Summary: How much do you have to hate someone NOT to tell them about Jesus? Without Jesus they will spend eternity in Hell.
OPEN: (Showed “Scary” – a short video produced by “MinistryFlix” and offered on sermoncentral.com. The video introduced the fact that most people like to be scared a little bit on Halloween. The tag line was “Do you know what is really scary? Many of friends and family do NOT know Jesus as Lord and Savior.”)
Every week, several of us preachers get together to work on our sermons. As we were working on this particular sermon series, one of the men suggested the title: “How much do you have to hate someone to NOT tell them about Jesus?”
The idea was that you’d have to hate someone really bad not to tell them about Jesus. Because if you didn’t tell them about Jesus, they might end up in hell because you might be the only one they might hear about Him from.
The fact of the matter is: if we don’t tell others the truth about Jesus and the coming judgment… somebody else will.
I recently talked with a young man who told me about a book he’d read. The book told about a man who had died on the operating table for a few minutes and then came back to life
The man who wrote this book told about his experience and what he’d seen and felt. He told about seeing heaven and what it looked like.
And he also told about hell - and one of the things he said was that he discovered that EVERYBODY goes to hell. Then, they would stay there until they’d burned off all their sins.
I smiled at the young man and said: “I much prefer the Bible’s version.”
Now, the book that boy read was basically teaching that Hell wasn’t a place that could be avoided (PAUSE) it was a place that had to be endured - by EVERYBODY. But that eventually EVERYBODY would get out of hell ... and go to heaven.
Now that book’s teaching has a certain appeal. I mean everybody realizes they have sins that need to be punished. And everybody realizes hell probably exists and they probably deserve to go there.
But hey – this is GREAT!
While I might deserve to go to hell, I don’t have to stay there. After a while EVERYBODY gets out, and we ALL get to go to heaven no matter what we’ve done in this life.
Can you imagine the thrill of pleasure that must exist for people like Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, Kaddafi, Osama Bin Laden, and murderers, rapists and child molesters that inflicted pain on others without any remorse.
Well… it sounded great for a minute there.
But like I said, I can understand the appeal of such a teaching.
BUT the appeal is deceptive.
Because not only is Hell real and not only are real people going to go there, BUT if they go there… they’re not getting out.
Luke 16 tells the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. And in the midst of the story the rich man has a conversation with Abraham. The Rich man says:
“Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.
"But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ Luke 16:24-26
No one who goes to Hell will ever get out.
Once you’re there… you’re there.
Now I don’t know HOW the man - who wrote that book - saw what he saw. It could have been an hallucination, or simply wishful thinking that intruded on his subconscious, or it might even have been deception from Satan. I don’t know.
But I DO know that what he said he saw WAS NOT real.
Hell is real, and ONE of the scariest thing about hell is that if you go there – you’re not getting out.
I realize there are many people who’ve died on the operating table and many have come back with stories about what they’ve seen. But whenever I hear about their “experiences” I kind of wince.
Because I’m convinced that what they say they’ve seen – isn’t real.
There’s a website I visited while preparing for this sermon. It’s called http://www.near-death.com/. And it listed the thoughts of various people who’d had near-death experiences and the site categorized their thoughts by topic.
The end result only confirmed what I already suspected was true.
Many of those gone thru these “near-death” experiences ended up with various views about what goes on heaven/hell/ God, etc. And these different people didn’t ALL arrive at exactly the same conclusions.