The greatest and deepest tragedy of hell is banishment from the blessed presence of God and the eternal relationship with the Son (2 Thess. 1:9). Everybody needs to know that the suffering of hell will be intensified by the kind of people who will be there. The devil and his angels will be there, along with all the immoral and depraved of mankind. It will be the home of all hypocrites; the dwelling place of murderers, liars and all the brutal, selfish men of history.
John in Revelation 21:8 gives a description of the inhabitants of hell . “But the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
All these hideous characters are but the creatures of sin. Sin is a cowardice, sin is faithless, sin is abhorrent, sin is murderous, sin is lascivious, sin is deceptive and idolatrous.
“The unjust” in 2 Peter 2:9 have a “reservation.” “The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.” In the context of 2 Peter 2, these were “false teachers” who were bringing in “destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them” (2 Pet. 2:1). Hell will be occupied by them.
“Those who do not know God, and those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” can be expected to be found in hell, according to 2 Thessalonians 1:8. The lawless will be there too. Jesus will pronounce the verdict: “I never knew you: depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matt. 7:23) In the context of this verdict, there is a contrast we discern between those who do “the will of my Father” and “you who practice lawlessness.” And “lawlessness” or “iniquity” is the condition of one without law or without authority. The attention we give to understanding and applying biblical authority is motivated, in part, by the Lord’s warning. And, “whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God” (2 Jn. 9). Where will these transgressors wind up if they neglect repentance?
Those who “sin willfully” after receiving the knowledge of the truth can anticipate “a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries” (Heb. 10:26,27). It should be our daily desire to avoid all sin (1 Jn. 2:1). But “if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” and “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 2:1; 1:9). In the Hebrews 10:26, the writer’s statement refers to one who sins willfully. Here is the person who sins, who keeps on sinning, and who does not allow guilt and conviction to produce repentance. If you experience the agonies of the everlasting fire of hell, these willful sinners will share that suffering with you. How much better to be “justified by his blood” that we might “be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom. 5:9).
Many lie by saying that it doesn’t make any difference what you believe just as long as you are honest and sincere (Matt. 7:21 ff; 2 Tim. 2:19; 1 Tim. 1:3; 6:1; Rev. 2:14-15). John, by inspiration, calls such people “liars”-“He that says I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).
All adulterers, fornicators, and homosexuals lead the way down the wide path which leads to destruction (Gal 5:19-21). Even if one commits no sin of the flesh and keeps themselves clean of all wrong doing, doing many wonderful works, they will be lost if they obey not the gospel of Christ (Mt 7:21-23). There are many ways to enter into hell, but there is only one way to keep you out of hell’s burning flames. It is called obeying the gospel of Christ and continuing in the apostle’s doctrine. Thus, it’s either turn or burn! Hell, will you be there?