The word “hell” is used frequently in our society. “Hot as hell”, “mad as hell”, “hell no”, “hell yes” and many other phrases containing references to hell are used. But many people using “hell” language have no idea about the reality of the awful place called hell. Hell is real. Hell is to be avoided at all cost!
There are several Greek words that are translated as “hell” in the New Testament. Gehenna is the word Jesus frequently used in His teaching. Gehenna comes from the Hebrew phrase “Valley of the sons of Hinnon”. During a time of rebellion against God several hundred years before Jesus appeared on the earth, Jews worshiped the Canaanite god Molech by sacrificially burning their children with fire in that valley. After this practice was banned, Gehenna was forever viewed as a cursed place and only used to burn trash and the bodies of dead animals. Gehenna was a place filled with decay, worms, filth, an awful stench and smoldering fires. Jesus used Gehenna as a metaphorical term to describe the horrors of the place for departed spirits that did not know God. In Mark 9:48, Jesus declares of hell, “Where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”
Jesus tells the story in Luke 16 of a rich man that died and went to hell. This man cries out from hell with these words, “And being in torments in hell (the grave), he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom (place of rest and peace). Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ Flames, worms, anguish – it all sounds horrible, but the worst part will be the absence of the presence of God and His peace. Will real worms consume people while fires burn them alive? I don’t know, but I do know that hell will be a horrible place where sinners are separated from God and left alone in anguish and torment. There will be no peace, no Holy Spirit and no way of escape.
Many times we see renditions of hell where the devil is king and demons are tormenting the poor souls that are there. That idea is totally false. The devil will not be in charge of anything in hell. Actually, hell was created for the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41), not mankind. The devil and his demons will be in horrible torment and eternal damnation.
One more interesting fact about hell is that it will not be the final resting place of the lost or the devil and his angels. After the resurrection, hell itself with all its inhabitants will be thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 21:8 (Composite) makes it plain, “But cowards, traitors, perverts, murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic, those who worship idols, and all liars—the place for them is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” It sounds like hell is merely a holding place for the spiritually dead while the lake of fire is eternal prison.
The question is always asked, “Why would a loving God send anyone to hell?” The answer is simple – He doesn’t. God is not the hell sender. He is the savior from hell. Even though man ‘s sin separated him from God, Jesus was sent to pay the price for mankind’s sin and set us right with God. As redeemed children of God, we simply go to our Father God’s house when we die while the lost go to their devil daddy’s eternal home in hell. Actually, the choice of eternal homes is given to each person.
If you are reading this and you are not sure of your eternal destination, then simply pause now and decide to turn from your sin and give your life to Jesus. Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord (boss) and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” Simply tell Jesus that you turn away from your sin and choose him as Boss of your life. If you do that simple act, you are now a child of God and saved from hell. Now follow up by finding a Bible believing church where you can grow in your faith and fellowship with your new brothers and sisters.
If you are reading this and already saved, it is so important that we not only thank God for the sacrificial blood of Jesus that allows us to escape hell and live eternally with our king, but that we share the gospel with those that do not know Jesus. If we don’t reach them, they are doomed to an eternity without God in the lake of fire. Get busy Christians!
God bless you all!.