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This was an out-of-body experience, which comes under the classification of a vision. I didn’t die. In Acts 2:17 it says, “…and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” God is giving people visions today because His Word says He will. This wasn’t a near-death experience. I don’t fit the scenario in Luke 16, as I didn’t come back from the dead. I’m not trying to persuade anyone with my testimony, but only to point them to the Word of God.
As Paul said in 2 Cor. 12:1-2, in his vision he said, whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell. He didn’t know, where as I was simply shown. In Ez. 8:3, Ezekiel was picked up by his hair and carried from Babylon to Jerusalem in his vision. In verse 8 he dug through a wall. In Ez. 3:2 he ate a scroll, and it was in his mouth as honey for sweetness. In verse 14 he went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit. In verse 13, he heard the noise. In 3:3 it says, cause thy belly to eat. In 11:1, the spirit lifted me up and brought me unto the east gate. You can see that he had hair, a mouth, a belly. He could taste, hear, feel bitterness, dig through a wall. He had a spiritual body that in every way resembled our physical body. In Acts 12:9, Peter was released from prison and thought he was in a vision. He couldn’t tell the difference.
In Revelation 5:5 and 10:10, John talked to an elder, he ate and his belly became bitter. He wept and he talked back, and all heard him. He was in the spirit (vs. 4:2). In Genesis 15:1-5, Abraham had a vision and the Lord brought him forth abroad. He also traveled in his vision. In Job 7:14 it says, you scare me with dreams and terrifies me through visions. You do have a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44). Matt. 10:28 says, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Prov. 1:12 says, Let us swallow them up alive as the grave (Heb. “sheol”), and whole as those who go down into the pit. Ez.32:27 talks about those who have gone down into the pit and mentions, his iniquities shall remain upon his bones. He has bones. In a vision, you can experience things the same as you could in our physical bodies.
There are two examples of individuals in the Bible who actually experienced hell (sheol or hades). In Luke 16, the richman was in hell (hades), which is the current hell, not the future lake of fire. He was concerned about his brothers coming there. Some people believe this is a parable. This was not a parable for two reasons: First, no parable in the Bible mentions the name of any specific person. Luke 16 mentions three names: Abraham, Moses and Lazarus. Second, Jesus saidin verses 25 and 29, “and Abraham said.” If this was a parable,then Abraham wouldn’t have actually “said” anything. Jesus is actually quoting Abraham. Jesus would have been lying when He said, “Abraham said.”
In Jonah 2:2, it states, out of the belly of hell cried I. In Jonah 2:6, the earth with her bars was about me forever. The Tyndale Old Testament Commentary states, Jonah is on the verge of entering Sheol, and like a Palestinian city, Jonah views the underworld as having a gate which was locked secure by bolts and bars. (pgs. 114-116)
In the New International Commentary it states on pages 216-217, “he had been in Sheol’s belly. Sheol, the world of the dead, is depicted as a monster in whose maw Jonah was trapped. He was as good as dead before Yahweh graciously answered his appeal. Also, the gates of hell prevailed against him, clanging shut with a terrible finality or so it seemed.” Here is a believer that was either inside the gates or just outside the gates of Sheol. I pointed this out to show that there is someone in the Bible who experienced Sheol. This is not in any way to compare my experience with this great prophet or the others, but merely to establish a scriptural basis for my experience.
Two different individuals experienced hell firsthand. One was condemned to hell for eternity. The other was not.
In Luke 16, the rich man was in hell (hades), which is the current hell, not the future lake of fire. He was concerned about his brothers coming there. Some people have asked if this is a parable. This was not aparable for two reasons: First, no parable in the Bible mentions the name of any specific person. Luke 16 mentions three names: Abraham, Moses and Lazarus. Second, Jesus said in verse 25 and 29 “and Abraham said.” If this was a parable, then Abraham wouldn’t have actually “said” anything. Jesus is actually quoting Abraham. Jesus would have been lying when He said “Abraham said.
”In Jonah 2:2, it states, “out of the belly of hell cried I.” In Jonah 2:6, “the earth with her bars was about me forever.” The Tyndale Old Testament Commentary states, Jonah is on the verge of entering sheol, and like a Palestinian city, Jonah views the underworld as having a gate, which was locked secure by bolts and bars (pgs. 114-116).In the New International Commentary it states on pages 216-217, “he had been in sheol’s belly.” Sheol, the world of the dead, is depicted as a monster in whose maw Jonah was trapped. He was as good as deadbefore Yahweh graciously answered his appeal. Also, “the gates of hell prevailed against him, clanging shut with a terrible finality or so it seemed.” Here is a believer that was either inside the gates or just outside the gates of sheol. I pointed this out to show that there is someone in the Bible who experienced sheol. This is not in any way to compare my experience with this great prophet or the others, but merely to establish a scriptural basis for my experience.
In Matthew 12:31-32 the Pharisees had blasphemed against the Spirit by attributing the power by which Christ did miracles to Satan (12:24) instead of the Holy Spirit. The unpardonable sin is the deliberate refusal to acknowledge God’s power in Christ even though they saw it with their own eyes. They knew it was a miracle, but they attributed this to the power of Satan. That is the unpardonable sin.
If you personally witness an absolute miracle and you say the devil is responsible, then you have committed this sin. It indicates a deliberate and irreversible hardness of heart. Sometime believers worry that they accidentally committed this unforgivable sin. But only those who have turned their backs on God and rejected all faith have any need to worry.
I am aware that Rev 20:10 states, “The devil was cast into the lake of fire and tormented day and night, forever and ever”. This is the verse some quote to back this belief. However, that time has obviously not yet come, and takes place after the thousand years (millennium), according to the verse and verse 7.
Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown’s Commentary, pg 1583, re: Rev 20:1-2, “…is followed by the binding of Satan himself for a thousand years…he is now to be made to feel himself the torment which he had inflicted on men, but his full torment is not until he is cast into the “lake of fire.”
Mt. 8:29, where the demons asks Jesus, “Hast thou come hither to torment us before the time.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary, pages 1652-1653, states “There is a time in which devils will be more tormented than they are, and they know it. The great assize at the last day is the time fixed for their complete torture…for the judgment of that day they are reserved…They will then be made close prisoners. They have now some ease; they will then be in torment without ease. It is their own enmity to God and man that puts them upon the rack, and torments them before the time.”
Matthew 18:34 says, “Delivered him to the tormentors.” Notice the next verse says, “so my Heavenly Father also will do unto you.” The question is, “Who are the “tormentors?”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary, page 1709, 16th printing, regarding Matthew 18:34
“Devils, the executioners of God’s wrath, will be their tormentors forever.”
