Vernon Gray (26 Apr 2015)
"Hell"


 

INCONVENIENT TRUTHS ABOUT HELL

By Vernon Gray

 

The contents of this paper are not the most popular subject for most people. Yet if you read it in the spirit it is written it is perhaps as positive as anything you may read anywhere.

Hell is taboo in most pulpits because it is not “positive.” People we are told don’t need to be condemned; they need encouragement and upliftment. Hell is not an acceptable subject for the sensitive ears of this spoilt and lost generation.

 Often I hear people say “If there is a God, why is there so much evil in the world?”

My answer is “If the is no God, why is there so much good in the world””

Good and evil are part of the human condition. We cannot know good if we have never seen evil. You cannot know warmth unless you have been cold; neither can you know light unless you have experienced the dark.

The trend in today’s Churches is to ignore the subject of hell. People in our time have itching ears and they prefer to hear all the positive things from the Bible; like Heaven, Grace, Mercy, Love and Forgiveness.

Our Christian experience is something like a car battery. If you have both the positive pole and a negative pole everything works the way it should. If you try to use only the positive pole, I defy you to try and get anything to work properly.

Ignoring the subject of hell does not make it any less real. In fact ignorance of the subject places the Believer at a certain disadvantage.

 

Biblical Words that Describe Hell

·       Fire and brimstone

·       Furnace of fire

·       Judgment by fire

·       Fiery oven

·       Lake of fire

·       Eternal punishment

·       Pits of darkness

·       Flames of fire

·       Burning wind

·       Unquenchable fire

·       Judgment by fire

 

Lets us look at some of the facts about hell that are mentioned in Scripture to broaden our understanding why Jesus spoke more about hell than He did about Heaven.

 

Isaiah 24:22 “And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.”

Proverbs 7:27 “Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers [inner rooms] of death.”

Job 17:16 “They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.”

 

What is Hell?

Hell is a place where there is a complete absence of anything that has to do with God.

The word “godforsaken” comes to mind here. There is nothing pertaining to God in hell. Everything in hell is devoid of anything that God gives as a free gift to His creation.

2 Thessalonians 1:9 “And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”


Why is there a Hell?

Hell is a place made for the Devil and his angels. Hell was not made for man.

Matthew 25:41 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

 

It is a place where they cannot pollute the rest of God’s creation. Their very presence in the universe is a destructive pollutant.

For now, it is within God’s will that demons and some of the fallen angels (including Satan) are free to roam where they want. But the time is at hand when they will be bound and cast into an eternity of torment.

Mankind has been given an opportunity to rectify our fellowship with God which was broken when Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2nd Peter 3:9).

 

Where is Hell?

The Bible indicates that hell is under the Earth. Hell is able to contain spiritual and in that it houses the demons, fallen angel and the wicked dead. But remember that several people through the Scriptures went to hell “alive.”

 

·       Numbers 16:32 “And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.

They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.”

 

·       “For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.” (Psalm 86:13)

 

·       “But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.” (Proverbs 9:18)

 

·       “The way of life is above to the wise that he may depart from hell beneath.” (Proverbs 15:24)

 

·       “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:15)

 

·       “I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.” (Ezekiel 31:16)

 

·       “Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:” (Amos 9:2)

 

·       “When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living;” (Ezekiel 26:20)

 

The idea that hell is below us, perhaps in the centre of the earth, also comes from passages such as Luke 10:15: “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.”

 And in 1 Samuel 28:13-15, the medium of Endor sees the spirit of Samuel “coming up out of the ground.”

Ephesians 4: 9 “Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?”

 

Eternal Fire

Of the 46 verses where Jesus spoke about hell; eighteen of those verses specifically mention the fires of hell.

Psalm 11:6 “Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.”

 

Psalm 140:10 “Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.”

 

Matthew 13: 49, 50 “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

John 15:6 “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

 

Revelation 9:2 “And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”

 

Hot as Hell

Revelation 21:8 “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.”

