What does the BIBLE say about Hell
Hell IS Real
There was also a region surrounded by "hell" known as "paradise" where the righteous dead went prior to Calvary. It was separated by a great impassable gulf from the lower regions. It was a place of peace and comfort and was the place referred to as "Abraham's Bosom." Not only was Abraham there, but all the Old Testament saints were kept there until Christ's crucifixion. Christ then descended into hell (sheol, hades) (Psalm 16:10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.Psalm 16 verse 10) (Luke 23:43And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.Luke 23 verse 43) and at His ascension He led "captivity captive" and delivered the prisoners of hope from paradise and led them to heaven.
Ephesians 4:8-10 (NKJV)(verse 8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(verse 9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
(verse 10) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)Ephesians 4 (KJV) verses 8-10 says,
Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men." (Now this, "He ascended"--what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
One note here: Jesus did not take the punishment for our sins in hell. He took our punishment for sin on the cross as a type of a sacrificial lamb. He bore our iniquities on the cross. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.2 Corinthians 5 (KJV) verse 21 the Bible says,
For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
When it says "He was made to be sin," it means He was made to be a "sin offering." He bore the sins of many on the cross. He did not bear our sins in hell. He went to hell (Sheol, the abode of the dead) to take the keys of death and hell away from the devil and to set the captives free and take them from paradise to heaven. All those who had died in faith, prior to the cross were kept in paradise which was a temporary place of rest and blessing until Christ paid the price for His own to enter heaven permanently. Although the location of paradise was in Sheol (the abode of the dead), it was not a place of torment. It was a special protected place until the day the Lord would free those in that place of captivity.
The Bible speaks that Jesus went to hell for three days and three nights after His death on the cross. Matthew 12:40For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.Matthew 12 verse 40 records this statement,
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
He was not in hell (Sheol) to receive torment but rather to preach to those that were there awaiting their release to be taken to heaven with Him. After those three days and three nights in hell (Sheol) Jesus took all the Old Testament saints with him to heaven (including one of the thieves that was crucified next to Him.
Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." Luke 23:42-43 (NKJV)(verse 42) And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
(verse 43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.Luke 23 (KJV) verses 42-43
This explains why Jesus said He would be in hell for three days and three nights and yet would that day also be in paradise. Paradise was that safe place in hell (Sheol) that all the Old Testament saints were kept until their sins were atoned for on the cross.
Jesus is now seated on the right hand of God in a position of all authority and power over all things. He is awaiting the time of His second coming to this earth to get the rest of His people and take them to heaven also. For Christians, this will be a joyous time. His second coming for the evil and wicked however, will not be a joyous event as they will be judged and then sent to hell.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while [the] ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. 1 Peter 3:18-22 (NKJV)(verse 18) For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (verse 19) By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (verse 20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (verse 21) The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: (verse 22) Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.1 Peter 3 (KJV) verses 18-22
The gates of hell (sheol and hades) do not prevail against the church today as they once did against the righteous in the Old Testament (Matthew 16:18And 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). All true believers go directly to heaven at death and do not wait in paradise as the Old Testament saints did.
"Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
Lake of Fire
Christ has the keys to death and hell which will ultimately have to give up its wicked dead for judgment. "Sheol" and "Hades" (the present hell) will then come to an end and "Gehenna" (the "Lake of Fire") will take its place.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. Revelation 20:1-3
Souls will burn forever there with no escape; this is the second death. The only escape from this fate is accepting Jesus as our Savior. He is the only one that has the keys of hell so we can be released from our prison of hell and condemnation.
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:18
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 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. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:10-15
Hell and hellfire are realities according to God's Word and any that speak otherwise are in error and are promoting false doctrine. The only way to escape this dreaded place is becoming a child of God so we can go to heaven. It is man's sin that is leading him to hell. If we repent of our sin and ask Jesus to come into our heart we not only can be saved from the hell to come but also delivered from the hell in this earth. If you want to know how to be saved from hell and go to heaven when you die click here: What Does the Bible Say About How to be Born Again.
Excerpt from the book Exposing Satan's Devices