What About Hell?

Recently, I was sitting among a group of people who were discussing a speaker they had heard at their church in recent weeks who had apparently given a very in-depth and detailed message. Out of the blue one of the folks in the group said something that I just cannot get out of my mind. It went something like this, “And what about all that talk about hell? Hell is not something I like to think about, it is not something that I talk to my children about, it is not something that we hear sermons about. I just don’t think about it.”

I will agree that we don’t, for the most part, hear too many sermons on hell, but let me tell you, I can remember vividly the one I heard Rev. Dick Baker preach when I was a young girl. At that moment, I was convinced that I didn’t want any part of hell.

I feel like people fall out all over the spectrum on the topic of hell. Some know nothing about it, others don’t want to even think about it, while others are like me, and are absolutely convinced of its reality. Today, I want to give you FOUR things to consider about hell.

 

 

What About Hell 4 Truths Satan Does Not Want You  to Understand

Hell is referenced in the Old Testament

In Hebrew (Old Testament), the word for hell is sheol and it means underworld, pit, place of no return, without praise of God. The Greek (New Testament) word for hell is gehenna. In ancient Israel, this name identified an actual place known as the Valley of Hinnom. It was located south of Jerusalem, and was a continual fire where the trash of the city, as well as dead animals, were destroyed. Can you even imagine the place? Try for just a moment. The city dump that continually burned is a horrible picture, but then throw in the smell of rotten, burning flesh of dead animals, and it becomes hideous.

The prophet Isaiah spoke of hell in connection with the fall of Satan. Satan’s pride and his insatiable desire for power would cause him to be banished to the lowest depths of hell. King Solomon warns his son in Proverbs 27:20 that ‘hell and destruction are never full’.

Jesus spoke of hell in the New Testament

Jesus called hell the ‘unquenchable fire’ (Matthew 3:2), ‘destruction’ (Matthew 7:13), ‘outer darkness’ (Matthew 8:11), and ‘furnace of fire’ (Matthew 13:50). He referenced the ‘gates of hell’ (Matthew 16:18), and told His followers that it would be better to be without a hand or an eye than to be cast into hell (Matthew 5:29, Matthew 18). He told a story of the rich man in hell and Lazarus in heaven, and how one could not cross over from hell to heaven.

 

God does not SEND anyone to hell

In Proverbs 23:13 Solomon says, “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” This verse tells us is that hell is a place where people can go. Notice I did not say, ‘where people are sent’. God doesn’t SEND anyone to hell. People make the choice to spend eternity in hell. Hell will be the final destination for all who choose to reject Jesus as their Lord.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.2 Peter 3:9

How do I avoid hell?

This may be news to some people, but none of us are perfect! Only perfect people get into heaven, while everyone else is headed for hell. God knew that the entire human race was doomed because no one was perfect. Imperfection, disobedience, sin~~doesn’t matter what you call it~~requires death as the payment. I deserved to die because of my sin, and that would mean I was headed for hell. God allowed His perfect Son, Jesus, to step up and pay the price I owed for my sin. Jesus died on a cross, and took my punishment. He was buried, and rose again, and lives in heaven with God today.

Does what Jesus did keep me out of hell? Well, yes and no. Yes, His payment was enough, but it was only enough if I ask for it to pay the fine for my sin. Unless I admit that I am sinful, tell God that I am sorry for my sin, and ask Jesus to allow His blood to cover, or pay for, my sin, I am still an unbeliever and I am headed for hell (Revelation 21:8).

Again, God does not SEND anyone to hell. Those who refuse to recognize and admit their sin, and ask Jesus to forgive them, are the ones who choose hell. God simply honors their choice.

Hell is a very, very real place. It is a place that we all must consider in this life, whether we want to or not. God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, but He leaves the choice up to you and me. Here is why I choose heaven.

So, what will it be—heaven or hell?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Interested in learning more about HELL? Check out THIS POST.

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  • Hi Leah, visiting from Grace and Truth today. This is such an important topic, so misunderstood! It’s true we’d rather not think about it, but we have to…

    • Betsy, thank you for stopping in. Yes, we must think about it, and we must talk about it. Ignorance on this topic means death. Bless you, friend.

