The Gates of Hell - The Difficult Matter of Hell

A Sermon on Hell

Objections to the Concept of Hell

Why can’t God simply annihilate the evildoers, instead of eternal punishment?

Why can’t Hell be a short-term punishment instead of an eternal one?

Why doesn’t God try to reform sinners rather than punishing them forever?

Is eternal damnation an overkill for temporary sins?

How can anyone be happy in heaven if a Loved One Is in Hell?

Why Did God Create People if he knew that they were bound for Hell?

If people are born as sinners how can they be blamed?

How can a loving God send people to Hell?


Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people living for today - John Lennon, Imagine. 1971

A. The Existence of Hell

The existence of hell has been defended by arguments both from Scripture and from human reason.

1. Evidence from Scripture

2. God’s Justice Demands a Hell

Romans 2:6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”11 For God does not show favoritism.

Genesis 18:25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

Habakkuk 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.

Psalm 73:3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.


3. God’s Sovereignty demands a Hell

1 Cor. 15:24–25 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.


4. God’s Redemptive plan indicates the presence of Hell

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Rom 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Hebrews 13:12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.


5. Love Demands a Hell

1 John 4:16 …. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

Matt. 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.


“the Irresistible and the Indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of his scheme forbids him to use. Merely to override a human will … would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo” CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done’” CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters

B. Pictures of Hell

Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.


Revelation 20:7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison.


Matt 5:25–26 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Those who believe in a salvation by works, will be working infinitely to pay off the debt.

Matt 8:12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

2 Pet. 2:17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.


Matt 25:41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

2 Thess. 1:7–9 This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.


C. Inhabitants

2 Peter 2:4,9 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; …then the Lord knows how to … hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.


2 Thess. 1:8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.


D. The Punishment

1. Eternal

Matt. 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matt. 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Rev. 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

2. Conscious


Phil 1:21-23 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;

Luke 16:23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.

3. Suffering

Luke 16::22-24 The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

Rev. 2:11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Heb 9:27 … people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

Luke 16:27-28 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

“Do you want to take a leap of faith or become an old man filled with regret waiting to die alone?” Saito (Ken Watanabe) asks Cobb (Leonardo di Caprio), Inception, 2010

Matt. 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Mark 12:38-40

38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” .

Luke 16:26 between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

Last thing I remember I was running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before "Relax", said the night man "We are programmed to receive You can check out any time you like But you can never leave" Eagles, Hotel California, 1977

Revelation 20:14-15

14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


#hell #heaven #sin #evil #justice #punishment #sovereignty #eternal #suffering #escape #salvation


Photo by David Werbrouck on Unsplash

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