Summary: This sermon deals with the consequences and possiblities of eliminating Hell as a means to make the gospel less offensive to some.
Would We Be Better Of Without Hell
August 26, 2012 Calvary
If God gave you choice of eliminating one of the 10 commandments for yourself which one of the ten would you eliminate in the bottom 6 which deals with our behavior toward one another. Exodus 20:12-17 (NIV) 12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. 13 "You shall not murder. 14 "You shall not commit adultery. 15 "You shall not steal. 16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
Now that you have your personal exemption and God says to be fair, I’m going to exempt everyone from that particular commandment. Are we all better off now that we do not have to deal with that one commandment any longer. Are we being driven closer to God and to each other? Do you really think God made a mistake in giving us that commandment in the first place?
We live in a society in which we do not want to take personal responsibility for our actions, nor do we want to force people to accept personal responsibility for their actions when they do something wrong. If a person robs a store, kills the owner and the clerk, and shoots a policeman in his escape attempt, we want to blame somebody else. What was his parents like, was he abused as a child, what type of home did he grow up in, was he failure as a result of a poor education system, and what else was he deprived of.
Rarely does it occur for us to consider, this was a normal person who wanted something that was not his and he was willing to kill people for it, and that is why God told us not to covet, not to steal and not to murder. The person was not psychologically broken. He was just infested by sin as each and every one of us is. He gave into his sinful desires, just as we do in less blatant ways.
Now if we have to excuse wrong behavior in this life, we also have to excuse it in the life to come. Deep down inside we know that there is a God, and one day we will meet God face to face. Our Old Testament reading told us, “have a great time with your life and live it up to the full, but know that in the end you will have to give an account of your life to God. Well the Scriptures tell us of two places after death that we can reside in. One is called heaven, and the other is called hell. Now hell is a place of pain, of torture, of suffering, of misery and agony forever. It is a place without hope and without God. It does not seem like a place anybody wants to go. So the easiest way to get rid of people going there, is to get rid of hell altogether.
We are told we should not use fear to get people into the church. We should not make people afraid of God. So we made fun of hell. The devil became a cartoon character with horns, a pitchfork and red suit. His demons became little fat like ghost creatures. People started saying things like, “I wanna go to hell because that’s where all my friends will be.” People didn’t want to tell others about Jesus, so they said, “no way would a loving God send anybody to hell.”
At first we started saying only the very wicked would go to hell. There was something inside of us that said, “you might have gotten away with what you did here, but God is going to get you back for all the people you slaughtered.” But then, we started restricting entry into hell for only the worst of the worse, and finally we barred anybody from having to go to hell. We have a society that says it does not matter what you believe so long as you are sincere in your beliefs. There are even those who believe that the devil himself will eventually make it back to heaven.
So today we have everybody going to heaven. Are we better off without hell in our society? Has no hell made us a better society. Today we have youth and adults believing they can kill people, then turn the gun on themselves, and immediately start floating on clouds in heaven. If they knew on the other side of the gun blast was a trip to hell, would they act so mercilessly to others. Would they be so eager to die? People actually believe they can do anything they want, including abusing and killing others without having to answer to anyone. Do you really think a God who is love and who is just is not going to hold us accountable for our actions.