We really do not know much about hell, we know that there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, which infers a mental state of great despair and anger, and we know that it is hot, that’s really about all we know. The Lord is there of course, He is everywhere. “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” (Psalm 139:7) But His favor, His blessings and love are not, there is no compassion in hell, there is hopelessness, extreme pain of the mind when it comes to the ability to think of another’s touch, of kind words, for there are none.
The account of the rich man and Lazarus found in Luke 16:19-31 is about all we really are told of this place. It is not eternal torment, for hell itself will be cast into the Lake of Fire. There are people there who have been there since the days of Adam, some of them probably even knew him, and they are going to remain there for at least another thousand years, for the Great White Throne of Judgment does not occur until the end of the Millennial period. (Rev. 20:11-14) That is a long time to contemplate the actions, thoughts and intents of a few short years of life on this earth.
We know that the rich man spoke with Abraham, from across the great gulf he begged for just a single drop of water, for mercy towards his family members, but we do not know if anyone in hell has ever met anyone else there, if it is possible to attempt to console each other, or if it is a place of complete isolation from all other life. It is a dark, hot, lonely forbidding place, filled with suffering, and it’s only going to get worse.
How many people in your life have you spoken to about the love that Jesus Christ holds for them, and how many have you told about the place that they will go to if they refuse the sacrifice that was given for them? No offense, but I would offer a guess that one stands far above the other. We like to speak about love eternal, about pleasures forevermore, (Psalm 16:11) about the ability to know pure joy apart from even the smallest amount of sin, no tears, no pain, no suffering, we love to offer hope. But we don’t like to speak about the alternative, about wrath, even about the wrath that abides on them today, (John 3:36) much less an eternity of complete and utter hopelessness filled with incomprehensible pain. We like to love, but we fear to warn.
If you did an actual study of the Scriptures, even in just the life of Christ, you might be amazed at just how much He spoke about hell, not so much in the context of what it looks like, its physical attributes if you will, but of the isolation from the love and mercy of the Lord. He warned people of the truth of what was going to happen to them if they rejected His offering, His sacrifice for their sins. Ask yourself this, if you desire to have the mind of Christ, if you want those you meet to see Christ in you, then are you speaking to them about hell?
This should not be seen as “step two,” if you will, in our witnessing to the lost, it is not a matter of tell them about the love and if they won’t listen then threaten them with the truth of hell, they are one and the same, the love always carries a warning. The warning always is surrounded by the love offered, they cannot be separated. I will leave you with conjecture today, with a possibility that I cannot verify, if you happen to see someone that you knew here in this life while looking over that place of punishment, and they yell at you, “Why didn’t you warn me?” what are you planning on saying, and why won’t you say it now?