Jesus repeatedly forewarned about a fiery hell, which the just wrath of God against the unrepentant sinners has prepared.
Jesus used the Greek word Gehenna more than ten times, to refer to the unquenchable fire of hell (Matt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mk. 9:43, 45, 47; Lk. 12:5; cf. James 3:6). He never used gehenna to merely indicate the realm of the dead, which is identified by a different Greek word, hades.
Gehenna originates from the valley of Hinnom, located just south of Jerusalem (Josh. 15:8; 18:16; 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chron. 28:3; 33:6; Neh. 11:30; Jer. 7:31-32; 19:2, 6; 32:35), which was associated with the wicked practices of infant sacrifice to Molech, a pagan deity of the Ammonites (1 Kings 11:7). There they would sacrifice the children by burning them to death (2 Kings 17:17; 21:6; Jer. 32:35). Such heinous, abominable practice of the apostate Jews was prohibited by the LORD (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5) and strongly condemned (Jer. 7:31-32; 32:35)! Certain wicked kings, like Ahaz (cf. 2 Chron. 28:3) and Manasseh (before he repented; cf. 2 Chron. 33:6), sacrificed their children in the valley of Hinnom. During the reformation of the godly king Josiah, the place of sacrifice in the valley of Hinnom was destroyed, and it was turned into a garbage dump, where a fire constantly burned to incinerate rubbish. It thus became a graphic illustration of eternal hell, a place where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched!
Hell is indeed a place of fire and torment! Revelation 20:14-15 describes hell as “the lake of fire”. The phrase “lake of fire” occurs in Revelation a total of six times (19:20; 20:10, 14 [twice], 15; 21:8). The lake of fire is the place where the wicked will suffer the torments of hell eternally. It is the place in which the wicked spend eternity in torment. John the Baptizer referred to hell as “unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12; cf. Luke 3:17). Jesus referred to hell as “everlasting fire” (Matthew 18:8), and “everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46). He also described hell as “the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-44; cf. 9:48).
Gehenna, or hell, is where Satan, the Antichrist and the false prophet will be cast into forever. Revelation 20:10 says, “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 for ever and ever.” The Epistle of Jude also testifies to the eternality of hell fire, which is reserved for the wicked. Jude refers to hell’s torment as “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7)!
In Revelation 20:14-15, casting the wicked dead into the lake of fire is called “the second death”. It does not denote, as some say, annihilation or complete destruction of a person. According to their false teaching, the soul and body of the wicked will be completely destroyed, such that they will not suffer eternal torment in hell or the lake of fire. Such a teaching of annihilation is unscriptural.
Jesus challenged everyone to deal radically with sin, or be cast into the eternal garbage pit of hell, or the “furnace of fire” (Matt. 13:42; cf. Mk 9:43-44), where “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13). Those who repent of their sin and trust in Christ do not have to fear eternal hell. In Revelation 20:6, it is said, concerning the believers, that “on such the second death hath no power”. This is also affirmed in Rev. 20:15, which declares that “whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” He will never blot out the names of those who have trusted in Him for the forgiveness of their sins. The comfort of the believers is that their names are recorded in the Book of Life, and that they shall remain secure in the possession of the Lamb who was slain for them.
Testimony of Salvation of Dominic Chung
At a young age, I was taught by my Christian parents about the truths of God’s Word. I thank the Lord for blessing me with parents who guided me through many obstructions to my spiritual growth and my faith in God. When we moved to Kuching, we went to a Methodist church. The teachings in the church were not in depth. That was not ideal for my family, so we would often search for other churches that were more sound in the teaching of the Bible. During this “spiritually dry” period of my life, I was close to many non-Christian friends, who greatly influenced my thinking and my actions. Just as I thought there was no hope for my spiritual well-being, my mother “chanced upon” Calvary Kuching BP Church. At first, I was not used to its lengthy service and would find it tiring, but gradually I adapted to it, learning many new things about the truths of the Bible.
I want to thank the Lord for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to listen to all the sermons throughout the years. I also want to thank the Lord for Pastor Koshy and the preachers who have come to Kuching just to preach God’s Word. I have been reminded that I am solely a sinner – and how much God loved us that He sent His only Son to die for us and save us from our sins. Through the many messages, I have learned to trust and obey, as it is said in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” I have also been exhorted to beware of getting tempted by the world, knowing that its temptation is only temporary while believing in God will bring eternal life. I pray that in my Christian walk, I may continue to serve the Lord and live according to His will. I pray that I may be able to bear a good testimony to be “salt and light” of the world.
Testimony of Salvation of Gabriel Teo
I was born in a Christian family. My dad and mum are Christians, and they are the ones who brought me to know the Lord Jesus Christ since I was young. I was taught that Christ is our only Saviour, and that we should believe in Him to have eternal life. After knowing that I cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven without our sins forgiven by Him, I, being a sinner, was worried that I would not be able to be in heaven with my loved ones. And that was the time I confessed to the Lord that I am a sinner, and I need Him to be my Saviour, that I may have eternal life.
After believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, I found that my life has changed a lot, compared to the people in the world. I find joy in Christ as He has helped me, and has also been so gracious and merciful to me in my life. As a Christian, I need to meditate on God’s Word each day, that I may be more spiritually mature. My prayer is that the Lord will guide me each day, so that I will not be influenced by the world, but to be a good witness for Him.