GET TOGETHER- SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT HELL
Mt 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
As a preacher it is one of the topics that many of us least like to preach about. On the other hand, it is very important that people know and understand that hell is a place of everlasting torment for those who die without Christ.
I can still remember as a young boy hearing a Methodist preacher by the name of Oscar Hyche preach about Hell one night. My response was that I joined the church. I thought that would keep me from going to hell. Later on, I would live a life in rebellion against God and I felt like that I was going to hell and that I might as well have a good time on the way.
In February 1990 I was born again and I knew that I had been reconciled to God and forgiven of my sins : Ro 8:16 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” In 1993 during a county wide revival in Jasper, Alabama I heard a strong message about Hell from one of Jesus parables in Luke Chapter 16:19-31. It was about a rich man that was in hell and the torment that he was living in. Our children were saved during that revival. It also put a burden on my heart to begin to pray for the unsaved.
In 1996 we had a Revival at Bethlehem United Methodist Church. The preacher Brother Jim Baccus a Methodist preacher preached probably the strongest message that I had ever heard on hell at that time. I remember him saying in that message that there would be some preachers in hell. That got my attention. I knew that I was saved, but it was also a reminder that we are saved by the work of Christ on the cross and not by what title that we hold. It was also a reminder to always be sure that my motives lined up with Jesus motives. The Bible tells us in 2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.”(NKJV)
Now before I go any further let me assure you that I don’t believe that God is sitting up in Heaven with lighting bolts just waiting for someone to strike. On the other hand, we do know that there is a real place called hell. Jesus talked about hell often. He told us who hell was prepared for Mt 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: (NKJV). Jesus describes this place as a place of everlasting torment Mr 9:43,44 “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched “where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.”
In our opening passage we are told to fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. The Greek word for fear is phobeo, fob-eh’-o. It means to have such awe, or respect for a person that a measure of fear is involved. I loved my parents. They loved me. I know that they wanted to do good for me and my brother. On the other hand, there were lines that we could not cross. My daddy was a coal miner. I didn’t want to wake him up while he was sleeping after a night working on the hoot-owl shift in the coal mines. My mother worked at the drugstore she loved, us but it was tough when me and my brother would get in a fight and she would drive to Hull camp from the drug store and get a hickory and use in on our bare legs. But it was good for us. God does not desire for any to go to Hell. We are told in 2Pe 3:9 ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (NKJV) On the other hand out of His great love for us He gives us the choice as to where we want to spend eternity.
I wonder if the mass murderer really believed that he or she was one breath away from spending eternity in Hell if we would have as many killing as we do? I wonder if the those that take any form of human life from conception to the grave really understood the eternal consequences of their actions if they would continue to do that. I wonder if those who mock the poor and the down trodden knew of the eternal consequences of those actions would our culture be different. I wonder if those that have tried to redefine what God has defined concerning human sexuality would do if they knew the consequences of those actions. And for those of us who were at one time mired in sin and living in rebellion against God how can we be so apathetic in our relationship and commitment to Him?
The good news for all who read this is that Jesus stands ready today to forgive, restore, and to grant eternal life to all who repent of their sin and put their faith and trust in Him. Ro 5:9,10 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
Let Us Pray
Lord we know that there is a place of eternal torment for those who reject you. We pray today for anyone and everyone who reads this that may have not accepted your free gift of salvation. For those that have Lord remove all lukewarmness, Don’t let us neglect such a great salvation. May we never forget what You have rescued us from. We pray for all that we love that may not know You to accept You as their Lord and Savior and to be rescued from the power of darkness and be conveyed into Your Kingdom.
In Jesus Name
Love you all. God loves us so much that He wants all to walk with Him and to live with Him forever!