The Parallel Commentary on the New Testament, page 72, regarding Matt.18:34:
John Wesley states, “His pardon was retracted, the whole debt required, and the offender delivered to the tormentors forever.”
Luke 12:47 says, Beaten with many stripes, or beaten with few.
Parallel Commentary, page 76: Re: this verse
John Wesley states, “For the executioners of God’s vengeance are at hand, and when he has once delivered you over to them, you are undone forever.”
Ps 50:22 says, “ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary, page 816: Re: this verse
“Those that will not consider the warnings of God’s word will certainly be torn to pieces by the executioners.” Who are the “executioners?”
The Vine’s on pg. 300 states, “The abode of condemned souls and devils. The underworld place or state of torture and punishment for the wicked after death, presided over by Satan.”
If you have repented for your sins, as The Bible says to do in Luke 13:3, and acknowledged that Jesus is the Son of God (John 14:6, 1Tim.2:5, John 6:27,33, John 3:36, 1John 5:12, John 10:30, John 8:58, Heb 1:2, 1Cor.15:3-4) and asked Him into your life, then you are saved. If you have done Rom. 10:9 -10, then you can have the assurance that you are saved. It is not by our works, or by being good that gets us saved. We can never be “good enough” to earn our salvation and gain Heaven (Tit.3:5, Eph.2:8-9). We all are sinners (Rom.3:23, Rom.3:10). Salvation is a free gift (John 3:16). We can all have God’s full assurance of our salvation (1John 3:19, Heb 6:11-12, Heb.10:22, 1Thes.1:5, Col.2:2, Acts 17:31, 2Tim 3:14.)
God’s great grace (His power, His ability, His empowerment) enables us to resist sin in our lives. It’s not in our strength, but His. If we try to keep God’s Word in our own strength, we fall from grace (Heb.12:15) and keep struggling. It’s important to listen to sound, biblical teaching about God’s grace and understand that as a believer, you already are the righteousness of God in Christ – it doesn’t matter how you feel or what trash the devil condemns you with. Jesus already paid the price and HE alone is the one who makes us holy, keeps us holy because we are made “right with God” by His blood. We can do NOTHING to earn God’s approval or love — we already have it whether we behave godly or ungodly. His love for us doesn’t change. Simply ask His forgiveness (1John 1:9). If you keep identifying yourself as a no-good, defeated sinner instead of identifying yourself with Christ as an overcomer (Rev.12:11), as righteous, as forgiven (Col.1:12-14; 2:14-15) and greatly loved (1John 3:1; 4:19; John 3:16), you’ll always be struggling with sin. Struggle is rooted in fear; not rooted in love! (1John 4:17-18) The fact that you still have ungodly desires or fail does not mean you are not saved. You simply need to grow in the things of God. There is a difference between being spiritually immature and living in direct rebellion to God. Do you want to stop struggling with sin or do you want to practice sin and have nothing to do with God? The number one way is to renew your mind by reading the Word of God – esp. the New Testament. We encourage you to read it out loud engaging your hearing (Rom.10:17). Listen to faith-filled, solid Bible teaching on CD, DVD or via the internet. It is also very important to pray, attend a strong Bible-teaching Church, fellowship with committed Christians, and stay away from those who do not know Him and practice sin (Prov.3:7; Ps.1:1-6; Prov. 4:23).
We all need God’s help or grace to live in victory. We all need to stay in His Word, read it every day and stay in relationship with Him. It then gets much easier to stay out of sin. We can actually grow spiritually to a point where we hate sin and it comes to repulse us. (Pr.8:13; Ps.119:104). The more we get to know Jesus, the more we will desire to please Him who forgave us. It’s not out of duty or obligation, but from a zeal in our hearts to please Him and follow His plan for our lives.
As far as your past, the Bible says in Phil.3:13-14, “Forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before, I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Don’t be discouraged! Spiritual growth is a process – it’s not instant. This growth happens as we DO what His Word says – by His grace. However, it is your choice to change your mind and begin taking action to receive God’s strength and victory by faith. Receive His help, His mercy, His grace and power to work in your life by faith, just as you did to get saved. Start today.
No, it is not. It is an actual geographical location, just as Heaven is.
It is located in the center of the earth currently, according to 49 different verses in the Bible. I will list 10 verses here:
1. Ez. 26:20 – lower parts of the earth
2. Num. 16:32-33 – earth opened her mouth down to sheol.
3. Is. 14:9-10 – hell from beneath
4. Amos 9:2 – though thou dig into hell
5. Is. 5:14 – hell, they shall descend into it
6. Ez. 31:14 – lower parts of the earth, with those who descend
7. Ps. 63:9 – lower parts of the earth
8. Matt. 12:40 – so shall the Son of man be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth 9. 1 Sam 28:13 – I saw gods ascending out of the earth
10. Luke 16:22-23 – Abraham’s bosom and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
In John 14:2 – Jesus said He “goes to prepare a place for you.” The word forplace in the Greek is “topos,” which means “geographical location.” So Heaven is an actual place. Now in Matt. 25:46 Jesus says, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” In this verse, He compares the one to the other. In other words, you can’t have one group going to a geographical location and the other to a “state of mind.”
Also, in Luke 16, the rich man was separated by a “great gulf fixed.” That is a geographical description – not a state of mind.
Jesus descended to the lower parts of the earth, and spent 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth. (Eph. 4:9; Matt. 12:40).
1 Sam. 28:14-16 mentions Samuel ascending out of the earth. Samuel was in Abraham’s bosom, which was the same place in Luke 16 where the rich man was separated from Abraham and Lazarus.
Rev. 5:13 mentions everyone in Heaven, and on the earth and those under the earth, same as Phil. 2:10 After Judgment Day, Death and Hell will be cast into the lake of fire, (Rev. 20:13-14) into outer darkness (Matt. 25:30). In Rev. 9:2, the demons come up from the bottomless pit during the tribulation period and smoke comes up with them and darkens the sky. It is real smoke from a real fire down in the earth.
In Ez. 31:16, it mentions, “Down to hell, with them that descend into the pit” in the nether parts of the earth. The word “nether,” according to Strong’s Concordance means “lower, depths, below sometimes referring to the underworld.”
This is only a brief answer. There can be many reasons. Please ask yourself the following questions:
1) Have I ever participated in an occult activity?
2) Do I have an occult or abominable object in my home? (see Deu. 18:10-13)
3) Do I hold unforgiveness, resentment or bitterness towards anyone or towards God?
4) Am I in rebellion against authority? (parents, employer, pastor, etc.)
5) Am I living in sin – practicing sin?
6) Do I hold attitudes of prejudice or anti-semitism?
7) Do I dishonor my parents?
8) Am I legalistic? Do I try to “add any extra condition for achieving righteousness” other than what God’s Word says?
9) Do I talk in line with what God’s Word says? Do I speak well of others or do I gossip and slander others? Do I complain a lot? Do I speak fearful or worry-filled words on a regular basis?
10) Do I watch “dark” movies or play “dark” computer games or listen to “dark” music?
If you answer “yes,” confess your sin to the Lord, ask His forgiveness and then take action to rid yourself of ungodly associations, movies, music and/or objects. Renounce any involvement with evil. Ask the Lord to cleanse you with His Blood (1 John 1:9). Attend a Bible-teaching church, read the Word of God daily, pray and fellowship with strong, committed Christians. Seek counsel from your Pastor.
He is not sending anyone to hell. All of us are already on the road to hell automatically. John 3:17-18 state that we are condemned already because we are born in sin (Ps.51:5, 143:2; Rom.3:10-12, 20, 23, 5:12). We all are automatically on that road to hell because we are sinners. That’s why He came – to get us off that road (John 12:47; Matt.7:13-14; John 6:40).
No. Let me give you an analogy:
Say you invited me over to dinner to your home. You tell me to “go south on Hwy 95, turn right at main street, go to the top of the hill, and you will arrive at my house. That is the only way to my home,” you explain. I then tell you, “I’m going to go north on 95, and turn right at Beach Blvd., because I think all roads lead to your house.” You explain, “Bill, you are not going to get to my house that way.” In the same way, God gives us clear directions to His house. I think God knows where He lives! All we have to do is follow His clear directions, and we will arrive there. That is not being narrow minded, but specific. God is attempting to get us TO His house, not keep us out.
You say, I don’t buy this “one way” business. You should stop your complaining there is only one way, and start being thankful that there IS a way.
Besides, say a doctor tells you that you have a disease and you are going to die. The only way you can live is if you take this pill, the only known cure. Would you refuse to take the pill simply because there is only one remedy? Well, mankind has a disease, and it is called sin. There is only one cure; Jesus Christ!
(Ps.51:2, 5, 58:3,143:2; Is.45:22; Hos.13:4; Matt.7:11, 13-14; John 3:36, 8:24, 9:37, 10:30, 36, 11:25, 26, 12:47, 14:6; Acts 4:12. 17:30; Rom.3:10, 5:8, 12, 14,18; 1 Cor.15:3-4; Gal.3:20-22; Eph.2:8-9; 2 Thes.1:9; 1Tim.1:15, 2:4-6; 1 John1:7-9, 5:11-12).
You wouldn’t even expect to get into another country saying, “Let me in, I’m a good person,” much less another Kingdom. You need the proper credentials. You need a passport or visa for another country, and you need a relationship with God if you want to enter into His Kingdom (Eph.2:8-9; Tit.3:5; Rom.3:10, 12, 20, 23, 28; Gal.2:16; 2 Tim.1:9).
Besides, God’s opinion of good and ours are two different things. God’s view of good is perfection (Jam.2:10; Ps.19:7; Hab.1:13). We would need to be perfect to gain entrance into His Kingdom on that basis. If we lie once, or steal once, or lust once, or even have one foolish thought, it is considered a sin. And that would exclude us. That’s a high standard. So let me ask you, do you meet those requirements? Are you perfect? Of course not; and not one of us is. Thank God it is not based on being “good,” but on a relationship. This analogy will help us understand: Say I knocked on the door of the most expensive home in the country and said to them; “excuse me but I’m moving in with you because I’m a “good” person!” What do you think the owners of that home would say? No, right; of course not. And we wouldn’t expect them to allow us to move in. They don’t know us. It’s not based on whether they are good or loving, or whether we are a good person. We have to have a relationship with them. In the same way, we have to have a relationship with Him. He is not our Father if we reject Jesus. He offers to be our Father throughout our whole life, but we are the ones who reject Him. So why would we expect to move into His house without knowing Him? We have no right (Rom.3:28; Eph.2:8-9; Tit.3:5; Gal.3:26; John1:12, 8:44, 17:9; Rom.9:7-8; Rev.21:8; 1 Cor.6:9; Eph. 5:5; Pr. 24:9). This relationship is our choice. What will you choose?
All people are not His children. As a matter of fact, if Jesus is not our Lord and Savior, then we have a Father, and it is not God. It is the Devil. Our father is actually the devil. I know that is strong language, but Jesus is the one who said it. The point is, God is our creator, but He is not our Father, until we ask forgiveness of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. We would not expect to live at someone’s house where we are not family, right?
In addition, if He is not so loving as your question insinuates, then why did He come and suffer an excruciating death on the cross in our place? What more could He do? In addition, God is just, and He deems hell a justifiable place for someone who rejects the provision He made (Jesus) for our sins.
If we say, “well I don’t believe the Bible.” Then just know that Rev.21:8 says all unbelievers will have their part in the lake of fire. Rev.20:15 states, “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Now we are warned, so at Judgment Day (Rev.20:13-14) we shouldn’t be surprised when He say’s, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire…” We will be without excuse because our own words condemn us. We either, obey the Heavenly Father and dwell in His house, or we obey the father of lies, and dwell in his house. It is our choice.
(1Chron.16:34; Ezra 7:9; Ps.119:66-68, 122:9, 143:10, 145:9; Matt.5:44-45, 7:13-14, 12:37, 13:41, 49; Luke 3:17, 6:35; John 1:12; 5:29, 8:44; 17:9;Rom.5:8, 9:7-8; 1Cor.15:3-4; Gal.1:4, 3:26, 4:19; Eph.1:5, 2:4-5, 5:1; 2 Thes.1:9-10; 1Tim.2:4-6)
Would you say that the leaders of our country are mean for constructing prisons?
No, you don’t have to go there. It’s your choice. When the first leaders came to this country, they did not have prisons in mind, but only the great opportunities this land had to offer. In the same manner, when God first made the earth and man, He saw the beauty and was happy to give it to man. He did not have hell in mind. Besides, Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, not for man (Matt.25:41). But if men reject the only way into heaven, there is no other place for the soul to go. The soul of man is eternal, because we are made in God’s image (Gen.1:26). Besides, sin must be punished (Rom.6:23), as God is a just God (Deut.32:4; Ps.96:13). He took out the punishment on Jesus on the cross (1Cor.15:3-4; Gal.1:4), but if we reject God’s provision for our sins, then we must take the punishment. It is our choice. We condemn ourselves to hell by our own words (Matt.12:37; Deut.30:19; Ps.86:5, 145:8-9; John 3:16; Rom.5:8, 18; 2Cor.5:21; Ps.9:17; Pr.11:19, 21; 2 Pet.2:9; Rev.20:13-15).
