Summary: Thanks to the book "The Christian Atheist" I gleaned ideas for this sermon. Hell is real, do we care enough to warn others so they do not have to go there?
The Reality of HELL
As a preacher and chaplain, I’m often confronted by death. One thing I’ve observed is that when someone dies, that person’s loved ones want to believe their relative went to “a better place.” We’ll say things like, “She wasn’t a religious person, but deep down, she
had a good heart,” or, “He wasn’t a saint, but he did some good things.” When it comes to death and eternity, it’s human nature to hope for the best and avoid contemplating the worst.
Research shows that while almost three out of four people believe in heaven, less than half believe in hell. Think about the ramifications: if hell didn’t exist, unbelievers would easily reject Christ with no fear of God whatsoever, and believers would be unmotivated to share their faith in Christ with nonbelievers.
While I may not have to convince this audience of the existence of HELL, I wish to talk about HELL so as to motivate us to whatever we would have to do in order to keep someone from ending up there.
There are many different beliefs about HELL.
1. Some say it is the grave.
2. Some say it is only for the devil
3. Some teach it is here on Earth
4. Some say it is an outer darkness and we just float out there away from God.
In all these ideas of HELL, there is a little bit of truth. It is a place where God is not. But half truths are wholly lies.
People are reluctant to think about judgment and punishment. People like to think of God’s blessings and Heaven. Because of this, Satan fools us with many schemes to stop us from thinking or taking seriously the punishment for not obeying God.
1. The reality of Hell has been undermined in our society.
a. We have all heard jokes about Hell. The salesman who is so good, he could sell air conditioners to the devil. Or, the man who was happy to be in Hell because at last he could have peace and quiet from his wife.
b. Willy Nelson’s birthday bash – Aero Smith’s lead singer, Steven Tyler said “Happy Birthday Willie”. Here’s hoping that we will have twice as much fun in Hell as we did here on earth trying to get there.
A few years ago – Adam Sandler – made a movie called “Little Nicky” about the dumb son of Satan trying to serve his dad.
Some believe Hell is going to be a party. Some believe they will not be alone. Yet in all these ideas, the BIBLE claims loud and clear what HELL is.
2. Horrors of Hell
a. A lake of fire (Rev. 20:15) huge-raging fire – people in it that never burn up – but the pain will be there forever.
b. An abyss (pit) (Rev. 20:1) falling – fear – awful fear
c. A place of weeping (Matt. 8:12) crying because of pain and fear – memories of where you could be – but you are not
d. A place of gnashing of teeth (Matt 13:42) illustration of patient burned – so much pain.
c. A furnace of fire (Matt. 13:4-42) It is hot, so hot – like lava hot
d. A place where there will be no rest (Rev. 14:11) No sleep ever – No rest from pain ever.
e. A place of everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46)
f. A place of darkness (Jude 13)
g. A place for the devil and his followers (Matt. 25:41)
h. A place where there will be tormenting, burning, suffering, the smell-the pain
i. The fire is not put out (Mark 9:44)
There will rain fiery coals on the people and the Devil (Rev. 11:6,7)(Psalm 140:10) burning coals falls upon them like a volcano erupted and the lava and rocks exploding on the people. You never get use to this.
j. Place of torment (Luke 16: 23, 24)
k. It is a place without the slightest hope of release (Matt. 25:46)
l. It is a place where the worm does not die (Mark 9:48) (fire burning – worms eating your flesh)
No mercy – No hope – No love – unimaginable fear that never ends – depression so great.
Hell is real and the most awful, horrible palace anywhere.
Maurice Rawlings, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, was also a devout atheist. But in 1977, while trying to resuscitate a man who had been screaming in terror, something happened that changed his thinking. He gave this report to Omni Magazine.
Each time he regained heartbeat and respiration the patient screamed, “I am in hell.” He was terrified and pleading with me to help him. I was scared to death. Then I noticed a real alarmed look on his face. He had a terrified look worse than the expression seen in death. This patient had a grotesque grimace expression of sheer horror. His pupils were dilated and he was perspiring and trembling. He looked as if his hair was on end! Then still another strange thing happened. He said “Don’t you understand? I am in hell. Don’t let me go back to hell. The man was serious and it finally occurred to me that he was indeed in trouble. He was in panic like I had never seen before.