Recently while studying I came across the website of a prominent Independent Baptist College. While perusing some of their teachings I came across one that stated there is no literal Hell and when the Bible refers to Hell it is referring to the grave. NOTHING could be further than the truth than this. The Bible is so clear on the doctrine of Hell I find it hard to imagine someone, who considers themselves a theologian, could possibly not believe in the reality of Hell as a place of torment and punishment. Rather than accept man’s teachings let us look directly to the teaching of God’s Word on the matter.

The Bible says in Matthew 25:40-41:
[40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
[41] 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:

Are we to imply the grave is a place of fire? Or we to imply it is a temporary place but the fire is everlasting? Are we to understand the GRAVE was prepared for the devil and his angels?
If there were no other references to Hell in the Bible surely this one alone would be sufficient to say:
1) It is a literal place
2) It burns with fire
3) It was CREATED as a place of torment
4) It was meant as a place of punishment for the devil and his angels
5) Only certain people will end up there

How can the grave match any of these criteria?

Hell is as eternal as Heaven and is it’s opposite.
We find in Job 11:
[6] And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.
[7] Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
[8] It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

Heaven is above and Hell is below.

Hell is a place with a defined location.
By the teachings in Proverbs we know it is below us.

Prov.5:[5] Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

Prov.7:[26] For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
[27] Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Prov.15:[24] The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

Looking further in scripture in Isaiah we find:

Isa.5:[13] Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
[14] Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

Having been created to hold the devil and his angels it had to be enlarged to accommodate the souls of men.

Isa.14:[9] Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Again, it is told to us in scripture Hell is beneath.
Looking in the book of Amos we find again Hell is beneath.

Amos.9:[2] Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

When Mary saw Jesus in the garden after His resurrection He clearly told her He had not ascended yet.

John.20:[17] Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

And she had just been to the grave where Jesus was not.

John.20:[1] The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
[2] Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
[3] Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
[4] So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
[5] And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
[6] Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
[7] And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Where had He been then? He was not in the grave and He was not in Heaven. The scripture tells us.

Acts.2:22] Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
[23] Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
[24] Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
[25] For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
[26] Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
[27] Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
[28] Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
[29] Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
[30] Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
[31] He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
[32] This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

So then the clear teaching of the Word of God is:
1) Jesus was NOT in the grave.
2) Jesus was NOT in Heaven
3) Jesus was in a PLACE called Hell.

In Jesus own words we know Hell is a real place with keys and gates.

Matt.16:[18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Rev.1:18] I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

In Luke we find angels do NOT die.

Luke 20:[35] But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
[36] Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

In 2 Peter we find certain angels are being held in Hell awaiting judgment.

2Pet.2:[4] 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;

So then how say men Hell is the GRAVE?

The scripture teaches Hell has different levels. How say men then that Hell is the GRAVE? Are we to understand there are different degrees of DEAD?

Deuteronomy 32:[22] For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

Proverbs 9:[18] But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Pss.86:[13] For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

Matt.23:[14] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
[15] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Hell is a place of punishment, torment, sorrow and fire.

2Sam.22:[6] The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;

Psalms 116:[3] The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

Matthew 8:[28] 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.
[29] 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 13:[40] As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
[41] The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
[42] And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
[49] So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
[50] And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 18:[9] And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Matthew 23:[32] Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
[33] Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Matthew 25:40-41:
[40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
[41] 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:

Mark 9:[42] And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
[43] And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
[44] Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
[45] And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
[46] Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
[47] And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
[48] Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

James 3:[5] Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
[6] And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

In the gospel of Luke we find the clear teaching of Jesus on the matter. In Luke the word “parable” is used seventeen times BUT not used in the account of the rich man and Lazarus. Repetitively in Luke we are told when Jesus was speaking a parable BUT NOT in the account of the rich man and Lazarus. In all of Jesus’ parables there is NEVER a person’s name given. So then, in the account of Luke 16 we must conclude this is not a parable but an actual account of two people. Let us let Jesus speak with finality on the matter!

Luke 16:[19] There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
[20] And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
[21] And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
[22] And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
[23] And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
[24] 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.
[25] But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
[26] And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
[27] Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
[28] For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
[29] Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
[30] And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
[31] And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.