When hurricane Ike hit Texas, a certain newspaper read, “Certain death to those who do not vacate.” Would you say the writers of that article were “mean” for issuing the warning? No, you would be grateful. In the same way, God is giving us fair warning. You can heed His warning and live, or ignore it and die. (John15:6; Col.1:28; Matt.23:33, 37-38).
You are quick to point the finger when disaster strikes, but in all the good times you deny that He even exists, much less give Him thanks for those good times. Besides, there are at least five reasons evil and disaster strikes, and not one of those ways is because of God. I answer this in our book, “23 Questions about Hell,” and partially ahead (1Thes. 5:18; Ps.18:49, 30:12; Col.1:3, 12).
If there is no God, then why is there so much good in the world? (Ps.33:5; Jam.1:17; Luke 6:35, 12:32; Heb.6:5; 3 John 1:11)
The reasons why there is so much destruction in the world is because Satan is the god of this world (Luke 4:5-6; 2Cor.4:4). Jesus said the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come that you might have life, and that more abundantly (John 10:10). Destruction and death come from the demonic realm, and are a result of disobedience to God’s Word. Man has been given a free will, and many choose to rebel against God and not live according to His Word (Deut.30:19). Man harms his fellow man.
There is also the law of sowing and reaping (Gal.6:7). If man lives an evil life, then he will reap evil. There is also a Law of sin and death (Rom.8:2). Pr.13:21 says that evil pursues sinners. Evil is attracted to sin like metal is to a magnet. Evil will hunt an evil man down to destroy him (Ps.140:11). These spiritual laws operate just as effectively as the law of gravity. If someone steps off a roof top, it wasn’t God that pulled them down. It was the law of gravity. In the same way, the law of sin and death is operating, and sin will ultimately end in death (Rom.6:21, 23; Jam.1:15; 1John 5:16).
In addition, the earth itself rebels against sin. Sin causes the upheavals on the earth, such as flooding, earthquakes, tornados etc. So it is not God doing the destruction, but the spiritual laws that are in place, just as the physical laws are.
Ps.67:5, “Let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase.” This is why many nations are starving, because they do not praise the God of the Bible, so as a whole, the nation suffers.
Ps.68:6, “…the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” (no water, and lack of rain for those who rebel against God’s Word)
Lev.18:25,”And the land is defiled…iniquity…and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.” (flooding can also be caused from sin in a land)
1Chron.16:30, “Fear before him all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.” (No fear of God, then the result is earthquakes) See also (Is.24:5-6; Jer.23:10; Rom.8:22)
Is. 24:4-5, “The earth mourneth and fadeth away…the earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed…Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth…”
Is.33:9, “The earth mourneth and languisheth:” (because of sin)
In addition, Pr.18:21states that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Our own mouth is the cause of many of the problems we face, because most are not taught the power of words. The Bible say’s we get what we say (Job 6:24; Ps.50:23; Pr.12:14, 12:18,16:23, 21:23; Matt.15:11; Mark 11:23-24; 1Pet.3:10). These are just a few reasons why there is evil in the world.
Besides, God has given the earth to men to enjoy (Ps.115:16). If it is a mess, it is mans fault, not God’s.
(Pr.1:24-31; 7:2; 11:5, 23, 27, 8; 13:21; Ez.7:4, 9:10, 22:31; Deut.28:1-2; 28:9; Ps.119:67; Jer.5:25; Pr.13:19, Ps. 94:20, 145:9, Jer.25:38; Lev.18:28)
No, He preached repentance and obedience (Matt.4:17, 12:50; Luke13:3, 8:21; Acts 17:30).
Yes, and that’s the problem. He does know man’s heart and the Bible says it is deceitful and desperately wicked. As a matter of fact it says, evil and madness is in man’s heart (Jer.17:9; Ec.9:3). So if you are going to use that approach, you surely won’t make it. Pr.28:26 says, “He that trusts in his heart is a fool.”
You have the wrong premise. It is not based on time, but on relationship.
There are five reasons why God cannot let someone out of hell, even though He is Love. He cannot violate His Word (Ps.89:34, 119:89). He is not like man who changes his word all the time. God already stated exactly how to get saved. He cannot break His Word, ever.
A. We are saved by grace through faith, and not by time. (Eph.2:8-9)
B. We are saved by faith, and not by sight. Once you are in hell, it would not require faith to know God and hell exists, because you are seeing it. It is impossible to please God without faith (Heb.11:6), and no faith is needed once you see it.
C. “Without shedding of blood, is no remission.” (Heb.9:22). The time spent in hell cannot pay for our sins. Only the Blood of Jesus can do that.
D. It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment (Heb.9:27). If God took someone out of hell, then that would constitute two judgments. The scripture says, “The Judgment,” only one judgment.
E. Man is made in God’s image, and since God is eternal, so is man (Gen.1:26; Gen.35:18; Ps.26:9; Is.38:17; Ec.12:7; Pr.23:14; Ps.116:8; Ps.34:22; Job 33:28; 1Kings 17:22; 1Sam.25:29).
Since we are eternal beings, God cannot annihilate man because that would violate His Word. If man rejects Jesus as his Lord and Savior, there is no other place created for the soul to go. God will not violate His Word and save in any other manner than what He has already written (Ps.119:89; Ps.89:34; John 14:6; Eph.2:8-9; Tit.3:5; Luke 13:3).
If He let us out in one hundred years or so, we would still have a sin nature. Time cannot give us a new heart. Only trusting in His shed blood for our forgiveness of sins can do that. He also cannot let an unrighteous person into Heaven, as they would defile it, and God will not allow anything in Heaven that defiles (profane-pollute-Rev.21:27). He also cannot allow someone into Heaven just because He is merciful. He is also a holy God, and a just God (Ps.89:14). Sin must be paid for (Rom.6:23), and only a sinless, eternal God can pay for our eternal sin. Jesus did that, and we cannot. Therefore, time would never suffice, as that would be works. No one can come by their works. (Ez.18:31; Rom.3:24-25; Rom.5:9; 1John1:7; Ez11:19, 18:31, 36:26; Jer.24:7; Ec.11:19; Job 33:16; Pr.20:9)
The first word out of the mouth of Jesus was “repent” (Matt.4:17). There are 46 verses where He spoke about hell, and 18 of those verses were about the fires of hell. He also said, “Woe unto you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites…for ye are like unto whited sepulchers…full of dead men’s bones…ye snakes, vipers…full of extortion… How can you escape the damnation of hell?” (Matt.23) He said, “those mine enemies, bring hither, and slay them before me (Luke 19:27).
How’s that for a sweet, soft, and accepting Jesus that many try and paint Him as? Don’t get me wrong, as He is a loving and gentle God; but He is also a holy and just God, and will pour out His wrath on sin (Matt.24:51, 25:41-46; Rom.1:18; Eph.5:5-6; 2Thes.1:9; Rev.14:10-11, 20:12-15). He spoke more on hell than anyone else. A message of warning IS a message of love.
(Matt. 3:29; 10:28; 13:30, 41, 49; 18:34; 24:51; Luke 12:47
If preaching hell is scare tactics, then Jesus is guilty. He preached hell more than anyone else in the Bible. There are 46 verses He warned about hell.
To warn someone of impending danger is a message of love (Col.1:28; Jer.5:1, 8:4-5, 26:3-6; Lam.3:33). The wisest man that ever lived, besides Jesus, was King Solomon. He said in Proverbs 27:12, “A prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.” Jesus said in Matt.10:28, “Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
This is not a message of condemnation, but one of warning. Some won’t respond to hearing how much God loves them, but only to know the wrath that is to come if they refuse to repent. Jesus showed grace to the humble, and the law to the proud, in order to stop their mouths (Rom.3:19; Jam.4:6). Besides what lies ahead for those who haven’t repented (Luke13:3) should scare any rational person (Jude 23). Jude 23 says “and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire…” John Wesley said, “the fear of the God who can cast you into hell, even with the children of God, is one excellent means of preserving them from it.” The point is; whatever it takes for you to get saved, just get saved! Repent and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior!
If man came from the animal kingdom, then where did man get a conscience?
In addition, why do most people worship God, even if their god differs from the One God of the Bible?
They have an awareness of a supreme being. The animals do not. Why; because man is made in God’s image and animals are not. If man doesn’t worship a god, then he usually worships something such as money, power, material things, and even himself. You will not see an animal do that! Besides, many scientific text books state that, in the beginning there was nothing, and then nothing exploded. How scientific is that statement? How does “nothing” explode? In addition, how did all the “order” of things come out of an explosion? Since there is “design” everywhere, how would it be that there is no designer? If all this order, design and delicate balances are needed for life to exist, then it takes a lot more faith to believe all this just happened from an explosion. Faith is needed to believe in evolution, and it is still only a “theory.” So you choose. What will you put your faith in; God or a theory?
(John 8:9; Acts 24:16; Rom.1:20-21, 2:15, 9:1; 2Cor.1:12, 4:2; 1Tim.1:5, 19; 1Pet.2:19, 3:16, 21; Gen.1:1, 1:26)
You don’t have to worry about him. The Bible says God is fair and just. However, we must understand that God holds man accountable because of just one reason. I list that reason first in these five reasons of how God tries to get the message through to man:
1. Romans 1 states that man is without excuse because of creation. It is obvious there is design everywhere so there must be a designer. That points to a Creator. If the man in the remote mountains cries out and says, “God I know you exist, please reveal yourself to me,” God will make Himself known to that man in some way (Acts 17:27; Rom.10:13; 1Tim.2:4; 2Pet.3:9). Man is held accountable because of the overwhelming evidence of design in creation. To say it all happened by accident is to abandon all reason.
2. He gives man a conscious to know that there is a God and to know right from wrong (John 8:9; Rom.2:15). He also has placed eternity in man’s heart (Ec.3:11).
3. He gave us the Bible, which is the truth, and in it contain the directions to Heaven (John 3:16, 3:36, 8:24, 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1Cor.15:3-4; 1Tim.1:15; 1John 5:12). If anyone takes a little time to investigate whether the Bible is true, he will quickly discover just how much proof there is. Josh Mc Dowell was an attorney who didn’t believe in the Bible and set out to disprove it. After investigating it, in his first book, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict,” he became a Christian because he could not find any discrepancies in the Bible. There was overwhelming proof. There are many books like this one which are written by scholars who cite many proofs.
4. He sends missionaries, there is TV, radio, internet, CD’s and so on to get the message to us (Ps.2:8; Pr.9:1-3; Rom.10:14-18).
5. He also gives man dreams and visions to keep back his soul from the pit (Job 33:15-18). God will even warn someone in a dream.
Here are some verses showing that all men everywhere are accountable to repent and to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior:
- Acts 17:30 God…now commands ALL men everywhere to repent
- Luke 13:3 …unless you repent you will ALL likewise perish (Jesus speaking)
- 1 John 4:3 …EVERY spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God…
- John 5:23 That ALL men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father (Jesus speaking)
- John 8:24 …for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins (Jesus speaking)
- 1 John 5:19 …and the WHOLE world lieth in wickedness
- Ps. 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and ALL the nations that forget God.
- John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
- Romans 3:23 …for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Now let’s get the attention back on you. Who do you say Jesus is?
(Deut.32:4; Ps.7:9; 96:10; Is.45:21; Acts 17:31; Rom.1:18-20)
No. Since man introduced sin into the world (Gen.3:6, 11; 1Cor.15:21; Rom.5:12), it gave access to demonic forces, and gave them a legal right in the earth (Luke4:5-6; 2Cor.4:4). Jesus came that we might have life, and more abundant life, but Satan has come to kill, steal and destroy. Destruction and evil follow after sin (John 10:10; Pr.13:21; 2Cor.4:4). Also, God gave the earth to man (Ps.115:16). The mess that the earth is in is man’s fault, not God’s. In addition, man breaks his own hedge by disobedience, and Ec.10:8 says, “Whoever breaks a hedge, a serpent will bite.” If we obey we are protected, if we do not, we are subject to attack and destruction from the enemy (Job 1:10). Because God loves us, He gave us a free will to choose to follow Him (Deut.30:19; Ps.119:30,173). Since many choose to disobey Him, they invite the evil. It is mans own doing that causes the evil, and yet man blames God. God is the one warning us to obey, in order for us to avoid the evil. How ironic; the very one trying to keep us out of trouble is the very one who gets blamed for that evil. The earth is full of man’s ignorance, but thank God, it is also full of God’s mercy and grace.
Are you absolutely certain there are no absolutes?
(Ex.20:3-17; Rom.2:2; 2Tim.2:19; Heb.6:19) We see absolutes in life regarding many issues. Our laws are founded on absolutes. If you steal, you are punished, and so forth. The Bible is absolutely clear with no ambiguity, and many do not like to be told they are living in sin. They do not want to accept accountability for their actions. In addition, they feel entitled to be granted entrance into Heaven. If people could only realize that God doesn’t want us to sin because it hurts us. It also separates us from His presence, and His desire is to help us, not hurt us.
