By Revd Dr. Idowu Ibitoye
Hell is simply defined as a place of eternal punishment for the wicked. The fire of hell is unquenchable (Mk. 9:43), eternal (Mt 18:8). Those who are condemned to hell will never escape from it, it is eternal and everlasting (Matt. 25:46). The story of the rich man and Lazarus captured it all, the punishment and torment of the rich man was unbearable that he requested for Lazarus to dip his finger and drop water in his mouth, in order to cool his thirst (Lk. 4:22-24).
The explanation and teaching of hell is very explicit in the book of Revelation. “…If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image or for anyone who receives the mark of his name” Rev. 14:9-11.
The devil, beast and false prophet shall have his place in hell for torment (Rev. 20:10). The lake of fire is the ultimate destination of everything wicked. All those whose names are not written in the book of life, because they have not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, shall have their portion in hell fire. In order to avoid hell, one must live his/her life well while on earth, because God shall bring all deeds unto judgment. The doctrine and teaching of hell revealed that it is the final destiny of the wicked.
The New Heaven and the New Earth
After God had executed His judgment, a new heaven and a new earth will now appear, the first heaven and the first earth shall passed away, and there shall be no longer any sea (Rev 21:1). This means creation is being renewed, God shall destroy all forms of evil that characterised this world. Not only that the old heaven and the new earth shall pass away, the sea which is the symbol of chaos, rebellion, evil and calamity shall no longer exist. In the time of the Bible the sea is viewed as dangerous and it is the source of the beast (Rev 13:1).
God had earlier promised through his servant ( Prophet Isaiah) of a new and eternal earth (Isa 65:17; 66:22), and through Apostles Paul and Peter (Rom 8:13-21; II Pet 3:7-13).
The New Jerusalem is where God lives among His people, instead of believers going up to meet him, He will directly come down to be with us, wherever God rules and reigns, there is always peace, tranquility, security, love and care. This holy city that is the New Jerusalem is described as the place where God will remove all forms of sorrows and sadness, there will be no death, sorrow, crying or pain. It is wonderful place to be to reign eternally with God.
The city is called holy because no unholy or abominable things will enter the place (Rev 21:2). It is also called New because of its everlasting freshness and newness (Heb 11:10-16; Ps 93:2). Likewise it is called the tabernacle of God, simply because it is the dwelling place of God. It is a place where the saints enjoy the unbroken fellowship with God. It is a wonderful place that every Christian must desire to be, will you be there?