Eternal Destiny - Does Hell Exist?
Matthew 10:28 NASB Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
There are many differing opinions concerning hell and there are excellent reasons given to not believe in hell. The real question is not is there a hell but does God hold people accountable for their choices with hell being an eternal consequence.
1. Eternal fire (Matthew 25:41)
2. Unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12)
3. Everlasting destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
4. Lake of burning sulfur and the people will be "tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10,15)
Hell is a place of eternal misery not like the misery we know but misery no one can imagine. This is forever. We can not comprehend forever.
Matthew 5:20 NASB “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Man's religion, traditions, or religious laws will not keep you out of hell.
Matthew 7:21 NASB “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
There are those who look and sound like Christians on the outside but their heart does not belong to God. Professing with your lips will not keep you out of hell.
Now God does not desire for anyone to perish, what does He do? He warns through His Word.
Small picture of what this looks like. In Matthew 7:13-27, Jesus lays out two lifestyles that result in opposing outcomes.
v13-14) The entrance into heaven is very narrow. The entrance into hell is big and spacious. The path to hell is covered with things that seduce our minds and emotions. We believe we have the right to pursue what we want but this path will "completely cut off (entirely from what could or should have been) (HELPS Word-study)
So, one path is narrow and one path is wide but size is not the only difference. Those on the narrow path have a lifestyle that is confined and restrictive. Their life is lived with views that are in opposition to this world. The biggest difference is, this means there is only one Way to heaven, faith in Christ Jesus. Those who proclaim and those who believe that there are many roads or paths to heaven are on the spacious path.
Recognizing the paths
v 15-18) Do you believe religious activities will gain you entrance into heaven? Jesus says you are listening to "false prophets" who are actually wolves in sheep's clothing. False prophets are very good at what they do. They mix lies with truth by distorting what Jesus said. How do we keep from being lead down the broad path? Look at the fruits people are producing and see if they agree with God's word. Those who do not produce fruit God accepts will be "cut down and thrown into the fire."
v 21-23) Calling Jesus Lord is not in and of itself proof of anything. Our list of accomplishments are not acceptable when done apart from our heart having it's full affection set on Christ. There is something very important here, Jesus must know you. That is, He must call you one of His own or you "will not enter the Kingdom of heaven."
v24-27) This is the judgment. There are only 2 kinds of people here. We are one or the other.
Notice the first thing Jesus points out is obedience to His words. Those who obey are wise and their house is built on "the rock." Does not say a rock but the Rock who is Jesus. Jesus is our wisdom and the firm, unshakable foundation for every believer. We as believers will have our faith tested and tried. Some of these trials will be severe and long. It will not only beat against our faith but it will strengthen our faith as we come to know God as the true Living God and Jesus as the Son of God (John 17:3). We have this stability because we know Christ keeps us, prays for us, and intercedes for us until the end.
Jesus, again, points out obedience first. These people do not obey the words of Jesus and He calls them foolish. Why are they foolish, because they build their life on a foundation that can withstand nothing. When trouble comes their way they fall apart and do not really know how to deal with or change there suffering. But most of all their disobedience and lack of faith means their future will be eternal fire.
Did you see the difference between these two groups?
There are 2 gates, 2 fruit, 2 groups, and 2 futures. Both groups heard the words of Jesus and both groups have 2 choices set before them. One choice leads to heaven and the other to hell. Jesus is warning out of love. These warnings are to abruptly awaken those asleep in their rebellion against God. There are many scriptures warning about the eternal future waiting for those who die in their sin.
Choose between life and blessing, death and curses
There is still time to come to Jesus Christ but only while it is called Today
Hebrews 3:15 NASB “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.” ....18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
Matthew 11:28 NASB “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Rebellion, a hardened heart is the broad path that leads to eternal destruction. Jesus is the only Way onto the narrow path to enter into heaven and eternity with Him.