Summary: God forsakes his Son ... bringing His Son through hell ... so that we do not have to endure being forsaken.
Today we are going to talk about a topic that is not very popular.
It is the topic of hell.
Why isn’t hell a popular topic?
Hugh Mackay, the Australian social researcher collected some interesting information about Australian attitudes toward religious subject matter.
In 1999, 74% of Australians indicated a belief in God of some sort.
When questioned further 43% believed in the divinity and resurrection of Jesus, while only 33% said they believed there was a Devil.
On the question of heaven and hell - 53% believe in heaven ... only 32% believe in a hell.
In other works lots of people like to think about the nice aspects of the afterlife – but heaps less people want to think about the terrible aspects of the afterlife.
Even for people who believe strongly in Jesus hell is a confronting topic.
Now we may not like to think about hell … and there are plenty of people who do not believe in hell … and there are a lot of misunderstandings about hell … but this is an issue we should discuss because of something that happens to Jesus while He is on the cross.
Let’s read two passages from Scripture:-
What is Hell?
In light of the words of Jesus that He cries from the cross … My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? … this becomes a significant question. As we think about this question it is no secret that
There are many who treat the whole concept of hell with contempt and ridicule by denying its existence and fighting against the fear which a concept of hell can bring.
We live in a world were the whole idea of hell is a source of entertainment.
Stand-up comedians regularly use jokes about hell and the devil to entertain their audience – often having a subtle dig at Christianity in the process.
Cartoonists use hell as a source of entertainment – it’s the place where the devil lives. He’s the guy in the red suit with a tail and a three pronged pitch-fork in his hand.
Hell is something to be laughed about.
Not only is it a source of entertainment … the concept of hell is seen as a serious threat to the well-being of humanity.
Secular clinical psychologists will tell you that hell is a myth which Christianity has made-up to keep people in line. As such it is a myth which should be disregarded because the fear of hell and judgement to stopping people reach their fulfilled self.
Unfortunately the secular world has support from some who stand under the banner of Christianity. There are those in the Christian world who deny the existence of hell.
Some parts of the Christian world believe that our souls are not eternal and, if they are not in heaven, then our souls are destroyed and we cease to exist.
Some, along with the secular world, believe that the teaching of hell is a myth … it was a teaching introduced into the Bible by the early church who were having trouble keeping the new converts in order.
Something to be entertained by … or a myth to be fought against. That is how many people deal with the issue of hell. But hell is real … and it is no laughing matter.
Hell is a real place and it comes with real consequences which are to be feared.
Hell is a place where people will want to forget about God.
The reason they want to forget is because, all too late, they realise that God was right all along.
In hell there is no praise … no worship …and no honour given to God.
Instead there are pangs of conscience, anguish, despair, weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Hell is not a place of celebration but a place where people eternally say, “What if”.
“What if I had listened to my mother when she told me about Jesus?”
“What would have happened if I didn’t trust science more than Christianity?”
“How different it would have been if only I had respected the fact that my child became a believer instead of constantly mocking her”.
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Your will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Your will is being done.’
You see hell is the destination for those who say in this life they want to forget about God and have nothing to do with Him.
And when people get to hell they realize they have gotten exactly what they wanted ...
but they will regret it from the moment they are there.
Hell is a place where people are imprisoned.
Several passages in scripture described hell as a prison.