Matthew 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Mark 9:47-48 “And if your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.”

Revelation 20:10 “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Matthew 13:41-42 “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”


Raging Thirst

One characteristic of hello is the chronic thirst of such proportions that even a single drop of water would have some effect in slaking that raging thirst.

The rich man who went to hell cried out... “...have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Luke 16: 24)

 

No strength

Isaiah 14:9, 10 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?”

Psalm 88:4 “I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:”

 

Acts 17:28 “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

 

Physical Bodies in Hell

When we are Raptured or Resurrected from the dead, we will receive a glorified body.

When the wicked dead are resurrected for the Great White Throne judgement after the Millennium, they will receive an “Eternal Body.”

This ‘Eternal Body” can feel pain and suffer trauma but like our “Glorified Body” it cannot die.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

 

No Peace

Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”

In hell there is no such thing as friendship. No getting together to console one another. There is only isolation, hatred, discord and disharmony. Any notion of peace will be foreign to the inhabitants of hell.

 

Waterless

Zechariah 9:11 “As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.”

 

The rich man who went to hell begged Abraham to send Lazarus to him in Luke 16:24

“And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”

If these were flames of mental anguish, why would water suffice?

 

Revelation  21: 6 “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”

 

Torment

Matthew 18:34 “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.”

 

Matthew 24:51 “And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 

Psalm 50:22 “Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.”

Psalm 116:3 “The sorrows of death [Sheol] compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.”

 

Job 33: 22 “Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.”

 

No Rest

Revelation 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

The “no rest” here means no rest of any kind. No sleep. No relaxation. No catching of the breath.

 

Isaiah 57: 20 “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”

Psalm 127:2 “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.”

In hell you are not the Lord’s beloved; you have chosen to be His enemy.

 

Ecclesiastes 9:10  “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

 

Ecclesiastes 6: 4 For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.”

Here on this earth your name might Nelson Mandela or Barak Obama, but in hell you are nothing and nobody. Anything you have done is lost forever. Any legacy the world has bestowed upon you is worthless and meaningless. No one will know who you are. You will be forgotten in hell.

Psalm 88:12 “Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?”

 

Isaiah 26:14 “They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.”

Only that which is done in the Spirit is of any eternal value in God’s economy.

 

No Air

Isaiah 42: 5 “Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:”

Breath, or air, is given to those “upon” the earth. In hell you are not upon the earth but within the earth. It would appear that air will be at a premium in hell. Something like suffering from asthma or emphysema. Foul as the air is, one would have to expend great effort to suck in a small amount of the putrid air.

 

No comfort

When we as Believers are down to nothing like Job was, we still have hope. We have a “living hope” which is Christ.

Romans 8:24 “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

In hell there is no hope; no comfort for the suffering and no anticipation that someone somewhere will remember your plight.

Abandoning Christ in this life is to abandon all in the next life.

In Dante’s Inferno there is an inscription above the gates of hell that reads...

“ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE.”

There is no appeal for mercy, no friendship or camaraderie, no nice thoughts to lose yourself in; just constant hopeless, misery and anguish.

There is no “eye candy” or “ear candy” in hell. There are no good thoughts to fall back on.

Memories of the “good times” will perish because anything to do with God will be deleted.

You did not want to acknowledge or trust God in your life on earth thereby rejecting God totally. Now your rejection of the truth has placed you in the only place left for you to be.

In a place where the rejection of God is total. God Himself is not there to provide warmth, light, colour, comfort, taste, soft rain, green grass, fresh air and all the things He provides for you every day you are alive on this earth. This fate will be shared with the most hardened atheist and the most morally upright agnostic.

 

Darkness

Job 10: 21, 22 “Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.”

The darkness in hell is not the absence of light; it is a darkness that you can feel.

There are flames in hell as we saw earlier, but these flames are not like a cosy camp fire. The flames of hell are perceivable through the darkness of hell.

