The material contained in this booklet is not presented for the purpose of judging or condemning anyone.We, unfortunately, live in a day and age of positivism where anything of a negative nature is immediately cast aside as being “hateful” or “judgmental.”This booklet is neither.If you, dear reader, are mature enough and strong enough to face reality for a while (as opposed to TV land, sports land, pleasure land, etc), then you’ll have to admit that the subject of this booklet is one of the most practical subjects that one could address.If there does exist a place of everlasting punishment for sinners, then anyone in their right mind would desire to be warned about it.Furthermore, anyone with even an ounce of compassion would seek to warn others about such a place once they had learned about it.
Many like to argue by using such reasoning as “I believe these are private matters and should not be pressed upon people.”No one is pressing anything.You are reading a booklet that you chose to read, and you can put it down at any time.Others would argue that “The existence of a burning hell is only the opinion of some, while many others disagree.”Yes, but the opinions of those who believe in a literal burning hell are based on clear passages of Scripture while the opinions of those who disagree are based on liberal interpretations and outright denials of Scripture.Pleading innocent while playing the “I don’t know who to believe” game is nothing less than stupidity.Friend, your eternal soul could be at stake!
Suppose you are asleep one night and someone in your home wakes you and says, “I think I smell something burning.” Then someone else says, “Oh, go back to sleep.I don’t smell anything.”What would you do?I seriously doubt that the majority of people reading this page would go back to sleep before walking through the house and making sure of their safety.However, most people reading this page will brush aside this issue, at least for the time being, and some forever.
Why would one not want to know the truth about hell?It’s really a simple thing: truth calls for a response.People have their busy lives and they do not want to be interrupted with things, especially not negative things, and definitely not negative things that are life-changing in nature.If you know for certain that hell exists, then you must violate your conscience in order to keep living in sin.This, of course, would bother you, and you prefer to not be bothered.So, you’ll be tempted to lay aside this booklet and tend to something “more important.”Hopefully, you will not die in the process.
Most people do die in the process because “the process” turns out to last for the duration of their lives.That is, they never “get around” to facing eternity seriously.The words “hell” and “damn” are extracted from the Bible and used as curse words while the true application of these words is mostly ignored.Others may accept the doctrine of an eternal burning hell, but then condemn themselves to hell by refusing to take the “fire escape.”
Finding a person who believes the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, can be quite a task these days.This writer is such a person, but he has learned through the years that most of his readers are not.This booklet will be filled with the words of God and supportive comments on those words.That is, nothing in the forthcoming pages will correct any part of the Bible (KJV) with the opinions of men.This author’s words and the words of any other man used will be used to help explain what God’s word has already said.Also, no portions of Scripture will be used out of context in order to teach something that the context doesn’t teach.You are about to read a solid and sound Bible-believing and Bible-honoring work on the subject of hell.If you believe the Bible, then you’ll have no problem with this booklet.If you doubt the Bible while having a tendency to read and follow the views of men, then you might as well roll over and go back to sleep.
If my often straight-forward approach offends you, please accept my apology.However, I believe we are dealing with a very serious subject and some straight talk is in order.I’ll try to be well balanced and show some grace through these pages, but I will not do injustice to the word of God by addressing the subject of eternal damnation lightly.After all, if hell is real (and I certainly believe it is), then souls are dying and going there every second.Yes, every SECOND.You can do your own math, but if you figure the world death rate into Matthew 7:13-14, you won’t get a pleasant picture.Conservatively speaking, every time you’ve read a line on this page, at least one more person has dropped into hell fire for eternity.
Since the Bible is a highly symbolic book, how can we be sure that hell is a literal place?
The premise that the Bible is a symbolic book, much less a “highly” symbolic one, is a false premise.Yes, the Bible offers some symbolism, as do most writings of men, but Satan has deceived people into over-emphasizing Biblical symbolism.Most of the Bible deals with history—the history of man’s relationship to his Creator.Within that recorded history one can learn of many things about God and His plan.As He reveals these things to us, He sometimes uses symbolism, but this doesn’t make the Bible a symbolic book.It is simply a book that contains some symbolism.
