HELL, DON'T GO THERE!
By Dan Luehrs
For at least ten years I have desired to preach a message on "hell" and what I believe the Lord has shown me about it, but until now I have never felt released by the Lord to do so. Now I know that the Lord did not allow me speak about it because I did not have the full message He wanted to give me; I was not ready to receive it. Jesus said to His disciples, "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now" (John 16:12 NASB). The word "bear" means, "to endure, declare, sustain, receive, or walk in." In other words, His disciples could not receive or walk in the truth that He desired to give them because their understanding of spiritual things had not grown enough for them to comprehend and to helped by it. Instead of more truth helping them, it would have only caused confusion. Even as a little child can only comprehend so much, so it is with us when we are growing in Christ. He only gives us what we can handle. Otherwise, we will choke on the word or throw it out, calling it false doctrine, and receiving no help from it at all. In the end we could reject the very truth we so desire because we were not ready for it.
The fact is, this is where most of the church is today, rejecting Jesus! We must understand that truth is a person, "Jesus," and He wants to reveal Himself to us. Jesus wants to reveal more truth to the church than were willing to receive, but most Christians cannot and will not receive any more of Him because of spiritual immaturity, traditions of men, fear, or pride. Paul said, "Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing" (Hebrews 5:11 NASB). The word "dull" means, "to be stupid or slow to learn or understand." I believe it was the traditions of men that kept me from hearing the message of hell that the Lord wanted to show me. Even though I had read different teachings on hell I could not receive the truth until the Lord revealed it to me personally. Then I could believe because the truth will set us free from lies! As you read the following article below you may be tempted to call it heresy because you have never heard it like this before. But I encourage you to study the scriptures one by one and pray over them to see the witness of two or three other scriptures on the subject. "... EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES" (2 Corinthians 13:1 NASB).
THE FIRES OF HELL
Hell is a real place of torment. It is a place of great suffering and sorrow with the only way of escape being the cross of Jesus Christ. One of the best books I have ever read on the subject of hell that really changed my life is A Divine Revelation of Hell by Mary Baxter. We must understand that Satan did not plan or create hell, God did; He prepared it for the devil and his angels. "Then He will also say to those on His left, Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41 NASB). Hell must be a spiritual place and not a physical one because Satan is a spirit being and He will be tormented in the fires of God. We must understand that, "Our God is a consuming (eternal) fire" (Hebrews 12:29 NASB). Daniel 7:10 says, "A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened. In this vision Daniel gives us a picture of what the judgment throne of God looked like, fire! A river of fire flows from God!
God's presence and glory is fire, "And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top" (Exodus 24:17 NASB). His fiery anointing will bring conviction and change to whatever comes into it. Fire always changes things into another form; some things are destroyed while others are refined and strengthened. Have you ever watched an unsaved person or a backsliden Christian in a church service where God is present or around anointed Christian music? They become very uneasy. Why is this? Because His anointing and presence is as a fire, bringing conviction and pain to them. Either they will submit to the fire or they will have to leave the building. What is painful to the unbeliever or the backslider is enjoyed by hungry Christians. In fact, we even sing about the fire of God burning us as if it is a joyful thing. We sing: "BURN, BURN HOLY SPIRIT, BURN ME LIKE A FLAMING FIRE, BURN IN ME!"
"And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone (God)" (Revelation 19:20 NASB). The word "brimstone" comes from the word "Theios," meaning, "divinity, divine, and Godhead." Yes, believe what the Bible is saying; God is the fire in the lake of fire and hell.
A PRISON CALLED HELL
"For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment" -- "… The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment" (2 Peter 2:4, 9 NASB).
We must first understand that hell itself is not the place of God's final judgment, but rather the holding place for those who do not know God and those who did not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are being held there waiting for the day of judgment. God has set a day and time for the final judgment Revelation 20:12-15. God created hell to be a holding place, a prison camp of sorts, or a concentration camp to hold the wicked until their day of trial. Those in hell have a time and place reserved for judgment at this white throne judgment seat. I personally believe that Satan is the warden of hell and he deals out revengeful wrath upon all the occupants. God allows this because they have chosen to serve the devil rather than God in this lifetime. For where else could God hold them for the day of judgment? In heaven? I think not! All the bad apples must be held in one place so that they do not corrupt anyone else. They are kept in torment to keep busy; otherwise they would be busy tormenting others through their evil deeds! Could you imagine if Hitler were not in hell to what evil he would still be doing in the earth? Aren't you glad the Bible says, "The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; Let the many islands be glad" (Psalms 97:1 NASB). Because God reigns over all the earth we can be assured that God is in control and all things are working accordingly to His will and purpose. Truly we must rejoice that the Lord reigns and that Hitler and all the other evil men who have died are in hell and cannot harm mankind anymore. Because the Lord reigns they are locked up in hell until judgment. The Lord Jesus has the keys to death and hell, not Satan, and He will not let them out until the judgment day.
THE FIRES OF LIFE
All people must come to the judgment seat of God, either in this life or the next. While we will all be judged in the end, we should in fact long for it now. Even today we should judge ourselves so that we might be free from the man of sin within! But if we will not judge ourselves God will have no choice but to judge us, "But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged" (1 Corinthians 11:31 NASB). God is judging us right now through our many fiery trials that we go through everyday.
"For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God…" (1 Peter 4:17 NASB). Have you ever wondered why your life as a Christian is so difficult? At times, when you look back it seemed easier to live as a non-Christian. But now, as a Christian, when you get through one fiery trial, another seems to follow right behind. These are the judgments of God in our life! "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you" (1 Peter 4:12 NASB). These fires in our lives are God's judgments that Peter was writing about only a few verses later in 1 Peter 4:17, "For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God…" God promises us in His word that He will judge us if we will not do it. "… THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:30-31 NASB).
I thank God for the truth of His word, but I despise the lies of men. There are those among us that would say we do not have to go through the fires. God will allow us to run from the fire if we choose. But, in truth, we will be running away from Him. If our desire is to get close to God, we must go through the fires in order to get to Him. "For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29 NASB). Do you really want to get close to Him? I tell you the truth, the closer you get to Him, (through the experiences of His Holy Spirit in your life and the revelation of His word), the greater the fires will burn in your life. Fire only consumes fuel and when the fuel is gone the fire dies out. "For lack of wood the fire goes out" (Proverbs 26:20 NASB). When everything in us that is not of God is burn away the fires will go out!
Many talk about escaping the fires of hell, and this we can do by obeying Jesus Christ. (See John 3:36). But there is no escaping the fires of God in this life or in the next if we do not repent. In fact, I believe that if we do not go through these fires here and now, we could end up in His eternal fire. Face the fires now or later; but you will face them, you cannot run from them. Thanks God we now have the comfort of His Holy Spirit to face these fires. "So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7 NASB).
Remember that His glory is His fire! He is coming in flames of fire! "… When the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 NASB). He is not coming in some secret way as we have been told, oh no. He is coming in fire! A fire that consumes all that has not been prepared beforehand through holiness. Nothing will be hidden from His eyes. His fires are now burning all the garbage out of us through our fiery trials. So, why would we want them to stop if they are doing such a great work in us? We must rejoice in the fires, even through the pain! These small fires in our life are now preparing us to be ready for His great appearance in fire. The only thing fire does not consume is fire. When He comes, we must be cleansed from all sin in our lives so that we too will become ministers of fire.
The man of sin in us will be consumed! There are two people living in us; one will be destroyed, while the other one will be left to inherit the earth as Noah and his family did. "Then there shall be two men (the two natures in man) in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. "Two women (the two natures in man) will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left" (Matthew 24:40-41 NAS). Jesus said this just after He told His disciples about Noah's flood and how the wicked were taken away, while Noah and his family inherited the earth. "And they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; (took the sinners away) so shall the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:39 NASB). The man of sin will be taken away! Hallelujah!
