What Does The Bible Say About Hell?

Is Hell real?  What is it like?  Who goes there?  Hell is a place of real, eternal, conscious torment under the righteous judgment of God.  It is mentioned over 160 times in the Bible, describing a place of real, ongoing punishment.  Over 150,000 people die every 24 hours an one’s eternity, whether in Heaven or Hell, is essential to consider. If you do not believe, trust in, and love Jesus Christ, we pray that God uses these truths to warn you of His holy wrath and justice so that He might stir you repent of your sin and trust in Christ.  If you are a biblical, born-again Christian, may the Lord use these truths to produce in you a passion for evangelism and missions and to deepen in you a gratitude for His mercy grace!

Why do people go to Hell?  God is righteous, holy and morally perfect.  He has revealed Himself to all of Creation.  People go to Hell because they have rebelled against God, dishonored God, and disobeyed His law (Romans 1:18-23; 2:15-16).  Mankind has no excuse.  Humanity has demonstrated a willingness and choice to ignore God (James 1:13-16).  Since they have violated the law in their rebellion, punishment and justice must be given (Romans 3:10,23, 5:12, 6:23; John 3:18).

What about people who have never heard about Jesus and the Gospel?  Will they go to Hell?  God tells us in Acts 4:12 that there is only one name by which we may obtain salvation, the name of Jesus.  He also explains in John 14:6 that none can come to God the Father except through Jesus.  We also learn in 1 John 2:23 that confession of the Son (Jesus) is required to have a relationship with the Father.  A most powerful passage concerning evangelism comes in Romans 10 where Paul shares his desire for his unbelieving friends to come to faith, acknowledging that:

“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’”  (Romans 10:13-15 ESV)  

Whenever we realize that people who have not heard and confessed Jesus as Lord are still under God’s wrath and headed towards Hell, we must be motivated to go and preach the Gospel.  The best question is not, “Why do people who have never heard about Jesus go to Hell?” but rather “Why have we not told everyone about Jesus?”

Common Objection: “I don’t believe in Hell” or “My god is a god of love who wouldn’t send someone to Hell.”  Making up a god of your own imagination is idolatry and a violation of God’s second commandment (Exodus 20:4-6).  Just because you have your own opinion about Hell and God doesn’t make your opinion valid or true.  You could go stand blindfolded in the midst of a highway with a big rig barreling your way proclaiming “I don’t believe in 18 wheelers” but it would not change the reality of your impending fate.  Trust the Creator of the universe.  He is who He says He is.  God is real.  Heaven is real.  Hell is real.  The Bible is the most accurate book in all of history and God clearly, patiently, and lovingly warns us about Hell so that we might repent and turn to Him and thus experience everlasting life instead of everlasting death and destruction.

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.  (2 Peter 3:9 ESV)

God … desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

What are some of the Biblical descriptions of Hell?

  • Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth (Matthew 24:51)
  • Eternal Separation from God (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
  • Forever Destruction and Punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9, Matthew 25:46)
  • Never-ending Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Torment (Revelation 14:10-11)
  • Conscious Pain, Thirst, Sorrow (Luke 16:19-31)
  • Under God’s Wrath and Fury (John 3:36, Romans 2:8-9)
  • Constant Fire (Matthew 3:12, Mark 9:43-48, Luke 3:17, Jude 7)
  • Undying Worms (Mark 9:48)
  • Utter Darkness (Jude 13)
  • Shame and Contempt (Daniel 12:2)
  • Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10, 14-15; 21:8)
  • Second Death (Revelation 21:8)
  • Destination for the Devil and Demons (Matthew 25:41)
  • No rest (Revelation 14:11)

Don’t just take our word for it…read some of the below Bible passages yourself…

  • Romans 1:20-21  For 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. [21] For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
  • Matthew 25:41, 46 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. … And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
  • Mark 9:43-48 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. [45] And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. [47] And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, [48] ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels [8] in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. [9] They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might
  • Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
  • Revelation 14:10-11 he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. [11] And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night…
  • Revelation 20:10, 14-15 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. …[14] Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. [15] And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
  • Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
  • John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
  • 2 John 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. 
  • 1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
  • Romans 2:15-16  They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them [16] on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
  • Luke 16:19-31 There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. [20] And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, [21] who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. [22] The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, [23] and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. [24] And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ [25] But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. [26] And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ [27] And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house—[28] for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ [29] But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ [30] And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ [31] He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’

We do not like discussing Hell because it is an overwhelming reality, but we can’t help but speak where God has so clearly spoken.  Our hope in considering your eternity or the eternity of others is that you might more passionately and loving consider, believe, and share the truths of Christ.  


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