“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
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; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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. But Abraham said, son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receives thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented. 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 there.
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren that he may testify unto them lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham said unto him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ He said, ‘Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead they will repent.’ Abraham said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:19–31)
Around the world, we are not sure what to believe about heaven or hell; holding on to faith, we are divided over its reality, many of us taking a stand to believe in heaven rather than in hell. Although this is true, our opinion doesn’t negate the fact that scripture is filled with all sorts of visions concerning hell, which we are ignoring both in the church and the world. In the church, we have heard preached the message and wonderful story concerning Christ’s grace and mercy, and preachers are failing to show the other side of the coin, the other side of the sacrifice of the Lamb and of the cross; and for those of us in the world having no claim to religion, these truths revealed to us are but tales the ancients once held true. On the grounds of opinion, we claim they believed in God because they had no idea of how the universe works, but to the contrary, the ancients believed in God because of the overwhelming evidence they had received.
Having a close relationship to the past, our forefathers had a devoted understanding concerning the state of man; they knew there was a need for us to be redeemed from the power of death on account of Adam. In their minds, the events of the past were a fresh experience. “They were created inhibitors of the earth, but on account of one man death took rule over the earth a spirit of banishment from which we need to be saved”(Gen.1:26–28).
What was the evidence our ancestors depended on to come to the reality of hell? Before us they had a clear view of the past, and having a closer relationship to Adam they had firsthand experience of this reality. What were some of the things we should expect in hell? A few things we should expect in hell are:
- Darkness – it is considered a place of utter darkness
- Fire – not every believer accepts this teach, but yet it can be found in scripture
- Torment – This was spoken of by Jesus and was acknowledged by the demons he cast out
If there is any doubt among believers that hell is not eternal, and a place of torment her are a few chapters to consider:
Matthew 8:28-29 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
Revelation 14:10-11 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascended up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.
Matthew 8:11-12 And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 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:
Death is one of the curse of sin, hell is the penalty and punishment for sin and not turning away from ungodliness. He who rejects Christ will have his place in the pit of hell. Mark 5:7-8 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.