“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalms 9:17 NKJV).
Hell is not a fiction or a figment of the imagination. It is an awful reality at the end of ungodly life. Hell is the future, final and everlasting abode of the damned. It is the place prepared for the everlasting punishment of the sinners who rejected God’s gift of salvation offered to them in and through Jesus Christ.
There are three Greek words translated “hell” in the Bible. These are: “Tartarus,” “Hades” and “Gehenna.”
The Greek word “Tartarus” is used in the Bible to refer to the place of detention or confinement for the rebellious and fallen angels pending their final judgement.
The Scripture states:
“God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.” (2 Pet. 2:4 NKJV).
“And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 1:6 NKJV).
The Greek word “Hades” denotes the state or place of departed spirits of the lost (including the blessed dead in periods preceding the ascension of Christ). It corresponds directly with the Old Testament Hebrew word “Sheol” which has been translated hell (Psa. 9:17), the grave (Gen. 37:35), and the pit (Num 16:30, 33).
In the New Testament “Hades” was never used to denote the grave or the permanent region of the lost, but to denote intermediate hell – the state or place where the sinners who rejected God’s gift of eternal life go immediately after physical death to be tormented until the final Great White Throne Judgement when they will be cast into the lake of fire (Luke 16:23-31).
The word (Hades) is used four times in the Gospels by the Lord Jesus (Matt. 11:23, 16:18, Luke 10:15, 16:23).
The Greek word “Gehenna” represents the Hebrew word “Ge-Hinnom,” meaning “the valley of the son of Hinnom.” This is a deep valley outside Jerusalem where the idolatrous Jews offered their children in sacrifice to the pagan god, Molech (2 Chro. 28:3, 33:6, Jer. 7:21, 19:2-14).
This valley afterwards became the common receptacle for all the refuse of the city. Here the dead bodies of animals and of criminals and all kinds of filth were cast and consumed by the fire kept always burning and thus in the process of time became the image of the place of everlasting destruction.
In this sense “Gehenna” (Hell) is used 11 terms by the Lord Jesus Christ, and 10 of those terms were in reference to eternal punishment of the wicked (Matt. 5:22, 29-30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33; Mk. 9:43 ,45, 47; Lk. 12:5).
In this piece we shall explore what the Bible teaches about hell. The primary purpose of this teaching is to clearly present hell to you in the light of God’s Word so that you may resolve never to go there after your pilgrimage in this world.
First, Hell was originally prepared for the devil and his wicked angels:
Hell is the future, final and everlasting abode of Satan and all his demons (2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 1:6). Hell was never intended to be the final or everlasting abode for man created in God’s image.
However, anyone who rejected the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, has chosen to accompany Satan and his angels to hell, and at the end of his ungodly life, the Lord will say to him, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41 NKJV).
Second, it is only God who has the power to cast into hell:
No man, angel, or devil has the power to send, turn or cast any person into hell. This is why the believers are told not to fear any man or devil, but God alone.
The Lord Jesus said, “My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5 NKJV).
God will not send people into hell arbitrarily or randomly. It is individual who will choose his future, final and everlasting abode before leaving this world, whether he wants to go to heaven or hell. Anyone who rejects Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord has deliberately chosen hell as his future, final and everlasting abode.
The Scripture clearly states:
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psa. 9:17 NKJV).
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15 NKJV).
Third, Hell has no fixed dimensions; it is without measure:
Hell has no fixed or permanent size, limit or boundary. That is why the Scripture refers to it as “the bottomless pit” (Rev. 9:1-2, 20:1, 3).
Hell can enlarge itself and is never full. If the entire world chooses to go to hell by rejecting Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord; hell will swallow them up.
The Scripture warns:
“Hell and Destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” (Prov. 27:20 NKJV).
“Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.” (Isa. 5:14 KJV).
Fourth, People will be very conscious in Hell:
Sinners will not lose their consciousness while suffering in hell. The Lord taught in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus that in hell people will still have the ability to recognize one another, to thirst, to speak and pray. But unfortunately, in hell no desire, prayer or request will be granted or answered (Luke 16:22-25).
God only hears and answers prayers for mercy and forgiveness in this world. But after death, none of your desires and prayers will be granted. There is no room for repentance after death!
If death grasps or seizes you before you repent and receive by faith the gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ, it will drag you to eternity of torments, pains, sorrows and regrets in hell fire.
Fifth, Hell is a place of unquenchable fire and a place where the worm would not die:
The Scripture depicts hell as “a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Rev. 19:20 NKJV). And “where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:48 RSV).
The Scripture also describes hell as “the blackness of darkness forever.” (2 Pet. 2:17 NKJV).
Not only will the fire of hell burn continually, the sinners will also burn continually in the fire forever and ever.
Sixth, Hell is a place of punishment and torment:
The Lord Jesus warns that after death sinners “will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt. 25:46 NKJV).
There is no respite or rest period in hell. The sinners in hell will be tormented constantly, continuously and consistently. The Scripture warns: “And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Rev. 20:10 NKJV).
Besides the punishment and torment of hell being an everlasting or endless one, it will also be an unbearable one. It will be infinitely beyond that which any man has ever seen, experienced or imagined in this life. There is no suitable word, phrase, or language in this world to aptly describe or depict the punishments, torments, pains and sorrows awaiting sinners in hell.
The sinners in hell will not only be tormented by fire, worms, darkness, Satan and his demons, they will also be tormented by their conscience and memory. They will be tormented by their conscience which they seared with hot iron and silenced while in the world.
They will also be tormented by their memory as they would remember vividly how the gospel of Jesus Christ was preached to them several times, at several places, through several media and by several people. Unfortunately, they refused to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (Luke 16:22-31).
Lastly, Hell is eternal:
There is no escape from hell. Once a person is cast into hell; he is damned forever. Hell is eternal damnation; it is everlasting destruction (Matt. 25:46, Mk. 3:29).
The Scripture states that all the rejecters of Christ will “be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (2 Thess. 1:9 NKJV).
Hell is a literal and eternal place of punishment and torment for Satan and his demons, and for all the people who yielded themselves to Satan.
Hell is eternal banishment from God’s presence. This is why it is called “the second death” (Rev. 20:14).
The Scripture warns:
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8 NKJV).
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”‘ (Rev. 2:11 NKJV).
How do you get to hell?
Simply by neglecting God’s free gift of salvation offered to you in and through Jesus Christ!
The Scripture asks, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.” (Heb. 2:3 NKJV).
How do you avoid hell?
Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!
You will escape hell if you receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour and surrender your life unreservedly to Him as your Lord.
The Lord Jesus warns, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5 NKJV).
“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36 NKJV).
Apostle Paul also said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31 NKJV).
Beloved, your self-righteousness, performance, or good works are not enough to save you from hell. You need to put your total trust in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Don’t be deceived! Hell is not a fiction, illusion or delusion; it is a reality awaiting you at the end of your ungodly or Christless life.
You will not go to hell because you are a sinner, but because you rejected the free gift of salvation that Jesus Christ purchased for you with His own blood and offered graciously to you.
It is not too late today to turn your life over to Jesus Christ, accepting, confessing and surrendering to Him as your personal Saviour and Lord.
Why not do this now and thus escape eternity of sorrow, torment and regret in hell?
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for neglecting to this day the gift of everlasting life You offered me through the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, I repent of my sins and receive and confess Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.