By: Dr. Hank Lindstrom
“Go to hell” is an expression that people often use. If they really understood what that means, they probably wouldn’t use it. Hell is real and many will find themselves in hell one day. Unfortunately, there is no way out or no escape from hell. It appears from Scripture that the majority of people will wind up in hell. Jesus said, “…broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat (Matthew 7:13).”
Where is hell? What is hell? Will you go to hell? Just as many point up when they make reference to heaven, people often point down when they make a reference to hell. Can we know the location of hell? Is it a literal place? Obviously we must turn to the Bible to find the answers to these questions. Only God’s inspired Words can tell us the truth about hell. It soon becomes very clear as we open the pages of the Bible that the doctrine of hell is a thoroughly Biblical doctrine. The Old Testament and the New Testament alike teach the existence of a literal hell. Although the Bible does not give the physical location of hell, it does give us some hints, which we shall discuss.
Most importantly, the Bible makes it perfectly clear that those in the human race who reject the forgiveness of sin offered by God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary will receive perfect justice from God. They will be cast into the eternal lake of fire known as hell. If each of us got what we deserved from God, each of us would go to hell. Jeremiah the prophet says, “it is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not (Lamentations 3:22).” His mercy can only be received by trusting Jesus Christ as Saviour. “For by grace (mercy) are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest anyone should boast: (Ephesians 2:8,9).” This ought to be one of the impelling motives making evangelism the urgent business of all Christians. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).”
Many verses in the Bible make it plain that hell is a specific place where the lost will go. Jesus said, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).” Revelation 20:10 goes on to say, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.” We learn from Revelation 20:14 that “death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
Hell is not only a real place, but it is eternal. The duration of punishment for the one cast into hell is everlasting. Isaiah speaks of the everlasting burning of the fire that shall never be quenched and of the worm which shall never die (Isaiah 33:14; 66:24). David said that some would awake unto eternal life and others unto shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2). John the Baptist and Jesus spoke of the unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12; Mark 9:43). Paul the Apostle speaks of how the lost will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord (II Thessalonians 1:9). The Apostle John says that the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they shall have no rest day and night; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 14:11; 19:3; 20:10). Jesus said that hell is a furnace of fire in Matthew 13:41,42.
The fact that hell is eternal is plain from the following verses where hell is described as
1) Everlasting fire Matthew 25:41
2) Everlasting punishment Matthew 25:46
3) Eternal damnation Mark 3:29
4) Everlasting destruction II Thessalonians 1:9
5) Everlasting contempt Daniel 12:2
6) Torment forever and ever Revelation 14:9-11
7) Blackness of darkness forever Jude 13
8) Vengeance of eternal life Jude 7
9) Lake of fire–forever and ever Revelation 20:10
10) Second death–forever Revelation 20:14
What does one have to do to go to hell? The answer is nothing. Everyone in the human race is already headed there. All that one needs to do is to die without Christ as Saviour, then he is on his way. Unbelief will not put out the fire!
Jesus Christ came as a Savior to rescue the world from hell. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17).”
People may not care whether others to go hell, but the Lord does.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).”