The unbelief of mankind does not nullify God and His word.
Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 3:
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
There is no absolution in unbelief, there is no safety, there is no peace, no truth, neither is it a covering for man's naked soul.
II Timothy, Chapter 2, Verse 13:
If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
Regardless of whether man chooses to believe or not, God remains God and His word remains the truth and one day soon there will be a reckoning. You and I, independent of one another will stand before a living God. Only a fool would not find the above a very sobering thought. Now for today's subject:
GOD SAID Hell! God said there is a horrendous fire that burns in the lowest hell, deep in the heart of the earth.
Deuteronomy, Chapter 32, Verse 22
For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
Etymology, the history and study of words, has something known as the rule of first occurrence. Basically, it says the primary definition of a word is found in the context of its first use. The verse above is hell's first occurrence in God's Word. Eons before geologists plumbed the earth's depths God said "hell fire."
MAN SAID, "Ridiculous, there is no God. It's just religious superstition."
Today, hell is politically incorrect. Man rejects God's definition of hell. According to Professor S.J. Patterson of Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, a literal hell is "part of an understanding of the cosmos that just doesn't exist anymore."
Now, THE RECORD.
Years ago a manager of a furniture store bet me ten dollars that I couldn't prove the Bible teaches the idea of hell's damnation. First, I don't bet. My position was not a bet but simply a declaration of fact. I told him not only would I show him hell fire and damnation in the word of God but I would actually show a man in hell fire awaiting God's white-throne judgment. We went across the street to a library and I picked a King James Authorized Bible off the shelf and turned to Luke, Chapter 16, Verses 23-24:
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
I took his ten dollars and put it in the offering plate at church that night.
Most of today's theologians have written off or watered down the reality of hell. It's a shame none of these "wise" men were around to correct Jesus Christ about hell before he made such dramatic statements about it...if only the theologians could have gotten to Moses or David or Job or Isaiah or Ezekiel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, etc. before they made themselves look foolish teaching the doctrine of hell fire. Hell is a doctrine central to salvation. The Bible teaches two choices: obedience to God through Christ Jesus resulting in eternal glorious life or disobedience against God and His Christ, resulting in eternal punishment, which begins in hell fire and ends up in the lake of fire and a place called outer darkness. Hell is a terrible eternity and it rightfully should cause one to fear. The Word of God does teach that many are won by fear. It should come as no surprise that Satan, whose pleasure is to kill, steal and destroy, wants to eliminate man's fear of hell.
Hell is a very real geographical place and it is just as God has described.
In Discover Magazine, March 1999 issue, in a review of volcanoes, this comment was found:
The quakes shook loose the rock that had stopped up the volcano's plumbing. Through the newly cleared rocky pipes came an inferno of molten rock and boiling water driven upward by the intense pressures and temperatures of the inner earth miles below.
Imagine the tremendous heat necessary to convert rocks into boiling liquid. The title of another feature article in Discover Magazine was, "Geologists Are Now Probing the Earth's Deepest Secrets. The Center Of Its Core Seems To Be Hotter Than the Sun."
The lowest hell, this place of eternal torment is a real geographical place.
Many years ago the Osterhus Publishing House printed a story titled, "Forty-eight Hours In Hell." It is no longer possible to certify its validity but is has much Biblical accuracy with the exception of possibly confusing hell with the lake of fire. The story begins:
One of the most interesting cases of resuscitation that ever came to my knowledge was that of George Lennox, a notorious horse thief, in prison for stealing horses in Sedgwick County.
During the winter, while in prison, he worked in the coal mines. The place where he was working seemed dangerous to him. He reported the fact to the officer in charge, who made an examination, and deciding that the room was safe, ordered Lennox back to his work. The convict obeying, had not continued his work more than an hour when the roof fell in and completely buried him. He remained in this condition for fully two hours. He was missing at dinner time, and a search was instituted for the absent convict. He was found under this heap of rubbish. Life was extinct.
He was taken to the top, and on examination by the prison physician was pronounced dead. His remains were carried to the hospital where he was washed and dressed preparatory to interment. His coffin was made and brought into the hospital. The chaplain had arrived to perform the last rites prior to burial. Two of the prisoners were ordered by the hospital steward to lift the corpse from the boards and carry it across the room and place it in the coffin. They obeyed, one at the head and the other at the feet, and were about halfway across the room when the one at the head accidentally stumbled over a cuspidor, lost his balance and dropped the corpse. The head of the man struck the floor, and to the utter surprise and astonishment of all present, a deep groan was heard. Soon the eyes opened and other appearances of life were manifested.
