The Biblical concept of an eternal conscious torment for the wicked dead is one that is hated, denied and often not even mentioned. For some, it is off limits and just too horribly negative to speak about. To others it is not politically correct or loving. Sadly, too many uninformed church folks of our day think this way.
A whole host of attacks against the Biblical hell have come from the Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Universalists and many others. Those faulty attacks are based on flawed human reasoning, sources outside the Bible and even, at times, from a misuse of Scripture itself.
Below is the decisive and all-important truth that settles this issue once and for all:
■ The Lord Jesus believed Hell exists and often warned others of it. (In fact, no one taught more on hell than Jesus.) This should settle the issue once and for all for those who profess to be Christians. Since the Lord Jesus is the ultimate authority, and he believed hell exists, then hell must exist. End of debate. Sometimes the Lord referred to this horrible place as:
● the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 13:42).
● eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Mat 25:41).
● destruction (Mat 7:13).
Of the many times Jesus taught on hell, the following is one of the most revealing:
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. Everyone will be salted with fire. (Mark 9:47-49)
Ponder that passage and you'll be stirred by the Holy Spirit. The Lord essentially said, avoid hell at all costs, even if you have to pluck your own eye out to avoid sin which drags to hell. Why? Because in hell not only is there unquenchable fire, but also worms that don't die [to torment]. All there will also be salted with fire. That last point of being salted with fire is the same concept found in an Old Testament hell passage:
On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face. (Psa 11:6,7)
NOTE: Some falsely claim that hell is not taught in the Old Testament, but Psa. 11:6,7 (and other Scriptures) refute that.
One of the details about hell is that its fire wasn't originally prepared for man but for the devil and his angels, who will also go there:
Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Mat 25:41)
Clearly then, the fire of hell is not the fire we are used to. It can torture spirit beings and people too. Jesus also taught most people would go to hell (Mt. 7:13,14) and hell is where the body and soul are destroyed (Mt. 10:28). (Destroyed does not mean annihilated.)
Finally, people who go there will be tortured in fire forever. To me, this is the most terrifying aspect of hell. As bad as the pain in hell is, if one could serve his time and get out, it would lighten the pain to some degree just to have that hope, but that is not the case here. Several points could be cited, but Jude was clear:
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)
NOTE: The word suffer in Jude 7 is a continuous tense. Jude was referring to the same ones killed by God in Gen. 19 for their wickedness, which was 1,900 years earlier. They were still suffering in eternal fire after all that time when Jude wrote that! (Jude believed and taught hell too.) See also 2 Peter 2:9 where Peter repeats the same truth. That's not all. Rev. 20:13 expands upon Jude 7 and 2 Peter 2:9:
The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. (Rev 20:13)
Rev. 20:13 is at least 1,000 years in the future from now. Even then, the people Jude wrote about were still not annihilated—disturbing but true.
Some of Jesus' hell warnings were clearly given to those who had already been saved, which is indirect proof that eternal security is false. Two such examples are:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mat 10:28)
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 18:1-3)
To escape hell a person must get saved and endure to the end, which doesn't always happen. If one gets saved and afterwards dies physically in a spiritually dead condition, he will go to hell the same as if he was never born again.
Remember: No sin or person is worth going to hell over. For more information read this about hell. Click here to read information on once saved always saved. GOD BLESS YOU.
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