"In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'" Luke 16:23-24
A very popular book and movie entitled, Heaven Is for Real, has sparked a lot of interest in the reality of heaven. People are talking about heaven and what it will be like and who will be there. The Bible has a lot to say about heaven...what it will be like and who will be there. However, the Bible has a lot to say about hell, as well...what it will be like and who will be there. As Christ followers, we want people to know the truth about God and the redemption He offers through Jesus. We want people to know the consequences of sin, both now and in eternity. We want people to know about forgiveness and restoration and an eternity in heaven. If we are agreeing and telling people that heaven is for real, then we need to make sure we are telling them hell is for real, too! The Greek word "Gehenna" is translated as "hell." This word is used twelve times in the Greek New Testament, and Jesus used it eleven of those twelve times. Another word used for hell is the word "Hades." In Luke 16, Jesus shares the story of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man died and suffered in hell. He used words like "torment," "agony," and "fire" as he spoke about hell. In Revelation, "Gehenna" is describes as "a lake of fire and brimstone." The gospels describe hell as a place where the fire will never be quenched, an everlasting fire. Hell is a places of everlasting punishment of unforgiven sin, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. The Bible is clear that we have a choice, though. We can admit our sin before God and repent. We can choose to put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and we will be forgiven of our sins...past, present, and future. We can spend eternity in a place called heaven because of the grace of God. We can live forever in a place of peace and love. Or, we can choose to live in our sin now and forever. We can choose to reject God's redemption and forgiveness, reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We can choose to pay for our sins for eternity in a place called hell, a place of separation from God...a place of darkness, of torment, of agony...forever and ever. If you choose to believe God's word, then believe all of it, not just part of it. Heaven is for real. And hell is for real, too.