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1. Is there really such a thing as “hell”? Matthew 10:28 NKJV
“Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in . “
According to Jesus, hell is real. Sinners’ bodies, and not disembodied spirits, are destroyed in hell. Jesus says, “your whole body [will] be cast into hell” (Matthew 5:30). The word here is “Gehenna,” and was the name of a trash dump outside Jerusalem where garbage and carcasses of animals and criminals were burned or eaten by maggots. Jesus used “Gehenna” eleven times to describe the fate of the wicked.
2. Do the lost go directly to hell at death? Job 21:30-32 NKJV
“For the wicked are for the day of doom; they shall be out on the day of wrath.”
All the unsaved dead are “reserved” in the grave until the day they are “brought out” to be punished.
3. When are the unsaved brought out of their graves? John 5:28, 29 NKJV
“The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of “
There are two resurrections. The righteous are resurrected at Jesus’ return and taken to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). The wicked are resurrected at the end of the millennium in the second resurrection, called the resurrection of condemnation (Revelation 20:3-7).
4. What does Satan do when the lost are resurrected? Revelation 20:5, 7, 8 NKJV
“But the rest of the dead [the lost] did not live again until the thousand years were finished… Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.”
The second resurrection is for the unsaved to receive their judgment (Revelation 20:11-13). When Satan sees his subjects rise, he deceives them in a desperate last effort to attack God. (“Gog and Magog,” ancient foes of Israel, symbolize the resurrected enemies of God’s people through all time, “whose number is as the sand of the sea.”)
5. What happens when Satan attacks the city? Revelation 20:9 NKJV
“They went up on the breadth of the and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.”
With this last bold attack, sin is seen for what it really is—a threat to God and life itself—and God executes judgment upon the wicked. God is in charge of hell and not Satan. “Fire comes down from God.” Even “the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire” (verse 10). The Bible says hell is not currently in the center of the earth but is on the breadth or face of the earth at the end of the 1,000 years.
The Bible shatters popular myths about hell:
a. No one is in hell today. The unsaved rest in the grave until the second resurrection at the end of the 1,000 years (Job 21:30; Revelation 20:5, 7).
b. People enter hell with their bodies (Matthew 5:30 and 10:28).
c. Hell takes place at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:7-9).
d. Hell is on the face of the earth and not at earth’s center (Revelation 20:7-9).
e. God is in charge of hell, not Satan (Revelation 20:9).
f. Satan himself is cast into hellfire (Revelation 20:10).
6. What does the “fire and brimstone” do to Satan and sinners? Malachi 4:1-3 NKJV
“‘And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘That will leave them neither root nor branch… You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
The fires of hell will completely “burn up” those who have rejected God. Satan (the root of evil), and his followers (the branches), are reduced to ashes. The fire “devoured them” and “destroys both soul and body” (Revelation 20:9; Matthew 10:28).
7. What happens to Satan in hellfire? Ezekiel 28:18, 19 NKJV
“Therefore, I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you.”
This is thrilling news! Satan will be turned into ashes and “shall be no more forever” (verse 19). For thousands of years Satan has wreaked havoc and caused untold pain. Justice is finally served when he reaps in the fires of hell all the misery he has sown. His destruction will bring peace and security to the universe and we will never fear that Satan will cause affliction to “rise up a second time” (Nahum 1:9).
8. Will anyone escape this fire? Isaiah 47:14 NKJV
“The fire shall burn them; they shall not themselves from the power of the flame; it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before!”
There is no escape! The fire devours everything—not even a coal or ember remains. All is consumed into ashes.
9. What happens to the wicked after they are turned to ashes? Psalm 37:10, 20 NKJV
“For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no ; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more.”
“But the wicked shall and the enemies of the Lord, like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.”
The wicked perish; they cease to exist. They are turned into smoke and ashes. All evidence of their former existence is completely erased from the universe.
10. How long do the lost burn and do they suffer?
a. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also .” Galatians 6:7 NKJV
b. “There will be and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:41, 42NKJV
While hellfire devours the unsaved into ashes, it doesn’t mean their punishment is painless. Hell will be extremely terrifying, painful, and hot. God allows the pain, not because He is a sadistic monster, but because there is a universal law that what a person sows, they must reap. If we are Christ’s, Jesus paid the penalty for the sins we’ve sown. But if we aren’t, we pay the penalty for all our evil actions. The unsaved reap the same proportion of misery and pain that their sin caused others.
We don’t know exactly how long it will take for everyone to burn. For some their sin is not as great and they turn to ashes quickly. Others have caused vast pain, and justice demands they fully reap what they’ve sown. These burn longer. Jesus says the amount of punishment is proportionate to the guilt: “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few” (Luke 12:47, 48).
11. What will God do after the wicked are destroyed? Revelation 21:1 NKJV
“Now I saw a heaven and a earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”
After He erases all trace of sin, God re-creates this earth to be the home of the saved throughout eternity. Its beauty will outshine the original sinless earth, because now the throne of God is located here (Revelation 21:3).
12. How does God feel about the destruction of the unsaved? Ezekiel 18:23, 32 NKJV
“‘For I have no in the death of one who dies, ‘says the Lord God… ‘Therefore, turn and live!’”
In the popular version of hell, Satan paints God as a monster who tortures people forever in the flames. This lie has caused millions to reject God. But God doesn’t take pleasure in destroying sinners. He is a God of life and love. The Bible calls this “His unusual act” (Isaiah 28:21). God is doing everything possible to get us to turn from sin so we might live.
13. How does the Bible’s most famous verse explain the fate of the lost? John 3:16 NKJV
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not but have everlasting life.”
Only one group receives everlasting life—those who believe in Jesus. All others perish.
Eternal life is only for the saved. “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). The lost don’t have the Son and God doesn’t reward them with life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Everyone is destined for life in heaven or death in hell—NOT life in heaven or life in hell. This is why it is so vital we surrender our lives to Jesus now.
14. Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior and Lord so you can have eternal life?