“HELL and What We Know About It”
I. The Duration of Hell
- What we mean by “duration” is… how long will it last?
- Jesus said in Luke 16:26…And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed:
- By “fixed” He meant… no way out. Tickets to Hell are a “one way” ticket. There is no return, no moving onto another destination.
- “..so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” In this portion of scripture Christ is saying …that there is no way a person could pass through Hell on their way somewhere else, nor is there a way to come from (or leave) Hell.
- HELL IS FOREVER! Eternity.
Here is what some skeptics (nonbelievers) say…
“God is a God of Love, and He would never condemn someone to Hell”
- Our Bible tells us that God is a God of…
- Love…I John 4:8
- Consuming Fire…Hebrews 12:29
- Hate…Proverbs 8:17; 6:16 and II Thess. 2:16
- God also instituted “Capital Punishment.” (See Genesis 9:5,6, also Leviticus 24:21, Numbers 35:30, and Romans 13:1-4)
- Where is the “love” in capital punishment?”
- Doesn’t God teach us to punish our children for wrong doing?
- Prov 22:15…Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
- A child (or a grown up that is not self-disciplined) will act foolish; but a hard punishment will cause him to not have the desire to do it again.
- Look at another in Proverbs 23:13… Withhold not correction from the child: God tells us to not be a wimpy parent by not spanking our children.
- “…for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” Just because you spank the child does not mean he will die.
- 14) Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. If you discipline (or Spank) your child it will cause the child to repent and think before they make the same mistake twice or over and over causing them to go to hell.
- A person who does not repent…goes to Hell.
- REMEMBER: That God is not like us… look into Isaiah 55:8…For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
- Verse 11 says…“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
- So, what are the words that come out of His (Jesus) mouth? Matthew 25:45…Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
- What Jesus said in Matthew 25:46 is that “these” (the non-believers) who have done bad things to His children (the believers) will be go away into everlasting punishment (Hell).
- Then there is the “UNFORGIVABLE SIN,” that Jesus said damns a soul to everlasting punishment in Mark 3:29…But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
- What does Jesus mean by “blaspheme the Holy Ghost?” It is someone who claims the works of the “Holy Spirit” is the works of Satan.
- Christ also said in Matthew 25:41…Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
- We need to realize that God punishes the sinner because HE (GOD) HATES HIS SIN!
- A person who continues his sin, never repents from it, never asks forgiveness of it, that person will suffer in eternal flames!
HELL IS FOREVER !
- There are TWO places to spend ETERNITY (This word means…Life forever, or Death forever) See Daniel 12:2…
- HEAVEN – is for those who believe on God’s Son (John 3:16,36 and John 6:47 and I John 5:11)
- Hell is LIFE EVERLASTING: John 6:47, John 12:50, I Timothy 1:16, I John 5:11,13, Jude 21.)
- HELL – See what Jesus said in Matthew 25:40-46…
- Verses 40-46 in Matthew 25 are telling us that when you do something against God’s children you have done it to Christ because Christians are part of HIS BODY! These people will go into everlasting punishment HELL.
- God does not go back on His Word! See Numbers 23:19…
- Those that go to hell have no hope… Isaiah 45:23a, Isaiah 38:18, Proverbs 11:7.
- EVERLASTING punishment is for those in Hell as we read in Mathew 25:46.
- Fire is not quenched- Mark 9:29
- Eternal Damnation- Mark 3:29
- Everlasting burnings- Isaiah 33:14
- Everlasting fire – Matthew 25:41
- Everlasting destruction – II Thess. 1:9
- Tormented forever- 20:10
- Eternal fire – Jude 7
- Everlasting contempt- Daniel 12:2
- Eternal Judgment – Hebrews 6:2
- Smoke forever – 14:11
- If you do not believe in the Savior of this world (Jesus Christ) I want to encourage you to FIND HIM! Search for a church that preaches His Doctrines, not Man’s Doctrines.