      • Elizabeth P. Sinclair

        Dear Leah Excellent thank you mam for the explanation! Well done AND who would’ve thought a year later and your teachings are still ONLINE God Bless you for that mam. With lotsa Jesus love from South Africa ELIZABETH

        • Thank you, Elizabeth. The Lord has used the two posts I wrote on hell quite extensively. It seems to be a topic that people are very interested in. I am not writing a series on my blog on the book of Revelation. I post a new teaching each Monday. Would love to have you join us at LeahAdams.org.

  • Totally intrigued by your title at Grace and Truth. Excellent teaching here. I love what C.S. Lewis had to say about heaven and hell (although I won’t get his words exactly): Our destination begins here on earth, with either heaven or hell being the culmination of our lived life, for after death we become more of what we were during our life. Again, not exact quote, but the essence is there, and we just don’t spend enough time thinking about eternity, do we?

    • Michele, thank you for stopping in. I have not heard that Lewis quote ( I know it was not exact ) but I really like it. So much truth there. I’ll have to find the exact quote. Thank you and bless you!

  • Jen

    Leah, I truly appreciate this thoughtful examination of the reality of hell that you shared with Grace and Truth last week! Yes, people don’t want to hear about Hell anymore, but they NEED to hear it. :)

    • Thank you, Jen. We do NEED to hear about hell. Ignorance is NOT bliss, in this case. Bless you, my friend.

  • Roxie

    This was great to wake up to! Its true, people view God’s word as a bowl of trail mix! They pick what they like and disregard the rest….News flash….God knows the heart…so playing hide and seek will not work…Gods says you can not be friends with the world and love Him….that’s being luke warm. ..THAT WILL GET YOU TO HELL….you have to love God and hate the world…or love the world and hate God. Point blank. Its also true God doesnt send anyone to Hell. Thats why we have free will to make our own choices and when u end up in a slump in your life and you’re wondering why God doesn’t love you or why God would allow you to go through that situation. ..HEY—…..YOU CHOSE TO WALK IN THAT CLUB, YOU CHOSE TO DRINK, YOU CHOSE TO SMOKE, YOU CHOSE TO CHEAT, YOU MADE THAT CHOICE OF WHATEVER IT WAS TO CAUSE YOU TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCES! AND DEPENDING ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM WILL DETERMINE THE OUTCOME OF THAT SITUATION…OF COURSE HE SAID HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU BUT IT IS ALSO YOUR CHOICE….HE KNOWS YOUR HEART AND THE END RESULT CAN BE EITHER HEAVEN OR HELL!

  • Roxie

    Anyways sorry got carried away! Great way to make people think on that pretzel in the mix…HELL!

    • Roxie, thanks so much for stopping in. You are so right…we do tend to treat Christianity like a buffet. My hope is that the things I write help people think about their choices and the legacy they are leaving. Thanks again for stopping by!

  • Deanna Seal

    I went to Pinterest to find the quote mentioned and found several but not the exact one. I did find this one
    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.” C.S. Lewis Blessings Deanna

    • What a pertinent quote! Lewis certainly has a way with words, doesn’t he? Thanks so much for sharing it here.

  • I agree, and have said for years, “God does not SEND anyone to hell.” I go on to explain that hell is our default destination; it’s where we’re going anyway. But Jesus saves us from that destination–it’s why He’s called “Savior” (among other reasons).

    • Rocky, thank you for your visit, and your thoughts. Jesus work on the cross does save us from hell. I am so thankful for that.

  • Bruce

    Awesome read!

  • Gladys Avery

    WE NEED MORE PREACHERS PREACHING ABOUT HELL INSTEAD OF PEOPLE LIKE JOEL OLSTEN SERMONS YOUR GOOD I’M GOOD IT’S PEOPLE LIKE HIM WHO ARE SENDING THE WRONG THINGS TO YOUNG PEOPLE . HELL IS REAL AND SO IS HEAVEN I BELIEVE THIS WHOLE HEARTLY

    • You are so right, Gladys. Thank you for blessing me with your presence here.

  • Frikkie

    good people don’t go to heaven, believes do – Angus Buchan

  • Silvia Ruf

    Hi, I came here to solve a problem for me. In Revelation 20,12-13 it says that at the end of the 1000 years reign of Jesus and his followers all dead will be judged before the great White throne according to their works… I would appreciate your explanations. Thanks.

