Author: J.B. Thorn
Beginning with Luke 16:19-31, let us consider the case of one who went to hell. “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 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; 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. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
Much has been said about one’s soul going to hell, but little has been considered about one’s body being in hell; yet we are not able to consider the punishment from as many angles as found in these verses of the rich man and Lazarus. This we shall bring out a little later on. When Paul tells us in Hebrews 9:27, “As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” we are reminded of two things that take place with a lost sinner before he is finally ushered into eternity. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Rev. 21:8. When we consider the resurrection of the wicked dead, we are reminded that the wicked dead will undergo a change similar to that of the righteous dead in the resurrection at the coming of the Lord, because when the dead are raised they are certain to be raised in full consciousness. At the coming of the Lord, the dead shall be raised incorruptible: that is, the dead in Christ, and we shall all be changed-our mortal bodies being made in the likeness of the Lord Jesus; the blind being made to see; the deaf to hear; the dumb to speak; and all the afflictions and defects of the Christians will be done away with and we shall have glorified bodies with all of our senses: hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling, and seeing. When we think of the dead in Christ being raised, we naturally expect every member of their bodies to be made whole and free from any fault or weakness. This similar condition certainly must take place with sinners. The Bible refers to the sea giving up its dead, etc. We would naturally think of the bodies coming out of these places where they have been placed at death with soul reunited, standing in full consciousness before the Great Judge. Yes, we believe that both body and soul of the sinner dying in his sins will be cast into hell. Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:28, “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.” Surely all sinners who die in their sins, whether deaf, dumb, or blind, or whatever their physical ailments might have been on this earth, when they undergo the change in the resurrection will certainly be able to hear, see, and speak when their final sentence of doom has been passed upon them. Believing in such a change which brings back the five senses to the body would naturally lead us to believe in the torments of hell being more than just suffering in a fire, since it is clearly seen in the case of the rich man in hell. Whatever the rich man’s physical condition was on earth, his five senses were restored when he awoke in hell.
THE FIRST SUFFERING
It was hell for this man to see. With all the smoke and flames and all the darkness that penetrated the regions of the damned which this man was able to see, certainly his sense of seeing while on earth was nothing to be compared with that of his vision in hell. He could have been blind or partially blind while on this earth, but now he was able to see with a greater sense of sight than all the years while on this earth. “And he saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom.” Think of it, my friends; an eyesight that was able to pierce fire and smoke and outer darkness across a great gulf into Abraham’s bosom afar off. Surely it was hell just to see. If this man could have been blind in hell, hell would not have been nearly so horrible, but God’s Word says he lifted up his eyes in hell “and saw.” My sinner friend if you die in your sins, who will you be able to see afar off which will add to your tormented soul in hell? Will it be that you will see a mother or a father, sister or a brother, husband or a wife, afar off “comforted,” while you are tormented? If one man saw out of hell afar off, it stands to reason that every sinner in hell will be able to see the same. Oh, the hell-the hell to be able to see those loved ones and friends afar off in glory; safe with Jesus forevermore, while you are suffering the second death in eternal hell-in outer darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Sinner, think of your way. Yes, it will be hell to be able to see.
THE SECOND SUFFERING
He was able to speak. It is possible that while on earth he could have had some disease of the throat or lungs, or perhaps he was paralyzed and even at death was unable to speak above a whisper or perhaps speak at all; but in eternity he was able to cry with a loud voice, “Have mercy on me!” Oh, what a fiendish yell; what a cry that penetrated the regions of the damned; a cry that was heard across the great gulf, afar off, and reached Abraham. Truly human ears have never heard such a cry. He cried for mercy, but no mercy was found. He was in hell where there is no mercy-in hell where no prayers are answered-forgotten of God-lost forevermore. How horrible! How horrible! Yet think of how many today are headed for this place Yes, it was hell to see-hell to cry and have your cries turned down.
THE THIRD SUFFERING
It was hell for him to feel. Whatever his physical condition was on this earth, he was able to feel in hell, for he said, “I am tormented in this flame.” What torment to feel the flames of hell lapping their way from the top of your head to the soles of your feet, eternally. Yes, he was able to feel. Think of it, my sinner friend, every inch of his body, inside and out, tormented in the flames of hell fire where the fire is never quenched and the soul never dies. How horrible, and yet how true!
THE FOURTH SUFFERING
It was hell for him to hear. This man might have been deaf while on earth or even partially deaf, but in hell he was able to hear, and oh, what a sense of hearing! With the shrieks, the screams, and the cries, and all the commotion in hell, he was able to hear the voice of another across the great gulf afar off-the voice of Abraham. Oh, what hell it was to hear the disappointing words from afar off. “No hope.” If this man heard Abraham afar off and saw Lazarus in his bosom, my sinner friend, what will you see and what will you hear after you have lived a Christ-rejecting life and come to a Christless grave? When you awake in hell and are able to see afar off and hear afar off, what will you see and hear? Will it be the tender voice of a mother or wife; the friendly voice of a father or brother; or will it be the cooing of a precious baby, safe in the arms of Jesus, comforted, while you are tormented? Yes, it was hell to hear.
