Summary: Jesus already gave us the final word on the matter… Hell is a Real Place of Real Torment.
“Hell is No Joke”
INTRO: 1. Hell is a difficult topic to preach on. Like you, I take no pleasure considering that place called “Hell.” For that very reason I must tell you that Hell is real today and Hell is no joke!
a. Bible refers to hell 162 times – just that important.
b. Many have said concerning the idea of Hell:
“Hell is a wild nightmare of a disordered brain.”
“It is an antiquated, disapproved theory belonging to the age of superstition.”
“Hell is inconsistent with the nature of God.”
2. Recent ABC News poll says that 70% of Americans believe in heaven, but only 56% believe in Hell.
a. We can’t believe in a Heaven if we can’t believe in Hell.
b. You don’t have to believe it to go there.
c. Rich man was surprised to discover that Hell was no Joke.
3. Even among professing Christians, many doubt the reality of Hell.
a. ILL. Survey determined that
35% of Baptist,
and 60% Episcopalians don’t believe in a literal Hell.
71% of the nations leading seminaries in U.S. don’t believe in heaven or hell.
4. Today, in our world Hell has been reduced to a laughing matter. Jokes. Comic strips
ILL. In Gatlinburg, Tenn. they assembled a replica of hell and called it “A Journey through Hell” But it was so horrible and graphic that many people complained and petitioned to have it shut down. The Hell is Gatlinburg is shut down, but the real Hell has never gone out of business.
5. Those of us who believe in a literal hell is dubbed “old-fashioned, out-of touch, Hell-fire & Brimstone preachers.”
a. Not concerned with what they have to say – Jesus already gave us the final word on the matter – Hell is a Real Place of Real Torment.
b. A Real Place with Real People.
c. Sadly, Many that you have known and worked with are there.
d. Not a parable, Jesus uses names – this event really happened.
6. Jesus used a common example with the children of Israel of what Hell was like.
a. “Gehenna” place outside the city gate of Jerusalem where in their idolatry they gave their children up to the fire god Molech.
b. Drums & the shouts of the people drowned out terrifying screams of the children.
c. Since Josiah it had become a dump where human waste, corpses of animals and the poor were thrown, Brimstone kept the fire burning.
d. The stench and the smoke was unbearable. The worms and the maggots where everywhere.
e. A place of crying and screaming, continual fire, stench, uncleanliness, brimstone and worms.
7. Message of hell is not for lost sinners alone.
ILL. Dr R.G. Lee, one of America’s greatest preachers said he’d like to send the entire membership of his baptist church to hell for about an hour. He said they’d come back with their hearts fired up about winning the lost around them.
I. A PLACE OF TORMENT BECAUSE OF WHAT’S NOT THERE.
a. The torment of hell is not just found in the horrible things that await you there, but also the things that you’ll never find there.
A. NO LIGHT
1. Darkness so thick it covers you like a blanket.
2. Peter called them the “chains of darkness.”
3. Jesus called it “outer darkness.”
4. Where the sun never rises, where light is merely a memory.
5. Even most of the blind among us can sense light – we where not designed for such darkness.
6. ILL. I enjoy touring the caverns in the mountains. On almost every tour they turn off the lights for a moment and the darkness closes in around you. They say that if left in that darkness for an extended period of time one would lose their mind.
7. Oh, the terror of continual darkness.
8. ILL. Years ago there once was a young boy who had a terminal disease and knew that he would soon die. This young man was terrified of the dark and the thought of being buried in a box with no light, so he made his father promise to design his grave so there would be a window, so he could always have light. The heartbroken father agreed and kept his promise.
9. No window will supply light, if you die without Christ.
B. NO CHRISTIAN LOVED ONES
1. That godly mother or grandmother, that pastor or christian friend won’t be there.
2. Never know the unconditional love of God’s people again.
3. No one will love you in hell!
4. No comfort in the presence of others, who gnash their teeth on you.
5. If your loved ones are in hell their cry is the same as the rich man, “Somebody tell them about Jesus! Don’t let them come here.”