Consider Some Descriptions of Hell
November 2, 2023, 8:26 AM

A Place- The word Gehenna is a way of trying to describe hell. That means "the valley of Hinnom"-- a valley just south of Jerusalem. In this valley the Canaanites worshiped Baal and the fire-god, Molech by sacrificing their children in a fire that burned continuously.

Jeremiah predicted that God would visit such destruction upon Jerusalem that this valley would be known as the "Valley of Slaughter" In his religious reforms, King Josiah put an end to this worship. He defiled the valley in order to make it unfit even for pagan worship.

In the time of Jesus the Valley of Hinnom was used as the garbage dump of Jerusalem. Into it were thrown all the filth and garbage of the city, including the dead bodies of animals, and executed criminals. To consume all this, fires burned constantly. At night wild dogs howled and gnashed their teeth as they fought over the garbage.

Jesus used this awful scene as a symbol of hell. In effect He said, "Do you want to know what hell is like? Look at the valley of Gehenna." So hell may be described as God's "cosmic garbage dump." All that is unfit for heaven will be thrown into hell.

2) Separation -The most terrifying suffering of hell will be the sense of abandonment, the knowledge that one must live with an eternity of loneliness and regret. 2 Thessalonians 1:9 says “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out form the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.”

The absence of God and His goodness and perfect holiness is the worst thing about hell. We live blessed because of God’s general grace. That will not be available at all in hell.

Conscious Torment- In Matthew 25 Jesus illustrates abandonment with the story of 10 Virgins: 5 were wise and 5 were foolish. Half were prepared for the coming of the bridegroom and 5 were not. They didn’t have enough oil for their lamps and they were shut out from the wedding, They were told, “I don’t know you.” (Mt. 25:12) Nothing was mentioned about how evil they were, only how unprepared they were.

That’s the same with the man without the wedding garments. He was thrown out into the streets. He tried to get in by his own righteousness and not the holiness of the clothing that is a gift from Jesus Christ when we receive Him.

The story continues with another parable of the different men with talents and what they do with them. One hides his talent. He is thrown outside, “into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” vs 30.

4) Eternal - The final parable is the separation of the sheep and goats. Those who not only said they believed, but lived out their faith in works of righteousness and not faith in Christ. And Jesus will say to those on His left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. “

Application: Do not trust your good works, religious activity, or traditions. Ask Him to be Your righteousness.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the faith You have put in my heart, for I know the true path is faith: Romans 10:12-14 “the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”