THE FIFTH SUFFERING
It was hell to be able to taste. He cried, “Send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue.” When on this earth, while living in luxury and faring sumptuously every day, he was able to order the finest wines and cordials; he had service at his command, but in hell he only asked for a drop of water. No, he didn’t ask for a glassful, a pitcherful, not even a spoonful, but one drop-and was refused. Think of it, sinner friend, what a sense of taste, famishing in a waterless hell. Remember God’s Word-“The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God.” Are you a wicked one? Have you forgotten God? Why was it that he asked for Lazarus to bring him water? Because it was Lazarus that he had had dealings with on this earth. It seemed that Lazarus was God’s representative sent to the door of this rich man to eat crumbs that fell from his table.
Sinner, what representative does God have at your door with a message of warning that you are refusing and ignoring? It may be that this will be the one whom you will send for, if you go to hell. Again, think of how horrible it was to taste the pangs of a scorching, blistering, smoking, fuming hell; crying for water, with no water to be given.
THE SIXTH SUFFERING
It was hell to remember. Hell would not be nearly so bad if a man could not remember. Oh, what torment; what torment to be able to see; hell to cry; hell to feel; hell to hear; hell to taste; and now-hell to remember. The rich man remembered. While on this earth he might have forgotten many things, but in hell he remembered. This one thing we know-that he forgot God. He may have tried to drown out memories with drinking. He might have traveled to forget his worries, but in hell he remembered. He remembered his home and his five brothers. He remembered their sinful lives, because he wanted to send word to them to warn them of that place he was in, but his request was in vain. Somewhere back in the mind there seems to be a scroll with the past recorded on it. It is said that people lose their minds, but it is impossible to lose memory. One may become mentally unbalanced or become insane, but to forever lose one’s mind is impossible. What hell it is going to be to remember sins and sorrows, disappointments, and all that make up a sad sinner’s life. Oh, that you might bring your sins to the Saviour and let Him save you from them all and escape the horrors of hell where memory haunts the soul! Just think of it-in hell being able to remember in detail everything that happened in life on this earth. You will remember the opportunities you had to repent and be saved. You will remember the sermons that were preached to keep you from going to hell. You will remember the prayers and testimonies and all that was done to save you from hell. You will remember the little church where service after service was held, where you could have been saved. You will remember the man of God who preached his heart out to you, but you refused. You’ll remember that Christian who laid his hand on your shoulder in the meeting and said, “Sinner, won’t you give your heart to Jesus?” and you said, “Not tonight.” All this you’ll remember in hell.
THE SEVENTH SUFFERING
It will be hell not to have any hope of escape, because hell will be without end. It will be eternal darkness, and you will be unable to lay hold on the promises of God, for there will be no Bible in hell. Hell will be Christless, therefore it will be hopeless. How terrible to be in a godless, Christless, Bibleless hell without hope! Today, my sinner friend, you have a promise of escape by trusting in the Son of God, but in hell there is no way of escape-no exit in hell-only one entrance, and that entrance is the door of unbelief and rejection, eternal night-an endless night. In hell there is no one to care for your soul. There you’ll be with drunkards, murderers, thieves, liars, whoremongers, and idolators, tormented forever and ever. No wonder Jesus came to die that we might escape this awful place of torment. There will be no love in hell, because God is love, and God will not be there; Nothing but hate and malice; no precious babies in hell that a father and mother might hold in their arms and listen to their cooing voice. No little children will be there, for we remember the words of Jesus, “Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” No innocence in hell-all will be guilt; no mercy-for then will be justice; no comfort-all will be suffering forever. No more revival meetings; only the revival of memory to haunt you forever; no more gospel sermons or songs to warn you of wickedness; no one to be interested in your damned soul. There will be sorrows, heartaches, blistering tears, remorse, grief, burdens, memory. There will be no friends in hell. All will be strangers forever-no one to sympathize with your eternal dying soul that is damned forever.
Sinner, won’t you repent? Won’t you believe and escape this horrible place? Today is the day of salvation. Now is the accepted time. (II Cor. 6:2). “Boast not thyself of to morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Prov. 27:1. If you will come to Jesus, acknowledge your guilt to Him-that you are a sinner-and trust Him as your personal Saviour and Lord, He will save you. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Rom. 10:10. If you will believe Jesus to be the Son of God, and that He died on Calvary’s Cross for your sins; and rose again the third day, and own Him as your Saviour, He will save you NOW. -Selected
IF THE DEAD COULD SPEAK!
We were once as you are now. Soon you will come to be with us. We do not talk about our neighbors for our voices are stilled, but we send out messages of warning to those who view our silent city-the city in which others have placed us.
Oh, how we would like to tell you to “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Heb. 12:14. It is not all of life just to live; but live to live again-at peace with God and man. There is a great difference. Consider Lazarus, the beggar, and Dives, the rich man. Do not wait until you come to be with us to repent, but do it now; there is no better time. Do it before you come here. Most of us waited until it was too late. “OH ETERNlTY! how long?” is our wail.