It is not possible to present the whole gospel of Jesus Christ without telling a person what they have been saved from. This writing relates information about the wrath of God that you will miss, if you truly have been born-again of His Spirit. Suppose someone were to ask you one day, "Saved... Saved from what?" What would your response be?

    Hell is a basic fact of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a "fact of death", as opposed to the phrase "fact of life". For an unsaved, unrepentant sinner, Hell is a reality. Though an unpopular subject with some, Hell's existence is a certainty. The foremost preacher in the New Testament concerning Hell, is none other than Jesus of Nazareth, Himself. No one spoke more on this subject than He.

    The term "Hell" is often used interchangeably between the twofold wrath of God. That is, (1) "Hades," which would be comparable to the county jail, and (2) the Lake of Fire and Brimstone described in the book of the Revelation -- chapter 20 which can be compared to a penitentiary. This is the final dwelling place of any soul not found in Christ Jesus either at the time of their death or at the second coming of the Messiah.

2. HELL Is The Wrath Of GOD
    God is perfect in love, wisdom, and power and in every work that he does. In the area of wrath, God has demonstrated by events of the Old Testament, His power. There will also be a *future promised wrath to those who reject the great sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God. This wrath also will be perfect and woeful. Hell -- initially a waiting place of torment, and then the eternal Lake of Fire and Brimstone will be the fulness of His wrath to come. We live in a cruel world which has suffered under the inhumanity of man. But the eternal torments of Hell will far surpass anything history has witnessed.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Death (the wages of sin) is mentioned in three formats in the holy scriptures which are:
  1. Spiritual death as a result of sin,
  2. Physical death of the human body,
  3. The second death mentioned in Revelation 20:14.

    This "second death" is of course the ultimate death, and the one that is eternal. It is the wrath of the living God Himself being poured out on those who walked over the shed blood of Christ Jesus.
Revelation 20:14-15
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    God simply cannot have anything to do with sin and according to his word he certainly will not permit it to continue throughout eternity. Jesus, the risen Saviour said;

Revelation 22:13
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

    It was His way to start with and it will be His way to finish. In the Kingdom of God which is to come, there will be no sin. God will dry every tear (Revelation 21:4). So sin will be destroyed - all of it, along with all the pain, suffering, cruelty, and tears that it has caused. "Hell" will be the vehicle by which sin (and its father, Satan) will be destroyed. Also all those who followed after Satan, continuing in his evil ways, rather than accepting the great salvation that is in Christ Jesus the Lord will be cast into this same eternal damnation.

    Almost invariably some will ask, "How could a loving God torment a soul for all eternity in a burning Lake of Fire?" Dr. Oliver B. Greene preached that God put two large fences between man and HELL to prevent him from entering into this wrath. They are;

  1. The sacrificial shed blood (precious blood) of the Lamb of God who is Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)
  2. the word of God which preaches this very salvation and is available to all men. The shed blood of Jesus of Nazareth will cleanse the soul of that believes in him through faith. It will 'save' that believing individual by faith in that shed blood enabling that soul to enter an eternity of joy in the presence of the Jesus, the King of kings.

    To enter Hell, which is the ultimate condemnation, one must walk *over or climb over if you will, this shed blood thereby *rejecting it, scorning it, and counting as nought the one thing in the entire universe that can save their soul from God's wrath to come. One must walk over and ignore the preaching of the gospel of Christ which saturates this country on a daily basis.

    One must walk past the cross of Calvary where Jesus died, *rejecting his suffering, his lashes, his crown of thorns, the spikes driven through his hands and feet, the spear which pierced his side. One must step over this great ransom payment for the sins of the world, then reside in the pleasures of the flesh in this life to enter Hell. A soul must climb over these two fences which God (in His love) has erected to save all men, in order to enter into the fires of Hell.

    So it is safe to say that anyone who goes there will have chosen to do so. Friend, what more could the Father do, but watch his only begotten Son die on a cruel cross to serve as an atonement for your sins? He has done all that he can do and all that needs to be done to save your soul from the wrath to come.

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.

4. HADES; The County Jail
    The first stop for an unsaved soul departing this life is Hell, the Greek word used in Revelation chapter 20 verses 13 & 14 being 'Hades'. This is somewhat of a waiting place for the unsaved soul prior to their standing before the 'Great White Throne Judgment' described in detail in the same chapter. Here on earth, if a person commits an act of murder and is apprehended he is *NOT taken immediately to a federal penitentiary. Rather, he is taken to a county jail, held and arraigned.

    If found guilty in a court of law, then and only then, after their sentencing, that person is moved from a county jail or holding facility to a federal penitentiary. So in the same way the first stop for an unsaved soul is 'Hell' or 'Hades' where he or she remains until the day of judgment. During this stay the person is fully conscious and in torment of flames. In this following Strong's Greek definition I'm simply presenting that Hades (haides) is the greek word used in the KJV as "HELL" and is this holding place.