In November, 1993, evangelist Billy Graham told Time magazine that he didn’t believe in a literal burning hell.He said that the Biblical hell was “possibly an illustration of how terrible it’s going to be—not fire, but something worse, a thirst for God that cannot be quenched.”Graham had no Scriptural authority for making such an assumption.A preacher’s duty is to preach all the counsel of God (Acts ), not speculate about things that might “possibly” be an “illustration.”To make matters worse, Graham “air conditioned” hell by describing it as merely a “thirst for God,” something that wouldn’t move any sinner to repentance.Why didn’t Jesus describe hell this way, rather than leaving its occupants smoking with fire and brimstone?Graham’s symbolism is unscriptural symbolism, as is that of many other preachers.
When the Bible uses symbolism, it is quite obvious.Jesus once said, “I am the door.”(John 10:9)That statement cannot possibly be taken literally, so it must be taken as symbolism.He also said, “I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:14)Jesus wasn’t literally a shepherd, His followers aren’t literally sheep, and literal wolves (John ) are not a threat to Christians.Those are symbolic terms because they can’t be literal.
Hell, on the other hand, can be literal.Is it possible that a Christian can be a sheep with four legs in a pasture?No, that’s not possible.Is it possible that a literal lake of fire can exist somewhere?Yes, just open any standard text book on physical science, and you can see a lake of fire.For that matter, just run an Internet search on “earth’s core,” and you’ll see plenty.The only question is does God condemn sinners to such a place?
According to the Bible, He does.The term “hell” occurs 54 times in the Bible, and never once is it impossible for the word to be taken literally.Take the first occurrence, for instance, which is Deuteronomy 32:22: “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.”To say that “hell” in this verse is symbolic would demand furthercomment regarding the earth and the mountains.Are they symbolic as well?“Maybe they are,” one might suggest.Well, if they too are symbolic, then convenient symbolism becomes the standard by which men read and understand the Bible.If that’s the case, then why bother reading it at all?Everything in the Bible could mean anything, and no one would know anything for certain.There must be a safe standard by which we can distinguish symbolism from literal application.The safest standard is the possibility standard: if it’s possible that a given passage can be literal, then it is literal.If it’s impossible, then it’s symbolic (“I am the door,” etc.) Anyone who seeks a lesser standard is not a Bible believer and is not worthy of your learning time.
Where is hell located?
The Bible states plainly that hell is in the center of the earth, or at least under the earth’s crust.The verse we’ve just mentioned (Deu. 32:22) speaks of the “lowest” hell in connection with “the earth” and the “foundations of the mountains.”Thirteen separate times the Bible uses the words “hell” and “down” in the same verse.II Peter 2:4 speaks of hell’s location when speaking of the angels that sinned against God:“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”Hell is down, according to the Bible.Amos 9:2 says, “Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down.”Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Lucifer says, “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isa. 14:15)In our church building in Martin, Tennessee, there is a poster on the wall, much like you’d expect to see in a physical science classroom.In bright fiery colors, the poster shows the earth’s core, the outer core, and the mantle.From the The Planet Earth (World Book Encyclopedia of Science), I was able to glean the estimated temperatures of the areas of the underworld, so I wrote them in the appropriate places on the poster.Now we have an actual scientific picture of hell displayed in our church building.The outer core is believed to be as hot as 6,500 degrees in some places.This information can be found in standard physical science text books and in encyclopedias.
According to modern science, less than 50 miles below our feet the temperature rises to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and it reaches 3,600 degrees at 650 miles.The mantle is mostly dense rocks (although very hot ones), but the outer core is “completely liquid,” according to The Planet Earth (1984, p. 48).The Bible agrees fully by referring to hell as a “furnace” (Rev. 9:2, Mat. , 50) and a “lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).The skeptics need only to take a look at G. Brad Lewis’ erupting volcano photos (www.adventuregallery.net/GBradLewis.htm).If the entire outer core is “completely liquid,” and if it begins at approximately 1,800 miles down, then people could be burning in hell less than 2,000 miles from here right now, maybe even much closer.
Why do some teach that hell is the grave?
The real reason is that most of them are on their way to hell and they hope it isn’t what the Bible says it is.The most prominent promoters of this heresy are the Jehovah’s Witnesses, founded by Charles T. Russell in the late 1870’s.The basic argument is that the word “hell” in the King James Bible is translated from Hebrew and Greek words that do not imply a place of fiery torment.
