This month, I feel that I must explain what hell actually is and who goes there. People have taught so many unbiblical ideas about it, therefore I feel compelled to write what Scripture says.
Hell is a place of punishment for those who refuse to be under the rule of God Almighty. According to Jude 6, (Bible in Basic English) it was originally for the rebellious angels. “And the angels who did not keep to their kingdom but went out from the place which was theirs, he has put in eternal chains and in dark night till the great day of the judging.”
When people rebelled against God, they also ended up in hell. As Psalms 9:17 (KJV) states, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Jesus also warned in Matthew 10:28 (KJV), “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
We can also see that rejecting proofs of Christ’s divinity, such as his mighty miracles, is punishable by being sent to hell. Jesus said in Matthew 11:23 (KJV) that unbelief is an affront to the Lord. “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.”
Even those who seem to believe in God but who reject the Lordship of Christ are damned. Jesus said in Matthew 23:15 (KJV) “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
In some passages of the King James translation, the grave is spoken of as hell. We can tell this is so by the context of the passages which speak of the grave. In Jonah 2:2 (KJV) he prayed while inside the fish’s belly “And said, ‘I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.'” Had not God intervened, Jonah would have perished and been digested.
Another example of hell being a simile for the grave is in Revelation 20:13 (KJV). “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”
In future posts, I’ll explain where hell is and who is sent there. I’ll also explain why God lets people go their own way so that they end up in eternal torment.
I also will expand on what I’ve written here in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven. Being sure of your eternal destiny is one matter not to be taken lightly. It deserves serious contemplation.