Posts Tagged ‘Hell


The Outcome

One of the hardest things about which to preach and teach is the topic of hell. We don’t like thinking about it and we don’t like talking about it. But God’s Word talks about it and warns us that hell is real. Peter wrote:

For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” – 1 Peter 4:17-18 (NIV)

Jesus said that the road to eternal life is narrow and the gate to enter Heaven is small. The road that leads to destruction is broad and the gate is wide. In other words, few find eternal life and many are on their way to destruction. So what are followers of Christ to do? We have to sound the warning! Just because hell is real, and it is, doesn’t mean that anyone has to go there! We can warn those who are doomed that they need to fully obey the Gospel of God. We don’t do it arrogantly or with condemnation in our hearts. We’re no better for we were once on the road to destruction. We must quickly warn them out of love and compassion because Christ will return and then it will be too late.

Don’t Be Jealous Of Sinners

It’s hard to watch the wicked prosper. Especially when you are trying to do the right things and live your life for Jesus. When those who do not fear the Lord seem to get ahead, it’s just not fair. Why do they have so many blessings and we just struggle? Solomon said this:

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.

18 There is surely a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off. – Proverbs 23:17-18 (NIV)

Pastor and author Randy Alcorn said this:

“The best of life on Earth is a glimpse of Heaven; the worst of life is a glimpse of Hell. For Christians, this present life is the closest they will come to Hell. For unbelievers, it is the closest they will come to Heaven.”

Remember that God has promised you a future in Heaven with Him. The best things in this life cannot compare with the future God has prepared for you. This life is brief and Heaven is eternal. Stay faithful to Jesus for your hope is secure in Him. Better days are coming…

We Were All There

Paul, addressing the Colossian believers, reminds them that they used to live like those who were not believers.

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. – Colossians 3:7 (NIV)

One of the things that should irk us as followers of Jesus is when we, along with other Christians forget that we were once sinful wretches. We were all there. We were all once doomed to suffer God’s wrath. When we received God’s gracious gift of salvation, it didn’t make us better than anyone else. It changed our status in God’s sight. This wasn’t because we were so special. It is because God is so good. It is because of God, not because of us. We were all sinners doomed to hell. Now we are forgiven sinners bound for Heaven. Let us not look down on those who have yet to receive God’s grace with arrogance and derision. Instead, let us see them with compassion and love. It is not our job to judge and condemn the world. It is our job to share the grace and love that found us.

The Fields Are Ripe For A Harvest

John 4:31-38 (NIV)

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

The fields are still ripe for a harvest. There are over 7 billion people on this planet and over 300 million people in this country. Many of these people have yet to hear the good news about Jesus and His love. Many of these people have no clue about the God who sent His one and only Son to die for our sins. Many of these people have no idea that they’ll spend eternity separated from God in Hell. How can this be? How can we sit idly by and let this happen? How can we pretend that it’s no big deal? It is a big deal! We need to take this so seriously!
Jesus has done the hard work. He has done everything it takes to save us. We cannot add anything to the good news of the Gospel. We must simply proclaim it to the world. Jesus suffered and died for our sins. God the Father raised Him from the dead on the third day, just as Jesus said He would. Jesus ascended into Heaven and will one day return to bring an end to history. He will judge the living and the dead. He will bring His own into His Kingdom and those He does not know will be sent away to eternal punishment.
This is not a game. This is not a joke. Billions of people are destined for destruction. As followers of Jesus, we must show them in word and deed that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We must get out into the harvest fields and love people into the family of God. So let’s get out of our pews and into the fields for they are ripe for harvest.
PRAYER: Father God, give Your people a heart for those who are lost. We know that Your heart beats for those who are far from You. May we get out of our buildings and into the fields to reap a great harvest for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ saving name, amen.

Do We Care?

