“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” – Mark 9:43-44
It is a remarkable thing that our Lord, while on earth, said more about hell than He did about heaven. He compared hell to the garbage dump, Gehenna, which was located outside Jerusalem. He also compares hell to outer darkness (see Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30), a horrible place away from the presence of God, who is light.
“There is no hell!” says the liberal theologian. “A God of love would not send people to a furnace of eternal fire!” But God does not send people to hell; they send themselves. Hell was prepared for Satan and his angels, not for people made in the image of God. Those who follow Satan and believe his lies must end up where he ends up—in hell.
Hell might be considered a monstrous blot against the holy character of God were it not for Calvary. God has prepared a way for sinners to escape the furnace of fire, and that way is in His Son, Jesus Christ. He endured the fire of hell for a lost world. He went through the outer darkness. He identified himself with the sins of the world—yes, was made sin for us—so that we might be saved from eternal judgment.
Because there is such a place as hell, it behooves us who are saved to warn a lost world of the wrath to come. It was said of D. L. Moody that he never mentioned hell in his sermons without a tear in his eye. God has sent us out to be witnesses, not prosecuting attorneys. Let’s not act as though we are glad people are going to hell. Let’s do something to stop them!
God’s children experience furnaces and must go through fire, but we will never experience the furnace of eternal punishment. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Let’s not be afraid of the furnaces of life, for God is in control and is working out His wonderful purposes. Rather, let’s fear lest we fail to witness, pray, and give as we should so that others might escape the furnace of hell.
If you have never trusted Christ, then receive Him now. He is the only Savior, and the only way He will save you is by your trusting Him and opening your life to him. “But as many as received [Christ], to they He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).