Summary: Last sermon in a series focusing on eternity. Hell is very real. This is sobering message on Hell reality. Bill Weise’s book "23 minutes in Hell" was used as a resource for this sermon
Glimpses into Hell
Series: Driven by Eternity
Sunday Sermon / September 30th 2007
Intro: The reality of hell is one of the most neglected doctrines in all of Scripture. Whenever hell is mentioned today, it is generally ridiculed, as if the whole idea of hell were so old-fashioned that only the naive and ignorant would really believe that such a place actually exists.
Or, as we will see more and more through the month of October, Hell, demons and Satan are considered cute and fun.
As pastor Mark Ainsworth says, “The carnal mind throws up objection after objection to the idea of hell because it does not want to face the reality of it.”
However, (And this is a big “however”) it isn’t what we “WANT” to believe or disbelieve that matters. The ONLY thing that matters is what does the WORD of God say?
Jesus put it this way in John 3 “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
If you want to live in sin, the first Biblical truth you must get rid of is Hell.
You will not have to look very far to find even preaches claiming, “There is no Hell.”
Jude speaks about such teaches, he said “…to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
If I had a choice, that is if Scripture were not so clear and conclusive, I would certainly not believe in Hell. I don’t want to believe there is a Hell.
What we want to believe has NO barring on reality. Reality must shape our beliefs. But you say, “I can’t see Hell. How do you expect me to believe it is real?”
I. Hell is Real
a. Jesus’ made teaching about Hell a priority
i. More attention than Heaven.
ii. He words weren’t spoken to manipulate or control.
In our world today, we are used to thinking about tactics such as blackmail, extortion, intimidation, fraud and threats from evil people to achieve their own selfish desires.
• This wasn’t the case with Jesus. He never sought his own.
• He did nothing for His own glory. He only spoke for the Father’s glory.
iii. He had no need for exaggeration
• I’m sure when Jesus said, don’t worry about the spec in your brother’s eye, when you have plank in your own eye, he was using a bit of hyperbole.
• And obviously there are some figures of speech in the Bible, If you took their temperatures, would the Laodiceans be lukewarm?
• This isn’t the case when he spoke about Heaven or Hell. His language is very different.
• Even though Jesus spoke with parables, the point was often the same: lazy, wicked, disobedient servants would be “cast into outer darkness”, “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” and “where the fire isn’t quenched and the worm never dies.”
b. Other Biblical passages speaking of Hell’s literal existence.
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power...”
2 Peter 2:4, 9 “…God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;
9…the Lord…keep(s) the unrighteous under punishment until the Day of Judgment,”
Jude 7 “Sodom and Gomorrah (are)…suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
Bill Wiese says in his book 23minutes in Hell “Our culture has become desensitized and conditioned to accept various forms of demonic creatures, caricatures of Satan, and glimpses of hell as simply ‘entertainment’”
Friend, Hell isn’t funny, it isn’t a holiday, and it’s real…very real.
You may ask, “Preacher, are you trying to scare me?”
John Piper, “I know of no one who has overstated the terror of Hell…We are meant to tremble and feel dread. We are meant to recoil from the reality. Not by denying it, but by fleeing from it into the arms of Jesus, who died to save us from it.”
II. What is Hell like?
i. Physical body –
Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Charles Spurgeon, “There is a real fire in hell, as truly as you now have a real body – a fire exactly like that which we have on earth in everything except this – that it will not consume, though it will torture you.”
ii. A place filled with unquenchable fire and absolutely no moisture