The Bible, God’s Word, is always right. All the historical prophesies have been 100% accurate so we know the great and awesome ones predicted will come. I know you don’t want to face that, and you don’t have to.
Perhaps you are dealing with your own personal tribulations of life right now and you don’t feel there is much if any hope ahead. I want you to know, there is always hope in Jesus Christ. Whatever you are going through right now, whatever you are dealing with right now, He can and wants to help. Take a road trip along the Roman road with Prophecy Dude right now…
- Romans 3:23 says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin. We were born under the power of sin's control. Just admit that you are a sinner.
- Romans 6:23a says, “For the wages of sin is death…” Sin has an ending. It results in death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin. But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity. The Bible teaches that there is a place called the Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever. It is the place where people who are spiritually dead will remain. Understand that you deserve death for your sin.
- Romans 6:23b says, “… but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Salvation is a free gift from God to you! You can't earn this gift, but you must reach out and receive it. Just ask God to forgive you and save you.
- Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin's penalty. He paid the full price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He made it possible for us to become born again and have the opportunity for a whole new spiritual life replacing spiritual death. The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us, understanding that we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life. He did all this because He loved us and gave Himself for us! Just give your life to God... His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is your only hope to have forgiveness and change. His love bought you out of being a slave to sin. His love is what saves you -- not religion, nor church membership. God loves you so much, He sent his only Son to die for you so you could live eternally with Him.
- Romans 10:13 says, “For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
- Romans 10:9, 10 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” It is that simple!
Just pray this simple prayer, “Jesus, I come to you as a sinner who wants a new life in you. Right now, I confess that You, Jesus, are Lord. I believe in my heart that God raised you from the dead and that you took all my sins away. Now, I confess with my mouth that I am saved, that I am a child of God, and that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Thank you Jesus!”
If you prayed that prayer and believe it in your heart, then you have just joined the family of God! Please let me know that you did this so I can pray for you. In fact, I have many people who will be more than happy to pray for you. Email me to let me know. I really care.
It’s so important for you to grow deeper in your spiritual walk and the best way to do that is to find a good church that teaches the Bible and challenges people to reach out in ministry.
The Cross-- A Message from Billy Graham
Whatever happened to hell?
From AG News
Fri, 23 Jul 2010 - 4:19 PM CST
As the 20th century drew to a close, the subject of hell came up quite a bit, both in and out of churches. Street preachers and crusade evangelists delivered fiery sermons about the flames of Hades. Self-proclaimed prophets and futurists speculated the end of the millennium would culminate in the end of the world. Christian moviemakers and authors focused on the Rapture and those left behind. Congregations sponsored Hell Houses, which in a sequence of live tableaux depicted the fate of unrepentant sinners.
What a difference a decade makes. Hell has fallen off the radar screen, both from the pulpit and in the media. Many pastors, partly in reaction to the earlier dominance of the topic, are stressing the benefits of heaven rather than the threats of perdition. Fewer people now believe in hell — or at least in the possibility they will end up there.
Early in his 30-year ministry, Assemblies of God evangelist Sam Farina often preached about the realities of hell and the escape plan for Christians. Farina, who is based in Huntersville, North Carolina, and is national coaching facilitator for the AG Church Multiplication Network, says pastors no longer are too interested in the topic, preferring to focus on discipleship and spiritual formation.
But if hell is dismissed as irrelevant, Farina insists, it both trivializes Jesus' atoning death and renders biblical teaching erroneous.
"What do we do with Jesus and His cross?" Farina asks. "It is the place of redemption from hell."
Ed Rybarczyk, associate professor of historic and systematic theology at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California, says postmodernism and multiculturalism have played large roles in making hell an unpopular topic in America.
"Postmodernism disdains ultimate truth claims," Rybarczyk says. "Many view a God who they believe would make unnecessarily divisive and unfair judgments as imperialistic."
Rybarczyk appreciates that his pastor during childhood willingly preached on the difficult topic of hell.