The first word, the Hebrew word sheol is used 65 times in the Old Testament Hebrew text from which the King James Bible was translated.Sometimes the word is translated as grave, but always with a negative connotation.For instance, Job 21:13 speaks of the wicked and says, “They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.”The Hebrew word for grave in this verse is shoel, a negative word, because it is a negative thing when wicked people die and go to hell, even though their bodies go to the grave.Their souls are in hell while their bodies are in the grave with no hope of a resurrection; therefore the negative sheol is used.
Psalm says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”Here sheol is the word for hell, which some suggest should be translated as grave.But there is no real warning in saying that the wicked shall be turned into the grave (since we all go there), therefore hell in this verse implies something more than the grave, something deeper than the grave.Hell isn’t the grave, but it would be proper to say that hell is a grave for the soul, located in the mantle and outer core of the earth, both of which are under one’s bodily grave.Only in that sense is hell anyone’s grave.
Every time sheol is used it is used negatively, whether it’s translated hell, grave, or even pit, yet Hebrew words other than sheol are used in reference to the common burial of the righteous.Job presents a good example:“They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.” If we substitute the words pit and dust with the Hebrew words, the verse would read, “They shall go down to the bars of sheol, when our rest together is in aphar.”Notice that “they” (the ones in sheol, or the pit) are not said to be resting, but “our” rest (Job speaking, being a righteous man) is in another place, a place called aphar, which simply means the dust, the earth, the ground.The “hell is the grave” crowd never makes this distinction.The meaning of the word sheol itself should be enough to make the distinction for them because the word means to inquire, request, or demand.If you’ve read Luke 16 lately, then you know that people in hell are requesting plenty.To be in sheol (hell) is to be in a place of dissatisfaction and asking for help.To be in sheol (the grave) is to be a dead lost man whose body will never be glorified like that of the Lord Jesus Christ, therefore he too is not satisfied and not resting in peace.In both cases, sheol concerns a lost man.In my personal studies, I have not found a single place in the Bible where sheol refers to the peaceful grave of the righteous.Rachel’s “grave” in Genesis 35:20 is the Hebrew geburah, not sheol.Josiah, a good king, didn’t go to sheol when he died (II Kgs. ); he went to geber gibrah (a peaceful burying place, a grave).Yes, the wicked too go to a burying place, but not in hope of a resurrection, therefore their burying place is called sheol, as is their place of torment.
The Greek words for hell are hades and gehenna.Hades has basically the same meaning as sheol, while gehenna was the city dump of Jerusalem, used as a similitude to describe hell, God’s “dump” for the wicked.
However, it isn’t necessary that one know the meaning of Hebrew and Greek words in order to realize that hell isn’t the grave.Without using any of the information just presented, the serious Christian soldier can easily show anyone from the Bible that hell cannot be the grave by using five simple arguments.
The first argument is the fact that the grave contains no fire, yet the hell of the Bible does: “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Luke 16:23-24)“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Mat. 5:22)“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”(James 3:6)Clearly, the Lord could not have intended for us to understand hell to be the grave in these verses because the hell in these verses contains fire, yet the common grave does not.In fact, the words “hell” and “grave” are never found in the same Bible verse, yet “hell” and “fire” occur in eight separate verses!
Secondly, no one speaks from the grave, yet, in Luke 16:24, the rich man actually speaks from the fires of hell.All indications are that he has all of his natural senses.This is not so with a person in the grave.
A third point is the fact that hell, according to the Lord Jesus (Mat. 25:41), was originally prepared for the devil and his angels.This is not so with the grave.
A fourth argument is that only one’s body goes to the grave at death, not one’s soul.The Christian, in death, is said to be “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord” (II Cor. 5:8).The body of the Christian obviously goes to the grave like the body of anyone else, yet the Bible declares that the Christian himself (in distinction from his body) goes to be with the Lord.So, there is a separate dwelling place other than the grave.If this is true with Christians, then it is also true with unbelievers, whichis made clear in the Scripture already provided from Luke 16:23-24, as well as in other passages.
