Men very seldom consider what it will mean to be lost in hell. It is something that Satan would like for us to forget. If we do think on the subject it is in a rather light and flippant manner. It is a joke. At worse it is a curse word.
Through human thinking Satan would like for us to reason "hell" out of existence. Putting Satan and human thoughts behind us, let's look seriously at this subject. The way hell is described in the Bible, I believe that God intended that our knees tremble and our hearts throb at the mere mention of the word.
To Be Avoided At All Costs
Hell is described as that which is to be avoided at all costs. "Where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9.43- 48.) "Outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8.12.) "Lake of fire, this is the second death." (Revelation 20.l4-15.) "Everlasting punishment." (Matthew 25-46.) "Fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell." (Matthew 10.28.)
Jesus uses a word to describe hell which stood for everything heinous, abominable and bad. That word is GEHENNA. In the Greek language, GEHENNA is what the Valley of Hinnom is to the Hebrew language. This valley lies to the Southeast of Jerusalem and was once the scene of idolatrous worship. The idolatrous god Molech was worshipped there with babies being offered as human sacrifices. King Josiah abolished the practice but the valley became so abhorred that people cast into it all manner of refuse, including the dead bodies of animals and criminals. Constant fires were kept burning in the valley.
A distinction should be made between HADES, TARTARUS, and HELL. HADES refers to the unseen state and abode of disembodied spirits. TARTARUS is that portion of HADES where the spirits of wicked men and angels are chained awaiting judgment. HELL is the final abode of the wicked.
The Terrible Cost Of Being Lost
Its cost is seen in its horrors. It is described as a "lake of fire," "furnace of fire," "baptism of fire," "second death," and "outer darkness."
Its cost is seen in the circumstances existing in hell. There one will be deprived of friends and friendliness. There will be no sedatives, no pain relief medicines, no rest cures and no hope that things will be better tomorrow. There will be haunting memories of lost opportunities. There will be indescribable pain and agony--shrieks of pain.
Its cost is seen in missing heaven. If we miss heaven we will miss heaven's welcome. We will miss New Jerusalem. We will miss having the tears wiped from our eyes. We will miss being with the redeemed of all ages. We will miss the crown of glory at the end of the way. We will miss the rest at the close of the day. We will miss hearing angels sing.
In Hell We Will Learn Valuable Lessons
We will learn the meaning of eternity. (Matthew 25-46; Revelation 20.10.) Eternity has no beginning, no end, no middle, and no part. Eternity is high noon forever. You might just as well look for the cradle of God as to look for the beginning of eternity. You might just as well look for the grave of God as to look for the end of eternity. It is immeasurable, imperishable, Indescribable and indefinable. Eternity is like a circle--it has no end. When we think of being lost and going to hell for eternity, it is almost more than the mind can bear.
We will learn there is no second chance. (Hebrews 9.27; John 5.28.) There is no place between this life and the next, to allow you to make provisions for your soul's salvation. (Luke 16.19-31.) We must not sin away our day of grace until it is too late to obey God!
We will learn that God means what He says. One of the difficult things we have to do is to get people to believe that God means what He says. (Hebrews 11.6; Luke 13.3; Matthew 10.32; Mark 16.15-46.) Our problem is that we know what the Lord said to do--the question is, do we really believe it? God does mean what He says! Ask Nadab and Abihu. Ask King Saul. Ask Ananias and Sapphira. Ask anyone who disregarded God.
Do you believe God means what he says about hell? Do you really? If that is the case then you will obey the Gospel and you will do it now!
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