During the Cold War, while the space race pitted the Soviet Union against the United States to conquer the skies, the two countries were also vying to drill the deepest hole ever drilled into the earth. The USSR embarked on drilling a hole in 1970 on the Kola Peninsula located east of Finland. By 1983 the hole had reached a depth of 39,000 feet and finally went 66 meters farther until a section of the drill twisted off. They started a new hole in 1989 and reached 40,230 feet (7.6 miles) and had to stop because of extremely hot temperatures encountered. This hole is the deepest artificial point on earth.
This drilling endeavor has inspired a legend about a “well to hell” when researchers lowered a microphone into the hole and heard what sounded like moaning, weeping, gnashing and muffled sounds of the damned as described in the Bible (Matt. 25:30). Many of the crew fled the site and would not work there again.
The bottom line is: what men think about the deepest hole in the earth being hell, doesn’t matter; but what the Bible says about it does matter.
What did Jesus say about hell? All else in the Bible about eternal punishment must be interpreted in light of what He said. After all, He is the final authority! “But when the son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne and all the nations will be gathered before Him: and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats: and He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left . . . Then He will also say to those on His left, depart from me, accursed ones into eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels . . . And those will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:31-33, 41, 46).
Jesus here tells us about the final judgment. All nations will be brought before His glorious throne to be judged. He will separate the righteous from the wicked. He will invite the righteous to enjoy the beauties of Heaven and command the wicked to depart from Him into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
Punishment by fire is often mentioned in the Bible for the wicked. This fire is unquenchable and represents the very worse type of torment. What is hell like? It is a place of fire! In Matthew 13:42, it described as “a furnace of fire.” In Matthew 25:41, “everlasting fire. In Mark 9:44-45, “the fire is not quenched.” In Revelation 20:10, “fire and brimstone.” The Biblical description of hell is God’s way of telling us that hell is far worse than anything we’ve ever considered. The nearest thing to it in our vocabulary is “fire.” The nearest thing to it in human experience is that of a burn.
If you truly want to know what hell is like, strike a match and hold it to your finger. Or turn up your oven to 600 degrees, let it heat for about thirty minutes, then put your hand in and leave it for a few seconds. If hell is just one tenth as bad as the description found in the Bible, that should be enough to produce fear in the heart of anyone. The truth of the matter is that it’s ten thousand times worse than any description found in God’s word.
The idea of many modernists is that whatever punishment is meted out to the wicked is temporary and only amounts to nothing more than a learning process. This idea may be popular with our society today, but it surely doesn’t fit the facts of the Bible. Jesus has plainly revealed the reality of eternal punishment. Hell can be avoided by all who will accept God’s way!