In our modern day society hell is not
topic that you will hear preached or talked about very often because many
people today want to pretend that it doesnít exist. In fact some religions
groups such as the Jehovah Witnesses deny that Hell even exists. The reason why
some donít want believe in the horrible place called hell is because they
cannot see how a loving God could send people to such a place. However, no
matter how much people want Hell to be myth the Bible makes it very clear that
this place does exist and those who are outside of Christ will find themselves
there. Have you considered the fact that the Bible talks about punishment and
hell around 5 times more than it does about rewards and heaven. Even Jesus
himself spoke more about Hell than he did about heaven.
Since the Word of God emphasizes this
place many times donít you think that it important that we learn as much as we
can about this horrible place and how to avoid it?
Now the first thing I want to do is to
point out some different Greek words that are translated as hell or hades
within our Bibles and to learn difference in words.
Now the Greek Word hades Ė mean the place
of the unseen dead. When the Bible speaks of this place it talking about the
waiting place that the soul goes to when a person dies. This place consist of 2
areas that are divided by impassible gulf. One area is described as Abraham
Bosom orParadisewhere the righteous will wait for the
final judgment. The other place is described by the Greek word Tartaros where
the wicked waits for their final judgment. I believe these 2 areas are a
foretaste of what heaven will be like and what hell itself will be like. To
help us gain a better understanding of what I am talking about in regards to
this temporary waiting place known as Hades. We need to examine the story of the rich man and
Luke 16:19" There was a certain rich man
who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 "But there was a certain
beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 "desiring to be fed with the
crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked
his sores. 22 "So it
was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The
rich man also died and was buried. 23
"And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham
afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24
"Then 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.' 25
"But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your
good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you
are tormented. 26 '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.' 27 "Then he said,
'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's
house, 28 'for I have five
brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of
torment.' 29 "Abraham
said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30 "And he said, 'No, father
Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 "But he said to him, 'If they
do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one
rise from the dead.' "
The first thing we learn is that
there was a rich man who was just living life to it fullest. He had everything
a worldly man could want and we also that he was very self centered and only
cared about himself. Then we also learn about this poor man named Lazarus. He
did not have any worldly riches. In fact he was destitute and all he could do
to survive to beg for help from others. We see that he was at the gate of this
rich man just hoping that he would share some of the crumbs from his table but
apparently this rich man was even to greedy to this. We see that Lazarus was in
bad shape and had sores on his body. He must have been struggling with strength
because allowed these dogs to come and lick his wounds.
So while living on the earth the
rich man had it good and the poor man had it bad. But we learn from this story
that is much more to life than what we live here on this earth. As the story
continues on we learn that rich man and Lazarus dies. You no matter how rich or
how poor you are we will face death on day and this story teaches us that
everyone after they die there soul will be separated from the body and they
will go to one or two place. The first place we see from our story is that the
angels take Lazarus to this place called Abraham bosom and it tells us that the
rich finds himself Hades as well but he is in a different area where he is
being tormented. In fact he describes it as place full of flames.
I donít know of any worse pain
than that of being burned or any worse torment of being surrounded by unending
fire. Now we to keep in mind that God can burn something without destroying it.
For example, when the Angel of the Lord spoke to Moses out of the burning bush
one of thing that Moses observed inExodus 2:2was that the bush was full of flames
yet the bush was not consumed or burned up.Then
you add the fact that a person soul never dies shows us how a person can
continually be tormented forever.
We also learn from our text that
in this waiting place that we are conscience. We can see just as the rich was
able to see Abraham and Lazarus. We also learn that we communicate as the rich
man cried to Abraham. We learn that all our senses our working as the rich man
was experience the torment of flames and how he desired to have his tongue
cooled by a drop of water from Lazarus. We also learn that Lazarus was able to
experience what true comfort felt like after the hard life he lived while on
the earth. Here we see a role reversal because now the rich men is begging for
just a drop of water just like Lazarus had begged for the crumbs from rich man
table. The difference is that Lazarus cannot give the rich man anything because there is a
great gulf that separates them.
Another thing that we learn from
Abraham is that the rich man is going to have to think about he lived his life
for the rest of eternity. Can you even begin to imagine how it would make you
feel if you realized that you could of done things differently while you lived
on the earth that would have kept from being in that awful place. Those who
have made poor choices are all going to have plenty of time to think about
those mistakes they made.
