Archive for the ‘Hell’ Category

“My fate is sealed”

August 10, 2015

I had just finished walking up by the freeway that leads through downtown and was circling back around when i noticed that there was a different guy at the off-ramp holding his cardboard sign. I walked over to him and said Hi, reached in for some change and a “Born of the Spirit” card. After a short talk about the card, he tells me that he has died twice and went to hell each time. Then he said something that really made me jump up and take notice. He said that the last time this happened, he was asked by God to give up his hatred. He refused to do so, so he said……

“My fate is sealed”.

I then proceeded to ask him about Jesus to find out where exactly he stood with him. I asked him if he had been born again and if Jesus was his Lord and Savior. He said that he did not believe that he needed Jesus to get to God. He believed that he could go straight to God and bypass Jesus. I proceeded to tell him about the cross and the sacrifice that Jesus paid for him and that if he would believe so, Jesus would forgive his sins and he would not have to pay the wages for them which is death. Also that by receiving the forgiveness through Jesus, his fate in hell is not sealed. I told him that he is believing a lie that comes from the father of lies, Satan.

I then said, “It is quite possible that God would send this little nobody in a red shirt to remind you of His Son Jesus and what you could have today by believing in him”. He listened, but refused. At the end of our visit, the Holy Spirit had me get rather straight with him. I pleaded with him that he did not have to believe a lie and that Jesus is there waiting to forgive his sins so he would not have to go to the real hell and spend eternity apart from God.

Soon i parted. I am praying and believing that God in his love and mercy will still continue to reach out to this man before it’s too late.

A very sad encounter. Believing that your fate is sealed? But yet, not believing in the One who makes it all possible for one’s fate to not be sealed? Sounds like a lie to me.

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

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Jesus and a testimony of reality

April 23, 2014

 

He told the story of the rich man in hell and how he begged Father Abraham that he would send Lazarus to his five brothers so that they would not come to this place of torment.

Now remember….. this is Jesus telling the story.

The rich man begged Father Abraham that he would send Lazarus so he could “testify” to the reality.

But Jesus points back to the necessity of the only way in which to not end up there. And that being, the scriptures that testified of himself.
“Abraham said to him (the rich man), “They have Moses and the prophets; let them (his five brothers) hear them.”

But the rich man still thought of another way that they might believe.

“And he (the rich man) said, “No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Here we again see a spiritually dead mind thinking in the natural.
However…. the man knew the value of repenting now, but it was too late.

Then Jesus sums up the story with the only way of salvation. The gospel that was even spoken through Moses and the prophets.
“But he (Abraham) said to him (the rich man), “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead (and tell them).”
(The story of reality as contained in Luke 16:19-31)

Have you studied for yourself the fate of the unbeliever?

October 23, 2012

Truly one of the hardest messages to present is that of sharing the truths found in God’s word about the final place for all those who reject His love in the form of His Son. Why is this so hard to speak about? Because we like and want to hear everything positive, good and loving. So when we turn to God’s word, we in one sense, search for scriptures that edify, build up and encourage us and others. This we do and its good and right.

Most of us who believe, go by what we have been taught. We also only want to believe what we want to believe. So when we look into the scriptures, we see or hear what we want to see and hear. We put up barriers or block aids against anything different from what we have been taught or what we want to believe. This prevents us from receiving anything new that the Holy Spirit might be trying to get us to receive. Without continual personal revelation of the scriptures we cannot grow spiritually. We must be open to new understanding. We must be willing to change our understanding from what we might have believed to be true. This revelation and confirmation can only be given by the Holy Spirit within us.

The Holy Spirit is the teacher. How much time do you spend in quietness, alone with Him and his word? By this I mean, no outside distractions. No other books. No study guide. No music. No internet. No commentaries. Just you and His word.

Can we grow into new understanding, new revelation without personal time alone with God and his word?

What is God trying to show you personally? Where is He trying to lead you? Do you check in with Him? Do you hear from Him? Do you spend quality time with Him? Is what your being taught, truth? Is what you have always believed, true?

Have you ever studied for yourself the eternal destiny of the unbeliever? Have you asked God and looked into His word for the answer? Without no study guide on the subject? Its hard stuff for sure. Its something that is hard to believe. And, it could be very hard for you to believe it.

