Hell is real. Jesus, the Son of God, came from heaven to teach us the way to heaven. He promised that he would give eternal life and raise from the dead everybody who believes in him (John 6:34-40). At the same time, nobody in the Bible warns so often about hell as Jesus does.
Jesus taught in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus that immediately after death unbelievers go to Hades. There they are ‘in torment’, and the rich man complains that he is ‘in anguish in this flame’ (Luke 16:23-24). Of the believing Lazarus Jesus says that he is ‘at Abraham’s side’ (Luke 16:22). Later Paul writes that after death believers are ‘with Christ’ (Philippians 1:23).
Jesus talking about judgment on the last day: “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ ”, Matthew 25:41.
• “…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might”, 2 Thessalonians1:7-9.
• “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”, Revelation 20:15.
All these verses make clear that there are two elements to the punishment of the unbelievers. It is a punishment without end, as seen from the words ‘everlasting’, ‘unquenchable’, and ‘eternal’. It is also a severe punishment, most often compared to ‘fire’. This does not mean a literal fire, for other words are used as well: ‘shame and contempt’, ‘destruction’, ‘outer darkness’ (Matthew 25:30). Together these terms point to a terrible reality.Yet the torments of hell will not be the same for everybody. The Bible clearly teaches that some will be punished more severely than others. This becomes clear from the following passages:
Mary Baxter explained her revelation of hell saying; Lights flowed in billows, rolling and folding into one another and rolling over and out of each other. It was a spectacular sight! And then the voice of the Lord began to speak to me.
He said, “I am Jesus Christ, your Lord, and I wish to give you a revelation to prepare the saints for My return and to turn many to righteousness. The powers of darkness are real and My judgments are true.
“My child, I will take you into hell by My Spirit, and I will show you many things which I want the world to know. I will appear to you many times; I will take your spirit out of your body and will actually take you into hell.
“I want you to write a book and tell of the visions and of all the things I reveal to you. You and I will walk through hell together. Make a record of these things which were and are and are to come. My words are true, faithful and trustworthy. I Am That I Am, and there is none beside Me.”
“Dear Lord,” I cried out, “What do You want me to do?” My whole being wanted to cry out to Jesus, to acknowledge His presence. The best I can describe it is to say love came over me. It was the most beautiful, peaceful, joyful, powerful love I have ever felt.
God’s praises began to flow from me. All at once I wanted to give Him my whole life to be used by Him, to help save people from their sin. I knew, by His Spirit, that it actually was Jesus the Son of God who was there in the room with me. I cannot find words to express His divine presence. But I know that I know it was the Lord.
“Behold, My child,” Jesus said, “I am going to take you by My Spirit into hell so that you may be able to make a record of the reality of it, to tell the whole earth that hell is real, and to bring the lost out of darkness and into the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Instantly, my soul was taken out of my body. I went with Jesus up out of my room and into the sky. I knew all that was going on about me. I saw my husband and children asleep in our home below.