"We still need to proclaim that those who violate God's laws or ignore Jesus Christ will be judged," Rybarczyk says. "But we don't need to yell or psychologically manipulate. We need not try to pretend to be the Holy Spirit."
Many pastors pragmatically have opted not to broach a subject that might risk driving away congregants. Likewise, laypeople infrequently raise the subject of eternity out of fear of being offensive to friends and relatives.
Melody Palm, director of counseling programs for Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri, believes many pastors in their 20s and 30s view the fear-based messages they heard as children as an ineffective way to spur people to accept Jesus as Savior.
"I've talked to significant numbers of young adults who have childhood traumas from being in church and hearing about a mean God who will throw them into a lake of fire," says Palm who also is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice and a licensed minister. "It caused significant psychological distress."
While short-term results of fiery messages may have filled altars with confessional youth, the recurring impressions they had involved nightmares about demons, fire and physical torture, she says.
Students have told Palm they have felt manipulated by such tactics and that fear doesn't provide a lasting motivation to live an authentic holy life based on a relationship with Jesus.
Belief in an everlasting hell is dwindling. Two years ago, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life reported that 59 percent of Americans considered hell real, compared to 71 percent in a 2001 Gallup opinion poll.
While the majority of Americans still believe hell exists, most think they will avoid it in the hereafter.
"There's a misconception that 'because I'm good — or at least not as bad as some others — I'll be OK,' " Farina says. "But you can't make God love you more or less by your actions."
"Those who do believe in hell think it is reserved for Hitler, Stalin and Chairman Mao," Rybarczyk says. Even some Christian college students succumb to nonbiblical thinking that good behavior will spare family members, he says.
Rybarczyk believes there is interest in learning about hell, both in academic and church circles. He teaches a theology elective on hell in Scripture at Vanguard University, an Assemblies of God school.
"Jesus has more to say than anybody else in the Bible about hell," Rybarczyk says. "Jesus wasn't just warning about hell because He didn't want people to go there; He also wanted to inform people the way to live their lives now."
Hell has a place
One of the 16 fundamental truths of the Assemblies of God deals with the final judgment.
"We're ignoring a reality of Scripture if we do not talk about it," Farina says. "There needs to be an understanding that God did make a place called the lake of fire reserved for Satan and those who follow him."
The challenge today is for Christians to find ways to lovingly share the truth so that people are enlightened about the reality of hell, Farina says. He notes that Jesus lovingly approached those who didn't know Him.
"To be a true disciple of Christ, it's very important that we share truth and have open dialogue and discussion with those who don't believe in hell, or at least don't think it's a reality for them," Farina says.
Rather than stress the physical discomfort, Palm recommends that Christians point out an equally disturbing reality of hell: separation from God for eternity.
"To be complete, biblical theology should clearly articulate that hell is never having peace," Palm says.
Bumper stickers depicting hell as a great party destination are wrongheaded, according to Rybarczyk.
"One is cut off from a relationship with not only God but all other human beings," Rybarczyk says. "The good news is that Christ has come to save us from sin, death, Satan and hell."
Author: John W. Kennedy, Pentecostal Evangel
What happens to the unsaved when they die?
In sharing the Gospel with the world, I would be remiss if I didn't share what happens to those people who die without having accepted Jesus as their Savior and so continue onwards down the path to judgment. What's going to happen to them?
Those people who have died never having accepting Jesus' lifeline of salvation have an entirely different destination from Heaven. They are going to die in their rebellion, and they have no hope whatsoever. As Jesus in John 3:36 warned, "God's wrath remains on him." The following is what's going to happen to them after they die.
After an unsaved person dies, they go to a place called Hades. The Bible also calls it Sheol or Torments. You can read all about it in Luke 16. Hades is a holding place for the dead, a prison. It at one time had two compartments, a place called Paradise and a place called Torments. The Old Testament Saints used to go to the Paradise part as they couldn't go to Heaven yet because Jesus' blood hadn't yet been shed to cover their sins. By faith they were there as Hebrews explains, but Jesus' blood finally allowed their freedom and Paradise was taken up to Heaven with Jesus after His crucifixion. What we have in Hades now is just what is left — Torments — a place of torment.
At the end of Jesus' Millennial Kingdom, there will be the Great White Throne Judgment. That's a special name basically for the Resurrection of the Unjust. We can read about this final judgment in Revelation 20:11-13:
"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it and earth and sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead great and small standing before the throne and the books were opened. And another book was opened which is the book of life, the dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in them and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them and each person was judged according to what he had done."
Those from Hades are going to be judged based on their works, but without the saving work of Jesus Christ — the only work that matters, they will be found wanting. God's the perfect litmus test, and so no matter how good our works have been, they just cannot add up to God's standard of perfection. Everyone who tells you that you have to work your way to Heaven is lying to you, because the Bible says otherwise in Ephesians 2:8-9. Jesus' work on the cross is the only work that matters, and our response in faith.
When they are all found guilty, their next and final destination is a place called Hell. Revelation 20:14-15 explains that awful sentence of condemnation, "Then death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire." The Lake of Fire is called the Second Death. If anyone's name was not found written in the books of Life, they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.
Misconceptions About Hell
A lot of people have some really false ideas about what Hell is like. One misconception about Hell for instance is that Satan is down there stoking the fires and that he's already there waiting to punish and torment people with pitchforks. No, Satan doesn't rule Hell. There are no demons waiting to torment us in Hell.
Actually, believe or not, there is not a single person in Hell right now. Hell is the punishment created for Satan and his demons. Matthew 25:41 says Hell was created for them when they rebelled against God. When we rebelled in sin, that same punishment fell upon us. Hell was never meant for us, but when we sinned, we fell under the same judgment as Satan and his followers.
What is Hell actually like? We can read all about it in the Bible.
Is Hell a place where we party down? Is it a place where it is just a little too warm, but where we hang out with our old friends? No, Matthew 25:46 tells us it is a place of punishment for rebellion. Punishment is not good, and so Hell is not a good place.
Hell is where the wrath of God is finally fulfilled. In John 3:36, we read about the wrath of God. The wrath of God is whenever God judges the earth in its entirety. We saw it with the Flood. We will see it poured out at the Tribulation. God will judge all who have rejected Him at the Second Death. These are demonstrations of God's wrath.
Hell is called the Second Death in Revelation 21:8. It is also called Eternal Destruction in 2 Thessalonians 1:9. Look at the word "eternal." Eternal means just that — forever destroyed.
With Hell, there is just no escape. Luke 16 says there is no way out of it. It's not like there can be some fancy Star Trek episode escape where they hitch a few wires and the doors open and they always escape. No, it's not like that in Hell. There is absolutely no way to escape from Hell.
What is Hell physically like? Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 20:15 describe it as a Lake of Fire. Some people speculate that maybe it is located in the underworld of our planet, as we see lava flows from a volcano like a lake. I tend to think Hell is a star. If you ever get a good close picture of a star, you will see superheated energy plasma boiling and rolling like lakes. It could be in a star, but the Bible doesn't tell us. But, it is described as a place of flames. It's a place of burning.
With all that fire, one would think it would be a very bright place, but Matthew 8:12 tells us it is a place of utter darkness. There is no light. No one will get to see in Hell.
And, the stench of it! Luke 16 tells us that Hell stinks. It has a bad smell to it.
The people who are sentenced there will be conscious. They will not be knocked out. They won't be driven so mad that they won't think about the horrible reality crushing them. They will have to exist with a conscious existence as Deuteronomy 18:11 demonstrates, and what they are consciously aware of is that they chose to separate themselves from the Father, as Luke 16 relays. God says to us all with no exception, "I love you. Come to me." You can choose to respond to that, or you can reply with, "No, way!" Those who rejected God's love will spend eternity regretting that decision.
