Hell-What Does The Bible Teach?

There are only two eternal destinies—the blessed abode of the saved and the flaming abyss of the lost. The Bible speaks of Paradise and of the pit of hell, of glorious light and of total darkness.

There are Only Two Destinies

On the Judgment Day, only two groups of people will step forth, “they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29).

When the lost shall hear the great Judge declare their sentence of guilt, “I never knew you; depart from me,” (Matthew 7:23) where will those doomed souls go? When the righteous eyes of the King pierce the guilty one and no excuse rings true, what will happen? When the Book of Life is opened and the name is missing, what then?

An Illustration of Hell

A short distance south of Jerusalem, a deep ravine cuts across the landscape. During the reigns of Ahaz and Manasseh, this valley was used as a place of unthinkably evil worship. Here followers of Molech dropped their children into the red-hot arms of an immense brass idol. They sang and danced to drown out the anguished cries as their little ones burned to death. The Hebrews called the place the Valley of Hinnom. In Greek, the name of the area is translated as Gehenna.

At the time of Christ's earthly life, the Jews used the valley as a place to dump their waste and filth. Into it were cast dead carcasses, as well as the corpses of outcasts and criminals. The air was thick and putrid. Fires burned eerily day and night. The stain of smoke never disappeared from the sky, and the fires never went out.

The Valley of Hinnom provides a vivid example of damnation and hell. “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 25:41). Christ’s listeners could easily envision an intolerably horrible place where one would burn forever. Eternal punishment after the Judgment is an established truth in the Bible.

What will Hell be like?

Its horrors cannot be comprehended. However, Scripture does provide some comparisons—a devouring fire, an unquenchable fire, outer darkness, everlasting punishment, torment, and a lake of fire.

Some may believe that these verses are symbolic of a burning conscience, a burning shame, and a burning memory that gnaws and consumes but never is quenched. Yet, fire and burning are mentioned so frequently and forcefully in the Scriptures that we cannot ignore the fact of literal hell fire. The Bible states that there will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.  

On the Judgment Day the unsaved shall arise to “the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29). In the resurrection the lost will be given an immortal body, one that feels and experiences constantly the sting of death but never dies.

Hell will be a place of remembering. In the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), the rich man opened his eyes in hell. In this place the doomed man was told, “Son, remember.” When God says, “Son, remember,” it will be impossible to forget. Like an avalanche, memories of all the opportunities for salvation, the chances for repentance, the gift of grace neglected, and more, will overwhelm the lost. They will remember what they loved in life: wealth, fame, a good time, and themselves, but those very things will haunt them. On and on the memory reels, bringing up all the evil thoughts, the secret sins, and the lies. With the impossibility of forgetting comes the bitterest cry of remorse, “Had I only loved the Lord!”

Hell will be a place of guilt and shame. The prophet Daniel wrote, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). When the eternal sentence of guilt rings from the throne on the Judgment Day, it will descend like an immense weight upon the condemned, dragging them down into a burning sea. 

Hell will be a place offering no rest. “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night” (Revelation 14:11). In our world, those in pain and suffering find moments of rest. Even the tortured have times of sleep or faint into welcome unconsciousness. Finally, death brings its relief, but in hell there will be no relief. The torment will be unleashed in unending torrents. The lost will cry out for relief, but none will be found. The lost will gnash their teeth forever as they toss and turn, searching endlessly for a moment of relief, but finding absolutely none. (Matthew 22:13)

Hell will be a place of utter hopelessness. The desperation that comes from knowing that those who enter there have no ray of hope—no chance of ever leaving—will crush the lost. They will become a forgotten people in a forgotten place. When God turns away and rejects those souls, doom will be complete.

In hell there will be no mercy, no love, no acts of kindness, and no grace. Hate will reign supreme. The intense remorse and sorrow, the begging, and the pleading will be to no avail. No one will listen; no one will care.

Hell will be a place of outer darkness. In the Bible, it is referred to as the very “blackness of darkness” (Jude 13). With darkness comes fear, evil, the devil, demons, and death. Hell is all of these, and hell is forever. 

Forever and forever—in ten million years—hell will have only begun. The torment and the weeping will continue, and yet the dying will live on eternally. Here our minds stop. And maybe they should, for hell was not prepared for God’s children. It was prepared for the devil and his angels. 

Our Choice

The Bible is clear in stating that those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8).

Today we are serving one of two masters. One, the heavenly Father, is loving and righteous. The other, Satan, is desperately evil. It is certain that the master we serve in time will be the one with whom we spend eternity. When the final judgment exposes our allegiance, on whose side will we stand?