A final and most logical argument against hell being the grave is the fact that Jesus said “it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” (Mat. 18:9)If hell is only the common grave, then it certainly would not be better to suffer a handicap forever than to simply die and be gone forever, suffering no affliction at all.Obviously, Jesus was indicating that hell is something far worse than a physical handicap.
Why did God create hell?
According to Matthew 25:41, God originally created hell for “the devil and his angels.”In the very beginning, it was not God’s intention for any man to suffer the torments of hell, but then man chose to follow the way of Satan by becoming a sinner (Gen. 3).In doing so, man reaped the same judgment as Satan.Just as it would be wrong for the Governor of your state to set a murderer free, it would have been wrong for God to not punish sinners.God’s justice demands that a payment be made for sin.Man can make his own payment by going to hell forever, or he can place his trust in the payment already made by the Lord Jesus Christ.
How could a loving God send a person to hell?
The statement that “God is love,” from I John 4:8, is a true statement, but it is also true that the rest of the Bible is true.God has many attributes, not just love, and He never intended for us to define Him as love only.God is just as much a God of justice as He is a God of love.In fact, the Bible’s greatest love verse, John 3:16, wouldn’t even be in the Bible if God were not a God of justice.Deuteronomy 32:4 says, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”It was God’s attribute of justice that required a sin payment to be made at Calvary.God is love, yes, but God is not only love.
A good parent is a loving parent, but a good parent is not only a loving parent.No good parent enjoys punishing a child, but punishment must be rendered at times, else the love proves to be only a cheap and shallow love.God’s love is directed to those who meet His conditions; His wrath goes to those who don’t. There isn’t space enough in this study to deal at length with the conditions of God’s love, but we will offer three very definite ways we can know that God will send people to hell, even though He be a God of love.
One reason, and the most important reason, is the fact that His word declares it.God isn’t what men think He is; God is what He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do.Over and over again the Scriptures state that God will damn the wicked to Hell.The same apostle who wrote “God is love” also wrote “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15)David, “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (II Sam. 23:1), also wrote “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.”(Psa. 11:5-6)Moses knew the God of love “face to face” (Deu. 34:10), yet that didn’t stop him from writing Deuteronomy 32:22: “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.”Peter walked side by side with Jesus for over three years, but that didn’t keep him from sounding the warning of II Peter 3:7:“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”There are other examples that could be presented, but one more will suffice.Jesus Himself, the One who gave us that great love verse, John 3:16, later said, “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”(Mark 9:43-48)Yes, God is love.He loved the world so much that He paid the ultimate price by sending His Son to pay the sin debt of all men.But that love is only accessible to those who receive it.Those who refuse it will receive God’s wrath.We know this because the Bible declares it.
We also know it because justice demands it.Psalm 89:14 says, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.”Notice in the verse how God’s mercy is coupled and balanced with his justice.Just as any good human judge knows he must show mercy at times, God too knows this, but His mercy doesn’t come at the expense of His justice.He maintains a perfect balance at all times.Job 8:3 says, “Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?”The implied answer is obviously “No.”In Revelation 16:1-21, the seven last plagues are poured out upon a wicked and rebellious earth, yet before God does this, the saints of heaven sing the words “. . . Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”Knowing that the terrible plagues of God’s judgment are coming, the saints still justify God’s actions.Wise people today do likewise.Rather than accuse God of being unfair or unloving for sending the wicked to hell, they will confess that God is holy, His ways are just, and that His justice cannot allow the wicked to escape the fires of hell.
The third reason is that nature displays it.Nature clearly displays the fact that God allows suffering.In fact, the Scriptures make this point very well in Romans 8:18-22:“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groanethand travaileth in pain together until now.” Friend, suffering is continuing all around us daily, and anyone can observe this, if only they’ll open their eyes.If you had meat for dinner over the past few days, it is only because an animal suffered and died first.If you wear leather shoes or have a leather wallet or purse, it is only because an innocent animal suffered and died.The animal did nothing to deserve such treatment, yet God allowed it to be killed.
