Some Christian friends have denied the existence of hell, claiming that a loving God would never condone such a place of torment. I told them Jesus himself spoke about it, but at the time couldn't give specific scriptural references.
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Jesus spoke much on the subject of hell. Here are the verses. One cannot deny this unless one wants to....as the evidence speaks for itself. Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Matthew 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation ofvipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Mark 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Mark 9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast intohell fire: Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast intohell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Matthew 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Luke 10:15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
The Bible describes hell as a place of outer darkness, a lake of fire, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, a place of eternal separation from the blessings of God, a prison, a place of torment where the worm doesn’t turn or die. In Christianity, the "exterior darkness" or outer darkness is a place referred to three times in the Gospel of Matthew (8:12, 22:13, and 25:30) into which a person may be "cast out", and where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth". Generally, the outer darkness is thought to be hell; however, many Christians associate the outer darkness more generally as a place of separation from God or from the metaphorical "wedding banquet" that Jesus is expected to have upon his Second Coming. The doctrine of eternal punishment in hell is not pleasant, but you cannot accept Jesus and reject hell, because He taught it so plainly and frequently. R. C. Sproul wrote (“Tabletalk [11/90]), The fact is, however, that virtually every statement in the Bible concerning hell comes from the lips of Jesus Christ. We cannot take Jesus seriously without also taking seriously what He said regarding eternal punishment. There is very little about hell in the Old Testament, and very little in the epistles. It is almost as if God decided that a teaching this frightening would not be received from any lesser authority than that of His own Son. The Outer Darkness There’s also no agreement as to whether the outer darkness is a physical location or simply a state of being. The phrase outer darkness literally means, “outside, where there is no light”. But the Greek word for darkness can be used metaphorically to mean spiritual ignorance or blindness. An accompanying phrase describes it as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, which denotes extreme anguish and utter despair. So whether you think it’s a state of mind or a physical location the outer darkness is obviously not a nice place to be. For many generations, it was simply thought to be another name for Hell. But Hell, or more accurately Hades, is not a permanent destination. It’s a temporary one that will be thrown into the Lake of Fire at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:14). What I read about the outer darkness leads me to believe it’s a permanent state. So let’s take another look at its four appearances to see if we can answer some of the lingering questions about the Outer Darkness. Matt. 8:5-12 The first time Jesus mentioned the outer darkness was in Matt. 8:12 at the end of His encounter with the Roman Centurion. Matt 22:1-14 The next time He mentioned it was in Matt. 22:13 as part of His parable of the Wedding Banquet. Matt. 24:45-51 Next is the Parable of the Servants This parable has only an implied reference to the outer darkness, calling it a place for hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 24:51). Since the phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth” accompanies every other mention of the outer darkness, I think it’s safe to include it in our study. Matt. 25:14-30 The Lord’s final reference to the outer darkness appears at the end of the Parable of the Talents. The Book of Revelation, written some time in the last half of the first century AD, has five verses that mention a "lake of fire": Revelation 19:20: "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." Revelation 20:10 "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever."
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