87) HELL and LAKE of FIRE

 

 

Hell:

        A place that was originally prepared for the rebellious Devil (Satan) and his fallen angels to be held for the final future judgment but it now includes the departed, unrepentant, unsaved souls of men and women. It is a place of anguish and suffering and separation from God forever.

 

Hades:

          This is the Greek word for Hell, Hell and Hades are synonymous, the same, both are used throughout the Scriptures  to describe the place where the unsaved souls are held to await the final judgment and the Second Death, the Lake of Fire.

 

Lake of Fire:  

            At the Great White Throne Judgment the lost who are being held in Hell will stand before Christ to hear what their final punishment will be and where they will spend eternity. This place is called the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death where they will be tormented day and night forever. I know it sounds horrible and it is hard to believe that a loving God will send anyone to a place such as this but you need to remember that those who end up there chose too for they rejected God’s extended hand of love.

  

Ezekiel 33:11

            Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD,
            I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they
            turn from their wicked ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil
            ways! Why will you die?

 

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                                                Lake of Fire

 

2 Peter 2:4

            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 2:9

             If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue

             godly men from their trials and to hold the

             unrighteous for the day of judgment, while

             continuing their punishment.

 

In the days of Jesus there was a place called Gehenna (Hell) or the Valley of Hinnom which was outside the city and was used as a garbage dump for the city of Jerusalem. It was here that all the filth and garbage of the city plus the dead carcasses of animals and the bodies of executed criminals where thrown. In order to control the build up of garbage and refuse and to consume the maggots, flies and the diseases which it would produce, a continual fire was kept burning, day and night in the dump. When the wind would blow over the city of Jerusalem from the direction of the dump the smoke and stench was very strong and very offensive to the people. At night wild dogs could be heard howling, snarling and fighting over the garbage. This was the scene that the people would see each day, smoke and fire, day and night and a stench to bring tears to the eyes. It was an eye sore to the people who lived in Jerusalem and one they were very familiar with.

 

At various times Jesus would use this awful scene of smoke, stench and filth as a symbol of what Hell would be like, it was as if He would say, “Do you want to know what Hell is like?’ Look at the Valley of Gehenna.” All the filth and the unfit things not worth keeping were thrown into this dump and it will be the same in the place called Hell. It is a place for the rebellious, unsaved, immoral, corrupt and God rejecting people that have refused God’s offer of pardon. These are the unfit, and the satanic worshipping, corrupt and despicable ones. It is also for those who have lived good lives but have rejected Gods plan of Salvation through His Son. Jesus not our goodness is the only way to the Fathers Heaven. This will be a place of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, a place God has warned us about time and time again so that we would flee from it. Yet the warning goes unheeded by many and the world continues to condemn God for even thinking of sending people to a place such as we have described, they say He is unfair, He is unjust, but God says;

 

Ezekiel 33:17-19

      17 Yet your countrymen say, ‘The way of the Lord is

            not just.’ But it is their way that is not just.

       18 If a righteous man turns from his righteousness

            and does evil, he will die for it.

       19 And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness

            and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so.

 

Just think of the little that we do know about Hell, according to the Bible it is a place where the unsaved soul will be sent, never to die. It is a place where they are held until the White Throne Judgment takes place at which they will hear their final judgment. All of the human senses will be present, sight, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting, talking and the memory. This will be a place where the individual will be among millions and yet will be alone, alone in their own suffering, thoughts and memories. They will weep and wail and gnash their teeth in pain, they will hear each others cries of torment and no one will care. They will remember each time they were told about the love of Jesus and of His sacrifice and death on a cruel cross so that none need go to Hell. They will remember hearing of His shed blood that flowed from the cross on that day to redeem them from sin and keep them from ever having to go to this terrible place. They will remember their rejection of God’s mercy that was offered through the death of His Son. That they rejected it through their own free will, a right given to them by God whereby they could accept or reject the sacrifice made by His Son for the forgiveness of their sins. They will also remember that they willingly chose Hell over God’s offer of Heaven. They and they alone chose death refusing to listen to God’s consistent pleading with them to choose life. Think about this, right at this moment there are people we once knew who died and are now alive and living in excruciating pain forever. We find this hard to except and comprehend because we cannot understand God’s justice.

 

Deuteronomy 30:19      

            I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against

            you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing

            and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and

            your descendants may live.