Of course, suffering is also very real among men.Some people are born with various diseases, while others are often born blind, crippled, or with some other handicap.Others suffer in great natural disasters, in war, in accidents, and in other unfortunate events.God allowed 6,000,000 of His own covenant people to suffer in Hitler’s death camps, and only God knows how many true Christians were murdered by the Roman Catholic Church throughout Europe during the Dark Ages.Haralan Popov was a devoted preacher whom God allowed to suffer terrible persecution in communist Bulgaria, and Richard Wurmbrand suffered similarly in Romania.The “God of love” allowed all of this, and He allows suffering to this very day.The whole creation groans in pain, the Bible says, and God allows it all.To think that He will not allow people to suffer in hell is really to not think at all.Nature testifies that He does and will allow suffering.
Is it possible that people are simply annihilated by the fires of hell rather than having to spend eternity suffering in them?
No, because annihilation would not serve the cause of eternal justice, in which case God would cease to be a holy God.The Scriptures state plainly that the fires of hell are everlasting.Daniel 12:2 says the wicked will suffer “shame and everlasting contempt.”This would not be the case with a person who had been annihilated.Revelation says, “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”Everlasting smoke comes from everlasting fire, and the inhabitants of this everlasting fire are people who “have no rest.”This cannot be true of an annihilated person, only of a living and conscious being, and the tormenting fires of hell can’t rightly be called “everlasting” (Mat. 18:8, 25:41) if they only torment a sinner until he is annihilated.
Why would God send all sinners to the same hell when some deserve greater punishment than others?
God recognizes the fact that some deserve greater punishment than others, and this is the precise reason that He judges every man according to his own works.Proverbs 24:12 says, “If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?”Although there is only one hell, there are different levels, or degrees, of punishment there.Revelation 20:11-15 records the final judgment of lost people, and one can see that perfect justice is rendered to every man:“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 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. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”Twice this passage of Scripture tells us that men are judged “according to their works.”Then those whose names are not found in the “book of life” will be cast into the “lake of fire.”There’s no point in judging them according to their works in order to determine their salvation because their salvation depends upon their names being in the book of life (also see Rev. 13:8, 17:8, 3:5, and Phil. 4:3).Therefore, those judged according to their works are the lost who end up being condemned to the lake of fire.They are cast into the lake of fire simply because their names are not found in the book of life, so what is the purpose for their being judged according to their works?Obviously, this is done to determine their degree or level of damnation.
If this seems far-fetched to the reader, please consider the words of Jesus to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:14:“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”These religious hypocrites do not receive the only damnation, but rather the greater damnation.In Matthew 11:24, Jesus said, “But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.”Do these words not imply that some people will receive a greater damnation, perhaps a hotter hell or a lonelier hell than others?
So, yes, God will condemn all of the wicked to the same hell, but their actual sentences will vary, just as the sentences vary among convicts in our current prison system.
Wouldn’t one be happier in hell with his friends than in heaven without them?
The sinner’s notion that “I’ll be with all my friends in hell” is not supported by the Scriptures.The rich man in Luke 16:19-31 is in hell, yet he has no friends around him at all, only tormenting flames.Jesus said, in Matthew 22:13, that hell is a place of “outer darkness,” so a lost man in hell might very well be isolated forever, surrounded by nothing but flames and darkness.Besides, how could one enjoy the friendship of another while being so distracted by the flames of God’s wrath?
If by some chance God does allow one to meet up withformer friends in hell, it is likely that He would also allow that same person to meet a number of people whom he would not desire to meet: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8)Friendships in hell aren’t likely.
Isn’t it true that the story in Luke 16:19-31 is only a parable?
No, that is not true.Parables in the Bible do not use names, yet this account does, and Jesus would have told us if He’d intended this account to be taken as a parable.In Matthew 13:31, for instance, it says, “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field.”The verse begins by stating that this account is a parable, and then it uses the words “is like to,” which clearly show the reader that the story represents something else.This does not happen in Luke 16.In fact, the words “parable,” “like,” or “as” are not found anywhere in the chapter. The story of the rich man and Lazarus is a historical account of a wicked man who went to hell and suffered.
Also noteworthy is the fact that God stated hundreds of years before Christ that people would make light of hell fire preaching by calling it “parables.”Ezekiel 20:47-49 says, “And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched. Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?”No, he doesn’t speak parables.He speaks of literal fire for those who reject righteousness and follow their own selfish wills.
Do people in hell remember their former lives on the earth and their loved ones?
