On an old episode of the tv comedy MASH, the character Radar referred to hell by spelling it out… H, E, double toothpicks. Some folks use this word as a means to curse while others speak of it as an imaginary place or a mere folktale. Heaven and Hell are very real and where we spend eternity is a serious matter! It’s worth some consideration and thought.
Where one spends eternity depends on one very important question. Will you, by faith, recognize Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? By acknowledging Jesus died on the cross, taking the sins of the world with Him, and accepting His resurrection and deity you become a child of God. Your sins no longer separate you from God.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (NKJV)
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6 (NKJV)
Jesus is a tireless mediator who advocates for us day and night. Communion with God is but a prayer away. He longs to have a personal relationship with all of His children and longs for intimacy.
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)
“And for this reason, He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:15 (NKJV)
Upon accepting Jesus as God and Savior, we become born again. We are to put off our old man and put on our new man. This happens when the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us. We are called the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The ways of the world, though still a temptation, should not be our preoccupation or lifestyle any longer.
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”
John 3:3 (NKJV)
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV)
Through sanctification, a lifelong spiritual process, God chips away at our old man making us more like His son, Jesus Christ. We are called to be lights of the world. Our great commission is to share the Gospel. However, the devil doesn’t want believers to share the Good News with others. Like a roaring lion looking for ways to devour its prey, he is constantly looking for ways to break our relationship with God. He is the prince of this world and wants everyone living on earth to live for self-gratification. He distracts mankind with temptations, lies, and deceit.
“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” Colossians 3:9-10 (NKJV)
Although Jesus has already won the battle over sin and death, the devil won’t stop his efforts to deceive the human race until God sends him to the bottomless pit and lake of fire. He wants to take many of us with him to hell.
“And He cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”
Revelations 20:3 (NKJV)
“They will spread out over the earth and all around the place where God’s people are and around the city that is loved. Fire will come down from God out of heaven and destroy them. Then the devil who fooled them will be thrown into the lake of fire burning with sulphur. The wild animal and the false preacher are already there. They will all be punished day and night forever.”
Revelation 20:9-10 (NKJV)
There are 3 kinds of death. Our physical body is comprised of flesh and blood. Over time, it wears out and physical death occurs.
In Scripture, our spirit is referred to as the inward man (2 Cor. 4:16), or the hidden man of the heart (1 Pet. 3:4). In both cases, the spirit is called a ‘man.’ The spirit is a person who is made of spiritual material, rather than physical material.
Here is a hard fact. Unsaved men and women are following Satan. Yes, they have his evil, selfish nature residing in their spiritually dead spirits. Satan is actually their spiritual lord and father. Many will yelp and say, “But I’m a good person! I give to charity and I’m kind to those around me.” This may be so, but unless you’re a branch attached to the true vine, you will not bear good fruit. You will take the glory for your good deeds upon yourself instead of accrediting God with the work.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
John 15:5-6 (NKJV)
If Jesus is not the Lord of your life, if you have not been born again, you are walking through life spiritually dead with Satan’s nature. That is why Jesus once said to some unsaved religious leaders: ‘You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father’ (John 8:44).
“And that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:26 (NKJV)
“Being spiritually dead describes the condition of a human spirit which has not been born again by the Holy Spirit. A spiritually dead person has a spirit that is alienated from God, a spirit that possesses a sinful nature, a spirit that is, to some degree, joined to Satan. Ephesians 2:1-3 paints for us a picture of the spiritually dead person.”
The third death is eternal death. Those who are spiritually dead and deny Jesus as Lord will one day live eternally apart from God. There are scriptures describing hell a pit of sulfur or a lake of fire but the greatest heartache of hell is spending an eternity without God.
Jesus was serious when it came to the topic of hell. In the King James Version of the Bible, Jesus mentions hell (gahenna, hades, and tartaros) 23 times. This should get our attention! When Jesus repeats an idea or topic multiple times it is a clear warning that we should pay attention.
“People do not have to do something to go to hell; they just have to do nothing to go to hell.” John MacArthur