1. WHAT IS HELL?
HELL IS NOT:
- An eternal party—“I may be going to hell, but at least all my friends will be there”
- Survival of the fittest—“Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven”
- A place for the cool kids—“I’m on a highway to hell” (AC/DC)
SO WHAT IS HELL?
- Mentioned 14 times in the New Testament as the word “Gehenna” (Geh-Hen-Na)
- Old Testament description for hell is “valley of Hinnom,” a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem, and also the primary place of idol worship which is fitting because hell is a place to worship anything/anyone besides God. 2
HELL IS A PHYSICAL PLACE.
Matthew 13:49-50 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jude 1:7 Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
2. WHO GOES TO HELL?
No one goes to hell who doesn’t choose to go to hell.
IT IS NOT OUR JOB TO DECIDE WHO IS IN HEAVEN AND WHO IS IN HELL.
Matthew 7:1-2 1Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
GOD HAS GIVEN EVERYONE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EITHER RECEIVE OR REJECT ETERNAL LIFE.
Romans 1:18-20 18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
- Rejection: “the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.”3
3. HOW DOES GOD FEEL ABOUT HELL? GOD DOESN’T FIND PLEASURE IN SENDING PEOPLE TO HELL.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
- For many people, this question can be a make or break in their relationship with God:
- “If God is all powerful (can do whatever He wants to do), why doesn’t He just do away with Hell?”
- If you remove choice, you remove relationship. God has given us the opportunity to choose repentance and relationship with Him, which means we also have the opportunity to reject Him.
- Our flesh (Sinful Nature) drives us towards Hell (rejection of God), but God’s love and mercy calls us towards eternal relationship with Him.
HELL WAS CREATED FOR SATAN AND HIS ARMY.
Matthew 25:41 Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Does my definition of Hell line up with God’s?
- Does the truth of hell drive me to share the gospel with others?
- Is there anyone I have given up on? “There is no way they will ever turn to Jesus…”
- Have I been trying to serve two masters? (See Matthew 6:24)
QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS IN LIFE GROUP OR WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS:
Passages to consider: Luke 16:19-31; Revelations 20:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2
- What from the sermon was impactful or insightful to you?
- Look at Luke 16:19-31. What do you observe about what the rich man experiences after death? List as many things as you can.
- How does Jesus’ description differ, if at all, from what you have understood about hades/hell? A) How does knowing the realities of hell impact, motivate, or concern you? If you have questions, feel free to use [email protected]
- Conversations about eternity, heaven, and hell can be heavy. To those who believe and follow Jesus, there is comfort and confidence because of the heart of God and the grace He has given through the death and resurrection of Jesus. What confidence have you gained through this series?
- This topic also needs to move us to compassion and concern for our fellow humans—hell is real, eternity is long, and now is the time to choose Jesus. For whom do you have compassion and concern? Be specific. Ask God to give you His heart for that person. B) How can you be a part of bringing good news to that person?