 

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Ezekiel 33:11

            Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the

            Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the

            death of the wicked, but rather that they turn

            from their wicked ways and live. Turn! Turn

            from your evil ways! Why will you die?

 

Matthew 13:40-42

     40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned

           in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.

      41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and

            they will gather out of His kingdom all things

            that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,

       42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There

            will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

 

Matthew 22:13

         Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him

           hand and foot, take him away, and cast him

           into outer darkness; where there will be

           weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

Some continue to question whether or not this punishment is for eternity, forever, and whether or not there is a literal fire or is it merely symbolic. They refuse to believe or accept what the Bible says about eternal suffering and hell. This debate will be of little comfort to those who are lost and are condemned to Hell and separation from God forever. The reality of this is greater than any symbol and the awfulness of that place is far more terrible than our language can ever express. Debating over words will not void the truth of scripture nor the word’s of Christ Himself. He warned all mankind about this place of judgment and we need to heed the words of Jesus Christ not those of fallible, sinful men.

 

 Romans 3:5-6

         5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s

            righteousness more clearly, what shall we

            say? That God is unjust in bringing His wrath

            on us? (I am using a human argument.)

         6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God

             judge the world?

 

Matthew 25:41

         Then He will also say to those on the left hand,

         ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the Everlasting

          Fire (the second death) prepared for the devil

          and his angels

 

Deuteronomy 32:22

           For a fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn

            to the lowest Hell; It shall consume the earth with

            her increase, and set on fire the foundations of

            the mountains.

 

Psalm 9:16-17

        16 The LORD is known by the judgment He executes;

              the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.

        17 The wicked shall be turned into Hell.

 

Psalm 55:15

       Let death seize them; Let them go down alive into Hell.

 

Matthew 5:22

       But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of

       Hell’s fire.

 

Matthew 5:30

            And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it

            off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose

            one part of your body than for your whole body

            to go into Hell.

 

Matthew 10:28

           Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but

           cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One

           who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.

 

Matthew 23:33

           You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you

            escape being condemned to Hell?

 

Mark 9:47-48

      47 It is better for you to enter the Kingdom of God

           with one eye, than having two eyes, to be thrown

           into Hell,

      48 where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is

           not quenched.’ 

 

 Luke 12:5

          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 16:22-26

     22 The rich man also died and was buried.

     23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted

           up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off,

           and Lazarus in his bosom.

     24 “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.’

     25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in

          your lifetime you received your good things,

          and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he

           is comforted and you are tormented.

     26 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.’

 

Acts 2:26-27

       26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was

              glad; moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.

        27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will

             You allow Your Holy one to see corruption.

 

Revelation 1:18

          I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I

          am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys

          of death and Hades.

 

Hell and Hades and the Lake of Fire, are they one and the same, or are they three separate, different places? The answers to those questions are varied according to who it is you ask and what they have been taught. By using the following Scriptures I would like to use God’s Eternal Word to give us the answer. The first Scripture we read tells us that God punished the fallen angels who had sinned by rebelling against Him along with Satan and put them in dungeons in Hell there to be held until they are brought before Jesus at the Great White Throne Judgment to hear their final sentence pronounced.

 

2 Peter 2:4

            For if God did not spare angels when they sinned,

             but sent them to Hell, putting them into gloomy

             dungeons to be held (reserved) for judgment;

 

The next Scripture tells us that the ungodly, the unrighteous men and women who have lived according to their sinful natures and followed after their corrupt desires and despised all rightful authority will also be held in the same place until they are brought to the White Throne Judgment and until then  there their punishment will be continuous.

 

2 Peter 2:9-10

         9 If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue

             godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous

             for the day of judgment, while continuing their

             punishment.  

       10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt

             desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.

 

Revelation 20:11-15

    11 And I saw a Great White Throne, and Him that sat

          on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens

          fled away; and there was found no place for them

          to hide.

    12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before

          God; and the books were opened: and another

           book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and

            the dead were judged out of those things which

            were written in the books, according to their works.     

      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.

       14 And Death and Hell were cast into the Lake of Fire.

            This is the Second Death.

    15 And whosoever was not found written in the Book of

          Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.