But, once you see the truth found in His word, then you need to ask Him to help your unbelief. To help change the way you have been taught, or always believed. New understanding, new revelation, does not come without a price. To be able to cross the line into new territory, new land, is not easy. You may even lose some friendships over it. Maybe some family members will distance themselves from you because of the new truths you have discovered.

By a clear understanding of the fate of the unbeliever, you will join the countless ones that have gone on before you with the heart of God for the lost. Once you understand their fate, you will be changed. No longer will you be half-hearted in desire for reaching them with the Gospel of Christ. Why? Because the love of God has gripped your heart. And you, like God, no longer want to see them end up perishing in a place that was originally prepared for the devil and his angels.

Are you willing to be changed? If so, study it out unbiased. May God bless you as you do.

The rejection of the Savior

December 30, 2011

The last two days out, I have been reminded again about the rejection of the Savior, Christ Jesus. Of course, if people really knew what would be the cost of such rejection, they would run to the Savior with open arms. It’s hard to preach such a message. If anyone finds pleasure in doing so, I would question their love for the lost.

As I share the Gospel of Christ on the streets and hear and see the rejection quite often, it hurts. Why? Because I know that God’s heart hurts. In His love, He has offered His Son at the ultimate price for their sins which results in death for eternity. The offer to escape death is still being offered to them because of His great love and mercy. But, for how much longer? Of course, we don’t know. But, we know that time is very short for them to turn. Eternity is a very long time to spend apart from God. Is the place where all who reject Christ going to be plush and comfortable?

If you are a believer, have you searched His word to find out what the place might be, and what it’s going to be like? Or, are you just taking someone elses thoughts. Are you just going by what you have been taught? Do you care? If you haven’t studied it for yourself, or you don’t care, then there is a good possibility that you don’t really care for the lost. You might even have the “got mine” kind of attitude. If one really knew what the final state of the “unbeliever” was, they would be out everyday sharing the Gospel, compelling them to be saved.

In these last days, one of the biggest deceptions that Satan has sold to the believers, and also the unbelievers, is that there is no real cost or penalty for rejecting God’s gift of His Son. Many are taught and believe that you just cease to exist.

The final end up place for the unbeliever is THE LAKE. This is hard stuff. This is the kind of stuff you don’t want to think about, believe or except. So, if one suggest another way, if course you would consider it. But, to swallow it, you have to receive some sort of deception through the twisting of the scriptures and not taking them for what they really mean.

Without taking a lot of time on this subject, and one really doesn’t have to be a “scholar” to understand it, it can easily be understood if one wants to believe what they are reading. One can dissect it into pieces if they want, and come up with another meaning to suit their liking if they so choose.

Just two portions of scripture come to my mind. The story of the rich man and Lazarus, and John’s description of THE LAKE.

Luke 16:19 through verse 31 explains the story of the rich man and his torment. How is this “torment” described? Well, let’s take a look. Verse 23 says, “And being in torments in hell, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom”. So here we see that the rich man was fully aware of what was going on in hell. We see that he was in “torment”. What does that mean? One of its meanings is “torture”

In verse 24, we see that this place of torture was a little hot. “Then he cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus (why?) that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame”. Sounds like fire to me. The word flame here means, “to flash or flame; a blaze, flaming”. Hot and in torment describes hell.

Verse 26, describes that in hell there is a “great gulf” or divide that separates, so that people cannot get out, or go back and forth. “And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us”.

Verses 27 through 30, lets us know that the rich man, while still in torment, still had some care and concern for his loved ones. Would this not be tormenting, in and of itself? The bottom line is that you would not want anyone to go to such a place. Anyone who would, has no heart, period.

How about THE LAKE described in The Revelation? We will start at chapter 20 verse 10. “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever. Now bear in mind, that we are talking about a place, and all who will go there.

Here we are at the Last Judgment, verses 11 through 15. What will it be like? Who will be judged? How will they be judged? And what will be the final resting place?

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which was the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them. And they were judged, each one according to their works.”

Then, look what happens to Death and Hell after they get done dumping out the dead which were in them.

“Then Death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire”. Now what is this called? “This is the second death”. Now, is this it? Does this sum it all up? Lets see on. Verse 15, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire”. Now here is the very sobering part. The part that we don’t want to believe. These are PEOPLE! People that were not in the Book of Life! They were cast into the LAKE! Do you think it might be pretty important that our names and others are written in the Book of Life? Maybe that is why Jesus gave us the two greatest commandments, of which one is “love your neighbor as yourself”.

Now, do you think that we are done, as to the types of people who will be “cast into the Lake?”

I will not take the time to break down the other types of people who will be there. You can study the words contained in the 21st chapter, verse 8. It would do you good to break down the words such as “cowardly”, idolaters etc”. But one word that in cases a lot, is “UNBELIEVERS”. Could this be all those that have “rejected the Savior?”. All those who have heard of the Christ, and have rejected Him? Come on! This is serious stuff! What is going to happen to all the unbelievers! Check it out!

…….”shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone:” Which is what? “the second death”.

Now, if after you have read this, and know some unbelievers, does it move you? Does an urgency swell up in you? Or, in your mind, you are still wanting to not believe this? Believe me, I know, this is hard to swallow stuff. If someone would say, “Ah, don’t believe that. That’s not true”. Or, “How could a loving God have a lake of fire to send unbelievers?”

If you were God the Father, and people rejected your gift of Salvation that was your only Son, and that would save them from “Death”, what would you do? Well, there we go again, trying to figure out God on our human terms. Can’t be done, sorry.

The point is: There is a price to pay for rejecting the Savior, like it or not.

The peril of the unbelievers

May 27, 2010

Based on what you have been taught or your understanding of what will happen to all those who choose to not believe in Christ will determine how concerned you really are for their eternal welfare. If you take all the scriptures that apply to their outcome should they reject Christ, you would be convinced and thus moved to get out and do something so they will not end up in the place that God has prepared for them. And, it is not because God is a tyrant or someone waiting to inflect punishment. No, it is because of sin.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”(Jn.3:16)

No doubt the most popular verse in the Bible. But, did you ever know what the word “perish” means? The Greek meaning of the word is, “to destroy fully”. So God loves all the world so much that He gave His son for what? According to His word, He gave His only Son for the sacrifice of sin. And if we will choose to believe in Him, then and only than, would we not perish.

So, all those who choose not to believe in Christ will be fully destroyed.

Let us take inventory of all the people we know currently. How many of them do not believe? (before I go any further, the word believe here means, “to have faith in, upon or with respect to, a person) thus Christ. Credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ) commit to trust, put in trust with.”) So it’s not easy believism here. We are talking about putting our faith in the person of Christ. Entrusting our whole spiritual well-being to Him. Committing our trust to, or putting our trust in Him.

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”(3:18)

So in the first verse we saw how that the unbeliever will be fully destroyed, should they not believe. In this verse it says, “condemned”. The meaning here means, “to distinguish, decide judicially, to try, condemn, punish, avenge, damn, judge, sentence to”. Here again, we see what is going to happen to those who reject Christ.

Are you lacking real care, real love for their souls? Do you weep (cry) over their lost condition? Do you have real passion for the lost? Do you spend any real time praying for their salvation? Or is it just mentioning their name?

One of the damnable heresies that has been growing leaps and bounds in the Christians churches today is that of teaching that there is no Hell. That there is no eternal damnation. This being the case, why would I be concerned about the unbelievers? Oh for sure they would be missing out on their “best life now” by not believing on Christ. But what about eternity? Are we to be only concerned about the 70 to 90 years on this earth?

To be sure, we best throw the Bible out the window, or better yet, get one that takes out all the many scriptures that teach us about the eternal peril of the unbelievers.

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (Jn.3:36)

Here we see that not only can one who chooses to not believe not receive life, but God’s wrath abides on them. There again, it is not because God’s hates them, but it is because of the sin of unbelief. Take a trip if you will back down memory line and visit the children of Israel and see what were the consequences of their unbelief. Did God pour out His wrath?

“But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” (Jude 5)

What kind of magnitude does the sin of unbelief have?

Christ in referring to the “servant” who begins to beat the servants and to eat and be drunk, says, “and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” (Lk.12:45-46)

What do you think He was referring to when He said, “portion with the unbelievers?”

The Book of Revelations has the answer.

“But the cowardly, unbelieving,…………….. and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (sulfur), which is the second death.” (Rev.21:8)

So we see that the unbelieving will suffer the second death, which is the lake of fire.

So, how many friends, family, co-workers, neighbors etc. do we know that are unbelievers? Do we even know if they are one or the other? Do we really care? Are we accountable to God for those that He has placed in our circle of influence? I am not talking about inviting them to church, then thinking that we are relieved of our responsibility. No. That’s way off base. It’s way past time to take personal responsibility for those in our life and to not try and pass it off on someone else, like the Pastor.

Somehow I can hear Christ saying, “what did you do with those I gave you?” Did you love them as you loved yourself? Did someone love you enough to care?

May God help us all!

 

God’s top priority

April 14, 2010

His top priority is, the saving of an eternal soul, which He created.

If this is fact,(and it is) then what do you think our top priority should be? Yes, I know that we don’t save the soul. This is for the guy that always says, “all we can do is live the life”. I say, “BULL”.

If we are saved from eternal death, should we be contented only with ourselves and our own salvation? Is  this the only reason we are saved? Should it be a “got mine” attitude?

If this was the case, than immediately after our conversion we should fall over dead physically and then go to the grave (sleep) and wait, or go up to heaven and be with God. (depending on your theology). However, in most cases this doesn’t happen right after conversion. Why?

He saves us, then reveals to us His plan and purpose for us while still here on this earth. Why would He save us to keep us all to ourselves? I don’t get it! Is this the nature of God? Selfishness?

In most cases, He chooses to involve people in His plan of saving a soul. Take a look at your own conversion. Was there any people involved in the process? If this is usually the case, than don’t you think that He has purpose and plan for you in His Kingdom in helping rescue those who are perishing? (by the way, in Jn.3:16 where it says, “perish”, the word means, “to fully destroy”)

Do you think that everything is by happen chance? The job that He has blessed you with, is it only for money? Is it only for prestige? Is it only to “get ahead?” Is there people around you at your workplace? Are they eternal souls? Do you believe that they are? Do you believe in the biblical fact that their soul is going to spend eternity in one of two places? Does this concern you?

Or have you bought into the very popular teaching of the day, and that is, that there is no Hell. If we believe that, then why should we be concerned about their soul? They are going to make it somehow, because God loves them. No worries. I don’t need to say anything to them, they will make it in the end.

If this teaching hasn’t come your way yet, it will soon. It could very well be the fastest growing false doctrine today. Why? It removes all consequences for our sins. If the devil can do that, then he has gained souls for eternity, and that’s what his purpose is, to destroy mankind’s soul for eternity. With the teaching of  “no hell”, people are coasting into eternity with the deception that they have nothing to loose with their sinful lifestyles while here on earth. After all, the God of love, loves me and my sin so much, that He would never send me to hell. All the time, the whole message of Christ and why he came, and what was He given for, is never received, or in some cases never shared.

If we take out the fact of eternal damnation to the soul who rejects Christ, then we mise well throw out the Bible and take up with some new age teaching of the gospel. I would say, lets all take up with fairy tales, that makes us all feel good.

So, God’s top priority is the saving of the soul. Our should be the same. Whatever He has called us to, it should have the purpose of influencing them somehow towards Christ for the salvation of their soul.

Wherever there is people, God is at work. He loves them and wants to spend eternity with them. He wants to show forth His love and tell them about His Son, Christ, as the only way to Himself, and the only way to escape death because of sin. The only way to have real life! AND HE CHOOSES PEOPLE TO DO THIS!

As a reminder, they need to first understand that they are sinners (yes, many of them already do, but not all). After that, they need to know that they are separated from God because of sin. Sharing this with them is key. They need to understand the nature of sin. We must be taught about this in our churches, before we effectively share The Gospel. Are we?

They need to understand that God loves them and wants to spend eternity with them. Tell them how God gave his love in the form of Christ for the sacrifice of their sins. By receiving the sacrifice of His love, they can escape eternal separation from Him because of sin, and receive eternal life now, and enjoy it now!

May He bless you as you share Christ today and enjoy the privilege of God’s top priority as yours!

A letter from Hell

September 18, 2007

Check out this powerful video presentation here. It’s a letter from a dead teenager, to a Christian friend who never told him about Jesus.

Everlasting Punishment

February 13, 2007

Everlasting Punishment

(The following study is unedited. I did not want to bother someone with the task of editing this. I hope you can overlook the editing errors and get some good out of this study.)

Preface

I have always believed in Hell as a place of everlasting or eternal punishment. It never crossed my mind to believe otherwise, until last year when a brother in the Lord mentioned to me, “you do know that in the end, Hell is going to be destroyed and everyone that doesn’t make heaven will just be destroyed. They will both just cease to exist. You do know this, don’t you?” I must admit, I was a little shocked at the question. I had always thought everyone had believed otherwise. So, I just sat there listening to him explain his beliefs on the subject, still dumbfounded and in shock.

