6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermon Illustrations

Jesus described hell as a place with a stench. On the southwest corner of I-240 in our city you can smell the oil refinery. In Counce, Tennessee, you can smell the pulp mill or in Bolivar the tannery.

When I lived on Holmes Street I ordered some flytraps for the backyard. They were quart jars with a yellow bell covering the lid. I baited it with water and fish, which drew flies to enter through two holes in the lid. The bottom side of the lid was painted black, so they couldn’t find a way out. The jar began to be filled with dead flies and maggots.

You talk about stink! Stank! STUNK! They spread a sort of foul, brown taste across the yard, which I could detect when I was working out there. It was one of the two worst smells I ever experienced. Emptying those jars would nearly turn my stomach.

I said all that to give you an idea about hell. Jesus said paying a drastic price is better than going to hell. “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.’

“And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— where ‘ Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched’” (Mark 9:43-44, 47-48 NLT).