God cannot save those who refuse to serve Him. However, He will be entirely fair and just. No one will go to hell undeservingly. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and live” (2 Peter 3:9). God is calling us to choose His kingdom, to stand on His side. He is pleading to save us because He loves us.

Those who find themselves in hell will have, by their choices and pursuits in life, decided their fate. Will we hear, “I never knew you; depart from me forever,” or, “Come, ye blessed of my Father” (Matthew 25:34)?

The Way of Escape!

Jesus has made a way that we can escape the horrors of hell. He came to earth and died to pay for our sins. If we believe on Him and repent of our sins, our sins will be forgiven. He invites us to come to Him and He promises, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). COME TO JESUS TODAY!

Have You Heard—It’s for You!

All Have Sinned

Many people today are like the man who said, “I am not good enough for heaven and not bad enough for hell.” They think they are pretty good and God will somehow give them a home in heaven.

What does the Bible say about man? It says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. I have—you have. We are like the man who was lost in the woods. He was finally so confused that he had to sit down and wait for someone to find him. Are you lost? Do you know where to go?

There Is Hope for You

You need not be lost and live in sin. You need not despair. Jesus Christ has opened the way for all to live a happy life. He has opened the door of heaven for you. Whether you are poor as a beggar or rich as a millionaire, whether you are highly respected or not, you have the opportunity to come to the Lord Jesus. He says in his Word, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). There is hope for you. You can come to the Friend of all men and be saved from your sins.

Jesus Will Give You Peace

The teacher held out his gold watch, saying, “The one who comes here to take this watch can have it.” None of the children came forward except the smallest boy in the classroom. To the surprise of the others, he got the watch. They just hadn’t believed the teacher. The offer was too good to be true, they thought. Now the opportunity was gone. The little boy had the prize.

Jesus holds out a greater prize. He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Many people have already accepted this call. Have you? He is calling you now. These words are for you. If you are tired of sin, if your heart is troubled, come to the One who will give you rest. He will forgive your sinful past. He will carry your load of worries away. You can put on Him all your troubles because He cares for you. He is now reaching out his arms to help you.

You May Accept His Gift Now

The little boy believed his teacher, stepped up to the desk, and got the watch. In the same way you can receive the gift that Jesus offers you today.

“What shall I do?” you say. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” says God’s Word, “and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). As you look to the Lord you see how sinful you are, and you say, “There is no hope for me. I cannot come to the Lord this way.” Listen again to the words of Jesus, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28). He does not tell you to get rid of your sins, to clean up your life and then come. No, come as you are. Tell Him your sins, tell Him your troubles, and apologize to those you have wronged. Believe that He hears you. Reach out, believing like the little boy, and He will give you peace of mind and rest for your soul.

Let’s see what else Jesus says. “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). Notice the last part, “is passed from death unto life.” It need not take long. The price is paid, and you can be free right now. He paid the debt when He died on the cross. There your sins were paid for. But you must look in faith to Jesus who died on the cross in your stead.

Can you believe this? Can you take Jesus at his word and leave your load of sin and trouble to Him? Pray to Him now, repent of and confess your sins, and receive that free gift of peace—be born anew, be a child of God. Jesus says in the third chapter of John, “Ye must be born again.” That is, born of the Spirit.

You Can Enjoy Living with Christ

When you are born again, your old desire for sin passes away. Sin does not look so attractive anymore. Your heart is filled with peace, and you do not enjoy the foolishness of the world.

Now you love to pray. You enjoy God’s Word. You read it, listen to it, and study it. You even love those whom you did not like very well before. At home or in church you commune with God in prayer and receive strength to say no to the tempter. When trials or temptations come, you know that God is always near, ready to help you over the rough places. And as you grow in your Christian life you find that prayer is your vital breath—you cannot get along without it.

You Can Work for Jesus

Knowing that the Lord has saved you makes you want to do something for Him. You start by telling others of your experience with the Lord. Your heart overflows with joy, and you want others to have the same experience.

As you learn to know God’s Word better, you can reach out farther and help those who are in sin. Or you can help with other work in the Church. You can help in Sunday school, in Bible classes, and in church services. You can testify for the Lord in public. God will lead you into an active Christian life. In this way you can honor God and show your appreciation for what He has done in your life. God calls every Christian to serve Him.

