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Part 3 What did Jesus teach about hell?

Who then enters heaven?  It is reserved for those who are saved from God’s wrath.  Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  We all deserve hell and punishment and yet, by God’s mercy and grace followers of Jesus enter heaven.  Jesus describes aspects of heaven in John 14:2-3 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”  Jesus is using a house metaphor to communicate He has a place in heaven for His disciples.  Not only that, He is going to come back from heaven to bring them in personally when they die.  These verses apply to all who have trusted in Jesus.

In the letters to the Corinthian Church, the Apostle Paul was writing to believers.  We read 2 Corinthians 5:1,2 & 6-8 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven…6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”   The house he speaks of is our body and the “building from God” is heaven.  Once we die and are absent from the body, we will be in heaven present with Jesus.  It will be a glorious existence one that Paul says is by far superior to living here on earth.

Heaven is the good news; hell is the bad news.  Heaven is for those who worship and follow Jesus Christ; hell is for those who prefer to worship themselves.  A great quote from C.S. Lewis in his book The Great Divorce, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell chose it.”

The Bible is not detailed exposition concerning heaven or hell.  However, Jesus said more about hell than heaven.  In fact He said more about hell than anyone else in the Bible.  I am going to provide a series of Scriptures from Jesus that will give us a glimpse at hell and what awaits those who reject God’s Son.

What did Jesus teach about hell?

Matthew 5:29-30 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Matthew 13:49-50 “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 18:8-9“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. 9 “If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.

Matthew 22:13 “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 

Matthew 25:41-42 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;

Matthew 25:46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Mark 9:43-49 “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, 44 [where Their worm does not die , and the fire is not quenched .] 45 “If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, 46 [where Their worm does not die , and the fire is not quenched .] 47 “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, 48 where Their worm does not die ,and the fire is not quenched . 49 “For everyone will be salted with fire.

Luke 12:5 “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!

Luke 16:19-31 “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 “And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw* Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 “And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house—
28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “But Abraham said*, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'”

In part 4 I will continue examining what the Bible teaches about hell.

Go to part 4 here

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Bob January 5, 2016, 1:11 pm

    Romans 6:23 states that the “wages sin pays is death.”
    Ecclesiastes 9:5,10 : “The living are conscious that they will die, but the dead are conscious of nothing at all…There is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheʹol (the original word for the common grave that you incorrectly translate as “hell”, yet you say other NWT things are translated “inaccurately”), the place to which you are going.

    Tell me this: if we pay for our sins with death, why would there be suffering after death? If you are convicted of a crime and sentenced to ten years in prison and serve the sentence, would it be right for the court to take you and put you back into prison after you “served your time.” A loving God would not punish someone and make them pay more than what is stated in the Bible.

    And if we go to hell, there must be some “knowledge”, right? In order to “know” that we are suffering forever in a fiery prison? Yet, the scriptures clearly state there is no knowledge or consciousness in your so-called hell.

    Please, explain these clearly stated scriptures to me.

  • Steve Bruecker January 6, 2016, 7:29 am

    Bob,
    Thanks for writing. Parts 3 & 4 of my post listed 19 verses in the New Testament that describe hell. In those passages there is no doubt that hell is eternal and a place of punishment. Here is a brief summary taken from part 4: The following are some of the ways the Bible describes hell: 1) fire (Matt: 13:42, 50; 18:8, 9); 2) darkness (Matt. 25:30; Jude 13); 3) punishment (Rev. 14:10-11); 4) exclusion from God’s presence (Matt. 7:23; 25:41; 2 Thess. 1:9); 5) restlessness (Rev. 14:11); 6) second death (Rev. 2:11, 20:6, 14); and 7) weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 13:42; 50; 22:12-13).

    None of the above descriptions sound like death ends our existence. Hell is eternal torment and reserved for those who reject Christ. I will now explain your verses. My job is easy because I only have 2 verses but you have to undo 19 verses that disagree with you. Here are my explanations of your 2 verses.

    First in dealing with Romans 6:23 I suggest reading the entire chapter. Paul is responding to the charge that if we are saved by grace, we then can sin all we want. He says we have died to sin. We read: Romans 6:1-11 (ESV) “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

    Notice in the first 11 verses of chapter 6, Paul is contrasting being dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Death here is not physical death but spiritual. This forms the context of what Paul writes about in Romans 6:23. More can be said about chapter 6 but I will move quickly to the verse in question. I will add the verses that immediately proceed v. 23 that set forth a contrast between death and eternal life. Romans 6:20-23 (ESV) “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    As used throughout the chapter, death here is talking about spiritual death and not physical. How do I know? The entire chapter supports this. Verses 21-22 contrast death and eternal life, as does verse 23. So the wages or what we earn from sin is spiritual death and the free gift of God is salvation through his Son Jesus Christ, is eternal life. Reading Romans 6:23 in context does not talk about physical death.

    How about Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10? First we must understand the reason Ecclesiastes is written. For the most part it is a look at life without God, from an atheistic perspective. The expression “under the sun” speaks of how things appear to us here on earth, especially, to someone who rejects God. “Under the sun” has nothing to do with God or the afterlife. According to atheism, after we die there is no afterlife. For the atheist life ends at the grave.

    Now we read Ecclesiastes 9:3-6 (ESV) “This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 4 But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.”

    According to an atheist, when any living thing dies they all experience to same fate; no afterlife for anyone; a dead body knows nothing. I was the bedside of my father-in-law when he took his last breathe. His grey dead body knew nothing, it just sat there cold. However, this doesn’t mean his soul died too. “Under the sun” has nothing to say about the afterlife. As a Christian, our bodies die and know nothing, but our souls live on for all eternity. These verses are only addressing what things look like “under the sun” or from an earthly, atheistic perspective.

    Solomon the author continues to look at life under the sun or according to someone that doesn’t believe in God. Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 (ESV) “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.”

    For the atheist, life is vain and death and burial in the grave is the end of existence. For the atheist, you might as well live and party each day because death will end it all. Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die, which is the end of all existence according to the atheist.

    Are you an atheist? If you don’t believe in God I can see why you agree with these verses.

    I am not and so I don’t believe all existence ends at the grave. The Bible supports my viewpoint that for followers of Christ there is eternal life and for those who reject is spiritual death and eternal separation from God in hell. This is what Jesus taught and this is what the rest of the Bible teaches. In my post I addressed life after death in both heaven and hell. You have lots to work to undo all the passages that infer life after death. Plus there are many more I can add. Good luck!

    Steve

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