The topic of eternal punishment has gained popularity today as some Christians have changed their beliefs and begun to deny God’s justice. Whether it’s on talk shows or in books stores the orthodox doctrine of eternal punishment has been under fire due to the fact that many cannot imagine how a loving God would torture some of His creation forever. Therefore, the topic of eternal punishment is extremely relevant and important in the church because it effects how we see the very nature of God and what happens to unbelievers.
TODAY’S SERMON TEXT
QUOTES ON HELL
- “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company,” Mark Twain.
- “The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,” C.S. Lewis.
- “Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven,” John Milton.
- “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” Saint Bernard.
- “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened,” C.S. Lewis.
- Concerning hell… “There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power. But it has the full support of Scripture and, specially, of our Lord’s own words; it has always been held by Christendom; and it has the support of reason,” C. S. Lewis.
- “We cannot repudiate Hell without altogether repudiating Christ,” Dorothy Sayers.
THE OLD TESTAMENT TEACHINGS ON HELL & THE AFTERLIFE
- The Old Testament taught life after death and that everyone who departed from this life went to a place of conscious existence.
- The term used for the place in the afterlife in Hebrew was “sheol,” which meant, “the place of the dead.”
- Both the wicked (Psalm 9:17) and the righteous (Psalm 16:10) went to sheol and waited for the resurrection.
- Daniel taught that at the resurrection the wicked would go to everlasting shame and the righteous to everlasting life, Daniel 12:2.
JESUS’ TEACHINGS ON HELL & THE AFTERLIFE
- Jesus used the Greek word, “hades” in the New Testament to represent “sheol/place of the dead” and explained that it was divided into two different sections, one was called, “gehenna/hell” and the other “paradise,” Luke 16:19–31.
- Hell was for the wicked (Matthew 5:22) and paradise was for the righteous (Luke 23:43).
- Jesus spoke more about hell (gehenna) than anyone else and described it as, (1) A fiery furnace, Matthew 13:42; (2) With weeping and gnashing of teeth, Matthew 13:42; (3) Where the fire never goes out, Mark 9:43; and (4) the worm never dies, Mark 9:48.
- Jesus also reinforced Daniel’s prophecy about the end time judgment and said at the resurrection the righteous would go to eternal life and the wicked to eternal punishment, Matthew 25:46.
THE APOSTLE’S TEACHINGS ON HELL & THE AFTERLIFE
- Paul taught that while Jesus was in the grave He took all those in paradise from hades and brought them to heaven in the presence of the Father, Ephesians 4:8-10.
- Peter taught that while Jesus was in hades He also preached and condemned the wicked in gehenna (hell), 1 Peter 3:19-20.
- Therefore, today, when an unbeliever dies, he goes to hell (gehenna) in hades and at the final judgment, hades will be emptied into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:13–15.
- On the other hand, when a believer dies today, he is “present with the Lord” in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:6–9) and awaits the resurrection to reign with Jesus upon the new earth (Revelations 21:1-4).
Most of the above sections were copied from, “Got Questions'” article on “hell.”
- Sheol/hades was the place of the dead until Jesus came. One section was for torment (gehenna) and the other bliss (paradise).
- After Jesus’ death and resurrection the righteous in paradise were brought to heaven and the wicked were left in torment.
- Believers who die now go directly to heaven, while the wicked still go to hell (gehenna) in hades.
- The wicked are waiting in hell for the Great White Throne judgment where they will then be sent to the lake of fire with the devil and his angels (called the “second death”), Revelation 20:11-15 & Matthew 25:41.
- The righteous are waiting in heaven for the resurrection where they will then be rewarded and able to live with Jesus upon the new earth forever, Revelation 21:1-8.
- Hell (gehenna) is not the final place for the wicked, the lake of fire is, Revelation 20:14-15.
- Heaven is not the final place for the righteous, the new earth is, Revelation 21:1-3 & 2 Peter 3:13.
- The devil nor his demons or followers will enjoy the lake of fire- everyone will suffer eternal punishment, 2 Thessalonians 1:9.
- There is no such thing as purgatory or post death repentance- as your are in death regarding Jesus is how you will be for eternity, John 5:28-29.
- The wicked will not be annihilated or stop existing, rather, the wicked will exist in a conscious state for as long as the righteous do- forever, Matthew 25:46.
- Watch this great video I made to answer many of the objections brought against the idea of “eternal punishment.”
HOW TO AVOID ETERNAL PUNISHMENT
- BELIEVE in Jesus and be born again, John 3:3-18.
- REPENT and be set free from all your sin, Acts 2:38.
- LIVE your life as an obedient disciple of Jesus Christ, John 8:31-36.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”