Hell is a place that must exist. First, it is a place where Satan and all his cohorts will be in eternity. It is also the place where lost souls must go. If there were no fear of hell, how many souls would be saved? How many of God’s children would just give up and say, “Well, so what if I don’t make it into heaven? My soul would just cease to exist.”
There are no two things, absolutely nothing, which differ so greatly as hell and heaven. Much is said and sung about heaven and what a wonderful place it is. The human mind cannot grasp the state of being in heaven and how beautiful it is. Pushed into the background are the warnings of how awful a place hell is. Again, the human mind cannot grasp the awfulness of hell. It is a place of great pain and awful remorse that will never end and, also, shame for squandering the plan of salvation.
It seems that the realities of hell are not preached and taught as often as they were years ago. In life some people commit suicide when they think things are unbearable. In hell there will be no possible way to end it all. The lost soul will be in that state forever and forever. The remorse will be the greatest among those souls who understood what it took to be saved but chose not to take advantage of it. Or for those who accepted the plan of salvation and became one of God’s children and then had a fatal spiritual shipwreck. Or for those who think they are ready to meet the Lord and will find themselves wanting on the Judgment Day. What an awful shock it will be if the Lord says, “Depart from me; I know you not!”
In the Bible (Revelation), hell is called a “bottomless pit” seven times. Being “bottomless,” we commonly think of a lost soul falling and falling forever. Some think that hell will be the center of this earth, which is a molten mass of brimstone. Whatever the constitution of hell, the agony will be the same. With the agony will be the most horrible screams from lost souls. It will also be a place of darkness. Some sinful men lightly say, “I know I am going to hell, but a lot of my buddies will be there, too.” And some even go so far as to say, “I don’t even want to be in heaven with all those sissies.” They know not what they are saying.
The devil and his cohorts are doing their best to take as many souls as possible with them to their own damnation. The irony of this is that there is nothing in it for the devil. For there is no truth in him at all, and he cannot tell the truth; thereby he can only try to deceive as many souls as he possibly can.
There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun while we are in this life. We cannot decide to be Christians just to avoid ending up in hell. We must accept the plan of salvation, and also live it, and truly love our Savior and God. Our first priority in life should be that we are ready to meet him in peace at all times—if we are the one who is snatched from life into eternity in a moment today, we would not be found wanting.
Words fail to describe the awfulness of hell. Words fail to describe the blessedness of heaven. Are we now, today, ready to meet the Lord in peace? If we are saved, we do not deserve heaven; if we are lost, we do not deserve heaven either. There is no in between place.
From Messenger of Truth, 2012, No. 3