Is hell for real - Part 2

SERMON TOPIC: Is hell for real - Part 2

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 19 March 2023

Topic Groups: HELL, JUDGEMENT

Sermon synopsis: According to a Pew Research Center (2021) survey of US adults:
62% believe in hell. 73% believe in heaven. Of those who believe in heaven, over half (53%) believe that someone who does not believe in God can go to heaven.

But when he was surveyed, Jesus differs on this point:
Matt (NIV) 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
Matt 23:33 (NIV) Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?


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FEEL GOOD PREACHING

Much preaching today is just motivational speaking covered over with Christian language. It's mostly a “make people feel good” and “talk about things that are positive” type preaching.

For that reason; sin, hell, and judgment are almost entirely never ever spoken about.

IS HELL FOR REAL?

STATISTICS

According to a Pew Research Center (2021) survey of US adults:

62% believe in hell

While roughly nine-in-ten Protestants in the evangelical and historically Black traditions believe in hell, only about seven-in-ten mainline Protestants (69%) and 74% of Catholics share this belief.

73% believe in heaven

Of those who believe in heaven, over half (53%) believe that someone who does not believe in God can go to heaven.

Followers of false (legalist) religions

But when he was surveyed, Jesus differs on this point:

Matt (NIV) 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

Mark 12:40 (NIV) who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.

Matt 23:33 (NIV) Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?

WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT HELL?

Jesus talked about hell more than anyone else in the Bible. Rather than being figurative or symbolic, he taught that it is a real place where some will spend eternity. He used vivid imagery such as fire, outer darkness, agony, thirst, separation from God, moral remorse, along with the consciousness that one deserves what they’re getting.

WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT HELL?

Words translated as “hell” in English Bibles include:

Hades (the interim dwelling place for the wicked dead)

Gehēnna (the final Lake of Fire).

Tartarus (the abode of the fallen “Watcher” angels of Genesis 6.) Most English Bible translations render the word Tartarus as hell in the following verse:

2 Pet 2:4 (HCSB) For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned but threw them down into Tartarus [tartarōsas] and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment

A PLACE TO BE FEARED

We saw that according to the Bible – and Jesus in particular - hell is a place:

that is real

to be feared

of torment and fire

of sorrow and regret

of darkness and loneliness

of finality

where there is separation from God

where there is eternal punishment

WHO WILL BE THERE?

Isaiah 14:12-15 (KJV) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, … For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven … Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell (Sheol) … (KJV)

Matt 25:41 (NIV) “.. Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Rev 20:10 (NIV) And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur ...

Satan

Fallen angels

2 Pet 2:4 (NIV) For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell (tartarus), putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.

Fallen angels

Rev 9:2-11 (NIV) When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace … They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).

Demons

Luke 8:30-31 (NIV) Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

The Antichrist and the False Prophet

Rev 19:20 (NASB) And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

Those who follow the Antichrist

Rev 14:11 (NIV) And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.

Jude 14-15 (NIV) Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

The ungodly who speak harsh words against God.

Those who do not believe the gospel

Mark 16:15-16 (NIV) He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Rev 21:8 (NIV) But … the unbelieving… their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

A believer was on a plane reading her Bible. The man sitting next to her mockingly asked if she really believed the Bible.

"Yes“, she replied.

“Even the Jonah and the whale story?”

“Yes” she politely replied again.

Those who do not believe the gospel

“How is that even possible?” he sneered.

“I don't know, but I’ll ask Jonah when I get to heaven.”

“What if Jonah isn’t in heaven?”

“Well, then I guess you’ll have to ask him.”

Sinners

Mark 9:43 (NIV) If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched.

But “all have sinned” (Rom 3:23). Thus Jesus says that “unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3, NIV)

The sexually perverse

Jude 7 (NIV) In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

Rev 21:8 (NIV) But … the sexually immoral… their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

Drunkards, revelers & brawlers

Isa 5:11-14 (NASB) Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, Who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them! Their banquets are accompanied by lyre and harp, by tambourine and flute, and by wine; But they do not pay attention to the deeds of the LORD, Nor do they consider the work of His hands… Therefore Sheol has enlarged its throat and opened its mouth without measure; And Jerusalem’s splendor, her multitude, her din of revelry and the jubilant within her, descend into it.

Liars, murderers, occultists, pagans etc

Rev 21:8 (NIV) But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Self-seeking Rejecters Of Truth

Rom 2:6-8 (NIV) God ‘will give to each person according to what he has done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

Of the New Jerusalem, John writes:

Rev 21:15 (NIV) Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Rev 21:27 (NIV) Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

All the impure

Those who murder God’s prophets

Matt 23:29-33 (NIV) “You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”

But Jesus raise the bar somewhat on issues like adultery and murder:

Matt 5:21-22 (NIV) “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment …”

Those who hate and are verbally abusive

Matt 5:22 (NIV) “… Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ * is answerable to the Sanhedrin.

But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

* Raca was a derogatory expression in Aramaic meaning “empty-headed,” insinuating a person's stupidity or inferiority.

Those who are verbally abusive

Those who are lustful

Matt 5:27-29 (NIV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

Matt 18:6-8 (NIV) “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin!

Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.”

