Hell: What Will It Be Like and Who Will Be There?
Warning: Danger Ahead!
What if you noticed that a bridge had collapsed—a bridge that was around a bend on a high speed highway, the danger of which was out of sight to oncoming traffic—and you were the first to notice it? Would you call 911 immediately to send for urgent help? And would you do everything you could to warn oncoming motorists of the danger ahead? Or would you reason that it wasn't your responsibility to do this, and turn around and be on your way? How cruel, irresponsible, and murderous that would be!
So what if hell is real and I do absolutely nothing to warn people of the impending doom ahead? I would not only be a false witness, I would be an insensitive, uncaring, unloving person and, consequently, would be contributing to the damning of untold numbers to hell.
When writing on subjects such as hell—considered by many today as being out of step with the times—I have been accused of frightening people and told that I needed to be like Jesus and always be positive. They forget that Jesus blasted the false teachers of his day and repeatedly warned people about the impending dangers of hell, and the tragic consequences ahead for all who fail to heed God's warnings about the future life.
So, Is Hell Real?
The only reliable source to answer this question is God's Word, the Bible, and his Word confirms the reality of hell repeatedly.1 For one of many instances his Word says, "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered 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. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life [God's book] was cast into the lake of fire."1
As heaven is where God is, hell is where
Satan, the devil, and his evil demons are.
Where Is Hell?
As the Bible doesn't tell us the physical location of heaven, neither does it tell us the physical location of hell. What the Bible does teach, however, is that hell is a literal place of torment of eternal duration. And of this we can be certain, as heaven is where God is, hell is where God and his loving presence aren't, and where Satan, the devil, and his evil demons are.
What Is Hell Like?
"The punishment of the wicked dead in hell is described throughout Scripture as 'eternal fire,'2 'unquenchable fire,'3 'shame and everlasting contempt,'4 a place where 'the fire is not quenched,'5 a place of 'torment' and 'fire,'6 'everlasting destruction,'7 a place where 'the smoke of torment rises forever and ever,'8 and a 'lake of burning sulfur' where the wicked are 'tormented day and night forever and ever,'9 The punishment of the wicked in hell is as never ending as the bliss of the righteous in heaven. Jesus Himself indicates that punishment in hell is just as everlasting as life in heaven.10,11
Who Will Be in Hell?
Many claim, "If God is a God of love, how could he ever send anyone to hell?" We need to be clear about hell in that it was created, not for mankind, but for Satan, the devil, and his horde of evil demons. In a real sense it isn't God who sends people to hell. If we refuse or fail to accept God's pardon for all our sins, we send ourselves to hell because there is nowhere else to go after death. The only choices are either God's heaven or the devil's hell. Keep in mind that God has provided a way of escape, but it is the responsibility of each individual to accept God's way of escape.
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5. All articles on the ACTS International website are by Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise noted.
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