There is no other religious book that has undergone such scrutiny as the Bible, and there has never been found even one discrepancy that couldn’t be cleared up with good scholarship, according to many great and respected scholars. The Bible is the only religious book that so many have tried to destroy, outlaw, and kill the readers of it. Why no other book? It remains the number one published and selling book in all of history. Jesus said in Luke 21:33, “but my words shall not pass away.” In addition, no other belief has claimed that someone died for us, and has proof of their resurrection. All other religions tell you what we must do to hopefully EARN our salvation. Christianity tells us we can do nothing to earn it, it’s a gift. Christianity states that there is a loving God who cares for us. No other religion mentions a loving God who always is giving. Other religions have a god who takes, who demands sacrifices of children, or who tell people to kill themselves to secure eternal life. And even then they never are assured of their salvation. Also, no other religion deals with the sin issue. There is a penalty for our sins (Rom.6:23), and Jesus paid it for us. Sin is only dealt with in Christianity. Notice after a disaster strikes, only the Christian Church is out there helping. You don’t hear of that with other religions. Jesus said you would know a Christian by their love toward others.
(1 Cor.15:3-4, 6; Eph.2:8-9; Tit. 3:5; 1 Cor.1:23; Matt. 26:2; John19:15; Mark 15:20; Luke 24:7; Ps.19:7; John 8:40; 45, 15:26, 16:13, 18:37; Ps.100:5; Rom.3:7, 9:1; Gal.2:5; Ps.119:142; 3 John 1:4; Pr. 22:21; 1 Thes.2:13; Ps.117:2; Phil.1:18; 2 Tim.3:7).
Many would wish they had listened to the Gospel message, but it would not be because they had fallen in love with God and wanted to repent. In seeing hell, it would cause them to desire to be saved simply to avoid the pain. I’m sure there are those who realize their mistake and would now repent. But for the most part, many would curse God, and refuse to repent, as it states in Rev.16:10. However, the Word is clear that God requires faith to be saved (Eph.2:8-9). We are saved by faith, not by sight. We are also saved by grace, not by time spent in hell. Time spent would be works, and we are not saved by works (Gal. 2:16; Eph.2:8-9; Tit.3:5). There will be no faith needed after one sees this place of torment. It will be obvious the Bible was indeed, correct. God will not violate His Word and “save” in any other manner than what His Word spells out. He cannot change His Word (Ps.89:34; Ps.119:89).
Also Heb.9:27 states, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” There is only one Judgment, and if God let someone out of hell, it would again violate His Word, as that would constitute two judgments. You only get one time to live, and the decision for Christ must be made before you die. (Luke 13:3; Rom.10:9-10; Eph.2:8-9)
Then why did He come down and die for us? What did He save us from? No, all are not annihilated, as He made us in His image (Gen.1:26, 35:18; Ps.26:9; Is.38:17; Ec.12:7; Pr.23:14; Ps.116:8; Ps.34:22; Job 33:28; 1Kings 17:22; 1Sam.25:29). We will exist forever.
He said in Matt.25:46, “These shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.” The word for eternal is aionios. Since those in heaven are eternal, so are those in hell. He said similar things in John 5:29 and Mark 16:16, Dan.12:2; Rev.14:10-11.
Rev.14:10-11 is so clear. It states, “he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night.” (They are in His presence, so they must exist. Also, you have to exist to have no rest day nor night).
Rev.20:13-14 state that “death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” How can hell deliver up those which were in them if they do not exist? And how can they be judged, and why would they be judged if they were simply annihilated? Why bother with judging them according to their works? There are many verses on degrees of punishment (Matt.10:15, 16:27, 23:14-15; Luke 12:47; Heb.10:28-29). Why have varying degrees of punishment if all are annihilated? In Matt.25:46 Jesus said, “eternal punishment.” Even the word “punishment” denotes an existence. How can one be punished if they do not exist?
Matt.13:42, “There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (must exist to gnash)
Matt.18:8, “…to be cast into everlasting fire.”(why have everlasting fire?)
Mark 9:43, “…to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.”
John 15:6, “…cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
Jude 7, “…suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
Is.33:14, “…who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings.”
(how is one burned “everlasting” if they do not exist?)
Dan.12:2 “some to everlasting life, and some to shame & everlasting contempt. (one would have to exist to experience everlasting shame & contempt)
Is.66:24, “for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched. They shall be an abhorring to all flesh.” (must still exist to see them)
Is.34:9 “not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever.”
Job15:30, “He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches
Ps.49:19, “they shall never see light.” (must still exist to never see light)
Ps.14:9-10, “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming…they shall speak and say unto thee, art thou also become weak as we? (must still exist to be able to speak)
Ez.32:21, “the strong among the mighty shall speakto him out of the midst of hell. (again, they are speaking in hell – must still exist to speak)
Ps.21:8-9 …”Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger.”
Job 18:15, 21, “Brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation…
Surely are the dwellings of the wicked.” (have to exist to “dwell” in a place)
Also see 2 Thes.1:9, Luke 3:17; Jude 13; 2 Pet.2:17; Is.38:17-18; Mal.4:1; Jer.20:11; Is.45:16; Pr.9:18.
Look at Luke 16. It is so clear that one still exists after death. Some say it was only a parable. However, according to most commentaries and scholars, it was not. No parable ever had a specific name in it. This has three names and in addition states, “a certain rich man.” Also, Jesus said in verse 25, “And Abraham said…” Notice Jesus is quoting Abraham as saying. If this was a parable then it would not have been Abraham saying. Jesus would have been lying because Abraham would not have been speaking. But even if it was a parable, then tell me what it means? Jesus said that the man was in torment in the flame, and even the man himself said that if one would repent, they would avoid the place. He was concerned for his brothers and didn’t want them to come there also. So what is the lesson if this was a parable? If people do not go to hell, then Jesus certainly conveyed the opposite with this explanation.
No, for at least two reasons; He is a just Judge and sin must be punished. You can either trust Jesus who paid for your sins, or you can pay for them yourself. The problem is, you could never pay for even one sin, even for all eternity. Sin is exceeding sinful to a Holy God (Rom.7:13). And sin can only be paid for by the shedding of blood of someone sinless. There has only been one who is sinless, and that is Jesus.
