What happens to the unsaved when they die?

By Nathan Jones

In sharing the Gospel with the world, I would be remiss if I didn't share what happens to those people who die without having accepted Jesus as their Savior and so continue onwards down the path to judgment. What's going to happen to them?

Those people who have died never having accepting Jesus' lifeline of salvation have an entirely different destination from Heaven. They are going to die in their rebellion, and they have no hope whatsoever. As Jesus in John 3:36 warned, "God's wrath remains on him." The following is what's going to happen to them after they die.

1) Hades
After an unsaved person dies, they go to a place called Hades. The Bible also calls it Sheol or Torments. You can read all about it in Luke 16. Hades is a holding place for the dead, a prison. It at one time had two compartments, a place called Paradise and a place called Torments. The Old Testament Saints used to go to the Paradise part as they couldn't go to Heaven yet because Jesus' blood hadn't yet been shed to cover their sins. By faith they were there as Hebrews explains, but Jesus' blood finally allowed their freedom and Paradise was taken up to Heaven with Jesus after His crucifixion. What we have in Hades now is just what is left — Torments — a place of torment.

2) Judgment
At the end of Jesus' Millennial Kingdom, there will be the Great White Throne Judgment. That's a special name basically for the Resurrection of the Unjust. We can read about this final judgment in Revelation 20:11-13:

"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it and earth and sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead great and small standing before the throne and the books were opened. And another book was opened which is the book of life, the dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in them and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them and each person was judged according to what he had done."

Those from Hades are going to be judged based on their works, but without the saving work of Jesus Christ — the only work that matters, they will be found wanting. God's the perfect litmus test, and so no matter how good our works have been, they just cannot add up to God's standard of perfection. Everyone who tells you that you have to work your way to Heaven is lying to you, because the Bible says otherwise in Ephesians 2:8-9. Jesus' work on the cross is the only work that matters, and our response in faith.

3) Hell
When they are all found guilty, their next and final destination is a place called Hell. Revelation 20:14-15 explains that awful sentence of condemnation, "Then death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire." The Lake of Fire is called the Second Death. If anyone's name was not found written in the books of Life, they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Misconceptions About Hell

A lot of people have some really false ideas about what Hell is like. One misconception about Hell for instance is that Satan is down there stoking the fires and that he's already there waiting to punish and torment people with pitchforks. No, Satan doesn't rule Hell. There are no demons waiting to torment us in Hell.

Actually, believe or not, there is not a single person in Hell right now. Hell is the punishment created for Satan and his demons. Matthew 25:41 says Hell was created for them when they rebelled against God. When we rebelled in sin, that same punishment fell upon us. Hell was never meant for us, but when we sinned, we fell under the same judgment as Satan and his followers.

Hell Described

What is Hell actually like? We can read all about it in the Bible.

Is Hell a place where we party down? Is it a place where it is just a little too warm, but where we hang out with our old friends? No, Matthew 25:46 tells us it is a place of punishment for rebellion. Punishment is not good, and so Hell is not a good place.

Hell is where the wrath of God is finally fulfilled. In John 3:36, we read about the wrath of God. The wrath of God is whenever God judges the earth in its entirety. We saw it with the Flood. We will see it poured out at the Tribulation. God will judge all who have rejected Him at the Second Death. These are demonstrations of God's wrath.

Hell is called the Second Death in Revelation 21:8. It is also called Eternal Destruction in 2 Thessalonians 1:9. Look at the word "eternal." Eternal means just that — forever destroyed.

With Hell, there is just no escape. Luke 16 says there is no way out of it. It's not like there can be some fancy Star Trek episode escape where they hitch a few wires and the doors open and they always escape. No, it's not like that in Hell. There is absolutely no way to escape from Hell.

What is Hell physically like? Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 20:15 describe it as a Lake of Fire. Some people speculate that maybe it is located in the underworld of our planet, as we see lava flows from a volcano like a lake. I tend to think Hell is a star. If you ever get a good close picture of a star, you will see superheated energy plasma boiling and rolling like lakes. It could be in a star, but the Bible doesn't tell us. But, it is described as a place of flames. It's a place of burning.

With all that fire, one would think it would be a very bright place, but Matthew 8:12 tells us it is a place of utter darkness. There is no light. No one will get to see in Hell.

