By Medford Caudill
 Goshen, Indiana
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment but the righteous into life eternal.
    It is impossible for me to convey to your minds or your hearts the horrors of hell.  How does one describe such a place? Jesus said it was better to pluck out the offensive eye or cut off the offensive hand than to have the whole body cast into hell. Hell is a place of fire, a place of darkness, a place of guilt, a place of remembrance of sins past and acknowledgment of the terribleness of sin. Yet hell is barely mentioned in our pulpits today. Paige Patterson, a Southern Baptist, in a sermon at Southeastern Baptist Seminary said; “You can traverse the entire United States on any given Sunday Morning, and you very probably will not hear a sermon on the judgment of God or eternal punishment from an evangelical pulpit. And so evangelicals ostensibly believe in the doctrine but in effect have voted by the silence of their voices that they do not believe in it anymore or else no longer have the courage and conviction to stand and say anything about it.”
    Many in our day no longer believe in hell. They agree with the nineteenth century skeptic Robert Ingersol who said; “No man can think of a greater horror, no man can dream of a greater absurdity. For the growth of that doctrine ignorance was soil and fear was rain. It came from the tangled mouths of serpents.”
    A more modern silly writer by the name of Lee Salisbury says; ”The doctrine of eternal punishment makes hell a monument to the Devil’s work of sin and death. “ Even a Primitive Baptist web site for the Harmony Primitive Baptist church says; “A belief that eternal broiling awaits some if not most of Adam’s race comes from pagan religion.  This outlook prevents the church from serving mankind.”
    The Bible, however, is very definite about hell. Jesus said that, “every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.”  Jesus  said, “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.” Jesus said, “the  Son of Man shall send forth his angels and 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.” Jesus said; “woe unto you scribes and Pharisees   hypocrites for ye compass land and sea to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
    Why don’t men believe in Hell?  Arguments against the reality of hell center on Man’s judgment and man’s logic. These are arguments such as it is not fair.  These sorts of arguments ignore the reality that we are not God. His ways are not our ways.
    Then there are those sort of arguments which try to be  Biblical. Such as II Peter 3:9 says the Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. These types of arguments fail to examine the scriptural text closely to who it is talking about and what circumstances it covers. We find Peter for instance is not talking to everyone in the world but rather, “to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 1:1)
    All of these arguments both logical and pseudo-scriptural fail to realize the enormity of  sin. “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)
    Eve saw the tree that it was a fruit to be desired and she ate and gave to her husband and he ate with her and plunged the whole human race into sin and death. Achan saw the Babylonish garment, desired it and took it and the wedge of gold thereby killing himself, his wife and children and his whole family. David sinned with Bathsheba and his baby boy dies. To understand the terribleness of  hell you must understand the terribleness of sin. To understand the terribleness of sin you must understand the terribleness of hell.
    Hell is a real place. It is a terrible place and it is just as real as the planet Earth.
    It is terrible because of its torments. It is a place of fire. The rich man in the actual historical conversation that Jesus related in Luke chapter 16 said, “I am tormented in this flame.” (Luke 16:24) It is eternal torment. “The smoke thereof shall go up forever.” (Isaiah 34:10)
    Hell is a terrible place because of its inhabitants. Jesus said that the everlasting fire was “prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41) Think of spending eternity with Satan and all his demons. The devil won’t be in charge of the place but will be your cell mate in that awful prison house.

Consider the other inhabitants of hell. Some say they want to go there to  be with their friends. You would not want your friends to be there.  There will be no parties there. You will be angry at those who led you into sin  and they will be angry with you for going along with them and increasing their punishment.
    Many songs have been written about meeting mama in heaven. One of the delights of heaven will be seeing our long gone relatives there. There has never been a song written, to my knowledge however, about meeting mama or daddy in hell. It will be an acute extra torment to you to know that loved ones are there with you. To know the tongue that spoke so many words of love to you in this life is now parched in the flame is a horrible thing to contemplate. What a terrible thing to know that your family and friends are as you are eternally lost.
    Hell is a terrible place because of the acute awareness you will have of your situation. Hippolytus in 212 AD said; “Standing before Christ’s judgment, all of them men, angels and demons crying out in one voice shall say  “ just is your judgment.”
    There is no escape from hell. “If the tree  fall toward the south, or toward the north in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.” (Ecclesiastes 11:3)  “He that is unjust, let him let him be unjust still and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still.” (Revelation 22:11) Hell is a place of no hope. Once you are there you are there for eternity.
    Thankfully, I do not have to go to hell. I do not have to go to hell because of what Jesus Christ has done for me. Because Christ was my substitute, because He died for me I do not have to go to Hell. The only way to escape the flames of hell is through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Saved from sin and saved from an eternity in hell.

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