I’ll never forget when a cousin mentioned to me that he believes there is no real place called Hell. He decided that the idea of a physical Hell is used as a simple scare tactic, and that we as fundamental Bible believing Christians, have created this farce to get people to sign up and join our churches. He said that Jesus is supposedly loving, and to make a real place where people burn forever, is, well, the opposite of love. While I sympathize with why he wants his fairy tale, happily-ever-after worldview to hold out, the scriptures are very clear. Hell is real. Just like Satan is. In fact, Hell was fashioned for judgement of Satan and his troops. Like a spiritual brig.
In Luke chapter 12 verse 5-7 states, from Jesus’ mouth, “And I say to you, 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!”
Who’s ‘Him?’ God.
The very next verse goes on to say, “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered…”
Holy, yet loving. Only someone who adores you would count every precious hair on your head, beloved.
Jesus is love. Among many attributes, love is also just. Justice gets introduced to those who have shunned a more perfect gift, grace.
The Bible says, in 2 Peter chapter 3 verse 9, that the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Jesus spoke about Hell, and continuously warned about judgement and eternity more than He spoke about anything else while He walked the Earth. It must be pretty real,or He wouldn’t have mentioned it at all.
What does the Bible say it looks like? Well, this is by no means an exhaustive list.
“You go down alive..”
“The wicked shall be turned into hell…
There are “chambers of death”
The place is “never full”
Hell is excited to meet the next person coming…”it stirs up the dead for you..”
When you’re there you become “weak”
“The maggots are spread under you”
The “worms cover you”
There is “hell fire”
So much pain and horror there is “wailing, and gnashing of teeth”
Recently, I heard of a man that repented of his sins solely for the reason of avoiding Hell and eternal judgement. Then he started to learn about the goodness and love that is, and always was, available to him, so He decided the reasons to worship God were a great many. But in the beginning, avoiding damnation was paramount. If it’s fear that gets you bending your knees, so be it. But it’s not a scare tactic from those of us that know Him. Jesus himself wanted to warn you. It was His words recorded in scripture. We would much rather introduce you to His face, not see you faced with righteous judgement.
Imagine taking a walk. While walking, you see another person about to cross a busy street into oncoming traffic. There’s a large passenger bus traveling pretty fast, and if you don’t warn the person, you will soon see a horrific sight as that stranger loses his life. Now imagine calling out. With a start, you raise your hands, heart pounding in your chest, “Hey, there’s a bus coming! Stop! Don’t cross there! Stop!”
Now imagine your horror, as the person looks in your direction, sneers, scoffs at your courteous warning with a look of disgust, and as they step off the curb into the dangerous traffic, they call out with disdain, “you’re just out to get something for yourself. You’re just trying to trap me…I’m so much smarter than that!”
Ridiculous, isn’t it?
Hell is real. Danger for the person who has not put their trust in the person of Jesus Christ is inevitable. For those of us who have surrendered our sin, our lives, and our wills to Him, have no agenda to have you numbered in our pews. We simply want to save your life from the very place Jesus warned the people about. There’s no other motive- just love.