How Can Hell Exist In Light Of God's Compassion And Love?Jesus taught on Hell often and Scripture is clear on who will go to Hell! Will YOU be one? The Bible says:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love (Psa. 103:8, NIV).We should all rejoice in this fact about God, while we serve him with fear (Psa. 2:11). Yet there is another side of him that many refuse to acknowledge:
The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished (Nah.1:2,3, NIV).God is jealous for our love and commitment to him. He will not tolerate any gods before him (Exo. 20:3). Strange as it may sound, his name is Jealous:
For thou shalt worship no other God: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God (Exo. 34:14, KJV).Similarly, in the New Testament we read:
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil ...(Rom. 2:8,9, NIV).... raging fire that will consume the enemies of God (Heb. 10:27, NIV).He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power (2 Thess. 1:8,9, NIV).In other words, people who die unsaved will face an angry God filled with wrath, then eternal trouble and distress will be their inheritance. They will experience this special, God-designed fire that is eternal (Mt. 18:8), unquenchable (Mk. 9:48; Lk. 3:17) and raging (Heb. 10:27), and that was originally prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt. 25:41).
In Lk. 16:19-31, Jesus taught of a man who died and went to the fire of Hades. The Lord's teaching showed he:
Perhaps the most terrifying truth about the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15) is that it is forever! There will be no hope for those who go there, no reprieve. It will seem like an unending nightmare for them. After suffering 10,000 years, the lost will still have just as long to suffer in this horrible place! Ponder that truth. It will help you understand how incredibly important salvation is.
- remembered his past earthly life;
- recognized Lazarus who lived in his lifetime and Abraham who probably didn't;
- knew why he was there, that is, his sins were not repented of; and
- cried out in his torment in fire for a drop of water.
God's Love For Us Is Totally Unlike Human Love
No AnnihilationTo cite only one argument to prove that there will be no annihilation for the wicked, please notice Rev. 20:10:
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (NIV).According to Rev. 19:20, the beast and the false prophet will be thrown into "the fiery lake of burning sulfur" before the Millennium:
But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur (NIV).This means that for at least 1,000 years, yet in the future, these two men will be tormented in this unusual fire, prepared for spirit beings, without being annihilated.
Furthermore, those men will be thrown into this fiery lake with the kind of bodies we have now. This clearly proves that that fire is not the kind of fire we are familiar with, for if it was, their bodies would be burnt to ashes in just a fraction of that time.
Also, since the devil is a spirit and he will be tormented by this fire, it can't be the kind of fire with which we are accustomed. In other words, the fire God has in store for those who die in an unsaved condition can torment spirits. Their torment will never cease in the final place for them, the lake of fire.
Besides people, even death and Hades will one day be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).
The Sound From Eternal FireThose who go there will never hear a kind word, never see a kind look and never observe a kind act. Besides the sincere, but religiously deceived, from all religions who die unsaved, the worst kind of people who ever lived will be there. See Mt. 5:28,29; Mt. 6:14,15; Jn. 14:6; Rom. 1:24-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:5-7; Jude 7; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:15.
The continual sounds heard there will be pleading for mercy, weeping, cursing God and agonizing, regretful groans caused by their pain. This will be their lot forever, because they chose to be self-seeking, reject the truth and follow evil (Rom. 2:8) during their time of testing in this life.
Thrown Into Raging FireRaging is a word used to describe forest fires that are completely out of control. In 1988 such a fire was loose at Yellowstone National Park. The flames were reported as being 300 feet high. Likewise, the flames that torment in the lake of fire are raging, that is, violent and intense. Billions of humans and possibly quadrillions of demons will co-exist in this type of fire forever in torment!
All who spend their eternity in the lake of burning sulfur will be thrown into it -- the devil (Rev. 20:10), the Antichrist and false prophet (Rev. 19:20) and all other humans who died in an unsaved spiritual condition (Mt. 13:42; Rev. 20:15). Billions of people will be thrown into these fires.
Many that we personally know and some we presently go to "church" with will be of this number! Shame and everlasting contempt (Dan. 12:2) is in their future also, besides being forgotten by their families and friends who go to heaven (Isa. 65:17).
The damned will think about God forever then, though now, in this present life, some "think it not worthy to retain the knowledge of God" (Rom. 1:28).
