Bible Facts about Hell
17 March 2019 AM – Hebrews 2:14-15 (2) – Heb19 – Scott Childs
Introduction: People carelessly use the word “hell” as a curse word. Others laugh saying that in hell they will enjoy a beer with their friends. Little do they know how dreadful hell really will be.
Transition: This morning I want to show you three important Bible facts about hell that God wants you to understand.
1. Hell was Dreadful in the Old Testament
a. Sheol is the Hebrew word for hell
1) Sheol is translated as hell 31x, grave 31x, pit 3x
2) Sheol described the place of the soul of the dead.
3) The souls of both righteous and wicked people went to Sheol when they died.
4) It appears that Sheol was divided into two compartments, Paradise and Torment (Hell).
a) The righteous went to Paradise (Abraham’s Bosom). There they were comforted until the resurrection.
b) The unrighteous went to Torment (Hell).
c) Jesus affirmed this in (Luke 16:22) “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”
b. Sheol is frequently described as a bad place
1) Consider the following Old Testament verses:
a) (Job 11:8) “It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?”
b) (Psalms 9:17) “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
c) (Psalms 86:13) “For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”
d) (Psalms 139:8) “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.”
e) (Proverbs 27:20) “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” (Deu 32:22; Pro 9:18; 15:11; Amos 9:2)
2) In the OT, 42 verses contain the word “grave” or “graves” that are not Sheol. These verses clearly speak of the hole in the ground where the body lies. Sheol is a different word and it refers to the place of the soul of the dead, not to the grave. It cannot just be the grave as the Watchtower Witnesses and other cults insist.
2. Hell was dreadful in the New Testament
a. Three Greek words are translated hell
1) Tartaros: This word is found only in 2 Peter 2:4. It is a place where God has confined some of the angels who fell from heaven. It is not the same as Sheol or hades. Vine
2) Gehenna: “This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.” Thayer We find the word 12 times in the NT. Jesus used it 11 times. Each of the times Christ used the term, He was warning of the future Lake of Fire which men should do all to avoid. He was not referring to the rubbish dump. God prepared hell for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41) “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”
3) Hades: This word describes the nether world, the realm of the dead. It is the Greek word for Sheol. The KJV translates it hell 10 times and grave once.
a) Jesus contrasted it with heaven. (Luke 10:15) “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.” (Also Mt 11:23).
b) It is a spiritual opposition to the church. (Matthew 16:18) “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
c) It is the place of torment where the rich man in Luke 16 went when he died. (Luke 16:23) “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”
d) Hades or hell is the place of torment where the souls of all unbelievers go until the Great White Throne Judgment. (Revelation 20:13) “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
3. Hell will be dreadful on Judgment Day
Before this judgment, all true Christians will have already been resurrected and given immortal bodies. They will not be judged here. They are part of the “first resurrection” (Re 20:9) which has four phases. 1) Christ’s resurrection & OT saints, 2) Raptured saints resurrection, 3) Tribulation converts resurrected, 4) Millennium converts resurrected not described for us.
a. The final judgment is at God’s Great White Throne
1) Revelation 20:11-15.
2) Those present include the dead, small and great (Re 20:12), everyone from paupers to kings, from slaves to emperors. Death and hell will deliver up the souls of every unbeliever, (Re 20:13). Ever since the beginning will be present. They too will be resurrected and given immortal bodies for Judgment Day and doom. (John 5:28-29) “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
3) God will judge every unbeliever according to His books.
a) The books will be opened. The Bible book will reveal God’s standard of right. (Romans 3:23) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” God’s record books will reveal man’s every word and deed. Every thought, every opportunity they had to be saved, every curse word, and every wicked act is recorded in the books. (Proverbs 15:3) “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Psalms 44:21) “Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.”
b) Another book will be opened which is the book of life (God’s record of all who repented and trusted Christ).
c) God will judge the works of the unbelievers by the writings of His books. (Matthew 7:21-23) “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
b. The result of God’s final judgment
1) There is nothing in Revelation 20, or in the entire Bible, that suggests that God will offer a second chance to be saved at the Great White Throne Judgment. Now is the day of salvation. Look at the passage carefully. God will sentence all who did not trust God’s salvation in this life.
2) Based on David’s testimony (2Sam 12:23), I believe God will have mercy on little children and mentally disabled.
3) All whose names are missing in God’s Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Re 20:15). The Lake of Fire is NOT annihilation. It is eternal suffering (Re 20:10).
4) God is not too harsh! No! God is always just! If we received what we deserve, we would all go to the Lake of Fire. Christ graciously provided a way of salvation. He will save all who repent and believe. If you are not saved, He is calling for you.
5) Now is the day of salvation. Not later. If you die without Christ, you will never escape the Lake of Fire.
Conclusion: Jesus spoke much about hell because it is a terrible place that He does not want anyone to enter. Do not be deceived by false teachers that say hell is the grave or that God would never torment a person eternally for rejecting Christ. That is a lie. Jesus said, (Matthew 10:28) “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Romans 10:13) “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Let’s spread the good news!
Song: God’s Final Call – 250