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Passages Ministries

The Ministries of John "BJ" Hall

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Since January 18, 2015

Hell Is for Real

~ By John BJ Hall ~

In 2010 a book made headlines with the claim that “Heaven is for Real.” It is the story of a little boy, Colton Burpo, who died and went to Heaven. The book was then turned into a movie in 2014. There have been many anecdotal stories of people who say they have died, seen a bright light and come back from the dead. Are the stories true? That is yet to be decided.

The Bible has some information for us. Paul wrote of what most scholars believe to be his own personal testimony. He said, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.” 2 Corinthians 12:2 (NASB) We also have the testimony of the Apostle John chronicled in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

But what about Hell. Is it real? Is it really a place of eternal torture? Is it a place to be avoided at all cost? Jesus had something to say about that. In Luke chapter sixteen He told of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus was a poor beggar, who had nothing. I’m sure that the people around town were familiar with Lazarus. His name means “assistance of God.” God was his only benefactor.

The rich man, on the other hand, had everything a man could want in this world. But he was bereft of the most basic human compassion. He did nothing about the poor beggar at his door. What he desperately needed was peace with God.

The day came when both men died. Lazarus was in Abraham’s Bosom. The Jews believed that the righteous went to the Bosom of Abraham when they died. This was a euphemism for paradise, a place of peace and rest. It is the place to which the poor man, Lazarus, was carried by the angels when he died. At meals to recline in the bosom of the host was considered the highest honor. The poor man was comforted after death by being given the place of closest fellowship with the father of the whole Hebrew nation.

The rich man, “in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…” Luke 16:23a (KJV) He further describes it as a place with flames, “And he cried and 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.” Luke 16:24 (KJV) 

Now the most important thing that you should know. God does not want anyone to die and go to Hell. In fact, He gave himself as propitiation, sacrifice to pay our penalty, so that we would not have to spend even one minute in Hell. The Apostle Peter wrote, in 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

In short, Hell Is for Real. But so is Heaven. And God want’s you to be with Him there. As Joshua of old said, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

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