Satan would like nothing better than to convince you that Hell does not exist. That it is just imaginary and a scare tactic used by churches and religious people to frighten you to go to church. With all the imaginations and jokes put aside, we find from God's Word that Hell is a real, literal place. Call it a scare tactic if you want, but nevertheless, it still exists. Since we have already looked at the theological aspect of Hell, Sheol, and Hades, the temporary; and Gehenna, the permanent residence--both torment, we will look only at the context of the Verses referring to these places.
We are eternally indebted to the Lord for giving us so much detail concerning the eternal destiny of the lost. We are going to list a few of the places that record God's judgment upon the lost.
a. (Psalm 9:17), "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."
b. (Job 21:30), That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath."
c. (Proverb 15:11), "Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?"
d. (Proverb 15:24), "The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell f. (Isaiah 5:14), "Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it."
g. (Isaiah 14:9), "Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations."
e. (Proverb 27:20), "Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied."
h. (Isaiah 28:15), The reasoning of man--"Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge (i.e., judgment) shall pass through, it shall not come unto us..." Now God answers their reasoning (Isaiah 28:18), "And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it."
i. (Isaiah 66:24), "And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they (lost) shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."
j. (Psalm 11:6), "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup."
k. (Ezekiel 31:16), "I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him (Assyria) down to hell with them (lost) that descend into the pit (Sheol)..."
l. (Ezekiel 32:27), "...the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war..."
m. (Luke 16:23,24), "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." If this man would only have lifted up his eyes to Christ on earth, he would not be lifting them up in Hell. I hope, dear Reader, that if you are not saved, you will right now trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour, before it is too late."
n. (2nd Thessalonians 1:8,9), "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."
o. (2nd Peter 2:9), The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."
p. (Revelation 14:11), "And the smoke of their (lost) torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."
q. (Matthew 25:30), "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (unbearable pain)."
r. (Matthew 25:41), "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
s. (Revelation 20:15), "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
t. (Revelation 21:8), "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
What a terrifying account concerning the lost. God is a just God, and His judgment upon the sinner is more than justified. But another attribute of God is His love for the sinner. God, therefore provided a substitute for you and I. The Lord Jesus Christ took on human flesh and made the payment for the sins of the world. This is the only provision God made for you and I. We have just viewed God's judgment for the sinner, now let us view God's judgment on Christ as our provision for sin.
2. GOD'S PROVISION
a. (John 3:16), "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
b. (2nd Corinthians 5:21), "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
c. (Isaiah 53:4,5), "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
d. (Isaiah 53:6), "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
e. (Philippians 3:9), "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."
f. (Revelation 22:17), "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
g. (Colossians 1:14), "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."
h. (Titus 2:14), "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
i. (Hebrews 9:26), "For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice j. (Hebrews 10:12,14), "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God." "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
k. (Ephesians 1:7), "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."
l. (Ephesians 2:8,9), "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
m. (1st John 5:13), "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
n. (Revelation 1:5), "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."
o. (John 6:47,51), Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
p. (John 5:24), "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
q. (John 10:28), "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
r. (John 11:25,26), "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
s. (Acts 15:11 and 16:31), "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
t. (Acts 13:38,39), "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
The Lord in 2nd Peter 3:9 is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (Greek -"metanoia," "a change of mind"). If you have never received Christ as your Saviour, then the Lord wants you to change your mind. He has expounded upon Hell, written in minute detail concerning His death, burial and resurrection, now the choice is yours. Your decision will last for all eternity, whether in Heaven or Hell. This is one decision you live or die by and, upon death, it becomes irreversible. I hope that reading the Scripture concerning Hell will persuade you to receive by faith, God's provision for your sin, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now let us examine God's promises to those who are saved.
3. GOD'S PROMISE
As a Christian, the child of God has everything to look forward to. Even at death, he is assured he will be in the very presence of Christ in the glories of Heaven. 2nd Corinthians 5:8, "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." (See John 5:24)
A. The Future a. The promise of everlasting life (John 3:16). 'We will "never perish" (Hell) but have everlasting life."
b. The promise of deliverance from the Tribulation (1st Thessalonians 1:10). We will never have to go through the 7-year Tribulation period here on earth. "...even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come," (the Tribulation Period). (Also, see Revelation 6:16,17).
c. The promise of the Rapture. "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air..." (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1st Corinthians 15:51,52).
