The Truth About Hell
Who lives forever with the burning fire?
Isaiah 33:14-15 ...'Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly.'
How can this be? It's because God is an "ALL consuming fire" and only the saved will have the "fireproof clothing" (righteousness of Christ) to live with this "fire". The lost will not be clothed with Christ's righteousness and will therefore be "burned up", completely consumed, and no longer to exist.
Ezekiel 18:20 ...'The soul that sinneth, it shall die.'
John 3:16 ...'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'
Please read on if you would like to learn the TRUTH about hell ...
The Love of God
Anyone who is a Christian will know what a loving God we serve. Our God who created the heavens and the earth loves even sinners so much that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die on that cross. Now, think about this for a moment; does God love sinners forever? Yes! He doesn't stop loving the people He created. Now would our Heavenly Father who still loves those who are lost, burn them in hell fire, in pain and anguish for eternity? I don't believe He would. Please don't get me wrong, those who are lost will be judged and punished with fire in the lake of fire at the end, but they will not be tortured in hell fire for eternity. The loving God we serve wouldn't do such an awful thing. They will simply burn up (with much weeping and gnashing of teeth) and be no more.
Say unto them, as I live, saith the LORD God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
- Ezekiel 33:11
Look at what God is saying above. Even the death of the wicked is difficult for Him, because He is such a loving God. And yet people believe that God will burn the wicked in flames of hell fire for eternity, just for a short life lived on this earth.
It is important in the Bible end times we live in now, to be rooted on the truth of God's Word in the Bible. I've come across many people over the years that refuse to serve God, because they have been taught this error of eternal hell fire and they don't want to serve a God who would torture people for eternity. There are also those who have come back to the faith once they have found out the truth, that God does not burn the lost forever. Yes, the lost are cast into the lake of fire, but they 'burn up' and 'perish', they do not burn forever, and this truth about hell will be shown here from the Word of God.
Don't forget, we humans are in a natural 'fallen' state. Our natural desire is to sin. Now, are you going to tell me that God will burn in eternal hell fire, those who are lost, even though it was in their nature to sin? Do you get that? Our NATURAL desire in this flesh is to sin. How could God punish a person with that natural desire for sin, who lived for a mere 70? years, with eternal hell fire? Friend, this teaching of eternal hell fire is from satan to make God look like a mad tyrant who enjoys making people suffer, and in no way is it Bible truth!
Some Christians also believe that hell is a literal place without fire and is simply a place where the lost are separated from God in 'outer darkness'. But what is the Bible truth about hell? Well, let's take a look at the word hell itself in the Bible to see what it means ...
What Does "Hell" Mean?
What is Hell? There are four meanings of hell in the Bible. In the Old Testament, the word is 'sheol' which simply means 'the grave'. There are three different words in the New Testament which are translated 'hell'. Those three words are: Tartarus, Gehenna and Hades. Let's look at these three in the New Testament.
2 Peter 2:4 ...'For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [Tartarus], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.' ... This is interesting, because it says in this verse that God has already cast the angels who sinned (including satan) down to hell. Is satan and his angels roasting in hell fire now? No, they are freely roaming around this earth tempting and deceiving people. So what does this mean about hell? Well, the meaning of tartarus is 'dark abyss' or 'place of restraint'. This isn't a place of judgment, because satan and his angels have not received their punishment yet as it says in 2 Peter 2:4 that they are 'reserved unto judgment'. Their punishment is future. Satan and his angels have been cast out of Heaven and are bound to this earth, so the 'hell' in this verse is basically the earth. By the way, the 'chains of darkness' in this verse doesn't mean the angels are literally chained in a dark place, it is symbolic of them being 'bound' to the earth. They cannot get back into Heaven. So we now know the Bible truth about 'tartarus'.
Matthew 5:22 ...'but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell [Gehenna] fire.' ... All theologians agree that this word 'gehenna' was based on the 'valley of Hinnom', south of Jerusalem where trash and dead animals were burned. Jesus used this a few times (Matthew 5:29,30) to confirm that there will be a real fire that the lost will be cast into. But when will this happen? Do the lost go straight to this hell fire at death? Jesus answers this Himself.
Matthew 5:29 ...'And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell [Gehenna].' ...... Did you see what Jesus said here? He said that the lost are cast into hell fire 'whole bodied'. Now how can someone who has just died, with their bodies in the grave be cast into hell fire with their body? It makes no sense. If it doesn't happen at death, when are the lost thrown into hell fire?
Matthew 13:40-42 ...'As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.' ...... The tares here are the lost. So it is at the 'end of the world', that the lost are cast into hell fire. Jesus here calls it a 'furnace of fire', so we are talking about a real fire.
Where is Hell?
