Summary: We need to warn people that a life of sin leads to an eternity in hell.
The Day Of The Lord
Text: Joel 2:1-11
1. Illustration: God has done everything He possibly can to keep you out of Hell and still leave you as a person with free will. Now some Christians argue otherwise that it is in fact God who sends people to hell. Peculiar Pilgrim blog writes, "No one would choose to go into hell ... Not one person would decide to enter an eternity of flaming torment over an eternity in heavenly bliss ... The Lord Jesus Christ, who will sit upon the throne of his glory (Matt 25:31-46) will judge the hearts and minds of every living person. Jesus will say to many on that day, "I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of lawlessness." (Mat 7:23) And thus, he blames God for sending us to hell.
But when a criminal is sent to jail, we don't blame the judge, do we? We blame the criminal. The judge isn't responsible because he's just following the law, in fact, his hands or decisions are bound or tied by the law. It was the criminal who broke the law and that's why they were sent to jail. Likewise, God is bound by who he is, a holy, loving, righteous and just God and by His decision to give us free will and then not violate it by keeping us from making bad decisions. So it's not God who sends us to hell but our decisions and the repercussions that we must live with.
2. In the roughly 20 years that I have been preaching I never considered myself a "hell, fire, and brimstone" type of preacher. I prefer to focus on God's love, grace and mercy. However, we must recognize that God is a righteous and just God as well. How can God be righteous and just and not judge people for their actions?
3. How can we share God's truth and not share the whole truth? Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should chase after people waiving our Bibles in the air and shouting, "You're on your way to hell!" Yet there are some people that need to hear that hell is real and it is eternal!
4. We need to warn people that...
A. About the consequences
B. That Hell Is Real
C. God is Righteous And Just
5. Let's stand together as we read Joel 2:1-11.
Proposition: We need to warn people that a life of sin leads to an eternity in hell.
Transition: We need to...
I. Warn People About The Consequences (1-2).
A. Sound The Alarm
1. Sometimes in life we have to do things that make us uncomfortable. Like telling someone they can have that last piece of pizza when it's calling your name. Or telling a Michigan fan you like their blue shirt!
2. Well sometimes we have to confront people with their sin and the consequences it brings. Sometimes we just have to do things that make us uncomfortable.
3. So Joel begins this chapter with, "Sound the alarm in Jerusalem! Raise the battle cry on my holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the LORD is upon us."
A. The signaling alarm or "trumpet" (sôpar) made from a ram's horn is to be blown, as it is in war, heralding an attack, or on other occasions announcing news of great import.
B. Shôphar denotes a "horn," likely a ram's horn, which is hollowed for blowing. It was not used as a musical instrument but rather served a number of functions centering upon summoning. The Day of Yahweh, a period of judgment and vindication of Yahweh over his enemies, is announced by the shôphar (The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Sin-Taw, Under: "8223").
C. The second verb is more general, indicating that a loud noise is to be raised, whether by horn or voice.
D. The inhabitants of the land shake, either in anger or, more likely, in terror at the news they hear.
E. As the site of the temple, the dwelling of God himself, it is the natural source for his warnings. It is also where the people gather to meet the onslaught.
F. The reason for this alarm is again "the day of the LORD".
G. The phrase "Day Of The Lord" is used in the OT prophets to signify a time in the history of mankind when God directly intervenes to bring salvation to his people and punishment to the rebellious (New Spirit-Filled Life Study Bible, 1106)
H. It is not always clear whether the Day is remembered or anticipated, but in either case, it is a matter of distress.
I. The Day's nearness indicates its imminence, as is usually the case with this predicate adjective "upon us" (David W. Baker, The NIV Application Commentary – Joel, Obadiah, Malachi: From biblical text...to contemporary life, 53-54).