A Hell to Shun
Avoid It at All Costs!
by Pastor John Hamel


Part One: There Is a Literal Hell to Shun


"The Lord is known by the judgment which He executes: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands... The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God.”  (Psalm 9:16-17)




That’s a topic that really burns a lot of people up.  


No pun intended.  It's no laughing matter.  


Many people become more than furious when someone dares to bring up such an “archaic” concept.  Many insist, “There is no such place!”  


Others declare, “The only Hell is what we are presently living on this Earth.”  


Many believe they are just too “educated” to even consider such “foolishness.” 


The reason these individuals do not believe that there truly is a Hell to shun is because they simply do not accept the Bible as their final authority concerning life and conduct.  


This does not, however, change the fact that Jesus taught us that Hell is a literal place where human beings will spend a punishing eternity for rejecting His death on the Cross in their place. (Luke 16:20-31; Romans 6:23)  


The Bible refers to Hell well over fifty times.  Jesus referred to it at least fourteen times and warned all to avoid it, at all costs. (Matthew 5:29,30)  He warned religious hypocrites, in particular, that they would find themselves unable to escape the damnation of Hell unless they repented.


"Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ... ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell?" (Matthew 23:29-33) 


Some, pretending to be fearless, have expressed their preference for Hell over Heaven.  A friend of mine was killed as a young man.  Someone ignorantly placed a bottle of whiskey in his casket so he could “… party hearty when he got to Hell.”  


Reader, Hell is not a Jack Daniels' party with a bunch of Hell’s Angels.  


Neither is it a burning, little red schoolhouse where you will finally learn your lessons! 


The first thing you will experience if you end up in Hell is all of your ignorant “educated” ideas being violently raped by a brutal gang of facts!  


Hell is a place of more than agonizing emotional, physical and spiritual torment.  Those who end up there damned themselves by rejecting God’s plan of escape in Jesus. 


Anyone who does not accept Jesus’ three days in Hell on their behalf will simply have to go there and pay for their own sin themselves … ETERNALLY. (Acts 2:27-32; Revelation 20:12-15)  


People who reject Christ sure cannot go to Heaven and they have to go somewhere.  Unfortunately, they will just have to go to the place that God initially prepared only for Satan and his demons, a place called “Hell.” (Matthew 25:41)


A word to those who call themselves “annihilationists,” insisting that Hell does indeed exist but that upon arrival individuals are burned into non-existence.  


This is not what Jesus taught. 


Jesus taught us that Hell is a place where the “…worm (maggots) dies not and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:43-48)  


The maggots in your disease-infested body won’t burn up because your body won’t burn up.  You will live in that horrible, wretched condition forever.  


You will even recognize family and friends who ended up there and they will recognize you as well. (Luke 16:19-31) 


You will hate each other for not helping one another to avoid such torment when you had the chance.  


Eternal judgment and suffering in Hell is definitely no Halloween charade.  


I have told some who insist on arguing these points with me, “I hope you’re right and I hope I’m wrong, for your sake.”  


They almost always look incredulous and ask me, “Why would you say that?”  


“Because,” I tell them, "if you are right and there is no eternal destiny called 'Hell', nobody needs to worry about anything.  


"On the other hand, if Jesus is right and if the Bible is right, there is an eternal destiny called 'Hell' and there is going to be a whole lot of unnecessary suffering going on and you are going to be right in the middle of it - forever."


Why not believe the Bible?  Why not believe the words of Jesus Christ, the only man to experience death, Hell and the grave and to come back and teach us about it?


Having raised from the dead, Jesus said, "Fear not: I am the First and the Last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of Hell and of death."  (Revelation 1:18) 


Why not just say, “Jesus, You’re my one and only choice.” (Romans 10:13)  


That is when you become a member of God's forever family.


Doing so guarantees you will appear before Christ's Judgment Seat of Rewards, bypassing The Great White Throne Judgment of Punishment.


Doing so also guarantees you will bypass Hell and arrive safely home in Heaven. 


After all, the Scripture is clear, there really is a Hell to shun and a Heaven to gain!


Part Two: Jesus Descended into Hell on Behalf of Humanity


Before Jesus died at Calvary those who died believing He would come could not yet go to Heaven.  They had not yet been cleansed by the Blood of Jesus.  


Therefore, these individuals were sent to a special compartment in Hell called "Paradise" or "Abraham's Bosom."  


This was a compartment where those who died believing Christ would appear were cooled, protected and provided for until Jesus came to shed His Blood for their sins, giving them access to Heaven.


This is revealed here in Luke chapter sixteen.


"And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's Bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried: and in Hell he lift up his eyes being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom.


"And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.


"...but Abraham said, Beside all this between us and you there's a great gulf fixed; so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." (Luke 16:22-26)


So, we see clearly that Abraham's Bosom was a special compartment in Hell where those who died believing Christ would come for them were safely held.


The Bible says when it was time for Christ to raise from the dead, having fully paid the penalty for the sins of man, He opened that compartment and released all the saints who were waiting for Him to do so.


These were all the saints from Adam up until the very last saint to die just prior to Jesus' raising from the dead.


Jesus then led all of them from their protected compartment in Hell right up into Heaven, stopping by Planet Earth and giving Gifts to the soon-to-be-established New Testament Church.


"When He ascended up on High, He led captivity captive and gave Gifts unto men."  (Ephesians 4:8)


The Prophet David even prophesied Jesus would do this in Psalm 68:18.


"Thou hast ascended on High, Thou hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received Gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also. That the Lord God might dwell among them." 


There are those who emphatically insist Jesus did not and would not ever descend into Hell.  


However, in order for Jesus to open that compartment in Hell, release those captives, ascend and lead them into Heaven, does it not make sense that He first had to descend into Hell in order to do so?  


The Bible teaches that Jesus did descend into Hell, located in the lower parts of the Earth.


"Now He that ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the Earth. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all Heavens, that He might fill all things." (Ephesians 4:9-10)


It is clear from Scripture that Jesus did first descend into Hell before ascending into Heaven. While there He went into Abraham's Bosom, or Paradise, and released all who awaited His arrival.


This is why Jesus prophetically spoke through the Prophet David and said, "For Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption." (Psalm 16:10)  


This is also why Jesus said to the criminal on the Cross next to Him, "This day you will be with Me in Paradise" - when He was not to arrive in Heaven until three days later. (Luke 23:43) 


Paradise was not in Heaven yet.  At that time it was a protected, temporary compartment of Hell.


However, Paradise is now located in Heaven and the eternal spirits of those who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior go there immediately at the time of physical death.


"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:8)


"For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better." (Philippians 1:23)


When the Lord returns in the clouds with His Heavenly saints to take away His Earthly saints at the beginning of the great Tribulation Period, the bodies of the Heavenly saints will be resurrected, perfected and rejoined to their living human spirits. Like Christ, they will then live in those perfected bodies forever.


"...we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself." (Philippians 3:20-21)


"For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)


The bodies of those who rejected Christ will also ultimately be restored to the spirits of those who own them.  Only those bodies will not be perfected. They will remain in a corrupted state for all of Eternity.


"...it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into Hell, unto the fire that never shall be quenched: where there worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:45-46)


"And I saw a great White Throne and Him that sat on it ... and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life ... and whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire." (Revelation 20:11-12, 15)


No living human being ever has to go to Hell because Jesus already went there for us.  


However, one must personally accept what He has done on their behalf in order for it to become effective in their life. 


Accept what Christ did for you when it came His time to die, descending into Hell for you, and He will accept you in Paradise when it comes your time to die!


"Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)


Be Blessed … John and Barbara Hamel



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