Being separated from God has other consequences, for God is life, and without Him the universe doesn't hold together. You may hear about physicists trying to find the God particle or the String Theory. Well, in part they are correct. The underlining force that holds everything together is God. Jesus says it is Him. He is the bread and the life. He's what's holding us together.
Without God there is only loneliness and separation. There's just you being convicted by your memories filled with regret and despair.
Luke 16 says in Hell you thirst. In Hell there is nothing to quench one's awful, mind-burning thirst.
Because of all the agony and destruction that you feel in Hell, it says in Matthew 8:12 that there is gnashing of teeth. There will be nothing from you but weeping and crying with no comfort and no water to supply your tears.
Hell is truly a place of torment, as Revelation 14 describes. It's an awful place of torment where you are alone with yourself forever. You wanted God to leave you along and so you didn't accept Jesus' salvation, and well, you got what you wanted.
Living With an Eternal Perspective
Our forever destination is why we need to think about something bigger than just our life here on earth. Where the road ends is why we need to have an eternal perspective, because our life on this earth is really very short, isn't it? It's just like a breath. And so, it makes sense that we need to look at the bigger picture in life. You need to know where you are going.
You can't just live for the now, because if you die this very minute without preparing for the next minute, then where will that get you?
A friend of mine had this happen to him. While his mother was making him dinner she slipped on some water on the floor. While she was making something as innocent as dinner, she fell and banged her head against the cabinet. The fall snapped her neck and she died instantly. One minute she is making the meatballs, the next minute she is dead with her son standing over his dead mother.
Life happens that way. We don't think it can happen to us, especially the younger we are. We think life doesn't end so suddenly, but it will. Death will catch up to us usually when we are unaware.
Death is inevitable, unless you are raptured, so live with an eternal perspective. If you live with an eternal perspective, then everything else in life will make sense. Life will have purpose.
Your Eternal Decision
Have you made the choice for Jesus? Have you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and be your Savior? Have you cried, "Jesus, forgive me of my sins and be my savior!"
An amazing, wonderful, awesome future lays ahead of us with Jesus Christ! So, what on earth are you doing that's just so important that you won't grab hold of that future? What sins are you committing that are so temporarily enjoyable that you wish to stay here, when you've got so much better ahead of you in Heaven? Turn to Jesus right now and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and be your Savior.
Think of the future that you have. Don't write Hell off as not a real place. The God of the Universe who is outside of time and who knows what is beyond here has told us in the Bible exactly what our afterlife will be like. In the Bible we can know our future.
You have a decision to make today. Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior, or have you not? Will you be rescued from judgment and Hell, or will you be saved for Heaven by placing your trust in Jesus Christ?
IPhone Ap Helps Witness
Click here to read about a new IPhone Application that can assist in presenting the Gospel message, in any language. The GM28 (Gospel Mate Acts 2:8) can be downloaded from ITunes Applications or go to www.thegm28.com
The Jesus Film Project Smart Phone App app.jesusfilmmedia.org
Transform Your Workplace with Effective Witnessing
The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.
This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.
Some of the symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.
The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required. The number to call for repair in all areas is:
Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.
Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.
No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
9. Self control
Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.
WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.
DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter his Kingdom so as to prevent contamination of that facility.
Thank you for your attention!
P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by "Knee mail!"
Because He Lives
Are you a good person?
What's the irrefutable proof that God exists?
By Dr. David R. Reagan
Founder & Director, Lamb & Lion Ministries
We asked this question on our television show Christ in Prophecy of Carl Gallups, senior pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, Florida, and the author of the best-selling apologetics book, The Magic Man in the Sky. He is also the founder of the world famous PPSIMMONS YouTube channel and prominent Freedom Friday radio talk show host.
Dr. Reagan: Carl, one of the most interesting things in your book to me was when you began to discuss the existence of God. You point out that most Christian leaders argue that there is no way you can prove the existence of God, and that you just have got to take a great leap of faith and accept Him by faith.
