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Is Hell Real and What Difference Does It Make? (Part 1)

is h*ll real?

Everybody Agrees on This

It doesn’t matter what political party you claim, or even what religion you claim, no one escapes dying a physical death on earth. Whether someone believes in a real hell or not, we are all still going to die, and the thing that we DON’T know, is WHEN we are going to die. But we ARE going to die. Maybe it will be a heart attack, or from an extended illness like cancer, or from a sudden accident. Or it may be simply from old age, but none of us will escape death. The REAL question is, and what is really even more important is, what happens AFTER you die, and is there any way to determine the future?

Survey

According to the Pew Research Center, belief in Is Hell Real remains significant among U.S. adults. Approximately 61% of Americans say they believe in hell. The surveys also reveal that belief in hell is more prevalent among certain religious groups. For example, 82% of evangelical Protestants and members of historically Black Protestant churches affirm their belief in hell. Catholics and mainline Protestants also show a majority believing in hell, though to a somewhat lesser extent. In contrast, only about a third of Jews and even fewer Buddhists, Hindus, and religious “nones” (those unaffiliated with any religion) believe in hell.

Source of Truth

What you draw upon as your source of truth will directly impact your belief on Is Hell Real and on your belief about life on earth and what happens after you die. The sole authority from which we should draw all conclusions, all wisdom, and all discernment is the inerrant word of God, the Holy Bible. People’s opinions about the end times don’t matter. Just like people’s opinions about you don’t matter. What matters is what God says and what God thinks.

How Is the Word of God Revealed to Us?

There are three ways that we learn about the word of God:

  • Through revelation
  • Through inspiration
  • Through illumination

On revelation, refer 1 Corinthians 10 and 11. On inspiration, refer to 1 Corinthians 12 and 13. And on illumination, refer to 1 Corinthians chapters 14 through 16.

Learn More About Is Hell Real

Click this link to listen.

What Does the Bible Say About Is Hell Real?

The Bible firmly roots the reality of Hell in its teachings, with numerous references in both the Old and New Testaments to a place of eternal punishment for those who refuse to accept Jesus Christ and repent of their sins. The Old Testament often uses the Hebrew word Sheol to describe the realm of the dead, a place of darkness and separation from God.

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others / to disgrace and everlasting contempt. And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3 NASB).

These two verses indicate that two sets of people will arise from a physical death: those of faith who will rise to eternal life in heaven and those who are unsaved, who have denied Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They will live a life of eternal torment and will be alive.

What Jesus Said About Hell

Jesus spoke frequently about Hell in the New Testament, using the Greek word Gehenna to describe a place of unquenchable fire. Jesus warns,

“And if your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than having your two feet, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. And if your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-48 NASB).

In these verses, the words of Jesus should not be taken figuratively, meaning that you should not actually cut off your hand or gouge out your eye. What Jesus is saying here is that nothing, no matter what someone does to themselves, can deal with sin because sin is an issue of the heart. Jesus is simply saying how serious sin is and that sin has to be dealt with.

Major Pathway to Hell

A hardened heart, which is characterized by persistent unbelief and rebellion against God, is a direct pathway leading to eternal separation from God, which the Bible describes as hell. “Hardness of heart”refers to a state of spiritual insensitivity and a resistance to God’s voice and commands.

How do we know if someone has a hardened heart? A hardened heart shows up as stubbornness, pride, and a deliberate rejection of divine truth as written in the Holy Spirit-inspired word of God that we find in the Bible. When individuals refuse to accept the Gospel (“Gospel” means means “good news”), when someone refuses to accept the Gospel and persist in unbelief, they place themselves on a path away from God and toward Hell. Jesus said,

“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18 NASB).

Description of Hell

Hell is described as a place of eternal separation from God, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jesus said,

“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 13:42 NASB).

Is There Any Good News?

God does not desire anyone to perish but wishes for everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NASB) says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Helpful Resources

  • Listen to my most recent podcast about Is Hell Real (Part 1) by clicking here.
    How a Christian Can Know If He or She Is Really Saved. Click here to read.
  • Why Self-Help Books Don’t Really Help. Learn more by clicking here.
  • Help People Who Are Lost (Those Who Have Not Accepted Christ). Treasure Top Ministries is a non-profit, donor-supported outreach, and your generous giving funds our ability to explain how someone gets into Heaven. Click here to give a tax-deductible gift.
  • Is God Prompting You? If you or someone you know is not a Christian (this is referred to as someone not being “Saved”), but you feel a stirring or prompting in your heart that you have not felt before, it may be that God is asking you to accept his Son as your Lord and Savior.
    • There is no second chance to accept Christ if someone dies before accepting Christ. That’s why the decision to accept Him must be made now as none of us know when we will draw our last breath on earth. Invite Christ into your heart now, proclaim Him your Lord and Savior, and ask forgiveness of your sins. It’s the most significant decision that one can make and determines where you are going to spend eternity, either in heaven or in hell.
  • Receive wisdom tips based on the word of God on How To Make Life Work When Life Does Not Want to Work. Click here to subscribe to our free newsletter.

Click here if you have a prayer request for you or someone you know.

Email me: john@treasuretop.com

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