Too often, Hell is a subject - and a place - not seriously taken into consideration. Yet the Bible mentions this place many times, especially in the four gospels found in the New Testament. Hell is mentioned all throughout the Bible, and as we know that Jesus is God, we can ensure that what he tells us about Hell is true. What did Jesus say on this subject? (See entry: "Is Jesus Really God?". Photo credit to: UCB)
Hell itself is "the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matthew 25:41, NIV, see entry: "Why Was Hell Created?") However, when Satan fell, (Isaiah 14:12-20, Ezekiel 28:12-17, Luke 10:18, etc) he entered into the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve, our ancestors, dwelled. Disguising himself as a snake, Satan approached Eve and made her question God's command not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
This was before there was any sin. However, "when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves." (Genesis 3:6-7) In that moment, God's perfect creation became corrupted by sin. (See entry: "Satan and the Origin of Evil")
Romans 6:23 tells us, "...the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." With each passing generation, sin has become more and more invasive. Once man sinned, this caused condemnation for all to eternal torment in Hell. Why? "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:23) When Adam and Eve sinned, their sin required atonement for them to be cleansed of that sin: necessitating a Savior.
God the Son, who took the name of Jesus during his time on Earth around 2000 years ago, came to pay the penalty. When He died on a Roman cross on Golgotha, God the Father had to turn his face from Jesus, so that every sin, past, present and future of humanity, would be placed upon him, and He bore the iniquity of us all. We truly have all broken God's Commandments (see entry: "The Ten Commandments - Have We Followed Them All?"), and "whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." (James 2:10)
It is because of our sin that we are sentenced to Hell. God sends no one to Hell, we send ourselves there by the choices that we make, as we are all given free will. If we did not have free will, we would have no real choices, no real emotions, we would all effectively be robots. Without Christ, we are unable to enter into Heaven, and therefore we enter in Hell upon death. What exactly did Jesus tell us about this place? Is it real? Is the fire literal? The answer to both are yes.
Mark 9:43-48 says, "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." *Note: This does not mean go out and mutilate yourself.
Jesus indeed does say much about Hell. There are forty-six verses in which Jesus speaks on Hell, this is not counting any of the Old Testament nor the remainder of the New Testament, though not all will be presented here. "...anyone who says, 'You fool!" will be in danger of the fire of Hell." (Matthew 5:22) "For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14) "But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:12)
Jesus continues, "Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."Matthew 10:28) In hell, people are not merely there in spirit, but in bodily form. Their senses are greatly increased, there is a foul odor, screams, the heat is unbearable, the people are always thirsty, always hungry, their desires (sex, drugs, etc) are multiplied and never fulfilled, there is a pervading fear, you have no strength, no rest nor sleep, no mercy, no water, no life, you are naked, you do not have time to get lost in your thoughts, and there is no purpose - all is over, lost, gone.
There are many other verses on Hell. "...and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:50) There are those who believe that people who end up in Hell are either annihilated (Annihilationism) or are eventually saved out of Hell, having served time. (Universalism) However, both views are not biblically sound. Even from the aforementioned verses, it is evident that Hell is eternal torment, not annihilation nor eventual rescue. This is why it is so important to be saved from Hell.
Consider Matthew 25:46, "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." John 10:28 makes it clear that life for followers of Christ is eternal, and Revelation 20:10 makes it clear that life in Hell is eternal, non-stop, never-ending. Revelation 20:15 is one of the saddest verses found in God's Word. "All whose names were not found written in the book of life were thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 21:8 continues, "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur."
Jesus does tell us more in the Gospels. Time and time again He describes the "weeping and gnashing of teeth," the "eternal fire," the "outer darkness," the "worm [that] does not die, and the fire is not quenched." He also makes it clear that Hell is not temporal, but eternal. It is a hard concept to grasp, and indeed it is difficult to imagine eternal pain, yet it is occurring even as this is written, an eerie and terrible thought.
Mark 3:29 reveals, "But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin." In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus reveals not a parable but an account of a man named Lazarus, a Rich Man, and Abraham. Now, the general belief is that Hell is located either in the "heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:40) or in another dimension. Those who have claimed to have been shown Hell and lived to tell the world about the truth of its existence claim that Hell is located in the core of the earth. There are 52 verses that refer to the location. (For more on this subject, see entry: "Location of Hell: Harrowing of Hell")
Luke 16:19-31 gives the following account. "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. [This was at the paradise section, before Jesus died, no one could enter into Heaven.] The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades [Hell], where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire. But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' He said to them, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced if someone rises from the dead.'"
If we do not believe the Bible (Moses and the Prophets make up most of the Old Testament), how then will we ever believe? There are, as stated, many other verses on Hell. Ezekiel 26:20 for example, says, "When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit..." Psalm 140:10, "Let the burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they may not rise up again."
The point of this entry is not to cause resentment or similar feelings, but to show that Hell is not a mythological place. Many people who have been shown clinically dead and then revived describe experiences of Hell. (For example, the experience of Bill Wiese, see here.) Hell is truly a literal place, and an eternal destination, one which I would not recommend to anyone, no matter who you are or what you may have done.
The good news is that the Creator entered into His Creation to atone for our sins, for the darkness inside of us all. How then can we be saved from this eternal destination, and change our destination to Heaven? "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and if you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9) 1st John 1:9 continues, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
According to Dave Hunt in Defense of Faith, "We may rest assured that no one will suffer in hell who could by any means have been won to Christ in this life. God leaves no stone unturned to rescue all who would respond to the convicting and wooing of the Holy Spirit. As for the fate of [the damned] being eternal, it could not be otherwise. Death is not the cessation of existence but the continuation of the eternal being with which God lovingly endowed man--but now in painful separation from God and all else in utter darkness and loneliness."
Thank you for reading this entry of "The Truth." Feel free to email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, comment below, (but please remain civil) visit the facebook page, or visit the Ministry homepage. Take care, and may God bless. Troy Hillman
 Wiese, Bill. Hell: Separate Truth From Fiction And Get Your Toughest Questions Answered. 1st ed. 1. Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2008. 291-294. Print.
 Ibid. 303-306
 Hunt, Dave. In Defense of the Faith. 1st ed. Harvest House Publishers, 1996. Print.