Hell is an unavoidable topic in the book of Revelation. But more than that, Hell is an unavoidable topic throughout the Bible because it is a foundational truth that orthodox Christianity rests upon.
So, when we get to the passage of Revelation 20:1415, we should be humbled by the reality of Hell, but we shouldn’t be shocked that such a doctrine exists. If you’ve read through the Bible, especially the four Gospels, then you’ve already read a lot on what God has to say about Hell. In fact, Jesus talks about Hell more than anyone else in Scripture. That’s why we’ll start by looking at the passage for this week and then go through a list of 13 truths about Hell that can be drawn from Jesus’ teaching.
“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Jesus said, Only the Guilty Go to Hell
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the standard for righteousness. To be considered ‚Äònot guilty’ one must not only not commit murder; they must not be angry with others. One must not only not commit adultery; they must not lust in their heart. By that standard, and in considering the other commandments of the Bible, everyone has sinned, and everyone is guilty. Therefore, no innocent person has ever gone to Hell. Only the guilty go to Hell.
Jesus said, Hell is Serious
“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
This verse, in Matthew 5:29, shows that Jesus takes Hell seriously and so should we. Hell is nothing to joke about or take lightly. As a result, anything that leads a person toward Hell should be taken seriously.
Jesus said, Most People Go to Hell
This one is uncomfortable to think about, but in Matthew 7:14, Jesus said, “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life.” So, while it is heartbreaking to think about, there’s no way to get around what Jesus said. The majority of people on Earth will not put their faith in Jesus and will go to Hell.
Jesus said, Religious People Go to Hell
In Matthew 7:2123, Jesus shares the sobering picture of false prophets trying to get into Heaven, only to be turned away with Jesus responding, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” That means there are many people who act religious but don’t actually have a personal relationship with Jesus.
Jesus said, Hell is a Dark Place
At the end of the parable of the talents, in Matthew 25, Jesus gives a terrifying description of Hell as a place of eternal darkness.
“Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Jesus said, Hell Prompts us to Fear God
To fear God is to revere and respect Him. The Bible constantly refers to the importance of fearing God, even saying that it is the beginning of wisdom. Jesus continues this lesson in Matthew 10:28 by saying we should only fear God, for God is the only one who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.
Jesus said, Hell is Severe Suffering
Hell consists of torment and pain that we can’t even begin to comprehend. At one point, Jesus refers to Hell as a furnace of fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. No matter what jokes or cartoons make Hell out to be, it will always be a place of severe suffering.
Jesus said, Hell is for the Unrighteous
Those who remain in unrighteousness cannot be in communion with God. That’s why Hell is the place for every person who has not been cloaked in Jesus’ perfect righteousness.
Jesus said, Hell is for the Unprepared
As pointed out in the previous statement, we must be clothed in Christ in order to go to Heaven. Which is the point of the parable of the banquet in Matthew 22. In this parable, the dinner guests not dressed in wedding clothes (not clothed in Christ) were not welcomed into the banquet.
Jesus said, Hell is for the Religious Hypocrites
Jesus constantly sparred with and spoke against religious hypocrites. Then, in one of his harshest critiques of them, Jesus said to the hypocritical scribes and pharisees, “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?”
Jesus said, Hell Comes Unexpectedly
None of us can guarantee when we’ll die, and how long we’ll live is known by God alone. That’s why for many, Hell comes suddenly and unexpectedly.
Jesus said, Hell was Created to Punish Demons
Hell is an eternal fire that Satan and his demons will be banished to. This place and the torment that they’ll endure there is their punishment for their wicked ways.
Jesus said, Hell is the Opposite of Heaven
But thankfully, Hell isn’t all there is. There’s another, infinitely better place where one can spend eternity. This other option is described in Matthew 25:46.
“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Instead of eternal punishment, we can enjoy eternal life in Heaven. This other option brings hope, joy, and restoration. This other option is one we’ll explore with more depth next week.