What Is Hell Like? (An Outline)

Bill Fling
Anaheim, California

Most folks in this country have heard of the place the Bible calls "hell." But few indeed have any real concept of what hell is like. To many it is just a word to use in a vile way when having an angry fit-to others no fit is required to use it. Some people think there is no such place or condition as hell. These individuals are unbelievers, simply refusing to believe the facts of God's words. Many of this class profess to believe in heaven, but deny the existence of hell. They are selective unbelievers-they believe the part of the Bible they want to, and disbelieve the rest.

What does the Bible say about the Greek word "gehenna" (hell)?

(1) There is such a place: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (gehennna)" (Matt. 23:33).

(2) It is the place of damnation for the condemned (Matt. 23:33).

(3) It is not suffered in this life, but rather after this life: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (gehenna) " (Matt. 10:28).

(4) Such damnation will begin, not immediately at death, but at the resurrection of all the dead: "Marvel not at this for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29).

(5) It is where the fire will never be quenched: ". . . to be cast into hell (gehenna) fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:47-48).

(6) The devil and his angels will also be 'punished there: ". . . Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41).

(7) Its punishment will torment the wicked for ever, which is the same time the righteous will enjoy eternal life: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous unto life eternal" (Matt. 25:46).

(8) Those who obey not the gospel will be thus punished: ". . . the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them who know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (2 Thess. 1 :7-9).

(9) The offenders in His kingdom will be there: "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdo:m all things that offend, and they which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 13:41).

(10) It is a place to be concerned about, in this life feared and avoided while we are in this life (Matt. 10:28).

We hope you will be interested enough in your soul to learn the truth, and obey it. If you show no fear of hell and no concern to really know the truth, you should answer to Jesus' question of Matt. 23:33, "How shall ye escape the damnation of hell?"

Truth Magazine, V:4, p. 24
January 1961