- GET ON YOUR KNEES, admit you are a sinner and need Him, Then repent and live for HIM.
II. THE DEGREES OF HELL
- There are theologians, preachers, teachers and scientists and etc. that have given their opinion on what Hell is like. Many will say there is no different degrees of punishment in hell. Many will say that there are. But what is important is…What does God say about the degrees of punishment?
- We are going to separate this study into three parts…
- What God Says About Himself.
- What God Says About Sin.
- What God Says About Hell.
- These three studies will leave no doubt in your mind about the “Degrees of Hell.”
A) WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT HIMSELF
- First of all look into Isaiah 45:21… God says He is a “Just” God.
- This means… God cannot do wrong. He is a God of Justice.
- God does that which is right… 18:25
- Now you want to see something about the judgment of God? Look at what Jesus said in John 5:22…For the Father (God) judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (Jesus): 23) That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
- Also look at Acts 10:38…How God anointed Jesus
- Now verse 42…And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he (Jesus) which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
- So with Jesus being the “flesh” part of God in the judgment, then He too is called a “Just man.”
- Remember Pontius Pilate’s wife (a heathen unbeliever) and what she said of Jesus at the trial in Matthew 27:19…
- Pilate Himself, 3 times he called Jesus a “Just man” in John 18:38; 19:4,6
- He is JUST… I John 1:9
- The Holy One and the JUST…Acts 3:14,15
- The JUST One… Acts 7:52
- That JUST One…Acts 22:14
QUESTION: What about the “heathen people” who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ… Will He send them to Hell? If So, how can that be JUST punishment?
- Look at what God says in Romans 2:11…For there is no respect of persons with God.
- When God says that “He has no respect for persons” it means that He does not care if you are a king, queen, President, hobo, Superman, or pastor of the biggest church in America! You will be judged like everybody else!
- Verse 12) For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish (perish meaning die and go to Hell) without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
- What we must understand is that God give everyone a “conscience.”
- Even the “heathen” people have a conscience as to know what is right and what is wrong.
- Then in verses 14…For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15)Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
- The heathen know that they are doing wrong on purpose when they go against the will of God who put it there.
- Their conscience, bearing witness of their guilt, causes them to become a law “unto themselves.”
- Look at John 1:4…In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And then verse 9…That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
- “Every man” includes the heathen!
- There is NO EXCUSE! Look at Romans 1:18-20…For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
- In the above verses, it tells us that God has “shewed” (showed) them. What did He show them? Look in verse 18… His wrath (anger) against unrighteousness and ungodliness (Meaning people who do not live like God has showed them in the Bible).
- God has shown everyone His Light (Jesus Christ).
- Now Look at verse 20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
- God is saying in this verse that it is “clearly seen” since the beginning of the world. What are those things… the evidence of His “eternal power and Godhead”
- There is NO EXCUSE for denying God and His power or existence!
QUESTION : Why do some people not find God?
- Let us look at Jeremiah 29:13…And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
- The reason people do not find God is because they do not really seek (search for) Him. But did you notice HOW we are to SEEK Him? It tells us in verse 13…“with all your heart.”
B) WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT SIN
- See I John 3:4…Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
- It tells us that SIN is TRANSGRESSION of the law.
- What is “transgression?” It means to violate, or go against.
- So you could say… “Sin is a violation of God’s Law” or “Sin is someone who goes against God’s Law.”
- What is God’s Law? ANY COMMAND GIVEN by God that is given in the entire Bible!
- Get one thing straight in your mind… GOD HATES SIN!
- I John 5:17… all unrighteousness is SIN.
- Proverbs 6:16-18…Who said that God does not HATE? These verses tell us exactly what God hates!
- Look at these other verses that show us the sins that God hates…Amos 5:21, Zechariah 8:17, Revelation 2:6,15.
- God says He will punish people for their sin…Isaiah 13:11, Hosea 4:9, II Thessalonians 1:7-9, II Peter 2:9.
