The Lake of Fire
By David J. Stewart
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." —Revelation 20:15
The Word of God warns us that anyone who dies in their sins without Jesus Christ will be cast into the Lake of Fire. There are 3 different Greek words for the English term hell in the Bible: Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna. Gehenna is the Lake of Fire. For a thorough explanation of these Biblical terms, please read the excellent free online study by Pastor Max D. Younce, A Biblical Examination of Hell.
The Bible plainly WARNS that there is a literal lake that burns with fire and brimstone, "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" (Revelation 21:8).
Tragically, most people today don't believe in a literal Hell that burns with fire.
Presbyterian theologian, William Placher, who teaches at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, worries that people today do not take seriously the idea of either hell or sin... "We've fallen into the modern heresy," he says, "that we're all basically pretty good people who don't need comeuppance (i.e., something unpleasant seen as a deserved punishment). If we really thought more about our sin—if we really thought about people starving around the world while we're living in the midst of plenty—we'd worry more about God's grace to forgive us." Sadly, the only official Presbyterian statement that includes any comment on hell since the 1930s is a 1974 paper on universalism adopted by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. SOURCE
In east Scotland, where there is a larger range of beliefs, only a small proportion of the clergy believe in damnation. Out of the 750 priests and ministers surveyed, only one-third believed Judgment Day would involve "eternal mental anguish in hell," while only one-fifth believed such a fate would include "eternal physical torment." SOURCE
It's hard to imagine that only 20% of Scotland's priests and ministers believe in literal Hellfire. This is woeful apostasy! The Word of God couldn't be any clearer on this matter, "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." It is tragic that most ministers today DON'T accept a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Don't kid yourself, Hell has fire! To deny the existence of a literal Hell that burns with fire and brimstone is to deny the Word of God. The Bible teaches that unrepentant sinners will burn in Hell, "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 1:7).
Some cults pervert the meaning of the Hebrew word for hell, Sheol, in the Old Testament, saying that it merely means "grave." However, Psalm 9:17 clearly refutes such nonsense... "The wicked shall be turned into hell [Sheol], and all the nations that forget God." Now if the wicked and the righteous are both turned into the same place, i.e., the grave, then Psalm 9:17 makes no sense at all. The implication and meaning of Psalm 9:17 is very clear—the wicked and the righteous DON'T go to the same place! The wicked go to a very bad place to be punished for their wickedness, and that place is Gehenna—THE LAKE OF FIRE!
Only a total fool, in view of such overwhelming Scriptural evidence, would take a chance with his or her eternal destiny. It is tragic that billions of people are going to be tormented in the fires of Hell for all eternity, when they could have freely received the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23; Romans 4:5; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8,9). The next time you burn yourself in the oven or get burned with a spat of hot oil from a frying-pan, remember that this is only a small sample of how you'll spend eternity. Scare tactics you say? Are you really willing to risk it? The choice is yours.
"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 18:9
The Reality of Hell | The Penalty of Hell | The Purpose of Hell
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