Summary: One of the forgotten doctrines of the church today. What you believe about this doctrine affects your vision and how you live.
Seven Things In Hell That Ought To Be In The Church
Hell is the forgotten doctrine. Go to you neighborhood Christian book store and ask for the commentary and theology section. After walking by all the "Jesus Junk" (pictures, jewelry, trinkets, ect), the Christian novels, the latest top ten in Christian best sellers, the myriad of Bible translations, the latest music CD’s, and the "how to build you church like I did it" book section; you finally arrive at a small section in the back of the store containing a few Bible commentaries and Theology books. Now let’s see, where is the "Hell" section. The store manager tells you to try the Jehovah Witness bookstore down the street. They might have a larger section.
Seriously, when was the last time you heard a sermon on "Hell". Did you know that the Bible talks more about Hell than it does about Heaven. Did you know that Jesus preached about it. Our text for today was part of a message by our Lord. I make a habit of preaching at least one message a year on Hell. Why because what you believe about this doctrine will affect you entire ministry. If you really believe in Hell, it will change both you and your church.
What every church needs and what every Christian needs is:
I. VISION - vs. 23
1. We need a vision for the lost. A vision of hell.
"Where there is no vision the people perish"
2. We need a vision for what God can do through us. A vision about our life.
3. We need a vision about this church that God has placed us in.
Not a vision of "American ’feel good’ Christianity" but a vision for the work of God in this church.
Acts 16:16-21 Paul and Silas turned the city upside down.
II. TEARS - vs. 24
1. Tears of Compassion
Now is the time to have compassion - Love
2. Tears of Repentance
Now is the time to confess our sin.
3. Tears of Regret
The rich man found out that it was too late.
III. REMEMBRANCE - Vs. 25
The Christian life is a life of decisions. It begins with a decision:
1. To believe
2. To serve God or man
a. the rich man choose "the pleasures of sin for a season."
b. Lazarus choose what really mattered, the things of God
We cannot undo past mistakes or sins but we can give the pieces of our life to God and see the wonders that God can do with those pieces.
IV. SEPARATION - Vs. 26
1. From evil
God is a God of separation. One of the keys to spiritual maturity is that when God reveals truth to you in the Word of God - you obey it.
2. From compromise
Love God but hate sin. Don’t try to love both God and sin.
V. PRAYER - Vs. 27
Here is a man praying for the lost. God works in response to man’s prayers. Man’s prayers for the lost fulfill the plan of God.
V. MISSIONS - Vs. 27
The rich man in Hell wanted to send out missionaries.
VII. CONCERN - Vs. 28
We need a concern that people don’t go to this place of torment and anguish called Hell.
1. Hell is a place of remorse and despair when they see the bliss of God
2. Hell is a place of abhorrence of the very evil that they had loved.
3. Hell is a place of eternal desire for freedom.