‘House’ Of Horrors

30 November 18

Last month, many people celebrated Halloween by going to a “haunted house” to be ‘scared to death’ by a devil or demon—‘making light of’ a place called “Hell.”

In my opinion, the real world seems scary enough these days, but if you’re one of these people who needs an extra exhilarating jolt of fear, especially around Halloween, there are plenty of haunted house ‘attractions’ to ‘scare the hell’ out of you.

A “haunted house” simulates the experience of either a house being inhabited by disembodied spirits or an interpretation of what Hell might be like. It usually features fearsome characters, especially ghosts, monsters, witches, serial killers, psychopaths, demons, and devils. They use many effects, such as lighting and intense scenes of horror, terror, torment, and murder to frighten, shock, and disturb the participant.

The top three haunted house in the US (picked by “13th Floor Entertainment”) are in Chicago, Illinois (“House of Torment”), Phoenix, Arizona (“Fear Farm”), and Atlanta, Georgia (“Netherworld”). They describe their attractions as, “an intense, graphic, theatrical show that will take you on a gut-wrenching ride of visceral thrills and psychological horror,” “an unforgettable experience to all visitors due to its extremely realistic scares,” and “transport you to new levels of horror with new and terrifying attractions unlike any other.”

In addition to the ‘fake’ houses that are put up every year, a 2005 Gallup poll stated that over 35% expressed the belief that real houses could be “haunted.”

[ A walk through of the new “Holidayz in Hell” Scare Zone featured at Halloween Horror Nights 2018 at Universal Studios Hollywood (Universal also has a ”Hell’s Harvest” festival) ].

 

A poll (from the Barna Research Group) found that 76% of Americans believe in Heaven, and that 71% believe in Hell. But, more telling was the fact that, fewer than 1% think they have any chance of going to Hell!

Many people even joke about Hell. Some have been heard saying that they didn’t mind going to Hell, because all of their friends are going to be there and that they were going to “party hardy” there!

Ted Turner, founder of Turner Broadcasting, seems to be speaking for this attitude in a 1989 speech to the National Press Club. In it Turner said, “Remember, Heaven is going to be perfect. And I don’t really want to be there. Those of us that go to Hell, which will be most of us in this room, most journalists are certainly going there. But when we get there we’ll have a chance to make things better because Hell is supposed to be a mess. And heaven is perfect. Who wants to go to a place that is perfect? Boring, boring.” Turner suggests that Hell will be one big party, and Heaven as a bunch of monks standing around watching paint dry.

At Willy Nelson’s birthday bash on television (in 2003), Aerosmith’s lead singer Steven Tyler said, “Happy birthday, Willie. Here’s hoping that we’ll have twice as much fun in Hell as we did here on earth trying to get there.”

The humorous author Mark Twain also quipped, “I’ll take Heaven for the climate, and Hell for the company.”

 

Hell is denied by many, and has been reduced to a trivial verbal epithet that we sling around when wanting to express extreme size, frustration, or some kind of anger:

A cold day in Hell
A hell of a mess
A living hell
All hell broke loose
Catch hell
Come hell or high water
Get the hell out of there
Give ‘em hell; Go to hell!
Have been to hell and back
Hell-bent on ‘something’
Hell hath no fury like _______
Hell on earth
Hell on wheels
Hell raiser
Hotter than hell
Living hell
Mad as hell
No chance in hell
Play hell with _______
Raise hell
Scare the hell out of _______
Shot to hell
The day hell freezes over
There’ll be hell to pay!
Went through hell
What the hell?
Would see [someone] in hell before [one] would [do something]

 

People don’t take Hell very seriously. However, I don’t think they would be so flippant about Hell if they really understood the ‘reality’ of it. Generally, fear of Hell is almost nonexistent.

The thing is, the Bible says that the ‘real’ Hell is not a temporary ‘house’ like the ones they put up during Halloween.

 

Perhaps you’ve heard the story about the message one man left on his tombstone. It said, “Consider, young man, as you walk by, as you are now, so once was I. As I am now, you soon shall be, so prepare, young man to follow me.” That sounded pretty profound, but someone took a knife and scratched a response on the tombstone that read, “To follow you is not my intent; until I know which way you went!” The Bible teaches us that this life is not all that there is. After death there exists two eternal realities. All of us shall spend eternity of one of two places—Heaven or Hell!

British author and lay theologian, C.S. Lewis, was told about a gravestone inscription that read; “Here lies an atheist—all dressed up and nowhere to go.” Lewis quietly replied, “I bet he wishes that were so.”

The Bible tells us that everything we see around us is temporary, but we are made to last forever. It is what we don’t see that is ultimately going to last. One day your heart is going to stop and that’s going to be the end of your body, but it’s not going to be the end of you. This life is the warm up act, the preschool, the first lap around the racetrack, the first page of the book.

 

So, let me ask you a question: “If something bad was going to happen to someone—especially someone that is really ‘close’ to you—wouldn’t you try to prevent it?”

Well, the Bible says there is something REALLY BAD that will happen to many people—they will GO TO HELL after they die—and it says that MANY, MANY people are going there every day!

Worldwide, more than 150,000 people die every day. That’s 4.5 million each month (a number that exceeds the population of Los Angeles). What fate awaits them? Do they really Rest In Peace, or do they find a different reality beyond the grave?

 

My life goal is, To take as many people to Heaven with me as I can.” So, I suppose that the opposite is also true: “To not have anyone I know go to Hell!”

So, let me try to condense for you specifically what the Bible says about Hell.

 

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT HELL

Hell is an appalling truth, and its severity is a prominent teaching in the Bible. We rightly recoil at the thought of it.

So then, what is Hell like? Well, to put it in the simplest of terms, Hell is ‘separation’ from God. It means that for all eternity we will live apart from God and all that is good. Those in hell will be banished from the most loving ‘being’ in the universe! They will also be excluded from everything of value and beauty, and everything that ultimately matters. They will live terribly alone. They will be plagued by desire and know nothing of fulfillment. Hell is living forever in the presence of shame, regret, anguish and conscious failure. Never again will a person experience a meaningful relationship or know anything of love.

 

The Bible teaches that Hell is a very ‘real’ place, and not invented by the church as a way of scaring your children to be good at bedtime [ ;^D ]. The Bible presents a terrifyingly clear case for a literal Hell. It’s a place where God punishes unbelievers for all eternity! Hell is not a ‘state of mind’ or a ‘hard life’ on this earth. Your state of mind can change, and your circumstances can improve. Hell never changes, never improves! Hell is not chastisement; it’s everlasting, insufferable punishment at the ‘hands’ of an angry God.

[ Consider reading Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”:
https://www.blueletterbible.org/comm/edwards_jonathan/sermons/sinners.cfm ]

 

Hell is a place of remorse and despair, an eternal desire for freedom, memories of lost opportunities, and regrets over deeds committed. It’s a place of absolute hopelessness, a place of fire, of remorse for not listening to the Word of God, and a place without opportunity and hope. It’s eternal separation from loved ones—especially God.

There are many places in the Bible that speak about all of these ‘concepts’ relating to Hell: “Destruction” (2 Peter 2:1, 3:7, 9; Jude 5, 10 ,11); “Punishment” (2 Peter 2:9; Jude 7); “Judgment” (2 Peter 2:4, 9; Jude 4); “Condemnation (2 Peter 2:3; Jude 4); “Hell” (2 Peter 2:4); and “Retributive suffering” (2 Peter 2:13) that await the ungodly who don’t ‘follow’ Jesus. Hell is described as “the gloom of utter darkness” (2 Peter 2:17; Jude 13) and the “punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7, 23)—all terms that would have been very familiar to everyone back in the first century, and hopefully to you now!

 

Some people think that the idea of Hell is cruel, unfair, and unkind—that God would send people into everlasting punishment—but the Bible says it’s true!

Hell is a hard doctrine to digest—perhaps the hardest doctrine. It stretches our puny human minds to comprehend how divine justice responds to human guilt. We naturally resist the idea of a place to torment human beings.

Reformed Protestant theologian, Jonathan Edwards, wrote of Hell: “This doctrine is indeed awful and dreadful. It is dreadful to think of it, but yet tis what God the eternal God who made us and who has us soul and body in his hands has abundantly declared unto us, so that so sure as God is true there will absolutely be no end to the misery of hell.”

British Particular Baptist preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, said from his pulpit: “Until we know the power of divine grace, we read in the Bible concerning eternal punishment, and we think it is too heavy and too hard, and we are apt to kick against it, and find out some heretic or other who teaches us another doctrine; but when the soul is really quickened by divine grace, and made to feel the weight of sin, it thinks the bottomless pit none too deep, and the punishment of Hell none too severe for sin such as it has committed.”

Pastor and author, John MacArthur, had this to say about preaching on the subject of Hell: “This truth of eternal punishment to come on those who do not believe the Gospel savingly is a painful message to preach. I can give you testimony to that. It is not only a painful message to preach, it is a painful message to hear. It is a painful message to process. It is a painful truth to apply, but it is biblical.”

British writer and lay theologian, C.S. Lewis, no stranger to the difficulty of Hell himself, wrote, “In all discussions of Hell we should keep steadily before our eyes the possible damnation, not of our enemies nor our friends (since both these disturb the reason) but of ourselves.”

The doctrine of Hell stands as a warning and a reminder of what a loathsome reality sin is. No reasonable or godly person delights in the reality of eternal damnation. God Himself says, “as I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” [ Ezekiel 33:11 ].

 

John Lennon of the Beatles wrote a song and encouraged us to “Imagine there’s no Heaven…No Hell below us.” Well, at least for me, there’s one thing for sure, he’s not ‘imagining’ it now!

The thing is, we don’t have to ‘imagine what Hell will be like—the Bible give us many details:

– A lake of fire (Revelation 20:15); People in it that never burn up, but the pain will be there forever

– An abyss [ pit ] (Revelation 20:1); Awful fear

– A place of weeping (Matthew 8:12); Because of the pain from the memories of the bad things you did

– A place of gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42); Much pain

– A furnace of fire (Matthew 13:4-42); Lava hot

– A place where there will be no rest (Revelation 14:11); No sleep or rest from pain, ever

– A place of everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46)

– A place of “darkness” (Jude 13)

– A place for the devil and his followers (Matthew 25:41)

– A place of torment (Luke 16:23, 24)

– A place without the slightest hope of release (Matthew 25:46)

– A place where the worm does not die (Mark 9:48); Worms eating your flesh

– A place where it will ‘rain’ fiery coals (Revelation 11:6,7; Psalm 140:10); Something like a volcano that has erupted and the lava is ‘covering’ the people

 

Sadly, there is be “masses” of people in Hell: “Therefore Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure…” [ Isaiah 5:14a ]. There will be no mercy, no hope, and no love—unimaginable fear and depression that never ends. Hell is the most awful, horrible place anywhere in the universe! It is living with the eternal pain of what could have been. It is living with the eternal suffering of knowing what you should have done, but were not willing to do. It is the eternal torture of knowing that you spent your life on things which had no lasting value. You lived out your days self-centered and self-indulgent—addicted to pleasing yourself, and now your choices are fixed. You are the ‘slave’ of your passions and your ‘peevishness’.

Sorrowfully, those who reject God and His way of not going to Hell don’t find rest when they die. They enter into eternal Hell where there’s no peace for the wicked. That’s a grim, terrible reality, but that’s what the Bible teaches.

 

Many people today don’t want to believe in Hell, because they do not want to change the way they live. They easily accept anything that smacks of doubt, because it gives them relief from thinking about the reality of eternity. But Jesus wanted people to think about eternity often.

 

WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT HELL

Jesus taught more about Hell than He did about Heaven—or any other topic. In fact, He spoke more about Hell more than everybody else in the Bible, combined—and He certainly didn’t apologize for it. This only makes sense, because we would expect that the One who came ‘from’ eternity would know about what will happen in eternity more than anyone else.

Jesus viewed Hell as a ‘real’ place, and certainly so should you. In fact, when Jesus talked about Hell, His purpose was always TO WARN. He used very ‘graphic’ words to portray Hell, and they clearly aren’t meant to provide comfort, but to frighten—far from legend, myth, metaphor, or allegory—and where wicked people will suffer the wrath of God.

According to Jesus, Hell is a place of outer darkness (Matthew 22:13) where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12). Hell is a fiery furnace (Matthew 13:42, 50) of unquenchable fires (Mark 9:48-49). Hell is a place of spiritual and bodily destruction (Matthew 10:28) where there are endless torments (Luke 16:23-24). Hell is most certainly a horrific place where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” and where “the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48).

Hell is defined in the New Testament by the Greek words “kolasis,” which means punishment, and the word “aionios,” which is the word eternal or everlasting. The same word is used to describe Heaven. In addition to that, the same word is used to describe God. So, if there is not an everlasting Hell, then there is not an everlasting Heaven, nor is there an everlasting God. It is clear in the Bible that God is eternal, therefore, both Heaven and Hell are also eternal.

 

More than 1,500 years ago, St. Augustine put it simply like this: “To say that life eternal shall be endless, [but that] punishment eternal shall come to an end is the height of absurdity.”

 

Jesus was definitely a “Hell-fire and brimstone” ‘preacher’. In His first ‘sermon’, “The Sermon on the Mount,” He said, “I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be guilty before the court and whoever says to his brother, you good for nothing, shall be guilty before the Supreme Court and whoever says, You fool, shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” [ Matthew 5:22 ].

Jesus then says, “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” [ Matthew 5:29 ]. Can you imagine gouging out your own eye? According to Jesus Himself, as horrible as that would be, digging your eye out would be FAR, FAR BETTER than being punished for your sins in Hell!

In the same sermon, Jesus said, “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, throw it from you. Better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” [ Matthew 5:30 ]. Later He said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul…our Lord says…but fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell” [ Matthew 10:28 ].

Jesus also said that “it would be better to have a millstone hung around your neck and thrown into the sea than to go into the unquenchable fire” [ Mark 9:43 ]. Jesus is trying to ‘dissuade’ us from going to Hell because it is a horrible place of suffering, torment and agony.

 

When Jesus describes Hell as a place of “outer darkness” (Matthew 25:30) it has been hard for me to imagine, because as a place of “fire,” how can there not be any light. That was a question for me until I was reading about individuals who worked in the deep mines far underground. There it is total darkness but also insufferable heat—heat so extreme that it can be tolerated for a few minutes at time. At a depth of only about 2 miles, the temperature in these mines is 158 degrees (Fahrenheit). So, at least here on earth, evidently it is possible to have tremendous heat and total darkness.

Now, just think what it would be like to dwell in utter darkness forever! Never again to see light. Never to see anything ever again. No wonder there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!

However, the Bible teaches that Hell was not originally made for people. It’s was a place that God prepared for Satan and the demons that followed him. Speaking of His own work on Judgment Day, it is said of Jesus, “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.’” [ Matthew 25:41 ]. Then it says that the angels “will cast them into the fiery furnace; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” [ Matthew 13:42 ]. The pain and torment will be so unimaginably intense!

That’s why Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Hell” [ Matthew 10:28 ]. Jesus is talking about God the Father here.

The Bible says that “the smoke of their torment rises forever 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” [ Revelation 14:10-11 ]. Those verses are difficult to read, and they’re even more difficult to imagine—since there is no means of escape, rescue, or relief—no way out, ever. The occupants of Hell are ‘sealed’ in their damnation (Revelation 22:11).

 

The Hell that Jesus describes is not the “hell-on-earth” that accompanies our bad decisions during this lifetime, and it’s certainly not the never-ending “party” that AC/DC describes in the song, “Highway to Hell.”

[ This parody of “Highway to Hell” (“Fly Away from Hell”) by the band ApologetiX tells a more accurate tale:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B76oCk96q6o&feature=youtu.be&t=27 ].

 

One of the tragic facts revealed by Jesus is that the ‘MAJORITY’ of the human race will spend eternity in Hell! So, Jesus pleads, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it” [ Matthew 7:13-14 ].

[ Consider how the book “Pilgrim’s Progress” presents this:
http://www.triviumpursuit.com/blog/2017/09/22/the-pilgrims-progress-the-narrow-gate/ ]

 

Jesus tries to illustrate this to His disciples by saying, “Once again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” [ Matthew 13:47-51 ]. Jesus then asked, “Have you understood all these things?” [ Matthew 13:52 ]. The disciples said that they did understand.

Jesus again warns that this is a place of eternal punishment that awaits the wicked on judgement day: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” [ Matthew 25:31-32 ]. Jesus’ ‘verdict’ is that believers are awarded everlasting life the unbelievers will go away into eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46).

Jesus chose strong and terrifying language when He spoke of Hell. I believe He chose to speak this way because He loves us and wanted to WARN US. So, let’s not miss the point: He spoke of Hell as a horrifying place, characterized by suffering, fire, darkness, and lamentation. I believe His intention was to stir a FEAR in us that would cause us to take Hell seriously and AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS!

 

The words of Jesus about Hell are shocking, but He thought it was critical that we understand them. So, to clarify what He was trying to communicate, He told a parable. It is referred to as “The Rich Man and Lazarus.”

When Jesus was telling this parable, He was talking to extremely ‘religious’ people—very devout, fastidious, and obsessive in their devotion to their religion and to God. So, the story about a man going to Hell unintentionally and unexpectedly is jolting to them—and it’s supposed to be. It is an unnerving story told to all who share a false confidence of arriving in Heaven, but who will be shocked to wake up in Hell. Jesus probably thought something like, “Better to be shocked now than then. To be shocked now is to be given a remedy. To be shocked then has no remedy, nor any escape.”

Jesus is inventing this dialogue to convey an answer to the questions: “What took the rich man to Hell?,” “What will take his five brothers there?,” and “What will take YOU there?”

 

THE “RICH MAN AND LAZARUS” PARABLE

As One who knows exactly what awaits the wicked, the clearest ‘picture’ Jesus gave of Hell was the story of a “Rich Man” (or “Dives”) who was ‘surprised’ to first, end up in hell, but secondly, was being tormented—since there was nothing about his life on earth, in his eyes, that indicated this terrible future that awaited him.

Even though the Rich Man could have easily assisted the beggar named Lazarus that was lying at his gate daily, he ignored him and went on enjoying his recognition and riches. Life was comfortable for him and he, no doubt, felt secure.

Yet, death changed everything—as both men passed through the death’s ‘portal’, an amazing reversal occurred. Lazarus died and angels carried him into “Abraham’s bosom” [an Old Testament allusion to Heaven], and the Rich Man found himself “in Hades (Hell), where he was in torment, and he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side” [ Luke 16:23 ].

[ Note: Where each man ended up after death would have astonished Jesus’ original audience and shattered their long held assumptions about wealth being a sign of Gods’ favor and blessings ].