And, the stench of it! Luke 16 tells us that Hell stinks. It has a bad smell to it.

The people who are sentenced there will be conscious. They will not be knocked out. They won't be driven so mad that they won't think about the horrible reality crushing them. They will have to exist with a conscious existence as Deuteronomy 18:11 demonstrates, and what they are consciously aware of is that they chose to separate themselves from the Father, as Luke 16 relays. God says to us all with no exception, "I love you. Come to me." You can choose to respond to that, or you can reply with, "No, way!" Those who rejected God's love will spend eternity regretting that decision.

Being separated from God has other consequences, for God is life, and without Him the universe doesn't hold together. You may hear about physicists trying to find the God particle or the String Theory. Well, in part they are correct. The underlining force that holds everything together is God. Jesus says it is Him. He is the bread and the life. He's what's holding us together.

Without God there is only loneliness and separation. There's just you being convicted by your memories filled with regret and despair.

Luke 16 says in Hell you thirst. In Hell there is nothing to quench one's awful, mind-burning thirst.

Because of all the agony and destruction that you feel in Hell, it says in Matthew 8:12 that there is gnashing of teeth. There will be nothing from you but weeping and crying with no comfort and no water to supply your tears.

Hell is truly a place of torment, as Revelation 14 describes. It's an awful place of torment where you are alone with yourself forever. You wanted God to leave you along and so you didn't accept Jesus' salvation, and well, you got what you wanted.

Living With an Eternal Perspective

Our forever destination is why we need to think about something bigger than just our life here on earth. Where the road ends is why we need to have an eternal perspective, because our life on this earth is really very short, isn't it? It's just like a breath. And so, it makes sense that we need to look at the bigger picture in life. You need to know where you are going.

You can't just live for the now, because if you die this very minute without preparing for the next minute, then where will that get you?

A friend of mine had this happen to him. While his mother was making him dinner she slipped on some water on the floor. While she was making something as innocent as dinner, she fell and banged her head against the cabinet. The fall snapped her neck and she died instantly. One minute she is making the meatballs, the next minute she is dead with her son standing over his dead mother.

Life happens that way. We don't think it can happen to us, especially the younger we are. We think life doesn't end so suddenly, but it will. Death will catch up to us usually when we are unaware.

Death is inevitable, unless you are raptured, so live with an eternal perspective. If you live with an eternal perspective, then everything else in life will make sense. Life will have purpose.

Your Eternal Decision

Have you made the choice for Jesus? Have you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and be your Savior? Have you cried, "Jesus, forgive me of my sins and be my savior!"

An amazing, wonderful, awesome future lays ahead of us with Jesus Christ! So, what on earth are you doing that's just so important that you won't grab hold of that future? What sins are you committing that are so temporarily enjoyable that you wish to stay here, when you've got so much better ahead of you in Heaven? Turn to Jesus right now and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and be your Savior.

Think of the future that you have. Don't write Hell off as not a real place. The God of the Universe who is outside of time and who knows what is beyond here has told us in the Bible exactly what our afterlife will be like. In the Bible we can know our future.

You have a decision to make today. Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior, or have you not? Will you be rescued from judgment and Hell, or will you be saved for Heaven by placing your trust in Jesus Christ?

Source: www.lamblion.com

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Hell – Sheol

By Ron Graham

“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”Psalm 9:17.

It’s true, there really is a Hell. I know because I’m standing in the midst of the most horrible place anyone could imagine. Truth be told, no human being could ever come close to imagining what I am seeing and experiencing without experiencing it personally for themselves. Hollywood could not do justice to the immense hideousness of this place. What I am seeing cannot be described in human terms. Why am I here? I rejected God’s free gift of salvation, and if you keep reading you might just avoid spending eternity with me. 

You see, I died and instantaneously there I was in Hell.  I knew immediately where I was and that I was surrounded by others who I perceived knew exactly where they were also. “Hell and destruction are never full;” Proverbs 27:20. There is no denying the truth any longer. All of us standing in this most unholy realm of godlessness were instantly confronted with the overwhelming truth of our failure to acknowledge the one true and living God of all Creation.

