Does Hell Exist?
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.’
Many people were gathered in a theater to watch some comedy, when a fire broke out. A comedian came out on stage and announced calmly, “Ladies and gentleman, a fire has broken out in this theater, so please leave immediately in an orderly manner.” The audience just laughed at him, clapping and saying he was extremely funny. The comedian came out again and said seriously, “No, I’m not joking, this is real. There’s a fire here, and you must leave now,” but the audience still laughed at him in enjoyment. Finally many people were killed in the fire.
Today, the preaching that we should most seriously listen to is about hell, but the present world considers messages about “hell” to be jokes or strange stories. For this reason alone, I can’t help preaching about hell. What could be more serious and important than preaching about hell? Pastors can’t only preach about pleasant and sweet things which their congregation enjoys hearing. Although a patient doesn’t want to have injection, his doctor must give him one anyway; though his patient fears pain and affliction, the doctor must operate, lancing and pressing pus out from the body. In the same way, a pastor can’t always preach about things that his congregation likes to listen to. Although preaching about hell is not interesting, he must preach about it.
Dr. A.C.Dixon said, “If we preached more about hell in church, there would be less of it in the world.” This is right, the reason why today’s churches are morally corrupt and seriously full of moral disorder is that they have lost the meaning of hell. If pastors had preached about hell clearly, believers and saints would have done more for evangelism and more people would have repented and been saved.
If today’s pastors and church members believe in the existence of hell, and that they will go to heaven only if they believe in Jesus, and that, on the contrary, they will never avoid the punishment of hell if they don’t believe in Him, they will not say, “Why is the number of churches important? Why does the number of churches need to be increased?” I’m sure nobody will say this. Without conviction in the existence of heaven and hell, the base of Christian Faith is shaken. We should spread this with conviction.
1. Does Hell Exist?
People commonly ask how a loving God could send His beloved people to hell – a place of such terrible pain. Actually, hell was not made for man. Matthew 25:41 says that hell is, “...the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Therefore, I tell you that hell is the place prepared after the Captain of angels betrayed God and was cast out from heaven. Originally, hell was the place prepared for demons, but people are punished there because they don’t believe in God’s Word and instead chase after the Devil.
An elegant woman once said to her pastor, “I dislike thoughts of hell.” The pastor answered, “You’re right, people don’t like prisons, the electric chair or executions, such as hanging, but they were made and still exist because the government considers them necessary.” The final judgment will surely come.
As Jesus said, “Just as a man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27), people can’t avoid judgment after death if they can’t avoid their death. A farmer never lets his crops go fallow, since he has fertilized, and cultivated them – he must harvest them. In the same way that he threshes them in fall and sorts the good from the bad grain, so too, there will be a time when God finally judges the disobedient of the world and sentences them to hell.
Voltaire, boasted that the Bible would completely disappear within 100 years. He published many books on atheism, but after he died, his house was sold and became a storehouse, packed to the ceiling with Bibles. At his death, Voltaire said, “I am forsaken by God and man! Doctor, please give me 6 more months to live, and I will give you half of my estate.” But the doctor said, “You don’t even have 6 weeks.” When he was near death, he was extremely nervous, trembling so much that the doctor had trouble treating him. His dying words were “I’m going to hell.” Francis Newton, an atheist, breathed his last with the words, “I am eternally punished! God is against me, who can save me? Ah! I’m punished in the unendurable affliction of hell and curses.” Also, Sir Thomas Scott said at his death, “I didn’t know God and hell exist! But now I feel they both exist! I’m going to damnation by the righteous judgment of Almighty God!” An Atheist, Perigold, said with affliction at his death, “I will receive the distress of those judged by God eternally.”
More certain than the above is the truth which many verses of the Bible, the truthful Word without lies, emphatically tell us about the existence of hell. There are more words about hell than heaven in the Bible. If words written even only a few times in the Bible have surely come true, then what about the words emphasized so often? Won’t they come true?
Jesus said, “Where, ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’” Mark 9:48. Paul also said that hell exists. “…and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. Peter said, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.” 2 Peter 2:4. John also emphasized, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15. Therefore, no matter how people say that hell doesn’t exist, no one can go against the Word of God or the words of the Apostles. As prisons, execution and other punishments exist for those who break the laws of the world, hell, with its punishments, exists for those who go against the Laws of God - isn’t that right and reasonable? But, if you still don’t believe in the existence of hell, don’t worry - you will know the truth in less than five minutes after you die without believing in Jesus Christ. However, it will be too late.
2. What Kind of Place is Hell?
Some say that hell is just a description, a mere painting. However, you should bear in mind that hell is a place full of affliction, which cannot be expressed in words. The reality is far more painful and searing.