Second, God is a consuming fire (Nah.1:5; Heb12:29). Say we stuck our hand in the fire and it burned us. We wouldn’t be angry with the fire. No, because the nature of the fire is to burn. In just the same way, God’s nature is to consume sin. So a Holy God and sinful man are not compatible. We would be destroyed in His presence.
The only way we can stand before a Holy God is if we appeared to be sinless. The only way that can happen is if we trust Jesus, and His shed blood to have washed away our sins. He is the only man that ever lived a perfect, sinless life (Heb.4:15; Pet.2:22; 1 John 1:7, 3:5). He is the only one who qualifies to stand before God as sinless. He then exchanges His righteousness for our sin (2 Cor.5:21; Rom.5:18). He paid for our sin in full, and we must trust in His work, not our works (Job 15:16; Ps.143:2; Is.64:6; Eph.2:8-9; Tit.3:5; Gal.2:16; Rom.3:20-22, 4:5-8).
In John chapter 5, Jesus healed the man lying at the pool of Bethesda who had been sick for 38 years. In verse 14 Jesus said to him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” Over and over, Jesus told those who came to Him, “Your sins are forgiven” (Mt. 9:2, 9:5, 9:6, Mk. 2:5, 2:9, 2:10, Luke 5:20, 5:23, 5:24, 7:48). This again, is a warning to cease from sinning, or a “worse thing” may come on you. Over and over Jesus warned people not to sin, or it would end in death. Preaching hell is a warning, and a fact, not a scare tactic.
He did. It’s called Heaven. And He prepares a place for you there (John14:2). When He completed creation, He said, “It was very good.” At that point, Hell did not exist. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have said, everything was very good (other scholars have expressed this view mentioned in our book, “Hell”).
He “prepared” hell shortly after creation, as 1 John 3:8 states that the devil sinneth from the beginning. The devil could have rebelled in a week, or month or so after creation, and that would still be considered the beginning. It was prepared for the devil (Matt.25:41). It was not meant for man. God did all the creating He was going to do at creation (Gen.2:1). He will not violate His Word and make another place now.
I know that the Bible says there will be a new heaven and a new earth, so if he will make them new, then why not make another place also for sinful man besides hell? First of all, He is not creating a new place. Heaven and the earth will be the same, but changed. It will be refurbished. Ps.78:69 states, “the earth which he hath established forever.” Ec.1:4 says, “but the earth abideth forever.” Ps.104:5 states, “Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.” So the Bible is clear that the earth will always remain. So has God contradicted Himself? No, of course not. The Bible says that the earth will be destroyed by fire (2Pet.3:10), but will be the same earth.
As for Heaven, the Bible doesn’t specifically say one way or the other. However, there is a clue in 2 Pet.3:12 it says, “the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved…” Two verses prior, vs.10, state that the earth will be burned with fire. In the same way, the verse seems to indicate that heaven also will be dissolved in the same manner, but will be the same Heaven.
In addition, any place created that would be apart from God would be absent from all good, since all good comes from Him (Ps.33:5; Jam.1:17). You can’t have the “good” without God.
Just as our body can not live in space or the ocean, but only on the surface, our soul can only exist in Heaven or hell. There is no other place for the soul to dwell. If we refuse the provision (Jesus) for our sins, we are rejecting the only way for our soul to be saved and enter Heaven. We send ourselves to hell. God gives us that choice. God is the one who carries out the actual sending to hell, but it is our own words that condemn us (Matt.12:37).
The current location for Sheol is down deep in the earth. There are a total of 49 scriptures that identify its location. Here are just a few:
Ezekiel 26:20, “I will bring you down with those who descend into the Pit, to the people of old, and I will make you dwell in the lowest part of the earth, in places desolate from antiquity, with those who go down to the Pit.”
Numbers 16:32,33, “And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit (Sheol), and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.”
Isaiah 14:9, “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming.”
Ezekiel 31:14, “…for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth…with them that go down to the pit.”
Ezekiel 31:16, “…when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit.”
Ezekiel 32:18, “…cast them down to the depths of the earth…with those who go down to the Pit.”
Amos 9:2, “though they dig into hell…”
Psalm 139:15, “…in the lowest parts of the earth.”
Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
1 Sam. 28:14–15, “…An old man cometh up…And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?”
In Old Testament thought, the abode of the dead. Sheol is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek Hades, which means “the unseen world.” Sheol was regarded as an underground region, Num. 16:30; Amos 9:2, shadowy and gloomy, where disem- bodied souls had a conscious but dull and inactive existence (2 Sam. 22:6; Ec. 9:10). Hebrew people regarded Sheol as a place to which both the righteous and unrighteous go at death (Gen. 37:35; Ps. 9:17; Is. 38:10; death, NIV: Deut 32:22; the realm of death, NIV), a place where punishment is received and rewards are enjoyed….
As a deep underground place, the pit became synonymous with Sheol: the abode of the dead, the netherworld of departed spirits. —Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, page 1164 and 966
There are a few verses in scripture that indicate the age of accountability may be seven or eight years old. In Isaiah 7:16 it says, “For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good…”
It doesn’t say an age. It only mentions “child,” so where does seven or eight come from?
2 Chronicles 34:1-2 Josiah was eight years old when he became king…And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord,
He knew right from wrong at the age of eight.
2 Chronicles 36:9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord.
Some commentaries state that “eight” is an error because it says eighteen in 2 Kings 24:8-9 in reference to the same person. But how do they know the other is correct? So we don’t know for certain, either eight or eighteen. Matthew Henry’s Commentary says, “He is here said to be eight years old, but in Kings he is said to be eighteen when he began to reign, so that this seems to be a mistake of the transcriber, unless we suppose that his father took him at eight years old to join with him in the government, as some think.”
I don’t know what the age of accountability is. It may very depending upon maturity. In any event, by eighteen one most likely knows good from evil.
1 Corinthians 15:44, mentions a natural body and a spiritual body. The spirit body looks the same and can feel pain. Matthew 10:28, states, “fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
The rich man in Luke 16 had a mouth to speak, a tongue, a head to lift and he felt pain as he said he was “tormented in the flame.”
In 1 Samuel 28:14-15 the witch of Endor saw Samuel ascending out of the earth from Abraham’s bosom. She recognizes him and verse 15 & 16 say, “and Samuel said.” If it really wasn’t Samuel, as some say, then the scripture would have not said, “and Samuel said.” It would have said, “and the spirit said,” if it was a demon spirit. The witch recognized Samuel. The body in hell is fitted so that it will not burn up, just as the burning bush didn’t burn up.
