Summary: Jesus taught more about Hell than He did about Heaven. In fact, for every mention of Heaven, He mentions Hell twice as often. I want to look at four things that Jesus reveals about the horrors of Hell.
One of the tragic facts revealed by Jesus is that the majority of the human race will spend eternity in Hell. Jesus pleads, in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”
It is our intent, this morning, to motivate each of us to be among the few who find life and avoid the destruction that will find the many. We are going to try to accomplish this task by bringing to your mind the horrors of Hell.
Jesus taught more about Hell than He did about Heaven. In fact, for every mention of Heaven, He mentions Hell twice as often. Yet, the Bible teaches that hell was not originally made for people. It’s a place that God prepared for Satan and the demon powers that followed him. Speaking of His own work on Judgment Day, Jesus says of Himself, in Matthew 25:41, "Then He will also say to those on His left, ’Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”
I want to look at four things that Jesus reveals about the horrors of Hell -
1. Hell is Like a Prison.
One of the clearest pictures Jesus gave of hell was when he described it as a prison. He told a parable about the king’s servant who was sent to jail for wicked behavior (Matthew 18:30-34). Jesus was saying that going to hell was like being cast into prison.
In times past, I have visited folks in prison and corresponded with a couple inmates. Every one of them talks about or writes about his or her hope of getting out soon. The hope of getting out is the only thing that keeps them going.
But for those who have been condemned to hell, they won’t get out. Once they are in, they are in for good. Once they are there, there are no other chances. Hell is a place without hope. When the Lord locks the doors of Hell, they are locked for all time.
Jesus said of Himself, in Revelation 3:7, "‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true…He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.’ "
Hell is a prison from which no one is released and from which no one can escape. It is a place without hope.
2. Hell is the Ultimate Darkness.
Have you ever been in a very dark place—so dark that you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face?
In my youth, while on family vacations, we visited very large caves. They offered tours at these caves and my Dad took my brother and myself on these tours. It was awesome to see the beauty of the colorful stalactites and stalagmites. However, once we reached the deep interior of these caves, they briefly turned-out the lights and challenged us to try to locate our hand held before our faces. Needless to say, we could see absolutely nothing. It was pitch black. It was quite unnerving and we all were quite happy when they turned the lights back on.
Jesus compares Hell to a place of outer darkness. Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30 says the wicked will be “bound, hand and foot and cast into the outer darkness, and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Jesus did not merely describe hell as darkness, but as the darkness, implying that it is infinitely worse than any physical, moral, mental, or spiritual darkness than any person has ever experienced on Earth. It is not just darkness. It is the darkness—the darkest of all.
Just think what it would be like to dwell in utter darkness forever! Never again to see light. Never to see anything ever again. No wonder there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!
3. Hell is a Burning Garbage Dump.
Jesus uses the Greek term “Gehenna” more than any other term when describing Hell. Gehenna was a term the people would be familiar with in Jesus’ day. It was the name of the waste dump outside of the city of Jerusalem in the Valley of Hinnom, Among the garbage dumped were the carcasses of condemned people - ’the damned’.
This brings to one’s mind the quality of the inhabitants of Hell. We have already noted that Hell is to be the eternal dwelling place of Satan and his demons. But, also, Hell will be the dwelling place of the garbage of humanity.
Those who go to Hell will share the company of the most wicked, evil, reprobate, perverted, and cruel monsters that have ever lived on earth. There will dwell the mass-murderers, the rapists, the swindlers, the homosexuals, the child molesters, the drug kingpins and host of other degenerates.