The Bible Doctrine of Hell
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The Bible Doctrine of Hell
One of the most discouraging doctrines being taught in the “Christian” world today is the many false “ideas” concerning Hell. It seems that most people do want to talk about such a place, and those that do most certainly do not understand what Hell really is.
Hell is never an encouraging subject, but it is a Bible subject. Therefore, we need to be certain that we know what the Bible teaches on such a subject. This bulletin will serve as a guide through the scriptures as we examine the Bible doctrine of Hell.
Hell is Real
Harris Polls indicate that between 50 and 60% of Americans actually believe in Hell compared to the 89% that believe in Heaven. It seems more and more common that people no longer believe Hell really exists.
The word Hell appears 57 times in the Bible, 23 of which are in the NT. Of course, this doesn’t include the places that describe Hell as a lake of fire, outer darkness, etc. Furthermore, no one spoke more about it that Christ.
How did so many come to believe it does not exist? Teachers and preachers stopped teaching and preaching on the subject! It doesn’t seem all that long ago that the doctrine of Hell was being taught no matter which church you attended. Perhaps some of you remember the old “hellfire and brimstone” preachers.
The truth is, it is real. Christ spoke of it. “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell (Matt. 5:29).” Jesus most certainly believed in Hell. Those listening most certainly believed in Hell. Now, how can we believe in Jesus Christ and not believe in what he taught?
Hell is Punishment
Although they are not the norm, there are some who believe that Hell is going to be a place of “good times.” Stephen Tyler, the lead singer for Areosmith, said at Willie Nelson’s birthday party, which aired on VH1, “Here’s to you Willie, and here’s to Hell. May we have as much fun there as we do getting there.” Permit me to be blunt. This is one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard.
Prison movies may glamorize how much fun prison is (The Longest Yard), but the truth is, if it were that much fun, why are their so many who try to escape? Because punishment for wrong doing is never fun.
Hell is no different. The following scriptures teach us what Hell is going to be like:
Matt. 13:42 “and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Matt. 9:44 “Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.”
Rev. 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.”
Does this sound like a good time to you?
Hell is Eternal
Knowing that it is impossible to say that Hell is not that bad, some now have tried to teach that Hell is not eternal. The writer understands that there are different types of doctrines that teach Hell is not permanent, for the purpose of this bulletin, we will deal with the doctrine of Annihilation. The doctrine is based on passages like Matt. 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The idea is that our bodies and souls will eventually be “burned up.”
One Jehovah Witness explained it this way, “Take a piece of paper and set it on fire. What happens? The paper is consumed with the fire until it is no more. So is Hell.” To which one could reply, “What about the burning bush? It was consumed by fire, yet it never burned up.”
Another argument used against Hell being eternal punishment is that they believe it contradicts the nature of God’s love. To which one could reply that the concept of Heaven contradicts the nature of God’s justice.
Rev. 20:10 explains the permanence of Hell better than any other. “They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” The phrase forever and ever is used to describe the life of Christ (Rev. 10:6), Hell (Rev. 20:10) and our time in heaven (Rev. 22:5). If Hell is not permanent, neither is the life of Christ, nor our lives in Heaven.
Hell is for Sinners
Another misconception is that Hell is only for the really bad (Adolph Hitler, Ted Bundy and Charles Manson). For instance, only 39% of Americans believe that accepting Jesus as your Savior is needed to avoid being condemned to Hell.
However, the scriptures teach a different doctrine about those who have no hope of going to heaven. Examine the following scriptures:
I Cor. 6:9-10
One can see that those sins that seem “not that bad” such as unbelief and lying are grouped with murderers and thieves. One will also notice that sins that are openly practiced like adultery, fornication and homosexuality have no hope of heaven.
Let us not be led astray. Hell is real, it is permanent, and it is punishment for sinners. Let us strive to ensure that our final abode is not in Hell, but rather in Heaven.
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