The physician was immediately sent for, and by the time he arrived some thirty minutes later the "dead" man had called for a cup of water and was in the act of drinking. The coffin was at once removed and was later used for the burial of another convict. His burial robes were taken from him, and the prison garb substituted.
On examination he was found to have one of his legs broken in two places, and was otherwise bruised. He remained in the hospital some six months and again went to work. I learned of his experience while apparently dead, soon after, from a fellow miner. Prompted by curiosity, I longed for an acquaintance with Lennox to get his experience from his own lips. This opportunity was not offered for months. At last it came.
After being removed from the mines, I was detailed to one of the prison offices to make out some annual reports. The subject of this man's return to life was being discussed one day when he happened to pass by the door and was pointed out to me. It was not long until I had a note in his hand and asked him to come where I was at work. He did so, and here I got well acquainted with him, and from his own lips received his wonderful story. He is a young man, probably not over thirty years of age. He is not a hardened criminal, is possessed of a very good education and very bright.
Being a shorthand reporter, I took his story from his dictation. "I had a presentiment all morning that something terrible was going to happen. I was so uneasy on account of my feelings that I went to my mining boss, Mr. Grason, and told him how I felt, and asked him if he would come and examine my 'coal room,' the place where I was digging coal. He came and seemed to make a thorough examination and ordered me back to work, saying there was no danger, that he thought I was being 'cranky.'
"I returned to my work and had been digging away for something like an hour when, all of a sudden, it grew dark. Then it seemed as if a great iron door swung open and I passed through it.
"The thought then came to my mind that I was dead and in another world. I could see no one, nor hear a sound of any kind. For some reason unknown to me, I moved away from the doorway and came to the bank of a river. It was not dark, neither was it light.
"I had not remained on the bank of this river very long until I could hear the sound of oars in the water, and soon a person in a boat rowed up to where I was standing. I was speechless. He looked at me for a moment and then he said he had come for me, and told me to get into the boat and row across to the other side. I obeyed. Not a word was spoken. I longed to ask him who he was and where I was. My tongue seemed to cling to the roof of my mouth. I could not say a word. Finally we reached the opposite shore. I got out of the boat, and the boatman vanished from sight.
"Thus left alone, I knew not what to do. Looking out before me, I saw two roads which led through a dark valley. One of these was a broad road, and seemed to be well traveled. The other was a narrow path that led off in another direction. I instinctively followed the well-beaten road. I had not gone far when it seemed to grow darker. Now and then, however, a light would flash up from the distance, and in this manner I was lighted on my journey.
"Presently I was met by a being that it is utterly impossible for me to describe. I can only give you a faint idea of his dreadful appearance. He resembled a man somewhat, but much larger than any human being I ever saw. He must have been at least ten feet high. He had great wings on his back. He was black as the coal I had been digging and in perfectly nude condition.
"He had a large spear in his hand, the handle of which must have been fully fifteen feet in length. His eyes shone like balls of fire. His teeth, white as pearl, seemed fully an inch long. His nose, if you could call it a nose, was very large, broad and flat. His hair was very coarse, heavy and long. It hung down on his massive shoulders. His voice sounded more like the growls of a lion in a menagerie than anything I can recall.
"It was during one of these flashes of light that I first saw him. I trembled like an aspen leaf at the sight. He had his spear raised as if to send it flying through me. I suddenly stopped. With that terrible voice I seem to hear yet, he bade me follow him—that he had been sent to guide me on my journey. I followed him. What else could I do?
"After he had gone some distance a huge mountain seemed to rise up before us. The part facing us seemed perpendicular, just as if a mountain had been cut in two and one part of it had been taken away. On this perpendicular wall I could read distinctly these words, 'This is hell.' My guide approached this perpendicular wall and with his spear handle gave three loud raps. A large massive door swung back and we passed in. I was then conducted through what appeared to be a passage through this mountain.
"For some time we traveled in Stygian darkness. I could hear the heavy footfalls of my guide and thus could follow him. All along the way I could hear deep groans, as someone dying. Further on these groans increased, and I could distinctly hear the cry for water, water—water! Coming down to another gateway, and passing through, I could hear, it seemed, a million voices in the distance, and the cry was for water!
"Presently another door opened at the knock of my guide, and I found that we had passed through the mountain and now a broad plain lay out before me.