John 4:15-18 (NIV)

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. He had broken societal and religious customs by even approaching her and having this conversation with her. As awkward as this was, things were about to get really uncomfortable. Jesus spoke with her about living water. She thought He was referring to physical water. Jesus was talking about water that would quench a thirsty soul. She wants the water Jesus offers, so He tells her to go get her husband and come back to Him. That’s when the truth comes out. She’s drawing water from the well in the heat of the day because she’s been ostracized from the community. She’s not only been married five times previously, but now she’s living with a man who is not her husband. It seems that this is a woman who is desperate to be loved. She’s been looking for love in all of the wrong places. That’s when God’s ultimate expression of His love shows up.
Jesus does not make her feel ashamed. He does not berate her for her sinful lifestyle. He knew all about her past as He spoke to her in the present. He was really more concerned about her future. He knew about her when He spotted her at the well drawing water. Yet He went to her anyway. He came to seek and to save the lost. He didn’t wait for her to come to Him. He went to her.
He wants to do the same thing through His church today. We should be out meeting people where they are. Peoples’ pasts don’t matter. God can forgive the past. We should be primarily concerned with their futures. God doesn’t expect them to clean up their act before they come to Him. They can’t. Only He can clean up our act through His Holy Spirit. Let’s get off of our high horses and stop looking down on people. Let’s see them as people for whom Jesus died. Let’s see them as people whom Jesus loves. Strike up that conversation with someone who matters to God so that they’ll know that they matter to Him. Heaven and Hell are on the line. Do we truly care about where people spend eternity? Jesus does and so should we.
PRAYER: Father God, I want a heart that beats for the lost as Your heart beats for the lost. Thank You for sending Jesus to seek and to save the lost. Thank You for saving me. Help me to share the good news of Jesus with someone today.  In His saving name, amen.

Do Not Condemn

John 3:16-18 (NIV)

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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Perhaps the most famous words of Scripture are found in John 3:16. Words that are slightly less well known are found in verses 17-18. Jesus was talking with Nicodemus and He tells him that those who put their faith and trust in Jesus will have the gift of eternal life. That’s why Jesus came. He came to seek and to save the lost. He did not come to condemn anyone to Hell. He came to give eternal life. Yet, there is a statement of condemnation in verse 18. Those who do not believe in Jesus are condemned.
I find it interesting that some in Christ’s church are quick to condemn people to Hell. They’re taking it upon themselves to do something that not even Jesus would do. If Jesus wouldn’t condemn people, then why do some Christians believe that it is their job? Jesus came to save the world. That’s the good news of the Gospel! Yet some of His representatives only focus on the bad news of condemnation. Yes, we must warn people about verse 18, but I do not believe that our job is to tell people that they’re going to Hell. Our job is to tell people how to get to Heaven – you must be born again.
So when you are tempted to condemn someone to Hell, please remember that not even the Son of God took that job upon Himself. He laid down His life to keep people out of Hell and to get them into Heaven. Let’s tell people the good news of Jesus and His love and grace and do everything we can to keep them out of Hell.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for rescuing me from an eternity separated from You in Hell. Thank You for sending Jesus, not to condemn the world in judgment, but to save the world through His death and resurrection. Help me to be an ambassador for You today so that someone may hear the good news and begin a journey of faith that leads them to their heavenly home. Amen.

Loving The Antichrists

1 John 2:18-23 (NIV)

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

According to John, if you’re not for Jesus, you’re against Him.  There were some false teachers in the early church who left their faith and denied that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.  They fell for a lie straight from the enemy.  To deny the Truth that Jesus is the Son of God is to believe a lie.  To perpetuate that lie and to teach that Jesus is anything other than the Son of God, the promised Savior of the world is to be an antichrist.

The scary thing is that our world is full of antichrists.  There are many who stand opposed to Jesus.  Paul wrote in Philippians 3:18 (NIV) that “many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.”  There are many people who do many good things in our world.  They create beauty and do kind things to help people.  They rescue animals and recycle and love their families.  They don’t cheat on their taxes or their spouses and they give to charity.  But they don’t know Jesus.  They don’t love Jesus.  They don’t believe in Jesus.  They deny Jesus.  They aren’t going to Heaven.  It’s not because they’re not nice.  It’s because they don’t know Jesus.

This is why it is so extremely important that followers of Christ lovingly share the Gospel with the antichrists of our world.  No one has to go to Hell!  God’s deepest desire is for everyone to go to Heaven.  That’s why He sent His Son!  He sacrificed His own Son on a Roman cross to save us from an eternity separated from God in Hell.  Jesus took the punishment that we deserve.  He gave up His life as a perfect human sacrifice to satisfy the wrath of God and rescue us from Hell.  We’ve got to tell people the good news of Jesus and His love.  We have to demonstrate and show His love to a world full of antichrists.  It is their only hope.

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, give me an opportunity to share my faith with someone today.  Help me to see that opportunity and to seize it.  Thank You for saving me through Jesus.  Amen.

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