Summary: Hell is the eternal destination for those who have not placed their faith in Jesus.
Hell? Yes, it’s real!
Luke 16.19-31 NASB
April 24, 2005
Chester FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A Daniel Meyers speaks about a book written by a cardiologist at the University of Tennessee that corroborates an important aspect of the biblical message. In the course of their emergency room work, Dr. Maurice Rawlings and his colleagues interviewed more than 300 people who claimed near-death experiences. What made Rawlings’ study distinct is that the interviews were not conducted months or years later but immediately after the experiences had allegedly occurred—while the patients were still too shaken up in the immediacy of the moment to gloss over or to re-imagine what they had experienced.
Nearly 50 percent of them reported encountering images of fire, of tormented and tormenting creatures, and other sights hailing from a place very different from heaven. In follow-up interviews much later many of these same people had changed their stories, apparently unwilling to admit to their families, maybe even to themselves, that they had caught a glimpse of something like what the Bible calls hell.
Dr. Rawlings concludes, "Just listening to these patients has changed my life. There is a life after death, and if I don’t know where I’m going, it is not safe to die."
1. I will concede that you may well be offended by today’s sermon, people often are when any man presumes to preach on the subject of Hell. But I like "the story that is told of a chaplain who reported to a new duty station. Upon arrival some of the men came to see him and asked him this question; Do you believe in a literal hell? When he replied that he did not. The men asked him to resign and he asked them why. Their response to him was; ‘ If there is no Hell then we don’t need you and if there is a Hell we don’t want you to lead us astray."
2. I think the point is well made. [Paul Lee Tan. Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations. "Time to Resign the Chaplain." (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Pub., 1979). p. 554 # 2221]
3. I assure you that the Devil believes in a real Hell.
4. You may not believe in hell this morning, you may think that it is just a state of mind, but as the old revival preacher said to the skeptic, "You not believing in Hell don’t lower the temperature there one degree."
B Today’s message is "Hell? Yes, it’s real?"
a Text: Luke 16: 19-31 (Read in responsive reading format. If the congregation reads vs. 20;23-24; 27-28; 30, and the pastor read the verses in-between, then they, the congregation, will be the rich man in the dialogue between Abraham and the Rich Man.)
19 "Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day.
20 "And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.
22 "Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.
23 "In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw* Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 "And he cried out and said, ’Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’
25 "But Abraham said, ’Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 ’And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’
27 "And he said, ’Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 "But Abraham said*, ’They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
30 "But he said, ’No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’
31 "But he said to him, ’If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’ " Luke 16:19-31 (NASB)
b Jesus was clear in His telling about the certainty of a real place called hell. (ETS)