The memories of someone who is afflicted in hell will fan the flames of the eternal fire which torments him. A murderer, in hell, will remember the face of the person whom he killed in the world, a gambler will remember the face of one whom he cheated, and a person who rejected believing in Jesus Christ will remember the chances he was given to believe, and with that memory his agonies will increase more. His sins will increase the heat of the fire. Conscience will add heat to the fire. Then, what kind of place is hell?
1) Never Ending Fire.
The fire in hell never ends; even the worm doesn’t die there. (Matthew 5:22, Revelation 20:10, 14, 15, 21:8, Mark 9:48, Isaiah 66:24). Hell is such a place of pain that there is constant weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30). Pain is not only physical - mental affliction is not less painful than physical torture. We can find many people who commit suicide by poison for mental affliction, can’t we? In the story of a rich man and Lazarus, written in Luke 16, the rich man who was cast down into hell was so thirsty and afflicted that he asked Abraham to send Lazarus, once his servant, to him with a drop of water on his finger to slake his thirst. But his pleas were rejected. Then he asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his five brothers to witness to them so that they would not be sent down to hell as he had been. How hot, thirsty and searing it is there!
2) Cannot Be Avoided.
Last week, I went to a church for a revival meeting. The pastor there asked me, “Would you like to go to sauna to relieve your tiredness.” We went to sauna together to relax. While there, I received great grace from his words. We entered the steam room to sweat, but he soon ran out, as he couldn’t stand the heat, crying, “Whew, I can leave that hot place anytime I want, but once they’ve been cast into hell, nobody can escape… forever”. I was impressed by his words and decided to preach about painful hell again so that people will not go there.
Escape from the world is possible through death, but in hell there is no exit. Some people commit suicide, because the world afflicts them, but this is like jumping into everlasting fire, because the frying pan is too hot. Looking down to the sea from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, you can spot a small island, with a prison on it. The prison was built there so that the prisoners could not escape. Although one of them might even break out, he would never be able to swim to shore because of the strong current or because he would suffer a heart attack from the cold water. Even if he could swim that far, or survive the cold, he would probably be eaten by a shark. So nobody dreamt of getting out of there. Despite all of this, there was a man who escaped from the prison. However, there is no exit or way to escape from hell.
3) Without End
The Israelites, who worked as servants in Egypt, had the hope that their life of slavery would one day end. Later, Moses came to them and they really were led to the Promised Land.
People in jail have the hope that they may one day be free, patients have the hope that they will recover and really be cured. However, the affliction of hell is eternal. Some say, “It is unfair to be punished eternally because of sins committed during this short life.” Punishment is not imposed in proportion to the time it took to commit the sins, but depends instead upon their type. One murderer can kill a man in three seconds; it might take another three hours. However, sins with their subsequent punishments cannot be heavier or lighter according to the time it took to commit them. The heaviest sin of all is not believing in God and Jesus Christ who died on the cross, shed His blood, and resurrected to save us.
Let’s imagine that a sparrow moves water from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean in its beak. How long will it take to move all the water? This is just an instant compared to eternity. So, how terrible will it be to live in hell forever?
4) Contains All Kinds of People
In hell, all classes, all races and colors are mixed. Although a man of one class never associated with people of a lower class, he will suffer affliction together with them there.
The kinds of people found in hell is explained in Revelation 21:8: “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Brothers, you might say you are not one of them, but the “non-believer” will be cast into the lake of fire in hell along with the extremely cruel sinners.
Don’t forget that not only a man who has a sin considered heavy in the view of the world, but also a man who is considered great by the standards of the world, but doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ, will all join in going to hell. A man who has a Christian wife and who has good Christian parents will go to hell if he himself goes against the salvation offered by Christ and doesn’t believe it sincerely. Those who don’t know salvation though Christ but only trust in their own goodness and works will go to hell.
For one who dies without believing in Jesus Christ and accepting Him, today’s message might be the last chance for an invitation to the Kingdom of God. I hope that you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and are saved so that none of you receive the punishments of hell. If you believe in Jesus, you will have eternal life and will go to heaven; if you don’t, you will perish and go to hell. According to the history of Christianity, the pastors, whom God uses greatly, all preached the Gospel with fiery hearts to save even a single soul facing the fires of hell. A man who receives the Holy Spirit believes in Jesus as Savior of life and firmly believes in heaven and hell. I give my gratitude to God who gives me conviction in the existence of heaven and hell. I believe that it is because of such faith, that our church has been reviving continuously, has built a world famous new temple under negative conditions and has been preaching the Gospel in and out of the country without rest.
If hell didn’t exist, I would not need to ask you to believe in Jesus or need to do pastoral work. When you move to save souls falling into hell, God is pleased and loves you. Amen