    • Silvia, you ask a very good question. I do not claim to be an authority on the book of Revelation. What I offer here is solely my opinion based on my personal study of the book.
      The passage you reference does indeed speak of the Great White Throne Judgment. You will notice that the passage speaks of books being opened. Books, and then another book, the book of life. There is no reference here to those whose names ARE written in the book of life as being DEAD. I believe that is because the moment a Christian dies on earth, we live in heaven. So, we do not ‘stay dead’.
      The dead were judged according to what they had done, which was recorded in the books. So, it seems to me that the books and the book of life are two very different things. The dead were judged according to what was found in the books, and all those whose name was not written in the book of life were thrown into the lake of fire. So, this is a judgment, not of rewards, but of punishment. The names in the books are people who have not accepted Jesus as Savior. Punishment in the lake of fire is meted out to the unsaved because they rejected Jesus.

      • Silvia Ruf

        Wow, thank you. I didn´t see that they speak of two different books… have to read it again. Now it makes sense!

        • Silvia, I’m so glad that helped. I am not a bible scholar, but rather someone who loves the Word of God and studies it regularly. I plan to do a series on the book of The Revelation here on my blog, probably beginning in 2016.

  • Redeemed

    I have a dear old friend. She too is a Christian however she believes that if we sin after we have accepted the Lord as our Savior we will no longer be saved. I tried to tell her that God knows we are not perfect, in this world, and He does continue to forgive us if we repent. However salvation is not a licence to sin.

    • Dear Redeemed, what a sad thing it is that your friend believes that we can lose our salvation. I know that is a common belief, but I have full confidence that the work that Jesus did on the cross was sufficient. If it was not, what was the purpose of Him dying? Thank you for stopping by.

      • Redeemed

        Thank-you Leah for your kind words. I try to tell my friend that if what she says is true , then no one will go to Heaven. I am so thankful that Jesus know our hearts and He hears our prayers when all we can do is cry. I am so loved and I am eagerly awaiting to go home.

        • Me, too, friend. Me, too. Can’t wait to meet you there.

      • CalledANDChosen

        His grace is sufficient- however, it is not a license to sin. True salvation must be attained the biblical way. REPENTANCE (turning from sin), baptism in JESUS name (not in titles- father son and holy spirit, no one in the new testament was baptized in any way but in Jesus name) and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. If someone turns from God and has sin in their life, they are not still saved. You must be living a clean and holy life. Jesus did not suffer and die so that we could live however we want, he said if you love me youll keep my commandments (he is the almighty, the alpha and omega)

  • Nancy Midgett

    That’s correct Redeemed. People can’t just ask for forgiveness, they have to feel in their heart that they are sorry for the sins they committed.

  • Nancy Flanagan

    Praise God, for the blood of Jesus that was shed for me and you, so we can go to heaven and spend eternity with Jesus ! When we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour we admit our sins and ask our Heavenly Father to forgive us of all our sins, which we all have, then He forgives us and washes our sins away by the blood of Jesus that was shed for you and me.We never lose our salvation , if we truly repented with a sincere heart, we can fall out of fellowship with the Lord if we continue to sin, but Jesus is there to always forgive us if we realize what we have done and repent, but we Do Not lose our salvation! Our God is a Merciful God and Father, He Does Not want Anyone to go to hell, that is a choice you make because God gave us all freewill.Choice Wisely, because Life here on earth is short, and hell is a terrible place to go to , noone wants to go to. Jesus Loves you and paid the price for your sins, live right before Him and Enjoy life in eternity with Him! Thank you Jesus for saving my soul, Thank you Jesus for making me whole! Alleulia!

    • Amen, Nancy! I believe 100% that once you are saved, you can NEVER lose your salvation. NEVER. If we could lose our salvation, then the saving work of Jesus on the cross was insufficient. Doesn’t make sense that Jesus would do anything half-way! It was one time for all for eternity. Thanks for stopping in!

  • What a great post! I heard someone say (can’t recall who) that Jesus referred to hell more often than He referred to heaven. Haven’t verified it myself, but it’s an interesting point. Thanks for hosting The Loft, and for your encouragement in many ways.

    • Michele, thank you for your encouragement. This post on hell is the first post I ever had go viral. It has been pinned on Pinterest over 4000 times. Who knew hell was such a hot topic!!! Thanks for your presence at The Loft.

  • Rosie Jensing

    Hi Leah, great post! I couldn’t agree with you more. Hell is not a popular topic, but boy oh boy is it a necessary one. We only like to hear about the good stuff, but its in topics such as this that we realize there are consequences to our actions and in my opinion it awakens the soul from its slumber. Thank you for sharing!

