Has Hell Departed Far Hence?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41 KJV).

Today’s Scripture (and its context of verses 31-46) explains that, after Christ returns to earth (His Second Coming), He will gather to stand before Him the saved and lost Gentile survivors of the seven-year Tribulation. The Gentiles (not us the Body of Christ) who blessed Israel during the Tribulation will be allowed to enter the earthly kingdom (verses 34-40) while those who refused to help Israel will be cast into hell, “everlasting punishment” (verses 41-46).

Hell is a real, spiritual place of “everlasting fire” that God originally created to punish Satan and his angels (today’s Scripture), but it also exists for those humans who participate in Satan’s rebellion against God. Here, the souls of the damned are eternally banished from God’s presence, confined to a place where God’s wrath is never appeased, where consciousness is rewarded with intense heat and painful remembrance (note the thirsty rich man tormented by memory and flames in Luke 16:22-31). Sin is allowed to disfigure their souls and hell’s fire preserves them forever (Matthew 10:28; Mark 9:43-50; John 5:28,29; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10). There is no consumption or annihilation—it is “everlasting punishment.”

Understandably, the doctrine of everlasting hellfire is quite unpopular in modern-day “feel-good” Christendom. You will rarely hear preachers (especially “mega-churchers”) mention everlasting hellfire. Moreover, hell is watered down and even removed from modern Bibles! The Greek words translated “hell” (hades) and “hell/hellfire” (gehenna) in our King James Bible have been left untranslated in modern Bibles (including NKJV). Which is more offensive—“hell” or “hades/gehenna?” Modern Bibles further deny the everlasting nature of hell by replacing “everlasting fire” with “eternal fire,” and omitting Mark 9:44,46 (which both read, “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched).

“Hell” may have departed far hence from Christendom and modern Bibles, but those who reject Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour will depart far hence to the everlasting hellfire that God’s Word (King James Bible) clearly teaches!