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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Mar. 30, 2008

  • 2008 Mar 30

Investigating the Inevitable: Death & Hell

In the time it takes me to say this sentence, 18 human beings awoke in eternity because they died on earth.   And, that was in 10 seconds.   Every hour, 6,464 die.   That’s 155,131 per day – about fifty-six million a year – and about 108 since I started one minute ago.   So what should we remember from this study in God's Word today? Three things:

Life is fragile: Our lives are but a vapor the Lord says. We can be healthy, strong, and full of life today. A tiny virus can make us sick tomorrow, the next day we shiver, and the next day we can fall over dead--just like the countless birds dying in Asia today. Life is fragile!

Death is inevitable: We all have to die, a few of us will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at Christ's Coming—but all lost people and most believers have an appointment with death. It is inevitable. Death is unstoppable and inescapable. With the weather growing more violent, people growing more openly wicked, with warfare becoming more globally lethal, with pestilences stalking the planet like never before—life truly is fragile, and God has said that death is inevitable.

Christ is the only answer: Flu shots can’t help our souls. The UN is not able to stop the growth of evil. The only hope is found in God's Word. The only escape pathway is laid out by Him. Listen to Jesus as he warns us of where people who neglect Him are headed.

Let’s Summarize the Biblical Presentation of Eternal Punishment in Hell in Three Points:

  • IT IS THE PLACE OF ETERNAL, UNENDING PAIN, MISERY AND TORTURE - A darkness so impenetrable than the countless ages of eternity that none of the lost will ever see light or relief – no wonder they are wailing, howling and gnashing teeth.
  • IT IS THE PLACE WHERE BODY AND SOUL ARE TORMENTED. All will be raised, both saved and lost (Jn. 5:28/Dan. 12:2 – some to bless – the rest to horror. The worm dieth not. Mark 9:48 – Eating the conscience and the flesh?   Never consumed by the hellish worms that feed upon them and never die.
  • HELL IS THE PLACE WHERE THERE ARE LEVELS OR DEGREES OF TORMENT – All face intense and unending pain. Some will face far greater.

HEBREWS 10:28-29 – Says the writer of Hebrews. “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:28-29).  

Those who willfully reject Jesus Christ and trample, as it were, on the sacrifice He made for them with His own blood will receive much greater punishment than those who had only the light of the Old Covenant.   And on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the pagan materialistic cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom than for the Jewish cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum-who not only had the light of the Old Covenant but the opportunity to see and hear the Son of God in person and to witness His miraculous works (Matt. 11:22-23).

In the parable of the slaves who awaited their master’s return from the wedding feast, Jesus explains that “that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of flogging, will receive but few” (Luke 12:47-48).

“Hell will have such severe degrees,” writes John Gretna, “that a sinner, were he able, would give the whole world if his sins could be one less.”

The torment of hell will be everlasting.   Nothing will be so horrible about hell as its endlessness.   Jesus uses the same word to describe the duration of hell as the duration of heaven:   “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:46).   People in hell will experience the absence of hope.


“If anything less than eternal punishment be due to sin, what need was there of an infinite sacrifice to give deliverance from that punishment?   Did Jesus shed His precious blood to deliver us from the consequences of our guilt, if those consequences be only temporary?   Grant us the truth of an infinite sacrifice, and we argue from thence the truth of eternal punishment.”

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