People don't like to hear about Hell, but I'm here to tell you that if Jesus is not your Lord and Savior then you are on your way to Hell. For those of you who know that Hell exists (trust me, the Bible says it's a real place and the greatest deception that Satan ever achieved was convincing the world that he and Hell didn't exist), you will be upset at this bad news.
You may think that I'm all "gloom-and-doom." Tell me this...If your house were on fire, would you want me to let you know? Of course you would! You'd probably thank me for telling you. Well, if you go to Hell, you will be the one on fire. I'm just trying to help.
So, today I want to spend a little time examing the Lake of Fire. What does God and the Bible say about it? Specifically what is it exactly? What is its purpose? Who is it for? And how does all of this relate to prophecy?
Let's take a look at what the Bible says. Here are a few scriptures that deal with Hell and the Lake of Fire (at the final judgment, Hell, death and those not written in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire):
Matthew 25:41 (Jesus speaking to people at final judgment) - "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
Revelation 14:11 - "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night..."
Revelation 20:12,15 - "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life...And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Matthew 10:28 - "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
Luke 12:5 - "But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which AFTER he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."
Matthew 18:8,9 - "Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."
Matthew 25:46 - "And these shall go away into EVERLASTING punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
2 Thessalonians 1:9 - "Who shall be punished with EVERLASTING destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."
Isaiah 66:24 - "And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be abhorring unto all flesh."
Mark 9:44 (speaking of Hell) - "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
Jude 7 - "Sodom and Gomorrha...are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
Matthew 22:13 - "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Matthew 13:41-42 - "The Son of man (Jesus) shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
Revelation 21:8 - "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Psalm 9:17 - "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."
Isaiah 14:99-11,15 (referring to Lucifer) - "Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee...all they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee...thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."
Daniel 12:2 - "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
Psalm 37:20 also shows the ultimate fate of the wicked will be destruction by fire. The "hell fire" that the Bible speaks of will be thousands of degrees hotter than the imaginary "hell fire" of most preachers - which is only hot enough to torment. The biblical "hell fire" will totally consume the disobedient! Notice also that it is God who will burn the wicked up - not Satan or his demons like most think thanks to cartoons, television and film.
The Bible plainly shows that those who have known God's truth and still refuse to obey it, or willfully disobey, will reap the wages of sin - eternal death (Romans 6:23)! This scripture means what it says. The attempts of many theologians to "explain away" death and to "interpret" it as mere "separation from God" cannot be reconciled with Scripture. Death clearly does not mean "eternal life" in the horrifying torments of an eternal "hell." The author of this pagan deception is none other than the father of lies - Satan the Devil (John 8:44)!
Therefore, it is not unreasonable that we should fear God. Jesus Christ Himself says that we are to fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in Hell. Why? He is the only One who can revoke the judgment by fire. The wages of sin is death by fire. If we want to escape this punishment, we can see that it is closely connected to whether or not we actually fear God.
Surely, this is a frightening place we don't even want to visit - even for a single moment. So why would we want to risk spending eternity in a place like this is we can do something about it? I'm sure that there are some people reading this who probably agree that this is a place they definitely want to avoid, but they'll say something about putting off a decision like that until a later date and time. Friends, you could die tomorrow and if you did before you made a decision for Christ you're lost for good! Don't take that chance!
Speaking of "chance" did you know that us Christians don't believe in mere "chance" or "luck" and instead know that EVERYTHING happens for a reason according to God's own perfect will as well as His own perfect timing? Now, I ask you to consider if knowing that makes you feel like you're here reading this now by "chance" or, do you think that perhaps God led you here and He's hoping to FINALLY get your attention so that He can call you His once and for all and save you from eternal punishment? Just think about that for a moment.
When people ask me why they should even study prophecy let alone care about any of it if it means the entire world is going to come to a catastrophic end, I try to tell them that they need to look at things at a personal level. To take an attitude of "there's no hope!" and simply throw your hands up in the air and shrug your shoulders is not only irresponsible, but it will be the biggest mistake of your life. I cannot stress that enough.
Think of it this way...Would you jump out of an airplane without a parachute? Of course not! Then why in the world would you treat your eternal future with such carelessness when the "parachute" you need is Jesus Christ - a free gift that you simply need to reach out and cling to?
Prophecy was given to us by God so that we would know that what He says is true and that He can ALWAYS be trusted 100% of the time. It's also given to us as a warning so that we may know when our time here is short. It's God's attempt to not only save us, but to save others since the logical conclusion is that once you've recognized your need for forgiveness and a Savior you will want to tell others who are in dire need about their need for Him.
As previously mentioned, there are natural laws to everything in existence. So, just as the law of gravity states that what goes up must come down, God's law says that without seeking forgiveness from our sins, and accepting the free gift of salvation that's available to us, we will be sent to Hell and the Lake of Fire for eternity as that's the result and how this law will be fulfilled UNLESS WE PLACE OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST as the One who took our place by sacrificing Himself to atone for our sins. It's as simple (and frightening) as that.
What will you do with this information now that you've been given the knowledge of everlasting life? If you think that it's mere coincidence that you are here reading this right now you're wrong. Christians don't believe in coincidence, chance, or luck. Everything happens for a reason. Everything. Whether we want to acknowledge that fact is immaterial. It is what it is.
Perhaps God is trying to get your attention - again - because all the other times He's reached out to you on a personal and intimate level you didn't have the eyes to see or the ears to hear Him. Open your eyes today! Open you ears today! Don't put off until tomorrow what you can easily take care of today. Why wait? If you died tomorrow are you certain of where you would spend eternity? If you hesitated for even a moment in answering that question than you need Jesus Christ. The good news is that you can know with absolute certainty what would happen if you were to die today, but you need to first acknowledge your sins and recognize your need for forgiveness and salvation.
God loves you so much that He doesn't want to see you end up in that fiery pit and this is His way of trying to get you to see that you have a "Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free-Card" that He's offering to you free of charge.
Will you accept His free gift or go about your own business like so many times before? The choice is yours.
Welcome to the family of Jesus Christ! I look forward to meeting you one day in Heaven!
SOURCE: Look Up Fellowship / www.lookupfellowship.com
*Every fact, quote, and/or article referenced in the above piece is sourced with links, pictures, charts, and video in the original column at this website.