TEXT: Deuteronomy 32:22

Introduction: An increasingly unpopular subject in many pulpits today is that of hell. And yet hell is a topic that is very definitely mentioned and discussed in the Scriptures.
Read TEXT. In spite of this fact, even some “Christians” deny its existence or say that a loving God would never send anyone there.
So let’s examine some things which the Scriptures reveal as we consider the question TITLE.

I. Hell is real
A. Not a fairy tale, myth, or imagination of the mind, but a real place which Jesus Himself talked about: Matt. 7:13-14, 21-23
B. And Jesus warns against the very real possibility of going there: Matt. 10:28. From this we learn three things. Hell should be feared. Hell is beyond death and the grave (not just suffering on earth). The reality of hell should motivate us to live so that we won’t go there.
C. Also, He tells us a little about what hell will be like: Matt. 25:30, 41. If we haven’t seriously contemplated the shocking reality of hell, we need to give ourselves a reality check, because Jesus says that hell will be a reality for the vast majority.

II. Hell is terrible. Some believe that the Bible’s depictions of hell are overstated, but that’s blasphemous because the Bible is God’s own word, and the person who used the word most often was the Lord Himself!
A. Name derived from Valley of Hinnom: 2 Chr. 28:1-3. This valley was where idolatrous Israelites once burned their children alive as sacrifices; later it came to be used to burn Jerusalem’s garbage and trash. Dead bodies were thrown in this dump, and its fires were kept burning to consume the rubbish and rotting corpses. So that’s the literal picture from which the description of hell was drawn.
B. Seen what Jesus said about it, now look at what Paul says: 2 Thess. 1:7-9
C. Consider John’s description: Rev. 20:11-15, 21:8. “Lake of fire”: Just imagine if every drop of Carlyle Lake or Forbes Lake were gasoline and set ablaze—what would it be like to be thrown into the middle of it? “Brimstone”: This is a sticky, gooey, flammable, sulfurous compound that would cling to the body—can you imagine being covered with this and set on fire? Whether you consider these concepts as literal or figurative, either way they conjure up an image of pain, agony, and suffering to emphasize that hell is terrible.

III. Hell is eternal
A. All this would be bad enough even if hell lasted for only a few seconds, but Jesus calls hell fire everlasting fire: Matt. 18:8-9
B. Jesus compared duration of punishment in hell to that of life in heaven: Matt. 25:46
C. Bible describes it as a place where the smoke of torment ascends forever: Rev. 14:9-11, 20:10. “Forever” is a difficult concept to wrap our time-bound finite minds around, but we can rest assured that it’s a LONG time.

Conclusion: Does hell scare you? It should!
We’re going to spend eternity somewhere—do we want it to be in heaven or hell?
God has already expressed His desire: 2 Pet. 3:9—Jn. 3:16.
Now it’s up to us.

By Wayne S. Walker

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