Yes, the Scriptures reveal that hell’s inhabitants remember very well their earthly lives and loved ones.In Luke 16:25, Abraham says to the rich man in hell, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.”He would not have told this man to “remember” if he no longer had a memory.The passage then goes on to tell us that he did, indeed, remember: “Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” (Luke 16:27-28)All things will be made new for those who are saved (Rev. 21:5), but nothing is made new for those who find themselves condemned to everlasting fire.They will remember everything—forever.
How soon does one go to hell after dying?
The definitive account of Luke 16 indicates that a person goes to hell immediately after dying.Verse 22 says that “the rich man also died, and was buried.”Then the very next verse beings with the words “And in hell he lift up his eyes . . .”There was no intermediate state, no interval, between death and hell.Just as a Christian is absent from the body and present with the Lord after dying (II Cor. 5:8), the lost person is absent from the body and present in hell after dying.By the time his funeral is preached, he has already been in hell two or three days.
Isn’t it possible that one might eventually adjust to the torments of hell over time?
No, this is not possible because God’s very purpose for hell is punishment for the wicked with perfect justice.This cause would be defeated if the wicked were able to grow immune to the pains of hell.Besides, there are several different kinds of torment in hell, not just physical torment.
Think of the visible torments of hell.A sinner inhell sees only flames, smoke, and darkness.Never again does he see a beautiful sunset, his lovely new bride, or his laughing and playing children.Beauty has vanished from his sight forever, and only horror and judgment remains.If God were to allow one of hell’s inhabitants to see someone, it would only be another condemned sinner screaming in agony and pain, not a pleasant sight to behold.
Hell also has audible torments.The account in Luke 16 says that the rich man “cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Luke 16:24)Imagine the noise of billions of people screaming for mercy while their naked bodies are being tormented in flames!Remember, Jesus said hell was a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”(Mat. 25:51)Then add to this the noise of the roaring flames, the bubbling lava, and possibly falling rocks and chemical explosions.No doubt, the audible torments of hell will be mind boggling.
Think of the mental torments of hell.The sights and sounds of hell will be enough to possibly drive one out of his mind, but he must also endure mental torments.Imagine the agony of defeat that must set in once a sinner realizes that he has been condemned to the fires of hell only because he was too proud to humble himself and receive Jesus as his Saviour.Imagine the sense of shame that he must endure for all eternity. He’s a loser forever, and he knows it.Never will he get a second chance.Never can he make things right.
Finally, consider the social torment of a sinner in hell.People spend their earthly lives surrounded by other people.On any given day, the average person comes in contact with several other people, sometime many other people. In those times when one feels lonely, he can call or visit a friend, watch a movie, read a book, log onto the internet, go shopping, or avail himself of many other ways to escape being lonely.However, in hell, he is lonely forever.He can think of many things that would comfort him, but he can have none of them.He’s suffering forever, and he’s suffering alone.
“How can I escape the damnation of hell?”
Up until now, we’ve tried not to be too personal in our comments, but it’s time to get personal now because you, dear friend, will spend eternity in heaven or in hell.You won’t just read about these places; you will move into one of them some day.God wants you in heaven, not in hell.II Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”God wants you to turn from your sins by turning to Jesus Christ and receiving Him as your Lord and Saviour.Jesus is your only hope for escaping the flames of hell.The next section of this booklet contains a poem that we first published in 2001.Then the final section contains the entire text of our popular booklet Understanding God’s Salvation Plan.Please read it carefully and ask God to make His salvation plan clear to you.
[For sake of space, we have not included the Day of Your Death poem and the message Understanding God’s Salvation Plan here, since both can be read elsewhere on this site, but this material is printed on pages 18 through 35 of the booklet.]
"....the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."Luke 16:22-24.
"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. . ."Matthew 25:41.
"Enter ye in at the straight gate:for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."Matthew 7:13-14.
"But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."Matthew 8:12.
"And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off:it is better for the to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."Mark 9:43-44.
The subject of Hell isn't a very POPULAR subject, but it is, indeed, a very IMPORTANT subject.Jesus preached often about this horrible place for one basic reason:HE DOES NOT WANT YOU TO GO THERE!There are many who consider "hell fire" preaching to be cruel and unnecessary, but the Lord Jesus Christ thought it was very necessary to preach on Hell and WARN lost people of this horrible place.