Since that time, I have heard two other believers say, “How could a God of love send anyone, or punish anyone to everlasting Hell?”
So, for the past several months on and off, I have been studying on the subject of Hell. I cannot find completely, where we could come up with such a belief, as to say there is no everlasting punishment. There are a few scriptures that could lead one to think or believe so, but in the end I have found that the over all consensus of the word of God is that there is such a place of everlasting punishment, called Hell.

I believe that this day and age we live in, we have lost some of our biblical understanding of the character of God, as contained in both the old and New Testament. We have let the churches and the world shape our view of how God is. Whether we like the fact or not our world, our media, our music both secular and Christian has played a big but subtle part in shaping our understanding of God’s true character. We have been influenced more than we realize. God’s true character can only be found in His word. I believe its past time that we study the character of God, with a prayerful heart and an unbiased mind. It’s going to be very important in the days that lye ahead.

I would also like to mention that my motivation for this study was not because I’m a hell-fire and brimstone preacher. I love to share about God’s love, grace and mercy, and I do so almost daily. Over the years, this  understanding of Hell has helped me to have the love, care and concern for the lost. It is my hearts desire to know God and understand His ways, not mans, nor the worlds ways.
May God bless you in this study.

EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT

Understanding the word “Hell”

To try and understand this subject of “everlasting punishment”, let’s look at the word “Hell”. The Hebrew (Old Testament) word is “Sheol” which means, “The world of the dead, as if a subterranean retreat, grave, pit”. In some scripture contents it makes reference to, “beneath” or “down”. Also, death is mentioned in a few cases along with “Sheol”.
In the New Testament we have, “Gehenna” which means, “a place or state of everlasting punishment”. We also have the word, “Hades”, “unseen, the place or state of departed souls, grave”. The word closely resembles “Sheol”. In one scripture (2 Pet. 2:4), it mentions the word, “Tartarus” which means, “the deepest abyss of Hades, to incarcerate in eternal torment, cast down to Hell”.

To begin to understand “Hell”, we see where there is a difference between the two words, “Gehenna” and “Hades”. It is important to note that, “Gehenna” speaks of “everlasting punishment”. The word “everlasting” means, “Perpetual, eternal, forever”. “Hades” on the other hand means, “the place or state of departed souls, the grave”. There appears to be a big difference between the two words. The differences here are very important to note as we look into many scriptures that speak of both types of “Hell”.

What did Jesus teach?

First off, I am of those that believe that what Jesus taught or spoke about is of most importance. It doesn’t really matter what I say or think. What did Christ say or teach, that should be the most important. Good books, good teachers and good preachers are all fine and well, but Christ is what should really matter the most.

Regarding our study on “everlasting punishment”, should we not go to the word of God and see if Jesus spoke or taught on the subject? If He did, should we not obey or believe it? Should we call it truth? Let us proceed on.

Jesus spoke twice about “everlasting fire”. In Matt.18:8, warning against becoming stumbling blocks he said, “….it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather that having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire”. In Matt. 25:41, the parable of “the sheep and goats” he taught, “Then shall he say also unto them (the goats) on the left hand, depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”(see also,Rev.20:10) We need to understand here, that this is Jesus teaching about what will happen when he returns at the last judgment. Those who did not feed the poor, those who didn’t take in strangers, cloth the poor, visit the sick, they will say, “when did we see you in these conditions?” Then Jesus said, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” And then, he finishes with these piercing words, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:” To refresh our memories, “everlasting” means, “perpetual, eternal, forever”.

With what we have studied so far, how can we say that there is no “everlasting punishment?” What did Jesus teach or say? He mentioned “everlasting fire”, “everlasting punishment” for a reason; there must be a place such as this.

Fire, in relationship to Hell

Without a doubt, scripture revels that in Hell there will be fire. Jesus talked about “fire” in relationship to Hell around twenty times in scripture. He even mentioned about “hell fire” in a couple of verses. He talked about “unquenchable fire” What does that mean? Does it mean a fire that cannot be put out?
The Greek meaning for “unquenchable” is “not extinguished, perpetual, not to be quenched”. Jesus talked about “the fire that shall never be quenched” and “where their worm dies not” in Mark 9:43-48. Why would Jesus say in regards to Hell, that this fire would never be quenched, if it was not going to be?