"At this place my guide left me, to direct other lost spirits to the same destination.
"I remained in this open plain for some time, when a being similar to the first one came to me; but instead of a spear he had a large sword. He came to tell me of my future doom. He spoke with a voice that struck terror to my soul. 'Thou art in hell,' said he; 'for thee all hope is fled. As thou passed through the mountain on thy journey hither, thou didst hear groans and shrieks of lost souls as they called for water to cool their parched tongues. Along that passage there is a door that opens into the lake of fire. This is soon to be thy doom. Before thou art conducted to this place of torment, never more to emerge—there is no hope for those who enter there—thou shalt be permitted to remain in this open plain, where it is granted to all the lost to behold what they might have enjoyed, instead of what they must suffer.'
"With this I was left alone. Whether the result of the terrible fright through which I had passed, I know not but now I became stupefied. A dull weakness took possession of my frame. My strength departed from me. My limbs refused longer to support my body. Overcome, I now sank down a helpless mass. Drowsiness now took control of me. Half awake, half asleep, I seemed to dream.
"Far above me and in the distance I saw the beautiful City of which we read in the Bible. How wonderfully beautifully beautiful were its walls of jasper! Stretching out and away in the distance, I saw vast plains covered with beautiful flowers. I, too, beheld the river of life and the sea of glass. Vast multitudes of angels would pass in and out through the gates of the City, singing, oh, such beautiful songs. Among them I saw my dear old mother who had died a few years ago because of my wickedness. She looked toward me and seemed to beckon me to her, but I could not move.
"There appeared to be a great weight upon me that held me down. Now a gentle breeze wafted the fragrance of those flowers to me, and I could now, more plainly than ever, hear the sweet melody of angel voices, and I said, 'Oh, that I might be one of them.'
"As I was drinking of this cup of bliss it was suddenly dashed from my lips. I was aroused from my slumbers. I was brought back from my happy dreamland by an inmate of my dark abode, who said to me that it was now time to enter upon my future career. He bade me follow him.
"Retracing my steps, I again entered the dark passage way, and followed my guide for a time, when we came to a door that opened in the side of the passage, and going along this, we finally found ourselves passing through another door, and lo! I beheld the lake of fire.
"Just before me I could see, as far as the eye could reach, the literal lake of fire and brimstone. Huge billows of fire would roll over, each other, and great waves of fiery flame would dash against each other and leap high in the air like the waves of the sea during a violent storm. On the crest of the waves, I could see human beings rise, but soon to be carried down again to the lowest depths of the lake of fire. When borne on the crest of these awful billows for a time, their curses against a just God would be appalling, and their pitiful cries for water would be heart-rending. This vast region of fire echoed and re-echoed with the wails of these lost spirits.
"Presently I turned my eyes to the door through which I had a few moments before entered, and I read these awful words: 'This is thy doom, eternity never ends.' Shortly I began to feel the ground give way beneath my feet, and I soon found myself sinking down into the lake of fire. An indescribable thirst for water now seized upon me. And calling for water, my eyes opened in the prison hospital.
"I have never told this experience of mine before, for fear the prison officials would get hold of it and think me insane, and lock me up in the crankhouse. I passed through all this, and I'm sure there's a heaven and there is a hell, a regular old-fashioned hell, the kind the Bible tells about. But there is one thing certain, I am never going to that place any more.
"As soon as I opened my eyes in the hospital and found that I was alive and on earth once more, more, I immediately gave my heart to God, and I am going to live and die a Christian. While the terrible sight of hell can never be banished from my memory, neither can the beautiful things of heaven that I saw."
The only way to escape this terrible doom is through total repentance and the surrender of your carnal soul unto the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, who has the keys of hell and death (Revelation 1:18). Jesus Christ is the redeemer of all those who believe upon his name. What you do about Christ will be the most crucial decision you will make in your entire life. That decision will dictate where you spend eternity. Please click on to "Further With Jesus" on this web site for the details.
GOD SAID, "Hell fire."
MAN SAID, "Ridiculous, there is no God. It's just religious superstition. Today, hell is politically incorrect."
Now you have THE RECORD.
King James Bible.
Sheler, J. L., "Hell Hath No Fury," U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 31, 2000.
"How Volcanoes Spit Out Hurricanes," Discover Magazine, March 1999.
"Forty-eight Hours In Hell," Osterhus Publishing House.