Shocked that he has ended up in Hell, he cried out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue for I am in agony in this flame” [ Luke 16:24 ]. The Rich Man begged for even the smallest amount of water to relieve his suffering.

[ I think it’s worth consideration that the ‘thirst’ the Rich Man had is the same thirst that everyone has in this life has—the thirst for God. This thirst cannot be satisfied with anything the ‘world’ has to offer. Only Jesus can satisfy this thirst. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37). The thirst for God only becomes more intense and agonizing in Hell ].

Erwin Lutzer, pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, points out, “the most sobering thought that could ever cross our minds is the fact that the rich man in Hell (hades)…has [ still, to this day ] not yet received the drop of water for which he so desperately longed.”

Beyond the fact that Hell is a place of conscious misery, we also see that it is a place of memory and profound regret.

Pastor Erwin Lutzer, in his book “One Minute After You Die,” says that Hell is, “… a region of deprivation, and unending regret. There, with all their memories and feeling fully intact, images of their life on earth will return to haunt them. They will think back to their friends, family and relatives; they will brood over opportunities they squandered and intuitively know that their future is both hopeless and unending. For them death will be far worse then they imagined.”

There is no torment greater than an accusing memory, and it’s impossible to forget when you’re in Hell! The Rich Man could not take his money, but he did take his memories. Surely one of the most fearful horrors of Hell is the undying memory of what could have been!

 

Abraham then explains to the Rich Man that there is a “great chasm” between Heaven and Hell. (In other words, there is no hope of crossing over from one place to another). Once you’re there, your destiny is eternally set. No escape—EVER!

In the classic book “Dante’s Inferno,” Hell is described in graphic detail and with great imagination. Much of the book is based on conjecture (not the Bible) as to what Hell might be like. However, there is one thing in the book that is in full agreement with the Scriptures. Near the beginning of the book, the main character in the story sees a sign at the entrance to Hell that says: “Abandoned hope all you who enter here.” This much is certainly true. There is no hope after this life is over. In addition to that, there are no ‘second chances’ after death—no Purgatory, no reincarnation, and no way out—no kidding! FRIGHTENING!!! In fact, some passages even warn against this type of false hope!

For instance, Jesus told a parable about ‘second chances’ making His way to Jerusalem, and said that many who think they are going to Heaven, aren’t going—they will knock on Heaven’s ‘door’ and will not be let in! “When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out” [ Luke 13:25-28 ].

 

Some people would agree with Ted Turner when he said, “Hell won’t be so bad, I’ll be there with my buddies.” However, we don’t see the Rich Man reveling in fellowship with his friends. He is very much alone (Hell will not be at all like it is often characterized, as a giant lounge where between drinks people can recount their escapades on earth).

The Rich Man didn’t go on to say, “I’m glad my brothers will be joining me here. We’ll have a wonderful time together.” In fact, he’s not complaining about his situation, since he knows that he deserves it. The Rich Man expresses concern for his five brothers and he asks that someone be sent back to warn them that their choices in their life on earth will have consequences in their next ‘life’: “Please warn my five brothers lest they also come to this place of torment” [ Luke 16:28 ].

Only one thing will prevent this man’s brothers from joining him in Hell: to hear the Word of God and respond to it in faith (They have all the information they need; they just need to heed the information they have). That’s THE ‘MAIN’ message of this parable. In Hell it is too late to pray, it is too late to change your life, and it is too late to repent!

 

This is one of the most sober warnings that we will ever receive from Jesus—warning us that “now is the time” (Acts 3:19) for us to seal our eternity, because once we die, it’s too late and it’s too ‘far’.

This parable also gives not one hint whatsoever that the ‘door’ to Heaven will remain permanently open. There will be people on the “outside,” in a terrible place of punishment—a place called “Hell.” DON’T BE one of those people!

 

MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HELL

Now, there’s a few ‘misconceptions’ that you’ve might have read about, and I want to clear them up for you.

Some rather ill-informed people have tried to foster the idea that Hell is merely a state of mind (and others say that “hell” is here on earth). However, the Bible is clear that there is a ‘real’ place, not on earth, that people will ‘inhabit’: “The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of God’s Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” [ Matthew 13:41-42 ].

Yet another group agree that Hell is real, but believe that those sent there are simply incinerated, and that is the end of it (Annihilationism). Again, the Bible says differently: “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” [ Matthew 25:46 ].

Another belief is that, in the end, God is going to save everybody (Universalism). However, Jesus says differently: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” [ John 14:6 ]. In addition to this, Jesus told another parable that focused on how believers and unbelievers will live together here on earth, but will be separated on the “last day”: “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn’” [ Matthew 13:30 ].

Even others think God will give them a post-mortem opportunity (a “second chance”/Purgatory) to believe the Gospel and escape Hell. However, this violates the clear teaching of Hebrews 9:27 that states, “It is appointed for men to die once and after that face the judgment.” Christian preacher and author, John Blanchard, said it well: “All the ways to Hell are one-way streets. The idea that those who go there will eventually be released and join the rest of humanity in Heaven has not a shred of biblical evidence to support it.”

None of these concepts can be found in the Bible. God’s Word always speaks of Hell as a very literal place, filled with very literal people who will be tormented forever, that ended up there because they didn’t believe that Jesus was the only way not to be here, and who will never get another chance to leave there.

 

GOD’S LOVE/GOD’S JUSTICE

By far the most persistent ‘attack’ on the doctrine of Hell comes in the form of a question: “How can a loving God send anyone to Hell?” How can God punish a mere earthly lifetime of sin with suffering that lasts forever—without the possibility of ‘parole’? Surely those who lead reasonably respectable lives will not be treated in the same way as mass murderers, rapists, child abusers, and the like?

Well, first off, the Bible does certainly affirm that beyond question “God is love” (1 John 4:8), and love is an integral part of His very essence (He showed us this love by sending His Son, Jesus, to be the ‘substitution’ for the penalty for our sins). However, God’s love is not ‘sentimentality’, and to isolate one of His attributes leaves us with a lopsided caricature of God. In fact, the dominant biblical attribute of God is not His love, but His HOLINESS—He is called by His “holy name” more than all other descriptions combined. Being totally holy means that He is “of purer eyes then to see evil and cannot look at wrong” [ Habakkuk 1:13 ]. He has zero tolerance for sin, and is altogether righteous and just.

That’s not good news if we happen to be a sinner, which the Bible declares that we all are. “For all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory” [ Romans 3:23 ]. But thank God, that’s not the end of the story. However, it gets A LOT WORSE before it gets better!

 

We ‘fallen’ human beings tend to underestimate the immensity of our sin. We have a propensity to view our sins as “accidents, blunders, or mistakes.” But, unless sin is viewed in light of the holiness of a perfect God, it will never be seen as the odious evil and damnable thing that it really is (Isaiah 6). Only the all-holy and offended God knows the full extent of the sinfulness of our sin—and He tells us so in His “Word” to us (the Bible).

On a human level, it’s understandable when people recoil from the Bible’s teaching about eternal torment. It’s an absolutely horrible, terrifying doctrine. It’s impossible for us to conceive of a crime so severe—even the crimes of notorious people like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and Osama bin Laden—as to merit the everlasting, excruciating agony described in the Bible. But that shows just how little we understand the ‘sinfulness’ of sin on the one hand, and the holiness of God on the other. “God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). We will never fully comprehend Him—even in Heaven.

God sees things differently, more clearly, than we do. He sees our sin as insurrection and rebellion against His holiness (Exodus 31:14; Numbers 4:15). What’s more, He sees the hidden motives and intentions at the core of our actions (Matthew 5:28; Hebrews 4:12). Ouch!

 

While Hell is, in a sense, an awful reality, sin is actually the ULTIMATE ‘HORROR’ of God’s universe. Our sins are terrible, for each one of them is counted as ‘cosmic treason’ against the Sovereign lawgiver and judge of the universe.

The Bible describes our sin as “rebellion,” “ungodliness,” “lawlessness,” “wickedness,” and an “abomination” (Leviticus 26:27; Isaiah 32:6; 1 John 3:4; Ezekiel 18:27; Proverbs 15:9). Sinners then, are traitors, refusing to love, thank, serve, and obey the God who gave them life, breath, and every good thing.

The great Reformed theologian, Jonathan Edwards, explained it this way: “Our obligation to love, honor, and obey any being, is in proportion to his loveliness, honorableness, and authority; for that is the very meaning of the words. When we say any one is very lovely, it is the same as to say, that he is one very much to be loved. Or if we say such a one is more honorable than another, the meaning of the words is, that he is one that we are more obliged to honor. If we say any one has great authority over us, it is the same as to say, that he has great right to our subjection and obedience. But God is a being infinitely lovely, because he has infinite excellency and beauty. To have infinite excellency and beauty, is the same thing as to have infinite loveliness. He is a being of infinite greatness, majesty, and glory; and therefore he is infinitely honorable. He is infinitely exalted above the greatest potentates of the earth, and highest angels in Heaven; and therefore he is infinitely more honorable than they. His authority over us is infinite; and the ground of his right to our obedience is infinitely strong; for he is infinitely worthy to be obeyed himself, and we have an absolute, universal, and infinite dependence upon him. So that sin against God, being a violation of infinite obligations, must be a crime infinitely heinous, and so deserving of infinite punishment. The eternity of the punishment of ungodly men renders it infinite.” (“The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners” sermon).

 

Only when we recognize God’s infinite holiness will we know the horror of our sin. Only when we become aware of the awfulness of our sin, will we sense the dreadfulness of Hell.

Because God is holy, He is separated from all sin and utterly ‘opposed’ to every sinner. Because God is love, He delights in purity and must, of necessity, hate all that’s not holy. Because God is righteous, He must punish the sin that violates His holiness. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that there are ‘degrees’ of punishment in Hell.

Jesus spoke of those who would receive “the greater condemnation” (Mark 12:40). But, no “respectable” sinner can take any comfort from this. Man’s failure to give to God “the glory due his name” (Psalm 29:2) is an infinite evil deserving infinite punishment, and as in hell there is no opportunity or inclination to repent, God’s justice requires that it go on forever.

 

Here on earth you readily accept that there are escalating ‘levels’ in regards to the seriousness of offenses. For example, if you punch your neighbor, he may punch you back, slash your tires, or even report you to the police. If you assault your boss, he’ll fire you. If you strike a policeman, you’re in danger of getting tased, pepper-sprayed (or worse), and you’re definitely going to jail. Now, take it up a bigger ‘notch’: If you even attempt to assault the President of the United States, you’re going to prison for a long, long time—and if you try those shenanigans with any other head of state in another country, you’ll might just be executed.

So, here’s a question that might clarify this: What would be the best way to evaluate the horror of murder? Well, let me suggest that you should ask the ‘offended’ party. They would be able to provide a reliable account of the horror of murder. They would also be able to demonstrate a better understanding of its corresponding penalty. Why? Because they are the ones ‘AFFECTED’ by this evil.

Clearly, the seriousness of a crime is measured not only by its inherent nature, but also by the ONE ‘OFFENDED’.

Our sins have ‘offended’ an infinitely glorious and holy Being, and punishment must correspond to that offense. Sin is the ‘crime’ and death is its punishment. Hell is a place where people suffer the ‘just’ penalty for their moral crimes.

 

Now you might say, “The sentence doesn’t fit the crime! It’s unjust of God to cast someone into an eternal ‘fire’ for maybe 80-100 years of sin.” Well, the law determines that, doesn’t it? It determines the extent of the crime and what is a fitting punishment.

So, regarding sin against Himself, God (the “lawgiver”) has determined that the crime of sin is heinous enough that it should be judged with eternal punishment. That’s always the ‘hurdle’ that people have trouble getting over. How can a ‘temporal’ sins result in an eternal punishment? It seems excessive.

Well, the ‘size’ of the sin or the amount of time that we sin is irrelevant. Crimes against the infinitely holy God are infinitely wicked and deserve an infinite punishment.

The thing is, people who go to Hell never repent for their sins and continue to rebel—so it’s retributive justice. They remain God-haters forever so that the punishment never ‘catches up’ with their wretchedness. That is why the Bible describes this as “an eternal sin.” (Mark 3:29).

In Hell they continue to hate, curse, mock and blaspheme God the Father—and hate Jesus. They will remain forever rebellious, God-haters, lovers of sin, blasphemers of the Holy Spirit, and rejecters of the Lord Jesus Christ. If there is any ‘satisfaction’ or fulfillment of anything in Hell it is that they can be as wicked as they want to be without restraint, because there is no influence of God there. Hell is for those who hate God. They act against His mercy, grace, holiness, and His sovereignty—and will continue to do so forever.

There are many ‘roads’ to Hell, and in one sense, every sinner goes there on the road of his own sinful choices. Every sin ‘paves’ a little more of the road that arrives at Hell.

[ Note: I believe that sinners are more sinful in Hell than they were on earth. Everybody can’t be as wicked as he would choose to be here because there are consequences. There are restraints. But in Hell, there are none. Everybody is as evil as they can be ].

Again, Jonathan Edwards offers some insight: “It is an unreasonable and unscriptural notion of the mercy of God, that he is merciful in such a sense that he cannot bear that penal justice should be executed. This is to conceive of the mercy of God as a passion to which his nature is so subject that God is liable to be moved, and affected, and overcome by seeing a creature in misery, so that he cannot bear to see justice executed: which is a most unworthy and absurd notion of the mercy of God, and would, if true, argue great weakness—it would be a great defect, and not a perfection, in the sovereign and supreme Judge of the world, to be merciful in such a sense that he could not bear to have penal justice executed. It is a very unscriptural notion of the mercy of God. The Scriptures everywhere represent the mercy of God as free and sovereign, and not that the exercises of it are necessary, so that God cannot bear justice should take place. The Scriptures abundantly speak of it as the glory of the divine attribute of mercy, that it is free and sovereign in its exercises, and not that God cannot but deliver sinners from misery. This is a mean and most unworthy idea of the divine mercy.” (“The Eternity of Hell Torments” sermon).

 

So, just like any ‘good’ judge, God MUST punish wrongdoing (sin). He would be a poor judge if He failed to administrate justice. God’s justice will be meted out the precisely amount justice demands it should be. Which, when you think about it, is the worst of all possible news for us, because we won’t be able to ‘get away’ with anything—all our secrets will be exposed, and we will be called to give an account of everything we did and thought during our lives. The Bible says, “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” [ Romans 2:5 ].

The thing is, we all spurn God’s love, mock His justice, view His commands with contempt, and assault His holiness. In fact, because of our ‘hatred’, we ‘murdered’ God (Jesus) on a Calvary cross (Acts 2:23).

I find it ironic that those who protest the idea of eternal, conscious torment deride the doctrine with words like, “cruel,” “morally revolting,” “monstrous,” and “repugnant.” So then, Why don’t they employ the same terms of outrage to describe their sin? Simple: they fail to see sin as God sees it—“cruel,” “morally revolting,” “monstrous,” and “repugnant.” If we can’t see our sin as God sees it, it stands to reason that we don’t see the just judgment of Hell like He sees it either. We’re just going to have to trust that a good, loving and just God will mete out the ‘appropriate’ punishment to those who ‘deserve’ it—all those without a ‘relationship’ with Jesus.

 

It seems that what rankles people the most is the idea of the ‘wrath’ of God: “What kind of “loving” God is filled with such wrath that He sends people to suffer eternally?”

Well, stick with me here a bit while I try to explain why a ‘wrathless’ God cannot be a loving God. Yes, I really meant that!

In Becky Pippert’s book, “In Hope Has Its Reasons,” she writes, “Think how we feel when we see someone we love ravaged by unwise actions or relationships. Do we respond with benign tolerance as we might toward strangers? Far from it. … Anger isn’t the opposite of love. Hate is, and the final form of hate is indifference.”

Pippert then quotes a noted theologian of last century, E. H. Gifford: “Human love here offers a true analogy: the more a father loves his son, the more he hates in him the drunkard, the liar, the traitor.”

She concludes, “If I, a flawed, narcissistic, sinful woman, can feel this much pain and anger over someone’s condition, how much more a morally perfect God who made them? God’s wrath is not a cranky explosion, but his settled opposition to the cancer of sin which is eating out the insides of the human race he loves with his whole being.”

 

Now, God is not just angry but is loving, too (John 11:35)—both at the same time! The thing is, He doesn’t only judge evil, but He also takes the judgment Himself for us (by dying on the Cross). It is only because of the doctrine of judgment and Hell that Jesus’ proclamation of grace and love are so brilliant and astounding.

 

Jesus, being fully divine and fully human, is THE ONLY ‘substitute’ for our sins. Since He, being God, is the only One that can take on the required infinite penalty. So, those who fail to believe in Jesus as the ‘Mediator’ for their sins, will have to pay the penalty for themselves—in eternal Hell!

 

Even after reading all of this, many people still suppose that at the “final judgment,” God will use ‘measuring scales’. If their good deeds outweigh their bad ones, then they will make it into Heaven. However, if their bad’s deeds outweigh their good ones, they will go to Hell. The thing is, the Apostle Paul paints a different picture about deeds. No amount of “works” (deeds) can get one into Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9; Luke 7:49-50).

The Apostle Paul goes on to say, although we CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED by our own deeds, we CAN BE DECLARED RIGHT with God on account of Jesus’ saving work (Romans 3:21-31). His ‘work’, centered on His substitutionary death on the cross, displays God’s love and justice—at the same time! It shows that God loves us, even while we were sinners (Romans 5:6-11). It shows that God is just, requiring that the penalty of arson and guilt be paid (Romans 3:24-26). But, instead of us paying the penalty, Jesus voluntarily takes it upon Himself. All who have faith in Jesus will be declared right with God because their sin has been ‘transferred’ to Christ’s spiritual ‘bank account’ (Romans 3:21-5:11). So then, all others will suffer the consequence of their sin and guilt—torment in Hell.

 

Now, as was mentioned previously, most people get ‘stuck’ on the question, “How can a loving God send people to Hell.” Well, let me suggest a different question that we should all be asking: “How can a God of such infinite holiness declare the guilty to be right with Him and allow anyone into His perfect Heaven? I ask it that way since “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:2) and “nothing unclean will ever enter Heaven” (Revelation 21:27). We all should be ‘exterminated’, right now, on the spot!

 

So, let’s be clear here. In the truest sense, God doesn’t send anyone to Hell—we ‘send’ ourselves. God gives us this wonderful—and terrible—thing called freedom of the will. The choices we make this very moment will determine whether we will live with God or without Him. It’s that simple!

The blame is squarely on our ‘shoulders’. We are ‘rebels’ who deserve the punishment of our sins—which is Hell. Sinners only have themselves to blame.

God could justly send all of us to Hell. Astonishingly, Jesus died in our place and resurrected to save us. So, all those who trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord will be declared right with God and all of their sins will be forgiven!

