3 fearful Bible verses about the reality of hell

by Victor Wilson |

(Photo: Brooklyn Museum)The parable of the Rich man and Lazarus depicting the rich man in hell asking for help to Abraham and Lazarus in heaven by James Tissot.

(Updated new resources: 3 Christian books on hell that will light a fire for readers.) 

To be cast into a fiery hell of utter and hopeless ruin is a truly fearful punishment. A core tenet of past American preachers, the existence of hell has become a worrying question for those immersed in popular culture. These three eye-opening Bible verses about hell come, respectively, from the Old Testament; from the words of Jesus himself in the gospel of Matthew; and from the book of Revelation in the New Testament.

Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

Matthew Henry, in his commentary on this verse, notes that, "The agonies and terrors of the first death will lead to the far greater terrors and agonies of eternal death."

Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

"Fear God," writes preacher John Piper about this verse—do not fear man.

Daniel 12:2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Despite this verse raising challenging questions about the resurrection, it also gives the righteous hope to resurrect in glory.

BONUS: Matthew 25:31-46 –

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.

Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.'

Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?'

And the King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.'

Then He will say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'

And they too will reply, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?'

Then the King will answer, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.'

And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

— Don't miss: 3 Christian books on hell that will light a fire for readers.