Yes, Mandy, there really is a Hell

 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Matthew 10:28

Our first summer in camping ministry, we had a potpourri of counselors from various church backgrounds.  One tall slim girl named Mandy grew up Lutheran and knew her Bible well.  As Mandy spoke with her campers during Bible study one week, the topic of hell came up. Mandy shared what she had learned from God’s Word.  When one of the campers went home, she told her parents, who told their pastor, who told the superintendent of camps at the head office, who called my husband to say our “counselors were not allowed to talk about hell since some churches don’t believe in it!” 

whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.  Matthew 5:22 (NKJV)

We were astounded!  Yet being new to camping ministry and young Christians ourselves, we encouraged the counselors to just keep the focus on Jesus in their Bible studies.  But if there is no hell, why does anyone need Jesus who came to save us from our sins so that we won’t go to hell?!!  Well, I can tell you, if we were in that situation again, we would pull out our Bibles and march down to the head office to show the leaders God’s Word.  And so, to paraphrase the famous line from the 1897 New York Sun editorial by the aptly named Francis Church, I reply, “Yes, Mandy, there really is a hell!  You were right all along!  Here is the proof I’ve found in God’s Word which does not lie.” Oh head office, know the truth and the truth will set you free!

The wicked shall be turned into hell,
And all the nations that forget GodPsalm 9:17 (NKJV)

Perhaps the best Bible story depicting hell is found in Luke 16:19-31. Here we meet a very poor man named Lazarus (a different Lazarus than the one Jesus’ raised from the dead). This Lazarus suffered throughout his life.  When he died, he went to Abraham’s bosom (a picture of being held in heaven in the arms of God).  At the same time, a wicked wealthy man died and was sent to hell.  From hell, this rich man could see across a large chasm into heaven, where Lazarus was being comforted on Abraham’s bosom.  The rich man begged for Lazarus to bring him some water, but Abraham said, “No, you had the good things during your lifetime, and besides there is this big chasm that separates us.”  The rich man begged for Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family about hell, but Abraham replied, If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.” And so the rich man was left in hell to suffer for all eternity (Luke 16:19-31). It is interesting that Jesus raises another Lazarus from the dead in John 11! And were any persuaded by this miracle to repent?  

If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  Psalm 139:8 (NKJV)

Oh, dear one, we don’t want this eternal torture for anyone, not our friends nor our family nor our worst enemies.  We want to bring them the Good News of God’s salvation through His only Son Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ)!  We want to show them through the scriptures how Moses pointed to a Savior.  Jesus is the Seed to crush satan’s head Whom God promised Adam and Eve in Genesis. He is the Passover Lamb who died for our sins in Exodus.  He is our High Priest and the Law fulfilled in Leviticus.  He is the Prophet foretold in Deuteronomy.  He is the Captan of our salvation in Joshua. He is the One the psalmist declared is poured out like water for all the world. He is the One wounded for our transgressions in Isaiah. He is the 4th person walking in the fire in Daniel. He is the ruler from Bethlehem as told by Micah.  He is Jesus Christ, the baby born to the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  He is Yeshua Messiah, who bore our sins on the cross that all who believe in Him will escape hell, have our sins washed into the depths of the sea, and live eternally in heaven, with Lazarus on Abraham’s bosom!  (Genesis 3:15, Exodus 12:21, Leviticus 21:10, Deuteronomy 18:15, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53:5, Daniel 3:25, Micah 5:2,Micah 7:19,  Luke 2:7, Luke 2:12, 1Peter 2:24,  Pastor Tim Sheets, “Knowing Him,” Oasis Church, November 26, 2023).

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Job 33:23-30  and Jude 24-25 and see there is HOPE! Jesus is our Mediator, the One who keeps us from the pit!  Jesus’ blood He shed for us on the cross washes us clean so that we can be in heaven with Him for all eternity. Our citizenship is in heaven!  Make your salvation certain today by calling on Jesus and confessing your sins. Rejoice in our great hope, dear one!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1Peter 1:3 (NKJV)

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9 (NKJV)

Hell and Destruction are before the Lord;
So how much more the hearts of the sons of men. Proverbs 15:11 (NKJV)

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.  Revelation 1:18 (NKJV)

If you’d like to learn more, you might enjoy reading We still need the Key and It is Finished and Leave no Doubt and My Dear Loved One. 

 …and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18 (NKJV)

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  John 20:28-29 (NKJV)

(See also Deuteronomy 32:22, Job 21:30, Job 26:6, Psalm 11:6, Psalm 21:9, Psalm 73:18-19, Psalm 140:10, Proverbs 1:12, Proverbs 5:5, Proverbs 7:27, Proverbs 9:18, Proverbs 23:14, Proverbs 27:20, Proverbs 15:24,  Proverbs 20:26, Isaiah 14:15, Isaiah 14:19, Daniel 12:2, Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 13:24-49,  Matthew 18:8-9, Matthew 23:33, Matthew 24:29-51, Matthew 25:30-46, Mark 9:42-48,  Luke 3:17, Luke 12:5, John 5:22-30, John 5:46-47, John 8:32, 2Thessalonians 1:8-9, 2Peter 2:4-11, 2Peter 2:17, James 3:6, Jude 23, Revelation 20:15)

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘In the day when it went down to hell, I caused mourning. I covered the deep because of it. I restrained its rivers, and the great waters were held back. I caused Lebanon to mourn for it, and all the trees of the field wilted because of it. I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to hell together with those who descend into the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the depths of the earth. They also went down to hell with it, with those slain by the sword; and those who were its strong arm dwelt in its shadows among the nations.  Ezekiel 31:15-17 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.