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Summary: Jesus makes it clear Hell is real and is eternal.

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Title: Hell- According To Jesus

Place: BLCC

Date: 5/28/17

Text: Matthew 5.22; John 5.29

CT: Jesus makes it clear Hell is real and is eternal.

FAS: Will Willimon shared this story. Early in my ministry, I served a little church in rural Georgia. One Saturday we went to a funeral in a little country church not of my denomination. I grew up in a big downtown church. I had never been to a funeral like this one. The casket was open, and the funeral consisted of a sermon by their preacher.

The preacher pounded on the pulpit and looked over at the casket. He said, "It's too late for Joe. He might have wanted to get his life together. He might have wanted to spend more time with his family. He might have wanted to do that, but he's dead now. It is too late for him, but it is not too late for you. There is still time for you. You still can decide. You are still alive. It is not too late for you. Today is the day of decision."

Then the preacher told how a Greyhound bus had run into a funeral procession once on the way to the cemetery, and that that could happen today. He said, "You should decide today. Today is the day to get your life together. Too late for old Joe, but it's not too late for you."

I was so angry at that preacher. On the way home, I told my wife, "Have you ever seen anything as manipulative and insensitive to that poor family? I found it disgusting."

She said, "I've never heard anything like that. It was manipulative. It was disgusting. It was insensitive. Worst of all, it was also true."

Will Willimon, in his sermon "The Writing on the Wall," PreachingToday.com

LS: We are so afraid of offending people that we often end up at funerals wishing we had done more to be sure the person was not going to hell.

We don’t like to talk about hell do we? We speak of it today by necessity not by choice. This is the second week I have decided to preach on hell.

We don’t go around shouting out how bad hell is and the horror it will be for those who don’t know Jesus. Do we?

But maybe we should. There is an apocryphal urgency that those without Jesus stand to go to hell if the Day of the Lord comes too soon, or they die, before they accept Jesus as their Savior. Not holding back today guys. We need Jesus to save us.

Last week we looked why we need hell. God is holy and just and must deal with the wickedness and evil of man. We decided that was why hell had to be.

God’s wrath is something we as followers of His Son do not have to fear.

Hell is not a place for us.

We have another place prepared for us in heaven.

But hell is real and we need to be clear about that. I do not want anyone I know to go there. I believe the worst thing you can say to someone is “Go to hell.”

Think about what you just said. You want someone to spend eternity, burning, away from God and His love and grace. What could be worse?

Jesus is our primary authority on hell. The Old Testament laid the foundation of God’s judgment in fire and destruction. But most all of what we know about hell comes from the lips of Jesus.

The problem is that liberal scholars have dismissed hell as an acceptable reality. How could a God of love send anyone to hell? Since such scholars don’t believe what the Bible says it is not hard to believe they reject the fiery eternal punishment of hell.

With many pulpits today either softening or even ignoring the unpopular subject of hell, it is necessary that we here at BLCC examine the issue anew and see what Jesus had to say about hell.

--Jesus said hell was a place of fire.

In the opening chapter of the Sermon on the Mount, He warned anyone who called his brother a fool was “in danger of the fire of hell”

This fire was translated as a fire that never stopped burning.

Jesus repeatedly stressed fire as part of the final destruction.

In Matthew 7.19, near the end of His Sermon on the Mount, Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Jesus also warned in John 15.6, If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

Fire is mentioned in some more scriptures we will look at today. If Jesus did not want His followers to associate fire with the final judgment, why did He mention it so often?

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