To Hell and Back
sermon preached by Dr. Jack Hyles
Tonight I close the series of messages on the Second Coming by giving a rather detailed Bible study on the subject of Hell. Now I will not necessarily preach an evangelistic sermon; rather, I would like to acquaint you with Hell and explain exactly what the Bible teaches about it, using twenty-two different verses of Scripture.
Rather than look them up, perhaps I could quote them, or give you the references as I bring the message, and you make a note in the margin of your Bible, or on a piece of paper as to what the Bible says about Hell, then you may have them for future references.
There are three worlds in existence. The world about us here who live on this earth. Then there is the world about which we spoke this morning. I always like to preach something about Heaven close to the time when I preach on Hell, because invariably somebody will nip at me and say that all I do is preach on wrath, Hell, and judgment. So I preach on Heaven to balance it off.
I will teach awhile tonight, with a little preaching interspersed, on the subject, “To Hell and Back.” Actually the Bible teaches that people do go to Hell and come back.
The Bible has a great deal to say about Hell. In fact, it has more to say about Hell than about Heaven. There are more Scriptures In the Bible that teach about Hell than teach about Heaven; there are more verses in the Bible which tell about the conditions of Hell than you find telling about the conditions of Heaven. Now for a person to close his eyes on the subject of Hell is to refuse to believe a portion of the Word of God.
Modern scholarship says, “There is no such thing as Hell .” For example: Dr. DeHaan, the famous radio preacher, had preached many years ago on the subject of Hell on the radio. Some preacher–I say preacher–“reverend”–wrote him and in these words he said:
“Dear Dr. DeHaan:
“I am surprised that a man of your training and background, from college, university, and seminary, could believe in that antiquated, moth-eaten, disproved theory of the age of superstition that there is a literal Hell. No modern scholar believes that any longer.”
Well, no modern scholar believed the flood was coming either, but it came. No modern scholar believed that Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed, but it was. In fact, all the modern scholars were destroyed with them.
Don’t misunderstand me; I believe in education. It seems I spent all my life in school. I spent eighteen years hunting the “x” in algebra! I never found it, but I spent eighteen years hunting for it! I hate to disillusion you, but It ain’t there! You can’t find it. I believe in education. I believe in study. I believe in reading. I read three and a half books last week. Usually I read three to five books a week. I believe in study. But I want to say that if modern scholarship does not believe the Bible, modern scholarship can go down the garbage can of human history as far as I am concerned. I am going to believe the Word of God. And a fellow who is an educated person bit who does not believe the Bible, is just an educated fool. I would rather be a little fellow who had never seen the inside of a school, and believe the Bible is the Word of God, and be born again and love God and love the Word of God and believe the Bible and what God says In the Bible, than to be a man with all the degrees a mile long and not be able to understand and believe the Word of God.
There is no truth without the One who says, “I am the Truth.” And when you get to the place in your life where you think you are too modem for this Bible, you are too modern for God and you will go to Hell like all the other scholars will who do not believe the Word of God.
The Bible is very plain. You will have to decide one or two things: whether you do not believe the Bible, or you believe in Hell, because if you believe the Bible, you have to believe in Hell. A lot of people would say, “I don’t believe in a burning Hell. I don’t believe that folks who die in their sins burn forever.” You do not believe the Bible then. “Oh, yes, I believe the Bible.” No you don’t. If you don’t believe there is a Hell, if you don’t believe there is a burning Hell, you do not believe the Bible is the Word of God, for the Bible is very clear about this matter. We will discuss many Scriptures tonight that will leave no doubt in any Bible-believer’s mind about the truth and the doctrine of an eternal, literal, burning Hell-fire where people who die in their sins must spend eternity and must live forever without God.
Several years ago Audie Murphy, I think the most decorated of all the World War II heroes, wrote a book entitled To Hell and Back. Audie Murphy likened World War II to Hell. He told about the men whose heads were disengaged from their bodies; about the men who were mangled; about seeing horror and death and bloodshed and mangled bodies, the torn battlefields and all the horrors of World War II. Then in coming back- -he likened that as to coming back from Hell. So he titled the book, To Hell and Back.