One last thing we learn from our
story is that the rich man also can remember his family that this left behind
on the earth and because he now knows the reality of his situation he
desperately wants his family to know the truth about God so that they donít
have to come that horrible place. However learn that from Abraham that no one
is one is going to come back alive from the dead to go warn his family and if
that did happen they most likely would not believe that person. He concludes by
basically saying that they have word God and that should be enough to persuade
them because if it wonít nothing else will. So we learn from our story that
when a person dies their soul either goes to Abrahamís bosom or this or place
of torment where we will all wait for our finally judgment as either go to
heaven or to hell.
Now real quickly I want to show
where I get the idea that these 2 places in Hades are also calledParadiseand tartaros.
First lets deal with the termParadise.
When Jesus was on the cross and the thief asked Jesus to remember him when he
came into his kingdom Jesus responded to him and said,
I say to you, today you will be with me inParadise."
You see when Jesus died his soul
left his body and his soul went to Hades. Surely no one would every think that
he went to the place of torment. So, from this I conclude that the place the
Lazarus went to is also calledParadise.
Now lets look at the word
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the
angels who sinned, but castthemdown to hell and deliveredtheminto chains of darkness, to be
reserved for judgment;
This is the only time this Greek
word is used in the Bible as we see translated as hell. Notice this also the
place where the angels who have sinned are held until the day of judgment. So
this is why I conclude that place where the rich man is also called tartaros.
This passage also shows that this realm called Hades is a waiting place until
the day of judgment occurs. Please note the following passage.
20:12And I saw the dead,
small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book
was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to
their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who
were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And
they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into
the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the
Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
You see at the day of Judgment Hades will
give up the dead. Those who are written in the book of life will go to heaven
and those not found in that book will be cast in the lake of fire which is the
finally destination of all those who are wicked and have not obeyed the will of
God. Please notice the words of John
John 5:28"Do not marvel at this; for the
hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 "and come forth -- those who
have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to
the resurrection of condemnation.
According to Paul in 1 Cor. 15 it
is at this time that we will receive or immortal bodies that will last
throughout eternity and Mat. 25 Jesus says at this time that there will be a
division between the righteous and the righteous and that there eternal
destination will be sealed at that time.
25:46"And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the
righteous into eternal life."
Now I want you to think about this
for a minute. If the waiting place know as Hades was full of torment and it was
just a preview of what was going to happen in the final place called hell then
can you even begin to imagine how much worse actually hell will be or to even
begin to imagine spending eternity there. Now that we have examined the waiting
place now let take a look at what the Bible says about hell itself.
Now the Greek Word used to
describe this place isGehenna.This word is found twelve times in
the Greek New Testament and Jesus
himself uses this word 11 times. It interesting to note that Jesus spoke of
"hellĒ more frequently than he did of "heaven.Ē
The word Gehenna comes froman Old Testament Hebrew expression,
"thevalleyofHinnom,Ē which was used to describe a ravine on the southern side ofJerusalem.
This valley was used by certain apostate Hebrews as a place where their
children were offered into the fiery arms of the pagan god Molech (2 Chron.
It was deemed an area of
suffering and weeping. When Josiah the king started going around and destroying
the false idols this valley was considered as a site of dreadful abomination (2
Kgs.23:10-14). It finally became
the garbage dump ofJerusalemwhere there was a continual burning of
would teach people about things such as heaven or hell he always used something
that they could relate to in the 1stcentury and so he used this term
Ghenna to describe where the sinner would end up and horrible it would be. Now
of course mere words can only come close to describing how dark and terrifying
hell will be. Now one will now the true horrors of Hell until they get there
and hopeful none of will find our way there.
Now lets take a look at some more passages that
talk about this horrible place called hell. Fist note what Jesus said.
Matthew 5:29"If your right eye causes you to
sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that
one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into
hell. 30 "And if your
right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more
profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to
be cast into hell.
Now Jesus is not literally saying
that we should cut parts of our body but he makes this statement to show how
important it is for us to get the sin out our life no matter what the cost
because no sin is worth the Horrors of Hell. This teaches us that we must take
sin very serious and not allow it to drag us down to the pits of hell. In
another place where Jesus was teaching the parable about tares and the wheat he
conclude by saying.
13:41"The Son of Man
will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things
that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42"and will cast them into the
furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Now this idea of wailing and
gnashing of teeth is something that happens when someone is great discomfort
and the only thing they can do from torment they are is to cry and gnash there
teeth in pain. Again notice another point that Jesus makes about hell.
Mark 9:43"If your hand causes you to sin,
cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having
two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched -- 44"where 'Their worm
does not die, And the fire is not quenched.' 45"And if your foot causes you to
sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having
two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched
-- 46"where 'Their worm does not die,
And the fire is not quenched.' 47"And if your eye causes you to
sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one
eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire -- 48"where 'Their worm does not die,
And the fire is not quenched.'
