Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hell: The Hidden Truth

Temple Baptist Church - 8-26-2012
Luke 16:19-31
A. The Earth’s core is app. 11,000 degrees at the center as far as scientists can determine. Little is actually know (though scientists may disagree) about our inner Earth, so fact and fiction often run hand-in-hand. On the Science channel the other day I saw an hour program on the Earth’s mantle and inner core. They showed the molten liquid and told of the intense heat; they showed the inner core which is said to be solid where the most intense heat is but I saw nothing about hell. You see, they cannot see the inner Earth. It is impossible for man to send an instrument into heat that would liquefy the metal immediately so they have to give you their idea of what is there through animation. If they could see the mantle and core, they would see in to hell!
1. Most references to hell, outside of the Bible, are made in a jokingly or nonchalant manner. When I think of the world’s view of hell, I think of the verse that says, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Satan has done a good job of hiding the fact of a literal burning hell and many of his preachers have denied it for years.
2. As saved people, you and I also think little about hell. The reason is this: I’m not going there! Since I got saved, I have not dreamed of hell nor given much thought to it. We need to come back to the reality of hell because sinners are going there.
B. I am sure that the rich man in this story did not spend much time thinking about either hell or eternity and neither did those who attended his funeral. “and was buried.” I often pass our two mortuaries while going into town and see long lines of people waiting to get in to view the deceased and say some words of comfort to the family. While the 3 days of funeral activities are ongoing, the deceased is either in heaven or hell. While the people “buried” the rich man, he “lift” up his eyes in hell, being in torments.” Hell had become an eternal reality! The word “lift” has always caught my attention. If the Bible said “lifted,” then it may have been that the rich man, after a while, dropped his eyes but the word “lift” leads me to believe that his eyes may still be “lift.”
C. The subject of Hell is one that is rarely preached these days. For several reasons:
1. Because of the subject matter: no one likes to think of anyone going to hell. I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. It is not that we do not believe in hell because we know that it is as real as heaven. It is a horrible reality so we do not think of it often.
2. Because of the disturbing nature of the place. Hell needs to be preached upon but it is not my favorite subject. 
3. Because it is one subject that my finite mind cannot fathom. I cannot grasp either heaven or hell. They are subjects that are beyond the realm of human experience with repercussions that cannot be measured.
4. Because many preachers like their “jobs” and preaching on hell is not conducive to longevity in some pulpits. Many people do not believe in hell because God is a God of love. He is also a God of holiness and justice! Preaching on hell is not popular with the masses but is a necessity. Jesus said more about hell than He did heaven!
D. In our text, we find to real people. One is named and one is not. I am glad that I do not know who is saved or lost and do not know the name of this man who died without Christ.
E. I want to look at his place called Hell for a few minutes because we need to keep its reality fresh in our minds. Hell made a soul winner out of the rich man in this chapter and it should make soul winners out of us.
1. Hell is a Real Place. Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Jesus mentioned hell in our passage as a statement of fact. As “In the beginning God” was a truth to be proclaimed, not argued, so was the doctrine of hell. He did not ask us to believe in it, He just stated the fact of its existence.
a. Hell is not the fantasy of some religionist’s mind.
b. Hell is not a fear factor used by preachers to manipulate people.
c. Hell is not something to be joked about or made fun of.
d. Hell is a fact to accept. The One who said, “I am the truth” declared it.
2. Hell is an Eternal Place. Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
a. There is no possible escape.
b. There are no second chances.
c. There is no time limit.
3. Hell is a Terrible Place. Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
1. A lake of fire - Revelation 20:15
2. A bottomless pit - Revelation 20:1
3. A horrible tempest - Psalm 11:6
4. A place of everlasting burning - Isaiah 33:14
5. A furnace of fire - Matthew 13:41, 42
6. A devouring fire - Isaiah 33:14
7. A place of torments - Luke 16:23
8. A place of everlasting punishments - Matthew 25:46
9. A place where people pray - Luke 16:27
10. A place where they cry for mercy - Luke 16:24
11. A place where they wail - Matthew 13:42
12. A place where they curse God - Revelation 16:11
13. A place where they never repent - Matthew 12:32
14. A place of filthiness - Revelation 22:10,11
15. A place of weeping - Matthew 8:12
16. A place of sorrow - Psalm 18:5
17. A place of outer darkness - Matthew 8:12
18. A place of where they have no rest - Revelation 14:11
19. A place where they gnaw their tongues - Revelation 16:10
20. A place of blackness and darkness forever - Jude 13
21. A place where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched - Mark 9:48
22. A place where they are tormented with brimstone - Revelation 14:10
23. A place from which the smoke of their torments ascendeth up forever - Revelation 14:11
24. A place where they do not want their loved ones to come - Luke 16:28
4. Hell is an incomprehensible place but our lack of comprehension does not detract from its reality and ignoring its fact will not make it go away. Someone once said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I am glad that I will not have to go there but hell’s reality should be a motivating factor in all of our lives. Family, friends, acquaintances, and a multitude of people we will never meet are heading in the same direction as the rich man in Luke 16.
5. Hell is a Place to be Shunned. Mark 9:43-48 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: (44) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (45) And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: (46) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (47) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: (48) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

1 comment:

Rob Westbrook said...

Looks like God wanted hell emphasized today. I preached the same subject this morning. Thanks for sharing the sermon outline.