Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: What’s so great about Hell that has you acting such a fool? How come nobody told you that Hell is bad?

I came to talk about Hell today. Because I think we have a misunderstanding of this concept. Its not just a word but some of us think of it that way. You can walk down the street any given day and hear it tossed about loosely with reckless abandon. One minute you’ll hear somebody say its cold as hell. Then you’ll turn around and hear somebody say its hot as hell. Folk complain around dinnertime that they’re hungry as hell. Then a few hours later they become tired as hell. Apparently it has become an acceptable word to use for emphasizing adjectives. And that’s a problem because Hell isn’t to be used as a part of speech! Hell is not supposed to be an acceptable word in common vernacular! Hell is not a joke or a place to direct our foes! We oughta be trying to get as far away from Hell as we possibly can!

I’ve learned that the way you start to fear something or someplace is by learning about it. When I first heard the term Bermuda Triangle, I was not afraid of it. But when I studied it and learned about the past of it, it struck fear in me. Until I went to Leatherneck in 2004, I had only heard the words brown recluse. But when I got there they told us about this poisonous spider, what it looked like, and what it does to humans. And I got scared! The acronym STD didn’t mean a thing to me until I got to health class in 9th grade and saw the gross disturbing pictures! If you want somebody to fear something, you need to teach them about it! That having been said, I’m going to bust Hell wide open today.

Hell is bad! It is a bad word! It is a bad place! It is a bad idea! People never truly knew that to tell someone “go to Hell” was to tell them to go to a place for unredeemed men; a lake of inextinguishable fire; a place of never-ending torment! Parents who tell their children, and preachers who tell the congregations “get right, live right, and stay right, or you’re going to Hell” are saying Hell is a bad place. You don’t need to be there! In fact, they are asking you what in Hell do you want?

As you consider life in its simplest form, you should be ever so grateful to know you could get up this morning, look around the house, and find everything the way it should be. You had food on your table, clothes on your back, and a little bit of money in your pockets! Now you know some people have more than others, and they are comfortable here. But beware if they should lose sight of where their blessing comes from and start thinking too big! You see, if they make a mistake and think they are so such-a-much, they could end up in Hell!

Note these comparisons: On a hot day, you can pour yourself an ice cold drink, and even crunch on the ice for coolness effect after the liquid is gone. This isn’t the deal in Hell. If you’re drinking hot tea or sipping soup, you can blow on your spoon and the liquid will soon cool. This doesn’t happen in Hell!

Because of man’s advanced knowledge, he is skillful in caring for burns of any degree. A little first-aid in the home for popping grease, scalds, or singes, and trauma and emergency treatment for larger scale burns, can in dude time, heal and only leave a trace of a scar. But if one should go to Hell, he’ll find no relief for his burns that never heal. The local painkillers can give immediate and long-lasting relief to a burn victim, but in Hell, there might even be well-known doctors who will be burning too! So they can’t stop to dress your wounds, treat your infections, or sooth your miseries. I ask you again, what in Hell do you want?

“MTV Cribs,” a popular TV show lets little people like you and I glimpse into the worlds of the rich and famous. We get to tour their mansions, see them beckon for their maids and butlers, and swim in their Grammy shaped pools. It is well designed to stir the viewer’s envy and to cause them to conclude “now that’s the life!” Jesus issued a strong warning against that kind of envy, saying “Watch out! Protect yourself against the slightest bit of greed! Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.” He dramatized his warning with a story of a farmer whose crops were so abundant that his barns couldn’t hold them, and who thought to solve all problems by building bigger barns. God called the man a fool, saying “tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?” And Jesus added “that’s what happens when you fill your barn with self and not with God!”

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