I see a huge cave-like chamber so immense it’s beyond my ability to describe it in size. It seems as vast as the universe itself but without stars, it is pitch black like a huge black hole, and yet I can see through the blackness into a deeper blackness. From a human standpoint this place defies explanation, yet I see it. I feel the presence of multitudes all around me but no one speaks, and as I reach out to touch another person there is nothing but blackness. I also feel that each person, including myself, knows that enduring this chamber of horrors is only temporary. I can feel that there is something else coming something that will be even more horrible and impossible to endure, something which will ultimately be our self-imposed punishment for eternity.

As I stand here I’m weighed down with fear and sorrow. My very first thought is that I had been given every opportunity, while I lived on earth, to avoid such a place. Before I died I was an intelligent man. Not given to believing in fables and myths, and I had a good grasp on what I thought was reality. There is no denying the fact of the matter that I had allowed the world to deceive me and convince me that there was no God. The evolution of pond scum into living beings keeps coming to mind as a major satanic deception.

Interestingly, as I stand here silent in all this blackness I understand fully why I had allowed myself to be so completely deceived. A life of denying God is laid before me. Everything I had ever done on earth is vividly playing back across the recesses of my memory. All the evil I was responsible for torments me, even all the good deeds I had ever accomplished are laid before me as a proof that all the good deeds one can perform mean nothing to God unless they are done through the born again experience of believing and trusting in His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. These scenes are exploding out from all the blackness as though being played on a huge theater screen that only I can see. Excluded from all this playback is any semblance of happiness. There is to be no further joy for me for eternity now that I am in this Hell, and I know it.

Horrible, horrible misery and wretchedness is all I can sense as I stand here. It is not just my own wretchedness but that of those who occupy space with me. It is as though all the unhappiness in the universe is now easily sensed as it floods the caverns of my mind. Remorse and guilt also inundate my being. The permanence of Hell is relentlessly affecting my mind. The unshakable and overwhelming obstinacy of the reality of my situation is now extreme. And the more I linger and try to somehow deal with my new surroundings, the more severe become my anguish and sorrow. I realize that this place which was created by God as a future eternal dimension of torment for Satan and his angels is, along with all its awful horribleness, now mine also. “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure:” Isaiah 5:14.

I realize that my torment is never to depart but is only going to get worse as more and more join us in our new eternity. I have no clue as to just how long I’ve been here because time is not a factor in this particular dimension, but that awful playback continues for what seems like millennia. One thing I know for sure, eternity has no end. Dread and sorrow fill every fiber of my being as I stand here remembering the opportunities I had been given as they are piled one upon another to remind me of what I had rejected while I was alive on earth. Over and over again it plays in my mind that people – friends and family – brought the truth to me explaining about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on that cross. Each time the scene plays, further and further into the depths of Hell I slide. The deeper I slide the stronger my dread grows while I anticipate the next flash of memories depicting my refusal to accept the truth of the Gospel of Christ. The misery, sorrow, and grief is unbearable. I know I cannot deal with this horrible place for very much longer, yet this undeniably torturous eternity remains steadfast staring me in the face.

My new existence is just as real and vivid as all the time I had lived and ignored the plight of my fellow man while I enjoyed all the pleasures I could on earth. Only now there will never be happiness and joy again. My worldly depravity comes screaming back at me while I stand here in all this seemingly empty blackness. It is alive and overwhelming as it sinks deep into the recesses of my eternal consciousness. All the evilness I had dabbled in throughout all those years as a living being, along with all the sorrow I had effectively dealt out to my fellow man, is now mine to endure for eternity. The tables have been everlastingly turned and as all this continually rolls across the screen of my thoughts, the clarity of extreme sorrow fills me to a point that I think I will explode. Even as much as I long to explode, to disintegrate into a billion specks of nothing, I know I will never escape Hell, never.

It seems as though tears are falling down my cheeks, but not really. It’s more like flames of fire licking at my face. And then fear of more visions of my life on earth coupled with the full sinking awareness of where I am and how long I will be here gives way to the most bewildering sense of failure I would ever know. But the worst thing about being in Hell is knowledge. All the knowledge of who God is and what He had done for me is perfectly and completely apparent. I now fully understand that it was He who sustained me through all my joyous yet very selfish years on earth. Just knowing that while I was on earth I was in God’s hands, and that I was never completely apart from Him, makes my current sorrow even worse. And now I know there is never to be another chance to be with Him. Spending eternity without God is like experiencing death over and over again – never to stop. Realizing God will never be present with me again gives way to the most fearful concept that could ever attack my consciousness. Lonesomeness that is indescribable in human terms is now gripping me as I stand in my eternal isolation.

