There is only one of two places in eternity that we can go: Heaven
or Hell. Each one of us will be placed in one of these two places on Judgment Day to be there forever and ever.
Our Lord in speaking of eternity in Matthew 25:46 says, "And these will go away
into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life". Notice that the duration
of the lost in Hell is exactly the same as the duration of the saved in Heaven, "forever and ever". It is hard
for us as mortals to grasp how long eternity will be, but after we have been there a billion years, eternity will have just
According to the U. S. News & World Report, January 31, 2000, 36% of people do not believe in Hell. But Hell is a real place. To say there is no Hell is to make
God a liar. “Let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). Satan does not want you to believe in Hell.
Satan is accomplishing his purpose since there is very seldom any teaching on Hell today. It is not a “politically correct” subject. A person
who does not believe Hell is real will most likely go there. Ignoring or scoffing
at Hell will not do away with it.
We do not like to think about eternal punishment. But it evidently
must be very important or God would not have told us about it. Let's first consider what the Lord says about eternal
punishment of Hell and then we will turn our attention to a more pleasant thought, Heaven.
Jesus spoke as much about the eternal punishment of Hell as He did any other subject.
He took our punishment and gave His life to keep us out of Hell. In His
attempt to persuade us not to go there, He has given us numerous warnings in His word.
Our Lord in describing how horrible that Hell will be for the many who will end up going there, says in Matthew 13:42,
"And will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth". This definitely will be a horrible and terrible place beyond description.
Jesus says in Mark 9:43-48 concerning those who are lost, that they will be "cast
into Hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched: where their worm does not
die, and the fire is not quenched".
Jesus tells us if there is anything in our life that is going
to cause us to be lost, to correct it or to get rid of it. Notice Jesus says
a person is cast or thrown into Hell. The worm is a flesh-eating maggot that
does not die, but will continuously feed forever and ever on the lost in Hell. In
Hell, one is burning over every square inch of his body and even all on the inside but is never consumed. The continuous fire and the worms will never accomplish the annihilation of any of the lost. The lost in Hell will prefer to cease their existence, but they cannot.
Their perpetual nightmare of torment will continue forever and ever. It
will never cease. The lost “shall be tormented with fire and brimstone…and
the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night” (Revelation 14:10-11). The occupants of Hell will never know relief or rest from their torment. Hell is such a horrible place. Hell is not a fictitious place,
it is real.
There will be no reprieve or appeal to a higher court, because we will have been judged by the highest. The Lord
is trying to get our attention and to give us fair warning. He is pleading with us not to go there because He has already
paid our price and taken our punishment. But we make the choice. The choice is ours. We will bear the responsibility
and the consequences.
One of the many warnings Jesus gives us
is the true account of the rich man and Lazarus. “There was a certain rich man” and “there was a certain beggar named Lazarus”. [The rich man was lost]“And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he
may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
But Abraham said, son remember…and besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that
those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us” (Luke 16:19-20, 23-26). Notice it says there was a certain rich
man and a certain beggar named Lazarus.
This is not a fictitious fairy tale. In Hell people will be in continual
unceasing torment and pain in which all will be constantly pleading for mercy. With
their unquenchable thirst they will beg for even one drop of water, but they will not receive it. How much relief and how long would one drop of water last on the tongue of those who are being eternally
tormented in the burning fires of Hell? It would not last even one second. We must wake up and heed our Lord’s warning.
Their desperate and hopeless state is permanent where they will remain eternally.
They are condemned there forever. In Hell people are conscious and will
see, feel, wail, and remember as they endure the continual intense pain and suffering.
The many that end up in eternal punishment will not be there alone. They will have company. Revelation 20:10
says, "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone
where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented
day and night forever and ever". This isn’t very good company to be in. Notice that
the torment goes on "day and night forever and ever".
There are many people who scoff at the idea of eternal punishment, but they are scoffing at what God says. The
fire will burn forever and those who are lost will be there in the fire for eternity whether they want to believe it or not.