d. The promise of a new body (Philippians 3:20,21), "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his (Christ's) glorious body..." (also Verse 21).
e. The promise of the 2nd Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2). "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Also, Hebrews 12:22; 13:14; Revelation 21).
f. The promise of a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1). "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." (Also, Isaiah 65:17; 66:22)
g. The promise of no more death, sorrow, crying, tears or pain (Revelation 21:4). "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
h. The promise of future rewards (revelation 22:12). "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (Also, Job 42:12; Psalm 1:3; 1st Corinthians 3:14; 2nd Corinthians 5:10)
i. The promise of peace (John 14:27). "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be j. The promise of an inseparable union with Christ (Romans 8:38,39). "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
B. The Present afraid."
a. The promise of financial blessings (2nd Corinthians 9:6-8). "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." (Also, Psalm 37:25; Proverb 3:9,10; 11:24,25)
b. The promise of wisdom, understanding and knowledge (Proverb 2:1-7). "For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding (Verse 6)." (Also, Psalm 119:97-104)
c. The promise of never being forsaken (Hebrews 13:5). "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
d. The promise of help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
e. The promise to fulfill our desires (Psalm 37:4,5). "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
f. The promise of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,17,26). "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
g. The promise that the earth will never be destroyed by another flood (Psalm 104:9). "Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth." (Also, Psalm 104:6-9)
h. The promise of blessing for separation (Psalm 1:1-3). "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." (Also, Psalm 119:1,2)
i. The promise of blessings for winning the lost (Proverb 11:30,31; Psalm 126:6). "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner." "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
j. The promise to answer prayer (John 9:31b; Proverb 15:29). "...but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth." "The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous."
These are just a handful of the hundreds of blessings that the Lord has for the Christian. We have examined 20 Verses each, relative to God's punishment upon the wicked, His provision (Christ) for the lost, and His promises for the Christians. I pray you will turn from the punishment of Hell, receiving by faith the Lord Jesus Christ as your provision for sin and inherit the promises God has waiting for you. You see, some day tomorrow will never come and it will be too late! This is what the Lord is saying in 2nd Corinthians 6:2...
"...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
C. GOD'S PROCEDURE
If the lost are ever going to be saved, it is because someone cared enough to tell them about Christ. In Romans 10:17,14 we are told, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." "...and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?..." Now let us examine a few Verses that I pray will stimulate a desire for us to fulfill our responsibility.
a. (John 4:35). The time is short before the Rapture comes. "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."
b. (Jonah 3:1,4). "...Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee..." "...Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown."
You and I never know how long a person has before they die. It may come suddenly or at an unexpected time, that is why it is so important to reach them now, before it is too late!
At a previous pastorate, a teen-age boy was instantly killed when his motorcycle was run over by a bus. The teenagers in our church knew him well, but never expected something like this to happen. One day they were talking to him--a couple of days later they were standing at his casket. I asked if any of them had witnessed to him? Their heads went down, the tears began to flow, but it was too late. You see, we need to take advantage of every opportunity now, because tomorrow may never come for some.
(Mark 16:15). "And he (Christ) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
d. (Ezekiel 3:18,19). When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul."
e. (Matthew 28:19,20). "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
f. (Luke 14:23). "And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."
We need to realize as Christians that this old earth is not a playground, but a battleground. Satan is seeking to claim all he can for eternal Hell, while Christ is seeking to save those that are lost (Luke 19:10). The procedure is simple, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Should we not, in turn, take the Word of God and share it with the lost? I don't know about you, but I am sure glad someone cared enough to share Christ with me. Shouldn't I do the same for someone else? Since God gave Christ for me, I have a responsibility to give the Word of God to someone else. A very simple procedure.
In conclusion may I recommend that you read Acts 20:19-27 in its entirety. The Apostle Paul (one of the greatest soul winners that ever lived) made these remarks while addressing the elders at Ephesus:
Verse 19, "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me..."
Verse 20, "And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you..."
Verse 21, "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks..."
Verse 24, "That I might finish my course with joy..."
Verses 26 and 27, "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."
When we have fulfilled our responsibility as Paul did, there is nothing more we can do. After Paul had preached in Corinth, he stated in Acts 18:6, "...Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean... "
We ought to finish our course here with clean hands, presenting the Gospel everywhere, every time to everyone where the opportunity exists. Then we can look in full expectation to the return of Christ, and knowing it has been worth it all when we hear Him say...
"...Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:23)
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