Three words are translated to “Hell” from the New Testament. Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna. Hades and Tartarus are Greek and the word Gehenna is the Greek form of the Hebrew words Gee and Hinnom which mean “the valley of Hinnom.”
Hades occurs eleven times and has a meaning of “grave” one time and “Hell” ten times. 2 Cor. 15: 55, ” O death, where is thy sting. O grave (hades) where is thy victory?” An example of a use where it takes the meaning of “Hell” is Rev. 6: 8, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was death, and Hell followed him.”
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus provides a good example of hades being used in the figurative sense of depravity, suffering and degradation. The word Tartarus was used only one time and was within the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Tartarus was the place of torment within Hades. It is the place where the rich man was located and was used figuratively. The word Gehanna shows up 12 times always being associated with “Hell”. It is found in the following scriptures: Matt. 5:22, 29, 30, 10:28, 18:9, 13:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5 and James 3:6. It is clear to see the word Gehanna, or Hell, within the New Testament represents anything repulsive, foul and evil with judgment of destruction.
The majority of people today cannot quite grasp the Biblical teaching on the destiny of the lost. Someone you love could possibly end up in eternal punishment because of wickedness. Now that is a thought and a place where even Christians with generally high views of Biblical inspiration cannot go.
The bible teaches the existence of Heaven where we can end up in a state of joyous eternity and residing in the fellowship of God. It also teaches the presence of Hell which is presented as a state of anguished separation from God. Those decisions are made while you are in this life and once this life ends they become permanently fixed states.
The very first description of Hell in revelation comes in Chapter 14 when John wrote about the final judgment. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Rev. 14:9-11). This is another very terrifying section of God’s word as it is referring to “God’s wrath” and “God’s anger” all mentioned within the context of “tormented with fire and brimstone” forever and ever. It does not get any more frightful than this. John sends all a very forceful warning of “Do not oppose God!” He goes on in revelation describing the torment and the lake of fire.
In Revelation 20 and 21 the “Lake of fire” is described as the place where all who choose to turn from Jesus will go as a final destiny. In Rev. 20: 11-15 the words are clear that the lake of fire is for punishment. John tells us there will be two different places for believers and unbelievers. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev. 22:14-15). If these subjects have not dealt with their sins through the blood of Jesus in this life, “washed their robes”; their destiny will be chosen. There will be no way to wash your robes when you are in the lake of fire.
The doctrine of Hell is fully supported by the Bible and has been an accepted doctrine of the Christian church from the beginning. Many Scholars such as C.S. Lewis have come to the conclusion that scriptures also are supported by reason.
In the last part of Matthew 25 it says, “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:44-46). Think about what the Bible is always talking about. Believe on Christ and be saved. Believe and have everlasting life. Be saved from what? It is important to connect with this fundamental issue. If you believe and have a saving faith in Christ you are then saved from that awful and terrible place in outer darkness. You will be saved from the wrath of God. No one wants to experience the wrath of a just God visited upon who ever has been hostile toward Him. You should be seeing the reality of Hell in all this. The most frightful thing anyone could ever experience is the judgment of a holy God.
Tony Evans wrote, “The Bible is clear that at the moment of death, our souls pass immediately into conscious existence in eternity, either in heaven or in hell. A lot of people think there’s some kind of second chance after death. God’s Word says nothing about an intermediate state of purgatory after death in which we have a second chance to get our act together, have our sins dealt with and then make it to heaven.”
As mentioned before, this life is no trial run. It is the only shot we have. So let us all get our act together so as not to end up in that horrible place called Hell. Yes, it is for real.
Come back for the next post as we look at what Jesus said about Hell.
Have a Godly day,
 Velarde, Is Hell Real?
 David Horton and Ryan Horton, eds., The Portable Seminary (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2006), 166.
 Ibid., 194.
 Evans, Tony Evans Speaks Out on Heaven and Hell, 15.
 Chan and Sprinkle, Erasing Hell, 33.
 Sproul, Unseen Realities, 65.
 Evans, Tony Evans Speaks Out on Heaven and Hell, 8.