Summary: Hell is a place that should be understood better so we can warn others before it’s too late.
Hell—the place of eternal torment
USA Today 1998 “Is There A Hell?”
52% Certain there is
27% Might Be
“What’s it like?”
48% Real place with suffering and torment
46% not a real place, but anguished state of existence
6% Not Sure
Some Christians don’t believe in Hell/The Devil
1 Calling God a liar-It is written in the Word, It’s true
2 Calling Jesus a liar-He talked about it so it’s true
3 Setting themselves up for a big shock when they die
If you believe in
Hell is a literal place that you must be prepared to describe and warn people about. The Greek word Gehenna for Hell is in N.T. 12 times. 11 of those times of use are by Jesus himself. Therefore it is of great importance to have a understanding of it.
The essential passage for study on Hell is Luke 16:19-31. The parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man.
19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 "But Abraham replied, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 "He answered, `Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 "Abraham replied, `They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 " `No, father Abraham,’ he said, `but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 "He said to him, `If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ "
Heaven is close enough for souls in torment to glimpse; far enough away for them to forever miss what could have been theirs. But Hell is close enough to constantly see and remind them of what they have missed- Based on Luke 16:19-31
We can learn quite a lot from these few verses.
Verse 22-Lazarus went to Heaven as soon as he died. The rich man went immediately to Hell.
Verse 23-The rich man was in torment just as we would expect.
Verse 24-The man was in so much agony that he was begging just for a touch of water on his tounge. (ILLUS.-Heat of the Day/Cool Water)
Verse 25-You thought you had it good now you are surprised at where you are
Verse 26-Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t come and help you. You are stuck.
Verse 27/28-We will have our memories in Hell(part of our torment?). The rich man was concerned for his family and wanted to warn them about Hell.
Verse 29-They don’t need us. They have great preachers and prophets. If they wont listen to them, they wont listen to us.
In the Bible, Hell is described as:
Everlasting fire Matthew 25:41
MT 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Everlasting punishment Matthew 25:46
MT 25:46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life
Outer darkness Matthew 8:12
12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Everlasting destruction 2 Thess. 1:9
9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power
Most famously-Lake of fire Revelation 19:20
20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.