by Michael G. Mickey
A lot of people today believe Hell shouldn't be spoken of by Christians because it's frightening. Although I am of the opinion Christians should generally lead people to Christ by telling them of His love, some people won't respond to that. The Bible tells us some people need to be told about Hell.
Jude 1:21-23: Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire;
If you've never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, get ready to be pulled out of the fire. I'm about to scare you to death by telling you about a place called Hell.
When I was a child, I remember the pastor of our church saying on many occasions, "There is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun." Was he correct in saying that? Absolutely.
The Bible teaches us the believer, upon physical death or at the rapture of the Church, will enter into an eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord.
Philippians 1:21: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
2nd Corinthians 5:8: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
1st Thessalonians 4:16-17: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The Bible teaches us the unbeliever, upon physical death, will enter into an eternal, conscious separation from God where he or she will await the resurrection of the body to everlasting judgment and condemnation.
The story of Lazarus and the rich man clearly demonstrates to us the suffering and anguish those who have left the world as unbelievers are experiencing at this very moment as they await the day when their bodies will be resurrected to stand judgment before the Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 16:19-23: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
As you can see, Lazarus, upon death, was carried away by the angels where he entered into fellowship with God and His saints. As you can likewise see, the rich man died and, from a place of torment and anguish, lifted up his eyes and saw Lazarus at peace.
Luke 16:24-26: And 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. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
This passage demonstrates unbelievers, upon death, will immediately and consciously enter a place of immense suffering where there will be no hope of escape or rescue.
Luke 16:27-31: Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
In this passage, the rich man, fully aware of his mistakes, begged Abraham to send Lazarus to his five brothers to warn them to live godly lives, thinking his brothers would believe him because he had risen from the dead. Abraham accurately stated these men wouldn't believe though one had risen from the dead if they were unwilling to believe the Word of God that had been told to them already by Moses and the prophets. This is the part of the story I like the most as it's so true of unbelieving mankind. Someone HAS risen from the dead (our Lord Jesus Christ) yet those living their lives according to their own will rather than God's refuse to hear Him and surrender their lives to Him - the only hope they have of avoiding an eternity in a place we call Hell.
How long will those in Hell continue to suffer? Eternally. The Bible speaks of those who accept the mark of the beast, a mark of allegiance to the Antichrist which will be implemented during the tribulation period, suffering throughout all eternity in Hell.
Revelation 14:11: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
The Antichrist and his false prophet, upon Christ's return to the earth at the Battle of Armageddon, will be cast into the lake of fire in the aftermath of Christ's victory over their armies.
Revelation 19:20: And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
When Christ's millenial reign ends 1,000 years later, Satan will be loosed from the abyss (where he will have been bound during Christ's millenial reign) and will stage one final act of rebellion against God. He will be swiftly defeated and cast into Hell where he will join the Antichrist and his false prophet, both of whom will still be consciously alive and suffering after 1,000 years in a literal, burning lake of fire!
Revelation 20:10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The beast and the false prophet are spoken of in the present tense when Satan joins them in the lake of fire. How long will those in Hell be tormented both day and night? Throughout all eternity. Forever and ever.
Additionally, when Christ's millennial reign comes to a close 1,000 years after the Battle of Armageddon, all those who died without Christ will be resurrected to stand before Christ to be judged according to their works, but nothing they've done will save them. Why? Salvation from divine judgment isn't obtained by works, but by grace obtained through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!
Revelation 20:11-15: And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The topic of Hell is a frightening one, but one that needs to be addressed. Because Hell is a real place of eternal separation from God filled with torment and suffering the likes of which we can't begin to imagine, we need to warn those who have never accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior about Hell.
Is Hell a real place? Yes. Those who have left the world without Jesus Christ are currently suffering as they await their judgment. They would love to tell the world to avoid the terrible place their sin-filled lives have taken them to. They can't, but I can.
Do you (or anyone else) have to go to Hell? No, thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord! Jesus left the splendor and majesty of Heaven to pay the penalty for all our sins through His death on the cross. His blood shed on our behalf met the requirements of divine justice and obtained salvation for all who will put their trust in Him alone as their Savior. If you have never accepted Jesus, I beg you to do so today. He loves you and wants you to join Him in Heaven someday. If you don't accept Him, you'll have an eternity to think about the biggest mistake you ever made.
|There is some debate amongst Bible scholars as to whether the dead in hell will have bodies and actually be burned (if so, does the body burn up and then the suffering cease?), or whether the dead in hell will have no bodies as they were not saved by believing in Jesus Christ, but their souls suffer eternal distress at being separated from God (a theory I doubt). Either way, the fact remains there IS a hell, and it is a place of TORMENT....... definitely to be avoided ...... Keygar.|
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