Even though God was responsible for my very existence and for all the good things that entered my life while I was alive, I never once gave Him what He wanted from me, acknowledgement of God and love for Jesus Christ was the farthest thing from my mind. The simple yet totally obvious fact that relates to my current situation is that all I had to do was believe in the One who God sent to earth to save mankind from their sins. That all sounds so simple now and yet impossible for all those who, like myself, have crossed the plane into this new dimension called Hell.

Senses and perceptions are all still in place. Although from your humanistic view point I’m dead, I’m actually very much alive, more so than I had ever been on earth. I did not understand anything relevant to eternity while on earth, but now standing in this vast horrible darkness I understand with crystal clarity. I will never have another chance to believe and confess the truth and be saved. This Hell is now to be my present and this present never ceases. Explaining this existence further could never sufficiently give a true view of Hell. Hell cannot be explained in human terms, it has to be experienced to fully grasp. For anyone who thinks they are currently living a life of Hell on earth, and who’ve rejected Christ their whole life – let me conclude with – you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

The above scenario is a fictional presentation of Hell. The supernatural cannot be explained in human terms, and certainly not with our limited cranial abilities. No one who places themselves in Hell for eternity will ever return to give testimony to the rest of humanity as to just what transpires there, so I contrived a plausible, yet fictional, adaptation of Hell, one that most readers should be able to grasp.

Jesus gives a great example of what hell is all about in Luke chapter 16 beginning in verse 19. Jesus is not speaking in parables in this situation, He’s giving us a factual set of circumstances, in other words the conversation between Abraham and the rich man really happened.

Jesus tells us that it really wouldn’t matter if He were to send one back from the grave to explain what Hell was all about. Just like the fictional example given above, people who are deceived into believing the lies of the enemy will not be persuaded even if someone was to rise from the grave, show up on the world stage, and proclaim what was truly going on down there. “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:31.

Jesus was nailed to a cross some 2,000 years ago, and He, just a few hours later gave up the ghost. He was then buried in a tomb with a huge rock rolled across the entrance. Yet in just three days Jesus arose from that grave and was seen by His disciples and the women that followed Him, even to 500 others. He remained on this earth for some 40 more days. All of this is recorded in the most historical book of all time, the Holy Bible, yet most refuse to believe this truth. Thus the above fictional scenario will become factual for all those who continue to reject Christ as Savior and Lord.

Hell is a real place and the Bible speaks of it often, which of course tells us the opposite is also a real place. Heaven is equally shrouded in the scriptures whenever we seek a clear and full explanation about that awesome place. But be assured both are accessible and both are eternal. Hell, being a place God created to house His rebellious angels, is also available for anyone who so chooses to spend their eternal existence there.

To avoid that horrible place for eternity is quite simple. God made it simple for His Creation because of His great love for us. Although He had to watch while evil men put His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, through the most horrible of punishments He still gives us every opportunity to come to the realization that we must believe in what He did so we can avoid that eternal punishment of Hell. We humans can either believe the truth and live, or we can say no to that truth and reject His free gift of pardon. Those who say no to God’s offer of salvation are telling Him they would much rather endure eternal punishment themselves instead of relying on Jesus Christ as the propitiation of all sin.

Given the above scenario and the possibility that that just might be at least somewhat similar to what Hell is actually like, wouldn’t it be better to try and avoid that place? Here’s all you have to do to avoid Hell: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Admit you’re a sinner and that you believe Jesus Christ died for your sins. Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that God raised Him from the dead. Believing and understanding go hand in hand. Once you believe this simple truth, studying your Bible becomes a walk through the most awesome experiences life will allow. Once you have God given biblical discernment the Bible becomes the most exciting book of all time and you will never get tired of reading and studying God’s truth.

Hell, or Sheol, is real and if you’re a believer in Christ you’ll never know what that horrible place actually consists of. Everyone who rejects Christ will end up in Sheol where they will await the White Throne Judgment of God and from there all those Christ rejecters will be cast into the Lake of Fire which burns forever. Not a very pleasant thought for your eternal existence. Ultimately, it’s your choice. So, which of the two ultimate and eternal destinations have you chosen? Heaven or Hell.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham


All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed 

Source: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/g146.html

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