There are at least two subjects that most people avoid discussing and they are death and Hell.
For some life after death is an unknown because they are not sure if there is, or is not, something beyond the grave. Others believe in eternal Heaven but deny eternal Hell.
For some death means losing all the valuable possessions they must leave behind. For
others the biggest concern is for family members that they may never see again or, if they are younger, losing someone they want to hold on to for as long as possible.
For some death means nothing because they reject the concept of God and believe life ceases to exist after death. For Christians who are exercising faith in God death is only a
doorway to eternal peace and joy in the presence of a loving God who has redeemed them through the death of his son Jesus Christ. So death is something we would rather not talk about if we have no sure knowledge of what lies beyond the grave.
Hell is never a popular subject to either Christian or non-Christian because of the horrors it
holds for those who might go there. As I stated above I used to be telling a lot of people to go to Hell before I became a Christian. During those years I never wanted to speak about hell from a biblical sense because I didn't know whether or not I would end up going there. I can easily relate to anyone on either side of the issue, and find no pleasure in considering or speaking on the subject of Hell. A great preacher once said that any man who can preach on hell without tears
in his eyes knows nothing about the love of Christ. I believe with all my heart that what he said is true. How could anyone who believes the holy scriptures find anything but grief in thinking of someone going there?
It is with this thought in mind that I want to present a study from the Bible concerning this vitally important and misunderstood subject. I will draw from both the Old Testament and the New Testament scriptures for this study.
HELL AND THE LAKE OF FIRE
The first mention of Hell is found in 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." - The word used here is sheol, and
means the world of the dead with its inmates and all its accessories.
The final mention of hell in scripture is found in Revelation 20:13-14 - "And the sea gave
up the dead which were in it, and death and hell gave up the dead which were in them,
and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast
into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Hell is mentioned twice in these verses. The
word here is hades, which means the place of departed souls.
In between these two verses there are 30 additional Old Testament verses and 22
New Testament references to hell given, and most of the New Testament verses are
clearly spoken by Jesus Christ. It is my strong belief that when God chooses to
a particular subject it is because it is important to him and should
be important to anyone who believes the Bible to be God's word. A perfect being such
as the God of the Bible is not given to wasting words.
One additional thought: Jesus did not come to act as an eternal fire insurance for the
wicked. He came to seek and to save the lost which is everyone on earth past, present
and future. Hell is reserved for the devil and demons. People who go to hell go there
because they choose to rebel against God and reject the free gift of salvation.
II Peter 3:9 in the KJV says; “For God is not willing that any should perish but that all
men should come to repentance.” This is clear evidence that God leaves the choice up to
us to repent. Just like a child that is told something but still refuses to believe his parents
mean what they say is punished for it, so it shall be with those who reject God's laws and
his commandments. There will be no argument on the day of judgment. God will have the
last word and punish the law breakers who have rejected his gift of salvation!
HELL IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
The word for hell in all the Old Testament is sheol (sheh-ole') - It means hades or the
world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat) including all it's accessories and
inmates, grave, pit. While man would vastly prefer it to mean the grave, the full definition
shown here will not allow it. The idea of accessories and inmates would invalidate grave
as a stand alone definition.
HELL IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
The word hell in the New Testament is three different words; gehenna, hades and tartaroo.
Gehenna (gheh'-en-nah) - It means the Valley of Hinam (figuratively), a place or state
of everlasting torment, and it is found in the following verses: Matthew 5:22:29 and 30,
Matthew 10:28, Matthew 18:9, Matthew 23:15 and 33,Mark 9:43-47. Luke 12:5, and
James 3:6. Hades (hah'-dace) - It means the place or state of departed souls, grave.
See Matthew 11:23, 16:18 Luke 10:15 and 16:23, Acts 2:27-31 and Revelation 1:18,
Revelation 6:8, and Revelation 20:13-14.
Tartaroo (tar-tar-o-o) - It means the deepest abyss of hades, to incarcerate in eternal
torment (see 2 Peter 2:4) speaking of angels that are demons now.
Hell is not eternal as some would teach. Revelation 20:14 says; "And death and hell were
cast into the lake of fire; this is the second death." So death is vanquished along with hell
forever. The sad thing is what is found in Revelation 20:15 as shown above. Jesus came
to earth, lived among men and died to pay the full price for our sins with his own blood.
Afterward, he resurrected from the dead to make it possible for all men to have eternal
life in peace and joy forever. People who choose to reject the gift of salvation he died
to give go to Hell and the lake of fire by their own choice. It is my most earnest prayer
that all who read this would not be among them. Turn to the Lord today for salvation.
Seek his forgiveness for your sins and he will grant it.
C R Lord © 2015