Hell: The Horror of Eternal Punishment (Part 1)

One cannot help but notice that the bulk of teaching on the doctrine of Hell comes from the very lips of the Lord Jesus Christ. In-fact, He taught on Hell more than He spoke about Heaven1. This then reveals the seriousness of this important subject. The Old Testament makes reference to the punishment of the wicked ( and ) and there are a number of references in the rest of the New Testament (; ; ; ; ; ; ; ) that do the same. Hell is a topic that ought to create a sense of sensitivity and sorrow to any listener. It is not an easy topic to talk about because of the horror related to it. Nonetheless, it is in the word of God and must be addressed.

The Reality of Hell
Hell is real. Despite the modern usage of hell as a reference to a state or condition of difficulty and discomfort – the Scriptures teach that it is a real place created by God for the purpose of punishing those outside of Christ (). Our Lord described it as follows: a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (), a fiery furnace (), outer darkness (Matt.22:13), unquenchable fire () and everlasting punishment (). Hell is certainly a horrible, terrifying and real place.

The Occupants of Hell
Who will go to Hell? Hell was “prepared for the devil and his angels” () and will be the abode of all who are unconverted (). The occupants of Hell are all “workers of lawlessness” ().

The Duration of Hell
What does the Scripture say concerning the duration of hell? Some have suggested that it will be limited as the Lord will simply annihilate His enemies. However, it will be my argument in a later post that the Scriptures teach an eternal conscious punishment of the wicked. The Scripture says Hell is “unquenchable fire” (; ), a place where “the worm does not die” (), a place where there “will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (), a place of “eternal fire” (; ) and “eternal punishment” (). Hell is everlasting.

The Grace of God
By God’s grace, not all will go to Hell. Why? Because He has made provision for the forgiveness of sins found exclusively in Jesus Christ.

Hell is a horrifying but real doctrine. In my next few posts I will elaborate on the main points raised in this post.


1Editor’s Note:  Readers interested in this statement may wish to read this article.

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

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Andrew Courtis

Andrew Courtis

ANDREW - Serves as Pastor of Hills Bible Church. I am married to Dianne and we have three children (Kate, Emma and Jack). I was born and raised in Melbourne, moved to Adelaide to undertake theological studies (BMin.), and have completed additional studies with the Australian College of Theology (MATh.). I have served in pastoral ministry in both Melbourne and Sydney and am a qualified school teacher. I am committed to expository preaching and making the word of God known and understood.

One thought on “Hell: The Horror of Eternal Punishment (Part 1)”

  1. Andrew, thanks for having the courage to write about this doctrine. I think most of us cringe when it comes to talking about hell.

    I took the liberty of adding a footnote to your statement, “(Jesus) He taught on Hell more than He spoke about Heaven.” The link points to an article in Bible.Org. I find this site to be an excellant resource, one I encourage our readers to bookmark.

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