Hell Yes It’s Real, Part 5

images3JESUS SAID HELL IS FOR REAL

Christ is the Authority on the Subject

Based on the authority of Jesus Christ we have no choice but to believe that Hell is for real.  He descended there for three hours which were the darkest hours known to mankind to date. The place reserved for the lost is prepared. Jesus tells us more about Hell being for real than any other author or speaker.[1] Matthew 25: 31 -43 provides a representative example of how Christ spoke of Hell. 

Jesus knew about Hell first hand and spoke about it the most. Jonathan Edwards didn’t invent the concept of Hell.  John Wesley or Charles Spurgeon didn’t come up with it either. How about Thomas Aquinas or Augustine, did they invent it?  Maybe the reformers of the sixteenth century dreamed it up. No, it was not dreamed up by anyone at all.  It is a Biblical doctrine and pretty close to all that is learned about it comes from the lips of Jesus Christ. The early church took the concept of Hell very seriously and we should as well.  The church today should take the concept of Hell much more serious than they do because of the frequency that Jesus spoke about it.[2]

Jesus often used the images of fire and darkness to describe Hell. The parable of “The wheat and the tares” holds a very terrifying group of words by the Lord.  “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:40-43).  We see the “weeping” while they are “cast into the fiery furnace”.  A few verses later it comes again, “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,  And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” Matthew 13:49-50).And again Jesus gives it to us, “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire” (Matthew 18:8-9).  Again we see Jesus using the images of darkness for a description of Hell, “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:11-12).   Just before He died the words were told in another parable, “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13) and He did it again in another parable when he said, “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30).  It is clear that Jesus is describing to us a Hell that is for real and a Hell that includes darkness, weeping, and gnashing of teeth which are all common Jewish ways to describe Hell. We need to remember this is real to our fellow humans, this is the real deal, and this stuff has real implications for real people that will have real destinies.  This is very important material to consider.  Now, the most alarming statement about the duration of Hell comes in Matthew 25 where He delivered the parable of the Sheep and the Goats.  It was about the rapture and the final judgment.  The sheep represented the believers in Christ and the Goats represented the unbelievers. Jesus divided them up in the two different groups according to how they have lived their lives.  If you have clothed the naked, fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty you went in the sheep group.  If you did none of these things you went with the goats cast into the everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels.[3]

Jesus told another parable in Matthew 13:48-50.  In a very large fishing net were caught all kinds of fish.  The fishermen emptied the nets and separated the good fish from the bad fish.  They discarded the bad fish for they had no value.  “That is another great image of the end of the age.  The angels will be separating the righteous from the wicked and the wicked will discarded into the fiery furnace, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 13;29-50).[4]

In the book of Mark Jesus was talking about sinners getting thrown into hell (Mark 9:43-48) Mark quoted Isaiah’s picture of Hell. The place where worm does not die and fire is not quenched. That devouring worm is eating what is already dead and then helped by the unquenchable fire until nothing remains. Whatever is left lasts for all of eternity. (Mt. 25:46)[5] The choice is yours, do you want life or do you want the fiery punishment?

Jesus is Consistent with the Early Jews

The first-century Jews believed in Hell and had a clear view they described.  Jesus was a Jew.  If Jesus disagreed with the view of Hell provided by his fellow Jews He would have very clearly outlined his differences and place an argument against them.  Jesus was never afraid of going against a commonly held Jewish idea.  The views of Jesus stand in line with the first-century Jewish pictures of Hell.[6]

Hell is described consistently throughout the New Testament by Jesus and also by nearly all the writers God used to pen His words.  Judgment and punishment are consistent pictures drawn by all the writers. Destruction, death, exclusion, banishment, and separation are all words used to describe that awful place. The issue of fire and suffering are included in many of the descriptions, however the predominate and overriding theme is always destruction and punishment.  There are three main pictures of Hell that emerge out of the New Testament writings.  The nature of Hell is described clearly as punishment, destruction and banishment.[7] Hell shown as punishment affirms that sin is recognized by God as a crime. The destruction picture of Hell indicates that sin is a spiritual death and the banishment shows sin as alienating us from God.[8]  The sin is real, evil and wickedness are real, the crime is real, the punishment is real and Hell is for real.

The word gehenna, (translation “Hell”) was used in the Gospels twelve times.  The images of fire and darkness are there along with punishment and judgment.  Jesus believed just like the early Jews that hell was real and the wicked are headed to that a place of punishment.[9]

Join me next time as I bring this to a conclusion…  Click here to go to the next post.

Yes, Hell is for real!

Have a Godly day,

The “Tubthumper”

Click here to go to:  Part 1,     Part 2,     Part 3,      Part 4.


[1] Edward William Fudge, and Peterson, Two Views of Hell, 37.

[2] Sproul, Unseen Realities, 52.

[3] Chan and Sprinkle, Erasing Hell, 76-81.

[4] Edward William Fudge, and Peterson, Two Views of Hell, 40.

[5] Ibid., 44.

[6] Ibid., 73.

[7] Morgan and Peterson, Hell under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, 142.

[8] Keller et al., IS HELL for Real or Does Everyone Go to Heaven, 605.

[9] Chan and Sprinkle, Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We Made Up, 74.

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