A Persons Name Must Be Written In The Book Of Life To Avoid The Judgment Of Hell
11. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.
12. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
13. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
King Who Emptied The Desert
A bird could not, by the painstaking removal of a world full of sand, move us one step closer to eternity with God. Time will not amend all wounds, nor stop Gods righteous punishment. Nor will death hide the wicked, though they seek annihilation, calling on the mountains to crush them to hide them from Christs wrath .
But what a little bird could not accomplish, a Lamb has.
At the pinnacle of his anguish, he cried, My God, my God why have you forsaken me so that those who repent and believe in him might not suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might . Here alone can the cup of eternal judgment be drained on behalf of sinners. There is an escape from eternal punishment.
Although we rightfully feel unceasing anguish and great sorrow for those who never hide beneath the cross on this side of eternity , even this anguish will not last. We shall celebrate Gods eternal triumph over evil forever: Once more they cried out, Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever . Christ Jesus our Savior is worthy of eternal praise because he endured, for us, the righteous judgment that would have been ours for eternity.
Surprising Truths About Hell In The Bible
I know talking and thinking about hell is unpleasant to say the least. Most of us would rather just avoid it and often we do just ignore it. C.S. Lewis said in the Problem Of Pain, There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this , if it lay in my power. Hell in the Bible is tough to talk about. Its caused some to question God and others to leave Christianity all together. So, what does the Bible say about hell?
Yes, hell is a difficult topic to talk about. But its something the Bible teaches and we cannot ignore it. We need to lean into the description of hell in the Bible, grapple with it, and learn from it.
One of the biggest challenges when addressing the topic of hell is that many of the common beliefs about hell are not found in the Bible. Hell has been so influenced by culture, opinions, and misinformation that many of the common beliefs about hell look nothing like hell in the Bible. Thats a problem.
I want to take a fresh look at what hell is and while look through the lens of, what does the Bible say about hell?
We will get to the 6 truths about hell in just a minute. But first we need to take a look at the description of hell in the Bible and see what it teaches us.
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Who Goes To Hell
Revelation 21:8 describes who goes to hell: the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liarstheir place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. A critically important word in this list is the unbelieving. Who are the unbelievers that go to hell? John 3:18b is clear that those who do not believe in Jesus Christ suffer eternal punishment, whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of Gods one and only Son. Anyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ, anyone who does not repent of their sin, and anyone who does not ask for forgiveness, is doomed to eternal separation from God and His holy angels.
Will The Fires Of Hell Go Out Or Burn Forever
On the face of the earth there will be utter destruction. Nothing with a taint of sin will be left. 2 Peter 3:10 says, “both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Isaiah 47:14 describes this fire in the following way, “Behold, they shall be as stubble the fire shall burn them they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. The fire will be so complete that it will burn itself out, not even leaving a glowing coal. According to science, fire needs three things to continue burning: fuel, oxygen, and heat. If any of those three are removed the fire goes out. The fires of hell will go out because, as we read in Isaiah, there will not even be left one coal of combustible material to keep the fires going.
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Is Hell Eternal Torment
Hell is most certainly a place of eternal torment.
They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb .
Jesus gave a compelling description of the torment of Hades in Luke 16:19-31. Some think it only a parable, but the graphic description of Lazarus, named by Jesus, indicates a real-life story. A man named Lazarus, covered with sores, was laid at the gate of a wealthy mans home. Lazarus was starving, longing to eat the crumbs falling from the rich mans table.
Lazarus died and was carried away by the angels to the arms of Abraham. The rich man also died and went to Hades, where he was in torment. He saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his arms. And he cried out, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus, so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame. Abraham told him there was a great chasm between them that could not be crossed. Then the rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus to his fathers house to warn his five brothers of the torments of Hades.
Jesus account makes it clear that the torment of hell is conscious suffering. In the same way that Lazarus longed for a crumb to eat, the rich man longed for a drop of water to relieve his agony. The Rich man was screaming, help! Have mercy! Its hot! He was burning in agony. We cant deny the words of Jesus. Jesus was teaching everlasting pain and torment.
6. Hebrews 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.
Incessant Gnashing Of Teeth
There are not many sounds worse than grinding teeth. The very sound is enough to drive a person crazy! In the Bible, we learn that hell will be full of weeping and gnashing of teeth, sounds that act as eternal torment.
Matthew 13:49-50 says, So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
We learn of this aspect of hell in many verses including the following:
- Matthew 13:41-43
- Matthew 25:30
Although we do not have a clear picture of what hell will look like, the Bible has provided us with plenty of details regarding the horrors of this eternal separation from God. Fortunately, through Gods gift of salvation, we are all provided with a way to avoid hell, instead spending eternity with our Heavenly Father.
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Will The Wicked Cease To Exist
Scripture often employs terms such as destruction , perishing , and death to describe the judgment of God on those in hell. These terms, some argue, entail complete annihilation, not continuing anguish. As Stott memorably put it, It would seem strange . . . if people who are said to suffer destruction are in fact not destroyed and as you put it, it is difficult to imagine a perpetually inconclusive process of perishing.
In response, D.A. Carson replies, Stotts conclusion is memorable, but useless as an argument, because it is merely tautologous: of course those who suffer destruction are destroyed. But it does not follow that those who suffer destruction cease to exist. Stott has assumed his definition of destruction in his epigraph.