    • Oh Rosie, I hope some souls have been awakened from their slumber by this post. We must understand that God is not only love, but also He is justice and truth, and hell is part of that. Thanks for stopping in.

  • Jerri Miller

    Great post, Leah! I love your explanation: “Again, God does not SEND anyone to hell. Those who refuse to recognize and admit their sin, and ask Jesus to forgive them, are the ones who choose hell. God simply honors their choice.”

    It baffles me why anyone would choose hell …

    ~Jerralea

    • It baffles me to, Jerralea. I really think folks simply do not believe that there is a hell or that they would be ‘bad’ enough to go there. I cannot find any other reason. Thanks for stopping in.

  • Alonda Tanner

    My pastor just preached on this!

    • Awesome! Not a lot of pastors preach on hell. Thanks for stopping in! I’m doing a series from the book of The Revelation. Would love for you to join us on the blog for that!

  • Mitchell Johnson

    Hi Leah. First I’d like to say “thank you” for your work on these subjects involving the hereafter. I certainly appreciate you bringing this to the forefront on this media outlet, as it is the most important decision any human on this side of eternity can make. I think today’s society has been trained to think that we have to “do” something to better ourselves. Whether that be currently here on earth, or in the afterlife. That line of thinking is certainly true in this life, but the fact of the matter is that none of us can ever “do” anything to make it to heaven. Jesus already has done everything necessary for us to avoid eternal damnation. Repenting, and accepting HIM is up to us each individually. I think that this is a problem with non-Christians today. It seems “too easy” just to accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior. Their line of thinking is that surely there is more involved to it than that, in order to inherit heaven. But THANK GOD there isn’t !! Your thoughts on this subject would be much appreciated.Thanks again and God Bless You !!!

    • Mitchell, thank you for your visit to my blog today and for your words that contain so much truth! Jesus was very clear that the gospel is ‘foolishness’ to those who do not believe. Satan has blinded their minds and hearts and they cannot see the beauty and simplicity of the gospel. Our job is to pray for those who do not yet know Christ.

      • Mitchell Johnson

        Amen Leah. BECAUSE if accepting Christ was a complicated thing … being the simple minded guy that I am … I’m afraid I wouldn’t stand a chance. LOL. Thanks and have a blessed weekend !!

  • Mitchell Johnson

    One more question I would like to pose to you …. What do you think about “deathbed” acceptances of Jesus Christ as one’s savior? I have heard of several famous actors/athletes/ musical entertainers that supposedly accepted Christ just minutes before passing into eternity. ALSO … one point I’d like to share here … I understand that some religions believe that one has to “work” his or her way into the Kingdom of God. I’ve spoken personally to a few of these and I always have an answer to their lines of this belief that they can never come back on …. what about the thief on the cross? As the thief hung there dieing that day beside Christ, Jesus told him that “This day, you will be with me in Paradise”. The thief didn’t have time to “work” his way into heaven. His simple acknowledgement of Jesus as the Savior, and his request that Christ “remember” him when he came into his kingdom, earned him a spot into the Kingdom of Heaven.

    • Mitchell, I, too, have heard of deathbed confessions, and it is not my place to judge whether they were real or not. Only the person and God know that. I always hope that they were genuine. I agree with you on the issue of working our way into heaven….if that can be done, then grace is negated. How much work is enough to get one into heaven? The whole argument falls apart when you consider that if our works get us into heaven, then why did Jesus have to die. The truth is that is only by grace through faith in Jesus that we make it to heaven.

      • Mitchell Johnson

        Thank you Leah. I enjoy discussing these Christian related topics very much, and I appreciate you relaying your knowledge on these subjects. Have a great weekend.

  • Ludivina

    I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
    Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
    I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
    That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
    Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
    Enough to die for me!
    Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

    • Yes, it is wonderful!! Thank you for stopping in, Ludivina!!

  • articlesbyvincent

    The Truth About Satan and Evil

    Most Christians believe that a separate being with evil powers exists. This entity is known as Satan, Lucifer, or the Devil. There is no such separate being that has evil powers. There is not even “Powers” of any kind, there is only one power, one life, one baptism, one body, and one resurrection.

