The word "Hell" is used 31 times in the Old Testament and 23 times in the New Testament (54). Sometimes it is connected to other words such as "fire" (i.e. "hell fire") and death (i.e. "death and hell"). Jesus spoke on the subject of hell 9 times during His 3 ½ years of public ministry — about 3 times a year. In the Old Testament there is a vivid word picture describing hell in Isaiah 66:24. Jesus quoted this verse 3 times in this one chapter (Mark 9).
The doctrine of hell is not a pleasant doctrine, but it is a very real place. Just as heaven is a real place, so is hell. We, who believe in hell, because the Bible teaches its existence, are often ridiculed and lampooned for preaching on hell. It's not as if we get great pleasure from preaching on it. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is not easy or pleasant to talk about hell, but it must be done. John asked the Pharisees and Sadducees, "Who hath warned thee to flee from that is to come?" Just as certain that our God is a God of love, He is also a God of wrath, justice and judgment.
The Bible is very specific and dogmatic on the existence of hell! Hell is a reality. The cults and non-believers of this world have tried to do away with this doctrine, but you can't change the truth - Hell is real! If hell isn't real, then Jesus was a liar. Who are you going to believe the Lord Jesus or some deluded nut that doesn't believe in hell? Let's learn some facts from God's word about Hell.
- What is hell?
It is a place of banishment from the presence of God for eternity. Hell is a separation from God in an awful place of torment! (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Luke 16)
- Where is Hell?
Under your feet. In the center of the earth. (Ezekiel 32:27; Isaiah 14:9,15; Acts 2:27, 31; Ephesians 4:9)
- Why Hell?
Originally prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Expanded to receive men. (Mark 9). Why Hell? Because God is Holy!
- How long will people stay in Hell?(Matthew 25:46)"Everlasting" (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 14:11, 19:3, 20:10)
- What Hell is Not!
- Not the Grave!
No fire in the grave.
No gnashing of teeth in the grave.
No praying in the grave.
- Not a place of sinful companionship.
No fun, no enjoyment - just cursing and more cursing- no friends.
Illustration: Robert Schuler (fighting Bob), Pastor of Trinity Methodist Church went to red light district to witness to a prostitute. He took an elderly (70 year old) deacon with him. Saw sin rampant. Couldn't believe his eyes. Schuler turned to the deacon and said, "Did you ever think what a terrible thing for your granddaughter to spend eternity with these people?" Revelation 21:8. Next Sunday the deacon pleaded with his granddaughter to get saved, and she did.
- Not a place of sinful pleasure.
No pleasure in hell.
A place of fire, burning, weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth.
- Not a place for a second chance.
Notice in Luke 16. - "…there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."
- Not a place of joy.
No children laughing
No birds singing.
No beautiful blue skies.
No snow covered mountain peaks.
No smell of wet sage.
- Why do people go to Hell?
- Not for murder, not for adultery, not for cursing and swearing, not for lying, etc.
- Why - Because they think they are more righteous than God. They refuse to trust in Jesus as their Saviour.
- Who wants to go to hell?No one in his right mind - then why won't people trust God to keep them out of hell? Here are some excuses people use:
- "I think I'm pretty good."
- "I have a good life."
- "I'm not so bad."
- "God wouldn't send me to hell."
- It's all I, I, I.
Read Romans 10:3-4
- Lets take a trip to Hell.
Down, down, down - getting warm, getting hot - Listen to the sound - there is a word used in the scriptures - "Tophet" - Sound of a roaring fire - fire storm! Etymology of the word Tophet takes us back to the sound of drums. Did you ever hear a blast furnace? Awful sound - Stinks like burning sulpher - smells like rotten eggs. As we look around we see:
- Murderer - Washing his hands in the flame. Blood on his hands (Pontius Pilate)
- Young man screaming - not a murderer, rich young ruler in Luke 18 - "one thing thou lackest."
- Another young man - let's ask him - Killer? Rapist? Molester? Butcher?
No, he was in the group of those who raised the dead, had the apostolic signs, sat at the feet of Jesus, sent out two-by-two but was lost (Judas Iscariot).
Now let's go to the other end of the universe.
Gate of the city (entrance to Heaven).
- 1st one. Man dressed in robe. Vicar of Christ - Do you know the Password? No? Off to hell.
- 2nd man. Member of Moose, Elks, Shriners, and Masons, (secret societies) - Password? No? Off to hell.
- 3rd man. Dr. Know it all with his multiple degrees from three different theological 'semetaries' Please let me in. - Password? No? Then off into Hell.
- 4th person. Mrs. Smythe of Good Works. Not a murderer, etc. - Password? No? Off into hell!
- 5th one. Ordinary man/woman - Why should God let him in to heaven? He is not worthy, but the blood of Jesus covers him! Hallelujah! Hear those glorious words - Enter thou into the joys of Heaven.
Where are you going?
Many in Hell today are saying, "If only I'd trusted Jesus."
"If, If, If!" Hear their sad wails of agony and woe - "Almost Persuaded."
Trust Jesus today and escape the penalty of your sins. If you are not sure how to be saved, come and we will show you from the Scriptures how to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour.
If you have not yet placed your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour please read "God Loves You" a short message on how to be Biblically "Born Again."
The above notes are from a sermon preached by Dr. Robert E. Bliss, Sunday morning, October 21, 2002.