If we will allow God to destroy this man of sin in us now by the fire of His presence and the trials that He allows in our life, we will not have to face the judgment later when He comes in fullness. We can now let this man of sin in us burn in the fires of hell (God's presence) by obeying God and letting the fires of the Holy Spirit destroy him in us. "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. "And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff (the man of sin) with unquenchable fire" (Matthew 3:11-12 NASB). When we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit He comes in us not only to empower us, but also to cleanse us with His unquenchable fiery presence and trials until we are made into the likeness of Jesus. These fires can only burn us as long as there is fuel to be burned (that fuel is anything not like Jesus in us). God is a God of restoration; we see this in all of nature. God wastes nothing, but He renews it like a forest when it has a fire. The fire only cleanses the forest to bring forth new growth later. We may not see all of what God is doing in our life now, but later we will see His handy work in our life and rejoice! Now is the time for us to lay down our self-life. God has given us the power to lay it down or take it up as Jesus did. "That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit" (Ephesians 4:22 NASB).
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness" (2 Peter 3:10-11 NASB).
Please hear me. These verses are not talking about the natural heavens and earth being destroyed. This is talking about all the works of the wicked flesh being destroyed by the great stress and pressure that is coming upon the earth at the revelation of Jesus Christ. "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch." "But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. "And you will tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing," says the LORD of hosts" (Malachi 4:1-3 NASB).
Do you understand what Malachi is saying? To those who fear His name it will be a day of great freedom because we enjoy His fire! Those who are prepared for His coming have nothing to fear. The fires will be great grace (strength) to live by. "Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13 NASB). Fire is power. Firepower is the strength that runs almost everything your car must have gas to make the fire in the motor turn the wheels; electricity is fire to run your home; light is fire. Where would we be without the sun? Will you be prepared for the day of His revealing in fire?
"Sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling has seized the godless. "Who among us can live with the consuming fire (God)? Who among us can live with continual burning (God)?" He who walks righteously, and speaks with sincerity, he who rejects unjust gain, and shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; he who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; he will dwell on the heights; his refuge will be the impregnable rock; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure" (Isaiah 33:14-16).
THE SECOND DEATH
"… Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death" (Revelation 2:10b-11 NASB).
The Lord gives one of His greatest promises and blessing to those who die to self in this lifetime. They, "Shall not be hurt by the second death." These are those who have been beheaded of their self-life. Now Jesus is their only head and they are His body. "Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6 NASB). To reign with Jesus and be a part of the first resurrection is one of the greatest blessings in all of scripture. These overcomers will not have to face the second death. Everyone that does not overcome self in this life will have to go through the second death later to do it because they did not lose their life for His sake, being faithless and cowardly to follow the Lamb.
"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful (faithless, cowardly), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part (share) in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Revelation 21:7-8 KJV).
Now the question is "What is the second death?" If being faithful unto death is dying to self, then the second death is likewise. Revelation chapter two is the first time we read anything about a second death. This is the law of first use in scripture and everything else must pattern after it. In other words, if we do not die to self in this life we may have to face it again in the second death! As I see it, life is like a timed test that students take in school; once the time allotted is gone, it's gone. God gives us time on earth so that we will come into the full likeness of Jesus. If we waste it we do not get another life to do it over again. Many teach that the great white throne judgment of God is just for the unbelievers. This is not the case because only the overcomers are those who do not have to face the second death and they will take part in the reign of Christ. "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years" (Revelation 20:5 NASB). NOT ALL CHRISTIANS ARE OVERCOMERS. In fact, very few are!
