in the center of the earth. Hell, as the earth rotates, would be a continual place of falling, a place of darkness, and a place of fire. One thing for sure: it is a literal place.

WHAT IS HELL?

1. It is a place of darkness. 2 Peter 2:4, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” As fire increases in heat, the flame becomes darker. A candle has a yellow flame, while a gas (hotter) flame is a dark blue. Science has now discovered what they call a ‘black flame,’ which never totally consumes its object, and gives off no light. Hell is called chains of darkness.

2. It is a place of fire. The rich man in hell said, “I am tormented in this flame.” False cults dispute literal fire in hell. The devil wants to minimize it.

3. It is a place of thirst. The rich man desired just a drop of water off the beggar’s finger. Even one drop would be relief to the man in hell. Hell will be a place of unfulfilled appetites. Never again to see the light of day, rest or relaxation, food or water.

4. It is a place of loneliness. People do not go to hell in groups, but as individuals. People often say, “I’ll be in hell with my friends,” but they will not see them.

5. It is a bottomless pit. Revelation 20:1-3, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Hell will be a place of constant falling-where there is no stability.

6. It is a lake of fire. Revelation 20:10, “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 for ever and ever.”

7. It is a place of memory. The rich man in hell remembered. Every time a person rejected Christ will be remembered in hell.

8. It is a place of evil company. 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.” Imagine the vileness of humanity in hell.

9. It is a place of evil creatures. Revelation 9:1-3, “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.” These locusts during the tribulation period will actually come out of hell!

10. It is a place of hideous sounds. Jesus spoke of the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in hell.

WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT HELL

Jesus preached six times more on hell than He ever did on Heaven. He never wanted a soul to go there.

Notice:

Matthew 5:22, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

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.”

Matthew 13:40-42, “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 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 23:33, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”

Matthew 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, 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: but the righteous into life eternal.”

Mark 9:43-48, “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: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 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: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 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: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

BODY AND SOUL

Revelation 20:13, “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. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

When an unsaved person dies, their body goes into the ground, while their soul goes immediately to hell. On judgement day (Revelation 20:11-15) that soul will miraculously be rejoined with that body. God will then judge that person and cast him into the lake of fire forever. So a person in hell will burn and yet never be consumed.

David Gibbs, of the Christian Law Association, tells the story of a chemist who worked with a chemical which exploded and burned upon exposure of water. He snuck some home one day. Weeks later while a party was dying down at his home, he took the chemical out of a drawer. He figured it would “liven up” the party. He sprinkled a little of it into the wet sink. It popped loudly and smoke went everywhere. It was a big hit. In a drunken stupor, he walked into the next room with the chemical in his hands. He tripped over the toilet and the chemical went into the water. A loud explosion occurred and the chemical splashed onto his face and upper body. He was rushed to the burn unit at a nearby hospital. The nurses did not realize that the chemical caught on fire with moisture, and put a wet wash cloth on his forehead. A flame shot up three feet into the air! The man began perspiring, and little blue flames of fire covered his body. As the man literally burned alive, he was heard screaming—”I’m in Hell! I’m in Hell! I’m in Hell!” This is just a brief picture of the agony of hell.

One of the words Jesus used for hell was gehenna. It was the Jewish garbage dump outside of Jerusalem. It was also where criminals were dumped after execution. The fire was always burning and the worms covered the bodies as the stench of human flesh filled the air. No wonder Jesus said it was a place where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. He was saying that gehenna reminded him of hell.

WHO IS GOING TO HELL?

Anyone of the age of understanding who has never been saved will go. 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.”

1. Church members. Judas was a part of Jesus’ church, and died unsaved.

2. Preachers. Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

3. People under conviction. Agrippa almost became a Christian. Felix put it off for a convenient season.

4. Religious people. The Pharisees had religion but not salvation.

5. Sincere people. Jesus spoke of many who prayed vain repetitions. Sincerity gets no one to heaven.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS

Charles IX “I am lost forever. I know it.”

Sir Francis Newport “You need not tell me there is no God, for I know there is one, and that I am in His angry presence! You need not tell me there is no hell, for I already feel my soul slipping into its fires! Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know I am lost forever.”

Professor J.H. Hulsey (agnostic) “So it is true.”

So, hell is fire? No, but it has fire. Hell is falling? No, but hell has falling. Hell is torment? No, but hell has torment. So what is hell? IT IS SEPARATION FROM THE PRESENCE OF GOD. So, what’s so bad about that? No one knows for sure. Separation from God is so awful, God gives a description of the fire, sounds, falling, torment, darkness, just to give our human minds some idea of what it will be like. No one has ever suffered the complete enormity of hell except ONE; and He said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” His name was Jesus. He was suffering for you and me.

HELL’S ENDLESSNESS

How long will hell last? If a person suffered a year in hell, would that not be sufficient to pay for their sins? How about 100 years? Or a thousand? Or a billion? God said there is a great gulf fixed. It is eternal. Even hell itself is not enough to pay for the sins of one person. Only the blood of Jesus is sufficient.

After a trillion years, a person in hell will be no sooner getting out than the first day he entered. Forgotten by God!

COMPASSION

The rich man had two requests in hell. One was for relief himself and the other was that his five brothers could be witnessed to. These witnesses in heaven (Hebrews 12:1-2) care and those in hell care. We on earth who are the only ones who can do anything about witnessing seem to care so little.

WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO HELL?

2 Peter 3:9, “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.”

God is not willing that people go to hell. It is simply too bad that Christians do not do God’s will. If every Christian would obey God’s will, every person on earth would at least have the opportunity to hear the gospel.

“Does it make any difference to you?
Does it make any difference to you?
That a soul dies in sin
God has told you to win
Does it make any difference to you?”

It will matter one day. Is there someone you know on their way to hell? Are you doing all you can to get them saved?

Sources:
Last Words of Saints & Sinners

Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.
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