Bible Study Lessons

The Reality of Hell


It was an impressive funeral. Hundreds of coal miners were assembled around the open grave of the village minister. The visiting preacher was ready to begin his funeral message. But first he had something else he wanted to say. “My brethren, the greatest obstacle on your road to hell has been removed.” Are you an obstacle in the way of people headed toward hell or those headed for heaven? Study Mark 9:42-50 to learn more about the reality of hell and how it should impact your life today.



Ask God to give you an open heart and mind to believe what He says in His Word as you study it today and ask Him to help you act based on what you see.

Read Focus Verses

Read Mark 9:42-50 and notice what place is mentioned over and over again.

Which Place?

Which place is mentioned over and over in these verses?

Keyword - Hell

Marking the word hell will help you visually identify it as the theme of this passage whenever you look at these verses.

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Mark the word hell each time it appears in Mark 9:42-50.


What is true of the little ones Jesus mentions in verse 42?


What is better than offending one of the little ones who believes in Jesus?


Which three things does Jesus highlight as most likely to cause offense?


Fill in the blank: It is better to enter ________ without something you value than to go to hell.


What does Jesus teach us about hell in verses 43, 45, and 47?

Fearful Phrase

What does Jesus say in verse 48?


Which two truths does Jesus state in verse 49?


What does Jesus say about salt in verse 50?


What is the first instruction Jesus gives Christians in verse 50?


What is the second instruction Jesus gives Christians in verse 50?



Read Mark 9:33-41 for context for today's passage.

Believing Children

Some people have said that children can't truly be converted. How could you use the first verse of today's passage to answer that?

Word Study

Take a closer look at the word Jesus uses to warn us about the way we interact with these little ones.

Strong's G4624

Greek,skandalizo [skan-dal-id'-zo]


Origin: from (4625)


  1. to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaph. to offend
    1. to entice to sin
    2. to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey
      1. to cause to fall away
      2. to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority
      3. to cause one to judge unfavourably or unjustly of another
    3. since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels annoyed
      1. to cause one displeasure at a thing
      2. to make indignant
      3. to be displeased, indignant


What kinds of things could a person do or say that might lead a little one to stumble?


Here's a picture of a millstone similar to the ones Jesus' disciples may have pictured as Jesus talked.

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Seeing that really puts Jesus' words in perspective. How seriously does God take it when someone leads a little one astray?

Better to Die

If it is better to die than to lead a little one astray, how careful should you be not to do so?

Prepared for Whom

In today's passage, we see that there are two eternal destinies. First let's look at the one Jesus emphasizes in this passage. Christ tells us who hell was prepared for in Matthew 25:41.

Going There

Revelation 20:11-15 tells us who else will go there.

What It's Like

We read what it is like in Revelation 14:10-11.


It is easy to not want to think about the reality of hell, but God tells us about it for a reason. What are some of the reasons you can think of that God tells us about hell?


Who was hell designed for?


What is hell like according to these verses?

Who Else?

Beside Satan and the fallen angels, who else will go to hell according to Revelation 20?

Some Save with Fear

Jude 1:22-23 tells us two ways that Christians should try to bring various people to Christ.

Two Methods

What are the two different ways Christians can try to draw different people to Christ?


How does what you've just seen about hell help you understand what God means when He instructs His people to bring some people to Christ through fear?


Those who aren't written in the book of life will suffer eternal death. Romans 3:23 tells us who qualifies for this naturally.


Romans 6:23 helps us understand what this means.

Who Deserves Death?

Putting Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23 together, who deserves death?

The Other Destiny

Thankfully eternal death isn't the only eternal destiny. Both in today's passage and Romans 6:23 another option is mentioned. What is the alternative to eternal death in hell?

Eternal Life

What does Romans 6:23 say about eternal life?

How to Get It

John 3:16 tells us how to get eternal life.

Believe in the Lord Jesus

How can a person get eternal life?

Preparing a Place

Just like hell, heaven is prepared for a purpose too. See what Jesus says about it in John 14:1-6.

What Won't Be There

Revelation 21:4 tells us about some of the things that won't be in heaven.

What It Will Be Like

Revelation 21:18-27 tells us what it will be like.


Who is in heaven?

Only Way

Who is the only way to get there?

Won't Be There

What won't be there?

Will Be There

What will it be like?

Holding On

Can those who are holding onto their sin get into heaven according to these verses?

Putting It all Together

How does understanding that you have to give up your sin to go to heaven help you understand the connection between your body and your eternal destiny?


1 John 2:15-17 puts this into perspective.

Those Kinds of Things

What does this verse say about the kinds of things that tempt you through your hands and eyes and feet?

The Equation

On paper it seems so obvious that it isn't worth giving up heaven for sin for your short life on earth. Hebrews 11:24-26 explains why the equation doesn't always seem to simple in real life.


What do these verses tell us about sin?

So Short

How long does the pleasure that comes with sin last?

Lasting Pleasures

Psalm 16:11 tells us about pleasures that last forever.

God's Right Hand

Where are there pleasures that last forever?


When you are tempted by the short-lived pleasures of sin, how can this verse help you overcome temptation?

Drastic Measures

Based on what Jesus says in today's passage, how important is it to make sure lusts and the pleasures of sin don't rule you?


Romans 6 tells us how to be free from sin. Look for that theme as you listen.

Free from Sin

How can a person be free from the bondage of sin?

Salt of the Earth

Like in today's passage, in Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus also speaks of believers as the salt of the earth. The following illustration helps us understand His meaning.


This article explores some of what it means for Christians to be the salt of the earth.

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A Light

In today's passage, Jesus clearly says Christians are to be at peace between themselves. Philippians 2:14-16 helps explain how this connects to the rest of the passage.

Sons of God

Matthew 5:9 builds on this.

At Peace

What are some of the reasons Christians should be at peace with each other?

Once More

Read today's passage, Mark 9:42-50, once more.


What does this passage teach us about eternity?


What does this passage teach us about how our lives should change because of eternity?


What About You?

Receiving salvation and eternal life is very simple - you have to admit that you're a sinner and that you believe that Jesus died and rose again for you, and then ask Him to forgive and save you and help you turn from sin and live for Him. Have you done this with all your heart? If not, will you do it now?

Cut It Off

Is there something in your life that you've been unwilling to give up for Christ? How can you cut it out of your life?

What About Others?

Based on what you've seen about the reality of hell and of heaven, is there someone you're going to share the gospel with this week?

Little Ones

Is there anything in your life (things like what you do or say or where you go) that could offend one of the little ones Jesus talks about? How are you going to change that today?



We hope this study plan has helped you understand the reality of hell and how it should impact your life and has challenged you to get on the path to heaven if you aren't on it and to help others get on it.


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