Hell Has Forever Been One of the Most Inriguing Subjects of the Bible
Children in school are taught that inside a burning house they’re surrounded by flames and they’re taught not to breathe in the smoke.
If you breathe in, the smoke will sear and singe your lungs, and there is a very distinct possibility that you will never ever be the same. In fact you may die if you take a couple breaths of hot smoke. Imagine that just breathing in hot smoke from a fire can kill you.
How hot is hell? Trust me, you don’t want to be there! Even though the wicked will not roast and toast eternally, just the thought of burning in hell is enough to make us NOT want to go there.
Hell is an unpopular subject today. Not very many people want to hear about going to hell. We all want comfortable, feel good sermons about going to heaven.
Adventists love hearing about going to heaven, and there is no problem with that, after all our very name suggests heaven.
Of course we all want to go to heaven. That’s the goal of every Christian, and it’s important that we focus on that goal. But as Bible believing people we must not ignore the other themes of the Bible simply because it makes us uncomfortable.
I like to hear about God’s promise to me and the mansion He has built for me in glory, but I also need to hear that there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun.
Preaching about hell is like preaching against meat eating, it is not politically correct to do so. But though it is not politically correct, it is Biblically correct.
The Word of God is very plain on the subject of hell.
In fact, the Bible mentions Hell almost twice as much as it mentions Heaven. The Bible makes it plain that Hell is a literal place and that multitudes of people who are dying will be going there. Brother Whinfield didn’t say that, the Bible says that.
Let’s read Isaiah 5:14
“Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.”Isaiah 5:14
Listen to what John the Baptist said in Matthew 23:33.
“You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the judgement of hell?”
Did John the Baptist pull any punches? Was he being politically correct when he called them serpents and vipers? No! John said, “How can you escape the judgement of hell?”
Judgement. Does that word scare us? There is a judgement going on right now, the only thing we don’t know is whether or not our name has come up before the Judge.
The Bible makes it very plain, the only thing that will set people free is the truth. God’s people do not need to hear how to live with their sins, they need to hear how to be set free from their sins.
Let’s turn to Ezekiel 3:18
“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning,nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezekiel 3:18
Ezekiel says if we do not warn the wicked, and the wicked die in their sins, then blood will be required at our hands.
There’s no sugar coating it. Hell is the destination of all who continue and wilfully break God’s Commandments.
The Biblical word sheol refers to a specific location southwest of Jerusalem known as Gehenna, or the Valley of Hinnon, where pagans sacrificed children as burnt offerings tothe false idol god named, Molech.
Gehenna later became the city dump, a place to burn refuse. This location turned into a geographical metaphor for the place of punishment after death.
Jesus frequently spoke about hell, not wishing anyone to end up there. He described it as a place of outer darkness where people will weep and gnash their teeth, and a place of blazing hot fire. It is a place of permanent separation from God.
Separations from people we care about are painful experiences; hell is
permanent separation from a God of love who would much rather save us.
The Apostle Paul warns unbelievers that they will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power. Let’s read what the Bible has to say in
2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9
“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9
Much of what we know of Hell, we learn from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He was the greatest hellfire and brimstone preacher in the Bible.
Of the 162 references to Hell and eternal judgement in the New Testament, 70 were spoken by the Lord Jesus! Why did Jesus speak so much on this subject?
Do we believe that hell burns forever and ever and ever? No we don’t. Seventh-day Adventists believe that sinners will be burned UP in hell, not burn perpetually, but they will eventually be burned UP into ashes.
You may have heard Sunday sermons on tv or the radio where a preacher paints a mental picture of what hell is, and the ravages of the fire, and how it burns on and on and on, forever and ever, and even death can’t release you from that, and even if you’re unconscious, it can’t release you from that.
That’s not true! Let’s turn to Isaiah 26:14, “They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.”
