Preacher’s Point: Hell


Watching the destruction of Paradise by Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano reminds me of the first part of Isaiah 5:14, “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself …” The verse is speaking of hell enlarging to make room for more inhabitants, but watching the lava flow I cannot help but think of hell overflowing as that molten lake of fire descends through the island.

As of this writing a slew of volcanoes have erupted since the first of June – Sabancaya in Peru, Popocatepetl in Mexico, Fuego in Guatemala, Reventador in Ecuador, Agung in Indonesia, Kerinci in Indonesia, Sangay in Ecuador, Sakurajima in Japan, Klyuchevskoy in Russia, Langila in Papua New Guinea, Ebeko in Kuril Islands, Merapi in Indonesia, Sabancaya in Peru and Popocatepetl in Mexico. Several of these have had more than one eruption. It looks like the earth is letting off a lot more than steam. Is hell enlarging herself?

Where is hell? Every Bible reference of a direction to hell refers to someplace below us; “beneath” and “down” are the words used. Seven times hell is called “the bottomless pit.” These statements lead to the conclusion that hell is in the center of the earth. As far as the bottomless pit goes, inside a moving sphere (the earth) there would be no bottom – only sides.

A misnomer of hell is that Satan rules down there. In fact, hell is the place of punishment for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Satan is not running around hell with a pitchfork; he runs around this earth seeking whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8).

The saddest thing about hell is the number of people that will eventually end up there. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talks about the pathway to heaven and makes this comment, “few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). If few find the road to heaven, then the flip side of the coin is most will travel the road to hell.

Jesus tells the Bible’s most vivid description of hell in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man pleads for just a drop of water to cool his tongue, because, as he put it, “I am tormented in these flames.” Throughout the story, Jesus uses a form of the word “torment” four times (Luke 16:19-31). “Flames,” “torment” are you getting the picture Christ was trying to paint and the description He was giving? Ever burn yourself on the stove? We may have only been in contact with the heat for less than a second, yet we run the wound under water, and we can still feel it, although not as intense, for several hours. Imagine being placed in the flames; never being removed and never being consumed.

If few are on the road to heaven, then who is on the way to hell? Revelation 21:7-8 tells us who is on both paths, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

The last group listed on the road to hell is the one that stands out to me: “all liars.” Most people I know are honest people. However, everyone has told at least one lie in his or her lifetime (Psalm 116:11). How many banks do I have to rob to be a bank robber? The answer is one. Then how many lies to I have to tell to be a liar? The answer is still one. According to this, we all have our part in “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.”

Jesus did say, however, that few would find the road to heaven. In Revelation 21:7-8 mentioned above the Bible only specifies one group that “shall inherit all things.” That group is those that “overcometh.” The logical question now is, “Who are they that overcome?”

John, the writer of Revelation, answers that question in another book of Scripture he wrote, 1 John 5:5, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Most walking the path to hell replace faith in Christ with their own way to heaven. Doing good works, not committing some evil sin like rape or murder, performing some religious ceremony, such as Baptism or Communion, believing in another god, claiming there is no god at all or a million of other things. Jesus was not a liar when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Which way are you currently walking? Are you on the path of the few or the many? Are we watching hell enlarge herself?

By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s Point

Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. Email: [email protected]. Website: E-book: If you email, inform me where you have seen Preacher’s Point. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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