 

However, being ever the loving ‘gentleman’ He is, God will not coerce you into making the right decision. You are a free moral agent. It would be ‘hell’ for those who rebelled against God all their lives to be suddenly ‘cast’ into Heaven.

English philosopher and lay theologian, G. K. Chesterton, wrote that, “Hell is God’s great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice.”

American theologian and apologist, J. P. Moreland, said, “If God has given people free will, then there’s no guarantee that everybody’s going to choose to cooperate with him. The option of forcing everyone to go to Heaven is immoral, because it’s dehumanizing; it strips them of the dignity of making their own decision; it denies them their freedom of choice; and it treats them as a means to an end.”

The problem of the human family is pride and the will. We do not want to surrender to anyone, even God.

 

Still, after all this, some will say that they could never love a God that sends people to Hell. However, this makes about as much sense as ‘clay’ looking up at the Potter and saying, “I really think you messed up here. Let me show you a better way to mold me.” What absurdity—but we do it all the time to God!

God takes NO DELIGHT in the death of the wicked—that’s why He’s SLOW in bringing judgment. Not because He doesn’t care about those that are suffering right now in the midst of sin, but because He loves the sinner and He desires that NONE SHOULD PERISH but all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

God has gone to great lengths to offer forgiveness —“He gave His only Son,” who “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (John 3:16; Philippians 2:8). However, Scripture also paints the picture of a holy and just God “who will by no means clear the guilty” and has in store “the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Exodus 34:7b; Romans 2:5b).

 

In light of all of this I’ve said, it is merely the pleasure of God Himself that His wrath did not fall on you (and me) last night, last week, or last year. In fact, it is very evident that God has been REMARKABLY PATIENT with us all!

 

HOW NOT TO GO TO HELL!!!

So, hopefully, if you are not a “born again” Christian, you are REALLY ‘NERVOUS’ right now…and THAT’S GOOD! You SHOULD BE!!! BUT, stick with me here for just a bit longer, so I can tell you HOW TO ‘ESCAPE’ HELL!

 

So then, if facing the full brunt of the wrath of God for all eternity is the worst possible calamity, then the greatest deliverance becomes immediately clear. You must be ‘rescued’ from the wrath of Almighty God—and this IS POSSIBLE!: “For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” [ 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 ].

It’s really clear and simple: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” [ John 3:36 ].

 

Hopefully, I’ve vividly shown—based on the Bible—the horrendous reality of Hell. BUT, don’t get ‘depressed’ just yet, since there is REALLY “good news.” Let author and lay theologian, C.S. Lewis’ help us understand Hell better by what he posited in his book, “The Great Divorce.”

It depicts a busload of people from Hell who come to the outskirts of Heaven. There they are urged to leave behind the sins that have trapped them in Hell. The descriptions Lewis makes of people in Hell are so striking because we recognize the denial and self-delusion of substance addictions. When addicted to alcohol, we are miserable, but we blame others and pity ourselves; we do not take responsibility for our behavior or see the roots of our problem. Lewis writes: “Hell…begins with a grumbling mood, and yourself still distinct from it: perhaps even criticizing it…You can repent and come out of it again. But there may come a day when you can do that no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even enjoy it, but just the grumble itself going on forever like a machine.”

Perhaps the greatest paradox of all is that the people on Lewis’s bus from Hell are ‘enslaved’ because they freely chose to be. They would rather have their freedom (as they define it) than salvation. Their relentless delusion is that if they glorified God, they would lose their human greatness (Genesis 3:4–5), but their choice has really ruined their human greatness. Hell is, as Lewis says, “the greatest monument to human freedom.”

 

So, what sends people to Hell? You ‘CHOOSE’ to go! (by not repenting of your sins). It’s that simple!

Another illustration might make all this a bit more clear: One day, when Vice President Calvin Coolidge was presiding over the Senate, one Senator angrily told another to go “straight to hell.” The offended Senator complained to Coolidge as presiding officer, and the Vice President looked up from the book he had been leafing through while listening to the debate and wittily replied. “I’ve been looking through the rule book. You don’t have to go.”

You REALLY DON’T HAVE TO GO TO HELL! Just HEED the Word of God, REPENT of your sins, and BELIEVE in Jesus as your Savior!!!

 

Heaven is for those who believe the saving ’Gospel’ of Jesus that God has clearly revealed in Scripture, who respond to it, believe it, and who ‘assent’ to and embrace it. The divine gift of saving grace that spares the guilty from eternal punishment and brings them to eternal joy always comes through faith in the Word of God, not some mystical spirituality or vague ‘spiritual feeling’.

The truth is that God loves you and He DOESN’T WANT you to go to Hell—especially since it wasn’t originally intended for human habitation. Jesus said, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” [ Matthew 25:41 ]. Hell was ‘created’ for Satan and his demons, not people. As C.S Lewis summarizes, “Any man may choose eternal death. Those who choose it will have it…There are only to kinds of people in the end; those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ or those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell choose it.”

 

SALVATION

We have all ‘assaulted’ God (Romans 3:23), and WE ALL DESERVE HELL!

The righteous Judge of all the earth will one day rise up and call every creature into account (Genesis 18:25; Hebrews 9:27; 1 Peter 4:5). He will open the ‘books’ and mete out a just sentence for every sinful thought, word, and deed (Romans 2:5; Revelation 20:13).

Yes, God’s judgment is unbearable, but it is never unjust (Genesis 4:13)—and that is why “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” [ Hebrews 10:31 ]. God will ‘rise up’ in judgment and cast all unbelievers into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14), and all creation will praise His justice. To accuse God of injustice for sentencing sinners to Hell is the height of arrogance and audacity.

 

BUT, God in His mercy ‘devised’ a plan to save all who believe in His Son, Jesus, from the ultimate calamity, the fierceness of the His wrath. What a deliverance! What a rescue! God sent His only Son to SAVE US from His own wrath! AMAZING!

We are saved primarily from the wrath of the perfectly holy God, although Jesus’ atonement also releases us from ‘slavery’ to sin and the Devil (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). To put it in clear terms—we are saved BY God, FROM God, FOR God! (“For My name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of My praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you but not like silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake I do it, for how should My name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” – Isaiah 48:9-11).

Jesus’ atonement for our sins satisfies God’s divine wrath—a ‘propitiation’. We are all justly under God’s condemnation for even the smallest of sins, for we owe our ‘Creator’ nothing less than perfect obedience. Jesus pays the ‘debt’ of punishment in our place, so God can be favorable to all who trust only in Jesus as their Savior.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God” [ Romans 5:6-9 ].

 

Atonement is central to Christian theology, and without the ‘Cross’ we do not have Christianity. Much of the New Testament is devoted to explaining and clarifying what happened on the Cross, and the atonement that was necessitated by the problems that sin brought to our relationship with God (Romans 3:21–26). To understand the atonement, therefore, we must first understand how our transgressions affect our relationship with God.

First, as a result of sin, we have incurred a ‘debt’ to God. Since God is Creator and Sovereign King, He has the absolute right to impose ‘obligations’ on us. God first imposed His law on us in Eden, commanding Adam and Eve to obey Him by not eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:15–17). Adam’s disobedience, therefore, is our disobedience, and when Adam sinned, we incurred an infinite debt against God (Romans 3:23; 5:12–21; 1 Corinthians 15:22). No sinner can pay this debt, for it takes someone of ‘infinite worth’ to satisfy this charge against us. Jesus, however, could pay this debt because of His infinite worth as the Son of God. His sacrifice pays the debt for Adam’s sin, and for all of our individual transgressions when we trust in Jesus alone, and we are counted righteous ‘in’ Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Sin also puts us at ‘enmity’ with God. It has broken our relationship with Him and has made us His ‘enemy’ (Hosea 1:2; Romans 3:23). We have wronged God by our sin, and ‘destroyed’ our relationship with Him—and the only way to restoration is through Jesus the ‘Mediator’. Despite having broken this bond with Him, God sent His Son to atone for the sins of His people. In Jesus, we are God’s children, we have peace with God, and our relationship with Him is restored (John 3:16; Romans 5:1; 8:1–17; Ephesians 1:3–6).

[ For more info on having peace ‘with’ God, and the peace ‘of’ God, visit this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/know-peace-v201/ ].

 

In our sin, we have also committed a ‘crime’ against God and are worthy of the penalty of Hell. As our righteous Judge, God cannot merely dismiss this penalty. It must be paid, though WE COULD NOT EVER PAY IT! But, God, in His ‘amazing’ grace, will accept a ‘substitute’. Jesus bore our curse of Hell on the Cross so that we could receive His steadfast love and mercy (Romans 3:21–26; Galatians 3:10–14). God’s righteousness and love ‘mesh’ at the Cross (Psalm 85:10). But for those who do not receive the Son of God, God’s wrath will be “revealed” from Heaven (Romans 1:18), and the full brunt of that wrath will be meted out in judgement. To these, Jesus says, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done” [ Revelation 22:12 ].

 

So, if you ‘reject’ Jesus, Hell is exactly what you’ll get. JESUS IS THE ONLY ‘WAY’ NOT TO GO TO HELL!!!

Listen to the words of Jesus about this: “I have come as light into the world, and everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My sayings and doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I didn’t come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My teaching, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day” [ John 12:46 ]. Every person is going to be dammed to eternal Hell by the Word and by the Truth, which will render its judgment on all those who refuse to believe them—by believing the saving ‘Gospel’ revealed in the Bible, and knowing that there’s “no other name under Heaven given among men where we must be saved” [ Acts 4:12 ].

The “good news” of the Gospel is that God made a way for His righteousness and His love to be fully reconciled. In His incarnation, Jesus fulfilled justice (satisfying, not notifying, the demands of His law). In His death on the cross, Jesus paid the price of His people’s sin in full (assuring the triumph of perfect justice). In Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, He put a powerful ‘exclamation mark’ on His own perfect, finished work of atonement (thus sealing the promise of justification forever for those who trust Him as Lord and Savior).

So, thank God for the wonderful good news: “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” [ Romans 10:9-10 ].

 

That’s the heart and soul of all of this: REPENTANCE. So, repent and call out to Him now! ASK God to ‘accept’ you into His family! [ See “Prayer of Repentance” in this post ].

Now, since I am telling you all this, you no longer can ‘PLEAD IGNORANCE’. You have been told that the ‘path’ you are on is going to lead to destruction—however, you now have been counseled on how to avoid it. “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” [ Ephesians 4:18 ]. Please don’t ‘harden’ your heart to any of this. PLEASE INVESTIGATE ALL OF THIS FOR YOURSELF!

[ Please consider watching the “Pilgrim’s Progress” movie that talks about the right ‘path’ to take to get to Heaven:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sInqquA2uAQ ].

 

Know this, Satan will continue his efforts to make sin less offensive, Heaven less appealing, Hell less horrific, and the Gospel less urgent. BUT, don’t be ignorant of Satan’s means. The Word of God leaves no doubt about the existence or nature of Hell. With clarity and authority, God has told us everything we need to know about Hell, and how to avoid it by believing in Jesus!

 

PLEASE CONSIDER ALL OF THIS!

So, based on the Bible, there are only two eternal destinies—Heaven or Hell—and the Bible says that everyone’s destiny is linked to their ‘relationship’ to Jesus. He either ‘consigns’ the wicked to “eternal punishment” or grants the righteous “eternal life.”

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Every human being is in the process of becoming a noble being, noble beyond imagination; or else, alas, a vile being beyond redemption. The dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet if at all only in a nightmare. There are no ordinary people.  It is immortals that we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit; immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

In either case, whether immortal horror or everlasting splendor, those are the only two realities. The arrival at the point of death is instant, and the person is fully aware of whether they are in horror or in splendor (Heaven or in Hell). Pastor Erwin Lutzer comments: “And so while relatives and friends plan your funeral, deciding on a casket, a burial plot, and who the pallbearers shall be, you will be more alive than you have ever been. You will either see God on His throne surrounded by angels and redeemed humanity, or you will feel an indescribable weight of guilt and abandonment. There is no destination midway between these two extremes, just gladness or gloom.”

Further, he writes, “Nor will it be possible to transfer from one region to another, no matter how endless the ages, no matter how heartfelt the cries, no matter how intense the suffering, your travel plans are limited to your present abode. Those who find themselves in the lower, gloomy regions shall never enter the gates that lead to endless light and ecstasy. They will discover that the beautiful words spoken in their eulogy bear no resemblance to the reality that now confronts them.”

 

Nobody can think properly about the fearful reality of Hell—let alone try to write a post on it—and remain emotionally and psychologically unaffected. Yet, Hell is “good news.” What?! Yes, it ‘vindicates’ God’s character, showing that He is utterly holy and just. It ‘guards’ the new creation against the possibility of ever again being invaded by Satan (or affected by sin), and assures that the “new Heavens and new earth” will be a home “where righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13), and where God’s redeemed family will live in His glorious presence forever! It assures that all of the redeemed that “death shall be no more, neither shall there be morning nor crying nor pain, for the former things have passed away” [ Revelation 21:4 ].

 

I, like you, have been to a few funerals in our lives—and some may have been for very close relatives of family members. The emotions can be intense and debilitating, with may tears related to that loss. However, anguishing as the emotions can be, let me suggest, very compassionately, these tears are ‘caught up’ in the sadness of an earthly loss, and there is something even more important than this—sorrow over their ETERNAL JUDGMENT!  People think very little about their own loved one’s eternal destiny or what that person might be experiencing at that very moment. I am reminded what Jesus said about this: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in Hell” [ Matthew 10:28 ].

All of us prefer to worry about dying rather than worry about Hell—after all, dying happens only once, and then it is over. Hell, on the other hand, is forever—and sometimes we really can’t ‘wrap our minds’ around that concept. However, in addition to Hell being ‘painful’, I would argue that far more TERRIFYING is its duration—FOREVER!

 

In the “Sermon on the Mount,” often known for its emphasis on love and the Kingdom, Jesus teaches the reality and nature of death (Matthew 5:20-30; Matthew 7:13-27). Jesus contrasts Hell with the Kingdom of Heaven, and warns that Hell is a real danger for unrepentant sinners. The fire of Hell, the justice of death, and the extreme suffering in Hell are particularly stressed. The unrepentant person is warned to use extreme measures to avoid being cast into Hell by God.

As Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount, He contrasts the Kingdom of Heaven with the horrors of Hell (Matthew 7:13-27). Jesus cautions that Hell is a place of destruction, depicted as the end of a “broad road.” Hell awaits everyone who does not enter the Kingdom of Heaven—even those who profess to know Jesus but continue to ‘blatantly’ sin. Jesus is the Judge and King who personally excludes the wicked from His presence and the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s why you need to have a ‘relationship’ with Him!

 

For me, the ‘SCARIEST’ passage in the Bible doesn’t directly address Hell. Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” [ Matthew 7:21-23 ]. OMG!

It is sad to think that there are people reading this who—in the greatest shock they will ever experience—will end up in Hell, having thought they were headed for Heaven! However, Hell is dominated almost totally by people who didn’t think they would end up there! [ Remember the Barna Group study said that only 1% think they will be going to Hell ].

Certainly, these people all thought they were headed for Heaven, because they say, ”Well, I’m a good person. I’m a religious person. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. So, I’m going to Heaven. God certainly wouldn’t send me to Hell.” Well, Hell is going to be FULL OF ’SURPRISED’ PEOPLE.

The fact is, many the ‘traditions’ of Christianity, like going to church and ‘cleaning yourself up’ (stop drinking, smoking, and don’t have sex outside of marriage)—are all ‘good’ stuff! But NONE of these claims ‘makes’ you a Christian. It is “by Scripture alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.” (The “Five Solas”).

On “Judgment Day,” MANY people will recite a ‘laundry list’ of “Christian” activities that they did—going to church, getting baptized, tithing, reading their Bible, helping the poor, and the like. However, concerning these, paraphrasing, Jesus might say something like, “That was all wonderful stuff you did, but you NEVER “KNEW” ME, so “DEPART” from Me! (Matthew 7:23). Well, the only other place available for you to go, at that point, is out of Jesus’ presence…HELL!

 

In the last book in the Bible, the Apostle John—as a ‘revelation’ from Jesus—depicts the most terrifying ‘images’ of Hell. The thing is, John is not writing to unbelievers to ‘scare’ them into Heaven, but was focused on WARNING BELIEVERS to keep the faith in the midst of great adversity and despair

[ Consider watching this portion of this “Pilgrim’s Progress” movie for a visual representation of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sInqquA2uAQ&feature=youtu.be&t=4651 ].

 

In fact, the descriptions of Hell in Revelation 14 and 20-21 were written with the seven churches of Revelation 2-3 in mind (Ephesus; Smyrna; Pergamum; Thyatira; Sardis; Philadelphia; and Laodicea). There were churches that had left their “first love” (Ephesus-Revelation 2:4), followed the heresy of false teachers (Thyatira-Revelation 2:20), or had become complacent and “lukewarm” (Laodicea-Revelation 3:15-17). It is to these type of people—people that confess Jesus with their lips, but deny Him by their actions—that God reserves the most ‘scathing’ descriptions of Hellfire and brimstone for!

 

Just like the Apostle John, the purpose of me telling you about Hell and describing it with such detail (and so repeatedly), is to produce FEAR, TERROR, and PANIC in you!

It is to ‘FRIGHTEN’ and ‘HORRIFY’ you—hopefully, ‘driving’ you in the direction of repentance and faith in Jesus!

 

My heart ‘aches’ for all unbelievers, since HELL IS REAL and I don’t want them to go there! It is my hope that you will not have the same kind of ‘ALLERGIC’ REACTION to Hell as others do—making God ‘fit’ into your own moral standards and moral sentimentality—but now have a view of God that believes what He says, even when it doesn’t make perfect sense to you right now!

 

Please understand my heart—I am asking this of you for the same reason Jesus gave His warnings. It’s the MOST LOVING THING I can do. To WARN YOU of your IMPENDING DOOM!

 

I am encouraging yo to be one of the wiser few, who make it their main ‘business’ to lay a foundation for eternity—to secure their salvation! PLEASE INVESTIGATE what I have presented here—your eternal destiny could be at stake, and none of us knows how long we have to live on this earth—and the Bible says that we MUST DECIDE BEFORE WE DIE! Don’t be one of the multitude that leads a careless life, taking little care about their salvation. They worry more about their next vacation than where they will spend eternity!

The thought of Hell is ‘paralyzing’ to most people, which is why it’s existence is ignored. After all, how can we possibly carry on with life if we are constantly ‘mindful’ of a “fiery place of torment”? Yet, that’s the whole point of why I am writing this post, and the sense of ‘urgency’ I am trying to ‘project’—wanting to ‘stir up’ a passion for it in you, not so you will be overwhelmed, but that you would live differently in light of it, and MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT GOING TO HELL!

 

So, let me suggest that you stop trying to ‘explain away’ the concept of Hell, just because you don’t like thinking about it—and just focus on what the Bible says about the urgency of making sure your are ‘reconciled’ to God by ‘placing’ your faith in Jesus!

While Hell can be a ‘paralyzing’ doctrine, it also can be an ‘energizing’ one. Hell is the ‘backdrop’ that reveals the profound and unbelievable grace of the ‘Cross’. It brings to light the ENORMITY OF OUR SIN and portrays the UNDESERVED FAVOR of God to us. Jesus freely chose to bear the wrath that you and I deserve, so we can experience eternal life in the presence of God the Father!

Again, my intent for doing this is to help you understand the ‘weight’ and urgency of making sure you are truly “born again,” and have embraced all that God has said about making sure you AREN’T GOING TO HELL!

I BEG YOU to be absolutely sure that you are not headed to Hell. So, take the time to honestly ‘deal’ with the issue, and be sure you are secure ‘IN’ Jesus.

 

I have tried to present, from my best understanding of the Bible on this, that Hell is a real place for those who choose to ‘reject’ God, and HIS ‘parameters’ about how NOT TO GO THERE!

God is not up in Heaven looking for any poor soul to send send to Hell. In fact, God declares the opposite: “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn away from his way and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11). God just wants you to REPENT and TURN FROM YOUR SINFUL WAYS! Jesus is ‘calling’ you to respond to Him—to trust Him; to embrace Him; to put your faith in Him.

So, accept the incredible ‘GIFT’ of the Cross, where Jesus took upon Himself the punishment we deserve and gives to us the life, healing, and redemption that comes only through His wonderful grace.

The Apostle Paul said this: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God…behold, NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION” (Emphasis mine) [ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21; 6:2 ].

God extends mercy to all—He wants all to know Him. He ‘urges’ all to be reconciled to Him through His Son Jesus!

 

The ‘door’ is open NOW—while you are living—but, it won’t stay open for you forever! You are a sinner in need of a Savior and God has provided that through the person and work of Jesus Christ. You must ‘ABANDON’ ALL RELIANCE ON YOURSELF and what you think you should ‘DO’ to get to Heaven. Flee to Jesus and put your trust in who He is and what He has done for you!

 

Therefore, believe in Jesus, come to Him, commit your souls to Him, to be saved by Him. In Him you shall be safe from the eternal torment of Hell. That’s not all! Through Him you shall inherit inconceivable blessedness and glory. For, at the last day, the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment and the righteous—those who trust in Jesus—will go into life eternal!!! (Matthew 25:46).

 

How can you rest one moment in such a condition? Please WAKE UP out of your ‘sleep’—you CANNOT BEAR the fierceness and wrath of an infinite God! “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away” [ Genesis 19:17 ]. A most PRECIOUS OPPORTUNITY for your eternal destiny is in your ‘hands’ RIGHT NOW!

Put your faith in Jesus, and the grace of God will ‘pour’ into your life, and you will be redeemed, regenerated, and renewed. You will ‘escape’ Hell and spend forever in the glory of Heaven with the “Trinity”!

 

The time to miss Hell is now, while there is still time. No one knows when time will run out for them!

Hell is the REAL ‘house’ of horrors!!!

 

[ Excerpts from: Dr. E. Winson Butler; John MacArthur; Voddie Baucham; Jonathan Edwards; John Bunyan; R.C. Sproul; John Piper; Tim Keller ]

 

P.S.:
Believers should be conscious of Hell all the time, and marked by both gratitude and urgency. Gratitude for their own ‘rescue’—that they will never experience Hell and remember that Jesus received God the Father’s full wrath and fury for ALL their sins, while urgently laboring for the ‘rescue’ of others! Hell is for real; it is forever; and NO ONE ‘NEEDS’ to go there!!!

 

RELATED POSTS:

“April ‘Fools’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/april-fools-v230/

“A ‘Place To Retire”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-place-to-retire-v221/

“‘Saved’ From Death”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/

“‘Mayday!-Mayday!-Mayday!’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mayday-mayday-mayday-v218/

“Know ‘Peace’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/know-peace-v201/

“The ‘Greatest’ Worry”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-greatest-worry-v195/

 

 

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying in the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

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Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We’ve Made Up
By: Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle

How could a loving God send people to Hell? Will people have a chance after they die to believe in Jesus and go to heaven?

With a humble respect for God’s Word, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle address the deepest questions you have about eternal destiny. They’ve asked the same questions. Like you, sometimes they just don’t want to believe in hell. But as they write, ”We cannot afford to be wrong on this issue.“ This is not a book about who is saying what. It’s a book about what God says. It’s not a book about impersonal theological issues. It’s a book about people who God loves. It’s not a book about arguments, doctrine, or being right. It’s a book about the character of God.

Erasing Hell will immerse you in the truth of Scripture as, together with the authors, you find not only the truth but the courage to live it out.

—————-
Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell
By: John H. Gerstner

Book by John Gerstner Dr. Gerstner was an ardent student of the famous Jonathan Edwards. In this short work, previously published by Baker, he examines the teaching of Edwards on the subjects of heaven and Hell.

https://www.amazon.com/Jonathan-Edwards-Heaven-Hell-Gerstner/dp/1573580880/

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Is Hell for Real or Does Everyone Go To Heaven?
Editors: Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson
Contributors: Timothy Keller, R. Albert Mohler Jr., J. I. Packer, and Robert W. Yarbourgh

Both outside and inside of the church, many people today are increasingly uncomfortable with hell. They wonder: How could it be fair to punish anyone for eternity? Will Jesus really condemn millions simply for not believing the right things about him? Isn’t God a God of love, not vengeance? The top-notch contributors to Is Hell for Real or Does Everyone Go to Heaven? tackle these and other questions with an even-handed survey of the Bible’s teaching on this difficult subject. Together, they present a careful case for upholding hell, showing that it remains central to a right understanding of God, the gospel, humanity, and God’s purposes for the world. Useful for group discussion or individual study, Is Hell for Real or Does Everyone Go to Heaven? provides an accessible introduction to the historic Christian doctrine of hell.

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Hell, A Teaching Series
By: Dr. R.C. Sproul

Lecture 1, The Place of God’s Disfavor
Lecture 2, The Great Separation
Lecture 3, Degrees of Punishment
Lecture 4, The Point of No Return
Lecture 5, Questions and Answers

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/hell/

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What Is Hell? (Basics of the Faith)
By: Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson

Morgan and Peterson set forth a clear biblical theology of hell, addressing the major questions people have and applying what the Bible has to say about it to Christian living.

https://www.amazon.com/What-Basics-Faith-Christopher-Morgan/dp/159638199X/

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HELL
By: Ligonier Ministries (“Tabletalk” Magazine – February 2014)

The February 2014 issue of Tabletalk examines the biblical doctrine of eternal punishment. This doctrine has come under increasing attack in recent years, not only by those outside the church who ridicule the very idea, but also by many within the church who reject it for misguided reasons. Many argue that the doctrine of hell is unjust. Others argue that it is unloving. Some argue that it is inconsistent with the idea of God’s victory over evil. The reasons for the rejection of the doctrine of hell are many and varied, but the fundamental question remains the same: What hath God said? When we focus on this question, the answer is clear. The consistent teaching of the Bible is that those who reject Christ will be cast into the lake of fire, where they will be punished forever.

Contributors include R.C. Sproul along with John MacArthur, Robert A. Peterson, John Blanchard, Christopher W. Morgan, Steven J. Lawson, R.C. Sproul Jr., Michael Reeves, Brad Waller, Jay E. Adams, Joe Carter, Tim Challies, Albert N. Martin, and Eric B. Watkins.

https://www.ligonier.org/store/tt-february-2014-magazine/

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One Minute After You Die
By: Erwin W. Lutzer

“One minute after you die you will either be elated or terrified. And it will be too late to reroute your travel plans.“

Death comes to all, and yet death is not the end. For some, death is the beginning of unending bliss, for others, unending despair. In this latest edition of the bestselling book One Minute After You Die, Pastor Erwin W. Lutzer weighs the Bible’s words on life after death. He considers:

– Channeling, reincarnation, and near-death experiences
– What heaven and hell will be like
– The justice of eternal punishment
– Trusting in God’s providence
– Preparing for your own final moment

Though the afterlife is shrouded in mystery, the Bible does peel back the curtain. Dr. Lutzer will help you understand what is on the other side.

May the reality of eternity quicken and comfort you today.

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Hell and Future Punishment: Select Sermons of Jonathan Edwards
By: Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) stands as one of America’s greatest philosophers and theologians. His passion for preaching spawned the Great Awakening during the eighteenth century. Part of the reason for that great revival was his vivid and passionate preaching on Hell. Included in this collection of writings are “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” “The Future Punishment of the Wicked,“ “The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners,” and more.

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HELL

We have often heard statements such as “War is hell” or “I went through hell.” These expressions are, of course, not taken literally. Rather, they reflect our tendency to use the word hell as a descriptive term for the most ghastly human experience possible. Yet no human experience in this world is actually comparable to hell. If we try to imagine the worst of all possible suffering in the here and now we have not yet stretched our imaginations to reach the dreadful reality of hell.

Hell is trivialized when it is used as a common curse word. To use the word lightly may be a halfhearted human attempt to take the concept lightly or to treat it in an amusing way. We tend to joke about things most frightening to us in a futile effort to declaw and defang them, reducing their threatening power.

There is no biblical concept more grim or terror-invoking than the idea of hell. It is so unpopular with us that few would give credence to it at all except that it comes to us from the teaching of Christ Himself.

Almost all the biblical teaching about hell comes from the lips of Jesus. It is this doctrine, perhaps more than any other, that strains even the Christian’s loyalty to the teaching of Christ. Modern Christians have pushed the limits of minimizing hell in an effort to sidestep or soften Jesus’ own teaching. The Bible describes hell as a place of outer darkness, a lake of fire, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, a place of eternal separation from the blessings of God, a prison, a place of torment where the worm doesn’t turn or die. These graphic images of eternal punishment provoke the question, should we take these descriptions literally or are they merely symbols?

I suspect they are symbols, but I find no relief in that. We must not think of them as being merely symbols. It is probable that the sinner in hell would prefer a literal lake of fire as his eternal abode to the reality of hell represented in the lake of fire image. If these images are indeed symbols, then we must conclude that the reality is worse than the symbol suggests. The function of symbols is to point beyond themselves to a higher or more intense state of actuality than the symbol itself can contain. That Jesus used the most awful symbols imaginable to describe hell is no comfort to those who see them simply as symbols.

A breath of relief is usually heard when someone declares, “Hell is a symbol for separation from God.” To be separated from God for eternity is no great threat to the impenitent person. The ungodly want nothing more than to be separated from God. Their problem in hell will not be separation from God, it will be the presence of God that will torment them. In hell, God will be present in the fullness of His divine wrath. He will be there to exercise His just punishment of the damned. They will know Him as an all-consuming fire.

No matter how we analyze the concept of hell it often sounds to us as a place of cruel and unusual punishment. If, however, we can take any comfort in the concept of hell, we can take it in the full assurance that there will be no cruelty there. It is impossible for God to be cruel. Cruelty involves inflicting a punishment that is more severe or harsh than the crime. Cruelty in this sense is unjust. God is incapable of inflicting an unjust punishment. The Judge of all the earth will surely do what is right. No innocent person will ever suffer at His hand.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of hell is its eternality. People can endure the greatest agony if they know it will ultimately stop. In hell there is no such hope. The Bible clearly teaches that the punishment is eternal. The same word is used for both eternal life and eternal death. Punishment implies pain. Mere annihilation, which some have lobbied for, involves no pain. Jonathan Edwards, in preaching on Revelation 6:15-16 said, “Wicked men will hereafter earnestly wish to be turned to nothing and forever cease to be that they may escape the wrath of God.” (John H. Gerstner, Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell [Orlando: Ligonier Ministries, 1991], 75.)

Hell, then, is an eternity before the righteous, ever-burning wrath of God, a suffering torment from which there is no escape and no relief. Understanding this is crucial to our drive to appreciate the work of Christ and to preach His gospel.
Summary

The suffering of hell is beyond any experience of misery found in this world.
Hell is clearly included in the teaching of Jesus.
If the biblical descriptions of hell are symbols, then the reality will be worse than the symbols.
Hell is the presence of God in His wrath and judgment.
There is no cruelty in hell. Hell will be a place of perfect justice.
Hell is eternal. There is no escape through either repentance or annihilation.
Biblical passages for reflection: Matthew 8:11-12, Mark 9:42-48, Luke 16:19-31, Jude 1:3-13, Revelation 20:11-15.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

https://www.ligonier.org/blog/hell/

—————-
Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels and Demons

The concept of the invisible spiritual realm is something which is difficult for us to grasp. What we can see, hear, and feel we can take on face value that it is reality. But what about those things that are unseen? Scripture speaks about heaven, hell, angels and demons which are a part of this invisible spiritual realm. Internationally renowned Bible teacher R. C. Sproul helps us gain an understanding of these things so that we can come to a realisation that in fact all four are true realities that impact upon our everyday lives.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

https://www.amazon.com/Unseen-Realities-Heaven-Angels-Demons/dp/1845506820/

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Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment
By: Christopher W. Morgan, Peterson, Robert A. Peterson

Of all the teachings of Christianity, the doctrine of hell is easily the most troubling, so much so that in recent years the church has been quietly tucking it away. Rarely mentioned anymore in the pulpit, it has faded through disuse among evangelicals and been attacked by liberal theologians. Hell is no longer only the target of those outside the church. Today, a disturbing number of professing Christians question it as well. Perhaps more than at any other time in history, hell is under fire. The implications of the historic view of hell make the popular alternatives, annihilationism and universalism, seem extremely appealing. But the bottom line is still God’s Word. What does the Old Testament reveal about hell? What does Paul the apostle have to say, or the book of Revelation? Most important, what does Jesus, the ultimate expression of God’s love, teach us about God’s wrath?Upholding the authority of Scripture, the different authors in Hell Under Fire explore a complex topic from various angles. R. Albert Mohler Jr. provides a historical, theological, and cultural overview of “The Disappearance of Hell.” Christopher Morgan draws on the New Testament to offer three pictures of hell as punishment, destruction, and banishment. J. I. Packer compares universalism with the traditional understanding of hell, Morgan does the same with annihilationism, and Sinclair Ferguson considers how the reality of hell ought to influence preaching. These examples offer some idea of this volume’s scope and thoroughness.Hell may be under fire, but its own flames cannot be quenched by popular opinion. This book helps us gain a biblical perspective on what hell is and why we cannot afford to ignore it. And it offers us a better understanding of the One who longs for all people to escape judgment and obtain eternal life through Jesus Christ.

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Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment
By: Robert A. Peterson

With extreme care and faithfulness to Scripture, Peterson sets forth the case for eternal punishment and refutes four alternative views. A timely response to current denials of the historic position.

https://www.amazon.com/Hell-Trial-Case-Eternal-Punishment/dp/0875523722/

—————-
Heaven and Hell
By: Edward A. Donnelly

A moving exposition, marked by biblical realism and pastoral warmth, of the solemn reality of hell and the matchless glory of heaven, by the author of Peter: Eyewitness of His Majesty.

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Hell-Edward-Donnelly/dp/0851518117/

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Whatever Happened to Hell?

Whatever Happened to Hell? is classic John Blanchard in every sense of the word. His book first appeared in 1993 and then as now the doctrine of hell was treated with such great caution by so many preachers and Christian teachers that it was in danger of disappearing from the consciousness of many believers. This new edition has been revised and now includes the ESV as the main source of Scripture quotations.

An outstanding, and sobering, volume from John Blanchard. Many would air-brush hell out of all thought today – or at least play down its horror and duration. Dr J.I. Packer says in the Foreword that he “gratefully commends [the book] and hopes it will be widely read”. The need is no less now, and Dr Blanchard’s approach of helping confused Christians as well as targeting complacent unbelievers is as fresh as ever. This new edition has been revised and now includes the ESV as the main source of Scripture quotations.

Nobody can think seriously about hell and remain emotionally and psychologically unaffected. The idea that after a few years of life on earth an untold number of human beings, many of whom would be thought of as decent, law-abiding citizens, will spend eternity in indescribable agony and exposed to God’s relentless anger is overwhelming.

Reaction to the paralysing prospect of everlasting punishment varies from those who dismiss the whole idea because they reject the authority of Scripture to those who seek to soften its impact by reducing hell to manageable proportions. What does happen after death? What if the traditional pictures of hell as a place of endless punishment and suffering are true? What if millions of ordinary men and woman are on their way there? What if we are? And if so, is there any way in which we can avoid hell or evade it? These are vitally important questions and this book sets out to find answers to them.

‘Theologically and pastorally, John Blanchard’s work is a valuable contribution on a difficult theme. I gratefully commend it and hope it will be widely read’.
Dr J.I.Packer, retired Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver.

‘As extensive a treatment of the biblical doctrine of hell as is ever likely to be written in our contemporary climate. It performs a splendid service for the next generation of gospel preachers, to whom it is dedicated’.
The Rev David Jackman, Past President, The Proclamation Trust.

‘I can’t think of any other book that covers this ground as thoroughly.’
Christian Herald.

‘This can only be described as a life-changing book.’
Reformation Africa South.

[ John Blanchard ]

https://www.amazon.com/Whatever-Happened-Hell-Blanchard-Classic/dp/0852349793/

 

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“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what it really means to “believe,” visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d2_1of10.html ].

 

ARTICLES:

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Nightmare on 13th

What unearthly horrors lurk within Nightmare on 13th this year? Allow us to shed a little light among the shadows for you!

Make haste as you navigate the aquatic depths, for those who linger too long may fall victim to the treacherous tentacles of Cthulhu! The “Great Old One” has been awakened, and will not tolerate anyone foolishly trespassing in his realm.

Hiding among the droves of decaying bones of the ossuary, are bloodthirsty creatures of the night, waiting anxiously for their next meal to wander into their midst. Only the fortunate will escape their embrace!

It is an egregious error to enter the dark labyrinth of the mine; for here, the goblins harvest and horde their precious stones. Any who dare to venture near their treasure, will suffer unspeakable consequences when captured!

This, of course, is but a taste of the fearsome feast that awaits within the walls. So, come witness for yourself all the reasons why Nightmare on 13th continues to be a “haunt” above the rest!

You’re not too scared, are you?

https://www.nightmareon13th.com/

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Hell House: The evangelism strategy that aims to scare people into heaven

Outreach is often urged on evangelical Christians, but maybe most of us have been doing it all wrong?

Some evangelists will point to the love of God and the hope of eternal life, but one US church has for decades been promoting salvation through a fiercer, more fiery means: an ‘experience’ known as a ‘Hell House’.

The Hell House riffs on your Halloween-inspired ‘haunted house’ funfair-ride, with a more theological slant – where non believers are taken on a dramatic tour of human depravity that supposedly inspires you to turn to Christ.

As the Friendly Atheist summarises: ‘The rooms in these houses typically include scenes of a woman having an abortion, a school shooting…a former beauty queen descending into prostitution, a gay person dying of AIDS…It’s why, by the end of your journey, you will hopefully commit to Christ to prevent all these awful awful things from occurring.’

It’s the 27th year that Trinity Church in Cedar Hill, Texas is hosting a Hell House event. And why stop? Just last year saw 9,249 visitors, 640 conversions and 1,165 recommitments to Christ. Isn’t God clearly at work?

One visitor was less positive, detailing the graphic horror that awaits at this hellish youth-centric experience in a Vice exposé.

Jeremy Donovan, the youth director at Trinity Church says the Hell House is ultimately about encountering the ‘love of Jesus’, but I have questions.

Pastor Jeremy Donovan from Trinity Church says the experience is about encountering the love of Jesus.
This may just be a whacky outlier even in US evangelicalism (it would never fly in the UK), but as a clearly established and quite successful event it demands to be challenged.

However well-intentioned, at its heart the Hell House appears to centre on a gospel pitch that relies on fiery damnation for its rhetorical spark. And theologically, this is a far more popular idea – that you can’t preach Jesus until you’ve preached the terrifying hell he saves us from. Otherwise, why did Christ come? Skipping out on the eternal conscious torment awaiting unbelievers is just liberal weakness, say the hell-raisers.

But you don’t have to be a Rob Bell-adoring revisionist to think that’s wrong. Did you know that in the entirety of Scripture, the words ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ never appear in a verse together? And yet evangelical theology has ridden for decades on a rhetorical paradigm that says that life is about just that: choosing heaven or choosing hell. We’re worthless, doomed sinners – but God punished Jesus so we can escape eternal judgement. That’s a caricature, but one not far from what many promote.

The love of God, the restoration of all things, the cost of discipleship and the call of the Church to serve the world – these themes are often omitted from evangelical preaching. And that’s tragic, because they really are essential to Scripture’s story. Christ talked about hell, absolutely, but it wasn’t just a scary set-up for his Gospel preach. And his gravest warnings of judgment came not for unbelievers but for the religious who claimed to be speaking for God.

And if Christians ‘speaking for God’ today end up terrifying outsiders with a mentally traumatic, emotionally abusive and theologically inaccurate picture of the Gospel – one more likely to deter them from faith than attract them to it – then woe unto them. The gospel literally means ‘good news’. We should start preaching like it is.

https://hellhouse.org/

https://hellhouse.org/about/

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Welcome to a Texas hell house, where wayward Christians are scared straight

A mother of three who sent her husband off to work with a smile and a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies, Carol Endicott seemed to have the perfect life. Until she was killed in a car crash, denied entry to heaven and dispatched by demons to spend eternity in the broiling pits of hell.

Carol’s grim demise forms the plot of Unexpected, one of hundreds of evangelical Christian theatrical twists on haunted houses that are produced by American churches each year in the run-up to Halloween. They aim to scare the wayward on to the path of righteousness with a rather more serious question than “trick or treat?” – heaven or hell?

Groups of about 15 people, ranging from young children to seniors, waited in the basketball-court sized hall of Houston’s Central Baptist church last Friday for their visit to the Judgement House as a clock ticked down on a TV screen.

When it was our turn we gathered outside the door leading to the first of a series of scenes acted out by volunteers in adjacent rooms. “This journey will take you through twists and turns that will ultimately cause you to ponder the reality of life beyond the grave,” our guide said.

We met the Endicott family at the breakfast table, then followed a daughter, Abby, as she went to a puppet ministry show at Bible school. In the third room, a friend, Sarah, persuaded Abby to accept Jesus as her saviour.

This was timely since events took a dramatic lurch in the next scene as we arrived in a mocked-up TV news studio and watched a screen with a “live” report from outside a cafe. A teenage driver had lost control of a car while texting and ploughed into the terrace, killing Sarah, Abby and Carol, whose bodies were covered by white sheets next to the vehicle.

Next we went to the funeral home, where Abby’s little brother, Jason, touched their caskets tenderly and looked forward to seeing them again in the afterlife.

In a scene from Central Baptist church’s hell house, the brother mourns the deaths of his sister and mother as his father waits to discuss where their spirits are heading. Photograph: Max Burkhalter for the Guardian

On to the shimmering gates of heaven, guarded by God (an old white man). God sat behind a desk with a gavel and a Bible and made big decisions. Abby? Check. Sarah? Go right along with the angels, too. Enter Carol.

“May I join the girls now?” she asked God. “I’m sorry, Carol,” he replied, “but you will not be allowed to enter heaven.” Though she had many qualities, she had not accepted Christ before her death. “You must now pay for your own sins,” said God.

Carol did not see this coming. “I volunteered at the soup kitchen! I’ve won awards for my good deeds! You’re God. Can’t you make an exception?” Then she was dragged away screaming by two black-hooded denizens of the underworld, which was about as definitive a “no” as it gets.

God called each member of the audience by name and asked us to step forward. “It’s not your time yet but do remember this,” he intoned sternly. “The unexpected happens every day and one day you will stand in judgment.”

We crossed the hall to catch up with Carol and found her cowering on the ground in a barren, fiery landscape as Satan towered over her and taunted her in a booming voice amplified by a reverb microphone. The devil did indeed get the best lines.

“IS THIS WHAT YOU EXPECTED, CAROL?” he yelled. “THE FLAMES NEVER GO OUT. YOU CAN FEEL YOUR SKIN MELTING THROUGH YOUR BODY AS THE WORMS BURROW THROUGH YOUR BONES.”

If Carol thought that being a kind person and going to church at Christmas and Easter would be enough to secure eternal bliss, she was sadly mistaken. “ALL ROADS LEAD TO HEAVEN, CAROL?” said Satan. “NOT GOOD ENOUGH, CAROL!”

Jesus and the angels welcome characters into heaven. Photograph: Max Burkhalter for the Guardian

After that, it was a relief to walk to heaven, cool, silvery-white and welcoming, to see Sarah and Abby with Jesus. Finally, the group was shepherded into a room where a church representative invited us to reflect on what we had seen, stressed the urgency of making a commitment to Christ given this life’s unpredictable nature and the dire consequences of dying an unbeliever, and led the room in prayer.

As we left, there were two choices: go downstairs to the parking lot and concessions stand, or enter the “encouragement” room, where pastors waited to welcome those ready to dedicate, or rededicate, their lives to Jesus.

Back in the hall, Isaac Milbourn, the lone child in our group, said the experience was “pretty cool. I liked that it took you through different scenarios.” Was it frightening? “Not really,” the 12-year-old said. His favourite scene was “the end, in heaven”.

The late televangelist Jerry Falwell is credited with popularising “hell houses” in the 1970s as a way for Christian fundamentalists to respond to Halloween, with its perceived pagan roots and trivialising of death.

A volunteer waits o give out pamphlets in the final room where there will be a discussion. Photograph: Max Burkhalter for the Guardian’

They remain widespread, though their uncompromising stances on topics such as abortion, homosexuality and suicide have brought criticism. A 2006 report from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy institute described some performances as “literally demonizing” LGBT youth.

The most famous and one of the biggest hell houses, near Dallas, is in its 25th year.

This was the Houston church’s second production. It bought the rights from a Florida-based ministry called Judgement House, which offers two-dozen tailor-made fictional scripts that focus on ordinary people forced to face a reckoning, whether through criminal acts, natural disasters, accidents or even carbon monoxide poisoning.

Their website lists about 120 Judgement House productions this year, mostly in the south and midwest, and stresses that their scripts do not deal with “socially controversial issues” found in hell houses promoted by others such as Keenan Roberts, a Colorado pastor who started selling templates in the 1990s.

“It’s the greatest evangelistic tool that we have as a church. We reach a lot of unchurched people,” said Sharon Reagan, Central Baptist’s music director. In 2014, she said, there were 1,997 attendees and 487 “decisions for Christ”. The cast of 50, drawn from the church’s congregation of about 550, had rehearsed since August and performed about 18 shows on busy nights, when groups came through every couple of minutes.

Reagan’s thoughts were already turning to next year. “You’re always thinking, how can I ramp up heaven? How can I ramp up hell? What can I do to make it better? Those ideas are already formulating,” she said.

In 2016 the church plans to put on Web of Lies, in which a murderous internet stalker is executed and meets his father in the afterlife. “There’s a kerfuffle in hell,” Reagan said.

Jason Corkran was part of a four-Satan rotation. “What we’re doing in here can’t even begin to touch the surface of the reality of it. I do think it’s important we make it as real and frightening as we can,” he said during a brief gap between performances. He stood in robes behind a chain-link fence in the semi-darkness, his frightful makeup not running despite the hot-as-hell heat created by setting the air conditioning to 88F.

Satan tells a story. Photograph: Max Burkhalter for the Guardian

Corkran approached his role with gusto and was genuinely menacing. About 18 months ago the 27-year-old found himself “very backslidden in my faith” until “God kind of woke me up”. For him, this was more than mere acting. “This is my way of letting people know what Satan does, his lies and deceit,” he said. “It’s personal – I believe it’s real and every single person coming through here tonight is going to face an eternity either here or in heaven.”

Last year he played the devil on a few nights and on others a character named Jake who was hauled to hell by demons. “I think they like me for these parts as I’ve got a good scream,” he said, just before the room went pitch-dark as another group filed in and the flames flickered, Carol wailed and Corkran yelled, glowering and gesturing, scaring for Jesus.

[ Central Baptist Church ]

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/31/halloween-texas-hell-house-wayward-christians-scared

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Hell: The Real House of Horrors

One of the major reasons why so many people don’t get saved is because they really don’t believe that there is a literal, burning hell. If one would really get a vision, a picture of this awful place called hell, they would get saved. One of the reasons why so many of us Christians are not living the lives we ought to live is because we really don’t believe that there is a hell. If we did, we would live differently for the sake of those who are lost. The reason so many of us Christians are not engaged in the work of witnessing for Christ as we ought to be, is because many of us really don’t believe that there is a literal, burning hell.

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Hell Colloquialisms

(all) shot to hell
(as) hot as hell
(someone or something) from hell
a cold day in Hell
a hell of a
a hell of a mess
a hell on earth
a living hell
a match made in hell
a snowball’s chance in hell
a/one hell of a…
all hell breaks loose
all hell breaks/is let loose
all hell broke loose
all over creation
all over Hell and half of Georgia
all over hell’s half acre
as hell
as much chance as a wax cat in hell
as sure as hell
be (all) shot to hell
be going to hell
be hell on
be hell on (one)
be hell on wheels
be hell-bent on
be hell-bent on something/on doing something
be no screaming hell
be shot to hell
be the day hell freezes over
beat the hell out of
beat the hell out of (someone)
beat the living daylights out of
beat the shit out of (someone)
beat/knock/kick the hell out of somebody/something
been to hell and back
break loose
by hell or high water
catch hell
come hell or high water
devil of a
fight like hell
for the devil of it
for the hell of it
forty minutes of hell
frighten the hell out of
frighten the hell out of (one)
frighten the pants off (of) (one)
from hell
from hell to breakfast
get (the hell) out of Dodge
get hell
get the hell out
get the hell out (of someplace)
give (one) hell
give hell to
give somebody hell
give someone hell
give them hell
go hell for leather
go through hell
go through hell and high water
go to hell
go to hell and back
go to hell in a bucket
go to hell in a handbasket
go to hell in a handcart
have been to hell and back
have no chance in hell
have the devil to pay
He that would go to sea for pleasure, would go to hell for a pastime
hell
Hell and half of Georgia
hell and high water
hell around
hell for leather
Hell has no fury like a (certain type of person) scorned
hell has no fury like a woman scorned
hell hath no fury
hell hath no fury like a (certain type of person) scorned
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
hell mend (one)
hell of a
hell of a lot of
hell of a mess
hell of a note
hell of a someone/something
hell of a time
hell on
hell on (someone or something)
hell on a holiday
hell on earth
hell on wheels
hell or high water
hell or high water, come
hell raiser
hell to pay
hell week
hell with that!
hell/the devil to pay
Hell’s bells and buckets of blood!
hell-bent for
hell-bent for leather
heller
hell-on-wheels
hell’s bells
hell’s bells and buckets of blood
Hell’s bells!
hell’s half acre
Hell’s Kitchen
hell’s teeth
hot as blazes
hot as hell
in (the) Sam Hill?
in one hell of a hurry
It’ll be a cold day in hell
it’ll be a frosty Friday
kick the hell out of (someone)
knock the hell out of
knock the hell out of (someone)
like a bat out of hell
like hell
like hell and high lightning
Like hell!
like the devil
living hell
mad as a hornet
mad as hell
no screaming hell
not a cat in hell’s chance
not a hope in hell
not have a (snowball’s) chance in hell
not have a cat in hell’s chance
not have a chance in hell (of doing something)
not have a hope in hell
not have a hope in hell (of doing something)
not have a snowball’s chance in hell
not have a snowball’s chance in hell and not a hope in hell
once hell freezes over
one hell of a (something or someone)
play (merry) hell with (someone or something)
play hell
play hell with
play hell with somebody/something
play hell with someone/something
play hell with something
play merry hell
put (one) through hell
quicker than hell
raise Cain
raise Cain/hell
raise hell
raise hell with someone
raise hell with something
raise the devil with someone
raise the devil with something
road to hell is paved with good intentions
road to hell is paved with good intentions, the
scare the hell out of (one)
scare the hell out of someone
scare, annoy, etc. the hell out of somebody
see (one) in hell before (doing something)
see (one) in hell first
see somebody in hell first
shoot to hell
shot full of holes
shot to hell
snowball’s chance in hell
snowball’s chance in hell, a
someone or something from hell
sure as hell
the hell out of
the hell with (someone or something)
The hell you say!
the road to hell is paved with good intentions
there will be hell to pay
there’ll be hell to pay
through hell and high water
To hell and back
To hell in a handbasket
To hell with it!
To hell with that!
Until hell freezes over
Went thru hell
What in the hell?
What the hell!
What the hell?
When hell freezes over
Who in the hell?
Who the hell?
Would see (someone) in hell before (one) would (do something)

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Rich Man and Lazarus

A “God Provides Series” film learning experience from Crown Financial Ministries.

Sermon Outline:
http://www2.crown.org/FilmLicensing/downloads/Rich%20Man%20and%20Lazarus%20Sermon%20Outline.pdf

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The Rich Man & Lazarus

Dr. Sproul delivers an amazing message from the Gospel of Luke (16:19-31).
[ R.C. Sproul ]

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A Testimony of One Surprised to Be in Hell

We come now to the study of the Word of God, and it’s the 16th chapter of the gospel of Luke, Luke chapter 16. This is one of the sections in the gospel of Luke that is unique to Luke and very, very powerful. It is a story that Jesus told that is indelible, and unforgettable, and well-known to students of the Bible. It is the story of the rich man and Lazarus.

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon Series:
Part 1: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-212/
Part 2: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-213
Part 3: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-214
Part 4: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-215/
Part 5: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-216/

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The Rich Man and Lazarus

[ 2008 Resolved Conference – John MacArthur ]

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The Rich Man & Lazarus – Is Hell A Real Place?

Sharing this message with love for all those that are not saved. If parents taught this at home, if teachers taught this in school, if preachers taught this in church America would be a lot more moral today.

Many will comment that Hell is not real and we just get separated from God when we die. That we just no longer exist. Well that’s all I wanted when I contemplated suicide when I was younger. Now that I am born again I am certain that Hell is real and the devil is a liar who wants you to go to Hell with him.

Please don’t take this message as a joke and find out the hard way through death. You very soul depends on your decision friend. Yeshua Jesus Saves! Follow Him!

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7 God bless you and your families. Know Jesus! Repent of your sins. Let the Potter mold his clay into something wonderful.

[ Shaking My Head Productions ]

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Theology / Heaven and Hell

[ Ligonier Ministries (R.C. Sproul) ]

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/topics/heaven-and-hell/?type=article

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Preaching Hell In A Tolerant Age

Many today reject the idea of final judgment and hell. Tim Keller advises pastors on how to deliver the very important biblical message to those who may not want to hear it.

The young man in my office was impeccably dressed and articulate. He was an Ivy League MBA, successful in the financial world, and he had lived in three countries before the age of thirty. Raised in a family with only the loosest connections to a mainline church, he had little understanding of Christianity.

I was therefore gratified to learn of his intense spiritual interest, recently piqued as he attended our church. He said he was ready to embrace the gospel. But there was a final obstacle.

“You’ve said that if we do not believe in Christ,” he said, “we are lost and condemned. I’m sorry, I just cannot buy that. I work with some fine people who are Muslim, Jewish or agnostic. I cannot believe they are going to hell just because they don’t believe in Jesus. In fact, I cannot reconcile the very idea of hell with a loving God—even if he is holy, too.”

This young man expressed what may be the main objection contemporary secular people make to the Christian message. (A close second, in my experience, is the problem of suffering and evil.) Many today reject the idea of final judgment and hell.

Thus, it’s tempting to avoid such topics in our preaching. But neglecting the unpleasant doctrines of the historic faith will bring about counterintuitive consequences. There is an ecological balance to scriptural truth that must not be disturbed.

If an area is rid of its predatory or undesirable animals, the balance of that environment may be so upset that the desirable plants and animals are lost—through overbreeding with a limited food supply. The nasty predator that was eliminated actually kept in balance the number of other animals and plants necessary to that particular ecosystem. In the same way, if we play down “bad” or harsh doctrines within the historic Christian faith, we will find, to our shock, that we have gutted all our pleasant and comfortable beliefs, too.

The loss of the doctrine of hell and judgment and the holiness of God does irreparable damage to our deepest comforts—our understanding of God’s grace and love and our human dignity and value to him. To preach the good news, we must preach the bad.

But in this age of tolerance, how?

How to Preach Hell to Traditionalists
Before preaching on the subject of hell, I must recognize that today a congregation is made up of two groups: traditionalists and postmoderns. The two hear the message of hell completely differently.

People from traditional cultures and mindsets tend to have (1) a belief in God and (2) a strong sense of moral absolutes and the obligation to be good. These people tend to be older, from strong Catholic or religious Jewish backgrounds, from conservative evangelical/Pentecostal backgrounds, from the southern U.S., and first-generation immigrants from non-European countries.

The way to show traditional persons their need for the gospel is by saying, “Your sin separates you from God! You can’t be righteous enough for him.” Imperfection is the duty-worshiper’s horror. Traditionalists are motivated toward God by the idea of punishment in hell. They sense the seriousness of sin.

But traditionalists may respond to the gospel only out of fear of hell, unless I show them Jesus experienced not only pain in general on the cross but hell in particular. This must be held up until they are attracted to Christ for the beauty of the costly love of what he did. To the traditional person, hell must be preached as the only way to know how much Christ loved you.

Here is one way I have preached this:

Unless we come to grips with this terrible doctrine, we will never even begin to understand the depths of what Jesus did for us on the cross. His body was being destroyed in the worst possible way, but that was a flea bite compared to what was happening to his soul. When he cried out that his God had forsaken him, he was experiencing hell itself.

If a mild acquaintance denounces you and rejects you—that hurts. If a good friend does the same—the hurt’s far worse. However, if your spouse walks out on you, saying, “I never want to see you again,” that is far more devastating still. The longer, deeper and more intimate the relationship, the more torturous is any separation.

But the Son’s relationship with the Father was beginning-less and infinitely greater than the most intimate and passionate human relationship. When Jesus was cut off from God, he went into the deepest pit and most powerful furnace, beyond all imagining. And he did it voluntarily, for us.

How to Preach Hell to Postmoderns
In contrast to the traditionalist, the postmodern person is hostile to the very idea of hell. People with more secular and postmodern mindsets tend to have (1) only a vague believe in the divine, if at all, and (2) little sense of moral absolutes, but rather a sense they need to be true to their dreams. They tend to be younger, from nominal Catholic or nonreligious Jewish backgrounds, from liberal mainline Protestant backgrounds, from the western and northeastern U.S., and Europeans.

When preaching hell to people of this mindset, I’ve found I must make four arguments.

1. Sin Is Slavery

I do not define sin as just breaking the rules but also as “making something besides God our ultimate value and worth.” These good things, which become gods, will drive us relentlessly, enslaving us mentally and spiritually, even to hell forever if we let them.

I say, “You are actually being religious, though you don’t know it—you are trying to find salvation through worshiping things that end up controlling you in a destructive way.” Slavery is the choice-worshiper’s horror.

C. S. Lewis’s depictions of hell are important for postmodern people. In The Great Divorce, Lewis describes a busload of people from hell who come to the outskirts of heaven. There they are urged to leave behind the sins that have trapped them in hell. The descriptions Lewis makes of people in hell are so striking because we recognize the denial and self-delusion of substance addictions. When addicted to alcohol, we are miserable, but we blame others and pity ourselves; we do not take responsibility for our behavior or see the roots of our problem. Lewis writes:

Hell … begins with a grumbling mood, and yourself still distinct from it: perhaps even criticizing it. … You can repent and come out of it again. But there may come a day when you can do that no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even enjoy it, but just the grumble itself going on forever like a machine.

Modern people struggle with the idea of God’s thinking up punishments to inflict on disobedient people. When sin is seen as slavery and hell as the freely chosen, eternal skid row of the universe, hell becomes much more comprehensible.

Here is an example from a recent sermon of how I try to explain this:

First, sin separates us from the presence of God (Isa. 59:2), which is the source of all joy (Ps. 16:11), love, wisdom or good thing of any sort (James 1:17)…

Second, to understand hell we must understand sin as slavery. Romans 1:21-25 tells us that we were built to live for God supremely, but instead we live for love, work, achievement or morality to give us meaning and worth. Thus every person, religious or not, is worshiping something—idols, pseudo-saviors—to get their worth. But these things enslave us with guilt (if we fail to attain them) or anger (if someone blocks them from us) or fear (if they are threatened) or drivenness (since we must have them). Guilt, anger and fear are like fire that destroys us. Sin is worshiping anything but Jesus—and the wages of sin is slavery.

Perhaps the greatest paradox of all is that the people on Lewis’s bus from hell are enslaved because they freely chose to be. They would rather have their freedom (as they define it) than salvation. Their relentless delusion is that if they glorified God, they would lose their human greatness (Gen. 3:4–5), but their choice has really ruined their human greatness. Hell is, as Lewis says, “the greatest monument to human freedom.”

2. Hell Is Less Exclusive Than So-Called Tolerance

Nothing is more characteristic of the modern mindset than the statement: “I think Christ is fine, but I believe a devout Muslim or Buddhist or even a good atheist will certainly find God.” A slightly different version is: “I don’t think God would send a person who lives a good life to hell just for holding the wrong belief.” This approach is seen as more inclusive.

In preaching about hell, then, I need to counter this argument:

The universal religion of humankind is: We develop a good record and give it to God, and then he owes us. The gospel is: God develops a good record and gives it to us, then we owe him (Rom. 1:17). In short, to say a good person, not just Christians, can find God is to say good works are enough to find God.

You can believe that faith in Christ is not necessary or you can believe that we are saved by grace, but you cannot believe in both at once.

So the apparently inclusive approach is really quite exclusive. It says, “The good people can find God, and the bad people do not.” But what about us moral failures? We are excluded.

The gospel says, “The people who know they aren’t good can find God, and the people who think they are good do not.” Then what about non-Christians, all of whom must, by definition, believe their moral efforts help them reach God? They are excluded.

So both approaches are exclusive, but the gospel’s is the more inclusive exclusivity. It says joyfully, “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been at the gates of hell. You can be welcomed and embraced fully and instantly through Christ.”

3. Christianity’s View of Hell Is More Personal Than the Alternative View

Fairly often I meet people who say, “I have a personal relationship with a loving God, and yet I don’t believe in Jesus Christ at all.”

“Why not?” I ask.

They reply, “My God is too loving to pour out infinite suffering for sin.”

But then a question remains: “What did it cost this kind of God to love us and embrace us? What did he endure in order to receive us? Where did this God agonize, cry out? Where were his nails and thorns?”

The only answer is: “I don’t think that was necessary.”

How ironic. In our effort to make God more loving, we have made God less loving. His love, in the end, needed to take no action. It was sentimentality, not love at all. The worship of a God like this will be impersonal, cognitive and ethical. There will be no joyful self-abandonment, no humble boldness, no constant sense of wonder. We would not sing to such a being, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”

The postmodern “sensitive” approach to the subject of hell is actually impersonal. It says, “It doesn’t matter if you believe in the person of Christ, as long as you follow his example.”

But to say that is to say the essence of religion is intellectual and ethical, not personal. If any good person can find God, then the essential core of religion is understanding and following the rules.

When preaching about hell, I try to show how impersonal this view is:

To say that any good person can find God is to create a religion without tears, without experience, without contact.

The gospel certainly is not less than the understanding of truths and principles, but it is infinitely more. The essence of salvation is knowing a Person (John 17:3). As with knowing any person, there is repenting and weeping and rejoicing and encountering. The gospel calls us to a wildly passionate, intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ, and calls that “the core of true salvation.”

Two points here: (1) Know who is part of your commission, and (2) Recognize that everyone in it will always need your appropriate input and support.

4. There Is No Love Without Wrath

What rankles people is the idea of judgment and the wrath of God: “I can’t believe in a God who sends people to suffer eternally. What kind of loving God is filled with wrath?”

So in preaching about hell, we must explain that a wrathless God cannot be a loving God. Here’s how I tried to do that in one sermon:

People ask, “What kind of loving God is filled with wrath?” But any loving person is often filled with wrath. In Hope Has Its Reasons, Becky Pippert writes, “Think how we feel when we see someone we love ravaged by unwise actions or relationships. Do we respond with benign tolerance as we might toward strangers? Far from it. … Anger isn’t the opposite of love. Hate is, and the final form of hate is indifference.”

Pippert then quotes E. H. Gifford, “Human love here offers a true analogy: the more a father loves his son, the more he hates in him the drunkard, the liar, the traitor.”

She concludes, “If I, a flawed, narcissistic, sinful woman, can feel this much pain and anger over someone’s condition, how much more a morally perfect God who made them? God’s wrath is not a cranky explosion, but his settled opposition to the cancer of sin which is eating out the insides of the human race he loves with his whole being.”

A God Like This
Following a recent sermon on the Parable of Lazarus and the rich man, the post-service question-and-answer session was packed with more than the usual number of attenders. The questions and comments focused on the subject of eternal judgment.

My heart sank when a young college student said, “I’ve gone to church all my life, but I don’t think I can believe in a God like this.” Her tone was more sad than defiant, but her willingness to stay and talk showed that her mind was open.

Usually all the questions are pitched to me, and I respond as best I can. But on this occasion, people began answering one another.

An older businesswoman said, “Well, I’m not much of a churchgoer, and I’m in some shock now. I always disliked the very idea of hell, but I never thought about it as a measure of what God was willing to endure in order to love me.”

Then a mature Christian made a connection with a sermon a month ago on Jesus at Lazarus’ tomb in John 11. “The text tells us that Jesus wept,” he said, “yet he was also extremely angry at evil. That helped me. He is not just an angry God or a weeping, loving God—he’s both. He doesn’t only judge evil, but he also takes the hell and judgment himself for us on the cross.”

The second woman nodded, “Yes. I always thought hell told me about how angry God was with us, but I didn’t know it also told me about how much he was willing to suffer and weep for us. I never knew how much hell told me about Jesus’ love. It’s very moving.”

It is only because of the doctrine of judgment and hell that Jesus’ proclamation of grace and love are so brilliant and astounding.

[ Tim Keller ]

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Will the Lost Really Suffer in Hell Forever?

Christians have believed for two thousand years that anyone who does not put their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ and who dies in their sins without receiving God’s grace in Christ, will suffer the eternal torments of hell. They will be cast into that place where “the worm never dies and the fire is never quenched,” (Mark 9.48) and “the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night,” (Revelation 14:11). In recent years, however, a growing movement has called this doctrine into question. They insist that we have long misunderstood the Scriptures regarding eternal punishment and in fact, after the judgement, the wicked will cease to exist. This position is known as “annihilationism” or “conditionalism.”

How should Christians respond to this position? What does the Bible really teach about the final state of man and the eternal destiny of the lost? These questions are important for several reasons:
1. Annihilationism is gaining ground within the Christian community.
2. It can affect the presentation of the gospel as it relates to the consequences for those who reject Christ.
3. We want to represent God accurately.
4. We want to know the truth about the eternal state of the unbeliever.
5. We want to understand God’s holiness, love, and righteousness, as they relate to His judgment of people.
6. We want to avoid the trap of traditionalism and anchor all our beliefs firmly in Scripture itself.

For these reasons, CARM has just released a new section on the website specifically addressing Annihilationism. In these articles, Matt Slick has thoroughly examined the arguments and the relevant passages of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, demonstrating that the traditional doctrine of eternal punishment in hell is, indeed, the true biblical teaching and that the annihilationists are in error. The section covers issues like:
• What is annihilationism and is it biblical?
• Does belief in annihilationism mean you are not a Christian?
• What did Jesus say about hell and the final judgment?
• Is annihilationism potentially dangerous regarding evangelism?
• What is punishment according to the Bible?
• Does Eternal conscious torment make God immoral?

And so much more! Whether you are struggling with these issues yourself, you know someone who is considering annihilationism, or you just want to be equipped and ready with a solid, biblical answer, we believe that this will prove a valuable resource to you. You can view the complete section at https://carm.org/annihilationism

[ Matt Slick ]

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Is Hell Forever?

That’s a helluva question! (Kidding)

[ Todd Wagner ]

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The Torments of Hell Are Exceeding Great, A Rich Man Went to Hell and Was Tormented

Edwards was born in East Windsor, Connecticut, to Timothy Edwards, pastor of East Windsor, and Esther Edwards. The only son in a family of eleven children, he entered Yale in September, 1716 when he was not yet thirteen and graduated four years later (1720) as valedictorian. He received his Masters three years later.

As a youth, Edwards was unable to accept the Calvinist sovereignty of God. He once wrote, “From my childhood up my mind had been full of objections against the doctrine of God’s sovereignty… It used to appear like a horrible doctrine to me.” However, in 1721 he came to the conviction, one he called a “delightful conviction.” He was meditating on 1 Timothy 1:17, and later remarked, “As I read the words, there came into my soul, and was as it were diffused through it, a sense of the glory of the Divine Being; a new sense, quite different from any thing I ever experienced before… I thought with myself, how excellent a Being that was, and how happy I should be, if I might enjoy that God, and be rapt up to him in heaven; and be as it were swallowed up in him for ever!” From that point on, Edwards delighted in the sovereignty of God. Edwards later recognized this as his conversion to Christ.

In 1727 he was ordained minister at Northampton and assistant to his maternal grandfather, Solomon Stoddard. He was a student minister, not a visiting pastor, his rule being thirteen hours of study a day. In the same year, he married Sarah Pierpont, then age seventeen, daughter of James Pierpont (1659–1714), a founder of Yale, originally called the Collegiate School. In total, Jonathan and Sarah had eleven children.

Solomon Stoddard died on February 11th, 1729, leaving to his grandson the difficult task of the sole ministerial charge of one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in the colony. Throughout his time in Northampton his preaching brought remarkable religious revivals. Jonathan Edwards was a key figure in what has come to be called the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s.

Yet, tensions flamed as Edwards would not continue his grandfather’s practice of open communion. Stoddard, his grandfather, believed that communion was a “converting ordinance.” Surrounding congregations had been convinced of this, and as Edwards became more convinced that this was harmful, his public disagreement with the idea caused his dismissal in 1750.

Edwards then moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, then a frontier settlement, where he ministered to a small congregation and served as missionary to the Housatonic Indians. There, having more time for study and writing, he completed his celebrated work, The Freedom of the Will (1754).

Edwards was elected president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in early 1758. He was a popular choice, for he had been a friend of the College since its inception and was the most eminent American philosopher-theologian of his time. On March 22, 1758, he died of fever at the age of fifty-four following experimental inoculation for smallpox and was buried in the President’s Lot in the Princeton cemetery beside his son-in-law, Aaron Burr.

[ Johnathan Edwards ]

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They That Are In Hell Are In Despair

“For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.” [ Isaiah 38:18 ]

[ Jonathan Edwards ]

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Men Don’t Regard Warnings of Future Punishment of Hell

Genesis 19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

2 Peter 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)

[ Jonathan Edwards ]

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Exhortation to Escape Hell

Mark 8:37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

[ Jonathan Edwards ]

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Wicked Cast Into Hell’s Furnace of Fire

Matthew 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Deuteronomy 32:22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

[ Jonathan Edwards ]

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To Help Your Conception of What Hell Is

Matthew 13:42

New International Version (NIV)

42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Revelation 20:15

15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

[  Jonathan Edwards ]

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The Truth About Hell

[ John MacArthur ]

More Details:
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-376

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HELL YES!

Hell is under attack! Well perhaps not hell itself, but the doctrine of hell as a place of eternal punishment for the wicked is certainly under full frontal attack in our day. As Christians we should not be surprised that hell is not a particularly popular concept in the minds of the general public. But what should concern us greatly is that a great many professing Christians are increasingly hostile towards the idea. [ more…]

[ John Samson ]

http://www.reformationtheology.com/2005/12/hell_yes_by_pastor_john_samson.php

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There Is A Hell

[ Billy Graham ]

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The Torment Of Hell

[ Billy Graham ]

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Couldn’t God Have Made A World Where No One Goes To Hell?

We interview the world’s leading apologists to provide credible answers to curious questions Frank I would be lying if I said I never had this thought that I’ve heard other people ask you know golly you know God why did you create this world knowing that some people would go to hell I mean wouldn’t there be a best possible world that he could have created that would entail nobody going to hell how would you answer that well it’s logically possible God could create a world where nobody sin but it might not be actually achievable with free creatures right it might be that after the second person he creates the third person is going to sin and so does that mean that God then has to limit his universe to two people no not necessarily if those people who do sin freely do so and have chosen their destiny then it’s not unloving for God to create more people or to allow more people to be created the other thing I want to say is that God gets his will done even through people who disobey Him you and me and would we wouldn’t exist unless atheists existed and unbelievers existed in our ancestry Billy Graham wouldn’t exist without atheists or unbelievers in his and none of us would be here not like we all have a Christian wife not only that but atheists I get edified by atheists and maybe you do too you some of them are great people you’re you interact with them you know you’re they’re friends of yours also they challenge you and they help edify you and encourage you in the sense that I got to find an answer to that you know that’s a great question so there are good things that even come from people who don’t follow God and so I think we could turn the question back on us too we could say well why did we decide to create children through the Providence of God obviously knowing they would rebel I mean we have kids they’re not perfect my parents have kids I’m certainly not perfect why did they choose to create me knowing we would rebel well because they know that to love is more important than never have loved at all even to have loved and lost is better than never to have loved at all yeah we still want to you know even if atheists who bring that question up or other people that think there’s a chance that you know my child wouldn’t get to have a good life even we still take the risk and you know we have children and I’m not saying God took a risk but I’m just saying that we have children hoping the have a wonderful life so and God then did die for everybody but not everybody accepts what he’s done because not everybody wants to be with him forever some people want know God and if they want no God no God is what he’ll give that separation.

[ Frank Turek ]

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How Could A Good God Send Nice People To Hell?

how could a good god send nice people to help I got that question from Eddie to Bosch many years ago and they debate he said my mother was a survivor of the Holocaust she lived a life full of pain and suffering but she was a good person she ended her life after what she didn’t end her life but she died after somebody offered her the gospel but she rejected the gospel and so he said is she in Hell right now and I said Eddie I don’t know where your mother is now I don’t know if she had a deathbed conversion but if she didn’t accept Christ before she died then God is too loving to force her into heaven against her will because the implication or the assumption behind the objection is that everybody wants to go to heaven that’s not true who’s in heaven Jesus is in heaven well there have been people running from Jesus their entire lives what’s he going to do after the after death go oh you’re with me now how would that be loving people don’t want to be with Jesus they don’t want God and what hell demonstrates if it really is true and of course I believe it is that man is free and God is love that we have the free ability to either choose God or reject God and that God is loving enough that if we don’t want any God in the afterlife he’ll grant that to us he’ll separate himself from us if we do want God in the afterlife if we accept his free gift of salvation the work that he’s already done on the cross by taking the punishment on himself our punishment on himself then we will be with him forever so God gives us the freewill to either love him or reject him he’s not going to force himself on us that would be unloving and I could see how somebody would say okay I don’t want God maybe I you know how I don’t want to go to church now I don’t want anything to do with God but I don’t really want hell either and I would just kind of say that maybe without God that’s just what it is we all get to pick our death it’s separation from God you’re either going to want God or you’re not at CS Lewis famously said this look there’s only two kinds of people in the end those who say to God thy will be and and those to whom God says thy will be done that’s that’s it there’s only two

[ Frank Turek ]

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Why Do You Defend The Traditionalist Position On Hell?

