Write down the first thing/scene that comes to your mind when you think of hell.
Why do you suppose that this is what first comes to mind?
How much does the reality of an eternal hell grip you, or does it even affect your life-style here and now in the least bit, and why?
“Hades” is the region of departed spirits of the lost (but including the dead believers in periods preceding the ascension of Christ into heaven. Hades never denotes the grave, nor is it the permanent region of the lost. In point of time, it is for such, intermediate between decease and the doom of Gehenna. (In 1 Cor. 15:55, the most authentic manuscripts have the Greek word “thanatos”, meaning “death”, in the second part of the verse, instead of the Greek word “Hades”, which the King James version (AV) wrongly renders as “grave”, which is the Greek word “mnemelon”, “mnema”, or “taphos”.).
Lk. 16:19-31 Give a description of what Hades is like (Lk. 16:23-26).
Matt. 11:20, 23 Why will the people of Capernaum descend to Hades?
Matt. 16:18 What won’t the powers of Hades overpower?
[“gates” – is the entrance into the realm of the dead. “gates of Hades” refers to physical death. Here, it refers to Jesus’ physical death/crucifixion (Matt. 16:21). “shall not overpower it” – Christ’s death would not stop the formation of the Church (which began at Pentecost) due to His resurrection (Matt. 16:21) – Wycliffe Bible Commentary, p. 959; The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 57. Greek “Petros” (“Peter”) is a stone that might be thrown or easily moved, or a detached stone or boulder. Greek “petra” (“rock”) denotes a mass of rock. Jesus is the rock upon which His church is built (1 Cor. 3:11; 10:4) – Vine’s, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, p. 974.].
Acts 2:29-31 To where was Christ not abandoned?
Rev. 1:17-18 Who has the keys of (i.e., control or authority over) death and Hades?
Rev. 20:13, 14 What did Hades give up? And where was Hades thrown?
“Sheol is the Hebrew term for “Hades” (having the same meaning).
Num. 16:30-33 What happened to those who spurned the Lord?
Psa. 9:17 Where will all the nations that forget God go?
Psa. 16:10 Where does David say that his soul won’t be abandoned?
[“Sheol” – the netherworld of departed spirits].
Psa. 139:8 What does this tell us about one of the attributes of God, and how is it implied?
Prov. 15:24 From what do the wise keep away?
[“Sheol”, here, refers to premature death.].
“Gehenna” (Valley of Tophet) is identical in meaning with “lake of fire”; it is the place where judgment for the consequences of sin is paid with unquenching fire and torment for eternity; it is the Valley of Hinnom running west and south of Jerusalem and was a garbage dump in Jesus’ time. We are to understand Jesus’ words somewhat figuratively when He refers to “Gehenna” as Hell”. Carcasses of dead animals, along with every other kind of refuse, were thrown on this garbage dump and burned. The perpetual burning, the acrid smoke, the stench of decaying flesh, the carcasses crawling with maggots combine to form as repulsive a picture as one can imagine. Jesus seems to have summoned the most fearful images He could to represent hell – Stanley Baldwin’s What Did Jesus Say About That?, pp. 138, 139.
Matt. 10:28; Lk. 12:5 Who are we to fear?
[“Apollumi” is the Greek word for “destroy”, meaning “loss of well-being or ruin, as it does in Matt. 9:17. It does not mean annihilation.].
Matt. 5:22 How serious is it to call a brother (fellow Jewish believer) a fool (out of a hateful attitude)?
Matt. 23:29, 33 What is the sentence for hypocritical religious leaders (not Christians)?
Matt. 5:29-30; 18:8-9 Though speaking somewhat figuratively, how serious is it to control or discipline the members of your body?
Jas. 3:6 To what is our tongue compared and what is its source?
[“Fire”, here, is symbolic for a powerful force, in this case, for evil; “hell”, here, is a metonymy for Satan or demons, Eph. 2:2; 2 Tim. 2:26.].
“Tartarus” is the place where those angels are confined, whose special sin is referred to here.
2 Pet. 2:4 Why did God cast these angels into hell?
[Possibly because of what they did in Gen. 6:1-4, where the “sons of God” refers to either demon-possessed humans or, more likely, demons who took on the form of a human body, as angels do in Gen. 18:2, 16, 22; 19:1-3 – The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, p. 36; New Testament, p. 870.].
Terms descriptive of hell:
Matt. 7:13 What does it say about the road that leads to destruction?
Matt. 13:41-42 What is it like where the lawless will be cast?
Matt. 25:34-46 Who will be in the eternal fire?
2 Thes. 1:6-10 Who will pay the penalty of eternal destruction?
2 Pet. 2:1, 17 For whom has the black darkness been reserved?
List any observations about terms descriptive of hell:
Rev. 20:10; 14:10-11
How has studying the passages affected your attitude about life here and now?
About witnessing (sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others)?
Are you more motivated?
About your gratefulness to God and Christ’s dying for all your sins, so you’d be forgiven?
About your living and dedicating your life for His service?
About the reality of God’s holiness, righteousness, and justice?
About anything else?