What is Hell Like?
Maybe you've heard naive people around the water cooler talking
flippantly like this: "Oh I don't know, hell can't be all that bad.
There's probably a big room where everybody can get together and have a
beer, maybe a sandwich or two, and talk with old friends who didn't
quite live a pious life.
Hell is real, and it shouldn't be taken lightly. Here's what
the Bible has to say on the subject:
Fire: Hell is an eternal lake of fire.
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second
death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:14-15
Condemnation: Hell is eternal condemnation.
You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Matthew 23:33
Torment: Hell is eternal torment and agony.
There was a rich man who was
dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every
day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the
rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. "The time
came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side.
The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away,
with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father
Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger
in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But
Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your
good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted
here and you are in agony. Luke 16:19-25
Separation: Hell is eternal separation from God.
And besides all this,
between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want
to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to
us.' "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's
house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will
not also come to this place of torment.' Luke 16:26-28
Ignorance: Unbelievers neither understand nor fear hell.
Abraham replied, 'They have
Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' "'No, father
Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they
will repent.' "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the
Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the
dead.' Luke 16:29-31
Unhappiness: Hell is eternal unhappiness and gloom.
For if God did not spare
angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into
gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; 2 Peter 2:4
Fear: Hell is something to be feared.
But I will show
you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has
power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Luke 12:5
Loss: Hell is worse than losing a hand, a foot, or an eye forever.
If your hand
causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with
two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. Mark 9:43
And if your
foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life
crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. Mark 9:45
If your right
eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for
you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Matthew 5:29
Besides being eternal condemnation, torment, agony, and separation from God, hell is an eternal lake of fire. Have you ever
burned yourself on a hot stove? Maybe you've even heard your flesh sizzle for
a split second until your brain reacted and you jerked your hand away. If the burn wasn't too bad, it probably healed and
stopped hurting after a couple of days. However, can you remember
what the pain felt like for the split second while your finger was enduring intense heat,
before you jerked it away in fear? Do you remember the agony
that followed: the throbbing in your finger that kept you awake at
nights? That was a minute taste of hell, except that same pain lasts forever in hell.
Owen Weber 2009