What Does the Bible Say About Hell?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 16, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Last week, we discussed what the Bible says about heaven, and we briefly touched on the idea of hell. Today, we’re looking a bit more into hell and what the Bible says about it.

One of the primary texts we have regarding hell is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. Lazarus goes to heaven and is by Abraham’s side, but the rich man goes to hell and is in constant suffering there. What is hell like for him? Well, a drop of water to cool his tongue sounds to him like the most amazing thing he could ever have. I’ve gotten pretty thirsty at times, but that sounds pretty severe! He is also tormented by the fact that his family members will likely suffer the same fate as him, but there’s nothing he can do about it. Finally, the icing on the cake so to speak is that we know he can see heaven. That would be like being so close to that refreshing water in a time of extreme thirst, and even seeing someone else being refreshed by the water, and knowing you can never have it.

So why was hell created? We don’t see it listed in the original Creation account of Genesis 1-2, but that’s because it wasn’t really needed then. God created everything to be perfect (Genesis 1:31), so there was no need for a place for evil to dwell. Hell was prepared as a place for the devil (the first fallen angel) and his angels to dwell (Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4). Hell is the place for those who have done evil, so they can face their condemnation there (John 5:28-29; Revelation 21:8; Matthew 25:46; Matthew 13:50; Psalm 9:17).

The devil is not necessarily in charge of hell, but he has been banished to live there forever (Revelation 20:10). Hell is eternal fire (Mark 9:43) and will destroy both body and soul (Matthew 10:28). We know that God cannot be and is not present there (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Those who dwell in hell are living in a place that is completely without God; we can only imagine the horror that that would be, since God does dwell and work in our world, even if we don’t acknowledge Him.

How do we get to hell? Well, it’s the opposite of how we get to heaven. We get to heaven by believing in Jesus as our savior, so we get to hell by NOT believing that. Unfortunately the way to heaven is much narrower than the way to hell. Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Hell is a real place. What are you doing in your life to make sure you’re going through the narrow gate to heaven, and escaping the eternal torment of hell?

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