Audie Murphy had an awful time In World War II. My heart certainly goes out to all those who suffer in all wars, and who give their lives and their health and many times the members of their bodies for our lives. But may I say this, my precious friends: World War II, World War I, the coming World War III, the Battle of Armageddon and all the rest of them, will never have one little iota compared to the suffering of Hell-fire where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.
I will give you Bible facts about Hell tonight. I will not say one thing in this pulpit tonight unless it is authenticated by the Word of God.
The first thing I would call your attention to is The Reason for Hell.
In Matthew 25:41 the Bible says, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels .”
What is the purpose for Hell? Why was Hell made? Often children ask that question.
One little girl asked her mother one day, “Mother, what does the world rest on? What does the world rest on?”
The mother didn’t know what the world rested on any more than the child did. So she said, “Oh, the world rests on er. . .er. . .er. . .on a big man. . .a big man. A big man holds the world up.” Then she went about her business.
“Mama, what does the man stand on?”
“Oh, honey, the man stands on a…a.. .a. . .a. . .oh, he stands on a big… a big rock. That is what the man stands on.
“Mama, what does the rock sit on?”
“Oh, the rock sits on a big pole. A great big long pole.”
“Mama, what does the pole sit on?”
“Ah, hush, honey! The pole just goes all the way down to the bottom.
Now many boys and girls have many questions to ask.
Many have asked me this question, “Brother Hyles, why was Hell made? What is Hell for? Who made Hell? Why was Hell prepared in the first place?” So I will discuss with you the reason for Hell. There was a reason.
Before the world was ever created, before there ever was an earth, a Mars, a Jupiter, a Venus; before there ever was a sun, or moon, or stars, there was a Heaven. God lived in the Heaven, in fellowship with His angels. It isthought there were three different companies of angels under three different archangels, Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer, who is the Devil. Three different (you might say) battalions or regiments of angels. Now Lucifer decided he wanted to take over Heaven, so Lucifer rebelled against God and took his group of the angels and started a war in Heaven. Immediately God put down the rebellion of Lucifer, and cast him and his angels out of Heaven. They were excommunicated from Heaven.
If that be so, immediately God prepared a place for the Devil and these angels, Heaven’s fallen angels and the Devil. The place was called Hell. In Matthew 25:41 it says they were cast into everlasting fire “prepared for the devil and his angels.” As I have said many times, if you go to Hell, you will be an intruder. Hell was not made for you. But if you do not receive Christ, you will go there, and you will burn forever. I don’t care how many degrees you have; I don’t care how smart you are; I don’t care how rich you are; I don’t care how influential you are; you will go to Hell and you will burn forever unless you have been born again. So Hell is a place made for the Devil and his angels.
Let me tell you something. I get a little sick sometimes with certain classes of people. The only thing I can’t stand in this world is prejudice. This idea that there are two kinds of preachers- -the Hell-fire-and-brimstone preacher, and then there is the educated kind. The Devil thought that up. “There is that Hell-fire-and-brimstone preacher, the kind that hangs you over Hell. Then there is the kinder, sweeter type.” Let me tell you something, if you are going to Hell and a fellow doesn’t tell you about it, he isn’t sweet; he is the biggest enemy you have! If a world is lost without God, if a world is headed for damnation forever, to live in the fires of an eternal torment forever, and a man stands in a pulpit and some of his people are headed for Hell, and that man does not tell them about Hell, he is the worst enemy they have. I don’t care how sweet he is, or how kind. The best friend you have, the sweetest preacher who stands in anybody’s pulpit is the one who reminds you to escape the fires of Hell, for there is a prepared place for unprepared people somewhere, where people suffer in the world to come forever and forever. The reason for Hell.
In the second place, I call your attention to The Location of Hell.
