The best place to start when you want to learn about Hell is with Jesus. He spoke about it in great detail in today’s Scriptures. In this particular instance, Jesus is not speaking in parables. Parables didn’t have names associated to the person. However, in today’s Scriptures, Jesus speaks of Lazarus and a rich man. To me, this is the best depiction of what it will be like in Hell. So let’s read the account:
Just because you don’t believe there is a Heaven or a Hell, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. What if you’re wrong? Are you always 100% right in everything you think? Of course not! So what if you’re wrong thinking that Hell doesn’t exist?
Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the account of the rich man and Lazarus:
- This was not a parable because parables never mentioned names. In today’s Scripture, Jesus named the poor man, Lazarus. Jesus knew him by name. (Exodus 33:12, Exodus 33:17) Just as I don’t know everyone else’s children’s names, but I do know my own, so does God know the names of each one of those who love Him and are saved.
- The rich man lived in luxury here on earth. He had expensive clothing and plenty to eat. Lazarus, on the other hand, had rags and looked for scraps to fall from the rich man’s table so he could eat. In fact, the rich man’s dogs licked Lazarus’ sores! Their lives on earth could not have been any more opposite. This isn’t to say that it is wrong to be rich. What is wrong is that the rich man had no compassion toward those in need. His focus was on himself and how to please his own flesh.
- Notice how each one died. Lazarus was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man, on the other hand, was simply buried and went to Hell.
- Let’s take a look at the circumstances in their destination. Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom. This gives us a view of being hugged and in comfort. While Lazarus was on earth, he was neglected and alone. But now he was being comforted. In Hell, the rich man, lifted his eyes and could see Lazarus and Abraham afar off. So the rich man was quite conscious of what was happening.
- Notice that the rich man was in torment. Noah Webster defines torment as: “Extreme pain; anguish; the utmost degree of misery, either of body or mind.” He was in such pain he was crying. What was the rich man crying about? He was begging for mercy! Notice in verse 24 that he had a thirst that was never to be quenched. Even being in Hell, the rich man was still high and mighty in his unrepentant thoughts. He didn’t ask Abraham to bring water, but to send Lazarus! Also, the rich man was so thirsty that he would have even welcomed a drop of water dripping from Lazarus’ finger! Now I would say, “that’s thirsty”! And why was the rich man thirsty? The verse ends that he is tormented in this flame! If you’ve been working out in the yard on a hot summer day, you are well aware of how thirsty you can get. Not only was the rich man thirsty, but he was burning! Receiving a burn anywhere on your body will produce pain. I think of my worse sunburn and how the pain lasted for a few days. The rich man was in the flames and was not being consumed! He is still burning there and will be for all eternity! His pain will never go away. I also noticed that Lazarus was with Abraham sharing in the joys of Heaven. However, the rich man was not with anyone. He was very much alone.
- Abraham reminded the rich man of the reason he was in Hell in the first place. He had all the comforts that his riches could afford him while he was on earth but he didn’t care for his eternal soul. Meanwhile, Lazarus had nothing on this earth but obviously did care about where he would spend eternity. He may have been poor but he was apparently rich in faith.
- The rich man thought about his family on earth while he was in torments. He didn’t want them to go to Hell to experience what he was experiencing (vs. 28 “this place of torment.”) But Abraham told the rich man that they had Moses and the prophets to listen to. I found it interesting that the rich man knew his family wouldn’t listen, just as he didn’t listen. Instead, he said that if one from the dead would go to his family, they would repent. But it doesn’t work that way, as we see in Abraham’s reply. He said in verse 31, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose form the dead.”
Dear Reader, Hell is a real and literal place. It’s nothing like the humorous skit performed by some comedian. It’s unfortunate that they could not care less about their future! The New Testament speaks more about Hell than Heaven! The warnings are there in the Scriptures. I would venture to say that every home has a Bible in it, whether in print or on their cellphones/computers. No fortune teller or medium can bring anyone back from the dead to warn them. They have the Scriptures which contain all that we need to guide us. It is the road map to Heaven and that is through Jesus Christ.
There are other Bible verses that tell us about the characteristics of Hell – none of these characteristics are pleasant:
- Hell is a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12). The word gnashing according to Noah Webster means: “Striking the teeth together, as in anger, rage or pain.” Imagine crying because you are in pain yet being so angry with rage because of your bad decisions that placed you in this place for all eternity!
- Hell is a place of eternal damnation to anyone who denies Christ as Saviour, which is considered blaspheming the Holy Spirit. (Mark 3:29).
- Hell is a place where the worm doesn’t die (Mark 9:48). Just as worms eat decaying bodies, in this instance, the body will never decay.
- Hell is a place where the fire is never quenched (Mark 9:48). It will be burning for all eternity.
- Just as we read in today’s account of the rich man and Lazarus, we see that Hell is a place where those without Christ will cry and beg for mercy. They will have memories of their families. They will be alone. They will be in torments with no way to escape! (Luke 16:19–31).
- Hell, according to the Apostle Paul, is a place of everlasting destruction, everlasting absence from the presence of the Lord, and everlasting absence of the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:9). It will be too late to accept Christ as Saviour at that point; you will, however, regret your rejection of Him for all eternity.
- Hell is a bottomless pit filled with dark smoke (Revelation 9:2). Have you ever seen astronauts preparing for their mission in a gravity-free chamber? They float around and do not change direction until they run into an object. Imagine then being in darkness and always falling and never running into anything! How frightening this must be! You can’t see your hand in front of your face and you’re continually falling! The graphic I posted above shows that the darkest part of the flame is black. Although the outer part of the candle can produce light, the black part does not. This is what it will be like in Hell.
- Hell is a place where God’s wrath is poured out. Those who are there will be tormented with fire and brimstone. Their torment will go on for ever and ever neither will they have rest from their torment! (Revelation 14:10-11).
Just as both the rich man and Lazarus immediately went to their final destination, so will each and every one of us (Hebrews 9:27). It is our choice as to where that destination will be. Have I frightened you? I certainly hope so. Spending eternity in Hell is no laughing matter. Please, friend, I beg you! If you have not been born again, please do so before it’s eternally too late for you. You do not know when you will die. You could be on your way home from work and get in a car accident. If you have read this post through, then you are accountable for knowing the difference between Heaven and Hell. Now let me show you how you can be saved. Don’t be like the rich man! If you are not born again, your sins are not covered by Jesus’ sacrificial offering of Himself. You have not been redeemed by His blood. It is no coincidence that God has placed you here for such a time as this so that you may be saved if you are not already. Please click here and the link will open up in a separate tab to You Can Be Born Again and Know It!