Hell was not prepared at the time of creation. Hell was prepared after creation for the devil, because it says that everything God created was very good (Gen 1:31). Hell would not be considered “very good.” Genesis 2:1 says all of His creation was finished. He had completed His creation. That’s why hell wasn’t created, but prepared. Hell is located in the Center of the Earth. (Ez 26:20; Num16:32-33).
Besides, hell was not prepared for man but for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). The word “prepared,” according to Strong’s Concordance, means to make ready or secure. This is not the same as being created. Even now, He is preparing a place for us in heaven (John 14:2). God never intended for man to go to hell.
I have written a chapter on this topic in my book, “Hell. SeparateTruth from Fiction.” The short of it is that Jesus “preached.” A more accurate definition would be “announced.” He made a proclamation of His victory over death. This was a form of judgment on them because of their sin according to most scholars. The question is: Who did He announce to? There are three theories: 1. The fallen angels before the flood. 2. People who lived up until the flood. 3. All those saved before Christ’s resurrection. The majority of scholars believe it was the fallen angels before the flood. It is not certain.
If everyone saw hell, we would be saved by sight. We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9). There would be no faith required to believe that the Bible and God are true. It would be obvious. God considers our believing in Him, our trusting in Him, as righteousness. (Rom 5:21; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 2:16). The Bible says it is impossible to please God without faith. No faith would be required after seeing hell.
I was not condemned to hell. I was simply there in a vision and I was already a born again Christian. It is possible to travel in your spirit body in a vision.
(2 Cor 12:1,2; Rev 1:10, 4:1; Ez 8:3; 1 Cor 15:44)
Soul sleep is a false teaching. Those who support this belief often reference the verses, 1 Thess. 4:13-18 and John 11:11. However the word “sleep,” as used in these verses, is a euphemism. Believer’s Bible Commentary, pg. 1805 says, “The expression fallen asleep refers to the bodies of believers. Sleep is never used of the souls in the N.T. The soul of the believer departs to be with Christ at the time of death, while the body is spoken of as sleeping in the grave.”
The MacArthur Commentary, pg. 1606, “…a common euphemism for death. This is not soul sleep, in which the body dies and the soul or spirit supposedly rests in unconsciousness.”
Jameson, Fausset and Brown’s Commentary, pg. 1052 states, “Sleep is the death of saints in the language of heave. The symbol of sleep for death is common to all languages.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary, pg. 1989, “The soul does not sleep but becomes more active, but the body sleeps without any toss…the grave to the wicked is a prison…but to the godly it is a bed.”
In John 11:11, Jesus states, “our friend Lazarus sleepeth.” The disciples then said, “If he sleeps, he shall do well.” The verse goes on and says, “However, Jesus spoke of his death but they thought that he had spoken of taking a rest in sleep.” Then Jesus said unto them plainly. Lazarus is dead.” You can see that the term “sleep” is just an expression because a Christian doesn’t die spiritually, but only takes on the form of sleeping.
The body goes to sleep until rapture of the church and at that time Christians get a new glorified body. Currently, our soul and spirit go directly to heaven where we live. (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:1-8; Phil 1:21-23), but we wait for that time that our bodies are changed and made alive (1 Cor, 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Matt. 24:31; Luke 17:34-36).
The following verses confirm that the soul does not sleep after death:
Luke 16 says the rich man was in torment in flames. In verse 23 it says “in hell,” and the word for hell is “hades,” which is not the future lake of fire, but the current hell. Lazarus was with Abraham in Abraham’s bosom, which was a comforting place. And the rich man asked Abraham if he could send Lazarus. He was tormented in the flame and wanted a drop of water to cool his tongue. How could he be tormented and have the desire for water if he were sleeping? How could Abraham answer him if he were sleeping?
The soul is eternal and will immediately be in Heaven or hell at death just as Jesus said in Luke 16.
Rev. 5:5 “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.” This was an elder talking to John in heaven. He was not sleeping.
Rev. 6:10 The saints who were killed during the tribulation said, “and they cried with a loud voice.” They were seen by John “under the altar” of heaven. This was prior to the great white throne judgment. They spoke.
Matt. 17:3 On the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and spoke to Him. The disciples also saw them.
Jonah 2:2 “Out of the belly of sheol I cried.” Jonah was not sleeping when he cried out.
Isa. 14:9-10 “Hell (sheol) from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it delivereth up the dead for thee: they shall speak and say unto thee, at thou also become weak as thee.” They meet thee and they speak.
1 Samuel 28:7-20 The witch of Endor was consulted by Saul to bring up Samuel. Samuel was in Abraham’s bosom. Samuel spoke to Saul and said, “Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? He was alive and he spoke.
Psalm 26:9 “Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men.” David did not want to go where sinners go. Why would he fear sleep?
Isa. 38:17 “But thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption.” If the soul were just sleeping, there would be no concern.
Pr. 23:14 “And deliver his soul from hell.”
Ez. 32:21-27 “The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell (sheol).” They were speaking.
Rev. 20:12-15 “Death and hell (hades) delivered up the dead that were in them.” People were in hell and not sleeping.
In 2 Cor. 5:8, Paul said, “To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
Phil. 1:23 “Having a desire to depart and be with Christ.” Paul knew that when we die, we are immediately in God’s presence.
Luke 23:43 “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Jesus told the thief on the cross he would be with Him in paradise that very day.
Acts 7:59 “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” Stephen spoke these words when he was being stoned. He knew would be directly in heaven with Jesus upon his death.
If you are born again, you will go directly to heaven when you die. If you are not, you will go directly to hades.
My book, “Hell,” goes into much more detail on this topic.
During my experience in hell, I was shown snakes and spiders. Even though there are no verses in the Bible that mention spiders or snakes, there are verses that do mention some demons which are difficult to describe. Rev. 9 describes a demon, which looks very bizarre. Rev. 16:13 mentions demons that look like frogs. In Rev. 12:9, Satan is called a serpent. That indicates that there may be some demons that look like snakes. In Ez. Chapters 1 and 10, it describes angels that look like a “wheel in the middle of a wheel” and “one full of eyes and wings.” Demons are fallen angels so there are some demons diverse in looks from others. In Rev. 12:3 John saw a “great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns.” Ezekiel Chapter 1 describes four living creatures, which are very unusual beings. Rev. 4:6-8 describes the four beasts around the throne, full of eyes, one like a lion, one like a calf, one with the face of a man and the fourth like a flying Eagle.
7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
In Ez. 8:9-10, he describes what he saw:
9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.
These may not be demons, but represent evil by using “abominable beasts.” Scorpions are mentioned throughout the Bible as evil that come upon rebellious man. So would hell be any less? The Bible doesn’t describe everything in heaven nor hell, but there is enough described to let us know there are diverse creatures there.