Summary: God is sowing His Word in human hearts and looking for fruit. He is sowing His people in the world where they can produce a harvest. At the end of the age, He will separate the true from the false and the good from the bad.
You Can Escape the Horrors of a Place Called Hell
God is sowing His Word in human hearts and looking for fruit. He is sowing His people in the world where they can produce a harvest. At the end of the age, He will separate the true from the false and the good from the bad.
The reference here, in the verses that we are going to study, is to the end of the world. It is then, and not until then, that there will be this dividing. The wicked will be separated from the righteous. It is the angels of heaven that will sever the wicked from among the just. They will be able to distinguish those that are His, because their commission and instructions will be from the one who knows all men; and particularly knows those that are His and those who are not.
Our text is Matthew 13:49-51 (NCV):
49 It will be this way at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the evil people from the good people.
50 The angels will throw the evil people into the blazing furnace, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.”
51 Jesus asked his followers, “Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes, we understand.”
Jesus wanted to know if His disciples understood what he just said. It was important that they understood; and we should too.
We are told to rightly divide the Word. We are told to study to show ourselves approved. We are told to be ready to give an answer to any man that asks. So we need to know and understand the word of God. Therefore, let’s look closely at what Jesus is teaching about hell.
You do not hear many sermons about hell, because it is one of the most neglected doctrines in all of scripture. When hell is mentioned today, it is usually ridiculed, as if the whole idea of hell is so old-fashioned that only the naïve and ignorant would really believe that such a place actually exists. People don’t want to talk about hell, because they don’t like the idea of being held accountable for their sins. The mind will throw up objection after objection to the thought that there is a holy God, who hates sin, and who will judge sin. However, it doesn’t do any good to ignore what the Bible teaches about hell, and it doesn’t do any good when some religious leaders attack the doctrine; the objections of the foolish will not do away with hell.
Jesus described hell as a place of punishment.
Let’s see why hell is a necessary place.
First, hell is a place where God will deal righteously with the Devil.
In John 8:44, it says of him, “The Devil was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” And in Matthew 25:41 we are told that, “Everlasting fire was prepared for the Devil and his angels.”
Second, hell is where God will deal righteously with the dammed.
It says in John 5:29, “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” Hell was created for the Devil and his angels, but when man fell, he also became subject to eternal judgment; therefore the wicked also go to hell. But listen! God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. It says in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
But on the other side of the coin, the Devil wants everyone to go to hell. John 10:10 says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” But very sadly, man will sentence himself to hell. Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” And then in Matthew 25:41 we read, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
We have seen why hell is a necessary place, so now, let’s look at what hell will be like.
First, it’s a place filled with unimaginable fear. Jesus made that clear, when He repeatedly spoke about outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.