The Purpose of Hell
By David J. Stewart
Hell Was Prepared for the Devil and His Angels
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 (Matthew 25:41). God never intended for one single person to end up in Hell. It is NOT God’s will that anyone should perish in their sins and go to Hell... “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” (2nd Peter 3:9). It is NOT God’s fault if men and women are stubborn and unwilling to REPENT of their unbelief. Hell was NOT created for human beings but rather for Satan and his horde of demons. We are ALL without excuse for the wrong decisions we make in life—we CANNOT blame God. Perhaps other humans influenced us to make some wrong decisions but that’s not God’s fault. I often tell people, “Don’t give up on God because men fail you.” Let Job be our example, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). What a statement!
Demons KNOW That Their Day of Judgment is Coming
And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither TO TORMENT US BEFORE THE TIME?” (Matthew 8:28,29). All demons know that judgment day is coming for them. These demons in Matthew chapter eight were afraid that Jesus was going to confine them to the pits of hell before their time was come. Evidently some angels are so wicked that God has bound them in chains, awaiting the Day of Judgment. We read of such angels in Jude, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath RESERVED IN EVERLASTING CHAINS under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6).
Jesus had the power to send these demons to the everlasting chains of confinement. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down TO HELL, and delivered them into CHAINS of darkness, TO BE RESERVED unto judgment” (2nd Peter 2:4). These demons are reserved in chains awaiting the day of God’s judgment. Even Satan himself will be bound in chains during the one-thousand-year millennial reign of Christ upon the earth, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and A GREAT CHAIN in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:1,2). So we learn that Hell was only intended to be the place of reservation for the fallen angels.
Demons Acknowledge That Hell is a Place of Torment
Notice that the demons in Matthew 8:29 asked Jesus if He had come to TORMENT them. Hell is a place of torment. The demons know that judgment day is approaching. Presently, many of the demons are free to roam about through the earth. We see this in 1st Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, WALKETH ABOUT, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan is alive and well folks! The Devil wants to render you useless for God, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy...” (John 10:10). Satan is that murderous thief. We are told in Revelation 12:12, “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but A SHORT TIME.”
Satan’s days are numbered! This particular Scripture verse is referring to Satan’s mischief during the tribulation period. The Devil is always good for nothing and up to something. Satan knows the Bible better than any human being but is a rejecter of the truth—he is full of hatred and deliberately changes and counterfeits the truth. After the seven-year Tribulation Period, Satan knows that He will be bound in chains for one thousand years. This time of Satan’s rage during the last three and a half years of the Tribulation Period is known as the time of “Great Tribulation.” The Bible warns of the atrocities of that coming time.
Demons Tremble and Fear God
Also notice in Matthew 8:29 that the demons said, “what have we to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?” In other words, “we’re minding our own business, why are you here?” The demons fear God! We read in James 2:19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and TREMBLE.” The fallen angels know that their time of judgment is inevitably approaching. Hell was created for the Devil and his angels as a jail to contain them until the judgment. Why certain angels are free to roam the earth and others are reserved in chains unto judgment?—the Bible does not say. We’ve seen already from the Scriptures we’ve studied that demons are afraid of Jesus, afraid of being tormented before their time.
The Great White Throne — The Final Judgment of the Unsaved
We read these interesting words in Revelation 20:14, “And DEATH AND HELL were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” How can Hell be cast into the Lake of Fire? How can death be cast into the Lake of Fire? There are two different Greek words used here. The Lake of Fire is the Greek word Gehenna. The word “hell” in Revelation 21:14 is the Greek word Hades. So we learn from the Bible that Hades will be cast into Gehenna. Hades is a temporary place, but Gehenna will be the eternal home of the damned.
Hell is a jail where the unsaved await trial and sentencing before being cast into the prison of the Lake of Fire. Please understand that if you are not a Believer—you are already condemned! ... “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is CONDEMNED ALREADY, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). Death is man’s great enemy! All the wealth, fame and worldly enjoyments a person may experience in this lifetime CANNOT go with them beyond the grave. Once you're dead, it’s over! It’ll be too late to live for God when your six-feet-under.
Death means SEPARATION. The first death is the SEPARATION of body from soul and spirit. This is true of the saved and of the unsaved because we must ALL experience the first death. Only the unsaved must experience the second death. If you’re a Believer, you will receive your resurrected incorruptible body at the Rapture (before the Tribulation Period); If you're NOT a Believer, then your body will be resurrected after the Millennium to stand before God at The Great White Throne of Judgment. “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” (Revelation 20:13). There will be a reuniting of the body, soul and spirit at The Great White Throne of Judgment. Body, soul and spirit will all be cast into the Lake of Fire.
The Bible makes reference to the body being destroyed in Hell... “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy BOTH SOUL AND BODY in hell” (Matthew 10:28). Those in Hell will be cast into the Lake of Fire. The second death is a SEPARATION of your body, soul and spirit from God for ALL ETERNITY! How sad. If man will not accept the gift of eternal life from God, then he will receive the only other alternative—eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. God never created mankind to be put in such a horrible place, but there is no other place for him. Hell was created for the Devil and his angels. I take it that this is a place where God never goes. The second death means eternal and absolute separation from God.
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