Take Hell Seriously (Part 2 of 2)

from Apr 03, 2009 Category: Articles

This is the second part of our two-part series on the very important, but very uncomfortable topic of what the Bible teaches about hell. In the first installment, we learned three key points about hell. We learned, first, that hell is a place far more frightful than we could ever imagine; second, that it is a place where God is present in holy wrath; and, third, that it is a place of God’s perfect justice. Such truths should cause you and me to seek a place to hide, to look for a way of escape. Thankfully, God has provided that place to hide, that way of escape. Let us consider our two final points in our brief study of hell.

Consider, fourth, that hell is a place of eternal punishment.

That is, we are not to think of hell as a place of temporary punishment. The torments of hell are everlasting. The suffering in hell does not come to an end. Some teachers these days are saying that the miseries of hell do come to an end. They preach that unbelievers are annihilated; they teach that unbelievers cease to exist. But Jesus teaches us otherwise.

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us about the Day of Judgment, the day when He will appear as Judge of all the world. That day, Jesus teaches us, will bring about two contrasting futures, one future for the sheep, the other for the goats.

Please note this fact:  according to Jesus, both of these futures are eternal. The sheep will enter into life that is eternal. The goats will go away into punishment that is eternal. Clearly, the agonies of hell last as long as the glories of heaven. 

Hell, you see, is a place where the fire never goes out.  It is a place where the worm does not die.  Hell is a place of eternal punishment, just as it is a place of God’s perfect justice.  It is a place where God is present in holy wrath. It is a place far more frightful than you or I can ever imagine.

And so we should ask the Spirit of God to press these questions upon our souls, upon our consciences:  Does the truth about hell horrify you? Does it terrify you? If you know yourself to be a sinner, it should haunt you, hound you. This truth should cause you to seek a place to hide. This truth should cause you to look for a way of escape.

Fifth, consider the person in the Bible who teaches us the most about hell.

Do you know who in the Bible teaches us the most about hell? … Perhaps you would say, “It is Moses. Ah, yes, that OT prophet Moses.” No, it is not Moses. Perhaps you would say, “It is Paul. Or maybe Peter? Or how about John?” No, it is none of these.

Who, then, in the Bible teaches us the most about hell? The answer is Jesus. The Bible tells us that it is Jesus, the Judge of all the world, who has the most to say about hell. It is He who will usher the sheep into eternal life. It is He who will send the goats to eternal punishment.  Have you listened to His teaching about hell? Will you be a sheep or a goat? Jesus will be your Judge on the Last Day. You do well, therefore, to listen to all that Jesus teaches about hell.

It is Jesus who teaches us that hell is a place of eternal punishment, even as it is a place of God’s perfect justice, a place where God is present in holy wrath, a place far more frightful than we can ever imagine.

You know, don’t you, that all of us sinners go to hell unless we find a place to hide? You know, don’t you, that all of us sinners go to hell unless we find a way of escape?

Have you found that place to hide? Have you found that way to escape? If not, won’t you let us make known to you the good news that God has made known to us in the Bible?

You see, God Himself has provided the place for you to hide. God Himself has provided the way of escape for you. The place to hide from hell is in Jesus. The way of escape from hell is through Jesus. How can this be? Read on with care. 

On the cross, our Lord Jesus Christ died as God’s substitute for sinners. There God poured out His holy wrath on Jesus. There Jesus endured the anguish and agony of hell. There God afflicted the body and soul of Jesus with His just punishments. There Jesus endured the terror and torment of hell. On the cross our Lord Jesus Christ delivered from hell any and all sinners who will trust in Him alone.

As ambassadors of Jesus Christ, we beseech you, trust in Him alone and in Him you will find the place to hide from hell. Rest on Christ alone and through Him you will find the way of escape from hell.

Let all sinners who trust in Christ praise Him. It is Christ who saves you from hell!  Let all sinners who rest in Jesus praise Him. It is Jesus who gives you the assurance of eternal life!