Carl Gallups: Yes, and that's one of my favorite topics to share with people, especially for the Skeptic. They will usually start with something like, "If you could prove the existence of God to me, then I would believe in Him. But, since you can't prove Him, I'm not worried about it."
I'm always prepared for this statement and begin by saying, "Not only can I prove there is a God, but it is irrefutable, it's undeniable, and it's indisputable proof."
After I've now gotten their attention, I ask, "I just used some bodacious words on you, so now are you sure you want me to go forward? Because, once I do, you're going to have to make an eternal decision. Your decision can still be, 'No, I'm not going to accept it.' But, you will no longer ever be able to say, 'I don't believe.'"
When someone says you can't prove the existence of God, then just wait a minute and think about that logically. If there is a God, and I believe there is; and if He is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, Creator of the universe, and of course I believe He is; and if He is the God of the Bible and if the Bible is God's Word, and I believe all of that; then doesn't it make sense that God could prove Himself? That God would prove Himself? And, that God has proven Himself? Why would a God that awesome leave Himself to where you can't prove His existence?
Well, as a matter of fact, not only has God proven His existence, but He declares in His Word that He would prove it. God said He would do so in such a way that it would be irrefutable and indisputable. He gave us some little hints of what that great proof would be in Deuteronomy 4:32-40, where He says, "And I have done this thing so that you will know that I am God and beside me there is none other."
Deuteronomy 4:32-40 is one of the first places where God makes that declaration, but throughout the Bible, that declaration is made in other places. In the book of Isaiah, there are several huge declarations. In Ezekiel, that same declaration is made.
So, what is this proof that God says He will do? Listen to what God said, "So that you will know that I am God, and beside me there is none other." So, what He's saying is when He accomplishes this work then you will know that God will have proven His existence. That proof will be indisputable and it is irrefutable. Not only that, but this proof will show that He is God and there is no other God.
The argument God gives continues in Deuteronomy 4 with this addition, "Has any other God ever done such a thing as this? Has any other God taken one nation out of another nation?" There is where the clue becomes easy to identify. The bottom line for the irrefutable proof of God is found in one word. I'm going to give the word, but first I'll warn that some will say, "I don't understand, how is that the proof of God?" First let me explain it and you will see how this proof is irrefutable.
The one word for the proof of the existence of God is — Israel.
Now, here's the explanation. In Deuteronomy, God speaking through the prophet Moses said he was going to enter into the Promised Land and here's what would happen. A lot of people don't realize that before the Israelites ever set foot in the Promised Land that God had prophesied their entire future through Moses, who by the way, never was allowed to set foot in the Promised Land. Conquering the land happened through Joshua, but Moses beforehand said, "Here's what's going to happen." I'm paraphrasing, but get into chapter 30 and 31 where God says what's going to happen.
Through Moses God foretold that the Hebrews were going to go into the Promised Land, where they were going to eat of the milk and honey of the land, and the vineyards and the houses that aren't theirs yet would become theirs. Moses warned that in the future the Israelites were going to turn away from God, and so He would scatter and disperse them among the nations. But in the last days, God will bring the Jews back. He will bring them back to the land to show them His great love and to show the nations that He is God.
Again, that same declaration that God makes is later found again in Isaiah and Ezekiel. And so, we can look at history and see this very rebellion, dispersal, and return happen.
History Records and Confirms
Carl Gallups: Some people will say, "But you are trying to prove God from the Bible, and that's circular reasoning." No, no, no, because these words were proclaimed thousands of years before the return of the Jews to the Promised Land happened!
So, what do we know? Well, let's just forget the Bible for a minute and look at what history tells us. Forget the Bible, but for only a second, for we must hold onto the Bible because that's where God says to the effect, "Here is how I'm going to prove that I am God. This is My Word and My only Word. I'm the only God."
