Summary: We are all one moment away from death. It’s a moment that could change our lives forever.
Introduction: What a scary thought! One moment you’re on earth with a lot of money and stuff and the next moment you’re in a place of torment crying for a drop of water to cool your tongue. Or on the other hand you’re on earth broke as the “Ten Commandments” and the next moment you’re in a place of bliss enjoying a peace that surpasses all understanding. In a moment, you can make a life altering decision to accept Christ and change your life forever. However; also in a moment, you can elect to reject Christ and change your life forever too. That’s what tonight’s lesson is about. It’s about a moment that changed the lives of two men. One for better and the other for worst; eternally. We will also learn tonight that NOW is the time to share Christ with our contacts. There will be no witnesses from Hell.
The bible gives us an interesting parable tonight that teaches us at least 4 things that basic to all the living:
• Every Human being is created in the image of God and will exist for eternity in heaven or hell. .
• Every human being must choose in this life between heaven and hell.
• At the moment of physical death our fate is sealed forever with no alternative..
• The Creator is obligated by His own perfection and justice to deliver the punishment that we all deserved for neglecting so great a salvation.
Important to note; a man ends up in hell because of his nature not his name. A birds’ nature takes it to the air. A fish’s nature brings it to the water. A hog’s nature brings him to a pig pen. If a hog entered a palace, he would by nature turn it into a pig pen. If a man’s nature is not changed by Christ; he will enter hell naturally. If a pimp entered heaven, he would attempt to turn angels into prostitutes. (If any man be in Christ, He is a new creature with a new nature.) A man must be indwelled by Christ before he can dwell in Heaven. There is nothing in hell that is in heaven. There is also nothing in heaven that is in hell. If anything from hell entered heaven, it would no longer be heaven. If anything from heaven entered hell, it would no longer be hell.
Get the picture; hell is not a 10, 25, or 50 year sentence contingent on good behavior.
Hell is not a rehab center or reformatory.
You will not be able to leave heaven and visit folk in hell.
Hell is an unending funeral.
There will be Baptist, Catholics, Full Gospel Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Non Denominationalists, New Age Christian and Jehovah’s Witnesses in hell. But there will be no saved person no where near hell.
Now in view of tonight’s lesson, Jesus teaches us at least 6 things a lost person discovers immediately after death:
I. Hell is a Real Place. (vs 23) Hades (Greek for the abode of the dead) (In Hebrew it is called Sheol; the pit or the underworld.) In the abode of the dead there were two compartments: Paradise for the just and Hell or Gehenna for the unjust. In Hebrew, Gehenna represented the Valley of Hinnom or a dump site in Jerusalem where everyone dumped their trash for burning. (The term Gehenna came to represent a place of constant burning or the place where the unbelievers goes after this life.)
II. The lost are fully conscious and possess all of their mental faculties; especially memory. They are conscious absent from their buried bodies.(vs25)
III. Hell is Place of Horrible, mental and Emotional Distress. (vs 23-24)
(hatred against themselves)
(Rejected the only way of salvation)
(The overwhelming sense of hopelessness)
IV. There is no Escape. (vs26)
V. They Discover a Gut-wrenching Concern for Lost Love Ones Left behind. (vs 27-28)
(Hell is a state of sorrow for self and others)
(Hell is full of Evangelistic Desire)
VI. They Have Come to Realize that the Way of Salvation was Always in the Word of God and the Gospel Preacher. (vs 29-31)
Conclusion: Tomorrow is the Devil’s favorite word. Don’t wait until then to tell someone about Christ. It might be too late.