So what does it mean then? I have a family member whose car recently started on fire and was completely destroyed. It was totaled and rendered useless. They sent me a picture of it its frame, and doors, still were intact though completely black. The mirror hung limp. The front mirror was incinerated. The hood melted and the wires and engine exposed. It was ruined, but did not cease to be.
What Will Hell Look Like
We do not know for sure what hell will look like, or how hot it will be. Most of the descriptions of hell merely describe the fate of its inhabitants, rather than how it looks. Scripture uses descriptive language of hell though that can help us shape an idea. The Bible describes it as a fiery inferno and a place of torment.
Some take the Bibles descriptions of hell to be symbolic, while others take it more literally. There are times in the Bible where the description of hell doesnt quite make sense. For example, Matthew 25:41 pictures hell as a fiery place, while Matthew 8:12 says its complete darkness. Because God can do anything, there is definitely a possibility that He could create dark fire. Regardless, even if the language describing hell is symbolic, the place itself is real.
The scriptural descriptions of hell are meant to emphasize the torment and suffering that will be experienced by those sent there. The fire may picture the wrath of God that is experienced by unbelievers in hell, whereas the outer darkness may picture the alienation from Gods love, mercy, and grace.
Other words the Bible uses to describe hell include: fire and brimstone, burning wind, fiery oven, flames of fire, judgment by fire, unquenchable fire, furnace of fire, eternal fire, eternal punishment, fiery hell, pits of darkness and the lake of fire.
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What Happens To The Wicked In Hell
This may surprise you, but the Bible says in several places that the wicked will be burned up and completely destroyed in hellfire. You heard right, the wicked will not burn forever. Malachi 4:1-5 says that on the day of the Lord, ‘All the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘That will leave them neither root nor branch…You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet. Psalms 37:10, 20 also states that the wicked will be no more, they will be carefully looked for but not found. Verse 20 adds that the enemies of the Lord will die and vanish away into smoke. All that is left of the wicked is smoke and ashes, there will not be any part of them left to be tortured forever. All wickedness will be removed from the earth. The root as well as the branches will become ashes with no more life left in them.
What Is The Purpose Of Hell
Why would God allow for all this destruction to happen? 2 Peter 3:10-14 explains that earth being on fire will melt, but that we should look forward to a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells. The fire purifies the earth and establishes a place of righteousness for the saved to live. Isaiah 65:17 adds, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. This righteous place is described in Revelation 21:1-5 in the following way: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away…Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.
Have you considered the following? If people were tormented forever in hell how could all things be made new? Additionally, how could all tears be wiped away if you were saved and happily living in an earth recreated, but could still see loved ones burning in hell for eternity? Eternal life for you in heaven would be eternal torment as you continually saw those you loved in unending agony.
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How Can I Avoid Hell
If you were an all-powerful God who ruled the universe how would you deal with sin? How would you remove pain and heartache fairly for eternity? God wants to destroy sin, but at the same time lovingly save the sinner. If we continue to hold on to sin we will be destroyed along with sin. If we let go and confess, sin alone will be destroyed. If sin is not completely eradicated it will infect every part of earth. There can be no peace with sin in existence. Lets look again at Ezekiel 33:11, which says, “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel? God is calling you, not out of fear of hell, but out of love. He is pleading with you to get rid of every sin in your life so some day you can enjoy an everlasting heavenly home where no pain or suffering exists. Why not listen to a fair, compassionate God who loves you and doesnt want anyone to suffer, but come unto Him.
Biblical Mentions Of Hell
While we could speculate on this topic all day, the best way to understand what hell is actually like is to study what the Bible says on the topic. There are over 160 Biblical mentions of hell found throughout both the Old and New Testament.
Here are some of the most common Bible verses on the topic of hell:
- 2 Thessalonians 1:9
- Matthew 13:50
As with everything else, it is important to conduct your own Biblical research to establish truth on important topics such as life after death.
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1. Place Of Souls Of The Wicked
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell .
2. Fiery Furnace
and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth
If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they. . . The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father. She shall be burned with fire .
And Joshua said, ‘Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.’ So all Israel stoned them with stones and they burned them with fire after they stoned them with stones .
3. Place Of Unquenchable Fire
He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire
And if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire .
As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them . . . are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire .
4. Weeping And Gnashing Of Teeth
The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will collect out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth .
5. Place Of No Rest6. Condemnation7. Destruction8. Separation From God’s Presence9. Outer DarknessSummary
How To Escape Hell
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved .
We have all sinned and deserve the punishment of hell. But God loves us so deeply that He gave His only Son Jesus to die for our sins. Jesus took our punishment for sin on His own body, so that if we believe in Him, we will not spend eternity in the lake of fire, but instead in heaven with Him.
Through His name, everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sin . Repent turn away from your sin and toward God and acknowledge that Jesus died and rose again for your sins. Receive a restored relationship with God!
If you are already a believer, what are you doing to save others from hell? Are you sharing the good news with your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers? Are you supporting mission efforts taking the good news of salvation to those around the world who havent heard?
Heavenly Father, may the painful truth of hell motivate us to share Your good news with those who have not yet received it.
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