One subject that Jesus talked about more than any other was hell. The dictionary defines hell this way: “A state or place of woe and anguish arrived at by the wicked after death; The state or place of total and final separation from God of eternal misery and suffering arrived at by those who die unrepentant in grave sin.”
I could stop right there and not write any more, but I am going to break down this definition and give Scripture to make my case. A state or place of woe, which means great sorrow and anguish or distress; a place where the wicked go after death. Think about this for a moment: Who is in hell? Every wicked person you can think of throughout history. Those who didn’t accept Jesus as Savior. You ask, Who might that be? Think about the most evil person in modern history. Does Hitler come to mind? He murdered millions of people.
How about gangsters that murdered people, and drug lords. You might say that these people got just what they deserved. How about those who have not accepted Jesus; they will be there too. They may not have committed crimes like these people did. It isn’t just being evil that sends one to hell; it is sin. Jesus said in John 3:3 that we need to be born again of the spirit in order to go to heaven. Sin can and will not be allowed in heaven. It is like oil and water. They don’t mix, so neither will sin mix with good.
Is hell real? It is just as real a place as heaven. Hell is a place where the fire will never go out; torment will be forever. Jesus told a story in Luke 16:19-31 about a rich man and Lazarus (a beggar). Lazarus died and went to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man died and went to hell. While in hell, the rich man cried out to Abraham for water to cool the tip of his tongue. Why would he do that? It is because of the fire. He told Abraham, “I am tormented in this flame.” Matthew 3:12 states that hell is “unquenchable fire.” Mark 9:43 speaks of “the fire that shall never be quenched.”
Evil people, unsaved people, and even those who may think that they are saved but are not, will experience the wrath of God. You may say that you don’t believe in God, heaven, or even hell. Do you really want to take that chance? Do you really want to gamble with your soul? What if the Bible is false and nothing happens when you die? But what if the Bible is true? Then what? After we die it is too late to say, “Please forgive me.” We have to make the choice before we die. We are going to spend eternity somewhere. It will be either with God in heaven, or with Satan in hell. So, yes, hell is real, it is a place of everlasting torment and punishment which will never cease. If hell isn’t real why is it mentioned 167 times in Scripture?
Do you know that each of us has a certain amount of days to live? Psalm 139:16 tells us that. God knows when, where, how and exactly the time of our death. We may live to be in our eighties, nineties or even older, or maybe we will die at birth. We don’t know our time of death. That is why it is so important for us to be ready to die. We can expedite our death by reckless living. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. None of us are guaranteed our next breath.
There is no place between heaven and hell. It is one or the other. There will be no second chance once we die. Some may say that God will destroy the wicked and they will not experience hell. That’s not true. Jesus said in Matthew 8:12, “But the children of the kingdom, [wicked] shall be cast out into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Does this sound like the wicked and unsaved will be destroyed? If you should decide to take the chance and not accept Jesus, that will be your fate. You will go to hell just as you are, with all of life’s aches and pains into the eternal fire that will never go out. Is this what you want?
Would you rather be at peace with no more pain, no more tears, and no more cares of this world? There is a way to escape a burning hell. His name is Jesus. It is through His shed blood that He gave on the cross that covers our sins, and thus we are forgiven. God sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, to die for us so that we can go to heaven and live with Him. God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell; He wants us to be with Him.
Today is the day to accept Jesus as Savior. Don’t put it off. Simply pray to Him and ask Him into your life and to forgive you of your sins. The choice is yours to make; no one can make this choice for you. There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. I pray that you will make heaven your home when you die.