The Landscape of Hell

Jamma Mokhriby

There will come a day in the not too distant future when believers in Jesus Christ will be in Heaven witnessing one of the many, truly praiseworthy events recorded in the Bible. This event will take place during the final 7 years of this present age. It will be during the start of the Day of the Lord when God’s wrath is poured out. This is the time when Jesus begins to reign (Rev. 7:16-17 & 11:15).

It will be in that day that the host of Heaven will witness the Devil being thrown out of the lower heavens on his irreversible journey to the Lake of Fire.

The onset of the Devil’s demise is recorded in Isaiah 14:12-14 where we are told of the day that he challenged God in the Heaven of heavens. Verse 15 then foretold of the day that he would "be brought down to (his second stop on his way to the Lake of Fire) Sheol (or Hell) to the lowest depths of the pit."

Rev. 12:7-12 prophesies of the notable day when the Church will rejoice along with all the host of Heaven as the Devil has his wings clipped as it might be, and is cast out of the lower heavens. He is to then first be restricted upon the earth during the final three and one half years of the present age known in Scripture as "the Great Tribulation."

At the close of the Tribulation the church will then witness Satan being chained and locked up in the deepest pit of Hell as was prophesied by Isaiah. (Revelation 20:1-3)

It is this very real place we will be somberly reflecting upon in this message.

After one thousand years in the bowels of Hell the Devil will find himself in his final place of eternal residence. This is the place prepared for him and his angels and is called in the Scriptures, Gehenna. It is an unquenchable lake of fire and smoldering brimstone. It would be prudent beyond words for those who have not come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior to ponder the following to themselves and grasp the enormity of what awaits them in their very near future… "Unless I am forgiven for my sins by Christ before I die, God has declared I will surely share an eternal existence of suffering apart from Him with the Devil and his angels. By my own choice I will join the Devil in the sorrows of Hell and then Gehenna. There I will reside forever in darkness and fire with the memories of my sins."

Hell and the personification of Hades (that is death) will be united with all the damned in this place of everlasting perdition. (See Matt. 25:41 & Rev. 20:7-15).

In these last days before the return of His Son Jesus Christ, God has been unhaltingly revealing the divine origin of the words that are recorded in the Holy Bible.

The subject of Hell has been a long-standing topic for ridicule and scorn. Comics, musicians, writers and film producers have been used over the years as instruments of Satan to dismiss or lampoon the true horrors revealed about this dreadful place in the timeless Word of God.

As we stand at the dawn of the Rapture to heaven and the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth, the apostates are making themselves a shameful name among those who discount or mock the reality of a literal place called Hell. We are warned in 2nd Timothy 4:3 , "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;".

Quoting from the July 3, ’02 Denver Post article which headlined, "Hades falls from favor in churches" we read, "…In churches across America, hell is being frozen out as clergy find themselves increasingly hesitant to sermonize on Christianity’s outpost for lost souls…Hell’s fall from fashion indicates how key portions of Christian theology have been influenced by a secular society that stresses individualism over authority and the human psyche over moral absolutes. The rise of psychology, the philosophy of existentialism and the consumer culture have all dumped buckets of water on hell. The tendency to downplay damnation has grown in recent years as nondenominational ministries, with their focus on everyday issues such as child rearing and career success, have proliferated, and loyalty to churches has deteriorated. "It’s just too negative," said Bruce Shelley, a senior professor of church history at the Denver Theological Seminary. " Churches are under enormous pressure to be consumer-oriented. Churches today feel the need to be appealing rather than demanding… Megachurches routinely pay for market research on what will draw people to their ministries and keep them coming back. "Once pop evangelism went into market analysis, hell was just dropped," said Martin Marty, professor emeritus of religion and culture at the University of Chicago Divinity School…Even among some "born-again" churches, hell is a rare topic of conversation…Where hell was once viewed as a literal, geographic location, it is more often seen now as a state of the soul. In 1999, [the leader of the ultimate Megachurch] Pope John Paul II made headlines by saying that hell should be seen not as a fiery underworld but as "the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy."

Jesus warned of hell in the Scriptures twice as often as He spoke of Heaven. As the embodiment of truth, love and light Jesus could offer no virtuous inducement for leaving believers unsympathetic and the unforgiven in ignorance to the horrific fate awaiting them. He taught without reservation that Hell is a place where eternal existence is not only possible, but a certainty.

In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus gave an unprecedented netherworld view of a historical incident which provided never before known details about the environment and the landscape of this expanding place of fire (Isa. 5:14).

This is not just a fictitious story or a parable as some might argue. Jesus spoke of a literal man who still resides in Hell to this day and then distanced his revelation from any resemblance to a fictional account by identifying the Old Testament patriarch Abraham as being located nearby in an area of refuge.

