Summary: What the souls in Hell would preach if they could stand behind a pulpit
IF THE INHABITANTS OF HELL COULD PREACH TONIGHT
Luke 16:19 “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
The subject I must preach on tonight is not a popular one in the world, or, dare I say, in the churches today. We are living in the age of the prosperity doctrine, where prosperity is king; where preachers preach more about financial blessings and the power of positive thinking than they do about our desperate need for true salvation. But the Bible is emphatic and clear. We must be saved. We cannot save ourselves. No amount of positive thinking can save us without the blood of Jesus. Jesus did not suffer the tortures and horrors of Calvary so we might sit comfortably in luxurious buildings, listening to men preach about positive thinking. He did not die on Calvary to make us financially prosperous. Jesus died to pay a debt of sin we owed and could not pay. I owed a debt I could not pay. He paid a debt He did not owe. I needed salvation, not from negative thinking, not from poverty, but from a terrible place I must preach to you about tonight. A place where the worm dieth not, and the fires are not quenched. Jesus died on Calvary to save you and me from a place called Hell.
We would be hard-pressed to find a belief less palatable to both believers and nonbelievers as the biblical doctrine of an eternal Hell. We often attempt to gloss over, or avoid altogether any discussion of that place. But I am here tonight to take the gloss off the subject. I am here tonight to try to paint a picture of that place. I want you to know where you are going if you reject His salvation. I have a duty to inform you what the word of God says about this subject. Jesus did not avoid the subject of Hell. In fact, though one may believe otherwise by what they hear preached so often today, Jesus spoke more about this place called Hell than He talked about love.
The Hell Jesus spoke of is a place of unimaginable terror. He called it a place of fire, the fiery furnace, unquenchable fire, the place of perdition, a place of everlasting contempt, eternal punishment, the second death, the outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The subject of Hell is controversial. Some believe in its existence, but claim it is reserved for only the exceptionally heinous among us; the Hitlers of the world, or the murderers. But I am here to tell you it is for the unrepentant sinner. The Bible teaches that ALL sinners are going there. God, who is holy, must one day separate those who reject Him from His holy presence. That is what Hell is; it is to be apart from God, separated for all eternity from His presence. This is the goodness and severity of God. He came into this world, robed in flesh, gave himself to the tortures of the cross to save us from the tortures of Hell. But what will happen if reject so great a salvation? What will happen if we reject the love of God? We will be cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. We will be cast into an eternal Hell.