So, lay the Bible aside for now and let's just ask, "What happened?" Well, the Hebrew people came out of Egypt. They settled the land. They became the nation of Israel. Who in the world doesn't know about King David? King Solomon? King Saul? Of course, they were the great and mighty kings of the nation of Israel. Who doesn't know about the civil war in Israel between the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom? Who doesn't know about the Assyrian Empire conquering the Northern Kingdom and taking them into captivity, or the Babylonian Empire taking the Southern Kingdom? What about Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? Who doesn't know about the Persian Empire that swallowed all of Babylon up? Or, the Greek Empire? This is world history. Then the Roman Empire came and there is no more Israel.
And yet, the prophecies continued down through the ages to the last days. In the depiction of the Valley of the Dry Bones, where in Ezekiel 37 he asks God, "Who are these?" And God says to the effect, "You know. These are my people. This is a whole house of Israel that I will bring back in the last days." What?!? There was no Israel when those words were spoken.
So, what do we know of what history says? History says all of this happened just as Moses foretold. The Jews were dispersed into the uttermost parts of the earth according to prophecy, but in 1948, in just one day as the book of Isaiah asks, "Who has ever heard of this? Shall a nation be born in one day?" Who can bring back a nation from the dead but God?
In one day — May 14, 1948 — the nation of Israel came back to their land, to their strength, and to their glory. The language of Hebrew was restored to a national language. The borders are restored. The strength is there, the glory is there, and the power is there.
Israel is also surrounded by enemies, and all of them conspiring and plotting to destroy Israel. They have been attacked six or seven times in major wars, but never have been defeated.
All of these historical facts were foretold thousands of years beforehand. God said that when we saw this happen, we'd know that no other god has ever done such a thing. Then we would know for sure that God exists.
Dr. Reagan: All I can say is when you said "Israel" and I read that in your book, I was up dancing and shouting! I've spent my whole life talking about Israel. And, the bottom line is that everything that happened of a major nature to the nation of Israel in history was foretold hundreds of years prior. The Jews were told if they continued in rebellion that they'd be dispersed among the peoples of the world. They would be persecuted everywhere they went. But, they would be preserved as a people group. What a miracle that is! They would be regathered. They would be re-established. All the nations of the world would come against them. And, that's where we are today, but it was all prophesied in advance.
What further proof would you have to have that the Bible is the Word of God and that God exists?
Carl Gallups: That's right. Hundreds of years before these events happened, and in some cases 2,000 years before they happened, the prophecies were given. We are the only generation in the history of the world to have seen the fulfillment of Bible prophecy through Israel happen.
Dr. Reagan: What a time to live!
Carl Gallups: We are living in the midst of God's proof to the world, so we are without excuse. There is no god but God, and the Bible is His Word.
Author and hell survivor Bill Wiese answers the six most common questions about hell
As my wife and I speak at churches, schools and conferences around the world, we’re often asked questions regarding the subject of hell. Pardon the pun, but it can be a hot topic these days, given that many doubt its literal existence. Although God has given us many answers and instructions clearly in His Word—yes, even about hell—many people fail to read the Bible and thereby remain uninformed. We hope to change that by inspiring people to search God’s Word for themselves. After all, our opinions of what hell is like aren’t important—God’s are!
Given that, here are six of the most frequently asked questions on hell, followed by simple and succinct answers that should stir you to dig deeper for what the Bible has to say on the matter.
1. Why did God have to make hell in the first place?
Just as prisons have been constructed to protect the innocent from those who break the law, hell has been prepared for the offenders of God’s law. Would you say that our governmental leaders are mean for constructing prisons? No—especially when you realize you don’t have to go there. If you do go, it’s your choice (see Deut. 30:19; Ps. 9:17; 86:5; 2 Pet. 2:9).
