Summary: There is something worse than going to hell and something better than going to heaven.
SOMETHING WORSE THAN GOING TO HELL
This message is based in part on a sermon I heard several years ago. The preachers name has long since slipped my mind, but the echo of the living coal I was touched with through that message continues to resonate in my soul.
This message is about something worse than going to hell, something better than going to heaven. For now we will just discuss something worse than going to hell.
I know what you are thinking. Preacher, you have lost your mind, how could anything be worse than going to hell? If you will give me just a few minutes of your time, before you write me off as a heretic, when I’m done I’m sure you will be able to say that the preacher was right, there is something worse than going to hell, and something better than going to heaven.
Text: Jeremiah 8:20-22 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead; [is there] no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
In context this passage is about the judgement of God that would result in no harvest for the Jews. But for the purpose of this message we will take it to be the cry of lost souls in hell.
This crying over a lack of harvest is something more and more farmers are saying because of changes in the weather. Imagine working a whole year, and in the end having nothing to show for it because your crops could not stand the test of frost, or the test of rain, or the test of drought. Similarily because peoples lives won’t measure up, the text in Jeremiah 8:20 "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved," is one that will undoubtedly be repeated many times in hell by those who will weep and wail that they squandered their opportunity to get saved, and get right with God, but did not.
SUMMER IS COME, HARVEST IS PAST,AND STILL WE ARE NOT SAVED! Isn’t that the cry of the rich man in Luke 16? Now think about this:
The rich man in Luke 16 was crying 2,000 years ago to have a finger dipped in water to touch his tongue. He is still crying 2,000 years later! He will still be crying 2,000 years from now, and so on, and yet you ask, "Pastor, how can you say there is something worse than going to hell?"
Well, I guess I have made you sit on the edge of your seat long enough, the one thing that is worse than going to hell is.... GOING TO HELL AND TAKING SOMEONE WITH YOU.
I had to talk to a friend recently, who just moved out of the inner city because his 15 year old son has been staying out all night, and is seemingly out of control. This friend is a former pastor who is backslid, and only going to church once or twice a year. When I told him there was one thing worse than going to hell,and what it was, there was almost an audible groan you could hear on the other end of the phone.
How could you do such a thing, to a friend you might ask? I don’t want this dad in hell with his son. Its bad enough if he goes there, but his sorrow will be doubled to hear his son cry and say, "Daddy why didn’t you warn me about this place?! Daddy, why didn’t set a better example before me?! Daddy, why did you stop bringing me and Momma to church?!
If you don’t know Jesus as a your personal Lord and Savior journey with me 1,000 years into the future, and this is you speaking. "Summer is come, harvest is past, and I am doomed." It is doubly maddening because you will cry out and say, "that preacher told me, ’O why, O why didn’t I listen to him when it could have made a difference.’" I pray to God you don’t go there, and if you do go there despite my prayers, I pray you go alone. I am afraid though, that hell is going to be full of children cussing their parents, and brothers crying to their brothers, and cousins crying to their cousins, and classmates crying to their classmates for their poor example and bad influence. I don’t think anybody goes to hell alone, I think the power of influence is much stronger than we would like to imagine. Perhaps the rich man in Luke 16 was so concerned for his 5 brothers because he knew he had set a bad example for them, and as bad as hell was it horrified him that his brothers would wind up there also. You see there is one thing worse than going to hell, and that is taking someone with you.