Where is Hell? People are always asking me. Where is Hell located? How do you go there? In what part of the universe is Hell? I am not sure about that except to say this: the Bible seems to imply that Hell is down. Usually in the Bible when Heaven is mentioned, it is up, and when mentioning Hell, it is going down. So Hell must be down. I personally believe that Hell is in the heart of the earth. I believe that future Gehenna, Hell will be in the heart of the earth. Scientists say that beneath the earth there is a boiling volcanic disturbance constantly going on in the heart of the earth. And so I personally believe Hell will be in the heart of the earth.
Now then, Hell is also called “a bottomless pit.” In Revelation 9:2 it says the angel “opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace… .” A bottomless pit.
My precious friend, you can be a Baptist, you can be a Methodist, you can be a Presbyterian, you can be a Catholic, you can be an Episcopalian, you can be a Lutheran and all the rest of them; you can be baptized in this pool, and sprinkled in another church, and confirmed in another, and reared in another, but if you die without Jesus Christ, without being born again, the Bible says you will go to Hell and suffer in a bottomless pit.
I believe in Hell people constantly fall forever and forever. There is no bottom to Hell. It is a bottomless pit. While people are burning, they shall also be falling. While people are screaming and crying and begging for mercy,
and pleading for water, and while they are gnashing their teeth, and chewing their tongues, and looking to God and saying, “0 God! Send Lazarus that he may dip his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame” – -the Bible says that is a bottomless pit. Constant falling! Constant falling! Again and again; no foundation, no rock, nothing to stand upon- -a bottomless pit forever and forever and forever!
In World War II, I was in the paratroopers. I made nineteen parachute jumps or “push-outs”! I know what it is to fall. On my fifth parachute jump, my parachute did not open. One hundred feet from the ground.., one second from death, my reserve parachute finally opened. I know what it is to fall. I fell seven hundred feet in the air. I twisted. I did not know whether my head was up or down. My arms were completely uncontrollable. I could not hold my body with any co-ordination at all. I was just falling and twisting in the air, just completely unco-ordinated.. .falling. . .falling.. .falling; turning.., turning; twisting… twisting.
Think of it. In Hell- -a bottomless pit. Forever and forever! Falling and burning and crying and twisting in a bottomless pit forever!
The location of Hell is a bottomless pit, which I believe is down.
We have seen the reason for Hell; we have seen the location of Hell; now I call your attention to The Prophecy of Hell.
In the Bible it plainly teaches that people can go to Hell and get out. In fact, people who are in Hell tonight will get out someday. I am not talking about the person going to purgatory and if he gets enough prayers and enough money paid for him, he can get on up to the next place. I am talking about the fact that people who are in Hell shall some day be discharged from Hell. Here is why.
Revelation 20:13, 14 says this: “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.”
Ken (our song leader), I will use you for an example. You be in Hell for a minute. The place where you are sitting represents Hell. It is torment, constant soul-torment. But in Hell tonight the soul-torment is all there is. The body is not tormented in Hell tonight, but just the soul. The body of the lost man goes to the grave; the soul goes to Hades or what is commonly called now Hell. The soul goes to torment.
Now John (assistant pastor), you be the body of an unsaved person. Ken is the soul. The soul is in Hades burning; the body is in the grave. Now one day, at the resurrection of the unsaved, at the end of the thousand-year millennium, the soul shall come out of Hell, the body shall come out of the grave and body and soul shall be reunited, for Hell now is only disembodied spirits. But in that day it shall be embodied spirits, and the body and soul shall be together again, and both body and soul shall stand before God at the great judgment that Ken sang about a bit ago, they will stand before God and He will give them degrees of punishment in the lake of fire, and every one of them will be cast again, both body and soul, back into the lake of fire to be tormented forever and forever.
So the soul which is in Hell tonight will come out of Hell, and be delivered for awhile, just for a moment as it stands before God and then God will take body and soul and cast them into the lake of fire.
That word “cast” in the Greek is a very interesting word. It is the word ekballo, which means to hurl as you would hurl a ball or throw a rock. In the Bible when someone would throw something, as a rock or stone, it was ekballo. They would hurl it, throw it. And that word “cast” in Revelation 20:14 actually means people shall be taken both body and soul and shall be thrown into the lake of fire.