Here we see Jesus is describing
this awful place where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. This
teaches us that those who find themselves in this place will never die but will
have remain in this fire that can never be quenched. I cant even begin to
imagine of the pain of being burned or exposed to fire over and over again with
no end in sight. You some people who struggle with the health and feel
miserable they long to leave this world so no longer will suffer the pain they
are going through right now. But just try to imagine being tormented in hell a
never being able to escape the suffering that will be there.
Mat. 25:30describes hell as place of outer
Mat. 25:46say that is a place of everlasting
Rev. 21:8describes it as lake burns with fire
Finally take a look at what,
14:10"he himself shall
also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength
into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone
in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11"And the smoke of their torment
ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the
beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
You see there is no rest in
horrible place. Those who are opposed to God will be tormented fire and
brimstone and notice it says the smoke of their torment ascends for every and
ever. So, please realize the Hell is a reality and no one should want to go
there but unfortunately many will.
Matthew 7:13" Enter by the narrow gate; for
wideisthe gate and broadisthe way that leads to destruction,
and there are many who go in by it.
We learned last week that heaven
is a prepared for a prepared people. We in the same vain Hell is prepared place
for unprepared people.
25:41"Then He will also
say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the
everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
So not only is Hell prepared for
the devil and his angels it prepared for all those who do not choose to obey
Thessalonians 1:7when the
Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8in flaming fire taking vengeance on
those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord
Jesus Christ. 9These shall be punished with
everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His
Every single person who disobeys
God word will go to this horrible place. Paul gives us an general list of those
who will end up in hell in,
5:19Now the works of the flesh
are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred,
contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions,
heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries,
and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also toldyouin time past, that those who
practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
There will even be a great number
of people who claim to be religious there because they have never fully obeyed
Matthew 7:21" Not everyone who says to Me,
'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My
Father in heaven. 22"Many will say to Me in that day,
'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name,
and done many wonders in Your name?' 23"And then I will declare to them,
'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
We also learn from the Bible that
there will be Christians the end up in this bad place if they are not living
faithfully to God and they lukewarm in their Christianity.
3:15"I know your works,
that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16"So then, because you are
lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Here Jesus was writing to a church
and he wanted them to know the being Lukewarm is not acceptable to God and
unless they repent he will vomit them out of his mouth. So this teaches us that
we must not become lazy in our Christianity because Jesus promises us a crown
of righteous only if we are faithful until the end.
2:10"Do not fear any of
those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throwsomeof you into prison, that you may
be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and
I will give you the crown of life.
This tells us that we must be very
careful to stay committed to the Lord and serving him. This is why I believe
Paus tells us,
2:12Therefore, my beloved,
as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my
absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Corinthians 9:27 But I
discipline my body and bringitinto subjection, lest, when I have
preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
In this lesson this morning we
have learned a great deal about this place called hell and how horrible it is.
We have learned how important it is that
we must be faithful Christians in order to avoid the pits of hell.
Now one last point I want to make
is that knowing about the reality of hell should motivate us to teach the lost
of God saving Grace so that they can have the opportunity to escape the
torments of hell. This was something that certainly motivated Paul.
Corinthians 5:9Therefore we make
it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10For we must all appear before the
judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the thingsdonein the body, according to what he
has done, whether good or bad. 11Knowing, therefore, the terror of the
Lord, we persuade men;
Paul and the rest of the apostles
knew full well that everyone will be judged and those who are not of God will
have to face the terrors of the Lord and this is one of the reasons that
motivated them to share the good news to those around them and to warn them
that if they do not choose to serve God they will face that horrible place
called hell. Every Christian should be motivated by this. When we start feeling
scared about trying to talk to someone about God and what they may think about
us we need to overcome our fears by thinking of where these people are going to
go if they do not obey Gods will.
It important that they understand
that they must first become Christians first before they every begin to hope to
escape the torments of hell. They need to know that must believe that Jesus is
the son God. They must be willing repent of their life style and start living
their living their life for God. They must confess Jesus as the Lord. Then
finally in order for a person to become a Christians and have sins washed away
they must be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins. It
only when they do all of these things and understand that they will become a
Christian. Then they need to be taught that once they become a child of God
their journey has just begun because as we talked about earlier we must remain
faithful and committed to God until the day we die overcome the torments of
I hope this lesson has shown you
without a doubt the hell is real and that if we want to avoid it we must obey
the will of God.