- God made Hell for the wicked…Nahum 1:3… and Psalm 9:17…
- There are different degrees of punishment in Hell.
- This verse proves it… Galatians 6:7… Whatsoever a man soweth, THAT shall he also reap.
- If you sow 21 watermelons you will get 21 watermelon vines. You sow 100 carrot seeds then you will get 100 carrots. Therefore, if you so idolatry, murder, adultery, theft, and blasphemy… you are going to reap a different harvest than someone else who sowed only idolatry and theft.
- There are degrees of sin. Just like the laws of our land… if the speed limit is 55 and you blow by the sign at 85mph then your ticket would be more than a person when passed by the same sign doing 65. You both broke the law but one was worse than the other, so therefore the punishment is greater.
- A person does not go to hell just because he committed a horrible sin (like murder, or adultery). That person will go to hell because they did not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! (John 3:18, 36)
- There are some sins that are GREATER (more worse) than others. Look at what Jesus said in John 19:8-11.
- Pontius Pilot’s sin of weakness in delivering Jesus to the mob was great (bad). But Judas Iscariot’s sin of betrayal in delivering Jesus to Pilate was GREATER!
- So when Judas goes to the Lake of Fire, he will suffer more than Pilate.
C) WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT HELL
- Here are more reasons as to why there are certain degrees of Hell.
- If there were not different degrees of Hell then there would be no need of a Judgment. God would look in the books and see that your name is not written there in the book of life and throw you straight into the Lake of Fire.
- Let us look at what Jesus said in Matthew 11:23,24…And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to HELL: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be MORE TOLERABLE for the land of Sodom in the day of JUDGMENT, than for thee.
- Note the four words underlined in bold text… HELL, JUDGMENT, MORE TOLERABLE.
- Before sinners are cast into the Lake of Fire, they will stand in Judgment for the sins they committed on earth..
- But notice that Jesus said that it would be more tolerable for some than for others.
- Now we can look into Revelation 20:11-15…
- We see here in these verses that NO SAVED people will stand in this Judgment.
- Note the words “according to their works.” This is also meaning a degree of punishment which will be decided at the judgment …according to their works on earth.
- From a careful study of scripture we will notice that the degrees of punishment in Hell will be graded (like a report card in school) on three different categories…
- Light and opportunity
- Character of their sins
- Number of their sins
- Let us be reminded that God is JUST! He will give to everyone the punishment that is due them. See Hebrews 2:2.
III. LIGHT AND OPPORTUNITY
- Let us open our Bibles to Matthew 11:20… Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Now Jesus said…21) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22) But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
- By “Light and Opportunity,” we mean that everyone born is given “light and opportunity” by God.
- LIGHT- means wisdom and knowledge of right from wrong.
- OPPORTUNITY – means the chance to learn what God has to say about what is right and wrong.
- What we will be judged for is… what we do with the light and opportunity after we receive it.
- If we refuse the knowledge of God and His Son, then we will be sent to the more serious degrees of Hell.
- Now in the above verses (20-22), Jesus makes it clear that the people who lived in Chorazin and Bethsaida had more light and opportunity for salvation than the people of Tyre and Sidon.
- Therefore the people of Tyre and Sidon will have less punishment in Hell than those of Chorazin and Bethsaida.
- Now let us look at verses 23) And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24) But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
- Jesus Himself who knows the very heart of men says in these verses…” As wicked as the people of Sodom were they would have repented if they had known the light and opportunity for salvation that Capernaum had. The people in Capernaum will suffer more in Hell than those of Sodom.” Why? Because the people is Capernaum had the knowledge and rejected it.
- Now look at what Jesus said in Matthew 12:41…The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is
- What Jesus is saying here is…the people of Nineveh who listened to Jonah’s preaching and repenting of their sins, will rise to their feet in the bleachers at the Great White Throne Judgment pointing condemning fingers to those who were lost spiritually listening to Jesus preach and refused to repent.