 

Psalm 74:20 “Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.”

It is worth noting that the word “cruelty” here in the Strong’s (H2555) is the word Hamas.

Have we not heard this word before?

The word “Hamas” means violence, ruthlessness, destruction, unrighteousness, false, oppressive, unjust, hatred  and wrong. Never was an organization better named.

 

 

 

Worms

Isaiah 14:11 “Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.”

 

In three verses Jesus said...

Mark 9:44 “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

Mark 9:46 “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

Mark 9:48 “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

 

It would appear that the worms of hell are actually the only creatures enjoying themselves in hell...Job 24:20 “The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.”

The worms will never be able to consume your body; they will forever be gnawing at you.

I remember a poem my grandmother taught me as young man...

 

Have you ever thought as the hearse goes by?

That one of these days you’re going to die.

They wrap you up in an old night shirt,

And cover you over with mud and dirt.

The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out,

They crawl in thin and the crawl out stout.

They bring their friends and their friends friends too,

And guts the guts right out of you.

 

I have since found out that it is a variation of a folk song called “The Hearse Song.”

In reality the worms of hell never get done with their work, they will be there inside you forever.

 

Confusion

Another interesting thing about hell is that there is a lot of confusion.

Isaiah 45: 16 “They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.”

 

Jeremiah 20: 11 “But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.”

 

1 Corinthians14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

 

James 3:16 “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

Confusion is emotionally debilitating and draining. It weakens your resolve and saps your energy.

 

Death and Hell

Revelation 20:13 “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.”

 

Levels of Torment

There are degrees of punishment in hell just as there are levels of status in Heaven for the Believers. Some will be “saved as by fire” suffering loss and some will receive crowns.

Matthew 23:14 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”

 

Matthew10:15 “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.”

Matthew 11:22 “But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the Day of Judgment, than for you.”

“More tolerable” implies a less tolerable punishment.

 

Hebrews 10:28, 29 “He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

 

There are no comfortable “nice” levels in hell; they are all horrendous beyond our comprehension just as what we call Heaven is also beyond our understanding.

1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

 

The Bottomless Pit

It appears that the worst of the worst place to be is in the Bottomless Pit where the Lake of Fire is. How can a pit be bottomless?

Let me explain it this way... If you were standing directly on the North Pole, which way would be South? Every direction you point to will be south because you are positioned on absolute North.  Similarly if you went to the very centre of the earth and you were positioned at the very core; which way would be up? Every direction would be up from that position.

Also the place where you are is “bottomless.” Thus the term “Bottomless Pit.”

 

Who goes to Hell?

It is a religious idea that sinners go to hell. Whilst this is true, it is not THE REASON why anyone will go to hell.

Sinners are not in hell because they are sinners - sinners are in hell because of unbelief.

There is not a single scripture that says that anyone will go to hell because of their sin.

The Bible says that they will go to hell because of their unbelief.

“Heaven” on the other hand will be full of forgiven sinners.

All of mankind has sinned... “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)

BUT Jesus Christ has paid the price for ALL of mankind. Because Jesus Christ has already paid the price for your transgression against God’s law, you cannot be punished for them any longer. The price HAS been paid.

It is going to be a major shock for the unbelievers to find out that they are not in hell because of their sin. Imagine when the realization comes that there was absolutely no reason for them to be in hell. Their sin did not put them there - their unbelief did!

Romans 6: 23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

John 3: 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 10:9 “...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

YOUR ETERNITY HANGS ON A SINGLE WORD “IF.”

 

Finally

It is interesting for me that we can prepare for the “Kingdom of God”, but no one can prepare for hell. Nothing you can ever do can prepare you for an eternity in hell.

The Bible tells us that we can store up for ourselves “treasure in Heaven.”

Here is a simple question for you...Are you prepared? Have you accepted God’s gift of salvation?

 

Vernon Gray.

grayworxx@gmail.com