place called Hell
Today I want to discuss a place with you that is not a very popular subject in the church world, and is not very often preached about even in Pentecostal circles.
For the simple reason that the so-called Pentecostal\Charismatic churches who are led by ministers\pastors\preachers without any backbone, are afraid of
mentioning this place by name because they are afraid of offending the elite of their churches. They [ministers\pastors] are more concerned that the members
of their congregations, who donate big money, will leave and then their lavish lifestyles will be affected. The Apostle Paul says of himself and to the preachers
of the gospel, “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel, 1Cor 9v16” In other words pastors are to preach the Word of God in its fullness, and that includes topics like hell.
Yes, saints you guessed right. Hell is not a very likable subject to talk about. The world does not want to hear about hell. They do not want to hear that they
will face a lost eternity without God. They argue that if God is a loving God, He will not send them to this place. Yes they are right God will not send them to hell.
Man is sending himself to hell, because of his rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. God in His infinite Wisdom made a way of escape for mans lost condition.
So, if the majority of the world is on their way to hell, should the ministers\pastors\preachers of the gospel not be warning them of their fate. A resounding yes and amen!
But wait lets not get ahead of ourselves here folks?
Let’s go back a bit to the beginning to get a picture of why this place was created and for whom it was intended for, as spoken of in Matthew 25v41. Satan [Lucifer] had
tried to usurp Almighty God from His Throne in Heaven and because of that rebellion the devil and the angels who chose sides with him were cast out of heaven.
Although the Old Testament does speak often of this place called hell, no better explanation is given by the One who came to save mankind from this place called Hell.
Jesus Christ came into this world to save them who were lost. After the fall of Adam and Eve, the Creator of mankind, spoke a “prophetic word” in Genesis 3v15 that a
Redeemer will come to reconcile man back into a relationship with Him. Even though God promised that a Redeemer would come to save man back to Him, He first
had to destroy the whole of mankind up until Noah and his family. God saved them from the flood to start the human race a-fresh. This is all recorded in Genesis up
until the 9th chapter. Jesus spoke of this place as being located, “in the heart of the earth”, Mat12v40. The word, ‘Hell’ as it’s used in the Bible, is a synonym for the
underworld of departed spirits. There are five areas in this location [place] referred to as ‘Hell’. I want to speak on maybe three of these areas. But let me just
mention here the five areas of this terrible place. Tartarus, Hell, Paradise [Abraham’s bosom], which is now empty, the Bottomless Pit and the Lake of Fire.
Tartarus: The fallen angels occupy this area. These are most probably the angels that cohabited with woman and produced a race of giants, spoken of in Genesis 6v4.
It is mentioned by the apostle Jude of this in vs. 6-8, ‘And the angels who kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of
that great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, the suffering of eternal fire. Likewise
also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” Immediately after His death on the Cross, our Lord went down into Paradise and preached to these
fallen angels, as scripture implies in 1Peter 3v18-20, “For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the
Spirit; By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime past were disobedient.”
Hell. This is the place where all the lost or unsaved souls go immediately at death. Jesus graphically described this area [place] in an illustration concerning
Lazarus a beggar, and the rich man as recorded in Luke 16v19-31. The Master spoke of this rich man dying, and scripture saying, “And in Hell he lift up his eyes, being
in torments” [v23]. The Lord also spoke very clearly that Hell was a place of fire. He said of the rich man, who cried out to Abraham, “Send Lazarus that he may
dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame” [v24]. What more do we need than this illustration from the Master Himself
that the fires of Hell are real. Of course the soul of the redeemed and the unredeemed are indestructible, meaning that although the body may be destroyed
the spirit of man lives forever and will be tormented in flames for eternity. Also we know from Matthew 24v41 that this place called Hell was originally,
“prepared for the devil and his angels”. We read in John 16v7-11, of the judgement of Satan and all who follow him. In essence the Lord is saying that all of mankind
which follows Satan will experience Satan’s judgement, and that every person who has ever lived and died unsaved is now in ‘Hell.’ They will be there until
they stand at the Great White Throne Judgement, and are then transferred to the Lake of Fire.
Paradise. Before the Cross of Calvary and the permanent sufficient shedding of the blood sacrifice for sin, all believers who died were taken by the angels
into Paradise, which Jesus referred to in Luke 16v22, as “Abraham’s bosom.” There was a great gulf between the unsaved [Hell] and saved [Paradise], Luke 16v26.
But Praise God when Jesus died on the Cross, settling forever the sin debt, at least for all who would believe. He went down into Paradise, sometimes referred to as
Hell, Psalms 16v10. The Apostle Paul said of this, “Wherefore He said, when He had ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that He ascended, what is it but that
He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth”, Ephesians 4v8-9. The only thing standing between mankind and eternal Hell is the Cross of Jesus Christ. Folks let me
address the issue of purgatory. Is there such a place as purgatory? No! There is and never was and never shall be a place called purgatory, because it is a
fabrication of the Catholic Church. This is not scriptural, because if it was why does the Word of God not address it?
Nowhere in the entirety of the Bible, Old and New Testament, is there any mention of such a place. The Roman Catholic Church has defined the existence of
purgatory in the Decree of Union drawn at the Council of Florence in A.D. 1439 and again at the Council of Trent, which says; “The Catholic Church, instructed by the
Holy Spirit, has from sacred Scriptures and the ancient traditions of the fathers taught in sacred councils and very recently in the ecumenical synod, that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein detained
are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally, by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar.” The Roman Catholic Church states as explanation for these ridiculous findings that
purgatory is the state or condition in which those who have died in a state of GRACE, but with some attachment to sin, suffer for a time before they are admitted
to the glory and happiness of Heaven. In this state and period of passive suffering, they are purified of venial sins; satisfy the demands of Divine justice for
temporal punishment due for these sins, and are thus converted to a state of worthiness.
So what does the Word of God say concerning purgatory?
The New Testament contradicts all these teachings, by the fact that we “have therefore boldness to enter into the holiest by the Blood of Jesus, by a new and living
way” according to Hebrews 10v19-20. There you have it saints. This verse speaks of the believer having access to the Father made possible by the shed Blood of
Jesus. In other words if we have immediate\full access to God’s kingdom why would God deem it necessary to place us in a state of having to first “suffer for a time”
as the Catholic Church teaches. Would you agree on this? I mean the Apostle Paul teaches us that when sins are remitted, which is made possible by the sacrifice
of the Cross, and our faith in that which was accomplished there, there is no more need of any other offerings for sins. Because Christ’s offering of Himself was
sufficient and effective for all past, present and future sins, on condition of proper confession of sin and meeting the terms of continued Grace, which is faith in
Christ and the finished work of the Cross. In the plain and simplicity of these truths, if men reject Christ and the Cross, Hell or really the Lake of Fire, will be their
eternal abode; and to be sure, eternity is a long, long time! In fact, it is “forever and forever,” according to Revelation 20v10. The Roman Catholic doctrine of
purgatory is purely pagan and cannot for one moment stand in the light of Scripture. The Word of God states very clearly to us “He who has the Son has life; and he
who has not the Son has not life” 1John 5v12.
William C Nichols in Terrors of Hell gives a Description of Hell that I want to share with you at this time. “Hell is a furnace of unquenchable fire, a place of everlasting punishment,
where its victims are tormented in both their bodies and there minds in accordance with their sinful natures, their actual sins committed, and the amount of spiritual light given to them, which they rejected. Hell is a
place from which God’s mercy and goodness have been forever withdrawn, where God’s wrath is revealed as a terrifying, consuming fire, and men live with unfulfilled lusts and desires in torment forever and ever.”
Jonathan Edwards, one of the greatest preachers who ever lived describes in graphic language what the fires of hell will be like: “Some of you have seen buildings on
fire; imagine therefore with yourselves, what a poor hand you would make at fighting with the flames, if you were in the midst of so great and fierce a fire, and have observed how immediately it yields to the force
of the flames. There is no long struggle, no fighting against the fire, no strength exerted to oppose the heat, or flee from it; but it immediately stretches forth and yields, and the fire takes possession of it, and at once
it becomes full of fire. Here is a little image of what you will be in hell, except you repent and flee to Christ. To encourage yourselves to bear hell-torments as well as you can, is just as if a worm, that is about to be
thrown into a glowing furnace, should swell and fortify itself, and prepare itself to fight the flames. Hell is described as a place of darkness. The Lord tells us of the guest without wedding
clothes who was cast “into outer darkness” Matthew 22v13. Jude writes of those in hell “for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever” in Jude 13. Christopher Love says
in his work Hell’s Terrors: “darkness is terrible, and men are more apt to fear in the dark than light: hell is therefore set forth in so terrible an expression, to make the hearts of men tremble; not only darkness,
but the blackness of darkness.” Jonathan Edwards speaks of men, “unable to find anything to relieve them in hell. They will never find any resting place there; any secret corner, which will be cooler than the
rest, where they may have a little respite, a small abatement of the extremity of their torment. They will never be able to find any cooling stream or fountain, in any part of that world of torment; no, nor comfort, or do
them the least good. They will find no place, where they can remain, and rest, and take breath for one minute; for they will be tormented with fire and brimstone; and they will have no rest day or night forever and ever.”
The most terrifying aspect of hell is the length or duration. My friend hell is eternal. Hell will last forever. Can you comprehend eternity? No human being can
even come close to realising or even conceive how long eternity is, because God Almighty has given us only that ability to comprehend length of time for a
short span. But God is eternal, and His thinking is eternal. In Isaiah 55v8-9 God says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the
heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” So you see saints of God, His ways and His thoughts are so much higher
than ours, meaning it is eternal. As God is from eternity to eternity only He can think that way. God clearly warns us in Revelation 20v10, “And the devil who deceived
them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever”. Did you get that child of God? Eternity
is through the ages of the ages, it is never ending.
God does not want one human being, man, woman, boy or girl to go lost, that is why He sent His Son Jesus to die on the Cross so that we might be saved.
How much more must the Creator of man do to get His most treasured creations attention? Nothing more, for He has done enough. The world is on a collision
course with eternity. “What shall the end be to them that obey not the gospel of God? 1Peter4v17. Sinner, are you so arrogant as to think you can bear the wrath of
God poured out in full measure upon you? Do not think that simply because you go to church, or even believe in God, or believe in the truths of Christianity
that you will escape hell. The majority of people, who regularly attend a church every week, will go to hell.
There is an escape route made possible by the Father. And that is recorded in John 3v16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes
in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” There is obviously so much more that can be said on the subject of hell, and maybe there will be a follow up on this very
important issue if the Lord so desires me to write more. In closing this message, I cannot leave without one final word to those who think they are converted,
but are not; but also to those who know themselves top be unconverted. Can you conceive of eternity? Stop now and try to imagine being tormented unceasingly,
forever, without end. Does this not terrify you? Never a chance for a moment’s rest. Never a drop of water to cool your parched throat. Think again of how long
eternity is? Try to imagine it: day and night, forever and ever, burning with fire like a spider in a furnace of flames. Shrieking, howling, wailing, and cursing the
day you were born, and being cursed by the devils and damned souls around you eternally. Remembering, forever remembering, how you were warned on earth
and how you ignored those warnings: self-satisfied and self-deceived that all was well with your soul.
Unless you repent and flee to Jesus Christ, who is your only hope, you have no way other way to escape the coming wrath of Almighty God.