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Post  lisa1880 on Sat 11 Jul 2009, 6:18 pm

By Rich Deem

What is Hell like?
The most common description of hell is that of fire. Here is a list of some of these descriptions:
  1. fire and brimstone
  2. burning wind
  3. fiery oven
  4. flames of fire
  5. judgment by fire
  6. unquenchable fire
  7. furnace of fire
  8. eternal fire
  9. eternal punishment
  10. fiery hell
  11. pits of darkness
  12. lake of fire
Punishment and restraint
Since there could possibly be a lot of party people in hell, one might think that it will be one big party. However, the problem is that the likes of Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and other unsavory characters will be there also. In order to keep those people from tormenting their neighbors excessively, all the inhabitants will be restrained through punishment (with the amount increasing with the degree of restraint required). This list below tells of some of the things that the inhabitants of hell will be going through:
  1. smoke of their torment (Revelation 14:11)
  2. no rest day and night (Revelation 14:11)
  3. weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:41-42)
  4. tormented (Revelation 20:10)
  5. death (Revelation 21:8)
  6. their worm does not die (Mark 9:47-48)
  7. destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
Why does there need to be a hell?
This is a good question, since many would say that God could just destroy the evil people, rather than condemn them to a place of torment. The problem is that God made spiritual beings (humans and angels) as eternal creatures. In fact, the Bible says that God has put the knowledge of the eternal nature of our spirits within each of us:
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Since God is absolutely holy, He cannot be in the direct presence of sinful creatures. Therefore, all who are sinful must be separated from God (Matthew 7:23) and cannot be allowed to enter into His home (heaven). Hell is the place where these people must go, away from the presence of God.

Eternal torment or eternal destruction?
Eternal Torment
Matthew 8:29, 18:8, 25:41, 46, Luke 16:23-24, 28, Hebrews 6:1-2, 2 Peter 2:9, Jude 1:7, Revelation 14:11

Eternal Destruction
Matthew 7:13, John 5:24, John 8:51, Romans 6:21, 23, 9:22, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Philippians 3:18-19, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, James 1:15, 1 John 3:14, 2 Peter 3:7, 3:16, Revelation 2:11, 19:20, 20:6, 10, 14-15, 21:8

Who will go to hell?
Those who reject Jesus Christ cannot enter into the presence of God, (Matthew 7:23) and so must be separated from Him (2 Peter 2:9) until the white throne judgment. (Revelation 20:11-12, 15) The Bible gives several lists of people who will not be in heaven.13 A summary of the activities that keep people out of heaven is listed in the table below.
  1. idolatry
  2. adultery
  3. prostitution
  4. theft
  5. greed
  6. drunkenness
  7. swindling
  8. impurity
  9. witchcraft
  10. discord
  11. jealousy
  12. fits of rage
  13. dissensions
  14. factions and envy
  15. orgies
  16. lying
  17. cowardice
  18. unbelief
  19. sorcery
  20. sexual immorality
  21. homosexual offenses
  22. slander
  23. hatred
  24. selfish ambition
  25. abomination
  26. murder
The list is fairly extensive and includes some things that all of us have done. At the end of the first creation we will appear before the great white throne of God. God will go through the "books" to see if we have committed any of the deeds listed in the table above. In addition, the names will be checked to see if they are written in the book of life. Anyone whose name is not found in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire, based upon the evil deeds that they had done in their lives. God does not grade on the curve, so all people who have been guilty of any one of the violations above and whose names are not in the book of life will be sent to the lake of fire, which is the second death.

If you have committed any of the violations of God's laws listed above, you should expect to go to the lake of fire. As with any transgression of law, we are convicted on the basis of our guilt with regard to the crime. The good things that we have done do not change or impact the charge for which we stand trial. Only those whose moral record is perfect or those who have been made righteous (i.e., based upon the moral perfection of Jesus Christ) will escape the great white throne judgment.

Hell is a place designed by God to separate those who hate Him from those who love Him. Those who are sent to hell are restrained through punishment so that they won't be able to torture others. If you don't think that you will like it in hell, try heaven instead. However, you are not going to get there on the basis of the "good" things you have done in your life, but through belief in Jesus Christ.
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