Is Hell Real?
Posted by Job on March 15, 2007
What is commonly referred to as “hell” is actually the lake of fire. Hell is an evil entity, a demon if you will, that holds certain spirits of men – commonly referred to as souls – until such time as the Final Judgment, which the Bible refers to as the second death. (According to the Bible, the sea is another place where spirits of men are held until the Final Judgment, and the sea is where Satan tends to hang out.) After Final Judgment, hell will be cast into the lake of fire along with Satan, his demons, and all spirits of men who have refused to submit to God through his Son Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelations explicitly states that in the first death the beast and the anti – Christ get cast into the lake of fire, and the spirits of the martyrs go to Heaven, while Satan is bound in a pit for 1,000 years while Christ reigns on Earth. After the 1,000 year reign is the Final Judgment when those in hell and in the sea get judged and sent to Heaven or the lake of fire. It is clear in the Bible that not all spirits of dead men are bound by hell or the sea, as Elijah ascended directly into Heaven and Enoch “was not found.” There was also Lazarus, who was “in the bosom of Abraham” while the rich man was in torment in hell, as the parable in the Gospels goes. However, “the bosom of Abraham” was not specifically referred to as heaven, and the rich man was in hell, which while a place of torment, was not the lake of fire. Revelations also refers to the martyrs as having a special holding area under the altar of God; a privileged position to be sure but not yet Heaven. So, it is not quite explicitly clear in my reading where the spirits of all dead men will be while awaiting Final Judgment, or what concept of time they will have. It is enough to know that you need desire Heaven as your final destination, and if you fall short there is only one alternative.
It is hell, and not the lake of fire, where Jesus descended into for three days after his death on the cross. Let us remember that God is not limited by time or space as we are, so while Jesus was in hell he offered salvation to all people for all time who had died without ever having the chance to receive The Gospel on Earth. If you are imagining what sort of person would turn down Jesus while in hell, such are people who would have also rejected The Gospel had they heard it on Earth whether by total rejection or by failing to keep it completely. So, people who recognize that Jesus suffered torment in Gethsamane, during his beatings, and on the cross for our sins need remember that he also suffered torment in hell for us too. Moreover, they need remember that he overcame the demon that traps dead souls – that he took away the key from the prison! – on our behalf. But the question that you might have – that many indeed have – is why? Why would a loving righteous God create such a terrible place and fate for members of his favored Creation? The notion troubles so many people and is in such conflict with their image of God that they decide that there is no lake of fire (again oft mistakenly referred to as hell) at all! Or, they decide, if there is such a place, only REALLY BAD people, like war criminals and child molesters, will go there. Certainly not “good people” who merely fail to accept Jesus Christ and obey the complete will of God. Right?
Wrong. Realize that accepting Jesus Christ, obedience, and the faith required thereof is all that God asks of us. He doesn’t require of us to be these great people who build better mousetraps and do great things. Even those who WERE great, i.e. Moses, Deborah, David, Paul, etc., were so because they did what God told them to do and not of themselves. And also, it is not as if God does not bless, indeed greatly bless, those who do what he wants. No matter how hard it seems, those who obey God are much better off than those who refuse. So, when you refuse God, you are rejecting an existence in him for an existence that is in every way inferior; undesirable. You cannot blame God for not wanting such a person around. Also, you must remember one of the key elements of God: his righteousness. Because God is righteous, he cannot tolerate that which is unrighteous. In order to exist with unrighteousness, something must also be unrighteous. God cannot be unrighteous. He cannot be unjust. He cannot be unfair. He cannot be untruthful. Not being those things means not being around them, too. God will allow unrighteousness, or evil, to stay for awhile, but at some finite point because of his own integrity he will become fed up and destroy it. In essence, he is not even destroying PEOPLE (or rather their spirits). Instead, he is taking out the trash. Remember: you have a choice. You can obey God or disobey him. If you disobey God, you are tolerating unrighteousness; accepting it. By doing so, you are doing that which God cannot do; evil, and you become that which God cannot be; evil. It is the duty of a righteous loving God to war against, overcome, and destroy evil. That is what his son Jesus did for us on the cross on Earth. That is what the Holy Spirit does for all who accept Jesus Christ and are baptized in it after Jesus’ ascension. And that is what The Father will do for his own sake AND for those who overcome all temptations, tests, and hardships on Earth for his sake. If you reject God and the goodness that resides only in Him and His, you are evil, and you must be destroyed.