I tremble when I think about these preachers standing before God one day and He looks at them and says, “My Bible was full of Scriptures about Hell and you were afraid to tell them about Hell. You had some educated folks, and you were afraid to tell them about Hell. You had some folks who thought Hell wasn’t true, and you cut your message, you trimmed the corners.” Woe be unto any preacher who stands before his people and for fear of preaching something the folks don’t like, he fails to warn them of the wrath of God to come!
There is going to be a time when the body shall come from the grave and the soul shall come from Hades, and body and soul together shall be hurled into the lake of fire. Like it or not, it is there. It is in the Bible. If you don’t believe it, it is still in the Bible. The Bible is clear about the prophecy of Hell.
We have seen the reason for Hell, we have seen the location of Hell, we have seen the prophecy of Hell; now I would have you notice The Duration of Hell.
How long is Hell? What is the duration? I believe in purgatory, but not the purgatory that some of our friends believe in. The Bible says in Hebrews that Jesus purged our sins on the tree. And if you want to know what the Bible says there, in the original language it says He purgatoried our sins. It is the same word as purgatory. Jesus purgatoned our sins. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ suffered and purged our sins for us.
Consequently, we who are in Him will not go to purgatory, and those who are out of Him have not had their sins purged already, and so Hell will be forever. In Revelation 14:11 it says, “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever….”
Go home tonight, turn on your kitchen stove, put your finger in the fire, hold it there ten minutes, and see what you pull out. You go home tonight, you put your finger in the fire, you hold it five minutes, just five minutes, then see what you pull out.
“Oh,” you say, “I wouldn’t do that.” Okay; what about four?
“Why,” you say, “I am not that big enough fool.” How about three?
“Why,” you say, “preacher, you are foolish.” How about two?
“Why,” you say, “I still am not going….
How about one?
“Why,” you say, you are crazy.
All right, how about ten seconds then? We will leave the minutes off. How about ten seconds?
“Why,” you say, “preacher, I wouldn’t pull back anything but a stub.”
Well, how about five seconds? Turn the fire on, you put your finger in the kitchen fire one… .two… three.. .four… … five seconds – -see what you pull out.
You say, “I won’t do it.”
Well, how about four seconds? How about three? How about two? How about one? How about putting your finger in the fire and saying, “One second,” –pull it out?
No, you wouldn’t do it. Yet my friends, Hell is longer than one second! Hell is longer than two seconds! Hell is longer than five seconds! Hell is longer than ten seconds! Hell is longer than ten minutes! Hell is longer than ten days! Hell is longer than ten weeks! Hell is longer than ten months! Hell is longer than ten years! Hell is longer than ten thousand years! Hell is longer than ten million years! Hell is longer than ten billion years! Hell is longer than ten trillion years! There are many people who would not be so foolish as for one single second to put their finger in the fire of the kitchen stove, yet who are plunging their souls toward a place of torment where they will burn for millions and billions of years forever, without hope in the world to come! Oh, think of it! Hell is eternal. It never ceases. The duration of Hell!
We have seen the reason for Hell, the location of Hell, the prophecy of Hell, the duration of Hell; now we come lastly to the sufferings of Hell.
We will spend most of our time tonight on the sufferings of Hell. I don’t want anybody to go to Hell. God knows I don’t. And I want to make this clear. If I did not believe in Hell, I would get out of this business. If I did not believe in Hell, I would close my Bible and not preach another sermon. If I did not believe that people who are lost and die without God will burn forever, I would close my Bible and get in some lucrative profession and I would get as much out of life as possible. I would say the Epicureans are right: I will live and eat and drink and be merry, for to -morrow I die. Because I believe in Hell, the motivating power of my ministry is the fact that I believe people to whom I preach may go to Hell.
