If there is no hell, we should live as we please. “If the dead do not rise, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (1 Cor. 15:32). If there is no resurrection, no afterlife we are foolish to live as Christians—There is no need to concern ourselves with righteous living if there is no hell.
On the other hand, if there is a hell, we need to chart a course which will keep us far from hell. We need to be sure that we are walking the narrow way which leads to life (Matt 7:14). We need to be sure that we obey the Gospel, for when Jesus is revealed, he will execute vengeance on those who do not obey the Gospel (2 Thess 1:8).
As hell is described in Scripture, it is a horrible place.
Hell is a place of torment—The rich man was in torment when he saw Abraham and Lazarus in his bosom (Lk. 16:23).
Hell is a place of fire—At the end, the wicked will be cast into the “furnace of fire” (Matt 13:50).
Hell is an eternal place.
Jesus said that the wicked would go “away into everlasting punishment” (Matt 25:46). In Dante’s Divine Comedy, the inscription above hell read, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” Hell is a place without hope because it is eternal.
Hell is a place of pain. Hell is described as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 8:12)—That is a picture of individuals in pain.
Hell is a place without rest—Those in hell have no rest day or night (Rev 14:11).
Hell is a place of remembrance.
The rich man could remember how he had good things and Lazarus evil things (Lk 16:25). Throughout eternity, those in hell will remember their lives. You will remember all the invitation hymns you heard. You will remember all the admonitions to do right. You will remember all of your sins
But, that is only part of the picture—Hell can be a very good place! There are some very sound reasons for wanting to go to hell!
NO EFFORT IS REQUIRED TO GO TO HELL
We generally think of horrible people going to hell (child molesters, murderers, and rapist, and they do!—unless, of course, they repent).
Yet, there is a much easier way to get to hell—do nothing. “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (Js. 4:17). We know there are many things we need to be doing (putting away sin, letting our lights shine, telling our friends about Jesus, praying regularly, studying our Bibles, and so much more). Yet, do nothing and you will go to hell.
If we want to go to hell, we can just turn a deaf ear to those who need us and do nothing (Matt 25:41-45). In the Parable of the Talents, the man with one talent was lost because he did nothing (Matt 25:24-30).
Someone has rightly said, “The road to hell was paved with good intentions.” We might intend to do any number of good works, but never get around to them. If we do nothing at all, we can go to hell.
YOU CAN ASSOCIATE FREELY WITH BAD COMPANY THERE
In this life, evil company can corrupt. “Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Cor 15:33). Scripture contains examples of those who were corrupted by evil company: e.g., When Solomon was old, his pagan wives turned away his heart from God (1 Ki 11:4), and Ahab sold himself to do wickedness, because Jezebel his wife “stirred him up” (1 Ki 21:25).
In hell, it won’t matter with whom you associate; you will all be lost.
In fact, you will be able to associate with some well-known people. You can ask Judas why he killed himself instead of turning back to Jesus. You can ask Goliath about his battle with David. You can ask Jezebel about being eaten by dogs. And, you can associate with an endless list o well-known individuals.
YOU WON’T HAVE THE CONSTANT WATCHFUL EYE OF GOD OVER YOU
In this life, God watches over us and knows what we do. No one can hide himself in a secret place so that God will not see him (Jer 23:23-24). For example, when Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, he knew she had been married five times (Jn 4:18).
But, God will not be in hell. Those who are lost will be punished “from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thess. 1:9). You can do whatever you want in hell—God won’t see it.
YOU WONT BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND BIBLE STUDY OR WORSHIP
Some become agitated that we the preacher discusses the importance of Bible study and worship. Preachers discuss the importance of Bible study and worship, for in this life, Bible study and worship are vitally important. God has commanded that we come together (Heb 10:25).
But, in hell, you won’t be expected to attend Bible study or worship—ever!
YOU WON’T BE EXPECTED TO GIVE OF YOUR POSSESSIONS
God has commanded that we give of our means (1 Cor. 16:2); Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and give to the poor (Matt 19:21). Some people don’t like the idea of God expecting them to give of their possessions. I’ve heard people say, “If the preacher preaches on giving, I’m leaving”—In order to be biblical, the preacher must preach on giving.
Yet, in hell you won’t be expected to give of your possessions—you won’t have any! The rich man had nothing in hell (Lk 16:19-31). The rich fool had so much that he was going to take life easy, but his life was demanded of him. God asked, “Then whose will those things be?” (Lk 12:13-21).
THERE WILL BE NO ELDERS, PREACHERS, AND CHURCH MEMBERS NAGGING YOU TO BE FAITHFUL TO THE LORD
Some individuals resent being encouraged to be faithful to the Lord. If you resent being encouraged to be faithful, hell is just the place for you. There will be no encouragement to do right in hell.
This is not to say that there will be no elders, preachers, and church members in hell. But, they will not have the time or reason to bother you!
THERE WILL BE NO WORRY OVER JUDGMENT
Judgment Day is coming! God has appointed a day on which he will judge the world through Jesus (Acts 17:31). All nations will be gathered before Jesus and he will separate the sheep from the goats (Matt 25:32). Many get nervous thinking about Judgment Day-As Paul reasons about Judgment, he made Felix afraid (Acts 24:25).
There will be no worry over judgment in hell—that day will be history.
YOU WON’T BE LONELY
The majority of people will be lost (Matt 7:13).
Your family and friends who followed your example will be there, too. Those who love family more than Christ won’t obey (Matt 10:37). Parents have influence over their children; a little leaven leavens the whole lump (Gal 5:9). If you haven’t lived the Christian life, you have influenced your children not to live the Christian life. If you haven’t put the Lord first in your life, you have influenced your children to do the same.
After the 1933 earthquake that struck Southern California, W. C. Fields said, “We’re crazy to live here, but there sure are a lot of us.” The same thing is true about hell.
If you want to go to hell, you have some sound reasons for doing so. But, don’t go to hell!