Those who cause others to lose their faith

Materialists

Luke 12:16-19 (NIV) And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

Luke 12:20-21 (NIV) “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Those unconcerned about the suffering of others

The rich man in Luke 16 lived in luxury but was unconcerned about the sick, starving beggar at his gate.

Luke 16:20 (NIV) At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table.

Luke 16:22-23 (NIV) The rich man also died and was buried. In hell (Hades), where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.

Those unconcerned about the suffering of others

Matt 25:41-46 (NIV) “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Fake Christians

In the parable of the tares, a farmer sowed his field with wheat seeds.

An enemy maliciously over-sowed the same field with tare seed - a bad ‘counterfeit’ seed.

Tares may be bearded darnel, a weed similar to rye grass.

Since both wheat and tares are in the grass family, they look similar shortly after germination. But as soon as the wheat begins to form grains, the difference becomes very obvious.

Known by the scientific name “lolium temulentum” the seed is not poisonous but it is often infected by a fungus which is very toxic. If eaten by humans or animals, it will cause dizziness, vomiting and sometimes even death.

Fake Christians

Tares are difficult to distinguish from genuine wheat (until harvest time), so the difference is often subtle. However, as we have noted, they are poisonous and can cause sickness or death.

Fake Christians

The servants wanted to pull the tares out because they sap nutrients and are vulnerable to parasites. But the farmer wisely forbade this.

Although the true sower (Jesus) and his servants (angels) are aware of this counterfeit seed, this condition is permitted to continue until the end of the age (the harvest).

Fake Christians

The solution was to wait until harvest time and then separate them, storing the wheat and burning the tares (symbolic of hell).

Matt 13:40 (NIV) Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.

Those who have no relationship with Jesus

Matt 7:21-23 (NIV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

James 2:19 (NIV) You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder.

Those who hear but do not respond to the preaching of the gospel

Matt 11:23 (NIV) And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Those who are ashamed of Jesus

Matt 10:28-33 (NIV) “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell… Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”

Those who deliberately keep on sinning after they know the truth

Heb 10:26-29 (NIV) If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Matt 25:30 (NIV) “And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Those servants who do not do God’s will

Hypocrites

Matt 24:48-51 (NIV) “But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Unrepentant backsliders

Those who do not remain in Christ

John 15:6 (ESV) If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

Those who follow the crowd and popular opinion of the day

Matt 7:13 (NIV) Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

Rev 20:11-15 (NIV) Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. … The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Anyone whose name is not in the Book of Life

WILL EXCEPTIONS BE MADE?

2 Pet 2:4-9 (NIV) For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment …

WILL EXCEPTIONS BE MADE?

… if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others …

WILL EXCEPTIONS BE MADE?

… if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly …

… if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.

WILL EXCEPTIONS BE MADE?

Prov 11:21 (NIV) Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished …

Isaiah 13:11 (NIV) I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.

John 5:28-29 (NIV) Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out - those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.

GOD WISHES ALL TO BE SAVED

2 Pet 3:9 (NIV) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

So if God wishes all to be saved, why will many perish?

Rom 6:23 (NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s gift of salvation is free, but you have the choice to accept it or not.

YOUR CHOICE

The Bible says that God prepared hell for the devil and his demonic cohorts (Matthew 25:41), that He is “...not wishing for any [person] to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9), and that He has done everything possible to save us from that terrible, terrible place. Yet in the end God will not violate or overrule the deliberate choice of those who consciously and willfully turn away from Him. (Daryl E. Witmer)

I DON’T NEED ANYONE

CNN’s founder Ted Turner once told a group of broadcasters, “Your delegates to the United Nations are not as important as the people [broadcasters] in this room. We are the ones who determine what the people’s attitudes are. It’s in our hands.” *

“Christianity is a religion of losers,” Turner told the Dallas Morning News in a 1989 interview. Referring to Christ’s death on the cross, he said, “I don't want anybody to die for me. I’ve had a few drinks and a few girlfriends, and if that’s gonna put me in hell, then so be it.” *

* NOTE: In a 2008 MSNBC interview, Turner stated that he no longer considers himself atheist or agnostic.

C. S. LEWIS

Former atheist C. S Lewis (1898–1963) was a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien (who wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), and both were leading figures in the English faculty at Oxford University.

Owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at the age of 32, Lewis converted to Christianity and became a renowned Christian apologist.

Lewis's works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies over the years. He is known for his books, especially “The Screwtape Letters”, “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Mere Christianity”.

Lewis said, “I willingly believe that the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside. All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”

YOUR CHOICE

YOUR CHOICE

Years ago, a book was published entitled “Looking Out for Number One.” On the dedication page the author wrote, “Dedicated to the hope that somewhere in our universe there exists a civilization where the inhabitants possess sole dominion over their own lives.” *

There is such a place. It's called Hell. *

* http:// sermonillustrations.com/ a-z/ h/ hell.htm

YOUR CHOICE

Hell is the greatest compliment God has ever paid to the dignity of human freedom. ~ G.K. Chesterton.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned

Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18)

YOUR CHOICE

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:36, NIV)

AUTHOR: Gavin Paynter

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COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of http:// sweetpublishing.com & http:// www.freebibleimages.org

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation; Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




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