The video below will play automatically. If you don't want that, press pause in the bottom left hand corner. Check out the video below for a thorough analysis of what the Bible has to say about hell. You'll find other notes below the video as well.
Fewer and fewer Christians believe in a literal hell. Heb. 6:1-2 says this is an “elementary teaching.” Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (Heb.9:27), going either to eternal punishment, or eternal life (Mat.25:46).
The Bible describes hell as a real and eternal place of wrath where people will be tormented day and night forever in gloomy dungeons where both the body and soul will be judged with blackness, darkness, destruction, torment, weeping, gnashing of teeth, anguish, trouble, sorrow, shame, contempt, anger, trouble, distress and a raging, consuming, unquenchable and unending fire. You can see the references for those descriptions below.
I talked with a student this week who said their main issue with Christianity is that they hate the idea of hell. I replied, "So do I and so does God!" God is not willing that anyone perish (2 Peter 3:9) and He wants every person to be saved (1 Tim.2:4). You have to read this post for more on God's heart about this! The reality of hell is one reason I'm in full time ministry and it is the reason Jesus came to this earth, lived, died and rose again. Not liking something doesn't make it any less real. I hate the idea of children getting cancer, I can't stand the thought of babies being murdered and I cringe when I hear of women being raped and abused but all those happen every day all around us.
Hating hell doesn't make it any less real. If you really hate hell, there are only 2 things you can do about it. First, make sure you have trusted Jesus Christ for your salvation. He will save you from both the hell described in this post and the hell of life without Him here on earth. Then, live your life to share the Good News with others so they won't have to spend an eternity in hell.
We need to quit sitting around wishing hell didn't exist and start doing something with the short time we have on this planet to make a difference. C.T. Studd had the right perspective, saying, "Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell."
One last note: Fear should not cripple the believer (1 Jn.4:18) and it is not the primary motivation for the unbeliever to trust Christ (Rom.2:4). But it is real. I should not over or underemphasize it, nor should I ignore it.
I hope these verses challenge you as much as they do me. Please check out the MP3 below (it's probably the most famous sermon in history) for a great perspective on this issue. Finally, if you are a student here at FLC, don't miss the retreat next weekend - we'll be talking in depth about heaven, hell and living this life with an eternal perspective. Have an amazing day guys!
Descriptions of hell: Dt. 32:22, Ps. 116:3, Pr. 27:20, Dan. 12:2, Mt. 5:22, 5:29-30, 8:12, 9:44, 46, 48, 10:28, 13:40-42, 18:8-9, 25:41, 46, Lk. 12:5, 16:22-28, Jn.3:36, Rom. 2:8,9, Heb.10:26-27, 2 Peter 2:4, 3:9, Jude 1:6-7, 13, Rev.20:10, 14-15, 21:8