Summary: A message of Hell in a two week message on life after death.
Life after death: Hell
Introduction: I have a 2 part message on Heaven and Hell. Let's just say we will be preaching on Heaven next week. I feared I might lose some of you next Sunday if I reversed the order. I'd rather preach on the joys of Heaven but if it is in the bible; it must be preached, whether it is plain or mysterious, intriguing or dull, hopeful or worrisome; The coming of the LORD was described in Malachi 4:5 as “the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” For some, that day is great and for others, that day will be dreadful. Two sides of the same coin, we can't look at one never looking at the other. Billy Graham once said “If there was more hell in the pulpit there would be less of it in the pew.” Preachers who refuse to mention Hell for fear of offending someone should be thrown out of the ministry. After all if the Holy Ghost laid something on their heart to preach, they should preach it, but many fear offending their congregation, losing them and losing money. Carlton Pearson founded the higher dimension church in Tulsa, and you may remember he started claiming there was no hell. And many of his congregation left, and it was a good thing they did, not for his sake, but for theirs. It's astounding to me how someone can totally ignore what is clearly written in the scripture and then question God about it. A.W. Tozer remarked “The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions.” So true. No hell means no consequence, no consequence means no sin, no sin means disobedience without guilt, disobedience without guilt means we can make ourselves god.
Here is a popular question that causes a lot of discussion, “Is there life after death?” And the answer is Yes, yes there is. More than you might realize. As hard as it is to explain, I believe that the spiritual life is more realistic than the physical life, the spirit is eternal the body is temporal. Heaven and Hell are so real that it will make this life seem like a dream. Our life is a vapor that vanishes as quickly as it appeared. In light of eternity it was a mere blink, a short dream. A dream you will either long to have back, like the rich man; or one you are glad is over with, like Lazarus.
You might be tempted to think how can a good God send someone to hell. The answer is he doesn't. I mentioned last week Matthew Henry's statement that God is good to all. Absolutely. When a person prays for rain in the middle of a drought, even their wicked neighbor receives a blessing. (It rains on the just and the unjust alike) but He adds this caveat: “all but devils and damned sinners, who have shut themselves out of his goodness.” and it's upon that point we begin our message. John Hannah once told someone “No one who is ever in hell will be able to say to God, “You put me here,” and no one who is in heaven will ever be able to say, “I put myself here.” You can't earn your way to heaven but you can earn your way to hell.