In my previous two blogs I have been comparing the reality of hell versus what promoters of Ultimate Reconciliation/Universal Salvation teach. Most of them take the Bible’s teachings on hell to be symbolic. They essentially say it is a place for correction rather than for punishment and that people will be released from it after they have learned their lessons. They say that the Old and New Testament words for “eternal” and “forever” mean an “age” (see last blog). The following Scriptures tell a different story and use other words besides “eternal.”
The workers of iniquity fall and lie prostate, they are thrust down and not able to rise (Ps. 36:12).
He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light (Ps. 49:19).
Let burning coals fall upon them [the wicked]; let them be cast into the fire, into deep pits, that they rise not up again (Ps. 140:10).
They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish (Isaiah 26:14 KJV).
For those who say those in hell will eventually rise again, these verses would beg to differ.
Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous. For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? (Job 27:7-8 KJV).
When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, and the hope of the unjust perishes (Prov. 11:7).
For the evil man has not future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out (Prov. 24:20 NIV).
Clearly the above verse states that there will be no future hope for those who die in their sins contrary to the teaching that everyone will eventually get saved. For those who go to hell, no hope of getting out exists. These verses taken together prove that anyone who goes to hell will not eventually get out as some teach.
I am sure some people would say that the above Scriptures are all from the Old Testament and will not accept them. To them I would point out that Jesus got His doctrine from the Old Testament. Jesus was partly quoting from Isaiah when He talked about hell where there is fire that will never be quenched, and He and didn’t use the controversial word for “eternal” here:
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched – where “Their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-44).
Another argument many unsaved people, who may believe in God, think and say, “God is too good to create a hell and to send people there.” The Bible teaches that God is a just God. Anthropologists have discovered in virtually every culture that has existed that people have had a sense of justice and believe it is a good attribute. They expect and want their leaders to be just. We hear much in our media and politics of “social justice.” Whatever you may think of the current brand of “social justice,” the phrase is being used because most people think justice is a good thing. Therefore, most would agree that if God is good, then He must also be just.
If God is a just God, then He must reward good and punish evil, which the Bible clearly tells us He does. He would not be a good God if He were not a just God. It is nonsense to say that God is too good to create and then punish people in hell if in fact He is a good God. Goodness and justice demand the punishment of the wicked.
Many people who many believe in a hell think they are too good to be cast there even without being saved by the blood of Jesus. In other words they don’t consider themselves sinners.
The Old Testament Law such as the Ten Commandments tells us what sin is. For example: If you have had anything in your life before God, you are an idolater. If you have lied, you are a liar. If you have stolen, you are a thief and so on. Jesus said,
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
It is just that God should throw sinners in hell or the “lake of fire.”
We are all sinners, who are condemned already if we have not accepted the atonement of Jesus as John 3:18 tells us. After God made such a costly way for us to be “justified” even though we have all sinned against Him, it is just for Him to condemn anyone who has spurned His son’s sacrifice. It would be unjust for Him to do anything else.
I have a tract from End-Time Handmaidens, Inc., that tells of a broadcast on TBN in Dec., 1989. It says Paul Crouch read from a letter about scientists in Russia drilling a nine-mile hole into the earth’s crust. It was the world’s deepest hole. They lowered sensitive microphones into the hole to listen to the sounds of the earth. What they first thought was static in their equipment, they found after tuning that they were actually hearing screams of people in torment. It scared many of the scientists. Suddenly, unbelieving Russian scientists believed in a real hell!
While I was studying the doctrine of Ultimate Rec., I was kept from swallowing their arguments by the books I have in my library from people who claim to have been to hell and back for one reason or another. Some of those books are from a man I heard preach years ago who has since passed away. It was one of the few times I have ever heard preaching that made me tremble. His name was Howard Pittman. He was a Baptist minister who fell off a balcony and was medically dead for a while. When his spirit left his body, he first stood before the judgment seat of God, who told him He was not pleased with his self-serving life. Then he gave him a tour of hell. He was allowed to see several orders of demons by ranks and shown some of their end-time plans for deceiving the nations and trapping many people into going to hell. This man certainly had a passion for warning people about going to hell.
I have another book published and edited by League of Prayer that John Bunyan wrote. He is the author of the famous allegory Pilgrim's Progress in the 1600s. Before he got saved, at one point he was going to kill himself. Right before he pulled the trigger on his rifle, an angel appeared to him to stop him. He first was taken on a tour of heaven, where he talked to some of the famous people of the Bible. Then he was taken on a tour of hell, where he actually talked to people being tormented by demons and even talked to some of the demons. He saw demons mocking people for not believing in the Gospel or hell. Demons are very much believers in hell.
Another book I have in my library is called 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese, which you can get in bookstores now. He was a Christian man who went to bed one night and woke up in hell. All memory of him being saved had been erased from his mind. He was actually tortured some by terrible creatures there. Later the Lord told him that He had done that so he would have a very real experience of what it is like for an unsaved person to end up in hell with no hope of ever getting out. He wanted him to warn people. This book tells many facts about hell that he learned from his experience and backs up with Scripture such details as hell being located in the center of the earth.
All of these people were/are very passionate about warning people of the realities of hell. Some of the books I have are from people who were not even saved before they experienced hell like Bunyan. They all warned everyone they could about a very real hell. I also have other books which relate similarities, but each experience was also different. The same could be said about the people who have testified about going to heaven and coming back. The Bible says that truth is established by two or three witnesses. The Lord has given the people many witnesses who have been to hell and have come back to warn about it. Some people will never believe in a real hell until they go there. As the story Jesus told says,
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then 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 in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead’” (Luke 16:19-31).
Believe in hell now, or you will believe in a real hell later. Nobody in hell is an unbeliever. Once they get there, they are fully convinced; unfortunately, then it is too late to do anything about it.