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INTRO: A rough and gruff man from Minnesota who didn’t live a life for Christ died and went to hell. The devil really wanted to punish him, so he put him to work breaking up rocks with a sledgehammer. To make it worse he cranked up the temperature and the humidity.
After a couple of days the Devil checked in on the man to see if he was suffering adequately. The Devil was aghast as he looked at the man from Minnesota happily swinging his hammer and whistling a happy tune.
The Devil walked up to him and said, “I don’t understand this. I’ve turned the heat way up, it’s humid, you’re crushing rocks and sweating. Why are you so happy?” The man smiled, looked at the Devil and said, “This is great, it reminds me of the hot humid August days back in Minnesota. This is fantastic! It’s just like home”
The Devil decided to change things a bit. He dropped the temperature, sent down driving rain and torrential wind. Soon, hell was a wet, muddy mess. The man from Minnesota was happily slogging through the mud pushing a wheelbarrow full of crushed rocks.
Again, the Devil asked how this man could be so happy in such conditions. The man replied, “This is great. Just like April back in Minnesota. It reminds me of working out in the fields doing the spring planting!
The Devil was completely baffled. In desperation, he tried one last ditch effort. He made the temperature plummet. Hell was blanketed in snow and ice. Confident that this has done it, the Devil checked in on the man. He couldn’t believe his eyes as he saw the man dancing, singing, and twirling his sledgehammer in glee. “How can you be so happy. Don’t you realize its 40 below zero!?” screamed the Devil.
“Hell’s frozen over!” replied the man from Minnesota, “The Vikings have won the Superbowl!”
PROP: We need to clear up some misconceptions about what Hell will be like.
You know there are a lot of misconceptions out there about Hell. Bill Gates—Demo.
It seems that hell isn’t as hot as it used to be. Hell has become "more of a deep funk than a pit of fire." A January 2000 U.S. News & World Report poll reveals that 64 percent of Americans believe there is a hell, 25 percent say there isn’t a hell, and 9 percent don’t know. Most respondents think of hell as "an anguished state of existence" or "an unpleasant solitary confinement" rather than as a real place.
Professor Douglas Groothius of Denver Seminary believes many Christians are ashamed of the doctrine of hell. Yet Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, worries about downplaying the reality of hell. He believes that doing this "does irreparable damage to our deepest comforts—our understanding of God’s grace and love. . . . To preach the good news, we must preach the bad."…
Can the threat of spending eternity in hell motivate individuals toward faith and virtue? Professor Jerry L. Walls of Asbury Theological Seminary, writing in Christianity Today, believes: "If there is no God, no heaven, no hell, there simply is no persuasive reason to be moral."
Citation: "Hell Hath No Fury," U.S. News & World Report (1-31-00), pp.45-50
#1. Hell is NOT temporary
Death—Hell: This is eternal separation from God. Sin separates and results in eternal separation. The concept of a temporary place in which to “burn off” sins and then gain admittance into Heaven is not to be found
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