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death" (Revelation 20:14 KJV). Death is the last enemy to be defeated; it too must be destroyed in the lake of fire, which is the second death. The second death is the death of death; after the lake of fire there will be no death of any kind! "…And there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away (this includes hell and the first and second deaths)" (Revelation 21:4 NAS). Those who did not die to self in this life will need to die to the man of sin in them at this judgment so that it might be destroyed. Then they will never want to live in sin again. Sin is death and death is sin, so at this judgment seat sin must be totally annihilated from God's creation in the lake of fire. All that is not like Him will be destroyed in the lake of fire.
The following words by Ray Prinzing give fresh insight into this wonderful truth: "The offence of the first Adam brought all men under the sentence of death for sin. Hence presently our mortal bodies are in a state of dying, while our minds need to be freed from minding the things of the flesh, to mind the things of the Spirit. The act of disobedience of Adam brought forth death. Now, the obedience and work of righteousness of the last Adam also brings forth a death for every man. The question arises, Is the SECOND DEATH the same kind of death as the first? Many people think that it is a repetition of the first, and that the results are the same, while its action is more severe and cruel, and destructive, being by fire. And some Christians add very sorrowfully, 'and from this second death there is no resurrection, it is an endless torment in agony,' BUT NOT SO! For God's seconds are never duplicates of the first, they are always better, higher, and more powerful than the firsts, and used to counter-balance all the action of the firsts, and MUCH MORE - He always saves the best until last.
"All Bible statements prove that the two deaths are absolutely UNLIKE, and that the two are opposite and antagonistic. The second death undoes all the work of the first death in the same manner that the last Adam undid all the work of the first Adam. Not to nullify the purpose being wrought out by the plan of God in the firsts, but to bring a release from the firsts in a MUCH MORE manner of majesty and glory and power and scope of coverage, into the greater and glorious things of God. Creation was made subject to vanity for a purpose! Sin was allowed for wise ends, but when those ends have been secured it will have to cease to exist. The purpose is not nullified, but the means whereby the purpose has been executed shall be done away. Discipline is a means to an end, but not an end in itself, it leads up to the 'AFTERWARDS YIELDING THE PEACEABLE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.'
"The first Adam died to God and righteousness, and became alive unto sin. The last Adam died unto sin (Rom. 6:10), and lives unto God, and so fulfills all righteousness. The first made all men sinners, the last makes all men righteous. The lives and the deaths of the two Adams are thus greatly contrasting the one to the other. The FIRST DEATH was a transition from life to death, the SECOND DEATH is a transition from corruption to incorruption, from mortality to immortality. Transformed from the carnal mind to the spiritual mind, which is life and peace, which transformation is wrought by a dying out to the one realm, to come alive to the higher realm. Because - the second death is prepared to purge out and burn away sin and its results, and so doing cleanse all of God's universe.
"Death came as an enemy, the fruitage of an act of disobedience that turned man away from God and into the realm of carnality, minding self and flesh. Now God makes death overcome itself. It is by death that death is rendered powerless, and there arises an upspringing, a new life. It takes death to destroy death, and thus Christ 'did taste death for every man' - 'that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage' (Heb. 2:9,14-15). Since we are all under the effects of the first death, it is appointed unto us to die once more - not physical death, we are already in a state of mortality - but now a dying out to this present death state. We conquer this death of the carnal mind by dying to it - only God could use such a process bringing victory, but praise God, He is destroying the first death with the second death! (The second death is dying to self).
"All the Crucifixion, our identification with the cross of Christ, must first be accepted by faith as a fact, and then the working of it in and through us is a process. If it is done now, through our yieldedness to the call and the claims of Christ upon us, we won't have to face it later, in what is called 'the lake of fire,' which is the second death. The passing through that lake of divine purification will thoroughly purge out the last remaining fragments of the rebellion and waywardness of man, till the mystery of iniquity is no more, and then the carnal mind being abolished, death is no more" -end quote.
