"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."
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, this is the second death, and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
1 Chronicles 16:29 - Worship the Lord
in the beauty of holiness.
IS HELL A REAL PLACE?
Who will go to Hell, for how long, and is there a way out?
We would far rather believe it doesn't exist than deal with its truth!
Hell is only a temporary place according to Revelation 20:14 and 15.
There are at least two subjects that most people avoid discussing and they are death and Hell. For some life after death is an unknown because they are not sure if there is something beyond the grave.
For some death means losing all the valuable possessions they must leave behind. For others the biggest concern is for family members that they may never see again or, if they are younger, losing someone they want to hold on too for as long as possible.
For some death means nothing because they reject the concept of God and believe life ceases to exist after death. For Christians who are exercising faith in God death is only a doorway to eternal peace and joy in the presence of a loving God who has redeemed them through the death of his son Jesus Christ. So death is something we would rather not talk about if we have no sure knowledge of what lies beyond the grave.
Hell is never a popular subject to either Christian or non-Christian because of the horrors it holds for those who might go there. I remember before becoming a Christian that I used to tell people to "go to Hell" almost every day without thought to what I was saying. In some instances it was light horsing around with friends and other times it was said in anger at someone who bothered me for one reason or the other. During those years I never wanted to speak about hell from a biblical sense because I didn't know whether or not I would end up going there. I can easily relate to anyone on either side of the issue, and find no pleasure in considering or speaking on the subject of Hell. A great preacher once said that any man who can preach on hell without tears in his eyes knows nothing about the love of Christ. I believe with all my heart that what he said is true. How could anyone who believes the scriptures find anything but grief in thinking of someone going there?
It is with this thought in mind that I want to present a study from the Bible concerning this vitally important and misunderstood subject. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament scriptures will be used for the reader's study
WHAT CAN BE KNOWN ABOUT HELL AND THE LAKE OF FIRE
The first mention of Hell is found in Deuteronomy 32:22 - "For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains." - The word used here is sheol, and means the world of the dead with its inmates and all its accessories.
The final mention of hell in scripture is found in Revelation 20:13-14 - "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell gave 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. Hell is mentioned twice in these verses The word here is hades, which means the place of departed souls -
In between these two verses there are 30 additional Old Testament verses and 22 New Testament references to hell given, and 15 of the New Testament verses are clearly spoken by Jesus Christ. It is my belief that when God chooses to repeat teaching on a particular subject it is because it is important to him and should be important to anyone who believes the Bible to be God's word. A perfect being is not given to wasting words.
One additional thought: Jesus did not come to act as an eternal fire insurance for the wicked. He came to seek and to save the lost which is everyone on earth past, present and future. Hell is reserved for the devil and demons. Men who go to hell go there because they choose to rebel against God and reject the free gift of salvation.
II Peter 3:9 in the KJV says; “For God is not willing that any should perish but that all men should come to repentance.” This is clear evidence that God leaves the choice up to us to repent. Just like a child that is told something but refuses to believe his parents mean what they say is punished for it, so it shall be with those who reject God's laws and his commandments. There will be no argument on the day of judgment. God will have the last word and punish the law breakers who refuse his mercy and salvation!
HELL IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
The word for hell in all the Old Testament is sheol (sheh-ole') - It means hades or the world of the dead (as if
a subterranean retreat) including all it's accessories and inmates, grave, pit. While man would vastly prefer it
to mean the grave, the full definition shown here will not allow it. The idea of accessories and inmates would invalidate grave as a stand alone definition.
HELL IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
The word hell in the New Testament is translated in different words; gehenna, hades and tartaroo.
Gehenna (gheh'-en-nah) - It means the Valley of Hinam (figuratively), a place or state of everlasting torment, and it is found in the following verses: Matthew 5:22,29 and 30, Matthew 10:28 Matthew 18:9, Matthew 23:15 and 33, Mark 9:43-47. Luke 12:5, and James 3:6.
Hades (hah'-dace) - It means the place or state of departed souls, grave. This is found in Matthew 11:23, 16:18,
Luke 10:15 and 16:23, Acts 2:27-31 and Revelation 1:18, 6:8, and 20:13-14.
Tartaroo (tar-tar-o-o) - It means the deepest abyss of hades, to incarcerate in eternal torment (see 2 Peter 2:4) speaking of angels that are demons now.
Hell is not eternal as some would teach. Revelation 20:14 says; "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire; this is the second death." So death is vanquished along with hell forever. The sad thing is what is found in Revelation 20:15! Jesus came to earth, lived among men and died to pay the full price for our sins with his own blood. Afterward, he resurrected from the dead to make it possible for all men to have eternal life in peace and joy forever. People who choose to reject the gift of salvation he died to give go to Hell and the lake of fire by their own choice. I earnestly pray that anyone reading this will choose eternal life with him.
Matthew 7:13-14 - "Enter ye in at the strait gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." These are the words of Jesus on salvation.
If I Had Only Listened!
C R Lord, Webmaster