Hell, Fire or Eternal Separation from God Ps. 139:8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The purpose of this broadcast is to answer the question, Is hell fire or eternal separation from God? There are those who preach that hell is only a place of eternal separation and not a place of fire. In 1993, Billy Graham said that hell is certainly a place of eternal separation from God but that he was not sure whether it is a place of literal fire and so he doesn’t preach hell as literal fire.
Hell is literal fire and it is a frightening and sometimes offensive subject. It describes an eternal consequence of sin from which men must be saved. It helps men to realize that they are lost without Christ and it helps them to realize how horrible it is to die without him [Jude 22-23]. Be less concerned about hurting someone’s feelings by preaching hell than you are about living with the tears of refusing to tell them the truth about hell.
In Lk 16:19-31 hell is described as fire [a literal flame] and the pain of living in it is a torment. The rich man who was in there became extremely concerned about his five brothers who were lost. We should be concerned NOW about the lost and not wait till eternity to wish that we had told them.
Is hell fire or eternal separation from God? It is fire.
Matt 25:41 says depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire. This verse tells you that hell is literal fire yet it gives you the impression that you are separated from God if you are in there. However, Ps 139:8 says if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. So, it is not eternal separation.
Job 26:6 says hell is naked before him and destruction has no covering [Prov 15:11] – God can still see those who are in there, just like Abraham and Lazarus saw the rich man that was in there in Lk 16:23-25.
Deut 4:24 says God is a consuming fire [Heb 12:29] – those in hell are in the wrathful presence of God [Jn 3:36] – since God is eternal then their torment and flame is forever – the saved are, on the other hand, in the merciful presence of God.
Mk 9:43-48 describes hell as a literal unquenchable fire. Six times in these verses hell is described as fire [see also, Matt 3:12, Matt 13:40-42, Matt 18:8-9].
Rev 14:10 says they are tormented in fire but they are in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. It is literal fire Rev 20:11-15, Rev 21:8.
Conclusion: Preach hell as it really is: FIRE. It is not an eternal separation from God in the sense that God can’t see them. It is an eternal separation in the sense that they cannot get to God forever [Lk 16:26]. So, don’t attempt to air condition hell just to make the preaching of it more palatable. You are not telling the truth. Jesus is coming back in flaming fire and he will punish those who obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ [2 Thes 1:7-9]. So, preach the gospel and try to keep others from going to hell.