But what is the lake of fire? One word, "God!" "For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29 NAS). We must forget what the traditional churches have taught us about the lake of fire and see it for what it really is… God's love! God's judgments are not His wrath towards mankind, but to sin. His judgments will free man into the greatest liberty that man has ever known. We must ask Him to judge us if we cannot judge ourselves, for the fire of His judgment will cleanse us from everything that is not of Him. Again read Daniel 7:10-11, "A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened. Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire." That "beast" is the man of sin in all of us. The flesh is being judged and must be destroyed in God's lake of fire! A river flows and forms into a lake, which is a body of liquid that no longer flows, containing all foreign matter that flows into it. So it is with God. All that is not like Him must be destroyed in this lake of fire so that it will do no more harm in all of His creation. What is the lake of fire exactly? I don't know. We are facing fiery trials daily in this life to cleanse us of the man of sin. Will the lake of fire be a large lake of spiritual fire? Or will it be trials and tribulations like we are now receiving upon the earth, only in greater numbers. Will the people there have to make decisions to die to self? Maybe! Because it is only by our will and God's grace that we can die to this man of sin.
As I see it, the lake of fire will cleanse every person from their sinful nature that has not overcome their fiery trials in this present life. The scriptures declare and decree this, "I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance" (Isaiah 45:23 NASB). God has strongly declared that all/everyone will one day bow their knee and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father! "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God" (Romans 14:11 KJV).
"That at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11 NASB). The words "should and is" is not in the Greek text, and should read, "every knee bow and that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ Lord." If this is true that every tongue confesses Jesus as Lord, then all people in the end will be saved because with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. "That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation" (Romans 10:10 NASB).
In the end God will have all men saved through the blood of Jesus, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (John 12:32 NASB). Because of their fiery trials in this life or in the lake of fire, they will come to their sense like the prodigal son. The fire will bring people to repentance and put to death the man of sin in them, for only God knows what each person needs in order to come to repentance. God, "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4 KJV). The Greek text does not read; "God wills to have all men saved," but reads, "God will have all men to be saved!" But each in his own order, "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming" (1 Corinthians 15:22-23 NASB). If all men were not made alive in Christ how else would all Israel be saved? "And thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written…" (Romans 11:26 NASB).
After Jesus told the parable of the two sons (the one son obeyed and the other rebelled), He said to the Pharisees, "Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The latter." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you that the tax-gatherers and harlots will get into the kingdom of God before you" (Matthew 21:31 NASB). Notice Jesus did not tell the Pharisees that they would not get in at all as many would have us believe, but that the ones who obeyed first will get into the kingdom first. So it will be with all men! Jesus died for every person that ever lived or will live. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for "every" man" (Hebrews 2:9 KJV).
God was in Christ reconciling the world and all things back to Himself. To "reconcile" means, "to be brought together." Through the cross of Christ all things in heaven and earth are brought back in right relationship to the Father. "And through Him (Jesus) to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven" (Colossians 1:20 NASB). "Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NASB).
Some would have us believe that a Christian cannot go to hell. But Jesus told us differently in Luke 12:45-48 just what happens to a sin-practicing Christians. "But if that slave says in his heart, 'My master will be a long time in coming,' and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers (hell). "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes (in hell), but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few…" Each person's judgment will be different on the basis of their works done in the flesh and the amount of understanding they had of God's word. If they did not obey the light/word they already had they will be sentenced to hell to await their appointed time of judgment at the white throne judgment. "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell" (Matthew 23:33 NASB)? "And shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment (the second death, lake of fire judgment)" (John 5:29 NASB).