    That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

    I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:6-7)

    But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. (1 Samuel 16:14-15)

     

    And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. (Exodus 32:14)

     

    If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. (Jeremiah 18:8)

     

    Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. (1 Samuel 16:16)

     

    And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. (1 Samuel 16:23)

     

    And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. (2 Samuel 24:1)

     

    And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. (1 Chronicles 21:1)

    So, if Satan as a separate being with powers does not exist, then why do we have evil?

    The first thing to understand is that “Evil” as we define it is not what is spoken of in scripture. Yes, there is all kinds of evil in the world, but remember Jesus said his kingdom is not of this world. We have two worlds in a sense. An outer world and an inner world. Jesus also tells us, that of the flesh is flesh and that of the spirit is spirit. The outer world is the flesh and the inner is spiritual. This is why Jesus said that God can only be worshiped in truth and spirit. God cannot be worshiped with mens hands, yet millions go to church every week shouting with hands in the air in their futile attempt to worship God. This is evil spoken of in scripture. Looking on the outside for God. When you do this you are blinded by the God of this world. You are walking in darkness. This is why Jesus said they will be cast into “outer” darkness. If you are walking in darkness you cannot see the path. Forget everything you have been told by the church and seek for the kingdom within yourself.

    Now if a separate being called Satan does not exist, then what about Hell? Most believe there is a place that God sends all who have not been forgiven of sin. Hell is not a place, it is a state of mind. This is why David says that the Lord shall not leave his soul in Hell.

     

    For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Psalms 16:10)

     

    For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. (Psalms 86:13)

     

    If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (Psalms 139:8)

     

    The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath. (Proverbs 15:25)

    This is why millions go to church every week, yet their day to day life can be a living hell. It is. They are looking on the outside. They look to the sky in hope that a savior will save them without realizing that God is closer than their own breath.

    Do you want to really find God? There are two things you need to know in order to find God.

    The first is where is God. God is within you waiting to be revealed. He is revealed in you not to you. This revealing is more like an awakening. You awaken to who you really are and who God really is. Jesus knew this because the story of Jesus is a demonstration of this happening. This is why (Revelation 1:5) says that Jesus Christ is the first begotten of the dead. Everyone is dead in sin until this awakening happens. Most Christians will say that they are awake, or that they know Jesus, they know the Son and the Father, but it is impossible. You only know the Son after you know who you are, and once you know this you realize or it is revealed that you are the Lord Jesus Christ in scripture. Read the following scripture:

    All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. (Luke 10:22)

    So the only one who knows the Son is the Father. This statement is clear that everyone who claims they know the Son is looking on the outside for a false God.

    No one knows the Father but the Son, until the Son reveals the Father. The Father is revealed, and scripture tells us that Jesus Christ is revealed in us.

    The second thing to know is how to connect with God within yourself. This is done in prayer (meditation). You must pray to the Father in secret because the Father is in secret. You must go into your house (within) and shut the door. Then you must tithe by forsaking your carnal thoughts and anoint your head with pure oil (a fluid from the brain), then you will be baptized with fire, and the Spirit will lead you into all understanding. There is a renewing of the mind just as Paul tells us.

    What I am sharing with you is from experience. I am not speculating, I am not theorizing, or trying to set up some workable philosophy of life, I have experienced scripture.

    If you would like to read more on this subject, go to my blog at http://www.whitecrossministries.blogspot.com

    • Thank you for stopping in and sharing your thoughts. I respectfully disagree with you on many of the points you offered. The Bible is clear that Satan/Devil is a separate being who is under the control of God and Jesus Christ. From Genesis to Job to Revelation, Satan is there. There are many ways to worship God….in song, in dance, in quiet reflection, in words. God inhabits the praises of His people, but He is not in us until and unless we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Once we do that, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our heart. It is then that we have a relationship with God through Jesus, enabled by the Holy Spirit.

      • Vince

        Hi Leah, Thank you for your response. One scripture that you may want to give some thought to.
        All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. (Luke 10:22)
        This scripture clearly states that no one knows the Son but the Father. The second part of this scripture states that the Son reveals the Father. The Son is not the one revealed, the Father is the one that is revealed by the Son. It is impossible to know the Son until the Father is revealed. This is why it is the “mystery of the Kingdom” and Jesus tells us that few find. And I understand your view on worship, however Jesus clearly states that God can only “be worshiped in truth and spirit” not with men’s hands. Jesus also states that all is given in parables, that those looking on the outside do not perceive or understand. I did not take time to post all the scriptures that I referenced, but I will if you like, Thanks again for your response.

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