Featured in the July, 2005 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
You don`t go to hell for two weeks and then move on. There are no exit signs. Every resident is permanent.
Why did a good God make a bad place?
God did not make hell for human beings, but "the eternal fire is prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). Those who follow Satan instead of the Savior will end up in the place prepared for the devil.
Why does God send people to hell?
God does not send anybody to hell. People send themselves. God "wants all men to be saved" (I Timothy 2:4). He is "not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).
God the Father is so serious about keeping people out of hell that he sent his Son to die on the cross to pay for all your sins that through repentance and faith in him you can go to heaven. Jesus was so determined to keep you out of hell that he suffered and shed his blood at Calvary that you might have eternal life through him, however, if you neglect or refuse, then your decision has sealed your doom.
Peter Cartwright (1785-1872) was a frontier Methodist preacher. One Sunday morning he was told that President Andrew Jackson was in the congregation. He was warned not to say anything offensive.
When Cartwright began to preach he said, "I understand that Andrew Jackson is here. I have been requested to be guarded with my remarks. Andrew Jackson will go to hell if he doesn't repent."
The people were shocked and wondered what the President would do. After the service President Jackson shook hands with Cartwright and said, "Sir, if I had a regiment of men like you, I could whip the world."
No one goes to heaven because of position, power or self-proclaimed goodness. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23). Heaven is for those who repent and receive the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23) and everyone else goes to hell.
What will hell be like?
It is described in the Bible as a fiery furnace (Matthew 13:42), a lake of fire (Revelation 20:15), fire and brimstone (Revelation 14:10), weeping and gnashing of teeth and outer darkness (Matthew 8:12), the bottomless pit (Revelation 9:2), torment (Luke 16:24) and a place of vile companions (Revelation 21:8). The Bible repeatedly says that it is everlasting (Revelation 20:10).
Why will punishment of hell be everlasting? When a person has paid for his sins, why isn’t he released? It is everlasting because the sinner continues sinning. Everlasting because the sinner’s guilt is infinite and everlasting because God has said so (Matthew 25:46).
Is hell a literal place?
Of course, because we are literal, physical people.
Why will there be a hell?
God is holy and there can be no sin in his presence (Isaiah 6:3).
God is just and no sin will be unpunished (Deuteronomy 32:4),
God is wise and the ungodly really would not be comfortable in heaven. (Romans 11:33).
The notion of everybody going to heaven is not only unbiblical (Matthew 7:13-14), but also ridiculous. Even on earth we segregate and confine some people because we do not want them roaming around. If everyone went to heaven, it would not be heaven.
But remember, we are all sinners, we all die, we will all be judged, and only those who have turned from sin and trusted in the Savior can be confident of entering God’s heaven.