Discover the Book - July 6, 2013


More of What Jesus Says About Hell

"[Apostates are] wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever"

-Jude 13b, emphasis added

In the following verses, Jesus gets even more graphic in His description: "Let both grow together until the harvest, and I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn' " (13:30). Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age (13:40). And [the angels] will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth (13:42). In verse 48 we see that when the dragnet "was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away."

Jesus said to let the true and the false, the fruit bearers and the non-fruit bearers, grow together. In the church, there are some who merely appear to be Christians. They can "talk the talk" and even seem to "walk the walk" so well that it is difficult to sort out the real Christians from the fake. It is like wheat and tares, all growing up in the same field. Jesus was saying, "Don't clear out the church. There will always be believers and unbelievers, but let them be together. At the time of the harvest, I will sort them out." Notice that all of Jesus' stories are clear-cut choices: good and bad; righteous and evil; fruit bearing and not fruit bearing; heaven and fire. There is no middle ground here-either you make it or you don't. In verses 49-50 Jesus therefore warns: "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

Jesus said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch" (15:13-14).

Now look at these verses: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He willreward each according to his works" (16:18, 25, 27).

Jesus also told a lot of parables and stories that don't have what we would call a happy ending. In Matthew 18:34 Jesus speaks about the agony in life of having bitterness and anger: "His master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him." These "torturers of life" that we don't deal with-emotional pain, depression, and anger-are merely a tiny foretaste of the horrors of hell.

The judgment of the Jewish leaders against the wicked vinedressers turned out to be Christ's judgment against them: "He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons. . . . And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder" (21:41, 44). This is speaking again of the intensity of the eternal judgment.

In Matthew 22:7 we see another picture of what judgment will be like: "When the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city." Jesus continued in verse 13: "Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "

Jesus sternly rebuked the scribes and Pharisees: "Hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. . . . For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves" (23:14-15). Now look at verse 33: "Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?"

Jesus said that the master of an unfaithful evil servant will come, when he least expects him, to "cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (24:51). The weeping is because of the pain, and the gnashing of the teeth and wailing is due to the inescapable punishment.

Matthew 25:30 speaks of the unprofitable servant who will be cast "into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Have you heard this enough to catch your attention? In verse 41 are Christ's last words about hell; this is the judgment, and Jesus is sitting on the throne: "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.' "

Hell was not made for humans. God did not plan for, and want to deliver, the lost to the place of everlasting judgment. Therefore, He is not willing that any should perish. Now tie that with John 3:16: "that they should not perish but have everlasting life." God does not want you to go to the everlasting fire. It was prepared for the devil and his angels. But look at verse 46: "And these [the cursed who practice iniquity-who reject Christ, and refuse to believe and repent] will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Life in heaven will be endless, but so will life in hell. The only reason hell even exists for mankind is because they love their sins instead of the living and written Word of God. Have you embraced God and His Word? Are you sharing His gospel with others so that they do not become cursed and be cast into the everlasting fire?

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