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Intro: There is a word in the English language that is often used, is always negative, and few preachers like to preach about it. Do you know what it is?
Hell. Hell is charactered in many comic strips, rolled off the tongue as “light profanity,” screamed as a curse in people’s faces, feared by some, rejected by others, and yet it remains mostly misunderstood.
To some within the psychology movement, hell is defined as “a place of, and for, self endurance.” Definitions do not get much better when you look at what some “churches” teach about hell. One of the major denominations now teaches that hell is not real, but is only added into the Bible to scare people into being good.
A Gallup Poll showed most Europeans believe in heaven but not in hell. While a survey in Australia shows that almost 80% doubt the existence of hell.
As WA Criswell said, “I have never been to heaven, and I have never been to hell. So I must trust what God has told me about such places.” Today we want to take at what the Bible teaches about hell, and how that effects us and those around us.
Theme: God told us of hell to help us and so we could help others.

I. Does hell really exist?

A. The Bible speaks of hell in both the old and the new testaments some 84 times.
* Because we believe the Bible from cover to cover as the literal Word of God, without error, and wholly accurate in all it addresses, we must believe in a literal hell.
ILL. A man brought forward his argument against the Bible, declaring, “I am seventy years of age, and have never seen such a place as hell, after all that has been said about it.” His little grandson, of about seven years of age, who was had been listening, asked him, “Pop, have you ever been dead yet?” —Foster
The Bible does not ever say we will see evidence of hell while here on earth. It grieves me when people equate the worst of this world with hell. From what I read in the Bible, hell will be much worse!
B. It is significant that the most descriptive and conclusive utterances about hell come from the lips of Jesus.
· Jesus started referring to Hell from the Sermon on the Mount. To say He was wrong about that, calls into question all of His teaching there.
Matthew 5:22 NKJV
22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
· We must accept that Jesus was telling the truth because if He lied about hell then His death could not have paid for our sins.
· He would know more than us. He is the “pre-existent one.”

II. What is it?

Nelson's Topical Bible Index, Tyndale Bible Dictionary and a review of the Bible describe hell as follows:
A. Hell is described as:
· It is outer darkness. Matt. 8:12
Matthew 8:12 NKJV
12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
· It is a place of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matt. 8.12; 13.42,50
· It has gates and locks. Matt. 16:18; Rev. 1:18 “...the Living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hell.”
· It is the place of the lost. Matt. 23:33
· It is everlasting fire.
Matthew 25:41 NKJV
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
Revelation 20:10 NKJV
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.
· It is the place of torment. Luke 16.23 “...being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
M. F. Rich, an atheist, cried, “I would rather lie on a stove and broil for a million years than go into eternity with the eternal horrors that hang over my soul! I have given my immortality for gold, and its weight sinks me into an endless, hopeless, helpless Hell.”
· It is a prison. 1 Pet. 3:19
· It is gloomy darkness. 2 Peter 2.4
2 Peter 2:4 NKJV
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
· It is the Lake of Fire. Rev. 19:20
Revelation 19:20 NKJV
20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
· It is everlasting punishment. Matt. 25:46
Matthew 25:46 NKJV
46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
2 Thessalonians 1:9 NKJV
9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
· It is exclusion from the presence of the Lord. 2 Thes. 1:9
Although the biblical descriptions of hell are stated in very physical and literal terms, the essential character of hell shouldn’t be conceived in or limited to the descriptions listed above.
This truth does not detract from the horror or the gravity of the situation in hell, because nothing could possibly be worse than separation from every good from God and the torment of an evil conscience. Hell is hell for those who are there essentially because they are completely alienated from every blessing and every good attribute of God, and wherever there is alienation from God, there is always separation from one’s friends. This is a place of no relief! This is the worst possible punishment to which anyone could be subject: to be totally and irrevocably cut off from God.
The Tyndale Bible Dictionary adds:
Another painful consequence of such a condition is to be at odds with oneself—torn apart from within by an accusing sense of guilt and shame.
This condition is one of total conflict: with God, one’s neighbours, and oneself. This is hell! The conditions hell represents are more intense and real than the figures of speech in which they are expressed. Tyndale Bible dictionary, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Ill., 2001, Page 592

B. The punishment of hell is described as:

· Bodily Matt. 5:29, 30 “...that your whole body be thrown into hell.”
· In the soul Matt. 10:28 “...Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
· Eternal Rev 20.10
"Hell is truth seen too late, duty neglected in its season."

III. Who is hell for?

Hell is a place prepared for:
· Devil and his angels
Matthew 25:41 NKJV
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
2 Peter 2:4 NKJV
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
· The Beast and the false prophet
Revelation 19:20 ESV
20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
· Worshippers of the beast
Revelation 14:11 NKJV
11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
· People who do evil
Romans 2:9 NKJV
9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
Revelation 21:8 NKJV
8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
· Rejecters of the Gospel Matt. 10:14-15 “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.”

IV. What should we do with our God given knowledge of hell?

Matthew 13:51–52 NKJV
51 Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." -Karl Marx

A. Rejoice in the God of our salvation.

As Mt 13.52 says, “Bring out the treasure”!
“Let the most gifted writer exhaust his skill in describing this roaring cavern of unending flame, and he would not have even brushed in fancy the nearest edge of hell.
Hell was originally “prepared for the Devil and his angels”— not for man! Little wonder that there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repented. He is saved, redeemed, rescued. It makes the hearts in heaven glad.”
“Morality may keep you out of jail, but it takes the blood of Jesus Christ to keep you out of hell.” -Spurgeon

B. Reach out to the unsaved with compassion.

Proverbs 11:30 NIV84
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
As Comfortable As Possible Now
A drunkard husband, spending the evening with his mates at a pub, boasted that if he took a group of his friends home with him at midnight and ask his Christian wife to get up and cook supper for them, she would do it without complaint.
The crowd considered it a vain boast and dared him to try it with a considerable wager. So the drunken crowd went home with him and he made the unreasonable demands of his wife. She, dressed, came down, and prepared a very nice supper just as quickly as possible and served it as cheerfully as if she had been expecting them.
After supper one of the men, a little more sober than the others, asked how she could be so kind when they had been so unreasonable, and, too, they knew she didn’t approve of their drunkenness. Her reply was: “Sir, when my husband and I were married, we were both sinners. It has pleased God to call me out of that dangerous condition. My husband continues in it. I tremble for his future state. Were he to die as he is, he would be miserable forever; I think it my duty to render his present existence as comfortable as possible.”
This wise and faithful reply affected the husband and his mates. In the following days the husband thanked her for the warning and became a serious Christian and a good husband. —Sunday School Times
Conclusion: Hell is real! God wanted us to know about it so that we would not have to endure an eternity separated from Him. 1 Peter tells us that He isn’t willing that any should perish.
I believe that most people don’t want to know about hell, joke about it, don’t want to think about hell because it is such an awful place. However, Scripture teaches us that its reality should change our lives, and that we should seek to save others from such a fate.
Which Disturbs You Most?
A soul lost in Hell...or a scratch on your new car?
A description of hell ... or a description of the game your team lost this weekend?
The misuse of words like hell . . . or being denied freedom of speech?
A church not growing...or your garden not growing?
The church work being neglected...or housework neglected?
The millions who do not know Christ...or your inability to keep up with the neighbours?
Being late for Church...or late for public school?
Which really disturbs you most?
-The Bible Friend
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