More about “Hades”

A very important factor in understanding Hell and it’s meaning, is the word “Hades”. Its meaning again is, “unseen, the place or state of departed souls, grave”. It appears 10 times in the New Testament. It is important to note that “Hades” is not a place of “everlasting punishment” where “Gehenna” is.

In the story of “The rich man and Lazarus” (Luke 16:19-31) “the rich man died, and was buried; and in Hell (Hades) he lifted up his eyes, being in torments,” Here we see that those in Hades will be tormented in body as was the rich man. Also, this was no cool place; he was “tormented in this flame”. It speaks of “his eyes”, “he saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom”. “Send Lazarus, that he may “cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame”.

The book of Revelations reveals some things about “Hell”.

First off, we notice in Rev.1:18 that Jesus is speaking of himself and says, “I have the keys of Hell (Hades) and of death”. The word “keys” is taken from the Greek word, “Kleio” which means, “to close or shut up”.

In Rev.6:8, John “looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell (Hades) followed with him.” In these two scriptures we see that “Death and Hades” are mentioned together. If we continue on in the book of Revelation we see the final deciding factor about “Hell” (Hades) and “Death”. John here is describing “the last Judgment”. This is crucial in our understanding about “everlasting punishment”. In verse 12 of the 20th chapter we read, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works”. Here we see the importance of our life. Our life works which are contained in the “books”, we will be judged out of these. The most important question here is, “Is our name written in the book of life?”

Continuing on in verse 13 we read, “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”. In this verse we see that “Death and Hell (Hades) delivered up the dead which were in them”. Just as a reminder, “Hades” is an “unseen place, the place or state of departed souls, the grave”. Verse 14 explains what will happen to both “Death” and “Hades” in the end. “And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death”. This may be where people get the thought, “don’t you know that in the end, Hell will be destroyed, it will be no more?” Yes this is correct, but let us remember it is talking about “Hades” not “Gehenna”. This is the major difference here. It is important that we understand this verse. The “lake of fire” is the “second death”. In the next verse, verse 15 we see who else will be cast into this “lake of fire” besides “Death and Hades”. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”. I cannot find anywhere in the scriptures that says, “the lake of fire” will be destroyed, will cease to exist in the end. This lake of fire and brimstone is the second death, according to Rev.20:14 and 21:8.

I would like us to be reminded, that God’s word does talk about “God’s wrath”. Again, it would be good for us to study the complete nature of God, as far as the scriptures reveal him. In the book of John, chapter 3 verse 36, John the Baptist says, “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him”. Outside of the Son of God, if we don’t believe on Him, we shall not see life, and also God’s wrath in the end will come upon us. Wow! Let’s face it the fact, we don’t like to think along this line. It’s way too harsh! There is no love in wrath! It is truly the opposite of love. However, it is a part of the nature of God, like it or not. How can this be? We must remember the many scriptures that describe God as Righteous and Just. This goes back to what I mentioned earlier about studying the “balanced character of God”. It’s needful now more than ever.

Back to the “lake of fire”, the second death. In Rev.20:10 we see that the devil will be cast into the “lake of fire and brimstone” along with the false prophet and the beast. Now we need to notice that this “lake of fire” torment will be “day and night for ever and ever”. If we jump down to verse 15 of the same chapter it says, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”. My question here is, How can this “lake of fire” that will be “day and night for ever and ever” be any different than the “lake of fire” contained in other passages of scripture? The “lake of fire” which is the second death will burn for “ever and ever”. This goes right along with all the other scriptures that speak of “everlasting fire”, “everlasting punishment”, and “everlasting burnings”. Again, Jesus himself mentioned, “unquenchable fire”, “everlasting fire” and “everlasting punishment”. If it were not so, why did he teach it?

In the end, I will have to go with what Jesus taught on the subject. And also with what is found in the book of Revelation as regarding the final judgment. It does make since to me. I know it’s very hard to imagine that “everlasting punishment” is real, but the Word of God is clear.

May God help us to have a proper understanding of Hell and what it is going to be like. In having the proper understanding, it should help us to “rescue the perishing” and “care for the dieing” and “snatch them in pity from sin and the grave”.

Just as a foot note, the most popular verse in the New Testament is often said to be, Jn.3:16. In this verse, it says, “should not perish”. The word “perish” here means, “to destroy fully”. This was Jesus speaking here, not Dr. so and so. or pastor so and so, this was Jesus.

May God bless you all,

Richard