The question that I have always asked myself is, "If God is all-knowing and all-loving, why did He create people at all if He knew that most of them would end up in hell for eternity?" Genesis 8:21 says, "And the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man 's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every living thing, as I have done." If God in His great mercy will not send a flood again, because He pities man in his weakness, will He then proceed to commit an even more horrendous act by torturing men in everlasting hell-fire? The church has taught that everyone outside of Christ will be in hell for eternity. They use verses like Matthew 25:41, "… Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels." By this verse they say that the fires of hell are for eternity, but this verse doesn't say that! It says that there is an eternal fire, but as we have already proven from scripture, that eternal unquenchable fire is God! He is the eternal fire and everything not like Him will be consumed in Him! I know that this comes against our religious teachings, but they are based on a lie and not the truth! God is the God of restoration and eventually will even restore the earth to its pristine nature He created it to be. Now how much more would He do for the people that He created the earth for? Does the Father care more for the earth than He does the people that were created in His image? I think not! I used to think that only the overcomers entered into heaven because of what Jesus said to the seven churches in the book of Revelation. But as my understanding grew in the scriptures I began to see that to each one that overcomes in this life they are allowed to sit on the throne and rule with Jesus. Than I used to think that unless one gets saved in this life they would be in hell for eternity because that is the way I was taught. Many Christians will say that a baby goes to heaven if it dies because they were unaccountable for any sin. Then what about a good person that never had a chance to hear the gospel? Is God so merciless that He would send them to burn in hell for eternity? I think not! They too will have to come into judgment, but they will receive few stripes as Jesus said in Luke 12:48, but each in their own order.
You may be tempted to say, "Well, if all are going to be saved in the end why not serve the fun of sin now and go to heaven later?" If you think the fires are hot in this life, the fires of hell and lake of fire will be many times worse than we can comprehend at this time. Either we face judgment now or later, but we will face it. I would rather get it over now in this lifetime of less than a hundred years than have to wait in the prison of hell for even one second and then have to wait for the judgment to come in a thousand years or so.
People also may ask, "If all people are going to be saved in the end, why even preach the gospel to the lost?" The church today takes this work upon themselves as if it is up to them to save the world, but it's not! It is the Lord's work to add people unto His church as He sees fit. "… And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47 NASB). I believe the church is in great pride when it thinks it is up to them to save the world; if God wanted to save the whole world in one day He could! "For nothing will be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37 NASB). "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save…" (Isaiah 59:1 NASB). To be honest with you, it is not the Lord's will to save the whole world right now but to save and mature a remnant of sons and then give them authority over the whole world, just as Moses had authority over Egypt. He then will save the whole world with His faithful ones. "For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God." -- "That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:19, 21 NASB). Romans 11:26 says, "… THE DELIVERER('S) WILL COME FROM ZION (the church), HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB (the deceiver)."
God is now waiting for this precious fruit of the earth (His sons) to come to full maturity. Jesus became a seed in us when we were first saved and until that seed in us grows to maturity and looks like Jesus, we have not yet come to full maturity. "Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand (His fullness in us is at hand)" (James 5:7-8 NASB). The life of Christ is in the seed planted and His very life will be imparted into His fully manifested sons, the seed of Christ that will change the world! His church or ecclesia is the governing body and authority of the kingdom of God. The Ecclesia was the political assembly of the Greek State.
What then are these fiery trials of life all about? It is God calling and choosing many people to be fashioned into the sons of God to deliver the nations from the power of sin and the curse. "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:10 NASB). Only those who have paid the price of following the Lamb wherever He goes will qualify for the authority and character of a son of God. The life we live now is a probationary period to prove ourselves faithful unto God through all the fiery trials. In the end all will be saved, but very few will be chosen for this high calling because most were unwilling to pay the price of following the Lord. The "fearful and unbelieving," fear men more than they fear God, thus disqualifying themselves for the high calling. To be very honest with you, I was fearful in writing this article because of what others might think of me. I told the Lord that I would not write about hell because of the misunderstanding that it would bring to me, but then He rebuked me through some friends and said I was being "fearful and unbelieving." I quickly repented from my fear of man!
What will you do with the truth that you have now read? Either you will have to reject truth/Jesus or you must change your way of thinking about hell and the judgment to come. I trust the Holy Spirit will give you enlightenment and courage to stand for truth when you see it.