Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." (Mat 25:34)But for the wicked dead, such a paradise kingdom won't be theirs. In fact, the WORST thing that could ever happen to a person is for him/her to miss God's paradise kingdom and end up in this place called hell. As there will be joy in Heaven, there will be torment for the lost in hell fire forever!
Hell was given prominent attention by the Lord Jesus himself in his teachings. If we claim to carry his message to others, we too should give this subject such attention. Furthermore, no one preached more on Hell than he did.
The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Mat 3:10)Notice: It says unquenchable fire. John was not the only one to give us this detail about the fires of hell. See also Mk. 9:48. A fiery, tormentful place called gehenna in the Greek or the lake of fire in the book of Revelation (20:15; 21:8) is the destiny of all who die physically in a spiritually wicked condition, from which there will be no escape forever. Sometimes Christians refer to a devil's hell, because it was for the devil (and his angels) that this literal place was created. It was not created for wicked people:
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Mat 3:12)
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)But this kind of description of Hell has been and currently still is under heavy attack by Jehovah's Witnesses, Seven Day Adventists and even some others like HERETIC David Servant.
But anyone who says, "You fool!" will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Mat 5:22)Jesus said Hell has fire and implied the pain produced by it with the word danger. Notice: Jesus taught that your words could endanger your soul to the fire of hell.
If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Mat 5:29,30)
As bad as it would be to be without your right hand and/or right eye, it is better than being thrown into hell. (Sin sends people to hell.) In other words, avoid hell at all costs. Don't go to hell.
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)God, not the devil, is the one referred to here that we are to be afraid of who can destroy both our body and soul in hell. Cf. Isa 8:13. So don't be afraid of an angry mob that might approach you to kill you. Stay faithful to Jesus and don't disown him before man under any circumstances. That warning of hell was given to those already saved. This alone shows there can be no eternal security. Going to hell is the greatest danger that exists.
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. (Rev 20:10)So if we compare Scripture with Scripture, we learn that destroy in Mat 10:28 doesn't mean annihilation, for tormented day and night for ever and ever isn't the meaning of annihilation! Again, the wicked dead will be destroyed, but that doesn't mean annihilated for they will be tormented forever. Furthermore, remember the following Scripture also:
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)So just as we see in Rev 20:10, Mat 25:41 also shows that wicked people will go to the same place the devil ends up in. Hence, since the devil won't be annihilated, neither will the people who go to the same place and suffer in the same hell fire.
Furthermore, the same Greek word for destroy in Mat 10:28 is found in Lk 15:24,32 and translated lost, which describes the spiritual condition of the prodigal son when he was in sexual sin. At that same time the prodigal was fully aware and conscious as he was dead in his sins and separated from God because of his spiritual condition. So lost can't mean annihilation either.
But someone might be wondering what about the demons? Where do they go?
And they [demons] cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to TORMENT us before the time?" (Mat 8:29)(Demons know they have a place of torment in fire is awaiting them.)
Many other times Jesus referred to this place called hell:
If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. (Mat 18:8,9)Jesus repeated his awesome teaching he gave in Mat 5:29,30 there. He also said:
You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? (Mat 23:33)Hell is for the condemned.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. (Mark 9:43)
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. (Mark 9:45)
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 (Mark 9:47)So in the end one will either enter life (the kingdom of God) or be thrown into hell.
The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 13:41,42)
Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 25:30)(Charles Stanley teaches this weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness occurs in heaven as this man sees his rewards burn up! Rather than abandon the unscriptural teaching of eternal security, Stanley would rather distort the Word of God to that extreme.)
Clearly, there wasn't any eternal security for the man of Mat 25:30! So the fiery furnace is a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness. Jude wrote of blackest darkness as being where those who change grace into a license for immorality will go:
They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. (Jude 13)Those who object to a literal fire in hell sometimes use this verse and argue that since fire emanates light, how could there be blackest darkness in hell? Such people forget that this unique, special fire was prepared to torment spirit beings (Mat 25:41 cf. Rev 20:10). It is not fire that we humans are acquainted with. Seemingly, that fire must emanate darkness instead of light as the fire would that we know of. To be consistent with all Scriptures on this subject we must conclude this.
Jesus went on teach:
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. (Lk 12:5)Jesus told us to fear God, because he has the power to have us thrown into hell. This warning of hell was also spoken to the disciples.
Jesus also spoke of torment in hell:
In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. (Lk 16:23)The rich, unsaved Jewish man who went to the fires of hades was in torment in fire. Cf. tormented in Rev 20:10. Perhaps there are billions of souls with him at this point in time.
There are other corroborating Scriptures to these:
when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me. (Deut 32:41)God promises to take vengeance on his adversaries - those who hate him. (And those who hate him are those who disobey him.)
And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name. (Rev 14:11)Again, torment forever and ever is mentioned for the wicked.
Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. (2 Cor 5:11)Paul knew the merciful God who is love also has great wrath and anger for those who are in sin. He took the message of how to get forgiven from sin to the people, but he had to pay a dear price to do so. He was persecuted, lived in need, shed his own blood, spent years in prison and finally died a martyr to take this message of GOOD NEWS to people who were in desperate need of forgiveness.
Notice these OT Scriptures about hell:
Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. (Psa 81:15)Next we come to a passage few in our day know exists. It was written by Paul:
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. (Dan 12:2)
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 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: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Rom 2:7-10)Paul taught just like Jesus:
those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. (Jn 5:29)It is sad how Rom 2:7-10 has been omitted from the Romans Road gospel presentation to the distortion of the salvation message. According to Paul, those who perish do evil, while the saved do good and persist in doing good. This is true grace teaching in its purest sense. This is NOT a works salvation. Those who follow evil will experience God's wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for them eternally.
Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. (Mat 25:46)
The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment (2 Pet 2:9, NASB)
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 7)Punishment in burning sulfur is awaiting the wicked, unless they repent:
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)Verse 7 shows why God will do all this to the wicked. God is righteous and just and will punish sin and rebellion. Only upright men will see his face. (Mat 5:8 say it will be the pure in heart who will see God.)
Another fact about God that few seem to be aware of is the following one:
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. (Nah 1:2)
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. (Rev 20:14)
Of those who in the end go to the lake of burning sulfur some were previously saved and delivered from their sins, but afterwards turned from Jesus and went back to their old life of sin. They were somehow deceived by the devil and overcome by evil.
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord (Acts 3:19)
I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. (Acts 20:21)
for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. (1 Thess 1:9)
All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Mat 10:22)
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. (Heb 3:14)
Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. (Rev 2:10,11)
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. (Rom 2:7)