We know there are over seven billion people on the earth. It is estimated that less than one billion profess any type of faith in Christ and that for each Christian, 50 are being born that will live and die without Christ.

Statisticians say that at that rate, by 2020 less than one percent of the world’s population will know anything about Jesus Christ. If we have a firm belief based from Scripture that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven, then it follows that this broad road of the masses will have Hell as their eternal destination.

The thought of Hell is an absolutely awful thought. It stupefies the imagination of the soul. It is difficult to conceive much less dwell on a place described in Scripture as a place of everlasting torment.

The loving Lord Jesus spoke five times as much about Hell as He did about Heaven. It is easy to believe the Bible concerning Heaven, but the same Bible that teaches us about the place of paradise speaks about a place of eternal retribution. Neither Heaven nor Hell is figurative, but real and literal.

Military minds have produced awful and powerful weapons. Nations with nuclear capabilities have the potential for worldwide destruction.

There are no weapons that can compare to the untapped energies of our universe created by God. Years ago a bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Some 100,000 souls disappeared from the face of the earth. Iron rails melted. Men’s silhouettes were blasted on the sides of buildings.

This manmade bomb is small in comparison to today’s nuclear potential. However, what man creates is infinitely less than what is created by the Creator of man.

In every square inch of the sun’s surface, we are told 500,000 horsepower units of energy are emitted constantly. Our sun is just a star ... not the brightest or biggest star.

Astronomers have named Centaurus as being four times brighter than our sun. Telescopes have discovered stars reportedly one thousand times brighter than our sun.

If you could travel at the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second, the next series of stars past our Milky Way would take five billion years to reach.

That is farther than you or I can comprehend. I read of a Mr. Clark of the space agency that believes there are stars that may be one million times brighter than our sun.

Our God, Who flung from His flaming fingertips the stars and placed them in their ecliptic orbits, created all things, including Hell. Men are repulsed at the idea that there is such a place and more at the thought that they may go there and deserve to do so.

As early as 1930, a man by the name of J.M. Dawson said in his homiletic review, “The old idea about Hell has faded away. Pastors of refined and cultured churches refuse to revive the doctrine. It has been displaced in many churches with a feel good message. Certainly the present day mentality is never to threaten anyone with the displeasure of a Deity. Gone are the days when preachers were described as ‘hellfire and brimstone’ preachers. Yet, there are 300 references in the New Testament on the subject. Jesus gave over 20 different discourses pertaining to it. Those who say that a loving God would never consign His creation to Hell quote verses about God’s love that occur 120 times in the Bible, but ignore that over 700 times the Bible says that God is holy. What His holiness cannot endure, His love cannot embrace. Sin must be paid for. The man that says, ‘I don’t believe in a God that would do that is a idolater: he has fashioned a God to suit his intellect and he is as guilty of idolatry as the man who carves a wooden statue and bows to it.’”

Along with present day fundamentalists, great preachers of the past expressed their acceptance of the Biblical doctrine of Hell. Henry Ward Beecher, known for his emphasis on God’s love stated, “I do not accept the doctrine of Hell because I delight in it. I would cast doubts if I could.”

D.L. Moody said, “The same Jesus that tells us of Heaven and all its glory, tells us of Hell with all its horror. The same Bible that speaks of Heaven speaks of Hell.”

R. A. Tory said, “I claim to be a scholarly preacher — with two degrees; yet I believe the old-fashioned Bible doctrine regarding Hell.”

C.H. Spurgeon was called the prince of preachers; author of numerous books and brilliant oratory stated, “In Hell there is no hope. They have not even the hope of dying or the hope of being annihilated … they are forever, forever, forever lost.”

In the sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Jonathan Edwards preached at Enfield, Conn. in 1741 during the height of the Great Awakening, he pictures Hell as a burning pit of fire that people are suspended over.

William Munsey was a great Methodist of the last generation. In his sermon series on eternal retribution, he stated that, “Hell may be a barren, desolate world rolling beyond the confines of creation with no sun or star to lighten its darkness or chase away its infernal vapors. With rivers of liquid fire and mountains of incinerated rock, reeked with awful caverns over it, the doomed may climb and stumble and fall forever. There may be a law of gravity that holds men to this place without release, but that may not be Hell! Hell may be a blasted, God-cursed planet; rocks and mountains have tumbled into anarchy. No blushing flowers, no laughing streams, no Gospel-preaching, no friendships, no morality, and no God. All clans and sexes hoarded with foulest demons in promiscuous mob and every stinking cave inhabited with gnashing ghosts and howling fiends.” Munsey then wrote, “But that may not be Hell.”

What Mr. Munsey was conveying is that man does not possess the ability to describe the horrors of the place called Hell.

Scripturally, we know that today in this age of grace, Hell is in the center of the earth and will one day, at the White Throne Judgment of the lost, belch forth its inhabitants for the assignment of degrees of punishment for eternity. Following the judgment of the lost, men will be cast into the Lake of Fire that has been created and is reserved for the Devil, his angels, and all who reject Christ (Revelation 20:10-15).

As a pastor and student of the scriptures for over half a century, I wish I could say that there is no Hell or it would one day be burned out and that those who were lost would be saved. But it cannot be. It is forever. In Hell there is no hope. On every chain in Hell, there is written, “forever.”

Christ, on the cross, quantitatively and qualitatively suffered all the eternal punishment for all mankind. Every sin has been potentially forgiven and every sinner potentially saved.

Recognizing our sinful nature and receiving Christ’s total payment assures salvation and escape from eternal punishment (John 3:16).

Dr. Jack Scallions serves as senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Athens.

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