Listen to what Ellen White says on the subject:
“How repugnant to every emotion of love and mercy, and even to our sense of justice, is the doctrine that the wicked dead are tormented with fire and brimstone in an eternally burning hell; that for the sins of a brief, earthly life they are to suffer torture as long as God shall live.” Great Controversy, p. 535.
Friends, I’m here to share some good news with you, and that is that hell has an end. It does not go on and on and on. The Bible has this to say about it:
2 Peter 3:10
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10
Notice the phrase, “burned up.” at the end of the passage. Not continually burning, but burned UP.
How hot is that fire? It says that the earth and the heavens will pass away, the elements shall melt with what kind of heat? Fervent heat! What’s going to melt? The elements. Now that’s pretty hot. I don’t know what all the elements are, but I do know one of them is iron. Isn’t iron an element? Sure it is!
And how hot does iron have to get before it melts? Several hundred degrees. But there are elements that melt at even higher temperatures.
And the Bible says that the elements, all of the elements, shall melt.
This scripture in 2 Peter says they are going to melt in fervent heat. There’s enough heat to burn up the entire world. That includes the very rocks. Can you burn up a rock?
A blow torch is not hot enough burn up a rock, or hot enough to melt the very elements.
Now if you’ve got enough heat to melt all those elements, Hell would have to be hot enough to be over ten thousand degrees Fahrenheit!
How long could you live in two hundred degrees Fahrenheit? How about 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature of boiling water? Could you live in a temperature like that? And how about ten thousand degrees? How long could you live?
Brethren, I’m trying to paint a picture for you to see that hell is not a place to treat lightly.
If we continue to disobey God, if we continue to refuse the precious light that He has given to us in His Word and in His Pen of Inspiration, if we continue to turn a deaf ear to the pleading of Jesus Christ to turn away from worldly pleasures, then the cooking pot of hell is waiting to roast and toast you.
I don’t want to be cooked. Do you? Let’s go to Malachi chapter four, and notice verse one.
Malachi 4:1. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”
Not a root or a branch will be left of them.” Nothing will be left to them, not a root, not a branch, nothing. They will be like dry straw, they will be burned up, they will burn as a furnace. How long can you live in a furnace? Not very long. Not very long at all.
And there won’t be anything left. Look at verse three, “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.”
The wicked will be reduced to ashes, won’t they? They will no longer exist. They will be destroyed, consumed.
“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.”
If we continue to watch violence and murder, sex and adultery, greed, and the godlessness of television and movies, we will go to hell. If we insist on listening to the devil’s music of rap, reggae, r&b, and rock and roll, we will go to hell.
If we cannot control our appetites and live in the light of the health principles which God has given us, and if we continue to scorn the Lord’s messages given to us by His messenger, we will go to hell.
If we continue to have other gods in our lives such as a job, house, car, money, or even put our spouse and children before God, we will go to hell.
Listen carefully to these words from The Spirit of Prophecy. They are very, very important:
Of all Christians on this planet, Seventh-day Adventists have been blessed with much light. God has seen fit to bestow upon us knowledge that has not been granted to other denominations.
Truth such as the sanctuary message, the Sabbath message, the health message, and the state of the dead message among others makes us different.
Imagine the stripes we will be beaten with when asked by God what has been done with the talents? Did we multiply it, or did we bury it in the sand? The answer determines our qualification for heaven or hell.
The good news today is that no person listening to this has to go to Hell! Jesus Christ died on a cross, shed His blood, and rose from the grave to pay for our sins. If we will place our faith in Him and obey His Word, we will be saved.
In fact, Hell wasn’t even created for us.
“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.”
Therefore, if you choose to go to Hell instead of coming to Jesus, you choose to go to a place where you are not even wanted. You will go to Hell as an uninvited intruder.
satan wants company in hell. He and his demons have flames awaiting them and they don’t want to be alone. They are trying to take as many people with them as possible. Don’t make the mistake of listening to satan. Listen to the quiet pleading of God to change your ways and cast your lot for eternal life in heaven.