Hell is For Real (and is Forever)
Some time ago the subject of heaven came up during a speech before the National Press Club. Ted Turner’s cavalier attitude is a microcosm of how many today view eternity future. Mr. Turner said… “Heaven is going to be a mighty slender place. And most of the people I know in life aren’t going to be there. There are a few notable exceptions and I’ll miss them. [Laughter]
Remember, heaven is going to be perfect. And I don’t really want to be there... Those of us that go to hell, which will be most of us in this room, most journalists are certainly going to hell. [Laughter]
But, when we get there we’ll have a chance to make things better because hell is supposed to be a mess. And heaven is perfect…
Who wants to go to a place that’s perfect? Boring. Boring.” [Laughter]
Brothers and sisters in Christ, when dealing with a doctrine as important as this it’s imperative that we know our Bibles inside and out…. in hopes that God might use us to clarify common misconceptions and defend the orthodox faith (Jude 3) as we lead souls to Christ! If believers won't share the complete gospel message with the lost world, who will?
Thus far we have considered four key statements related to the Great White Throne Judgement in Revelation 20:11-15:
1) The ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of this Great and Final Judgement
(Revelation 20:7-15; John 3:19-20)
2) The PERFECT CHARACTER of this Great and Final Judgement
(Revelation 20:11; Rev. 4; Hab. 1:13)
3) The COMPREHENSIVE SCOPE of the Great and Final Judgement
(Revelation 20:12-13; Phil. 2:10-11; Heb. 9:27)
4) The LEGAL BASIS of the Great and Final Judgement
(Revelation 20:12-13, 15; Ezk. 18; Rom. 1:18-3:20)
5) The Holy Terror(s) of the Great and Final Judgement
(Revelation 20:10-15; Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 9:42-48; Luke 16:19-31; 2 Thess. 1:5-10)
What do those around you fear the most? When was the last time you were frozen with fear?
(Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 10:31)
God’s Word highlights many terrifying traits of Hell. We only have time this morning to mention three:
I) Hell will be a place of pain and suffering-
(Matt. 13:42; Luke 16:19-31; Mark 9:43, 48)
II) Hell is Permanent and Irreversible-
(Luke 16:26; 2 Thess. 1:9)
III) Hell lasts Forever-
(Rev. 20:10; Matt. 19:8; 25:41-46; 2 Thess. 1:9)
For Further Reflection/Application: We must be doers of the Word and not merely hearers
What are you most afraid of? When was the last time you or someone you know was “frozen in fear?” What fears often keep people up at night? Are your nightmares based on truth or fiction?
Take an informal survey this week and ask 2-3 people who are not Christians what their view of hell is. Let me know what answers you receive. Make sure and ask those who are willing to chat if they’d be interested in knowing what the Word of God has to say about heaven and hell. Share with them some of the highlights of what we’ve been learning in this current series.
Many unbelievers today either don’t believe in a literal hell or they simply make light of it.
“The party we’ll have in hell.” Rock and roll singers declare, “I don’t care where I go when I die.” “Live for the moment.” “Enjoy every sinful pleasure for as long as you can.”
What are the aspects and traits that make hell “hellish”? What passages of Scripture highlight the holy terrors of hell? Do you believe what God’s Word says concerning the Final Judgement?
Why do you suppose the human authors of the four Gospels include so many passages that highlight what Jesus said concerning sin, death, and judgement/hell? This was a major theme in Jesus teaching ministry. Why then, do so many preachers and Christians avoid it at all costs? Why do so many professing Christians join churches where this is so?
“When evaluating the biblical fidelity of any ministry it’s not just what’s taught that’s important- it’s often what’s left out.” Explain this to someone. Hint- see Paul’s example in Acts 20:17-27.
For those who speak about hell (as Jesus did) be prepared for “the palpable social stigma that is attached to this biblical doctrine in our post-Christian culture. It is a stigma that I am very aware of, as are many other Christians. It’s just not something we talk about. Notably, the reality of hell has been a fixture in Christian theology for over sixteen centuries, but at some point, in the 1960’s hell disappeared. And more recently, the biblical view of the nature of hell has been challenged more than ever before.” “We shouldn’t deny the reality of hell, nor should we sheepishly avoid it. If anything, the doctrine of hell calls us to bold yet winsome evangelism. If modern sentiment, social tolerance, and relational indifference held the final votes about the doctrine of hell, the Bible’s view of hell surely would find few defenders.”
Related Praise Songs: Theology fuels Doxology! We dig deeply in order that we may go high!
His Mercy is More- Matt Boswell and Boyce College Choir
Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted- Fernando Ortega
Related Biblical Texts: Search the Scriptures to see if these things be so.
Ezk. 18:20-24, 32; Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 10:28; 13:42; 25:31-46; Mark 9:42-48; Luke 13:1-9; 16:19-31; John 3:36; Acts 17:30-31; 20:17-27; Rom. 1:18-3:20; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; Heb. 10:31; Revelation 20:10-15; 21:6-8.
All related sermons can be downloaded for free on our website at www.lakecountrybible.org