Is Hell For Real?
This should be a serious question for all mortals who eventually cease to live. When we die, then what? Heaven, Nothingness, or Hell? To prove there is a negative afterlife one needs to either crack it open & take certified pics. – or die & go there. For all practical purposes, a place like Hell has to be proven logically.
Common sense & nature screams for justice. Should characters like Herod, Nero, Stalin, Hitler, Charles Manson, etc. just cease to exist w/out punishment for their evil & murders? If there is a living & just God, he has to punish sin & rejection of conscience at all levels.
One of the most convincing & logical proofs of Hell is the experience of a cardiologist named Maurice Rawlings. This guy was a pioneer of CPR & some of his patients he recovered from clinical heart stop death came back terrorized by a temporary encounter with Hell. Their stories are intense! “Beyond Death’s Door” 1978, available thru Amazon.com for $8 – 15. He also wrote "To Hell and Back" 1993.
For those who accept the Scriptures as the Word of God, it can be viewed as logical proof. And the concept of Hell is very consistent in Old Testament and New Testament. The O.T. Hebrew word for Hell is Sheol, which is the sorrowful place of the dead. The N.T. Greek word for hell is Hades. Scripture teaches that Sheol & Hades are a holding place for unrighteous dead till the final judgment. There is a very revealing “picture” of Hades in the Gospel of Luke chapter 16. Christ himself gives the case of a rich man who died & was, “in anguish in this flame.” The dialog in this afterlife account is amazing. Then we have Scofield theologians reflecting on it. “Luke 16:23-24 shows that the lost in Hades are conscious, possess full use of their faculties, memory, etc, and are in torment. This continues until the final judgment . . . and Hades itself, will be cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20)
Broadly speaking, if J.C. was God in the flesh (and Scripture clearly teaches this), then his rejection & brutal murder by humanity calls for God’s wrath in the form of severe punishment of the unrepentant. Why not a hell? (And a curse on the way there. – see “Blessing & Curse” link 66.) I could add more logical arguments for hell, but space is short in this essay.
A subtle problem today is to undermine Scripture by assigning extreme doctrine (and miracles) to mythology. And if we eradicate a literal Hell from the Book by liberal interpretation, what else goes?? I have been amazed to learn that many so called “Christian” believers reject nearly ALL the main doctrines. This grossly disrespects God’s Holy Book, and how can they expect to BENEFIT from those glorious teachings?? Hell is the only one that is bad news. Now do I agree w/the concept of Hell? Not especially, but if God put me here to seek Him, it’s not right for me to weasel to the left & dismiss Hell in unbelief as many folks do. It’s God’s teaching not mine. And we are not the first to face God’s justice. Some 2800 years ago Israel & it’s king Zedekiah were judged & punished on the large scale as a nation, and below is a summary of WHY. Then realize that we do the same on the small scale as individuals because we too are humans. (see “Human Nature” link 182 & 183)
-- 2 Chronicles 36:13 & 16 “. . . stiff neck & hardened hearts, . . . mocking the messengers of God, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets, till the wrath of the Lord rose . . .”
-- Psalms 9:17 “The wicked shall depart to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.”
-- Matthew 13:41-42 “The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” Jesus C. said that.
-- Mark 9:48 “Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” Jesus C. said that.
-- Revelation 20:15 “and if any one’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
If we can trust the Book to be authentic and accurate as God’s contract to humans, then Hell should be very seriously avoided. I was born & raised in Phoenix AZ & personally spent enough time in a hot place. I figure the salvation of J.C. is the best fire insurance policy around – unless He lied . . . Choose Jesus, He is Alive. See also “Crowded Cities” link 5 and “Why Literal?” link 74.
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