Besides, hell was not prepared for man but for the devil and his angels (see Matt. 25:41). God never intended for men and women to go there. By contrast, He is preparing a place for us in heaven (see John 14:2). It is only by our stubborn will that we reject the provision He has made for our access into heaven. It is arrogant of us to desire to go to heaven yet demand our own terms of access. If you want to live in God’s house, you come by His way and not your own (see Luke 13:3; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Tim. 2:4-6). If you want nothing to do with God, then there is a place prepared that has nothing to do with His goodness.
Salvation is a free gift, but we must receive it in order to be saved. God loves you and is a good Father. He is trying to keep you out of hell and to divert you from your misguided course. Nevertheless, hell exists—and it will be your own fault if you go there.
The simple solution is, don’t break God’s law. Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3; see also John 3:36; Rom. 10:9-10, NKJV). Remember this point: Just as prisons were not the first thing our founders had in mind when they came to this country, so too hell wasn’t God’s first intent when He made humanity.
2. Isn’t God mean and unloving for sending people to hell?
God is not sending anyone to hell! He sent His Son to keep us from going to hell (see John 3:16; 6:40; 12:47).
All of us are on the road to hell automatically (see Matt. 7:13-14; John 3:17-18) because we all are born in sin and already condemned (see Matt. 18:3; 19:14; Ps. 51:5).
If Jesus hadn’t come to die in our place, we all would end up in hell. Because we are sinners, we cannot live in His perfect kingdom as we are. We must be given a new heart and spirit.
We become new creatures in Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:17) when we trust in His Son and His shed blood for our sins (see Rom. 5:8; 1 John 1:7). He will not let sinful humanity into heaven, as we would corrupt or defile heaven just as we have the earth (see Rev. 21:27).
People think He is mean for allowing so many to suffer in hell, but they don’t realize He is the same God who suffered an excruciating personal death on the cross to keep us out of hell. He loves everyone, even those who deny Him and mock Him (see Ps. 145:9; Rom. 5:8; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Eph. 2:4-5).
If you play a game, you must play by the rules that are established. You don’t apply the rules of another game when you play Monopoly, right? Why do we think God should follow our rules and not we His? He is the designer, not us.
God is not mean. He has provided a way for everyone to live with Him in heaven for all eternity. It is we who are mean and unloving for not acknowledging His existence. God’s Word will teach us the truth about heaven if we will only read it.
3. Where was God when the disaster struck?
Let’s establish first things first: Disaster usually does not come from God. Evil forces exist on the earth, and we must pray for God to intervene and stop the evil (see John 10:10). God can, of course, send a plague or disaster if He chooses. If He does, then it is usually because rebellion and sin continue after His many warnings have been sent but ignored.
Jesus told us to pray that His will be done on the earth as it is in heaven (see Matt. 6:10). Yet, for the most part, men do not pray.
So, if we don’t pray, His will is not always done. If we would pray, God could get involved to a greater degree, as prayer gives Him the access to intervene (see 2 Chr. 7:14).
We live in a fallen world, and people choose to sin and disobey God every day. There is also a spiritual law of sowing and reaping at work in our world, and destruction is a result of sowing sin (see Prov. 13:21).
In addition, God has given humanity dominion in the earth (see Gen. 1:28; Ps. 115:16). He also has given the born-again Christian power over the devil (see Luke 10:19). The mess that the earth is in is not God’s fault but man’s.
If God weren’t intervening through our prayers, then we would have destroyed ourselves long ago. There are no disasters in heaven, and this is His will for the earth, too.
4. What about the person in the jungle who has never heard of Jesus?
You don’t have to worry about him; the Bible says God is fair and just (see Deut. 32:4; Ps. 96:10,13; Acts 17:31). If that person looks up at the heavens and cries out: “God, I want to know You. Please reveal Yourself to me,” then God will somehow make Himself known to that individual. He even gives people dreams and visions to keep them out of hell: “For God may speak in one way, or in another ... in a dream, in a vision of the night ... He keeps back his soul from the Pit” (Job 33:14-15,18).
God warns us throughout our lives in many ways in order to keep us out of hell. He warns us through His creation (see Rom. 1:20), our conscience (see Rom. 2:15), His Bible (see 2 Tim. 3:16).