The area of refuge which had been sanctified for the forgiven, Jesus called Paradise in Luke 23:43. Believers who pass on to their eternal rest during the present dispensation find that their spirits are no longer required to wait in Paradise which was evacuated by Christ after He paid for the sins of the world and returned to Heaven.

Upon their deaths the redeemed in Christ now immediately join the Lord in Glory (Lk. 23:39-43, I Pet. 3:18-20, Jn. 20:17, II Cor. 5:1 & Rev. 6:9-11).

In Luke 16:24 Jesus made it clear that Hell is a place of immense heat which causes unrelenting torment to the unforgiven and in verse 26 we are told that there are distinct shores separated by great gulfs existing in this infernal land.

Quoting excerpts from this passage we read from verses 22-26, "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died…And being in torments in Hades…saw Abraham afar off…Then he cried ‘Father Abraham have mercy…I am tormented in this flame,’ But Abraham said…between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us."

We are told without qualification in Ezek. 32:17-32 that Hell is a physical place located in the depths of the earth.

In the past, those who studied the earth science known as geophysics were led to dismiss this biblical revelation that flaming land masses separated by great fiery gulfs characterize the planet’s interior. This was because of previous assertions that the center of the earth consisted of no more than a smooth ball of iron.

Since 1988 scientists have been compelled to make a dramatic revision to their previous theory and have acquired knowledge sufficient to make them current with that which God told man thousands of years ago.

Quoting from the Sept. 4, ’88 article of the Denver Post which headlined, "Earth core X-rays solve mysteries" we read the following: "While astronomers can see the heavens through telescopes and biologists can see inside cells with microscopes, geologists have been unable to peer inside the earth. No longer. Over the past two years, seismic tomography has been producing X-ray-like images down to the core of the planet, picturing for the first time objects deep beneath our feet. What scientists have found has been a surprise: the supposedly smooth hot ball of iron at the earth’s core is not smooth, but has vast mountain-range-sized bumps and valleys with upside-down lakes of molten rock between them. Because they are upside- down in relation to the earth’s surface, the features on the surface of the earth’s core have been dubbed "anti-continents" and "anti-oceans"…"We are beginning to get ourselves into a position where we can see and understand the whole machine inside the earth"…said Adam Dziewonski, a Harvard University geophysicist."

In the study of entomology, a deadly impostor is found in the world of the firefly. This impostor is able to lure unsuspecting males to their death by sending out its own mimic of the luminescent flashing code which signals that a female desires a mate. If the male firefly takes the time to examine and authenticate whether the signal is coming from the genuine article or not instead of blindly rushing to the call, its tragic end could be avoided and the impostor would be deprived of its prey.

Be careful of those who teach that there is no literal Hell or eternal judgment, but instead read and believe the words of God recorded in Isa. 66:22-24 for what will be seen by the eyes of man during the millennial reign of Christ, "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me," says the LORD, "so shall your descendants and your name remain. "And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me," says the LORD. "And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

Heaven and Hell are real places and God’s Word prophesies that except for the false prophet and the Anti-Christ who will go directly into Gehenna, every person that ever lived will at the end of their mortal lives find themselves in one of these two places (Rev. 19:20).

From there, those who rejected the free offer of forgiveness by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ will find their destinies forever sealed in the Lake of Fire.

God has made it a free choice. For those who are humble and recognize their sinful condition God offers forgiveness and the power to live an eternally changed life. For the proud and defiant the certainty of the wrath and everlasting judgment of God awaits them.

The absolute assurance of total forgiveness for every sin is guaranteed to all who believe in Jesus Christ.

Keep in mind that except for those who will be caught up alive to be with the Lord at the Rapture the statistical odds of dying are one out of one.

Jesus suffered, shed His blood and died to redeem mankind from the terrible fires of damnation. What greater price could be paid than for God to have sacrificed His own beloved Son?

One of the earliest prophecies uttered by a man is recorded in Jude verse 14. There we read that the Gentile prophet Enoch prophesied of the return of Jesus Christ with His saints at the close of the age.

The very last prophecy in the Bible was given to the Hebrew Apostle John by Jesus Christ Himself in Rev. 22:20. And Jesus said, "Surely I come quickly…"

The message of the Bible to both Gentile and Jew alike is, Jesus came to set men free and that He is coming again soon (Jn. 8:31-36).

For those who feel offended or angry with those who warn of the judgment of Hell, it should be remembered that the rich man in Hell pleaded with Abraham to send someone to warn his family of this terrible place.

We respond to this plea not so much on behalf of those in Hell who have loved ones on earth, but because our Lord’s love for those who are about to perish is immeasurable and undying.