Strong's # 86 haides (hah'-dace); from 1 (as negative particle) and 1492; properly, unseen, i.e. "Hades" or the place (state) of departed souls: KJV-- grave, hell. (DIC)

Luke 16: NOT a Parable
    Again, the foremost speaker about HELL in the New Testament is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. His most detailed presentation on this subject was offered in Luke's gospel in chapter 16.

Luke 16:19-31
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

    Friend, the most important thing that you could possibly realize about this passage of scripture spoken by Christ Jesus is that this passage is *NOT a parable. Some preach that it is a parable... not true. This means that the events spoken of by Christ in this account are *factual and true, thereby giving us a detailed insight into aspects of HELL (Hades).

    The reason that the above passage is *NOT a parable is because without exception, on each occasion where Christ Jesus *did speak in parables, the word of God clearly indicates such. Let's look at these examples from scripture:

Matt 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

Matt 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

Matt 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

Matt 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

Matt 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Matt 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

Matt 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

    In the above referenced parables Jesus speaks in terms such as "like unto" and "is likened unto" and is prefaced by a clear indication that it *is a parable. i.e. "Another parable he spake unto them." No specific names are ever used.

    But in Luke chapter 16 no such preface is given. Specific names *are used such as 'Lazarus', Abraham, you know... real people. Dr. Oliver B. Greene of the Gospel hour radio broadcast comments that if he held a revival service and then later on one of his radio broadcast stated or testified that a former drunk named Jones in a certain apparel came forward and got saved, then later a family member would call saying that description that he gave on his broadcast sounded like my long lost dad, was it him? Greene continued, that if he were to then say, "Well, that didn't really happen, I was just drawing an illustration, no one by that name or description really got saved" -- that he would in fact be a *liar. He stated something that was not true.

    Now in this scripture, there is no preface to the words spoken by Christ, he simply gave an account of what happened to two individuals naming one of them specifically by name in the process. We know that every word of God is true so this is a true account.

5. First Stop For The Rich Man; Hades
    The scripture accounts that the angels carried Lazarus away to Abraham's bosom, however, the rich man opened his eyes in Hell. No such sweet refuge did he receive, but "in Hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments" (verse 23). In verse 24 we see that the rich man was fully conscious, clearly regonizing Lazarus, and Abraham indeed calling them by name. Verse 24 also indicates that the rich man was in the torment of the 'flame' of Hell. He also had full memory of his brothers still alive on earth.

    Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries made a keen observation concerning this account of scripture. He posed the question, why did the rich man only ask for Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool his tongue (just a drop)? Why not ask for buckets of water? Dr. Stanley said that this is a keen indication about the degree of torment in Hell. The flames of Hell issue such a degree of suffering and pain that a single *drop of water would make a significant difference to the suffering soul.

    Something to think about for those that would spurn the shed blood of the Son of the Father who watched his Son tortured on the cross of Calvary. The man would simply have been less tortured if he had just received a drop and would have apparently welcomed it. But he could not receive even that. Abraham mentions in verse 26 that a 'great gulf' was fixed between Lazarus who was in Abraham's bosom in peace, and the rich man in the flames of torment.

6. "Son, Remember"
    Dr. Oliver B. Green sites that if it were possible to take all the flames out of Hell that the intensity of suffering would still be the greatest of damnations because in verse 25 we read;

Luke 16:25
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

    Not only was the rich man fully conscious in his suffering but he had a complete memory of his life on earth and how he had missed the opportunity to serve God when he had it. This feeling of *regret will also be eternal. Constantly (while suffering in eternal flames) suffering also from the knowledge that one could have been saved by humbling themselves and receiving the great sacrifice already made by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Regret-- Regret played over a thousand times, a thousand ways, a thousand centuries, for an eternity. The wasted opportunities, the mocking, the non-interest of the past in the Messiah of Israel, all will define the meaning of the word 'regret.'

MORE REGRET: The Lost See The Saints Of God In the Joy of God's Presence
    The rich man also saw Lazarus at rest in the bosom of Abraham, in peace and in comfort, so very opposite from what he was experiencing. I have no further Bible scripture for this idea of the lost in Hell seeing the glory of the resurected saints. But imagine if the lost see all the rewards and joy of the saints while they themselves are in suffering! All of what they could have received. All the glory of the presence of God of which this following scripture teaches *believers cannot even imagine --

1st Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

    If the lost see all these wonderful blessings of the redeemed, all the joys they missed, how much greater their sufferings?