Friend, since you began reading this tract, many people have died and went to Hell forever, and many more will have gone before you've finished.I can assure you that they would all love to have a second chance.They would all love to be able to read this tract and receive Christ as their Savior, but it's too late for them.They'll be in Hell for eternity.What about YOU?
As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is our Christian duty to WARN people about the eternal torments of Hell.So we urge you to carefully consider these words of warning while you still have a chance, while God's invitation is still open to you.
THE SPHERE OF HELL
The sphere of Hell is a round, hollowed-out place in the Earth's core.Scientists say that the Earth's outer crust is less than twenty miles thick, and that beyond that point, there are rivers and lakes of FLAMING HOT LAVA, or, as the Bible calls it, a "lake of fire" (Rev. 20:15).So, this very moment your eternal soul may be less than twenty miles from the burning fires of Hell!
Hell isn't in some distant dimension;Hell is UNDER YOUR FEET!The rebels in Numbers chapter 16 went DOWN into the pit.Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 32:22 about a fire in the LOWEST HELL.Amos 9:2 speaks of people trying to DIG down into Hell.So Hell is a REAL PLACE, and it's UNDER YOUR FEET RIGHT NOW, torturing millions of lost souls forever!Think about that!
THE SUFFERING OF HELL
Ifyou go to Hell, you'll suffer.That's what Hell is for.Just as the rich man of Luke 16, you'll be TORMENTED IN FLAMES.A sinner closes his eyes in death, and the Devil has his soul to torment in Hell forever.
You say, "God wouldn't allow such a thing to happen."Sure He will!God allows people to suffer all the time.God allowed Hitler to murder 6,000,000 Jews, did He not?God allowed Herod to kill the children under two years old, did He not (Matthew 2)?If God will allow innocent babies to be murdered, then why wouldn't He allow a Christ rejecting sinner to burn in Hell?Did God not allow Jesus Christ, an innocent and sinless man, to be beaten and murdered?If God will allow His only begotten Son to suffer and be murdered, then why should God save a sinner from Hell when he chooses not to trust Christ as Savior?Listen, friend, GOD WILL ALLOW YOU TO GO TO HELL AND BURN IF YOU ARE NOT BORN AGAIN.It happens all the time.
The suffering of Hell is horrible.Not only is there physical suffering, but there is also a great deal of MENTAL suffering.You'll always remember your earthly life.You'll remember your family and your friends.You'll remember your spouse and your children.Just as the rich man in Luke 16, you'll remember it all!You'll also remember the chances that you had to be saved.You'll remember reading this paper, and you'll remember your thoughts and comments about this paper.In Hell, you will always remember the moment that you REJECTED Jesus Christ as your Savior.
All sinners go to Hell, and they go there to suffer.
THE SOUNDS OF HELL
In Hell, there are certain sounds that you'll never hear.We take many sounds for granted today, but in Hell you'll miss them terribly.For instance, the beautiful sounds of nature will not be there.You can't hear the wind blowing gently through the tree tops in Hell, no flowing springs of water, no birds singing, and no spring showers.
You won't hear any children laughing and playing in Hell, for there are no children in Hell.You won't hear anyone say, "I love you", because in Hell, there isn't any love.
In Hell, you will hear people screaming for mercy twenty-four hours a day.It'll never stop!There will be no peace and quiet in Hell.Hell will be forever filled with roaring flames, boiling hot lava, and the horrible screams of billions of lost souls!You'll never escape the sounds of Hell.
THE SIGHT OF HELL
You'll think of the wonderful sights of God's creation, such as the beautiful sunsets, the rolling hills, and the tall snow-topped mountains, but you'll never see them again.
The Lord Jesus described Hell as a place of outer darkness.Imagine being in a place where you could only see flames rolling in the dark.Imagine seeing someone's FACE in those flames!There are no smiling faces in Hell, only the faces of pain, agony and sorrow.You'll remember all of the pretty, smiling faces that you once knew, but you'll never see them again.You'll never see your children again.You'll never see your family again.In Hell, friend, you'll see nothing except weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth forever!
