Summary: Often joked and much feared hell is a real place and a serious matter.

The Seriousness of Hell

The Book of Mark

Mark 9:42-50

I. Introduction:

A. Our passage this morning deals with an issue that is both joked about and feared.

1. People, even some Christians treat the subject of hell very lightly.

2. It has been a subject used by many comedians and other people to make light of a very serious topic.

B. People hold many different views of hell.

1. Some believe that hell is here and now.

2. Some believe that hell is a state of mind.

3. Others believe that Hell is just the grave no more.

4. Some believe that it is only a temporary state and that one can work his way out of it.

5. Some believe that it is a place where they will see all their friends and have a great time together.

6. Ted Turner once said that he and journalists like him would go to hell because Heaven was a perfect place and someone needed to straighten hell out.

7. All of these views can cause much confusion but more than that they are very dangerous.

C. It is amazing that people have such divergent and erroneous views of Hell.

1. The Bible is very clear about what Hell is all about.

2. Whether or not one goes to hell is a very serious matter.

D. That is what the Lord is talking about as His discourse which started in Mark 9:35 continues.

E. Context.

1. The disciples had been disputing along the way about who was to be the greatest in the kingdom.

a) There is some indication that it was quite a heated debate.

b) Jesus asked them what they were discussing on the way and they at first refused to tell Him.

2. That led to the section that we studied last week in Guidelines for Greatness.

3. Here He continues the discussion bring into focus the seriousness of sin which they are committing in light of the seriousness of Hell.

F. We are going to look at this section in two parts.

1. The definition of Hell

2. The Seriousness of Hell.

II. Hell: its definition.

A. Four words used to describe hell in the bible.

1. Sheol.

a) Used 66x in the OT.

b) Various translations:

(1) Sheol

(2) Hell

(3) Grave

(4) Pit

(5) Depth

c) It is a general term meaning the place of the dead.

(1) Numbers 16:33

(2) Job 24:19.

(3) Ps.9:17.

(4) Ps.16:10

(5) Ps.30:3

d) There doesn’t seem to be a distinction between the righteous and wicked except in the context of each usage.

2. Hades is the NT equivalent to Sheol.

a) It appears 11x in its transliterated form in the NKJV.

b) Definition.

(1) The dark underworld

(2) The region of the departed.

(3) It is an intermediate state between death and final resurrection to damnation.

(4) It is a place of torment Luke 16:23

c) It is here that we are learn that it has or had two compartments Luke 16.

3. Tartarus

a) Only once in 2Pet.2:4

b) It means to incarcerate

(1) This is the place where the fallen angels are bound until the judgment.

(2) It is a place of abject darkness.

4. Gehenna

a) This is a literal place on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

(1) The valley of Hinnom.

(2) Located on the south west end of Jerusalem.

(3) A place where the Jews under the wicked king Ahaz offered human sacrifices to Baals 2Chron.28:1-3.

(4) King Josiah later turned it into a place of abomination 2Kings 23:10.

(5) After this it became the garbage dump for Jerusalem.

(a) All manor of refuse was dumped there.

(b) Dead animals.

(c) Trash.

(d) Criminals

(6) Fires burned here constantly and the maggots feasted on the refuse and dead bodies.

b) In the NT Gehenna is used to describe and symbolize the eternal state of the damned.

B. It is important that you understand the distinction between Hades or sheol and Gheenna.

1. Hades and Sheol are waiting places.

2. Gehenna is the final abode of the wicked

3. It is synonymous with the lake of fire in Rev.20.

4. Hades was the place that Jesus went to after His death.

a) Eph.4:8

b) Col.2:14-15.

c) Since His resurrection Hades is only inhabited by those who are awaiting the great white throne judgment.

d) Paradise which was also in Hades is now in heaven. 1Cor.12:4

C. Conditions in Genenna

1. Unquenchable fire Mk.9:45.

2. The worm doesn’t die.Mk.9:45.

3. Wailing and gnashing of teeth Matt.13:42

4. Constant destruction 2 Thess.1:8-9

a) A fire that will torture but never consume.

b) Everlasting fire

5. Utter impenetrable darkness

a) 2Pet.2:17

b) Jude 13

c) Matt.22:13 outer darkness.

III. Conclusion:

A. You can see from our short study that Hell is a horrible terrifying place.

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