Tim Truzy is a minister in a Christian church, and he has participated in other religions.
What is Hell?
Christian theology states Hell is the final destination for those who have rejected God. Critically, Heaven is the complete opposite of the place of damnation. However, autonomous religious groups maintain diverse perspectives on the issue within the faith. For instance, some Christian churches teach Hell has a physical location. Yet, other sects view punishment as permanent separation from God even after death. Finally, some denominations believe immortality in torment is prevented when a person accepts Jesus Christ as the Savior of humanity.
As a Christian minister, I’ve provided sermons for my congregation concerning the importance of Hell along with the option for peace forever. There are Christian groups who maintain Hell doesn’t exist, but the Bible strongly states sin has consequences. In fact, Jesus Christ mentions Hell nearly 75 times in the New Testament, demonstrating the seriousness of the subject. For these reasons, I’ve provided verses from the King James Version of the Bible concerning the topic along with a variety of denominational doctrine on Hell.
Bible Verses about Hell
- Acts 2:31: He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
- Daniel 12:2: And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
- Ephesians 4:9: Now that he (Jesus Christ) ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
- Malachi 4:1: behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts.
- Mark 9:47: And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
- Mathew 13:42: And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
- Numbers 16:33: They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
- Psalms 37:12: The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
- Revelation 14:11: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
- Revelation 20:15: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Outlooks on Hell from Different Christian Groups
Indisputably, the Bible informs Christians God is good and just. Throughout the Holy Text, we read God is Holy and will not tolerate sin. Coincidentally, He promises darkness will pursue enemies of the faithful in Nahum 1-6:9. Moreover, people choose to go to Hell; God wishes for all human beings to ascend to Heaven. To do so, people specifically are told to forgo wickedness in Ezekiel 33:11.
Likewise, an unwillingness to accept Jesus Christ will lead a person to the abode of the dead. Incidentally, Hell was created as the final residence of Satan and his demons, noted in Mathew 25:41 and Revelation 20:15. In essence, Christians should be steadfast in the Scriptures. This means accepting Christ and obeying His Commandments. In summary, Hell exists with smoke and fire, pain, and the overwhelming smell of sulfur. Although Christian groups may hold diverse views on punishment for an infinity, be cautious of congregations focused on condemnation without revealing the plan for Salvation through Jesus Christ, recorded in John 3:16. A few outlooks on Hell follow:
1. Hell is in a fixed location.
Several Christian sects claim Hell is within Earth. Proponents of this belief point to these Scriptures: Numbers 16:33, Ephesians 4:9, and Mathew 12:40. In Luke 16 19:31, Jesus Christ explains how those in Hell will be separated by a “chasm” from Heaven dwellers. However, other denominations preach Hell is a black hole or another location in outer space. Branches of the Christian faith may teach Hell is in an inter-dimensional location as well.
2. Purgatory and Predestination
Most protestant believers accept judgment from God happens immediately following death. Nonetheless, the Catholic Church recognizes Hell as a state of being and a place. In addition, Catholic doctrine supports the idea of purgatory. It is considered an intermediate state where a soul of Grace is purified before reaching Heaven. Bible verses related to purgatory include: 2 Maccabees 12:41 and 2 Timothy 5:18. The Catholic faith point to Jude 6:7 and other Bible verses to establish a place of immeasurable suffering exists in the afterlife.
However, some denominations of Christianity favor a more drastic view of death found in predestination. Predestination emphasizes specific people were selected since the beginning of time to go to Hell or Heaven. Bible verses cited relevant to predestination, include: Romans 8-28:30, Titus 1:1, and John 4:14. Historically, Lutherans follow the doctrine of predestination. Nevertheless, Primitive Baptists believe Hell is experienced while living on Earth. Only an elect group will go to Heaven, according to the beliefs of this group.
3. Annihilation, Conditional Immortality, and Eternal Security
Specific Christian organizations may claim a loving God would never engage in infinite torture. Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, and others believe at death a person is “asleep.” People do not go to Hell or Heaven, and they remain dead until the resurrection and Final Judgment. In essence, eternal life is seen as conditional immortality. In other words, eternal punishment is everlasting death (in the grave) or annihilation. Scriptures used to support this position, include: Genesis 3-17:19, Mathew 5:30, and John 11-11:14. Yet, several denominations offer an outlook diametrically in opposition to Annihilation.
For example, Southern Baptist favor “once saved, always saved.” Hebrews 6-4:9, 1 John 5:13, and John 5:24 are several Bible verses recognized as theological support for the concept of eternal security. Basically, God does not break promises, expressed in text such as Malachi 3:6. Therefore, a sentence to Hell is averted once a person becomes a Christian. Indeed, Christians have a wide range of interpretations regarding the horrible, terrible, despicable judgment of the condemned, but doctrines relevant to Hell are less important than acting in accordance with biblical teachings and the message of Jesus Christ.
Gregg, S. (2013). All you want to know about hell: Three Christian views of Gods final solution to the problem of sin. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Top, B. L., & Top, W. C. (1993). Beyond deaths door: Understanding near-death experiences in light of the restored gospel. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft.
Walls, J. L. (2012). Purgatory the logic of total transformation. New York: Oxford University Press.