If you saw your neighbor’s house on fire, what’s the first thing you would do? Hopefully, you would check on those who live there and contact the fire department. If you claim to really care about others, this is one way to prove it. But what would you think of someone who sees his neighbor’s house about to burn down, yet does not try to warn or save him and his family? And what about those who preach week after week in various churches, but never alert anyone that their soul is in danger of burning forever in hell?
It is not likely that anyone would ever tell us about the fire of hell if God had never told us about it in the first place. But He has clearly told us in His Word, and we cannot fail to tell others once we know. Yet somewhere in the deep recesses of the mind, many lack faith in God’s warnings concerning the dreaded subject of hell. Some carry on their daily business totally unconcerned, as if judgment or wrath will never come. Others claim to know and love God, yet do nothing to warn friends and neighbors about the ultimate danger to their souls. Who else will warn them about the fiery wrath to come? Let’s stop this unfaithfulness, and warn others that the terrors of the Lord really are coming soon. And let them know also that there will be a reward for those who give their lives to God!
I want to state plainly that there definitely is a place called “hell.” Don’t let anyone deceive you into thinking otherwise. I am telling you about hell because I do not want you to go there. I care about you and want you to be saved. Jesus Christ will be coming back very soon to judge the world. And everyone found guilty of not believing in and becoming a follower of Him will be judged and punished for rejecting Him. This applies to all who show no regret for not believing in and following Christ. It also applies to all who cling to sin and the world—whose affections are on the things of earth and not of heaven. All who harbor these attitudes will experience an awful end, because their names have not been written in the Book of Life. Therefore, when they die, they will have to be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). God’s creatures are able to live in earth or air or water, but none are able to live in fire. Yet those who do not believe in Christ will end up spending all of eternity there.
Fire is the element that consumes and destroys the most. The following figures of speech and others in the Bible often refer to hell: prison, fire, darkness, weeping, thirst, gnashing of teeth, the pit and the second death. All of them have meaning concerning what comes after life here, often beyond what the mind of man can fully imagine. The mind and conscience may also face misery in hell way beyond what the body might have to endure. It is possible that whatever has made the wicked ones in this life the most miserable will be poured out on both their body and spirit in hell—forever.
But the way the wicked will suffer is not as important here as the fact that it will definitely occur, and will certainly be most intense! Therefore, the Bible has to present a true picture of the most terrific and horrifying suffering anyone can imagine, which burning and fire represent the best. The torment will be unending, eternal, forever and ever—without even hope of any end. And during this whole trial, the wicked will vividly remember their past life with much bitterness, while continually dreading how hopeless their future will always be.
But why do we feel the need to concentrate on what type of punishment God will assign to unbelievers? We should be impressed right now that all the wicked will be cursed by God and punished for all eternity. Think about it: even after multiple millions of years have passed in hell, the “unquenchable fire” the Bible warns us about will never decrease nor burn up all of its fuel. If this is not enough to convince people to make their life right with God and avoid hell, what else could?
But what a contrast all this will be to the way Christ will deal with the righteous in eternity! He’ll tell them that He has prepared a place in His kingdom for them. But when He speaks to the wicked, He will not be telling them that hell was made just for them. Hell was not made for man at all. It was prepared for the devil and the fallen angels as their permanent place of punishment. No place on or under the earth was ever set apart for those who do not want God, because He never intended for man to be this way. Therefore, they will have to be sent to the only place left where they can be without Him eternally—hell.
Don’t be foolish, thinking you can outwit God by taking theories about hell and punishment from the Bible and making them fit your ideas about eternity. Where do we get the right to challenge or try to change what God has said? Who are we to tell Him what to do about anything? It would be much wiser on our part to tell Him that we want to know all He has to say about what will come beyond the grave. If everyone would do this, who would ever end up in that fire that never ceases to burn?
Therefore, I am warning you about the danger of hell and pray that you will tell others. The wicked will be punished for rejecting Christ. The righteous will be rewarded for accepting Him. Hell is a place of terrible suffering and it is forever. Believe what I am telling you: there really is a hell! And it really does have fire! Be careful that you don’t find it out the hard way. Now is the time to listen, learn and act while you still can.
To learn more of how you can know God and escape the horrors of hell please visit our page about the way to God.