Is There Really a Hell?

“Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [sheol]; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” —Psalm 16:10

“The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell [sheol] gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.” —Psalm 116:3

“Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” —Matthew 7:13

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave [sheol], whither thou goest.” —Ecclesiastes 9:10

“I will ransom them from the power of the grave [sheol]; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave [sheol], I will be thy destruction.” —Hosea 13:14

YES, there really is a hell, but the hell taught in the Bible is not a place of fire and torment as taught in Dark-Age theology, even though this error, which dishonors the name of our living God and Creator, is still believed by some sincere people. According to the Bible, hell is the condition of death—a sleep from which there will be a resurrection, an awakening, in God’s due time.

To illustrate the meaning of hell we need only to take a word in the Hebrew Old Testament and match it with another word in the Greek New Testament. The Hebrew word is sheol, the Greek word is hades. These two words mean the same thing. We know that this is the case, because the Apostle Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in one of his sermons, quoted from the Old Testament the verse of Psalm 16:10, where the word “sheol” is used. In quoting this passage, the Apostle Peter used the Greek word “hades” to translate the Hebrew word “sheol.” The text reads, “because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Acts 2:27,31) In comparing this scripture with Psalm 16:10, we find that both the Old and New Testaments use the word “hell.” Did Jesus go into a hell of fire and brimstone when he died? Surely not, but he did go into death, the Bible hell; and after his resurrection he said, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”—Rev. 1:18

This statement of truth helps us to understand God’s great plan of redemption for all those who have died since Father Adam’s disobedience. I Corinthians 15:22 reads, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” How thankful we are that Jesus did go into the Bible hell, into death, as a corresponding price for Adam and thus obtained the right to unlock the great prison of death and set the captives of death free in the resurrection of the dead!

To understand this subject more fully we quote Revelation 20:13,14: “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.” Here we learn that hell will give up its dead in the resurrection, and after this it will be destroyed. The lake of fire is an illustration of destruction; there will be no resurrection from the second death.

Another text that helps us to understand our subject is Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We rejoice in the knowledge that those in the Bible hell will come forth in the resurrection to receive an opportunity for everlasting life through the reign of Jesus Christ, who redeemed them by his death on Calvary.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |