Some people may question whether I exaggerated the torment during my 23 minutes spent in hell. However, hell could never be exaggerated by anyone.
While the Tribulation period will certainly be like hell on earth, there is one aspect that occurs during this seven-year period that will actually be supernatural evil.
Revelation 9:5–6 speaks of the demons that will be released on the earth. It says, “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them”
These demons will ascend from hell to torment the people who have taken the mark of the beast, known as 666. They take this mark in order to buy and sell everything they would need to survive. The Bible says that anyone who takes this mark is doomed to hell, as it will also reflect an allegiance to the antichrist. During this five-month period, these people cannot die. No matter how terrible the suffering they experience during that five-month period, they won’t be able to die. Can you imagine? If someone jumps from a tall building and is crushed, they still can’t die? Someone who has been in a terrible explosion can’t die?
The MacArthur Study Bible page 9 states, “The tormented will find no relief. Even their unimaginable attempts to end their misery in suicide will be unsuccessful.”
This is similar to hell. In hell, people are like the living dead, like living corpses existing in extreme agony forever in torment. No death can occur. Those in hell are desperate to die but they can’t. The ones who have taken the mark will also want to die, just like in hell.
John MacArthur in his teaching called, “Hell, The Furnace of Fire” quotes one writer who said, “There is no way to describe hell. Nothing on earth can compare with it. No living person has any real idea of it. No madman in wildest flights of insanity ever beheld its horror. No man in delirium ever pictured a place so utterly terrible as this. No nightmare racing across a fevered mind ever produces a terror to match that of the mildest hell. No murder scene with splashed blood and oozing wound ever suggested a revulsion that could touch the border lands of hell. Let the most gifted writer exhaust his skill in describing this roaring cavern of unending flame, and he would not even brush in fancy the nearest edge of hell.”
That is a pretty good description of hell.
We know that some people have suffered greatly on the earth. Some have experienced a piece of hell through experiences such as war, destruction, abuse, and torture. These things happen because many people have chosen to reject God, open themselves up to demons, and inflict harm upon others.
Another glimpse of hell may come in a dream or vision. Acts 2:17 says, “In the last days your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” We are definitely living in the last days. God gave me a vision of hell on November 23, 1998. This supernatural vision changed my life. I’m just a signpost, pointing people to the scripture. What’s important is that you believe the Bible, not my experience.
In this vision of hell, I experienced horror I can’t fully describe. The heat was unimaginable and I wondered, “How can a person exist in this furnace?” Scientists say the temperature at the earth’s core is over 12,000 degrees! Hell is down deep in the earth. Only in a spiritual dimension or in your spirit body can one exist in the fires of hell. God gives us a glimpse of this unquenchable heat and fire when we observe a volcano erupting here on the earth. There are warning signs posted near active volcanoes due to the toxic fumes from the sulfur coming up from the ground. That is what you breathe in hell, and the Bible mentions brimstone, which is another word for sulfur.
The thirst in hell is extreme. One drop of water would have been so precious, as the rich man begged for in Luke 16. The putrid, rotten, foul odors were sickening. Jesus rebuked the foul spirits, mentioned in Mark 9:25. The lack of oxygen felt like suffocation. There was complete isolation and loneliness, total exhaustion, no physical strength, never a moments rest, loud screams, no peace, dreadful demons twisted and grotesque with the look of a reptile in appearance, maggots and snakes and darkness. You are consumed with terror, and filled with absolute hopelessness.
Why would any rational person reject Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? Turning from our sin and placing our trust in Him for salvation is the only way to stay out of hell. Why do people risk their eternity by putting their trust in their feelings or uninformed opinion without even investigating the Bible?
John Wesley said, “and this very fear of hell, even in the children of God, is one excellent means of preserving them from it. Essential Works of John Wesley, pages 757-58
Solomon Stoddard said in his book, The Fear of Hell, pages 2 and 9: “It would be a great benefit of godly men if they had more of the fear of hell. For it would help them against a lukewarm and slumbering spirit and would strengthen their heart against many temptations. The misery of men is that they do not fear hell; they are not sensible of the dreadfulness or danger of damnation, and so they take a great liberty to sin.”
Job 31:23 states, “Destruction from God was a terror to me.”
Psalms 73:18-19 say, “You cast them down into destruction, where they are utterly consumed with terror.”
Robert A. Peterson in Hell on Trial pages 201 and 236: “First, studying hell increases my appreciation for the Saviors sufferings…Second…my desire that people be spared such a fate has produced in me a greater boldness to tell them the good news. In fact, anyone who cares for the lost will attempt to warn them of hell.”
I hope you will come to the realization that you will live forever in one place or the other – heaven or hell and it’s your choice.
I pray that you believe the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:46, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Acts 4:12 says, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to escape hell when you die and experience eternal life.
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By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell