By Justin Edwards
I have recently had a few conversations with folks who have 1 or more of the following beliefs:
1) Hell will not be all that bad because their friends will be there.
2) How could a good God send people to hell for eternity?
3) They would rather go to hell than receive God's gift of grace through the Lord Jesus Christ because they feel they should be punished for their sin instead of Christ.
These three belief systems have at least one thing in common: those who adhere to such a belief will perish in hell for eternity. Hell will be no party, my friend, and it will not be any easier for you with your friends there. In fact, you and your friends will suffer in fire and brimstone together with Satan and his angels as you are tormented day and night forever (Revelation 20:10).
Moreover, it is because of the goodness of God that you will go to hell if you continue down this path of denying Him. God is holy and righteous and just, and He demands perfection. Unfortunately for us, we have all broken God's Law, including you. As is the case in any criminal justice system, no crime may go unpunished. The perpetrators must pay the consequences of their crimes, lest the judge and the court system be corrupt. Just like a good judge would not let a murderer go free, neither can God just overlook your crimes and let you go free without the penalty of the crime being satisfied.
Lastly, if you think you are unworthy of receiving God's grace through the Lord Jesus Christ, well, you are. And so am I. But that's the beauty of grace - none of us deserve it. It is unmerited. That's why it is called grace. So, my friend, there is nothing you have ever done under the sun that cannot be forgiven, except, of course, the sin of denying the grace that is offered you. Before the foundation of the world, God chose a people for Himself, to be redeemed by His Son, and to be reconciled through the Holy Spirit. If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent from your sins, you will be the lost sheep that was found! In store for you will be the riches of God's grace and you will be the co-heir with the King of kings for all eternity.
The love of God awaits you, dear reader. His call is for you to repent and believe in the Gospel. Do not let your pride of desiring to suffer for your own wrongdoing keep you from everlasting life. For I assure you, this pride you will remember for all eternity as you suffer under the righteous wrath of Almighty God.
Please read the words of John MacArthur as he explains the reality of hell:
Excerpt from Hell - the Furnace of Fire
"What is hell? Let me give you four truths about hell that I think will answer that question:
1. THE DISTRICT OF PUNISHMENT
"The Bible also says that hell is a place of fire (Mt. 25:41). The fire in hell isn’t like the fire we use to burn something. God uses the word fire to describe hell as a place of torment–a place where there will be no relief from suffering. God uses both darkness and fire to describe the torment of the damned.
The Bible gives us two insights into how people will respond in hell. One is in a parable the Lord tells in Luke 16, where a man who went to hell cried, “…Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” (v. 24). The other is a statement Jesus frequently made, saying that in hell “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk. 13:28). Hell is not going to be a place of fun; it is going to be a place of weeping, screaming, grinding of teeth, and unrelieved torment.
2. THE DETAILS OF PUNISHMENT
"Hell is a place of unrelieved torment for both body and soul. When a nonbeliever dies, his soul leaves the presence of God, and goes into hell. His soul probably doesn’t go into the lake of fire that all unbelievers will be thrown into after the Great White Throne Judgment (because a transcendent body would be required to endure the fire), but it still goes to a place of torment (as was illustrated by the rich man who died and went to hell in Luke 16).
"When an unsaved person dies, his soul descends into hell. In the future, there will be a resurrection of the bodies of the damned, and at that time the condemned will be given a transcendent body so they can be thrown into the lake of fire. Christians will also be resurrected at that time, and be given a transcendent, glorified body to enable them to live eternally in heaven. Those who are condemned to hell will be raised and given new bodies for the sole purpose of being punished forever in those bodies (Jn. 5:25-29; Rev. 20:11-15). That’s why Jesus said, “…fear not them who kill the body…but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt. 10:28).
"Some people think that hell will only be experienced by the inner consciousness. But hell will be experienced by the body, too. Transcendent, eternal bodies are going to be given to the damned; they will suffer in those bodies forever.
3. THE DEGREES OF PUNISHMENT
"The unrelieved torment in hell will be experienced by different people in varying degrees. Hell will be horrible for everyone there, but some people will suffer more than others. Hebrews 10:29 says, "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant...an unholy thing...." In other words, those who received full knowledge of what Christ did for them but still rejected Him will receive more severe punishment in hell.
"In Matthew 11, when Jesus condemned the people in the cities that rejected Him, He said, "...it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee" (v. 24). Hell won't be tolerable for anyone, but Jesus was saying that it will appear to be more tolerable for the people of Sodom (who hadn't seen Christ's miracles and heard His words) than for those who had witnessed His miracles and heard His words. In a parable about His Second Coming, Jesus said, "...that servant, who knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes" (Lk. 12:47-48a).
"So, hell will be a place of unrelieved torment of body and soul in varying degrees. John Gerstner said, "Hell will have such severe degrees that a sinner were he able would give the whole world if his sins could be one less."
4. THE DURATION OF PUNISHMENT
"Hell will be a place of unrelieved torment for body and soul in varying degrees, and it will be endless. The worms there will never die; the fire will never die out; light will never shine there, and the sweet relief of death will never come. The only reason some people are able to endure life with all of its suffering and diseases is because they believe that death will bring relief. But it won't. Because hell is eternal, the people there will go insane. You say, "Are you sure hell is everlasting?" Yes, because Jesus that the wicked "shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal" (Mt. 25:46). Both heaven and hell are eternal.
"God never meant for hell to be for people. He made it for the devil and his angels. But people choose to go to hell by rejecting Christ. Some souls are suffering that torment right now, and have been waiting for their resurrected bodies for thousands of years. But even after they receive their transcendent bodies, they will be no closer to the end of eternal punishment than when they first entered hell. No wonder Jesus had to teach about hell!
"The great saint John Bunyan wrote, "In hell thou shalt have none but a company of damned souls, with an innumerable company of devils, to keep company with thee. While thou art in this world, the very thought of the devil's appearing to thee, makes thy flesh to tremble, and thine hair ready to stand upright on thy head. But, oh, what wilt thou do when not only the supposition of the devil's appearing, but the real society of all the devils of hell will be with thee, howling, roaring and screeching in such a hideous manner that thou wilt be even at thy wits' end, and be ready to run stark mad again for anguish and torments. If after ten thousand years, an end should come, there would be comfort. But here is thy misery, here thou must be forever. When thou seest what an innumerable company of howling devils thou art amongst, thou shalt think this again, This is my portion forever. When thou hast been in hell so many thousand years as there are stars in the firmament, or drops in the sea, or sands on the seashore, yet thou hast to lie there forever. Oh, this one word ever, how will it torment thy soul!"
"Many people are in the net and moving toward that inevitable furnace of fire."
(HT: Apprising Ministries)