You have probably heard, read, and watched a number of individuals who “visited” hell then returned to tell the tale. I am not here to invalidate their experiences. But I would still check their subjective stories based on the objective and authoritative word of God.
There are a number of religious cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventist who doesn’t believed in a literal hell fire. This is because of their view that since God is a God of love why will He throw a person in an everlasting torment. Both groups that deny the soul of a person continues to exist in the next life even agree that the Greek word Hades refer to an underworld or netherworld.
The word Sheol refers to the word grave. (see Deut. 32:22) While the word Gehenna came from a Hebrew word “ge-hinnom” which means valley of Hinnom. The Greek word Tartarus refers to the deepest abyss in the compartment. (see 2 Pet. 2:4; Luk. 8:31)
If there is one doctrine that I can only remove from the Bible… it’s the doctrine of hell. I could not imagine my unbelieving love ones being there for all eternity forever and ever and ever through infinity and beyond.
But I need to face and embrace the truth of what the Lord Jesus Christ says about this place.
Yes, hell is real and hell is eternal!
There is no turning back when a person reached this place.
Sadly, people do not know what they’re saying if they ignore the agony, suffering, torture, pain, anguish, and excruciating pain that a place like this can do to them if they continue to reject the truth.
Remember the real story of Lazarus and the rich man? The apostle Luke documents the conversation of the rich man in hell and Abraham who is with Lazarus in paradise. This is despite there is a huge chasm in-between them.
19 “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 (ᾅδης) 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.'”
The fact of the matter is that Jesus talked about hell in his preaching more than the topic about heaven. I believed this is because He wanted to warn the people about this place of everlasting torment. A number of passages can be read which was uttered by the Lord Jesus Himself.
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell (γέεννα).
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell (γέεννα).
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (γέεννα).
No wonder, Jesus warned his hearers that they will die in their sins if they do not believe who He was, being Yahweh (I am). I would rather believe Jesus Christ who claimed to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life than anyone out there. No! The doctrine of purgatory is not Scriptural. Yes, unless a person believes and receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior just like the criminal on the cross then there is no way for him to enter paradise but only the fires of hell awaits him.
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”