Summary: This sermon gives a description of Hell and why it should be avoided at all costs.
WHAT IN HELL DO YOU WANT?
Luke 16: 19-24
Intro: People have got a serious misconception of Hell. Though they believe it to be a place that’s hot, they also believe it to be a place where they will spend the rest of their existence living in any way they desire. After all, they’re dead. They’re in hell. What more can happen to them? They believe that they’ll be free to fornicate, cuss, prostitute, shoot up, drink up, and downright party up for all eternity. Hell, in their minds, will be the ultimate party place. How so wrong they are. Like them, our misconceptions of hell or our lack of urgency about leading people from hell has made us apathetic toward the destiny of the lost, and has made the lost ignorant about their own destiny.
People say, “I sure do hope I don’t go to Hell when I die,” yet they live like they can’t wait to get there. Killing themselves with drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, and guns, and that’s not mentioning suicide terrorists. Or you might hear people say, “I don’t want to go to hell when I die,” but they don’t do anything to prevent it while they are living.
In this sermon, I hope to provide some illumination about a very dark place. Hell is not a place to aspire to but a place to flee from. This life gives each of us an opportunity to make our reservation in Heaven so that we will not be given accommodations in hell.
I. Characteristics of Hell
a. Gehenna. Usually when Jesus speak of hell, He uses the term Gehenna, which means the Valley of Hinnon. When He used this term people understood what He was referring to because it was a place where everybody went. Gehenna was the city dump. Like Gehenna, Hell is the eternal dumping grounds for refuse souls, a holding place for the lost, until Judgment Day. It was created for the devil and his angels (minions).
i. Hell is hot. Gehenna was the place where people took their trash. Dead carcasses of all kinds were there. Because it was the area for refuse, there were perpetual or continual fires that burned. Day or night people could take their trash there and throw it into the pit, into the valley, where eternal fires burned.
ii. Hell is eternal. The continual burning of the refuse was a perfect description of the continual fires of hell. When Jesus told them that the fire is not quenched, Jews understood what He meant because the fires of Gehenna never went out. There were people who saw to that.
iii. Hell is a place of misery and pain. As in the case of the rich man, people in hell will be in torment-agony. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
iv. Hell is dark. Hell, in contrast to Paradise, is a place of darkness b/c there is no light there. Jesus said that the lost will be cast into outer darkness. Though there are flames there, there will be no light in hell. The reason we see flames now is b/c of the oxygen in the environment. There is no oxygen in hell. Therefore, there’s no light.
v. Hell is a place for the gone and forgotten. Just a people don’t think about the trash they threw away, they will also forget about those who lanquish in hell. Revelation 21 says that Jesus will wipe away their tears. I believe with those tears will go the memory of every person who has ever lived that didn’t make it to Heaven. How can Heaven be paradise while we have knowledge of loved one in torment?