Though it’s a frequently used word in the English language, it’s one of the least talked about. It’s used as an exclamation, an interjection, and a noun. What word is it? Hell.

Pollsters tell us that most people who use the word don’t believe in the existence of hell. While 90 percent of Americans said they believe in heaven, only 25 percent indicated that they believe in hell. That’s because hell is not a nice place. In his book Inferno, Dante depicted hell as a place of torment for sin. Above its gate he imagined a sign that said, “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

The truth about hell is found in the Bible. Jesus described it as a lake of fire, which was prepared for the devil and his helpers (Mt. 25:41). Christ also told about a rich man who was being tormented in hell and who asked a beggar to come and cool his tongue (Lk. 16:19-31). Hell is a place where God demonstrates His justice in dealing with all those who have rebelled against Him.

Hell is real. If you have trusted in Christ, your sins are forgiven and you are headed for heaven. But if you do not believe in Jesus, you are headed for hell. It’s a terrible place. You don’t want to go there!