. . .upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

Bible Facts

What does the BIBLE say about Hell

Hell IS Real


Hell vs Gehenna

Writer: Jack Van Impe | August 2006 | jvim.com

The Bible clearly teaches that there is a literal hell.

False religionists have hatched the "no-hell" plot to gain adherence to their movements. Because multitudes--even 70 percent of the preachers-no longer believe or like to even consider that such a place exists. A new group can grow quickly if they discount the claims of the Holy Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ by preaching pleasing platitudes which cater to rebellious minds.

But Romans 3:4Bible quoteGod forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.Romans 3 verse 4 says, Let God be true, but every man a liar. I don't care if every human being or preacher says, "I do not believe it." When I can find it 162 times in my New Testament, I will believe it! It is the Word-we must believe it!

A popular trend today is to take the Hebrew words sheol and the Greek words hades and gehenna and state that they all mean the grave, though they are translated "hell" in the Word of God in the majority of instances. Let's take the Old Testament Hebrew word sheol. Why would God have to use this word to picture a grave when the Hebrew word queber logically depicts and portrays it? Consider the following five points in the Old Testament:

To look at all the Old Testament instances involving sheol would take months of study. Besides, Christ has brought to light, life, and immortality-that which has to do with a never-dying soul-through the gospel or the New Testament (see 2 Timothy 1:10Bible quoteBut is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.2 Timothy 1 verse 10). Therefore, let's study hades and gehenna and see if they mean the grave or the place of eternal suffering.

You may ask, "Why did the Lord Jesus use two words-hades and gehenna? Are there two places?" Yes. Do you wish to know why?

Let me illustrate it this way: All of us know the difference between a local jail and a penitentiary. If a man is taken in a crime, he is not put into the penitentiary until he has had a trial. When he has had his trial and is found guilty, he is transferred to the penitentiary. Get this next statement, for it is so important to a direct understanding of the Bible subject of hell. When Jesus uses the word hades, He is referring to the local jail, the place where the sinner is held until the judgment morning. Then, at Judgment Day, all sinners come out of the local jail (hades), appear before the Judge, are found guilty, and then transferred to gehenna, the final penitentiary for souls.

Let me also add that the term gehenna is synonymous with the Lake of Fire.

The sea gave up the dead which were in it: and death and [hades-that is the Greek word for hell] delivered up the dead ...And death and hell [hades] were cast into the lake of fire [gehenna]. This is the second death. Revelation 20:13-14Bible quote(verse 13) And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

(verse 14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.Revelation 20 verses 13-14

I repeat that hades is the local jail and, gehenna, the final penitentiary. Any sinner who dies, even at this hour, does not go to gehenna, but to hades, where the rich man is located (see Luke 16:23Bible quoteAnd in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.Luke 16 verse 23). At Judgment Day, he comes out of hades, meets Christ at the trial, and then is transferred to the final penitentiary of lost souls--gehenna.

Let's consider eleven instances Christ uses in the New Testament to depict and describe hades--the temporary local jail.

That is the Greek word hades, where the rich man of Luke 16:23Bible quoteAnd in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.Luke 16 verse 23 is located.

Thou art Peter, and upon this rock l will build my church; and the gates of hell [hades] shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18Bible quoteAnd I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.Matthew 16 verse 18

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell [hades]. Luke 10:15

O death [hades], where is thy victory. 1 Corinthians 15:55

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell [hades] and of death. Revelation 1:18

Plain isn't it? After sinners were judged, death and hades were cast into the final penitentiary-gehenna--synonymous with the Lake of Fire.