Summary: This sermon will answer the question of why there is a hell and why a loving God will sentence people to this horrible place.
Background: Ill: Most awful of deaths is to be burned up or to find someone who has died this way. There is no peace found on a corpse that has been found burned.
• Read Revelation 20:11-15. The difficulty of the subject of hell is trying to harmonize the concept of a loving gracious God with a
God who is righteous, yet seems heartless to cast boys and girls, men and women into a pit of molten lava, forever to suffer and
never to burn up.
• Most Americans do not believe in a literal hell. Most Christians say they do not believe in an eternal lake of fire. (Christians – 84%
believed in heaven and 42% believed in hell) (Barna 2003 – ½ % of Americans believe they will go to hell, 64% they will go to
heaven and 5% believe they will be reincarnated.)
• The voice of Jesus Himself: All references to hell/gehenna (except 1 ) comes from the lips of Jesus. Why do you think Jesus
speaks more about this eternal place of suffering? Jesus made this place for the devil and his fallen angels (Matt. 25:41). But
because of sin, man now goes to this place because they reject Jesus (Luke 16:19-ff). Could it be that since Jesus knows how
awful this place is that He came to warn mankind? Men could not conceive of a place so awful on their own. Since death, we do
not have perspective of eternity.
• Outside the view found in Scripture, men have proposed three alternative:
1. Metaphorical hell: Hell is a symbol of God’s judgment. God may judge threaten hell, but His love will keep Him from keeping
them in hell forever.
2. Purgatory hell: Hell is a place of divine cleansing for those who may not have accepted Christ; serve their sentence and then
3. Conditional hell: Hell is a temporal place – either restored or annihilated.
• Warren Wirsbee speaking about the “Great White Throne Judgment”: “You will have a judge but no jury, a prosecution
but no defense, a sentence but not appeal”
I. The Lost Will Stand Before The Righteous Judge With No Jury. (20:11)
1. The Judge: The great white throne speaks of purity and righteousness. There is only one judge worthy to sit on this throne
(Rev. 4-5). In His presence, the whole world melts and all that are left before Him are all the souls of the lost.
• Jesus states He will sit on “His glorious throne” Matt. 19:28. Paul preaches that Jesus will “judge the world in
righteousness …the one who rose from the dead. Acts 17:31
2. The Jury: None of your peers to acquit you. No one to buy or pay. No one to find you not guilty. No hung jury.
II. The Lost Will Hear the Evidence and Have No Defense. (20:12-13)
1. The evidence will come from three sources:
• The Bible: John 12:48 – “…”the word I spoke is what will judge man at the last day”
• Your Blog: Ecc. 3:17 – “your works/what you did in this life will be brought into evidence. What God gave us and we
used for our own glory.
• Book of Life: Rev. 20:15 & Exodus32:32 “blot me out of the book that you have written…”