Sometimes I am criticized for being evangelistic all the time. Many times people say, “Why don’t you give the Christians more?” I do try to give the Christians more. The crowd that thinks I don’t give the Christians enough is the crowd that doesn’t come back on Sunday night or Wednesday night. I try to give Christians something. But there Is always that constant inner motivating power that people to whom I preach on Sunday morning and Sunday night and Wednesday night are eternity-bound people headed somewhere, and some of them will live forever in the place of the unprepared.
Oh, as I have preached sermon after sermon after sermon, and many people have heard me preach and have not been saved, and they have plunged their way toward Hell, they have died without hearing the Gospel again; I stop and think there are people tonight burning while I am preaching tonight; they are screaming while I am preaching tonight; they are in Hell, falling in the bottomless pit, gnashing their teeth, in darkness forever and ever and ever and ever! How in the name of good common sense can any man who calls himself a preacher of God’s Gospel help but warn people about the wrath of God to come is more than I can understand.
I promised God years ago that I would be the kind of a preacher to preach all the Bible. I promised Him that nobody would change it. I promised God that no one would influence my preaching but Him. If you want to make me really mad, where I tell you to sit back where you belong, you just try to tell me what to preach. Oh, you will have your hands full! You really will! You can tell me my tie isn’t straight, and I will try to straighten it up. You can tell me that my suit isn’t exactly the right color, and I will try to buy a new one. But you leave my preaching alone. That is between me and God.
I want to say this tonight: the Bible plainly teaches that there is a place of suffering called Hell.
There are several things about suffering. In the first place It is fire.
F-I-R-E–fire! In Mark, chapter 9, verse 43, we read: “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.”
Suppose you have a hand that is keeping you from Jesus Christ. Suppose you have a hand that is sending your soul to Hell. Suppose your hand has some sin; there is something your hand does you cannot give up, and that thing keeps you from salvation in Jesus Christ. The Bible says cut it off. Better for you not to have any hands than to go to Hell.
Again in Mark9, verse 45, it says: “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.”
If that foot has an enjoyment that you cannot quit; if that foot has a sin it commits that keeps you from God and will send you to Hell, the Bible says “cut it off.” Better for you to enter into life without a foot or hand than having feet and hands to be cast into the lake of fire where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.
Verse 47 says: “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 into hell fire.”
If there is something that your eye does that makes you reject Jesus Christ, if there is something your eye does that makes you say no to the Gospel and plunges you toward Hell, the Bible says “gouge it out,” “pluck it out.” Better for you not to have any eyes or hands and feet than to be cast into the lake of fire where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.
Hell is fire!
I wish people who don’t believe the Bible would quit riding under the name of Christianity. I wish people who don’t believe what God says in the Bible would quit calling themselves Christians. Oh, my soul hungers for a simple belief in the Word of God.
I wrestled with this thing when I was a kid preacher. Numbers of people tried to counsel with me. Older preach -ers far down the line tried to tell me I should not preach Hell -fire and brimstone. I had to wrestle about this thing. I went through a brief period where I wondered if there really were fire in Hell. But I had to have a basis; there must be a foundation. There has to be something as the criterion for what you believe. So I decided the Bible is true. I decided this Book is the Word of God, and if this Book says it, I am going to believe it. And this Book is plain about the fires of Hell.
Matthew 25:41 says “everlasting fire.” Revelation 20:15 says “the lake of fire,” which means liquid fire, lava. Revelation 21:8 says, “The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the LAKE WHICH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: which is the second death .”
In Luke 16:24 the rich man said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”
My precious friend, if you have not received Christ as your Saviour, I plead with you, receive Him, come to Him, for in Him alone is escape from the fires of Hell. If you tonight belong to this church, you may be a respectable member, but if you have never been born by the Spirit of God, if you have never been saved, I beg you to come to Christ and be saved. Far better for you to be embarrassed tonight than to be embarrassed when you stand before God.
The second suffering besides fire is Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth.
In Matthew 22:12, 13 it says about the man who came to the wedding feast having no garment: “Then said the king [Jesus] to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Falling, burning, weeping, gnashing of teeth! I wish I could describe it–a person gnashing his teeth because of pain.
Recently I got a call from the Chairman of the Board of Deacons at my former pastorate in Garland- -one of the best friends I ever had. He said, “Preacher, little Bobby was out in the barn (they live on the farm) playing with some gasoline and the gasoline turned over and little Bobby was just a bundle of fire. He was burned terribly and he has been in the hospital. He will live, but he was burned terribly. Pray for little Bobby.”
My heart was broken, crushed! We are so burdened for Bobby; and the folk at Miller Road Church are so heartbroken for Bobby because Bobby has been burned.
Listen, nobody said, “Don’t be a fanatic.” Oh, they rushed Bobby to the hospital. They got him, smothered the flame, they rushed him to the hospital. Pastor Tom Landers spent all night at the hospital. The deacons gathered around his bed and had prayer because Bobby had been burned. Nobody called them fools; nobody called them fanatics. Nobody said they were narrow-minded because here was a little boy who had been burned. But if these same people plead all night for a sinner to stay out of Hell where they will burn forever, somebody will say they are religious fanatics, fools for Christ.
Not only is there gnashing of teeth and weeping, but there is Darkness.
Years ago Mrs. Hyles and I were in Colorado for a few days’ rest. We went to the Cave of the Winds. This Cave is like Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. They took us way back through one tunnel, then we went through a smaller tunnel. All these stalagmites and stovepipes! They were hanging down. One fellow said they were 40 thousand, or 40 million years old–I don’t know which. We went through. Water was seeping on our heads. I thought, “Man, oh, don’t anybody kick these electric wires! We have been in here thirty-five or forty minutes and if these lights go out, we have had it! Boy, don’t anybody kick these electric wires!”
Then all of a sudden it got dark! I looked at my wife- -and I didn’t look at her! I looked at my hand, and it wasn’t there! And I thought, “Dear Lord in Heaven, don’t blow a fuse now on these wires!” So dark! So dark you couldn’t even see your wife, you couldn’t even see your hand- -couldn’t see a thing, just darkness, total darkness.
And think of it! People who live with you; folks who work with you are headed for eternity without Christ forever, to burn and scream and cry and gnash their teeth in total darkness forever! If you loved them, you would tell them about Jesus. If you cared for them, you would witness to them. We dress in our robes of righteousness, pull our Christianity around us and show off how good we are in a world going to Hell and nobody cares! Our soul in Heaven, when people are headed for outer darkness, without God forever!
Darkness! How many times in the night have I been at the hospital. I can recall in a little town way down near the Louisiana border I received a call at three o’clock in the morning from a little lady who had a one-year-old baby. Our little Becky was a year old then. We stayed all night at the hospital. Little Sheila never pulled out of it completely. Though she still lives, she is afflicted. No one knew what the disease was. I can hear that dear mother as she looked outside and saw the darkness. “Brother Hyles, I wish morning would come! I wish morning would come! Oh, it is not so bad in the daytime, but in the nighttime, at two or at three o’clock in the morning!” I can still hear the cries of that little mother saying, “Brother Hyles, I wish morning would come! I wish morning would come!”
Think of it! In Hell, no morning! No sunshine! No brightness! No glow of God’s love! No radiance of the presence of our Saviour! Oh, darkness forever and ever and ever! In a bottomless pit which burneth with fire and brimstone. Darkness! Gnashing of teeth! Suffering! Fire forever!
The suffering of Hell is fire, darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and in the next place the suffering of Hell is Conscience.
People who know more about the Bible than I do say that when it says in Mark 9:44, …. .where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,” their worm means the worm of their conscience. It does not say “the worm,” but “their worm.” In Mark 9:46 again it says, “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” In Mark 9:48 the third time it says, “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” What worm? The worm of conscience.
Somewhere I heard about a picture entitled “Napoleon in Hell .” It pictured the little General Napoleon in Hell. Here was his hell: Around him were gathered all the mothers he had left with dead little babies. Around him were gathered all the little orphaned children caused by his tyranny. Around him were gathered all the widows who were left because of Napoleon’s ruthlessness. Napoleon had to look at them, had to look forever in Hell at those orphans, at those widows, at those maimed bodies, and the empty places in the homes. He had to look forever at those because Hell was the conscience of thinking of the awful things he had done on the earth.
My Bible says when people stand before God, the books will be opened, and the deeds done in the body shall be manifest. Oh, the conscience of Hell! I believe there will be songbooks. You will have to hear the songs you heard sung about Jesus, but refused to accept the Gospel. Ibelieve there will be books of sermons that you will have to hear over and over again- -sermons you heard but rejected the Gospel after you heard them. Conscience! Oh, the conscience of all the sins, to remind you of all the wickedness, and all the vile, and all the corruption in Hell forever and forever.
We hasten on. Suffering of Hell is fire, darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, conscience; but the suffering of Hell also is Lust.
Revelation 22:11 says: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”
So that which is unjust here shall be unjust in eternity. That which is filthy here shall be filthy in eternity. The drunkard here shall be a drunkard in Hell. He will crave liquor in Hell. The lustful here will lust in Hell. The abominable here will be abominable in Hell. There will be no difference except one thing: Brother, when you get to be an alcoholic here, you can find some liquor to satisfy your crave, but in Hell it will be an unsatisfied hunger all the time. Filthy still! No liquor!
How many times have I seen men reach for the bottle in my own presence! I was in a home one time when a man said, “Preacher, I hate to drink in your presence, but I have got to have a bottle.” He took that hand, shaking like a leaf in a storm, opened the refrigerator, pulled out the bottle when he could hardly hold it still enough to drink it, and poured it down his mouth, into his stomach, and said, “Preacher, I had to have it!”
But in Hell he will beg and lust for it, but it won’t be there. The adulterer will lust, but his lust will not be satisfied. Hell is a place of constant lust. The same unholy passions you had here, you will have there, except there will be no satisfaction offered. Same desires, unholy lusts. He that is filthy shall be filthy still.
Suffering of Hell is fire, darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, conscience, lust; and then Hell is a place of Eternal Death.
Revelation 2:11 speaks about Hell as being the second death. Revelation 20:14 calls Hell the second death. Revelation 21:8 calls Hell the second death. Hell is called eternal dying, eternal death. I believe Hell is that state constantly on that little narrow divide between life and death.
Several years ago I was called into a home at midnight. An eighty-odd-year-old man was dying. I felt his pulse. His hands were cold, his eyes were set in death, it seems. I can hear him as he cried in the night, “Preacher, Preacher, pray for God to let me live! Pray for God to let me live!”
I said, “I will.”
Then after awhile he said, “No Preacher, pray for God to let me die.”
I can hear the screams of the eighty-year-old man as he said, “0 God, let me live! Let me live! Let me live! Let me live!” Then he would scream again and say, “0 God, let me die! Let me die! If I can’t live, let me die! If I can’t die, let me live! But the horror of being here on the borderline! I can see life on one side and death on the other.
God, let me go from one to the other!”
The Bible says Hell is eternal dying. People in Hell shall be dying all the time. They will never live. It will be a constant, never-ceasing, endless dying process always, forever and ever.
Sixty people die a minute. Since I have been preaching tonight, over two thousand people have died. March… march… march! Onward! Onward! Two thousand people in the last thirty-five minutes, sixty every minute, thirty-six hundred an hour, eighty-six thousand a day, thirty million people a year! 0 God, help us! Every time we have a service on Sunday morning in this church, over five thousand people plunge out into eternity, and most of them without God.
How can we sleep at night? Oh, it is a wonder that God doesn’t destroy the church of the twentieth century. The churches of our day were built and born in the revival fires of Charles Finney, and Jonathan Edwards, and Dwight Moody, and Billy Sunday. They were born in those revivals. Somebody has said, “Since the days of Billy Sunday, the church of Jesus Christ has made no progress whatsoever.” The last shaking this world had was in the days of these fellows who preached Hell-fire and brimstone.
When Jonathan Edwards preached the old sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” people fell under such conviction they reached for the pillars in the church building and held on for fear they would fall that night in the fires of Hell.