Frank I feel like one of the things that’s so difficult is if you believe in a traditional perspective on Hell that is eternal conscious torment that you know people just think tit oh man you want people to go to hell and you know God must be cruel and all that why are you trying to defend this position of someone going to hell forever an emotional angle may not I don’t want anybody to go to hell but how do you kind of deal with that if I wanted people to go to hell I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing and you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing this whole one minute Apollo I would we why would we concerned about trying to convince people that God is real Jesus rose from the dead and by trusting in him you can be saved from what saved from punishment you’re the punishment that you’re just Li do because you have committed moral crimes so no and God doesn’t want them to go there either but love must be freely given God can’t force people to love him I can’t force somebody to love me you can’t force somebody to love you forced love is not love not at all so love must be freely given that’s why some people do freely choose to be separated from God and God grants them their wish now let me go back to the annihilation a second because some people will say well the the people who aren’t Christians or who don’t accept Christ are ultimately going to be annihilated what would you think if some young person came to his parent and said to his dad dad I never want to see you again and so the father said fine bang annihilated him shot oh that wouldn’t be lovely would it it would be more loving to say fine son if you don’t want to be in my presence anymore you don’t have to be but keep in mind that if you’re outside of my presence life’s gonna be hard for you and the son goes anyway there’s nothing you can do

[ Frank Turek ]

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Will God Send Me To Hell For Not Believing In Jesus?

so if a non-believer came up to you and said hey Frank will God send me to hell just because I don’t believe in Jesus what would you say I would say you don’t go to hell because you don’t believe in Jesus you go to hell because you’ve sinned it’d be like saying do you die because you don’t go to the doctor no you die because you have a disease now couldn’t you have prevented dying by going to a doctor well yes and the same thing is true with with Christianity you can prevent eternal death by going to the great doctor the great physician so no it’s not just you because you don’t believe in Jesus is because you’ve sinned it turns out that Jesus is the only way to salvation because he’s the only way the only one that has paid the price for our sin because we can’t pay it ourselves we’re sinners he’s the perfect substitute that has paid for our sins for us so we need to trust him on that let me also say this that if you don’t want Jesus now you’re not going to want him in eternity when people ask me well will God send me to hell I say no you send yourself there God won’t force you into heaven against your will I mean the assumption is Bobby that everybody what everybody wants to go to heaven that’s not true who’s in heaven Jesus is in heaven and many people don’t want Jesus now why is he gonna force them into his presence for all eternity look if God exists and he does if there is an afterlife there is there’s only two possible destinations you’re either gonna be with God in the afterlife that’s heaven or you’re gonna be separated from God in the afterlife that’s Hell now you say well hell it might not be so bad well think about it this way everybody right now regardless of whether you’re a believer or unbeliever experiences some of the benefits of God we experience love we experience relationships we experience joy we experience the hope of a future whether we’re believers or not his reign falls on the just or unjust but I want you to imagine a place where there is none of that there is no hope there is no future there are no relationships all the goodness of God has been withdrawn there’s nothing but stone cold narcissistic self-absorption that’s what the Bible means by hell it’s separation from God and the reason there’s a separation from God is because God respects your free choice if you don’t want them now you’re not going to want them in eternity.

[ Frank Turek ]

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What Is Hell?

Frank Turek joins Bobby on set to give us a definition of hell.

[ One-Minute Apologist (Bobby Conway) ]

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Blog Posts About “Hell”

[ Grace To You ministry ]

https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B110418
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B110421
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B110426/
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B110430
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B110506
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B110511/
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B110518/

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Can We Enjoy Heaven Knowing of Loved Ones in Hell

Many of the toughest questions Christians face from skeptics involve the doctrine of eternal punishment and hell. But it is not only unbelievers who ask questions about hell. Many Christians have unbelieving loved ones who have died, and they wonder how they can enjoy heaven knowing that their loved ones are in hell. In this lecture, Dr. R.C. Sproul helps Christians understand what the Bible has to say about this deeply troubling question.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/conferences/tough-questions-christians-face-2010-national/can-we-enjoy-heaven-knowing-of-loved-ones-in-hell/

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Does Hell Last Forever?

The following is an excerpt from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on Matthew 25.

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/bibleqnas-library/QA0197/does-hell-last-forever

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Four Marks of a Hell-Bound Man

As I have been traveling across America this past week and ministering in a number of cities and encountering a number of people, I have been reminded again of the tragic reality that there is a world dying in sin. And as I was thinking about our brief meditation time this morning in preparation for the Lord’s table, my heart was drawn to John chapter 8. Would you open your Bible for a moment and look with me at one of the most tragic portions of Scripture reflecting the ministry of our Lord? [ more…]

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-67/4-marks-of-a-hellbound-man

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Hell and Heaven

Many people deny the existence of the afterlife, especially the existence of hell. In this series, Dr. John Gerstner reminds us of the biblical truth: hell and heaven are real, and how we live today has eternal consequences. Drawing from the writing and preaching of Jonathan Edwards, he considers the terrors of hell, the treasures of heaven, and the reality that all of us will one day come face to face with God.

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-67/4-marks-of-a-hellbound-man

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Hell and the Name Caller

The following is an excerpt from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on Matthew 5.

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/bibleqnas-library/QA0286/hell-and-the-name-caller

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Hell on Earth

Well, now, we come to that wonderful time tonight when we look together at God’s Word and what a treasure. In it God speaks His very truth to us.
Revelation chapter 9 is our chapter for tonight. As we approach this serious and terrifying passage, we need to remember that in a very real sense we are being taken back to the future, back to the book of Revelation written in the first century which takes us into the very future. [ more…]

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/66-33/hell-on-earth

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Hell’s Best Kept Secret

Why do 80–90% of those making a decision for Christ fall away from the faith? What is the biblical principle that Spurgeon, Wesley, Whitefield, etc., used to reach the lost? Why has the Church neglected it? Don’t let anything stop you from listening to this incredible teaching.

[ Living Waters ]

https://www.livingwaters.com/hells-best-kept-secret/

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How do you reconcile a God of love with the doctrine of eternal hell?

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/questions/QA34/how-do-you-reconcile-a-god-of-love-with-the-doctrine-of-eternal-hell

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Is God Everywhere and Absent from Hell?

Amy, a daily podcast listener from Omaha, Nebraska — my own hometown — writes in to ask this: “I understand hell to be the absence of God, but of course God is omnipresent. If God is everywhere, is he also in hell?” What do you say, Pastor John?

There are at least two important responses to Amy’s question. One is to say that yes, hell is that. Hell is the absence of God, and we need to answer in what sense is he absent or present. But the other response is to say that hell is, as it is described in the Bible, terribly more than the absence of God. So, let me deal with each of those just a little bit. [ more…]

[ John Piper ]

https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/is-god-everywhere-and-absent-from-hell

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Is hell a real place? If so, who made it?

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/questions/QA035/is-hell-a-real-place–if-so-who-made-it

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The Biblical Evidence for Hell

Would a loving Jesus really teach about hell? Yes, and so does every New Testament author. Let’s consider what they teach. [ more…]

[ Christopher Morgan ]

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/biblical-evidence-hell/

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The Disappearance of Hell

According to recent polls, some 81 percent of adult Americans believe in heaven, and fully 80 percent expect to go there when they die. By comparison, about 61 percent believe in hell, but less than 1 percent think it’s likely they will go there. In other words, a slight majority of Americans still believe hell exists, but genuine fear of hell is almost nonexistent. [ more…]

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/disappearance-hell/

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The Ruler of Hell

The following is an excerpt from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on Matthew 10.

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/bibleqnas-library/QA0128/the-ruler-of-hell

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The Truth About Hell

As we enter into this season of celebration for us as believers, we face an opportunity and a responsibility that I think is unique to the season and that is to be ready to speak the gospel to the folks that are around us who don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ. You heard from Travis the commission of Jesus to go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them and commanding them to do all things that I have commanded you. This is our commission, this is why we are here in this world, to be ministers of reconciliation with a message of reconciliation to God that sinners might be saved. We talk about that, being saved. One of the people being baptized tonight made reference to being saved. [ more…]

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-376/the-truth-about-hell

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The Parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus

Sermon at Bethesda Baptist Church on March 25, 2012.

[ D.A. Carson ]

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What Actually Happens When You Make the Transition from Life, to Death, to Heaven [or Hell]?

Dr. Erwin Lutzer and Dr. John Ankerberg explain what the Bible says will happen one minute after you die.

[ John Ankerberg Show – Ervin Lutzer ]

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God in the Hands of Giddy Sinners

Many charismatics today claim that the Great Awakening was a forerunner to their own movement, marked by the same emotional outbursts and experiences that dominate their worship. Moreover, as we’ve already seen, they argue that the movement was quenched by an emphasis on theological precision. But such arguments betray a woeful misunderstanding of the Great Awakening—a revival rooted in strong preaching and sound theology. Far from challenging orthodox theology, it reestablished the Puritan heritage of Calvinist orthodoxy and put a halt (at least temporarily) to the serious erosion of doctrinal clarity that was the hallmark of the age. The emotional displays began in response to the clear preaching of God’s Word. [ more…]

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B181114?utm_source=mailerlite&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=grace_to_you_blog_god_in_the_hands_of_giddy_sinners&utm_term=2018-11-14

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The Rationale of Hell

Dr. Gerstner was a stalwart champion of the cause of reformed theology and, in particular, the teachings of Jonathan Edwards. This article is taken from his book, Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell, Baker Book House, 1980, pp. 79-90.

“Sin against God in God’s idea is infinite, and the punishment is infinite.”

The basic proof for hell is the Bible. We have shown in our “Jonathan Edwards and the Bible” how he argues that it is rational to believe that the Bible is the revelation of God. We need not re-examine the biblical evidence that hell is true since it is a part of our entire discussion above and below. Edwards also argued rationally that if there is a God he would reveal himself and that the Bible is the only such revelation. Likewise, if God intended to judge the world he would reveal that fact and so the Bible does. [ more…]

http://reformedperspectives.org/magazine/article.asp/link/http:%5E%5Ereformedperspectives.org%5Earticles%5Ejoh_gerstner%5Ejoh_gerstner.Rationale.Hell.html/at/The%20Rationale%20of%20Hell

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The Eternity of Hell-Torments

“These shall go away into everlasting punishment.” Matthew 25:46

The excellency of the gospel dispensation, is greatly evidenced by those sanctions of rewards and punishments, which it offers to the choice of all its hearers, in order to engage them to be obedient to its precepts. For it promises no less than eternal happiness to the good, and denounces no slighter a punishment than everlasting misery against the wicked: On the one hand, It is a favor of life unto life,” on the other, “A favor of death unto death.” And though one would imagine, the bare mentioning of the former would be sufficient to draw men to their duty, yet ministers in all ages have found it necessary, frequently to remind their people of the latter, and to set before them the terrors of the Lord, as so many powerful dissuasives from sin. [ more…]

[ George Whitefield ]

http://reformedperspectives.org/magazine/article.asp/link/http:%5E%5Ereformedperspectives.org%5Earticles%5Egeo_whitefield%5Egeo_whitefield.HellT.html/at/The%20Eternity%20of%20Hell-Torments

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“Many Christians are Headed to Hell”

Francis Chan explains why many believers are headed for hell and will end up there if they do not truly repent.
I love this guy. He has a true love and fear for lost souls.
I say fear for lost souls and not fear “of” lost souls. For he fears many that confess with their lips that Yeshua is their Lord and savior will end up in hell.

[ Francis Chan ]

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Substitutionary Atonement

Some people argue that Jesus Christ died merely as an example of selfless love. From his Foundations series, R.C. Sproul corrects this view and explains what Christ’s death accomplished: atonement for those who believe.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/11/28/substitutionary-atonement

Some consider the notion of substitutionary atonement to be barbaric. From his series Foundations, R.C. Sproul makes a bold claim: rejecting this doctrine is tantamount to rejecting Scripture itself:

https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/11/29/why-did-christ-die

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Serious Business – It’s Time To Get it Right!

Paul Washer, David Wilkerson, Carter Conlon, John MacArthur. If you feel that everyone needs to hear this SERIOUS BUSINESS series, please share with as many as you can.

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What Is Hell?

We have often heard statements such as “War is hell” or “I went through hell.” These expressions are, of course, not taken literally. Rather, they reflect our tendency to use the word hell as a descriptive term for the most ghastly human experience possible. Yet no human experience in this world is actually comparable to hell. If we try to imagine the worst of all possible suffering in the here and now we have not yet stretched our imaginations to reach the dreadful reality of hell. [ more…]

[ R.C. Sproul ]

https://www.ligonier.org/blog/hell/

[ Note: Has more resources listed ]

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Saved By What?

I want you to think with me concerning the things of the Word of God for our message along the line of the necessity of the Christian gospel, the necessity of the Christian gospel and maybe even more specifically the necessity of faith in the Christian gospel. [ more…]

https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-377

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A Search for Articles on Hell

[ Monergism ]

https://www.monergism.com/search?keywords=hell&format=All

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Hell Is Warmer
Parody of “L.A. Woman” by The Doors

Well, I slithered into town about an hour ago
Things are cookin’ now, say, which way’s the window?
Man, I fooled the world and they thought it was fun to go
They got a lovely little lake here it’s the prettiest sight
I’ll get the other lost angels
Gimme a light, gimme a light, gimme a light, gimme a light
Whoa! Come!

Hell is warmer — Hell is warmer
Hell is warmer than I ever knew
Hell is warmer than I ever knew
Hell is warmer than you ever knew
Never freezes over
Mister, you’re doomed – missy, you’re through, yeah!
Listenin’ to your boo hoo hoo’s gets me warm, too!
Ohhhhh, yeaaahh!

The scenery here is burnin’ — Hell is filled with fire
If I say I ever love the view — you know that I’m a liar
I went down so easily – guess I’m finally home
God sent guards — they dropped me hard — never saw it comin’
Though I’d known all along — though I don’t go alone
Folks get punished for their badness
If they could move they’d bag this address

And the smoke goes risin’,
Yes the smoke goes risin’
And the smoke goes risin’
Yes, the smoke goes risin’
Such a bleak horizon
As the smoke goes risin’
Yes, the smoke goes risin’
Smoke goes risin’
Watch the smoke goes risin’
Yes, the smoke goes risin’

Such a bleak horizon
Risin’, risin’
Gone risin’, risin’
Gone risin’, risin’
You watch it risin’ risin’

Yeah, but I ain’t risin’
I gotta wooo yeah! Man!
Oh! Mmmm … yeaaah

Well the devil won’t be down there for a while or so
There’s a way around that big lake of brimstone
You’re still in the world and I thought you would want to know
Or you can laugh at Revelation 20:10 if you like
And swim with all the lost angelllllllls
When they ignite, when they ignite
When they ignite, when they ignite
Whoa! Come on!

Hell is warmer — Hell is warmer
Hell is warmer – a surefire bummer
Hotter than any oven
Yes, uh, Hell is warmer
Hell – is
Warm — er
Hell is warmer, c’mon

[ ApologetiX – “Doves in Snakes’ Clothing” album ]

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You Gotta Go
(Parody of “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette)

I want you to know that I have prayed for you
I wish nothing but the best for your soul
I know you’re worried prob’ly — you’ll get converted like me
When it comes down to it there’s a fear there
Cause you say, “Hell — it can’t be”
You should play poker, baby
You sure do make a really excellent bluffer

Those who call on His name will be saved by His grace
Cause He paid quite enough for you when, you know, He died
And every time you speak His name it’s in vain, what a shame
Cause His arms are still open wide — open wide — while you’re still alive

But I’m here — to remind you of the mess you’re in if you turn away
It’s not fair — to deny Him
And the cross and just think you’ll get away
You, you, you — gotta go

You say there’s no Hell — you’re not evil
I’m not nice to tell you that you could go
If you forget about me — you can do as you please
I ain’t above you — I’m a miserable sinner
But there’s a path we must take
Now if we wanna be saved
And if you think it’s a joke — then you’ll suffer

Those who call on His name will be saved by His grace
Cause He paid quite enough for you when, you know, He died
And every time you speak His name it’s in vain, what a shame
Cause His arms are still open wide — open wide — while you’re still alive

But I’m here — to remind you of the mess you’re in if you turn away
It’s not fair — to deny Him
And the cross and just think you’ll get away
You, you, you — gotta go

There’s no one who can say that He sent them away
Cause an offer was made to you and you closed your eyes — and you knew it
And everyone says that’s not fair, that’s someone else’s fault
That’s not appealing — I hurt your feelings

But I’m here — to remind you of the mess you’re in if you turn away
It’s not fair — to deny Him
And the cross and just think you’ll get away
You, you, you — gotta go

I-I’m here — to remind you of the mess you’re in if you turn away
It’s not fair — to deny Him
And the cross and just think you’ll get away
You, you, you — gotta go

[ ApologetiX – “I Know You Are but What Am I?” album ]

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Death
(Parody of “Beth” by KISS)

Death I hear you callin’
But I can’t come over right now
Me and the Lord are prayin’
And it just came time to bow
Guess you’ll lose your powers
And I’ll free my soul from you
The sting I feared is stolen
O, death, what can you do?
Death, what can you do?

The grave will be so empty
But now hell just ain’t my home
I’m goin’ somewhere else
Where the Lord’s always on the throne
Yes, you’ll lose your powers
And I feel my soul renewed
Your kingdom here has fallen
O, death, what can you do?
Death, what can you do?

