WHAT HELL WILL BE LIKE
By Bob Myhan
Introduction: Why talk about hell? We should talk about it because the more we know about it the more we will want to avoid it. God has told us about it because He doesn’t want us to go there. And, though it is sometimes used, figuratively, for horrendous experiences in life, nothing on earth can compare with it. No madman in his wildest flights of insanity ever beheld the equivalent of its horror. No man in delirium ever pictured a place so utterly terrible. No nightmare racing across a fevered mind ever produced a terror to match it. No murder scene with splashed blood and oozing wound ever suggested a revulsion that could touch that of those who are ushered within its borders. And, I am convinced, not even those who witnessed the tragedy of the holocaust are prepared thereby to witness the tragedy of hell. No living man can say, as a result of his own experience, what it is like, simply because no living man has ever been there. What, then, will hell be like? How has God described it in order to give us the incentive to avoid it?
HELL WILL BE A PLACE POPULATED WITH WICKED PEOPLE
A. Hell will be devoid of people like Abraham, Moses, Joshua, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, etc.
B. Just think of being eternally with the miserly, merciless, covetous, and greedy! (1 Cor. 6:9,10; Gal. 5:19-21; Rev. 21:8).
C. If the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah could be reproduced on earth, would you want to live there?
D. Hell was “prepared for the devil and his angels,” but many human beings will also be told to depart into that place (Matt. 25:42).
HELL WILL BE A PLACE OF SEPARATION FROM GOD
A. Every impenitent sinner will one day be separated for eternity from the righteous and from God (Matt. 25:31,32; 7:21-23).
B. Since hell is afar off from God, it is spoken of as:
1. A place of darkness, because God is light (Matt. 25:30; 1 John 1:5),
2. A place of death, because God is the source of life (Rev. 21:8; Rom. 6:23; John 5:26)
3. A place of misery, because God is the source of all comfort (Rev. 20:10; 2 Cor. 1:3)
HELL WILL BE A PLACE OF UNQUENCHABLE THIRST
A. Heat on the body makes one thirsty. Therefore, unimaginable heat would make one unimaginably thirsty.
B. When a patient is ravaged with a high fever, he begs for water. People will do likewise in hell (Luke 16:24). Though this passage is speaking of the torment of tartarus, in hades, hell will be at least as bad, if not worse.
HELL WILL BE A PLACE OF UNBEARABLE PAIN
A. By “unbearable,” I mean, “intolerable,” “agonizing,” “excruciating” (Luke 16:23-28; Matt. 25:30; 8:12; Heb. 10:27-29).
B. In the physical realm, one loses consciousness when he experiences unbearable pain.
1. As a result, he no longer feels the pain.
2. Unconsciousness, therefore, is an escape, a relief.
C. In hell, however, there will be no such relief (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:10; 14:10,11).
HELL WILL BE A PLACE OF EVERLASTING FIRE
A. God has often used physical fire for divine retribution (Gen. 19:24; Lev. 10:2).
B. Hell is pictured as:
1. A “furnace” of fire (Matt. 13:42,50)
2. A “lake" of fire (Rev. 20:9-15; 21:8)
3. A place of “flaming” fire (2 Thess. 1:7-9)
C. Hell is a place where men are “baptized” (overwhelmed) in fire (Matt. 3:11,12).
D. Fire in hell is said to be:
1. Fueled with brimstone (Rev. 21:8).
2. Everlasting (Matt. 18:8,9; 25:41,46; Jude 7)
3. Unquenchable (Mark 9:43,48)
Conclusion: I do not want to go to such a place. And I do not want you to go there, either. The rich man who was in torment didn’t want his brothers to come to where he was (Luke 16:27,28). If a dear, sweet relative of yours has died without forming or maintaining a proper relationship with God, that dear, sweet relative doesn’t want you to be where he or she is. And those who are in torment now will be in torment eternally. I don’t want to find out if the fire of hell is literal or figurative. And I don’t want you to find out, either.