Does Hell really exist?
Yes. Hell does exist. God’s Word clearly states that Hell is real. The Old Testament of the Bible clearly indicates that there is punishment after death for the wicked. Over and over again it is stated that God will repay the evil for their sins and punish them for their wickedness (Psalm 94:23). Isaiah says that sinners will be terrified and trembling will grip the hypocrites. He asks, “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
The New Testament is even more clear. Jesus Christ Himself spoke of Hell–more than any other New Testament writer. Christ commands us not to fear those who kill the body but to “fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). He also said that a person who calls someone a fool is in “danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22). Further, Christ asked the Pharisees “how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33) And in another place Christ thunders against a city that he predicted would be “brought down to hell” (Matthew 11:23).
The Bible clearly indicates that there is a Hell and Christ strongly affirmed it. Therefore, we know that Hell exists.
Who goes to Hell?
All people who reject Jesus Christ’s free gift of salvation will end up in Hell. The Bible says that the “wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17). Those who have trusted Christ for salvation do not go to Hell. Those who reject God’s free gift of salvation are condemned to Hell for eternity. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. …He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”
Where is Hell?
The Bible does not state specifically the exact location of Hell. But we must get in our minds that not only is there a Hell, but Hell is a very real place. Hell is a place like America is a place. Hell is a place like Washington D.C. is a place. Hell is a place like your house is a place. Hell is a very real place. But if Hell is a place—and every indication points to the fact that it is–where is that place?
From studying the Word of God, some have come to the conclusion that Hell is in the center of the earth. Now, some may believe that Hell is in space somewhere. Some may believe that Hell is on Mars. Some people even say, “I’m in hell right now” (I can assure you you’re not). But since Hell is real, it would be safe for us to say that Hell is some place. And many believe that place is the center of the earth. Here’s why:
In Acts 2:31, the Bible states: “…He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” And in Ephesians 4:9, the Bible says, “Now that He ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?” And in Matthew 12:40, Jesus proclaimed these words: “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three nights in the heart of the earth.”
In light of these three verses, it is easy to see why it is plausible to believe that Hell is in the center of the earth. Outside of the Word of God, scientists say that about eleven miles down, in the center of the earth, lie rivers of liquid fire which heat is beyond measure. Also, volcano eruptions may even testify to the fact of a burning inferno in the center of the earth. Hell is a very real place! And that place may be in the center of this earth.
How can I avoid Hell?
Is the Devil in charge of Hell?
Many today believe that just as Heaven is God’s kingdom, Hell is the devil’s kingdom and he rules over it just as God rules over Heaven. This belief is false. The devil is not in control of Hell. In fact, the Bible says in Revelation 20:10 that the devil “that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
What happens in Hell?
Ceaseless punishment–that is what happens in Hell. Those poor souls who rejected Christ’s free gift on earth will be punished for their sins in the burning inferno called Hell.
Matthew 25:41 gives us the answer to this question. At the Great Judgement, Christ will say to “them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…”
You see, God did not prepare hell for people. He prepared hell for the devil and his angels (demons), but people who reject Christ’s gift of salvation and follow the devil will inevitably go to hell with the devil.
Is it possible that one of my family members went to Hell?
Sadly, yes. If one of your family members didn’t accept Christ’s free gift of Salvation. Then they will end up in Hell. The Bible says that God is no respector of persons.
If I pray for people I know are in Hell, will it help them get out and go to Heaven?
No, Hell is a place of no return. Each individual person must accept Christ for himself or herself. I cannot depend on your salvation to get to Heaven.
What about purgatory?
Purgatory is a belief in a “third place”–not just Heaven and Hell. Purgatory is supposedly reserved as a place where those who are not good enough to go to Heaven can be purged from their sins and then proceed to go upward. Those who promote this idea lean largely upon Apocryphal literature to back up their claim. The Bible does not indicate that there is a purgatory, and we can only conclude from Scripture that those who die without Christ end up in Hell, those who don’t go to Heaven.