    Another permanent realization of the lost in Hell is that they can never again have the opportunity to be saved as they think back on the salvation they squandered so many times before. Perhaps the thought, "If I could only have (just) one more opportunity to receive Christ, I would gladly do so." Again the agony of *regret will be an eternal suffering which even if the flames of Hell did not exist, would be an unbearable sorrow. Yet the lost will bear that sorrow because one thing that they do have in common with the believers in the Kingdom of God is that their soul is eternal, therefore their damnation is eternal.

    A popular saying a few years back was, "I don't want to go to Heaven because all of the swingers will be in Hell" as though Hell were going to be some kind of party for evildoers. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. When a lost soul stands before God in Judgement, that soul will stand there alone -- without an advocate, because they rejected Christ Jesus, the one Person capable of representing them.

    When this same soul is condemned in judgement, whatever the degree of torment they receive, they will be alone, absolutely alone... forever to bear it! If there were no other punishment... this isolation alone would be unbearable.

    Talk about loneliness... friend this is going to be the very definition of being lonely. Remember how in the prison films like "Birdman of Alcatraz" every once in a while some guy comes down the isle pushing a cart of books, and offers each inmate one to read? In, HELL, you could wait for one million years and you'll never see that guy come. No mailcall either. It will be an eternity of isolation in torment. Noone will start a "Union of Lost Souls" where the damned can attend meetings and pay dues. Hell will define the term "loneliness."

    Dr. Oliver B. Greene testified that while ministering at a certain church he received a call from a young wife whose husband had been arrested and charged with a certain crime. She called him and described to Dr. Greene her husband's misery there while incarcerated, and asked if he would not go down to visit him. Dr. Greene went to visit this imprisoned man and stated that he was completely downcast, not eating, and terribly missing his wife and children.

    Dr. Greene stated that the man sitting with his hands on his head said to him, "If I could only leave here and go back to my family I would never do it again." This perhaps describes the agony the lost will face in this initial place of torment -- Hades, the place of waiting for the Great White throne Judgement.

9. Transfer To The Penitentiary
    Hades is only a temporary waiting place for the ultimate damnation, which is to be found guilty before the Great White Throne Judgement of Revelation chapter 20. God's word states that 'Hell' (Hades) was delivered up to be judged. Yes, this great 'waiting room' or 'holding tank' finally releases its dead (verse 12) and the unbelievers now stand guilty before the throne of Jesus, who is the Alpha and Omega.

Revelation 20:11-15
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    It can easily be seen that these dead are judged solely on the basis of their works (verse 13). It is also evident from verse 12 that *every single one of their (evil) works were recorded by the LORD in books (which are now opened). The unsaved in this life, must realize that the eyes of the LORD are upon them in each moment of every day seeing their deeds. Seeing them in fornication, adultery, blasphemy, unbelief. His eyes see them in witchcraft, compulsary drug use which is a form of idolatry, backbiting, homosexuality, and murder (of the born or the unborn. God sees every single act performed and he hears every single word which is spoken. Jesus speaking...

Luke 12:2-3
For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

    The words and deeds of the unsaved will be recorded in these books mentioned in Revelation chapter 20. By these acts will the lost be judged in comparison to the law, and they've got to come up short because by this method they will be directly compared with the holiness of God. They will fall short of such glory. For that matter the saved fell short also, but were never judged. They came out from under the law into the Grace of God through Jesus the Messiah, who became their righteousness. But because the unsaved are not under grace, they will be found guilty at this judgement. Then they will hear these words spoken by: Jesus, the Lord;

Matt 25:41
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Matt 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    This is the place that the lost are going away to, as was mentioned in Mt 25:46. This is their final destination and their eternal dwelling place. This Lake of Fire is the ultimate wrath of the living God, and is described in several places of scripture. An interesting starting point is again Revelation chapter 20 as John writes;

Matt 25:41
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    The important fact to be learned from this scripture is that the Lake of Fire was *NOT created for man at all but for Satan and his angels. Therefore the torment of flames, was created for Satan's punishment, and just as sure as your reading this document, Satan will be cast into this eternal place of suffering. And speaking of suffering, verse 10 tells that it will be 'day and night for ever and ever.'

    Again -- Almighty God placed two large fences between man and the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. The precious shed blood of the Lamb and the gospel of Christ telling of the sacrifice. Those who choose to discard this ransom *will join Satan in this eternal damnation.

    Burning forever, basically. The way a friend of mine from Philadelphia put it, when one touches a hot stove they yank their hand away instantly! But not so from the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. They'll not pull their hand nor body from the eternal wrath to come. Jesus of Nazareth speaking...

