HELL-OH IT IS NO JOKE!

Jesus Really Spoke About Hell

This is a very difficult subject. This blog requires an active participation by the reader. Have your Bible ready, as you study this Biblical truth.

HELL! If you hear this word, it should send shivers up your spine and place fear in your heart! Why, because hell is not a joking matter! How flippant and arrogant we are in the use of this term. What a sin it is whenever we tell someone to, “Go to HELL!” This is especially true since God gave His Son for us so that we would not have to go there! Did you know that the Lord Jesus preached more about hell than did Moses, David, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, and John, or any other person who is in the Bible? To the Lord Jesus Christ, hell was a fact! Hell was a very horrible reality to Him. Why should this be a nasty reality to the Lord of the universe? This was a horrible reality to Him, because in His death for all mankind, He must enter hell. He said in Matthew 12:40,

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,” (NKJV).

It is very interesting that the Lord Jesus said He must spend His death in “the heart of the earth.” Could it be that this is where hell is? Is hell in the center of the earth? We know from our studies in school that the planet earth is not made up of one part. Geologists tell us the earth is made up of four parts, which are called layers.

It is very interesting that the Lord Jesus said He must spend His death in “the heart of the earth.” Could it be that this is where hell is? Is hell in the center of the earth? We know from our studies in school that the planet earth is not made up of one part. Geologists tell us the earth is made up of four parts, which are called layers.

The first layer is the outer layer known as the crust. This is where we live. The second layer is known as the mantle. The mantle is solid rock. This rock is hot. A rock from the mantle could burn through a piece of wood. The third layer, the one under the mantle, is known as the outer core. This layer is hotter than the mantle. The fourth layer is the very center of the earth, the earth’s heart. This layer is called the inner core. This layer is the hottest layer of the earth. A conservative guess for the temperature of the inner core is, 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, to 13,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

As you can see, the heart of the earth is a very hot place. I believe, Jesus literally meant; hell is in the center or the heart of the earth. It is a strange thought, and maybe it is a true, right now everyone in the world is standing over the pits of hell. This is where the Lord said,

“Where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched,” (Mark 9:44, NKJV).

Before we define hell, find out its characteristics, and who is going there, I believe we need to understand two sections of scripture. Scripture one is found in 2 Peter 3:10.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements with a fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” (NKJV).

The Apostle Peter, writing under the influence of the Holy Spirit, is proclaiming that the day of the Lord, that day when Christ comes again, the earth and all the heavens will be destroyed. If hell is in the center of the earth, what is going to happen to it? Let us read Revelations 20: 10-15.

“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (NIV)

Did you notice this statement?

“Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.” Hades, which contains hell, is going to be thrown into the lake of fire! The lake of fire is the final judgment place which will burn forever. This act occurs after the Great White Throne Judgment of Christ. This is the final judgment of mankind. (Are you ready for it?) Here all the enemies of Christ and His people, the wicked, death, hell and hades, and the devil will be thrown into the lake of fire. If you believed hell is the final resting place of the wicked, you are wrong, the lake of fire and brimstone is!

Now, let us try to understand the destination of the wicked. In the Old and New Testament there are four basic terms, not including the descriptive phrases, which express where people go after their death. Before Christ’s first coming and His revelations of hell and heaven, the Old Testament generally used the term sheol for the place where the dead go. The New Testament gave us the Greek word for sheol, which is hades. The Lord Jesus added three descriptive parts to help to clarify sheol, hell, and hades. The first term is, gehenna. This term is found in Luke 12:5. The old King James Version translates this term as hell.

“But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into HELL (GEHENNA).”KJV

The second descriptive term was, Abraham’s Bosom. This term was found in Luke 16:22.

“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.”

Jesus also called this place, Paradise. This is found in Luke 23:43. The third descriptive term was, tartarus. This term was found in 2 Peter 2:4. The old King James Version translates this term as hell, also.

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to HELL (TARTARUS), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”

Before we examine these terms, I would like to add an important note. In the Old Testament, hell was not known. Translators have made a mistake in translating the word sheol as hell. The revelation of hell and everlasting punishment was fully enunciated by our Lord in the New Testament. Sheol and hades are the same. These terms describe the regions of the dead. They were used to describe where people went. Only when the Lord Jesus came and explained what was in sheol or hades, did people know about the different compartments of the place of the dead! Let us now look at sheol or hades before the Lord’s death.

The first compartment of sheol/hades was Abraham’s bosom. This place is the foretaste of heaven. Let us look at Luke 16:19-31.

“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you 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. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, ‘father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ Abraham saith unto him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.’ And he said unto him, ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’” (KJV)

Since heaven was cut off to men, Genesis 3:23-24, God prepared a place for those who followed His law and waited for Christ. This place was known as Abraham’s bosom or paradise. It was a place of wonderful bliss, Luke 16:25. The next two compartments of sheol/hades are gehenna and tartarus. However, between Abraham’s bosom and these is a great gulf. This gulf separates Abraham’s bosom from gehenna hell and tatarus hell, see Luke 16:26. This gulf keeps the wicked separated from the righteous.

So that they which would pass from hence to you cannot: neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”

The next compartment we will look at is tatarus-hell in 2 Peter 2:4.

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell (tatarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” (KJV)

Remember the KJV translates the term tatarus as hell. This is the place God casts the angels who sinned. This is a place of total darkness. The bad angels are chained to this darkness. It is from here; they await judgment. I also believe, from there; the demons have access to us on earth. It is their headquarters.

The last compartment of sheol/hades is Gehenna-hell. This compartment concerns human beings. It is the foretaste of the eternal punishment to come. This place gets the name from the Hebrew, gehinnow, or the valley of Hinnom. This is the place where the children of Israel sacrificed and burned their children to the Idol Molech, see 2 Chronicles 33:6. This place and action became a symbol for the eternal punishment to come. Gehenna-hell is the place where all those who die without accepting Christ as LORD and SAVIOR go. The Lord said, in John 15:6(NKJV),

“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them into the fire, and they are burned.”

In Mark 9:43-48, the Lord warns us of gehenna-hell.

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (KJV)

Gehenna-hell is a terrible place. Gehenna-hell is a real place. It is a very horrible place. The fire in hell is never quenched, Mark 9:44. It is a place where the soul(worm) at no time, ever dies, Mark 9:44. The soul which goes there will live in the unquenchable fire. Matthew 13:49-50 calls gehenna-hell a furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 8:12 calls gehenna-hell a place of great darkness. Matthew 24:51 calls gehenna-hell the place for hypocrites. Matthew 25:41 tells us that hell was prepared first for the devil and his fallen angels. Now it is also prepared for wicked humans who do not accept God’s forgiveness in Christ. Matthew 7:13-14 tells us that most people are going to gehenna-hell. My friends, where are you heading today? Please do not go to hell.

“Enter by the narrow gate (CHRIST); for wide is the gate and broad is the way (ALL OTHER RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES) that leads to destruction, and (I write this with weeping) there are many who go in by it!”

As you can see sheol/hades before Christ’s death on the cross is a very complex place. It has a resting place for those faithful people who followed the paths of righteousness before Christ came. It has a place of extreme punishment for those who did not. It has a place for the fallen angels. This was stage one for God’s plan of eternal salvation and judgment. Let us now examine stage two and then stage three. We are living after the death of Christ. Let us now see what happened to sheol/hades. When the Lord Jesus died on the cross, many wonderful things happened. In Matthew 27:51 we read,

“The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

This veil was the separating curtain between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The significance of this was that the way to heaven was now opened. After His death on the cross, we know Jesus went to Paradise or Abraham’s bosom, see Luke 23:43. When He was there the word tells us that,“He went and preached to the spirits in prison.” 1 Peter 3:19 NKJV.

Here we see; the earth quaked, and rocks split. Furthermore, the graves opened and many dead saints were raised from the dead. They also appeared to many in Jerusalem, see Matthew 27:51-53. The significance of this is, the gate of sheol, at Abraham’s bosom was opened. This allowed all those who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, to go to heaven.

Three days after the Lord died; He rose from the dead, see Matthew 28, John 20, Luke 24, Mark 15, and 1Corinthians 15. Then after forty days He ascended into heaven, see Acts 1:1-11, and Colossians 3:1. The significance of this is that those who are of the faith, when they die, go directly to heaven. Paul wrote,

“I desire to depart (die) and be with Christ.” Philippians 1:23.

However, those who die now apart from Christ still go directly to gehenna-hell. See Revelation 22:14-15, Jude 22-23, Matthew 5:22,29,30.

To summarize, after the Lord’s death, resurrection, and ascension, Abraham’s bosom was done away with. This gives believers direct access to heaven. Sorry there is no purgatory. The great gulf, gehenna-hell, and gehenna-tartarus still remains. Stage two is God’s grace period. God is not willing that any should perish, see 2 Peter 3:9. Stage one was God’s waiting period to bring us to Christ, see Galatians 3:24. Now let us examine stage three, which is God’s final judgment period. What is the final resting place for the wicked? Are gehenna-hell and tartarus-hell going to be this place? Or was this just a foretaste of more unpleasant things to come? What is going to happen after the last judgment? Do you remember what we read above? After the great judgment, all the enemies of Christ and His people, the wicked, death, hades/hell, and the devil will be thrown into the lake of fire. God is going to prepare or has already made the awful lake of fire and brimstone. Into this, He is going to throw all evil beings in, Revelation 20:10-15.

“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 for ever and ever. 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 is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.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 was cast into the lake of fire.” (KJV)

The lake of fire is the final place for the wicked. The lake of fire is eternal conscious suffering. The suffering in the lake of fire is far greater than the suffering in hell. If you go to hell now, you will go to the lake of fire later, and this will be permanent. The suffering will be beyond comprehension. It will be terrible.

Are a person who jokes around saying, “I cannot wait to go to hell because all my friends will be there?” Perhaps you curse others to hell? Friend, this is a serious mistake! Hell, oh it is no joke! God wants you to go to heaven! I hope you want to go there also. I do not have any intentions of going to hell and visiting friends or family! I choose life in Christ and heavenly bliss!

“For whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.” Romans 10:13.

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