A couple of weeks ago as I was preparing to share at our Church service, I was moved to focus more on the guys who attend that are in the OIC program. Since I can only attend every-other weekend due to work, I saw that these guys come and go quickly. Some I may only get one chance to share with. So I decided from now on to be sure I share as if it was the last message I was going to get to do.
I conduct the weekly Communion part of the service. We do it every Sunday in order to try helping the Church grow together. So during this portion I am allowed to share some with the group.
Anyway, I was wondering what to share. Something that if I was only allowed one more time. I decided the least spoken message of today was on Hell. And if I was really concerned about these guys I would make sure they knew the truth on the matter.
I had done a previous post on Hell intitled:"The Hell You Say."
Preachers today seem to do more preaching on self-help and subjects for the seekers. No messages that might upset or offend the potential Church going and hopefully tither. This is just a lose observation. I am sure there are a lot of Churches that are preaching the truth. They are the ones that are shrinking in size.
Enough rambling, We used to say Hell was a hot topic but not anymore although Jesus spoke of it more than He spoke on Heaven. It was His Hot Topic. Now we hear of popular preachers saying that Hell is only the absence of the presence of God. Or that in the end all will be saved.
There are a lot of passages on this subject. I did not go through all the verses and related interpretations on the subject, Soul sleep, purgatory and such. I felt the end result was the best way to go. I am using the TEV, a very simple easy to read translation. Not good for real study, but an easy read for those not accustomed to the other better translations.
"Then the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire and sulpher, were the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown; and they will be tormented day and night, for ever and ever." Revelation 20:10
Then death and the world of the dead were thrown into the lake of fire. (This lake of fire is the second death.) Whoever did not have his name written in the book of the living was thrown into the lake of fire." Rev. 20:14-15
As you can see it plainly says that Hell is hot and forever.
Now the main argument I hear is," How could a loving God send people to Hell?" and to me the most stupid statement in the world, "I could not spend eternity with a God that sends people to Hell." (second stupid question, “Why can't the government do something about the gulf disaster?")
I pondered these questions at work and realized! The problem is that people today don't think they deserve hell. People do not think they have done anything that would warrant spending eternity suffering in Hell. When I was born again, I realized, I DESERVED HELL! And from there I received forgiveness and a new life in Christ.
Until people see how lost they are, they will never see the need for Christ.
I also pondered, what sin would warrant this penalty of eternal suffering. Surly there is no sin that was committed in a person's lifetime that would take an eternity to pay for in Hell. Then it came to me, there is one sin. The sin of not excepting Jesus' free gift of deliverance.
Picture this if you will. The creator of the universe comes down to live with man. Shows mankind Himself. Submits to torture and death to bridge the relationship between Himself and mankind. Offers new life for eternity for anyone who receives it. And there are those who hear, but WILL not believe. It's not that they can not believe. The Holy Spirit gives us the faith we need. We can not believe on our own. But these choose NOT to believe. They have turned down all that the loving creator has offered. They have chosen Hell. We Christians like to quote the verse:
"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalms 37:4 KJV
This verse works both ways. We will get what we chose. A true Christians’ only desire is the Christ. The non-believers desire is to have nothing to do with Christ or not to have Christ's control over them. They will get what they desire, eternity without Christ. They problem lies in that in the end there are only two places to go, Heaven (City of God) or Hell (the bottomless pit, lake of fire etc...)
Picture this if you will, when Christians are resurrected they will be given eternal bodies. So will the non-believers. Eternal, can not be destroyed. They have chosen eternity without Christ so they have only one place to go. To the lake of fire.
if you have ever nearly drowned in water. Head goes under. No place to plant your feet. Swallowing water. Now picture: Head going under in fire. Burning but not consumed. Swallowing fire but not dying. Not place to plant your feet. That is Hell.
This is really gruesome and no wonder we do not like to speak of it. Be careful of preachers that do preach it with a smile on their faces. But if we really believe this and truly care for the lost we will tell the truth.
Search the scriptures for yourself.
Your eternity hangs on what you believe or not believe.