Matt 25:30
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Mark 9:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Matt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    "Everlasting fire" the scripture states. All I can tell you is that those words put the fear of God in me. I certainly would not want to hear those words spoken to me. That's why the Apostle Paul called it, "So great salvation" [Hebrews 2:3]! It *is a great salvation to be spared from this wrath which is to come. That's why I say "Praise the LORD," and "Thank you, Jesus!" Those words are certainly *not a 'Christian cliche' to me. Brother I *know that which I have been saved from. I have been saved from a *burning HELL, one that is everlasting. So praise is not hard to fall from the lips of those on whom the Grace of God has been given. WE HAVE BEEN SAVED! SHOUT ABOUT IT!

    Sure my relationship with God is based on love, now. Sure perfect love casteth out fear. But I certainly have not forgotten that from which I was saved from. There is no way I could even conceive of being cast into the condemnation described above. THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR SAVING ME!

10. The Concept Of "Eternity"
    The concept of forever takes just about all the imagination one can muster, even to scratch the surface of "forever." Each time I have tried to do such, I find that I have to blank out every other thought just to get started. Everlasting... Eternal... Never Ending... are thoughts that come to mind. Man naturally tries to frame events in the dimension of time. However, the exact opposite is true of eternal life or eternal death! Time will end and eternity future will begin. The songwriter, Fanny Crosby, wrote these words in her song, "AMAZING GRACE"--
"When we've been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the Sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
than when we first begun"

    We will have "No less days" to exist in eternity, even after 10,000 of what we used to call years, passes by. This is how long those who rejected the shed blood of Messiah will be in this torment. Compared to eternity this lifespan that we know is but the with of a human hair across the "time line" of eternity.

    The decisions that we make in this life concerning our eternal destiny should be made in light of this factor. There will be NO SECOND CHANCE to get out of HELL once a soul has arrived there. If a soul finds him or herself there after death, it will be forever.

11. Different Degrees Of Punishment
    Messiah Yeshua made it very clear as he preached, that there will be different degrees of punishment for the unsaved. I guess this is why Revelation 20 has the name "Great White Throne Judgement". It is obvious that all who appear at this judgement are lost without Christ because they were judged according to their works out of the books mentioned in verse 12, *not according to Grace. So the judgement is a determination by Jesus Christ, of the degree of the iniquity of the lost. In the gospel of John we read;

Matt 11:21-22
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

    I'm glad my names's not Chorazin. And again... Jesus speaking;

Luke 12:46-48
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. 48 For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

    Few stripes VS. many stripes, the comparason is made. This is purely the judgement of the LORD. For the unsaved, this judgment will be a reality. Lastly this scripture from Matthew as the LORD speaks;

Matt 23:14
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

    Note the words "the greater damnation". Any level of damnation would be inconceivable to a God fearing person. However, Christ draws this notable example for our knowledge. Those who mock God and laugh at the preaching of his word, who have not only rejected salvation but have signed up with the devil and serveed him, and who have caused the innocent to stumble, those that defy the LORD to his face- what 'greater damnation' awaits the eternity of the vilest offenders?

To the Saved     To the born-again believers in Messiah, I would say, Praise God! Thank him for the great mercy he has bestowed on you. Thank Him for the precious blood of the LORD Jesus by which you have been made clean. Praise him in his sanctuary. Give thanks with a greatful heart. Glorify the Lord of Glory, Jesus, the Holy One of Israel. When you go to fellowship, lift up your voice in spirit filled worship for this great mercy and for this great salvation. Joy awaits you and *none of the previously mentioned fates. No trouble that you ever have in this life should prevent you from giving thanks for the forgiveness in Jesus, which has taken you out of the wrath of God and into the JOY of Christ the LORD.

To Those Reading This Who *Want to be Saved     Friend, salvation can be yours this moment if you will humble yourself before God, repent of your sins, ask God to wash you in the blood of the Lamb and write your name in the *OTHER BOOK, the book of Life. Tell Jesus in prayer that you want to be born-again and mean it! Ask him to place his holy spirit within you to give you the power to live the life of victory, now, breaking your bondage to the flesh.
    Friend, that very moment your sin will be cast into the depths of the sea and remembered no more. You will be saved! You will hear the words well done, thou good and faithful servant! And, the JOY of the Kingdom of God will be yours forever. Do it right, now. This *great salvation will be yours by grace the very moment that you do. You receive this salvation and the Holy Spirit by faith.

To Those Who Would Mock The Shed Blood of the Saviour     It may be your choice, now, to do so. If you would continue to climb the two fences the LORD has placed between you and the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, then I would tell you this one thing. In the words of a great preacher, the late Dr. Oliver B. Greene, "If you don't believe in a burning Hell now- five seconds... after you're dead, you'll believe."

Back to John 3:16


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 Web Author:Michael Stevenson Updated: 12/16/2004 7:45PM