So we know that a real fire is coming upon this world, as Peter confirms in 2 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.' ... Did you catch what was said there? This earth is kept "in store" and "reserved" for judgment, just like the evil angels are. Jesus above in Matthew confirmed that the hell fire is at 'the end of the world'. Peter confirms here that the heavens and earth are reserved for that day of judgement after the second coming of Christ Jesus to burn with a literal hell fire. Now take a look at what Peter said a few verses on ...
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.' ... This verse is very clear on what hell fire is. When Jesus returns at the second coming, the sky above and the earth will literally be burned with fire. So if you believe that hell is some place beneath the earth's surface or on another planet, have another think, because the Bible truth shows where hell fire is, in that the whole earth is destined for fire. Hell is ON EARTH!
Isaiah 24:1,3,5,6 ...'Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof ... The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word ...The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.'
Isaiah 34:8-10 ...'For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.'
Can you see the truth of this? Hell will be ON EARTH, and it is on this earth that God will pour out His final judgment upon the wicked.
For more information on when this happens, CLICK HERE for a great study on the 1000 year millennium.
When Jesus returns, this will not be the end of the wicked, as although they will be destroyed at the second coming, they will also be resurrected again after the 1000 year millennium and then receive their final judgment and cast into the lake of fire to "burn up". Did you notice those two very important words above in 2 Peter 3:10? Those two words are 'burned up'. The lost that are burned in this hell fire will be 'burned up', ie. they will be totally destroyed and come to a complete end.
Is there another verse to show that the earth and the lost are completely destroyed? Yes! ... 2 Peter 3:13 ...'Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.' ... Now how can the lost still be burning if God has re-created the heavens and the earth and all things are new? Friend, this is the Bible truth of God concerning hell fire. It will 'burn up' everything, including those who are lost and everything is made new, where ONLY 'righteousness dwells'.
Revelation also reveals the truth about hell fire. See the sequence of events below:
Revelation 20:12 ...'and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.'
Revelation 20:15 ...'And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.'
Revelation 21:5 .....'And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.'
So we have a clear sequence of events above. First, the judgment, which happens after Jesus returns. Then, those who are lost are cast into the lake of fire (hell fire). And finally, all things are made new. Again, how can God make ALL THINGS new if the lost continue to burn 'forever'? It's impossible, the lost will have to 'burn up' and be completely destroyed. This hell fire will also serve to purify the atmosphere and the earth from all the chemical pollutants in it, and sin will be finally destroyed forever!
The last of the three New Testament words for hell to look at is 'Hades'.
Revelation 20:14 ...'And death and hell [Hades] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.' ... So hades cannot be hell fire, because it is cast into the lake of fire itself. So what is hades? Well, the King James Version Bible and Strong's translates it as 'the grave'. This now makes sense, death and 'the grave' are cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. To back this up, take a look at 1 Corinthians 15:55 ... 'O death, where is thy sting? O grave [Hades], where is thy victory?' ... The Greek word for grave here is 'hades'.
To confirm this Bible truth about hell even more, take a look at the few verses before 1 Corinthians 15:55:
1 Corinthians 15:51-55 ...'Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave [Hades], where is thy victory?' ... Did you see the amazing Bible truth about hell in these verses? It is the saints who also rise out of Hades, which confirms without a shadow of a doubt that hades means 'the grave'.
See what happens when we die, for a good Bible study on the topic of death.
So we now know what hell is and the true meaning of the word 'hell'.
Tartarus means: A place of darkness or restraint. Where satan and his angels are now, on earth, cast out of heaven.
Gehenna means: A place of real fire (the lake of fire), where the wicked are punished, 'burned up' and destroyed and the Heaven and earth is cleansed ... 'At the end of the world'.
Hades means: The grave. All people who have died, the lost and the saints are resting there.
Satan is doing his very best, working through the antichrist system to obscure and confuse the truth of God's Word. If we do not plant ourselves firmly on the truth of God's Word in the Bible, then we will leave ourselves open to be deceived. Friend, any truth that God has revealed to us is important, whether it be the truth about the Sabbath Day, or the truth about who the antichrist is, we MUST not reject that truth, but embrace it! Many people have left the faith because they were taught the error that God will burn the lost forever. Friend, we do not serve a God who would do such an awful thing. He loves us all, and would not allow anyone to suffer in agony in hell fire for eternity. Does this teaching of eternal hell fire glorify God? No, it makes Him out to be a tyrant, which is what satan wants. But thankfully, we can know from the truth of His Word that He will not burn the lost in flames of fire forever. The truth about hell is laid out before you, but don't just take my word for it, open your Bible and compare it for yourself.
To continue with this study on what is hell, see does hell fire burn forever.