All people in hell exhibited goat-like rebellion to God's will (Matthew 25:31-46; Lk. 19:27). Therefore, they will experience this fiery furnace the Lord said exists (Mt. 13:42,50) and the blackest darkness that both Peter and Jude wrote of (2 Pet. 2:17; Jude 13). There will be no party there, according to the Bible. Some who refuse to repent and trust Jesus 100% for their soul's salvation say, "I'll take my chances." But they really aren't. It's a sure thing that they will be thrown into this lake of burning sulfur. There is no chance they will escape (Lk. 13:3; Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12).
Perhaps for those who were once saved, but afterwards ...
... then this place of eternal fire will be most horrible. This is assuming that such people do not come back to the Lord, as Peter did after he disowned Christ. The only exception to this, from the aforementioned list, is those who receive the mark of the beast. It seems that torment in burning sulfur is their irreversible future destiny (Rev. 14:9-12).
- fall away because of persecution (Lk. 8:13 cf. Mt. 13:20,21);
- are disowned by Christ for disowning him (Mt. 10:33);
- become dead and lost as the Prodigal Son did through sin (Lk. 15:24,32);
- believed in vain (1 Cor. 15:2);
- have fallen away from grace by believing a false message about justification (Gal. 5:4);
- returned to their former lifestyle of sinning after having escaped the corruption of the world by knowing Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 2:20-22);
- get cut off from the Vine for bearing no fruit (Jn. 15:2,6);
- become God's enemy again by loving the world (Jam. 4:4);
- didn't remain in Christ (1 Jn. 2:24,25);
- wouldn't forgive others who sinned against them (Mt. 18:22-35); or
- received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image during the time of the Antichrist (Rev. 14:9-12; 13:8-10)
50% From The Last GenerationAccording to Jesus, five out of ten (or 50%) in the last generation who were once saved will experience this horrible fate (Mt. 25:1-13). The Lord could have said three out of ten or two out of ten, but he didn't. He said five out of ten or 50%! Such foolish virgins once had a lamp burning for God, but it stopped burning because it ran out of oil.
Jesus also taught:
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other (Mt. 24:10, NIV).Though painful to admit, you potentially can still end up in eternal fire, even if you are a Christian at this moment! To believe otherwise is to be misinformed about the Biblical record.
Heaven And New JerusalemAs horrible as the lake of fire is, heaven is good! See Isa. 35:10; Rom. 2:10; Rev. 21:4; etc. There will be no death, mourning, crying, pain, curse, night or devil, while the overcomers reign with God there. There will be no need for a hospital, police force, prison, cemetery or ambulance service. After 10,000 years, those who overcome and enter the kingdom will still have just as long to spend there as they did the first day they entered the kingdom!
This paradise environment where joy, love, peace and godly music abides is, however, reserved only for the called, chosen and faithful followers of Christ (Rev. 17:14) or those described elsewhere as the ones who denied themselves, took up their crosses daily and followed Jesus unashamedly (Lk. 9:23-26). The same were faithful to God to the point of death (Rev. 2:10,11) sowed to please the Spirit not their sinful natures (Gal. 6:8,9) and endured to the end of their lives for salvation's sake (Mt. 10:22). In Mt. 5:8, the same are described as the pure in heart.
To enter the holy city, the New Jerusalem, will mean to enter the city whose architect and builder is God himself (Heb. 11:10). The New Jerusalem is made of pure gold, is approximately 1,400 to 1,500 miles high, long and wide, has walls of jasper, streets of gold, and gates of pearl that are never shut (Rev. 21:15-27). There is no need for the sun or moon to shine on it for the Lamb is its lamp (Rev. 21:23; 22:5). The river of the water of life, the tree of life, and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city (Rev. 22:1-5).
Who will be excluded from New Jerusalem?
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life (Rev. 21:27, NIV).God's kingdom is prepared for those who love God (Jam. 2:5) or for the righteous (Mt. 25:34-40).
They Are WorthyThe ones who inherit the kingdom are labeled worthy in Rev. 3:4-6:
You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (NKJV).For such worthy people, physical death is gain and better by far compared to this life (Phil. 1:21,23).
In a negative sense, Jesus spoke of those not worthy of himself:
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it (Mt. 10:37-39, NKJV).To be not worthy of Jesus is to be unable to enter God's kingdom, which means one will enter through the wide gate that leads to destruction. Dear reader, if you are Biblically unsaved at this moment, repent of your sins now while you still can. People in eternal fire would give anything for the chance you still have to repent and place your faith in Jesus (Acts 20:21). Remember, final salvation is as important as eternity is long. Do not go to this place called Hell.
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