The Second Death Part 3: The Eternity of Hell

Luke 16:22-26; Mark 9:45,46
       The beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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. 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. 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.
       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: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): If language has any sense belonging to it—Hell is forever. I believe that the man who finds arguments for evading the evidence of the Bible on this question, has arrived at a state of mind in which reasoning is useless. For my own part, it seems just as easy to argue that we do not exist—as to argue that the Bible does not teach the reality and eternity of Hell.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): Hell is an abiding place, but no resting place.

J. C. RYLE: Hell itself would be endurable if after millions of ages there was a hope of freedom and of heaven. But universal salvation will find no foothold in Scripture.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): In hell there is no hope. They have not even the hope of dying…The wrath of God does not end with death.

THOMAS WATSON: The wicked in hell shall be always dying, but never dead.

J. C. RYLE: As surely as God is eternal, so surely is heaven an endless day without night, and hell an endless night without day.

BROWNLOW NORTH (1810-1875): Let no man deceive you. The teaching of neither Church nor Churchman, is to be believed, if that teaching is contrary to Scripture; and that teaching is contrary to Scripture, which says that by personal, or any other suffering, there can be repentance, or atonement, or salvation, beyond the grave. On this subject, the Word of God is clear: that tells us that here on earth, both God and man may repent them of the evil. A wicked man may repent him of the evil he has done against God and his own soul, turn from it, and obtain mercy; and God may repent Him of the evil He has purposed to do against a wicked man, turn from it, and show him mercy. But there is no change of mind, no repentance in the grave. Let it once be truly said of a man, “he is dead,” and the teaching of the Bible is, that neither in God’s heart nor his own can there ever again be any place found for repentance. As it was with the Rich Man and Lazarus so will it be with us all. Immediately after death our portions will be fixed: fixed in heaven or in hell, unchangeably, and for ever.

C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): O, if thou art unsaved, unconverted, let us earnestly entreat thee to ponder these things, and rouse thee to a sense of thy need of being savingly converted to God. This is the only way of entering His kingdom. So our Lord Christ distinctly tells us; and we trust you know this at least, that not one jot or tittle of His holy sayings can ever pass away. Heaven and earth shall pass away; but His Word can never pass away. All the power of earth and hell, men and devils, cannot make void the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Either of two things for thee—conversion here, or eternal damnation hereafter.

J. C. RYLE: Once let the old doctrine about Hell be overthrown, and the whole system of Christianity is unsettled, unscrewed, unpinned and thrown into disorder! Settle it, lastly, in your mind that the comforting ideas which the Scripture gives us of Heaven are at an end—if we once deny the reality or the eternity of Hell. Is there no future separate abode for those who die wicked and ungodly? Are all men after death to be mingled together in one confused multitude? Why, then, heaven will be no heaven at all!

A. W. TOZER (1897-1963): In a hundred years you would not know heaven from hell!

J. C. RYLE: Is there to be a time when the term of Hell and punishment will be over? Are the wicked after ages of misery, to be admitted into Heaven? Why, then, the need of the sanctification of the Spirit is cast aside and despised! I read that men can be sanctified and made fit for Heaven on earth; I read nothing of any sanctification in Hell. Away with such baseless and unScriptural theories! The eternity of Hell is as clearly affirmed in the Bible—as the eternity of Heaven. Once allow that Hell is not eternal, and you may as well say that God and Heaven are not eternal. The same Greek word which is used in the expression “everlasting punishment” is the word that is used by the Lord Jesus in the expression “life eternal,” Matthew 25:46; and by Paul, in the expression “everlasting God,” Romans 16:26.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): My friends, do let us return to the stern realities of life before it is too late…I’d rather hobble into heaven than walk into hell!

J. C. RYLE: There is no mercy in keeping back from men the subject of hell.

A. W. TOZER: The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions. It hushes their fears and allows them to practice all pleasant forms of iniquity while death draws every day nearer and the command to repent goes unheeded.

JOSEPH ALLEINE (1634-1668): Had you not better, O sinner, let the Word convince you now in time, and let go your false and self-deluding hopes, than have death open your eyes too late, and find yourself in hell before you are aware?

THOMAS FULLER (1608-1661): You cannot repent too soon, because you do not know how soon it may be too late.

BROWNLOW NORTH: You will be a believer some day. If you never believe on earth, you will believe in hell.

C. H. SPURGEON: There are no infidels anywhere but on earth. There are none in heaven and there are none in hell.

JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688): Hell is the place of untimely repentance; it is there where the tears will be mixed with gnashing of teeth, while they consider how mad, and worse they were in not coming to God by Jesus Christ.

F. W. KRUMMACHER (1796-1868):Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” So spake the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of David, to the thousands of Israel (Psalm 95:7,8); and again, by the apostle, to the Christian church (Hebrews 3:15); and let us, dear brethren, seriously lay these words to heart.

THOMAS WATSON: Hell is full of hard hearts; there is not one soft heart there.

RICHARD BAXTER (1615-1691): To conclude; consideration would prevent a world of misery, which else will make you consider when it is too late.

ISAAC WATTS (1674-1748): There’s no repentance in the grave.
                     Just as the tree cut down, that falls to the north or southward, there it lies;
                          So man departs to heav’n or hell, fix’d in the state wherein he dies.

ROBERT PHILIP (1791-1858): The punishment of sin is eternal.


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