The apostle Paul gives us some good instructions along this line. He says, “M y beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

One thing we need to remember is to be obedient to the Word of God and to the Holy Spirit who leads us in the right path. Jesus emphasizes it very strongly that we must be doers of the will of our heavenly Father (Matthew 7:21).

God Will Reward You

How does God reward you? Actually there are two stages of reward. One is here in this life; the other is in the life to come.

Let’s look at the words of Jesus again. He says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). The peace He speaks of here is for those whose sins are forgiven, whose hearts are washed with the blood of Christ. It is for those who have completely given their lives over to Him. He gives that peace to men so the Christian life will be worthwhile. You can have peace in your heart as you turn to Him in all your problems. That is part of the reward.

He helps you to resist temptation. He hears your prayers when you call to Him for help.

If you remain faithful to the Lord you will have a reward in heaven. In this life you will have disappointments, but in heaven you will have eternal happiness. When you get to heaven, all the troubles and cares of this life will have vanished. You will be with God and the angels and all the faithful Christians forever and ever. That will be the eternal reward.

Jesus Is Coming Soon

The Bible tells us that Jesus will return again. He is not coming as a loving Savior as before. This time He will come as a judge, and He will “reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27). The sinner will go to the place “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). There hope is gone. No one will be able to turn to God for forgiveness. The Bible describes it as “outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12). Jesus warns us about the place “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44).

As a child of God you need not fear the coming of the Lord. Jesus is coming to take his children home to heaven. He says, “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is” (Mark 13:33).

Just a Little Drink Why Not?

So drinking is your own business? Indeed it is! At least up to a point.

You’re right, man has used alcohol for thousands of years to brace up the faint, to cheer up festivities, to drown out his problems. So you say moderate drinking is all right.

Moderate drinking? When does moderate drinking develop into intemperance? You can go to any rescue mission and hear the same story over and over. The person had money, prestige, a good job, a fine family, but then all at once, or so it seemed, he was on the skids. It all started with a little drink that “won’t hurt.” The very thing that had made him friends had turned on him and had caused his ruin. The biblical warning, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1), had now been proven in his own life. And the drink demon had not been satisfied until the victim hit bottom.

Many traffic accidents are caused by those whose judgment has been impaired by alcohol. Rosita W. hadn’t drunk much; she could still drive her car. She did, and forced another car into the path of an oncoming truck. The result: four cars piled up, six people dead, a whole family wiped out. Rosita went free, walked away from the carnage unhurt—except for the responsibility.

Kenneth, a minister on his way to a mission, was driving his car on the right side of the freeway. Then, without warning, a car came hurtling through the snow flurry, head-on, killing him, his wife, and a passenger, and injuring their little son for life.

So it’s your own business if you drink? Well, that’s what many drinking drivers say. The victims of such drivers think differently—at least those who are still able to think.

It’s your own business if you drink? What about a wife, a husband, children? How much abuse, neglect, shame, and insecurity do they suffer when you drink? Many a promising marriage has been wrecked as a result of alcohol.

The young man and woman, pure, well-intentioned, after a few drinks lost their inhibitions, and the blight of sin set in to haunt them the rest of their lives.

But you say you can quit anytime you want to. You are sure you will quit before you plunge too deeply. But wait! Two young women, out to see the magnificent Grand Canyon, stepped past the guardrail to the very edge. A little gust of wind came, and one of them plunged to her death on the rocks below. Avoidable? Yes—if they had followed the safety rules.

He who drinks is breaking the rules, is leaving the guardrail behind, and is on his own. It’s the first step into sin. The plunge to the point of no return is now possible anytime.

It is sin. The Bible warns against drinking. It says:

“Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (Proverbs 23:29-32).

The Bible, however, offers hope to those enslaved by alcohol. Joe is an example of the person who took advantage of the promises in the Bible. Joe had brought shame to himself and to his family. He was on his way to becoming a slave to drink. Then one day he remembered the words of Jesus: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He prayed, committing his life to God. With forgiveness came peace in his heart. His burden of sin disappeared. His desire for drink left him, and he was on his way to a new life.

So you can drink if you want to! That’s your responsibility, your sin, and in the end, your remorse.

Instead, do like Joe did. The Lord has called you to holy living. Your life is not altogether your own. You have to give an account of what you do with your body, and what you do to your spirit. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Alcohol destroys; God’s Holy Spirit builds. Living for God helps develop the best in you; alcohol has a tendency to bring out the worst in you.

Call upon the Lord. Ask His forgiveness. He will fulfill the deepest desires of your heart.