THE SOCIETY OF HELL
Did you ever stop to think about WHO will be in Hell with you?Hell is the prison house of the universe.Hell is the eternal home of all drunkards, whores, thieves, murderers, hypocrites, queersand lesbians.When you go to Hell, you will not go to some special Hell just for you and your class of people.No, you will go to the prison of the universe, and you will be locked away forever with every enemy of God!
One of the most shocking things that you will discover in Hell is the fact that you will be an INFERIOR being.The Bible says that man was made LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, and Jesus Himself said that Hell was originally prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).Friend, in Hell you will be RULED over by Satan and his evil forces!You will be inferior to the supernatural forces of evil.Your new home will be made up of demons, fallen angels, principalities, powers, spiritual wickedness, and even Satan himself, and YOU will be at the bottom of the guest list!If you go to Hell, you will no doubt feel very much out of place, and you'll be there forever.
THE SUDDENNESS OF HELL
Jesus said in Luke 16:22-23 that the rich man there died and was in Hell IMMEDIATELY.He was a sinner, so he went straight to Hell.
Hell is filled with people who thought they'd trust Christ to save them someday. Proverbs27:1 says, "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." The rich fool in Luke 12 had big plans for the future, but God said, "Thou Fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee. . ."
Hell comes suddenly.When King Belshazzar threw his drunken brawl in Daniel chapter five, he had no idea that he'd be in Hell before sunrise.Goliath had no idea that a small stone slung by a young shepherd boy would land his soul in Hell forever, but it did.Before his corpse was even cold, his soul was suffering the torments of Hell.Hell almost always takes its victims by sudden surprise, and YOU could be next.
THE SHAME OF HELL
What is the shame of Hell?Well, friend, the shame of Hell is the fact that, if you go there, you will eventually come to grips with one unforgettable truth:YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO GO!Imagine that!Imagine spending ETERNITY with that on your mind!Imagine being in Hell for a million years and then thinking, "I didn't have to come here!I could have received Christ!Oh, what a fool I was!If only I had not been so stubborn!If...if...if...!"That's the shame of Hell:going there when you DON'T HAVE TO GO!
People accuse God of being unfair in sending sinners to Hell.Listen, YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO!The decision is YOUR'S, not God's.God made His decision 2000 years ago when He gave His Only Begotten Son to die as a payment for your sins.If you go to Hell, you will go AGAINST God's will, because God wants you to REPENT and trust Christ to save you ( II Peter 3:9).How about it?Will you turn from your sins right now and trust Christ to save you?Remember, it's YOUR decision.
THE SALVATION FROM HELL
Isaiah says, "Come now, let us reason together, saith the LORD:though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."All men are sinners and need to be cleansed from sin (Rom. ), and that cleansing can only come through the precious Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:5; Col. 1:14).
Consider the words of the Apostle Paul: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves;it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast."Your only way to Heaven is through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.Romans says,"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."Romans 10:9 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."Why not turn to Him right now?Turn from your sins!Claim His promises and trust Him to save you while there's still time.Tomorrow may be too late.
Original Publishers: The Christian Witness Co. - Chicago, IL
Present Publisher: BibleBaptistChurch, Martin, TN
Suggested Donation: 60 cents each
While browsing through my library one day I came across an old book from 1912 titled “The Lost Soul’s First Day in Eternity” by J.M. Humphrey of Chicago.I had owned the book for several years, but I wasn’t sure how or where I had obtained it.Out of curiosity, I decided to read the book through.Upon doing so, I found Mr. Humphrey’s little book to be a very special one.It is in a class all its own.This book doesn’t belong on a book shelf.It belongs in the hands of people.
We rejoice greatly in the fact that God has enabled us to publish Mr. Humphrey’s fine work.We count it an honor and a privilege to help keep these powerful words alive. May the good seeds sown by Mr. Humphrey continue to grow and bring forth much fruit to the praise, honor, and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We do not have the text available online, but the booklet may be ordered from the ministry here in Martin, Tennessee.
The tracts and booklets on this site are protected under copyright law and may not be duplicated in quantities over 50 without written permission. Quantities of 50 or less may be freely duplicated as long as no text is altered and the copyright line remains in place. Those interested in translating our publications into other languages must receive written permission in advance, regardless of the quantities involved.