In eternity their scoffing will quickly change to weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. We must take what our Lord
says in the Bible seriously. Hell is real! There is no way for the horrors of Hell to be adequately described in human
language. Many people do not realize the danger of eternally losing their souls. This is very serious!
Those lost in Hell will be those “whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (2 Peter 2:17). Those in Hell will attempt to find God, “Then they will
call on Me, but I will not answer; they will seek Me diligently, but they will not find Me” (Proverbs 1:28). They will not be able to forget their rejection of God. There will be no atheists
in Hell. All those in Hell will believe that there is a God, but it will be too late then.
knows how to…reserve the unjust under punishment for the Day of Judgment”(2 Peter 2:9). Hell must be avoided at all costs. No one can begin to exaggerate
how horrible Hell is going to be. Its misery and anguish is beyond description. It will never, never, never, ever end.
We are being warned, “It
is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31) and “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11). We must make sure we don’t end up in Hell, and we must warn other people who will listen. We “must be even more diligent to make your calling and
election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). Jesus has promised, “Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Anyone who ends up in Hell will only have himself to blame.
In Hell there will be billions of people crying out in indescribable pain and agony for which there will be no relief
or hope that things will ever get better. There will be haunting memories of all the opportunities of salvation that
were passed up. Eternity is forever and has no end. There will be no opportunity for second chances. Hell
is eternal, final, and irrevocable.
We read in Revelation 14:11, "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever, and they have no rest day or night." But
reading further we see in Revelation 20:15, "And anyone not found written in the
Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire". It is imperative that our name be found in the Book of Life.
Is your name in that book? Do you know for sure, or are you making a wishful assumption? It will be too late on
the Day of Judgment to find out that your name is not there.
Now let us turn our attention to something more pleasant, Heaven. Our Lord says in John 14:2-3, "In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so,
I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again
and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also". Heaven will be a very wonderful place.
For the few who go there, it will be beyond their wildest dreams and they will be totally surprised and amazed. As we
read in 1 Corinthians 2:9, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into
the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." There is no way that the glories
of Heaven can be adequately described to us mortal beings. The only way will be to see it.
Heaven will be the very opposite of eternal punishment. Revelation 21:4 says, "And God will wipe away every tear
from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away". There will be no weeping, and no wailing, and
no gnashing of teeth as will be happening in eternal torment. But there will forever and ever be nothing but joy, and
peace, and happiness, beyond description. What a wonderful place Heaven will be. But again, the choice is ours.
We cannot escape the consequences if we make the wrong choice. We will not accidentally end up in Heaven. Heaven
is a prepared place for prepared people. Our Lord says in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom
of God, and His righteousness." Going to Heaven has got to be our
number one goal in this life. We must want to go to Heaven more than anything else.
Questions for Lesson # 3
Those who are lost will go into: (Matthew 25:46)
All people will be placed into one of two places for eternity.
C. What will make us free? (John 8:32)
- Eternal punishment is described as: (Matthew 13:32)
A. A furnace of fire.
B. Not very hot.
C. There will be no eternal punishment.
- Eternal punishment will be horrible and beyond description>
- The fire of hell: (Mark 9:45 – 46)
A. Will never be lit.
B. Will soon go out.
C. Will never be quenched.
- If we end up in eternal punishment we will be able to appeal our sentence>
- Eternal punishment will last: (Revelation 20:10)
A. 1000 years
B. A short period of time.
C. Forever and ever.
- Satan will also be punished in the lake of fire and brimstone.
- If we are not found in the Book of Life: (Revelation 20:15)
A. We will cease to exist.
B. We will be cast into the lake of fire.
C. We will have another chance.
- Even after death we can have our name added to the Book of Life.
- Heaven is described as: (John 14:2-3)
A. Many mansions
B. The earth made over.
C. A bad place.
- Christ will be in Heaven with the few who are saved.
- In Heaven there will be: (Revelation 21:4)
A. Sorrow and crying.
B. No sorrow and crying.
C. Pain and suffering.
- People will die after they get to Heaven.