Summary: This sermon deals with our need to share the gospel with others to keep them from being lost and cast into the lake of fire.
If You Love Me, You Will Tell Me
Let’s suppose for a moment, that a rich person came up to you and said, “I want to give you this BMW. Here are the keys, the title, and $500 to pay for your gas.” You are delighted. The car is beautiful. It runs perfectly. You are so proud to be an owner. But you forgot to send in the insurance premium. Then one day you come downstairs and you see your BMW is in ruins.
The tires are slashed, the inside is burned out, the lights are broken, and every window is busted. You go and knock on your friends door, and you say look what someone has done to my car.” How would you feel if your friend said, “child I know who did it, and I heard them two weeks ago say they were planning on doing it last night. I even saw when they were hiding the bats they were going to use and the gasoline they were going to useto burn the inside. When you got out your car last night, some of them were around the corner just waiting.”
How many of you are feeling real good about your friend at this moment? What words are ready to come out of your mouth. “If you knew all this, why didn’t you tell me.” How many of you believe your friend at least had an obligation to warn you about what he or she knew was probably going to happen to your BMW. You would not have expected them to try to go down and fight the attackers, but you would feel at least a warning to you could have made a difference.
If we care that much a BMW that it’s eventually going to break down, rust out, and be thrown into junk yard to be melted down for scrap, how much more should we care about the souls of our family members, our friends, our co-workers and the people that cross our path. What about our own soul. Would you want to be warned about a future disaster that was coming into your life, that you could avoid happening.
Let’s look at a very familiar passage of Scripture together. John 3:16-18
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Let’s look at some words we overlook. Perish. That means to destroy. To break every window in your BMW and to set it on fire. It is going to happen. Eternal life, the alternative to perishing, the person telling you about what is going to happen so that you can safely remove your car. Condemn means to pronounce judgment, to sentence, to find guilty.
Can you imagine a judge going to the prison speaking to men who are condemned to life sentences, “yelling out, I hereby condemn you to a life sentence.” Somebody needs to tell him, that’s not good news. We already know that. Jesus comes saying, “all of you who are condemned to life sentences in this prison, let me show you have you can have your sentence removed and be set free.
Jesus said I did not come to say, “I condemn you to go to hell.” Know this, everybody is already condemned to go to hell. Jesus came with a message of how you can escape going to destruction . How you can escape getting your BMW destroyed. That’s why the message is good news. He’s offering something better. If you put your faith in Jesus, you will not be destroyed, but if you don’t then you will perish.
Today you hear people talk about hell as though it is something kind of nice. People joke and say they want to go to hell because that’s where all their friends are going to be. Or people try to make hell sound more pleasing by saying, hell is just being away from the presence of God. Others claim that hell is what we’re going through right now. Still others say they don’t believe in hell as though they can cause it to disappear by not believing it. Believing or not believing something does not make it true. Truth makes truth.
The term hell used in our New Testament reading in which Jesus says stop being afraid of people who can only kill your body, and fear God who has the power after killing your body to cast your soul into hell. The better translation of the word hell is hell fire. A long time ago in the Old Testament, contrary to what God told them to do, some of the people started sacrificing their children to the false God Molech in the valley of Hinnom, a deep narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem.