Reaching Out

Plain Talk About Hell

Did you hear the one about the guy who went to a religious fair? At the Heaven booth he was told that heaven is a place of peace and harmony, where angels play harps and sing hymns. But at the Hell booth, he was told Hell is an incredible place, with beautiful women, gourmet buffets, gambling houses where you always win, and servants to satisfy your every desire. So he chose Hell. But when he arrived, he discovered it was a terrible, dark place of suffering and torment. He asked Satan about what he had promised, and Satan replied: “Oh, that was just marketing. Welcome to Hell.” He had just been snookered by The Father of Lies.

So Satan lies. Here are some more of his lies:

* Hell does not exist (and neither does Satan).
* Everyone goes to heaven; Hell is just for demons.
* The idea of Hell was just made up to scare people into coming to church and paying tithes.
* Worship Lucifer, the angel of light, and he will give you power.
* You can always receive Christ LATER.
The New Testament describes Hell as a spiritual place where souls are subject to eternal suffering for their sins and their refusal to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior; for refusing Christ’s offer to take away their sins. Preferring the self-indulgence of sin to self-denying righteousness, they loved darkness rather than light, and rejected the God who created them. Hell is a place of eternal remorse and sorrow, guilt and shame, utter hopelessness, and no mercy, love, or acts of kindness.

Why would God send people to Hell? It is their choice, and He honors their decision. If they reject God while on earth, why would they want to spend eternity with Him? At the same time, God grieves over the lost, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”. II Peter 3:9 (The terms “Heaven” and “Hell” are capitalized because they are real places like Missouri or Canada, but in the spiritual realm).

According to God’s Word, the tragic truth is that most people will not go to Heaven, but to Hell. This is described in Matthew 7:13, in which Jesus described the gate to eternal life being narrow and only a few find it. What does the Word of God say about who goes to Hell? In Galatians 5:19-21, we read: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (That’s because God is holy, and no sin is allowed in His Presence in heaven).

So Hell is real, and Jesus spoke of it as being real. However, He referred to Heaven, eternal life, and His coming kingdom three times as often as He did about Hell. Jesus spoke about Heaven in 10% of His messages and Hell in 3%. That means the other 87% of the time He spoke about living life in harmony with God, loving people, and how we can navigate this life victoriously. Jesus wasn’t obsessed with people knowing about Hell, His desire was for them to know His Father. It isn’t the fear of Hell that saves you, it is knowing Jesus that saves you!

It is highly likely that you and I know people who are in Hell. We also know people who are headed for Hell. They may be family or friends, neighbors or co-workers. One day, each of them will pass through the veil of death and into eternity, where their destiny is set.

We are to be ambassadors for Christ, so let us reach out to the lost with the love and truth of Christ, for Heaven and Hell are real, time is short, and eternity is forever. And always remember – if the whole world knew what the dead know, the whole world would follow Jesus Christ.

To God be the glory