What the New Testament Really Says About Hell

There is no place quite like it.

By Lesli White

Hell is mentioned in the New Testament numerous times, including in Matthew 8:12, which says, “The children of the kingdom will be driven out into the darkness where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” Hell is also mentioned related to internal destruction in 2 Thessalonians 1:9, which says, “These will pay the penalty of eternal ruin, separated from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” Hell is also described in great detail in Revelation 14:11, which says, “The smoke of the fire that torments them will rise forever and ever, and there will be no relief day or night for those who worship the beast or its image or accept the mark of its name.” From these descriptions of hell in the Bible, we know that it is a place of final judgment and anguish. Here are five questions about hell answered.

Can we comprehend what hell is like?

We know from New Testament readings that no place on earth indeed compares to hell. No human truly has a sense of what hell looks like or feels like. No experiences of pain and torment on this earth parallel the pain and agony one would experience in hell. It is even hard to comprehend what hell is like from the Bible’s descriptions.

As believers, we know that hell is real, but it is still hard to comprehend fully. Descriptions of hell are dark and scary. While it is not easy to wrap our minds around it, as Christians, we must fully understand it to understand God and His love for us. 

Is hell a real place?

You may be astonished by how many believers do not believe or accept that hell exists. For those who doubt it, God has given us substantial evidence that hell does exist in His positive message. If you don’t believe hell exists, consider these words from Jesus: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him” (Luke 12:4-5). If you don’t believe hell exists, you don’t trust God’s Word or truth.

The New Testament is clear that hell is all about suffering. Hell is often depicted as a place like that on earth today, with people running around killing and committing evil acts. If you think hell is anything like this, you are up for a rude awakening. Hell was designed as a place of horror, torment, and torture. That is why it is repeatedly referred to as a lake of fire and brimstone. The Bible warns that we do not make light of this evil. The Bible tells us, “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them” (Proverbs 1:32). The only concern in hell is how bad the pain is.

Does Jesus ever mention hell?

There is a common misconception that Jesus did not talk about hell, which is false. Jesus spoke about hell more than anyone else in the Bible. Jesus talked about hell more often than He spoke about heaven. There is also a notion that God only spoke about hell in the Old Testament but not in the New Testament because the New Testament is the Good News. It is time to open up our Bibles. Yes, Jesus spoke about love and compassion, but that does not mean that He didn’t address hell. Hell is genuine, and Jesus needed to talk about this often.

Is hell eternal?

Just as heaven is eternal, hell is eternal. As Christians, we believe that the righteous will inherit the kingdom they have been citizens of during life on earth, and the unrighteous will be told to depart from Jesus. This is what Jesus told the apostles in the New Testament, when He said, “Then [the unrighteous] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). What will the truth of your life be? Whatever the verdict at the time of judgment is, there will be two options, and they are both eternal, not temporary.

Does God send us to hell because he is unhappy with us?

Hell is not a place that God sends you when He is upset with you or turned off by something you’ve done. There is a common misconception that God sends people to hell. This doesn’t seem right. People throw themselves to hell when they reject Christ. Yes, those who do not accept Jesus will go to hell, but that is because of their choosing. Our God is a God of love. When we are born again through the waters of baptism and make Christ the center of our lives, we have no place in hell.

Suffering in hell is filled with great anguish and is not a place we want to spend the rest of eternity. However, for those who think we are destined to go to hell with no hope are missing God’s grace. God gives us what we do not deserve. God’s will is that we are saved, that we turn to Jesus and receive forgiveness for our sins. Those who go to hell are isolated from everything else, permanently cut off from God and everything good. The good news is that there is hope with God, and the great thing about God’s love is that we can all be saved.Lesli White is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a concentration in print and online journalism. In college, she took a number of religious studies courses and harnessed her talent for storytelling. White has a rich faith background. Her father, a Lutheran pastor and life coach was a big influence in her faith life, helping her to see the value of sharing the message of Christ with others. She has served in the church from an early age. Some of these roles include assisting ministry, mutual ministry, worship and music ministry and church council.   

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One thought on “What the New Testament Really Says About Hell

  1. I love the fact that you made the point that God sends no one to hell, that we the people send ourselves there by the way we live and by not accepting Christ. Blessing. Very good article.


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