That is so hard a concept for so many to grasp. They believe that they can be made, but not destroyed. They believe that this temporary body on Earth can be destroyed, but not the eternal spirit. Or they believe that demons will be destroyed in the lake of fire, but not those of men. They fail to realize that “demon” means “evil spirit.” You have within you a spirit. If your soul, meaning your will, does not accept and obey Christ, your spirit is then evil. That means that there is precious little difference between you and a demon if you do not accept Christ … the only difference is that you have the possibility of being saved should you so choose. But after your natural body dies, there is no substantial difference! Your spirit would get bound by hell just like any other demon, and then get cast into the lake of fire with Satan, hell, and all other demons and evil spirits. Also, go back to the Garden of Eden; Adam and Eve. Adam sinned because he disobeyed God; an act of rebellion. When Adam did so, he accepted Satan’s offer and enlisted in Satan’s army in their war against God over God’s throne to be ruler of Heaven and Earth. So all sinners since have been fighting for Satan against God. Now, of course, we can leave our state of rebellion by telling God that we are sorry and ceasing the insurrection. But to those who do not are still in Satan’s army! Of course, God is going to become so disgusted with the fruitless rebellion that he will end it for good by casting the rebels into the lake of fire forever. Sound extreme, even foolish to you? Well explain why. Explain why someone who fails to obey God is NOT rebelling against him! You might say that you just rebel a little bit or rebel in just one area of your life. Well, there are a lot of people out there. Add to that all the people who have ever lived and will ever live. Imagine if every single one of those sinned just a little bit in one area of their life. Would they all sin in the same area? Of course not! They would all sin according to their weakness and be guided by whatever mores and values of the culture and time in which they lived. (For instance, things that we consider murder, rape, and child molestation not only are not and have not been universally condemned but in some places are accepted and routine.) Add it all up, and that is a lot of sin for Satan to use in his spiritual war against God, is it not?
If it does not work that way in your estimation, then how does it work? Do you deny that God and Satan are spirits? Do you deny that Satan is in rebellion against God? If God and Satan are spirits, and Satan is in rebellion against God but dare not attack him directly, what else would he use? Why, evil spirits! His goal is to corrupt the spirits of men; to turn them into evil spirits to use in his war against God! If you are unwilling to accept that, then why do you suppose that there is even any concept of SIN at all; why we cannot just do whatever we want? Do you not believe that there is a REASON why God told you to do certain things and not others and will destroy you if you do not comply? Did you think that for God to do such a thing that he is just being MEAN? No, those who refuse the love of God hate him and are part of a battle to unseat him! A battle that is already lost, mind you, but Satan and his demons have already made up their mind. It is you who have a choice, and you are on the losing side because you are unwilling to acknowledge that the war exists? So understand that if you are a rebel against God, he will deal with you as such. Penalty? Death in the lake of fire! It is a fate fitting for a traitor. So, rather than trying to convince yourself why the lake of fire does NOT exist, ask yourself why it WOULD and WOULD NOT. Ask yourself why a just God WOULD want to punish all the evil deeds in the world and all the people who did them UNLESS THOSE PEOPLE DEMONSTRATED THAT THEY WERE TRULY SORRY BY REPENTING, ACCEPTING GOD AND HIS AUTHORITY THROUGH JESUS, AND THEN OBEYING HIM. Answer? Because it makes sense. Ask yourself why a just God WOULD NOT punish evil and evildoers after giving them a chance to renounce evil and change their ways. Can’t come up with anything, can you? Ask yourself why an all – powerful God WOULD NOT destroy a rebellion against HIM; a rebellion whose goal is to replace good with evil, to punish the righteous and reward the wickedness in a manner opposite to God’s love, by forever giving the rebels what they deserve. As yourself why an all – powerful God WOULD allow this rebellion to continue forever, even if it has no chance of succeeding! Just to be “nice” to those who are wicked and will never change? It is true that God tells us to love our enemies on Earth, because everyone living has the potential to change no matter what they have done. But after you die, your time is up, and your spirit is either good or evil based on what you chose on Earth. Good spirits who fought the fight against the evil rebellion get their reward, and bad spirits whose very presence is corruption and are hence offensive to God get removed so that all that is before God’s presence is cleanliness.
The only reason why you would want God to forever tolerate your sins is because you don’t want to give them up … because you love your sins more than you love God. So, you convince yourself that either there is no lake of fire, or if there is you are not going there. Not only are you wrong, but if you do not soon change you will pay the price! The lake of fire is real because God created it to forever punish and hold all who will not bow to him; all who chose hate over his love. Do not let it happen to you! Say the Salvation Prayer today! Prayer:
In the Name of Jesus Christ, may people, especially who read this, believe both in the lake of fire and the God as He exists in the Tri – Unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as THE ONLY TRUE GOD and THE ONE ALONE who will either forever spare them out of it or rightfully send them to it based on whether they believe upon and submit themselves to this same God through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. May they accept salvation and lordship from this God through the Son Jesus Christ. After they believe and accept salvation, may they obey You in all things, including Your Commandment for them to evangelize and thereby make disciples of all men in all the nations of the earth. In the Name of Jesus Christ. Deliverance:
The evil spirits that work in this area are atheism, humanism, rationalism, skepticism, intellectualism, faithlessness, false doctrine, false teaching, rebellion, and confusion. All of them work to keep people from believing in God, and furthermore believing in a God that they have to submit to and obey through Jesus Christ alone. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!