Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Artwork by William Thomas Thompson
"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." A Proverb

In the following message of the "Life After Death" series, Min. David Pawson addresses the topic of Hell.

Before summarizing this message below, I want to provide a little more info on the doctrine of Universalism which Min. Pawson also addresses.  Some believe that - although it is a place of punishment - Hell is primarily a place of purging, enabling those who don't receive Christ in this life to be reconciled to Him at a later time.  Those holding to this belief therefore claim that eventually, all mankind will be saved.  An article which goes into the errors of this doctrine in more detail may be found here: Hell Bent

In Min. Pawson's sermon below, he addresses:
  • Deep down in human nature is an instinctive belief that after we die, there is some kind of distinguishing between good and bad.
  • Hell is a place of conscious torment where the wicked are punished forever.
  • The majority of people in modern society have rejected belief about Hell, including much of the churchworld.
    • Some simply don't like the idea of it.
    • Some assume it must be wrong since the concept induces fear, which they deem unhealthy.
    • We have departed in society from the idea of punishment for its own sake (retribution).  Instead, punishment is seen as only for deterrent or reformatory reasons; and Hell can do neither. 
    • Some also believe Hell is not fair; that eternal punishment is not an equitable punishment for a few sins in a short life.
    • Some believe that if there is a Hell, then God has failed to deal with and remove evil.
    • Others question that, if God is a God of love, then how could He send a person to Hell forever?
  • Nearly every one of the cults in Christianity have attacked & dismissed the Biblical idea of Hell.
  • Alternative ideas have been proposed to the existence of Hell
    • Hell is self-imposed suffering in this life. Yet the Scriptures are clear that Hell is to be experienced in the next life and is a place made by God, not man.
    • Universalism, which says that although Hell exists after this life, God will ultimately save everyone and reconcile them to Himself.  Such is impossible to believe in light of the clear teachings of our Lord that an eternal Hell is a certainty.
    • Conditional Immortality or Annihilation suggests that the wicked will be removed from existence completely at some point after judgement.  While some texts may seem to support this, such is not consistent with all of Jesus' teachings on the matter which states that the suffering of those within it will be without end.
  • For the Christian, we should want to know what the Bible actually says.
  • While there is info about Sheol or Hades in the Old Testament, there is hardly any information about Hell.
  • There is also hardly anything about Hell in the Epistles.
  • It is Jesus Christ who spoke the most about Hell than any other in Scripture.  It is as if God decided that the one who would be seen as more loving, kind, and merciful than any other should be the one to bear this message so that the seriousness of it will be believed.
  • So he decisive issue for Hell boils down to one question, "Is Jesus the Truth?"
  • If you only accept the words of Scripture when your mind agrees with them, then YOU are lord of your life and not Christ.  The only way to truth is to submit to the One who said, "I am the Truth."
  • "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." Matthew 10:28  
    • The word for "hell" was the word Gehenna. This is a valley which eventually became so defiled that people would burn & sacrifice their children to pagan gods here.  Once this idolatry was ended by King Josiah, it became the trash dump of Jerusalem where worms & maggots fed on the refuse and bonfires burned to destroy the rest.  By Jesus' day, this was also the place where the bodies of executed criminals were disposed.  When Jesus spoke of hell, He always used this word.
    • The word "destroy" does not mean annihilation, but refers to something ruined, useless, or wasted.  The same word is used to reference the lost sheep in the parable of the lost sheep; of the withered wine skin when new wine is put into it; of the alabaster box ointment the woman wasted according to Judas on Jesus. There is nothing one can do with that which is utterly useless other than put it in the garbage bin.  Jesus Christ has the power to mend broken lives, but the thing He spoke about with the utmost horror was not lives that were broken, but lives that were perishing.
    • If it is bad for us to "fear" hell, then why does Jesus tell us to? 
  • "...into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:43b-44
    • Unlike the earthly Gehenna, in Hell the worms never die and the fire never ceases.  Why would the worm & fire continue forever if in fact the people in it cease to exist?
    • Even if viewed metaphorically, the reality behind this depiction of the worm and the fire is that there will be personal horror experienced here.
  • "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels...And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Matthew 25:41, 46
    • For those who say that "eternal" cannot mean endless, they faced with the difficulty that almost every time it is used in the New Testament it does mean endless - including as it relates to the "eternal life" received by the saints.  God is eternal, Christ is eternal, His salvation is eternal, Heaven is eternal... 
  • "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." Luke 13:28
    • Jesus taught that from Hell, you could see Heaven.
  • Either our thinking is going to be brought in line with the word of Jesus (because He is our lord) or we are our own gods.  
  • If what Jesus said about Hell is true, then the reality of Hell is a legitimate part of the message to non-believers about the importance of the Gospel.
  • Most people believe that everyone is good the moment they die. Yet, the best intentions will never get you free from Hell.  If ever God speaks to you and you know that you are headed to Hell, do not put it off; turn in repentance to Jesus while you have the chance.
  • According to God's word, things which can send people to hell include: Jealousy, Envy, Anger, Drunkenness, Filthy Talking, Hypocrisy, Cowardice, Covetousness, Lying, & Fornicating.
  • If there is anything you are looking at, anything you are doing with your hands, anywhere your feet take you that is leading you to Hell, then cut it right out.  Better to be called narrow than to let such take you to Hell.
  • It is at the cross that Hell becomes most real. 
    • What awful necessity required that Jesus die before God could forgive me?
    • What awful experience did Jesus go through for me?
  • Considering then the reality of Hell, the priority of every Christian therefore should be to win others to Christ.


  1. Amen...This teaching is so imperative to understand as Ministers of Reconcilation...We really have to pray for God to show us the depths of Hell and it's eternal agnoy to really stir up the passion and boldness we need to speak the Words of Life to those around us...

  2. "Jesus taught that from Hell, you could see Heaven." I can imagine all the regret -- to see people chilling in Heaven, having a good time, in joy and peace and there's nothing you can do but suffer and watch for all eternity. The biggest regret will be, I had a chance to have heaven all those years I was on earth but I blew it!

  3. Hi Bro. Neal,

    You are right about that! Many times we are so short-sighted. What is 70, 80, even 90 years here in this world compared to being with our God for eternity?

    The more we make it our personal mission to snatch souls from darkness the more rejoicing there will be in that day!

    I pray that you are well!


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