If the person in the remote jungle doesn’t cry out to God to reveal Himself and doesn’t believe in the Son of God as the only Savior, then he will die in his sins, as the Bible says: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17).
There are signposts of warning all along our road of life. Bible teachers say there is a warning about hell in each of the 260 chapters in the 27 books in the New Testament.
If you equated those warnings to actual signs on a highway and equated the 27 books to 27 miles, then there would be a signpost every 540 feet, or about every six seconds when traveling 60 mph. If we ignore all those signs and then drive off a bridge, it is our own fault, not the sign-maker’s.
God will find a way to make Himself known to all of the people in our world. The more important question is this: Now that He has made Himself known to you, whom do you say Jesus is?
5. Is the fire in hell real or just metaphorical?
Revelation 9:2 states that there arose a great smoke out of the pit and that “the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.” How could a metaphorical fire produce smoke that darkened the sky?
The rich man who had been sent to hell said he wanted a drop of water to cool his tongue because he was “tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24). If it were only mental anguish or something other than real fire that tormented him, then why would water suffice?
The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary notes that the parable of the tares in Matthew 13, which discusses eternal judgment, includes the Son of Man, the world, children of the kingdom, children of the wicked one, the devil, the angels—all literal figures. Holman then states: “It is then natural to conclude that the burning of the tares should also be taken literally.”
If you take the Word of God literally, then it is easy to arrive at an interpretation of literal fire. I understand there are metaphors and idioms; but it’s obvious when they are being applied, such as when Jesus said He was the bread of life (see John 6:48). His Word is representative of bread, and He is the Word.
To say that all the verses in question are allegorical would require some proof. Jesus mentioned hell in 46 verses, and 18 spoke of the fires of hell. The word He uses for hell in 11 instances is Gehenna. Gehenna was the Jerusalem city dump, and it burned continually. The unclaimed dead bodies were thrown into that fire, and the wild dogs and maggots ate the flesh.
This is a graphic picture Jesus wanted the people hearing Him to see so they would recognize He was giving them a severe, sobering warning. Why would He compare hell with a place were bodies burned if the fire of hell was something quite different?
6. Is it fair for someone to live in sin and at the last moment “get saved”?
It doesn’t seem fair. Most of us would think that person deserved hell. The truth is, we all deserve hell. Salvation is not based on our good works. We all are evil in God’s sight (see Ps. 143:2; Rom. 3:10-12,23). Only repentance brings salvation (see Matt. 3:2; 4:17).
The point is this: For God to save an extremely wicked person, whether it happens 10 seconds or 10 years before death, shows how loving and forgiving God really is. He is not trying to keep people out of heaven but to get them in. If we can get it in our minds that getting to heaven has nothing to do with our being good, then we can see how He can save a wretch at the last moment.
Look at the two thieves on the cross. One said, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us” (Luke 23:39).
But the other one corrected him: “‘Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’”
The one thief was humble and knew he deserved his punishment. He also knew Jesus was God. He called on Him at his last moment, and Jesus saved him. That is how loving our God is.
You and I might not always be that loving, but God will be. Just imagine, the other thief now has all eternity to think that he was right next to the only one who could have saved him from hell and he didn’t know it—or believe it. What an eternity of the deepest regret.
I’m not saying you can live any way you want and then plan to get saved at the last second. God knows your heart, and only true repentance with a sorrowful heart brings salvation (see 2 Cor. 7:9).
Also, you don’t know that you will have an opportunity to get saved before you die. Many people die suddenly. Do not take a chance with your soul. Make the right choice today (see Deut. 30:19).
Bill Wiese is a former real estate broker in California who in 1998 had a terrifying vision of hell. He and his wife, Annette, have since founded the evangelistic ministry Soul Choice. He’s the author of 23 Questions About Hell, which releases this month, and the best-seller 23 Minutes in Hell. Charisma