 

We go back to the original question,Are Hell, Hades and the Lake of Fire one the same place,’ the answer is ‘No.’ First we need to know that Hades is the Greek word for Hell and so Hell and Hades are the same, they are synonymous. This is the place where all the lost, the unsaved, are sent after they die to be held in punishment until the final White Throne Judgment. At the final judgment all will hear their final sentencing which will be banishment to the Lake of Fire, the final destination of the lost. They are there because they willingly rejected God’s offer of pardon and forgiveness that was bought and paid for by the death of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. We can now according to scripture conclude that there are two places to which the lost will be banished.

 

Hell (Hades) which is a temporary place where the lost are held until the final judgment.

Lake of Fire (Second Death) which is the final, eternal destination for all the lost and will be pronounced to all at the White Throne Judgment.

 

This final place of judgment is forever, no end, who will be there? Verse 14 tells us that ‘Death & Hell are cast, thrown into the Lake of Fire. We need to remember that Hell and the Lake of Fire were originally prepared for Satan and all the angels that had rebelled against God but now it includes fallen man, so these are those who will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Satan (Devil) – the fallen angels – the Antichrist – the False Prophet – and every man and woman whose name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That is everyone who has rejected God’s Mercy and Grace, His plea to them to turn from death to life.. These are all the unbelievers; the cowardly, idolaters, all the thieves and liars, the sexually immoral, homosexuals, the murderers and the list goes on and on. You don’t believe it? Then read it for yourself, it is recorded forever in God’s Manual of Life; we call it the Bible, the Book out of which all mankind will be judged.

 

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1 Corinthians 6:9-10

       9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit

           the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived neither

           the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers

           nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

      10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor the

            slanderers nor the swindlers will inherit the

           Kingdom of God.

 

Ezekiel 33:11

            Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the

             Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the

             death of the wicked, but rather that they turn

              from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from

              your evil ways! Why will you die,

 

Revelation 19:20

            Then the beast was captured, and with him the

              false prophet who worked signs in his presence,

               by which he deceived those who received the

               mark of the beast and those who worshiped his

               image. These two were cast alive into the Lake

               of Fire burning with brimstone

 

Revelation 20:10

             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.

 

Revelation 20:14-15

      14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the Lake

            of Fire. This is the Second Death.

       15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life

             was cast into the Lake of Fire.

 

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Revelation 21:8

           But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the

           murderers, the sexually immoral, those who

           practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars.

           Their place will be in the Fiery Lake of burning

           sulfur. This is the Second Death.

 

The Biblical conclusion to all of this is that Almighty God through His infallible Word says there is a place called Hell and that there is another place called the Lake of Fire. The first one, Hell, is where the unsaved are held and punished until they are summoned to stand before Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment. This is where they will hear what their final punishment will be and where they will spend eternity. This place is called the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death where they will be tormented day and night forever.

 

To try and make this a little easier to understand I will use an example of how a person in this life commits a capital crime and is found guilty in a court of law. The judge then remits the guilty person to the jailor to be held over until another date when he will be brought before the judge once again to hear the final sentencing for his crime. He has been found guilty but has not yet received his final sentence for his crime.

 

Tragic, terrible, dreadful, appalling, heartbreaking, pitiful, and shocking and the description can go on and on. For those who have died in their sins, after refusing God’s mercy, there is no hope BUT for those who are still living and guilty of sin the Door of Mercy is still wide open. God is still pleading with every man and every woman who will listen, repent and accept His offer and choose Life not a living death in the Lake of Fire. Do not forget this fact; everyone in Hell right now is there because they used the power of their free will to choose death rather than life.

 

Deuteronomy 30:19

           This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses

            against you that I have set before you life and

            death, blessings and curses. Now choose life,

           so that you and your children may live .

 

There is a different ending for the children of God, those who have overcome Satan by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. These are those who have accepted God’s free gift of Salvation and the Bible tells them that they do not have to fear the Second Death for their names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

 

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Revelation 2:11

            He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

            He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the Second Death.

 

2 Thessalonians 1:5-6

        5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will

          be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.

        6 God is just:

 

CONCLUSION:

Therefore, after death, a redeemed person resides in a “temporary” heaven (Paradise) or in hell (Hades) if they are unsaved. After this temporary realm, at the final resurrection, a person’s eternal destiny will not change. The precise “location” of that eternal destiny is what changes. Believers will ultimately be granted entrance into the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1). Unbelievers will ultimately be sent to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). These are the final, eternal destinations of all people—based entirely on whether or not they had trusted Jesus Christ alone for salvation (Matthew 25:46; John 3:36).

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