Sixty people a minute! Every tick of my watch, another. Tick.. .Tick. . .another! Tick.. .another! Every tick of the watch, every hour of the day, march… march… march – -thirty-six hundred people die! Hell, a place of fire! Hell, a place of lust! Hell, a place of conscience! Hell, a place of weeping! Hell, a place of darkness! Hell, a place of eternal separation from all that is good and all that is holy!
But, Thank God, You Don’t Have to Go There!
A famous artist painted a picture showing a beautiful forest, a lovely wooded area. But his teacher said, “Never paint a forest without painting a path leading out.”
Tonight I have described the doctrine of Hell- -the reason, the location, the prophecy, the duration, the sufferings–all of it; but I am so happy there is a path out. What is the path? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” If you will come to Jesus Christ tonight, you will never have to go to Hell. But if you reject Him, as sure as this Bible is true, without Jesus you will go to Hell. But just as sure as it is true, with Christ you can go to Heaven.
I am so happy tonight that I will never go to Hell, Jack Hyles has taken care of all that already. Thank God, I will never burn one minute in Hell. I will never cry in the darkness of Hell, for Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. You say, “Oh, you must be pretty good. If you are not going to Hell, and you know you are going to Heaven, you must be pretty good.”
No, I am a scoundrel–just like you. I am no good.
“Oh,” you say, “you must live a pretty good life.”
The best I can, but I fall short.
But you say, “You know you are going to Heaven; you know you are not going to Hell. You must be spotless, pure.”
No, I am not, but I will tell you what. I am trusting Someone who is spotless, pure.
My college president said he was preaching in a revival campaign. He went down to a local restaurant to eat a noon meal. He walked out to pay his bill and he asked the little waitress, “Little Lady, do you know Jesus?”
She looked at him and said, “You are preaching in a revival down at the First Baptist Church, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am.”
She said, “Huh! I am not going to go down there because those folks are all hypocrites .”
He looked at her and said very tenderly, “But little lady, I didn’t come to tell you how wonderful the folks are down there. I came to tell you about Jesus. Can you find anything wrong with Him?”
Great big old tears welled up in her eyes as she looked up at him and said, “Sir, if more of the people down there would live like Him, more of us people out here would come down there.”
I am telling you about Jesus tonight, not the First Baptist Church, not the Baptist denomination. If you will trust Him as Saviour, you will never know what Hell -fire will be for yourself.
Tonight, are you bound for the Promised Land? Or are you afraid if you died tonight, you might go to Hell? If you will come to Jesus, you can settle all that. Bow your heads for prayer, please.
Our Father, we come tonight at the close of this sobering sermon on the subject, “To Hell and Back.” Oh, our hearts think of those again and again and again plunging every sec -ond into Hell, over and over and over and over again plunging into eternity. Thirty-six hundred an hour, sixty every minute, thirty million people a year, the army continues to march. We pray, 0 God, that You would help us to be concerned. Help us to care. Help us to witness, and love, and warn, and plead with people not to go to Hell.
While our heads are bowed, our eyes are closed, I can put one hand on the Bible and the other hand high in the air and say, as for me, I will not go to Hell because I know Jesus. I deserve to go to Hell, God knows, but I am not going there because of Jesus. Three cheers for Jesus! Hallelujah for Him who made it possible through His death on the cross. And since I have trusted Him, I am going to Heaven.
How many of you can say, “Brother Hyles, I believe in Hell as much as you do, but, preacher, I’m not going there, for I am in Christ. He is my Saviour and I am His child.” Are you willing to lift your hand tonight and say, “I am saved, too, and I am going to Heaven when I die”? As your hand goes up, there ought to be a hallelujah in your heart.
Now dear precious unsaved friends, do you believe the Bible? If you do, you must believe in Hell. How many of you would say tonight, “Preacher, I couldn’t raise my hand, couldn’t lift it, for I have never trusted Jesus. I do not know that I would go to Heaven if I died, but I wish I did. I believe in Hell, and I don’t want to go there”?