- The people of Jesus day when He walked on this earth had more “light and opportunity” for salvation than those in Nineveh.
- Meaning that Hell will be more hot for those who rejected Christ after receiving the light and opportunity.
- The greater the light and opportunity for salvation, the greater the responsibility is for those who receive it.
- The people who lived in America 200 years ago will have a much cooler place in Hell than those of today. Why?
- Because the LIGHT is so much brighter today(meaning that the wisdom of God’s word is more understood today than 200 years ago because of the OPPORTUNITY given in the U.S. now is everywhere. God’s Word is now being interpreted and explained on the internet, in colleges, many commentaries, magazines, newspapers, churches of every faith on almost every corner, etc.)
- The people 200 years ago did not have near the opportunity that we have today.
- What about those who never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ? Will they go to Hell? Yes, but their punishment will be less.
- People are sent to Hell not only because they rejected Christ, but also because they refused to repent of their sins (Romans 6:23).
- James 1:15 says… Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
- THIS IS WHY…it is very important for us to try and get as many people as we can to receive the truth of the gospel so that they may “repent” (change their ways) before it is too late.
A) THE CHARACTER OF THEIR SINS
- Let us examine these passages of scripture…
- I John 5:16…If any man see his brother sin a sin which is NOT unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There IS a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
- 17) All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin NOT unto deat
- In the above verses we see that there IS a sin that will kill you.
- We also read that there is NOT a sin that will kill you.
- A SIN THAT WILL KILL YOU…
- Any sin that is premeditated (Planned out)
- Any un-confessed sin.
- Whatever sin that it may be will be the sin that God only will tolerate for a limited time. Then he decides… “I have given you plenty of time to confess it, or to stop doing it and you refused. Your time on earth is finished.”
Example: Acts 5:1-11… Ananias, with Sapphira
- See also I Corinthians 5:5…God will hand some people over to Satan (Who will kill the body) if they continue to reject the Spirit’s convictions.
- And I Corinthians 11:30…For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
- Those that are weak in the faith (rejecting God’s law, or quenching the Holy Spirit’s convictions.)
- God ushers in death to those who sin because he desires purity in His bride (the church).
- There are different degrees of sin because God said there is a sin NOT unto death and then there IS a sin unto death.
- Don’t forget the sin that is UNPARDONABLE. This is the sin that God WILL NOT forgive. That is the sin Jesus talks about in Matthew 12:31,32.
- This sin that God does not forgive means… When you “Blaspheme the Holy Ghost…” is when you give credit to Satan for something that God did.
- The sin Jesus was mentioning here was when the Pharisees rejected something that they knew was of God. (See John 11;48, and Acts 4:16) The Pharisees could not deny the reality of what the Holy Spirit did through Jesus Christ, so they said the works of Jesus was of Satan. (Note Matthew 12:24 and Mark 3:22)
- Note the different terminology of “sin”…
- 20:9 – Great sin
- 32:21 – So great a sin
- 32:30,31 – Great sin
- I Sam. 2:17 – sin…very great
- II Kings 17:21 – Great sin
- John 19:11 – greater sin
- Sin is sin YES, but God does recognize degrees of sin.
- We see in Hebrews 2:2… where every sin that is brought before the Great White throne will be judged and determine the final degree of Hell that will be the everlasting punishment of those sins.
REALIZE THIS ABOUT HELL…
Hell is and will be full of people who sinned and never repented or asked forgiveness of their sins. They continued to sin. And Hell is also full of those people who rejected Christ, did not believe that He was born of Mary, crucified, buried and rose again.
Heaven is and will be full of those people who have sinned also BUT, they had asked Christ to forgive them, then repented of their sins. They stopped doing their sin. These are also people who accepted and believed in God’s Son Jesus Christ and proved it by following Him. Read Luke 12:46-48.