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?

Complete text of: Hell-What Does The Bible Teach?

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!

Teach Us To Pray

Prayer is a humble plea directed to God the Father in the name of Jesus. Prayer is expressing ourselves to a loving father in heaven. In prayer our spirit communicates with God either through words spoken or even in our thoughts. God wants us to speak with Him. We may come to Him with our thankfulness, requests, and disappointments.

Upon praying for the first time, some people say they feel strange, as if they are speaking to nothing. This is what Satan wants us to believe, that we will not pray again. The truth is that the Bible assures us that, wherever we are and whatever hour it may be, God hears our sincere request. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us” (1 John 5:14).

Prayer is talking to God. Speak directly to Him in a frank and sincere manner, telling Him all that you feel and need. If you do not understand why you feel as you do, tell God about it. The Bible says, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26). When you are frustrated and discouraged or happy and thankful, express yourself to God. It is important to be honest in prayer. God wants to hear how we really feel down deep inside.

Listen to what God may have to tell you. He speaks to us by giving impressions and thoughts. These may come while we are praying. Even the words that we pray can be the result of impressions given by God. God wants to communicate His will to us. He may do this during prayer or afterward. He speaks through His Spirit, through the Bible, and through His servants.

When we pray, we need to shut out the distractions of the world around us and concentrate on our communion with God. While we can pray in any place and in any position, we need a quiet place if possible. As we close our eyes and kneel in reverence to God we are better able to meditate. Our attention needs to be focused on God (Matthew 6:6).

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Some people say, “But I do not know what words to use or how to express myself to God.” It may be that we say this because we imagine that we need to use a different vocabulary so God will hear us. We may think that we must use many words and speak in a beautiful and elegant manner in order to get His attention. In reality, the Bible gives us various examples of prayer which are very short and simple, and God respected them. For example, a certain man who was a sinner prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Another sinner, broken and contrite, prayed, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Luke 23:42). God does not require a special form of speech for prayer. The Bible contains many prayers of men from various backgrounds with no two prayers being alike.

For our prayers to be effective we must come in humility before the Lord. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we read, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” To become better acquainted with the Lord, we must respond to the directions we receive-especially in regard to turning away from sin.

As we communicate daily with the Lord, He gives us vision, stabilizes our lives, and grants our petitions. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).

Pray in the name of Jesus. He said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do” (John 14:13). We have no merit of our own; we can only come to God in prayer through Jesus Christ.

Pray often. Listen for and to His voice when He speaks. Obey those inner promptings that He so graciously gives. “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you” (Luke 11:9).

The Power of the Resurrection

Three crosses and a tomb

“Come, see.” These words recorded in John 4:29 were spoken by a Samaritan woman with a sense of wonderment and awe. She had just met a Man at the village well who said He was the Messiah. Something about this Man convinced her that He knew all about her although not many words were spoken. She felt his love and compassion even though she was living in sin. With a sense of urgency she hurried back to her village, her water pot forgotten. “Come,” she said, “come see and hear for yourselves.”

Jesus came to earth with a message of hope. His love and compassion reached out to everyone, including the outcasts of society. He healed the sick, comforted the distressed, and preached salvation. Many received his teachings and followed Him. The religious leaders felt threatened by his message of love and humility, and plotted to kill Him. He was betrayed, arrested, and sentenced to die. As the angry mob followed, Roman soldiers took Jesus up the hill of Golgotha and nailed Him to a wooden cross between two thieves.

Jesus was crucified at nine o’clock in the morning. At noon the sky darkened for three hours. Afterward, Jesus cried with a loud voice, “It is finished,” and gave up his life. There was a mighty earthquake that rent the rocks and opened many graves.

Complete text of: The Power of the Resurrection

Jesus’s disciples took his body down from the cross. They lovingly placed it in a new tomb and closed the entrance with a large stone. Early in the morning of the third day there was a great earthquake. An angel came down from heaven and rolled the stone away from the tomb. Some women who loved Him came to anoint his body, and they were surprised to find the tomb empty. They were met by angels who told them, “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words” (Luke 24:6-8).

Following his resurrection Jesus met his disciples in an upper room. He showed them the wounds in his hands and his side and blessed them with the peace of God. He spent forty days teaching and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. With his death and resurrection, the plan of salvation was completed.

One day while speaking with his disciples, Jesus told them to wait at Jerusalem until they received the power of the Holy Spirit. This would enable them to witness for Him wherever they went. When He finished speaking, He lifted up his hands, blessed them, and ascended into heaven. As the disciples watched Him ascend, two men in white clothing appeared and said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

So when the people of Samaria heard Jesus’s message, they believed on Him. They told the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, but because we have heard Him ourselves and know that He really is the Christ.” The gospel of Jesus Christ, which is his teachings, death, and resurrection, is the power of God unto salvation. To experience salvation, come to Jesus, repent, and forsake sin. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and commit your life to Him. Then through the power of the Holy Spirit you can love and forgive all people, even your enemies. As Christians continue in faithful obedience, Jesus gives power to live victoriously over sin.

Jesus is now in heaven interceding for mankind and preparing a place for the faithful (John 14:2-3). Someday soon He will return to judge the world. The apostle John wrote about that day. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it... And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened... and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books” (Revelation 20:11-12). God will separate the faithful followers of Jesus Christ from those who lived in selfish unbelief. He will receive all the faithful into the heavenly mansions He has prepared.

Do you know the One who knows everything about you? Are you experiencing the power of the resurrection today? If not, then come. Come and see the risen Lord!