Death, I know you owed me
But my hope’s in Jesus Christ
And me and the Lord will be stayin’ – alive
Alive

[ ApologetiX – “Soundproof” album ]

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Must Seem Silly
(Parody of “Mustang Sally” by The Commitments)

Must seem silly
Guess you’ll never go and trust Him now
Must seem silly now, baby
Guess you’ll never go and trust Him now
You’ve been runnin’ down the Lord with your mouth (Oooooooh)
Ooh! I guess you oughta quit your blasphemin’ or look out

All you wanna do is gripe about hell and (cry that ain’t right)
All you wanna do is gripe about hell and (cry that ain’t right)
All you wanna do is gripe about hell and (cry that ain’t right)
All you wanna do is gripe about hell and (cry that ain’t right)
If you don’t wanna heed early warnings (Oooooooh)
You’re gonna be gnashin’ your teeth in spite

They taught you on every Sunday (Ahhhh)
You was a nice, respectful child
Now you’re puttin’ down those sanctified women
Say you won’t, you won’t get revived (Ain’t gonna get revived)
Must seem silly now, baby (Tellin’ you, baby)
Guess you’ll never go and trust Him now (Nowwww)
All right!
You’ve been runnin’ down the Lord with your mouth (Oooooooh)
Don’t forget that God could put you six feet underground
Ah, yeah, baby you gotta quit your blasphemin’

All you wanna do is gripe about hell and (cry that ain’t right)
All you wanna do is gripe about hell and (cry that ain’t right)
All you wanna do is gripe about hell and (cry that ain’t right)
All you wanna do is gripe about hell and (cry that ain’t right)
If you don’t wanna heed early warnings (Oooooooh)
You’re gonna be grindin’ your teeth in spite, yeah

C’mon, boys

Don’t be denyin’
Go get faith (Silly)
Don’t be denyin’ (Silly)
Yeah, heh
Yeahhh
He won’t be denied (Silly)
Yeah, yeah (Silly)
Oh, the Lord won’t be denied (Silly) Don’t be denyin’ (Silly)
Don’t be denyin’ (Silly)
Yeahh, Yeah, Yeahhh

[ ApologetiX – “Unconditional Releases” album ]

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People Are Lazy
(Parody of “People Are Crazy” by Billy Currington)

This old man and me
Were at the barber and we
We had him cut our hairs
And watched some NASCAR there
He talked of politics
With lots of rhetoric
I told him, I’m a Christian – I have a wife and kids
I talked about God’s grace
Then why’s there Hell, he raged
And why on earth aren’t all men saved?
And I said,
God has made it clear in His book, but people are lazy
He said, I’m not too sure
If there is any Lord
What makes you His disciple?
I said I’ve read the Bible
It taught me how the truth
Is never far from you,
What all we shouldn’t do,
And how to be born anew
I squandered life till then
In blissful ignorance
So please don’t think I’m silly, friend
When I say,
God has made it clear in His book, but people are lazy
NASCAR was due to end
I read the Bible with him
And then I stopped at Romans 10
And in God’s funny way
I saw the whole plan change
From being a bit too hairy
I was a missionary
We read Ephesians 2
Saw lines he never knew
Said, Kid, you’ve read it well
But, me, I’m going to hell
But I got wise today
So if you think we can pray
Then I’d like to fix that right here – I need saved
‘Cause I see
God has made it clear in His book but people are lazy
‘Cause God has made it clear in His book that Jesus can save me God has made it clear in His book but people are lazy

[ ApologetiX – “Soundproof” album ]

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Matching Punches
(Parody of “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” by Smashing Pumpkins)

The world is an empire – Satan’s domain
Seeks to destroy you – pull you down to the flames
And what I get? Am I afraid
To face the fire and die in Jesus’ name?
Even though I know – I’m opposed by foes
Who are cruel and cold – I feel bold

In spite of their rage I am filled with a radical faith
In spite of my age I am filled with a radical faith
And someone could say I was lost yet now I’ve been saved
Despite my mistakes I am filled with a radical faith

And I will make it – not being bullied anymore
You’d better face it – the devil wants your soul
You gotta hold on – he’ll run away
You gotta choose God – and read 4:7 James
Even though I know – I’ll expose my soul
To the cruel and cold – I feel bold
CHORUS

Tell me I’m so lowly scum
I’ll tell you ‘bout God’s only Son
Jesus loves His chosen ones
And Hell can never overcome
Jesus died for everyone – for you
CHORUS

In spite of their rage I am filled with a radical
In spite of my age I am filled with a radical
Despite my mistakes I am filled with a radical faith
Tell me I’m some lowly scum
I’ll tell you ‘bout the Father’s love
Jesus died for everyone – for you

And I still believe and I cannot be swayed
And I still believe and I am not afraid
And I still believe that a man must be brave
And I still believe that a man must be saved

[ ApologetiX – “Apoplectic” album ]

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Wish You Could Hear
(Parody of “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd)

Oh, don’t you see for yourself?
You’re headed for Hell
Mute, blind and lame
Can you smell or even feel?
Can your soul read braille?
You smile through a veil
Don’t you think I can tell?

Did you get what I said?
Your hearing is gone
Can’t actually see
Caught up in a cruel scheme
All covered with chains
Will you escape?
In second Corinthians four*
I believe Paul will explain

How I wish – how I wish you could hear
But so few lost souls in the devil’s control
Clear up their ears
He’s blinded all of them – they don’t know
They’re headin’ south – and they can’t steer
Wish you could hear

[ ApologetiX – “Soundproof” album ]

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Droppin’ On The Sun
(Parody of “Walkin’ On The Sun” by Smash Mouth)

It ain’t no joke, no lie, the Bible clearly spoke
To teach the world to fear the furnace underneath
To teach the world about hellfire but there’s liars
Who say they know Christians are wrong, even bad people rest in peace
It gets enough attacks. I know men doubt that it’s fact
It’s not like any map shows exactly where it’s at
But just like gravity you cannot see it really exists
And it does no good but they’ll deny it just to stay in their sins

So don’t delay, act now! Your time is runnin’ out!
Find out while you’re still alive — The true way is Jesus Christ
And if you follow the way, you’ll have no sorrow but if
the offer’s done, you might as well be droppin’ on the sun

Two thousand years ago He spoke out and they wrote down
All the best in the New Testament together in a book
And He told how it was dark, surrounded by fire
Where teeth will be gnashin’, man, Christ said Hell happens
And so He spelled it out, so to help out those who felt doubt
Then He brought it back up when He talked against the self-proud
And religious hypocrites threw hissy fits
Because that’s just what happens when they’re faced with their sins

So don’t delay, act now! Your time is runnin’ out!
By now I’m sure you’ve surmised — There’s two places to arrive
And if you follow the way you’ll have no sorrow, but if
The offer’s shunned, you might as well be droppin’ on the sun

It ain’t no joke that He’s gonna take the sheep and goats
And He’ll steer them to the left and right, but, listen, folks:
The ones that’s goats get disposed of. God won’t just burn their souls up
They’ll be livin’ in eternal Godless hopeless darkness
So don’t risk that, get facts, you ought to take a look at
Luke 16, Mark 9 and Jude — There’s one little chapt’r
Look today at Matthew chapter 10, verse 28
You need to read in Revelation 20 what does it say?

So don’t delay, act now! Your time is runnin’ out!
Find now while you’re still alive — Matthew chapter 25
And if you follow the way — you’ll have no sorrow, but if
You drop and punt, you might as well be droppin’ on the sun

[ ApologetiX – “Biblical Graffiti” album ]

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Hell
(Parody of “Help” by The Beatles)

Hell! I read about it
Hell! Lots of people doubt it
Hell! They’d better read some more
Hell!
When I was younger so much dumber than today
I never even read the Bible – Hell seemed far away
But I found the way to God and it’s got a narrow door
But many find the way that’s wide
And drop right through the floor
Hell is in the Bible many times
And I do not think it’s just a state of mind
Hell will catch most people by surprise
Don’t you see? Hell’s real!
And now my life has changed and only by His grace
My sin dependence would have banished me to Hades
But every fire and brimstone preacher you ignore
Is only tryin’ to save your life
From everlasting scorn
Tell me if you can why Jesus died
If it’s true that we’re all basically all right
Tell me why you feel that guilt inside
Don’t you see? Hell’s real!
When I was younger so much dumber than today
I didn’t need no busybodies tellin’ me I needed saved
But I found my way was wrong now I’m knockin’ on your door So while there’s time you’ll change your mind
And call upon the Lord
Hell is in the Bible many times
It’s Luke 16 and Matthew 25
John verse 3:19 will tell you why
Don’t you see? Hell’s real!
Hell’s real, Hell’s real!

[ ApologetiX – “Chosen Ones” album ]

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We’re Not Gonna Drown
(Parody of “When I Come Around” by Green Day)

I heard you have your doubts ’bout the way it all turns out
You’re so certain that there’s nothin’ that could make God wipe us out
You can’t see how a loving God could send men to Hell
Well, Noah didn’t doubt — He took the Lord’s advice
He said, “Noah, build a boat and stick your family inside it
‘Cause if you wanna live you’d better listen to me”
Noah tried to spread the word around
They said, “Noah, we’ll be fine — We’re not gonna drown!”
You’ve heard it all before, how Noah was ignored
They refused him and abused him but he took the wood and used it
To build himself a boat while there was no rain in sight
So when the flood arrived, they surely were surprised
When the found out they were all drowned — it’s a shame, but anyway
You can’t go forcing someone to believe what’s right
Noah tried to spread the word around
They said, “Noah, we’ll be fine — We’re not gonna drown
We’re not gonna drown, we’re not gonna drown, we’re not gonna drown!”

[ ApologetiX – “Apol-acousitX” album ]

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Yer Maker
(Parody of “D’yer Mak’er by Led Zepplin)

Oh oh oh oh oh oh … you don’t have to go … to hell, hell, hell
You don’t have to go … to hell, oh oh ! Baby, please, don’t go
I follow Jesus Christ; I swallowed all my pride … then He saved … my soul
When I read the letter to Romans, it said, “You’re bad, bad, bad.”
When I saw the place I was goin’, it made me scared, scared, scared
But He still loved me so, He wouldn’t let me go
He loves you… Ooh baby, you got to know
Oh oh oh oh oh oh … everyone gets saved, oh oh oh oh
Only if they call His name — hey, hey — but if they refuse — Uh oh
I Know He saved my soul, oh, oh, oh, oh
You heard me, He saved my soul, oh, oh … Baby, please, don’t go

[ ApologetiX – “Soundproof” album ]

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Hell Smells
(Parody of “Hells Bells” by AC/DC)

I’m goin’ under, I roared in pain
It wasn’t fun like I heard ’em claim
My life was flashin’ before my eyes
You woke me up but I’m traumatized

Oh, won’t take no visitors
Once there, you’ll find
Nobody’s partyin’ up all night
Ah, it’s hard to sell a one-way ticket to hell
You know the stench is rank and wretched

‘Cause hell smells
Yeah, hell smells
You won’t believe it
Hell smells
The stench is so vile
Hell smells

I’ve been through Revelation – up and down you’ll find
If you’re into evil it’s the end of the line
See the White Throne Judgment as He splits them wide
Puts them goats on the left and lines the sheep up to the right

Won’t take no visitors
Won’t take no bribes
Nobody’s put in by surprise
Ah, it’s not so swell when God forsakes you to hell
They won’t accept a late confession

Hell smells
Oh, hell smells
You got deceived and
Hell smells
The tempter just lied
Hell smells

LEAD

Hell smells
Stinks – it’s rotten, P.U.
Hell smells
You’re wrinklin’ your nose
Hell smells
The tempter just lied
Hell smells
The cross divides
Hell smells
So take your cue now
Hell smells
Before you go under
Hell smells
God can spare your life
Hell smells
There’s no way but Christ, yeah!

Ow!
Ow ow!
Ow! Yeah heh!
Hell Smells!

[ ApologetiX – “Chosen Ones” album ]

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Fly Away From Hell
(Parody of “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC)

It was easy, it was free
Jesus said, You know, you must decide
Asked Him nicely, Save me please
Make my every single sin washed white
So many reasons – for me to fry
Because of all the bad I do
Slow me down, throw me a line
I never wanna barbecue
I wanna fly away from hell
Wanna Fly away from hell
Fly away from hell
I wanna fly away from hell
Won’t drop by, won’t even visit
Nobody’s gonna point me down
I’ve been sealed – by His Spirit
I’m headed for the best place around
He saved me, paid my dues
Though I was a rotten man
Hey, Moses, wait for me
I’m on my way to the promised land
Whoa!
I’m gonna fly away from hell
Fly away from hell
I’m gonna fly away from hell
Fly away from hell
Mmmmm
Don’t drop me!
Hey, hey, ow!
LEAD
I’m gonna fly away from hell
Gonna fly away from hell
I’m gonna fly away from hell
Gonna fly away from GUITAR
Fly away from hell (I’m gonna fly away from hell)
Fly away from hell (fly away from hell)
Fly away from hell (Mama, I’m gonna)
Fly away from hell
And I’m glory bound … up and away!
Whoa!
Gonna fly away from hell

[ ApologetiX – “Chosen Ones” album ]

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Once You See Truth; You Can’t Unsee It
(Parody of “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” performed by REM)

Once you see truth, you can’t unsee the things you’ve seen, oh, no
I’ll explain it, but ya — might — not understand
I’ve got a picture; it shows two scenes
It all depends on how you look at the thing
I never understood up till that day, oh no
But now I just can’t see it any other way, uh huh

I’ve studied your smart dudes, but I can’t lose sight
Leaving the truth I have seen
Preacher said, with all this distrust in God our brains have atrophied
But I have encountered too much proof
You can’t ignore it if you grapple with truth
You wanna know — why I believe? Uh huh
I recommend you should look deep and see — uh huh
LEAD

Once you see truth you can’t escape it
Check and see, uh huh
But if you want to you can still run to
Anyplace you want to be

You try — but you can’t stay — aloof from the truth
You can’t avoid it; it’ll catch up with you
You wanna know — why I believe? Uh huh
I recommend that you look deep and see — uh huh
You cannot escape something that’s all around you, oh no
I couldn’t run away
You’ll see that I was right; you can’t shake the truth, oh no
I couldn’t run away
You wanna know — why I believe? Uh huh
I couldn’t unsee
I never ever could unsee the truth, oh no

[ ApologetiX – “Xit Ego Lopa” album ]

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DEEP THOUGHTS:

“I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.”
[ Isaac Asimov ]

“How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man.”
[ Johnny Cash ]

“The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul.”
[ John Calvin ]

“Free will carried many a soul to hell, but never a soul to heaven.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.”
[ John Wesley ]

“If any of you should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say that it is in one word – prayer. Live and die without prayer, and you will pray long enough when you get to hell.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
[ Winston Churchill ]

“I think, from all I can learn, that heaven has the better climate, but hell has the better company.”
[ James M. Barrie ]

“I believe the Scriptures teach that there’s a literal heaven and a literal hell, just like Jesus said. And without forgiveness of sins that, yeah, the place of punishment is called hell.”
[ Kirk Cameron ]

“He fashioned hell for the inquisitive.”
[ Saint Augustine ]

“There is no injustice in the grace of God. God is as just when He forgives a believer as when He casts a sinner into hell.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“If we had more hell in the pulpit, we would have less hell in the pew.”
[ Billy Graham ]

“Everywhere I go, everyone I talk with, everyone I think about – their salvation is what is on my mind. I love fellowship with Christians, but I can’t become preoccupied with the pleasure of fellowship when I know that sinners are sinking into hell.”
[ Kirk Cameron ]

“A Christian is not one who simply buys”fire insurance”, who accepts Christ” just to escape hell.As we have seen repeatedly, true believers faith expresses itself in submission and obedience.Christians follow Christ.They are committed unquestionably to Christ as Lord and Savior.They desire to please God.They are humble, meek learners.When they fail seek forgiveness and move forward.This is their spirit and their direction.”
[ John MacArthur ]

“If sinners be damned, at least let them lead to hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one person go they’re on warrant and on prayed for.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“Sinners in Hell are not the fools they were on earth!”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“In Hell, they do not laugh at everlasting burnings.”
[
Charles Spurgeon ]

“In the pit, they do not despise the words, ‘eternal fire!’”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“The worm that never dies, when it is gnawing, gnaws out all joke and laughter.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“You may despise and mock God now–but death will change your note!”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“Remember, you can laugh your way into Hell–but you can never laugh your way out of Hell!”

[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“I willingly believe that the dams are, in one sense, successful rubbles to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside.”
[ C.S. Lewis ]

“It is not possible to argue that a God who is love cannot also be a God who condemns and punishes the disobedient.”
[ J.I. Packer ]

“If you don’t know the Lord this is your Heaven, and those of us that do know the Lord this is your Hell.”
[ Todd Wagner ]

“I want a principle within
of watchful, godly fear,
a sensibility of sin
a pain to feel it near.
Help me the first approach to feel
of pride or wrong desire,
to catch the wandering of my will
and quench the kindling fire.
From thee that I no more may stray
no more thy goodness grieve,
grant me the filial awe, I pray
the tender conscience give,
Quick is the apple of an eye
oh God my conscience make,
awake my soul when sin is nigh
and keep it still awake.”
[ Charles Wesley]

“Sin is the only evil thing–it is the evil of evils!”
[ Thomas Watson ]

“Sin is the poison which the old serpent spat into our virgin nature!”
[ Thomas Watson ]

“In sin there is both pollution and enmity. Sin is compared to a “thick cloud” (Isaiah 44:22), which not only hides the light of God’s face–but brings down showers of His wrath!”
[ Thomas Watson ]

“Sin is worse than all evils. There is more evil in a drop of sin–than in a sea of affliction!”
[ Thomas Watson ]

“Sin is the cause of all evil. Out of this viperous womb of sin, come “evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.”
[ Thomas Watson ]

“Sin is the quintessence of evil.”
[ Thomas Watson ]

“Sin puts a sting into death.”
[ Thomas Watson ]

“Sin is worse than Hell! Hell is a burden only to the sinner–but sin is a burden to God!”
[ Thomas Watson ]

“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
[ C.S. Lewis ]

 

RELATED SCRIPTURE VERSES:

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
[ Revelation 21:8 ]

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
[ Matthew 25:46 ]

“The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God.”
[ Psalm 9:17 ]

“They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”
[ 2 Thessalonians 1:9 ]

“and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
[ Matthew 13:50 ]

“because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.”
[ Acts 2:27 ]

“If your hand causes you to stumble, 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 ]

“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 ]

“The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.”
[ Proverbs 15:24 ]

“Punish them with the rod and save them from death.”
[ Proverbs 23:14 ]

“They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
[ Matthew 13:42 ]

“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.”
[ Matthew 25:41 ]

“But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”
[ Revelation 19:20 ]

“Death and Destruction lie open before the LORD— how much more do human hearts!”
[ Proverbs 15:11 ]

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven.”
[ Matthew 16:19 ]

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;”
[ 2 Peter 2:4 ]

“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 they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.”
[ Revelation 20:13-14 ]

“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.”
[ Matthew 10:28 ]

“The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.”
[ Ezekiel 18:20 ]

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“A quick summary of the Christian “Gospel”:
JESUS’ PROPITIATION made our SINS FORGIVEN and IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS to us so that we have GOD’S ACCEPTANCE into His Heaven and ETERNAL LIFE.”
[ Mark Besh ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

 

FOCUS VERSES:

“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”
[ Matthew 5:22 ]

“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
[ Matthew 5:28-30 ]

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
[ Matthew 10:28 ]

“and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
[ Matthew 13:42 ]

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
[ Matthew 13:47-51 ]

“Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
[ Matthew 22:13 ]

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”
[ Matthew 25:31-32 ]

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
[ Matthew 25:41 ]

“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
[ Matthew 25:46 ]

“And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.”
[ Mark 9:43 ]

“‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ For everyone will be salted with fire.”
[ Mark 9:48-49 ]

The Rich Man and Lazarus
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
[ Luke 16:19-31 ]

“he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
[ Revelation 14:10-11 ]

“Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”
[ Revelation 22:11 ]

 

Mark

 

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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