Hell Bound

Delving deeply into the description of Hell will undoubtedly discourage anyone from wanting to experience it. Unfortunately, all too often, people believe that Hell is only a place for bad people and fail to consider its reality. Though Hell may house a lot of bad people, the key factor determining one’s presence there isn’t inherent evil. Instead, people end up in Hell when they reject the sacrifice made by God to spare them from such a fate.

First, let’s look at Hell! The Bible says that Hell is a real place; a terrible abyss of torment and agony! It is referred to as a place of no rest, gnashing of teeth, wailing, great sorrow, great fires and no water.

Revelation 21:8
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

Revelation 20:14-15
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Second, Hell is permanent separation from God! 2 Thessalonians 1:9 says “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” The writer Matthew describes it as eternal punishment and eternal fire. Daniel describes Hell as a place of eternal contempt and Isaiah’s words are haunting—“an unquenchable fire and an abhorrence to all flesh (Isaiah 66:24).”

Third, Hell was originally created as eternal punishment for Satan and the fallen angels. Hell was not made for man; it was made for Satan when he was kicked out of Heaven. Although Satan is granted temporary rule on earth, his final home will be a place of fire and torment! He rejected God’s authority, therefore God cast him out of Heaven. Why is this important? Since we are not Satan, why should we be concerned with Hell’s fury? The Bible says that those who reject Christ will experience the same fate as the evil one. Scripture also testifies that many will call out my name and I do not know them!

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.

Matthew 7:21-23
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Rejecting God can be done in many forms and we need to pay attention to what the Word of God says about rejection! Why? Because Hell is permanent. Once a person is condemned to Hell, there is no possibility of rescue. Surprisingly, according to the Bible, those in Hell realize that the descriptions in the Bible about Hell and Jesus are true, but unfortunately, this awareness comes too late.

Philippians 2:10 tells us that a day is coming when those in Heaven, Earth and Hell will bow their knees acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ! Why is this important? At Jesus’ second coming, every knee will bow both in Heaven, Earth and below.

Those in Heaven are individuals who embraced the Word of God, recognizing their need for forgiveness of sins. Heaven is now their home! The Bible says that those left on earth will be divided like wheat and chaff upon Christ’s return (Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17). Those who accept Jesus as their Savior will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Those who reject Christ, failing to confess their sin and trust in Christ’s sacrificial payment made on their behalf will be like the chaff that is burned with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12).

But wait! You may have a puffed-up chest thinking, “I’m a good guy. Good guys don’t go to Hell.” Don’t kid yourself! Good guys do go to Hell! God is not vague in this area. In matters of eternity, God operates with absolutes, leaving no room for interpretation. In the Bible, it says that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Giving to the homeless, giving to the church, and helping someone across the street may be nice but those deeds will never get you to Heaven! Why? Since Adam’s first sin, every man inherited a sin nature. The sin of the “first man” was imparted to all humanity, including both you and me. This is precisely why God had to send His Son as the Savior of our sins—a task no one else could accomplish. So why are so many men and women Hell bound? It is because they rejected the truth of God in exchange for a lie!

Romans 1:25
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.

Men have replaced God with other gods like work, wealth, fame, health, power and politics. Some of these things, like work, wealth and health are not bad, but if they become our god or separate us from the real God, then they can shadow the real truth of why we all need a Savior and where we are going to spend eternity!

In simple terms, any man who denies his sinfulness and rejects his need for a savior will sadly face a fate similar to Satan—being cast into Hell. Remember, Satan denied God, and he’s in the business of getting you to do the same. Salvation is only achievable through Jesus, the Son of God who lived a sinless life and endured a death that we are spared from as a result. Embracing this truth leads to an eternity in Heaven. Conversely, those who reject this truth, like Satan, will find themselves in the same place where so many currently reside—Hell.

One of God’s gifts to us is the parable in Luke where the beggar, Lazarus, died and was ushered by angels to Heaven. While the rich man, who owned the gate beside which Lazarus begged, died and was buried to spend eternity in Hell. Lazarus, the beggar with a name, died and was ushered to Heaven by angels. Here was a man with no money, no social status, no home or belongings but he had a name in Heaven and was ushered there by angels. At the same time, the rich man, who lived behind great gates, dressed in fine clothes with great wealth on earth, died and was buried in dirt—where the worms are! No one ushered him anywhere; he woke up in Hell!

The Bible mentions that while experiencing thirst in Hell, the rich man observes Lazarus and Abraham from a distance. He pleads for Lazarus to touch his tongue with a cool drop of water. Yes, Hell has no water! The flames burn, your body singes yet there is no water to put out the fire! Picture a realm of perpetual heat and fire, devoid of relief, eternal with no end in sight. That is what Hell is for those who replace the real God with man-made ones.

Once in Hell, the rich man desires mercy. He realizes the opportunity to repent has passed so he begs Abraham for that message to get to his relatives left on Earth. The clarity and reality of life, death, Heaven and Hell were unmistakable, yet the time of decision had passed. At some point, everyone will bend a knee and recognize the glory and supremacy of Jesus. Unfortunately, for those already in Hell it’s too late. For those on earth, many will call out yet some will still reject the truth for a lie.

Men, the first thing we need to do is realize we are all sinners. Second, we need a Savior—Jesus! Don’t blow into 2024, running hard with all the new goals and fail to recognize, like the rich man, that the only thing that’s important is that we have a good Father in Heaven who wants to do a good work in us and through us. However, we aren’t His children until we accept Jesus as our Savior! Consider where you are going to spend eternity before eternity begins!

Have a blessed 2024 or eternity whichever comes first!

Stephen L. Thomas