Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(II Timothy 2:15)
Hell vs. the Lake of Fire
Revelation 19:20-21; 20:7-10; 20:11-15
I’m going to wrap up this series today; but before I do that I want to review the reasons why we are taking the time to study this subject matter.
1. First and foremost there are many church attending Christians today who do not believe in the existence of Hell; even though, as I’ve shown you, this information may be found in their Bibles.
2. Some church leaders do not believe in the existence of Hell, therefore they choose not to teach or preach on the topic.
3. Since little teaching is coming from the church on the subject of Hell, and the Lake of Fire, the fact that there is confusion, doubt, and misunderstanding among the church body is understandable to a degree.
The Lake of Fire
Although there are numerous references to Hell in both the Old Testament and the New, you’ll find the Lake of Fire is mentioned only twice in Scripture. Both instances are found in the book of Revelation. Here they are.
Doom of the Beast and False Prophet
20: And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone
14: Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.
(Here we see Hell/Hades/or Sheol they all refer to the same place being cast into the lake of fire, much the same way we toss our waste into a larger trash receptacle at the end of the week; this is how we know these two places are not one and the same).
This is the second death, the lake of fire.
The Lake of Fire is presently uninhabited.
But the beast of Revelation and the false prophet will be “Gehenna’s” first two occupants without benefit of a trial.
You may have heard the word Gehenna before; perhaps not.
The Hebrew word Hinnom when translated into Greek is Gehenna.
From the Old Testament, the Hinnom valley is a ravine located in Jerusalem, running south from the Jaffa Gate, on the west side of the old city, then eastward along the south side of Mount Zion until it meets the Kidron Valley which separates the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives on the east side of the city.
In the Old Testament, during Solomon’s rule, the Ammonites worshipped their god Moloch in the Hinnom valley. Worship to Moloch included child sacrifice by fire.
At one end of this valley a huge furnace was constructed for this purpose.
Solomon Turns from God
I Kings 11
1: Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,
2: (Now read carefully – God warned His people not to mix with these pagan nations and for good reason) from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. (I thought Solomon was supposed to be wise? Shows you what can happen to the best of us well-intentioned or not when you choose the world and its ways over God.)
The Israelites disobeyed God’s warning and His command concerning the pagans in the Promised Land; in time they conformed to their customs and practices, as God knew they would. To prove the point they began to worship Moloch and in the bargain they offered their children in his fire. Please turn to Leviticus chapter 18.
21: (This is the LORD God speaking) ‘You shall not give any of your offspring (children) to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the LORD,
30: “For the sons of Judah have done which is evil in My sight,” declares the LORD, “they have set their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it.
31: “They have built the high places of Topheth (means ‘place of fire’), which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to (do what) burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.
Before we judge these ancient Israelis for such a horrible atrocity; and it was.
Let’s not forget that in America alone 3,700 babies are aborted daily on each individual’s altar of choice. 52% of women obtaining abortions are younger than 25.
Teenagers obtain 20%; and teens younger than 15 account for 1.2%.
This too is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.
This is just one more “sign” that this is no longer a “Christian” nation.
There are a few of us left. But don’t kid yourselves into thinking there are millions and millions. That would be wrong according to a recent Gallup poll.
A survey was taken across this nation.
Religious Christians were asked if they believed in God.
80% replied yes.
In the year 1944, the response was higher.
Back then 94% said yes.
But here’s the thing.
There is a big difference in believing in god and believing God!
Read that sentence again please.
Most “Christians” and I hesitate to use that word; and those who know me understand why I choose not to identify Believers with that label, do not believe what God has said.
According to a recent survey by the George Barna Group taken in July 2011, Christians were asked if they thought the Bible was “totally accurate in the principals it teaches.”
Only 36% said yes. The same question was posed in the year 1991 and 46% said yes.
I bet you thought the number would be much higher.
The Barna Group notes in another survey that since 1991 attendance in adult Bible study groups has dropped off significantly. On any given Sunday only 15% of adults can be expected to show up.
Considering these statistics, I sing the praises of all those who have been faithfully attending our Home Bible Study Group for the past three years. I see the Holy Spirit working in and through our small group. I give God the credit and the honor for what He has done.
We just make ourselves available.
I cannot forget to mention all those who have joined us via the World Wide Web.
Whether you are a first time visitor or a regular attendee to this blog; welcome.
Thank you for taking the time to be with us as we study God’s Word.
I pray this Bible Study will encourage you to open your Bible at home and lead you to study God’s Word on your own or with a small group. Remember it’s not about what I said or anyone else.
It’s all about what God has said. And BELIEVE IT.
Don’t be counted among the 85% who elect not to be part of a Bible study. Please!
Later on, after the Jews returned from Babylonian exile, they turned the Hinnom Valley into the city dump where their garbage and anything deemed unclean was burned;
This included the bodies of executed criminals.
For this purpose a fire was kept burning there continuously.
I pray you see the spiritual connection.
This is why Gehenna is a future picture of the Lake of Fire.
It is the future place for both soul and body (unlike Hell where only the soul is held) of all those names not written in the Book of Life.
15: And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he (she is also implied) was thrown into the lake of fire.
The Lake of Fire is permanent.
It is an eternal destination for the damned.
It is a place of torment for both body and soul.
© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved