276 A Horrible Place called Hell
My Sermon today entitled “A Horrible Place called Hell” is an attempt to clarify the Biblical record on the Doctrine of Eternal Separation. Hell is not a state of mind, it is not a vain imagination, it is not a religious threat, … Hell is a place, and
a very real place. Even if you don’t or won’t believe in it, that changes nothing. A blind man may tell you that he does not believe in fire, but light a match under his chin and he will very soon have a change of mind! Whether you believe in it or not, changes nothing, – Hell is real, and Hell is a Horrible Place.
The mention of Hell elicits many different reactions. Some people react with concern and are moved to share Jesus with the lost. Others react with fear and come to Jesus seeking salvation for their own souls. Still others react with hate and revulsion and say that it is not a proper topic for conversation. Some would even seek to deny the existence of Hell. Yet God and Jesus declare Hell to be a very real place. Of the 162 references to Hell in the New Testament, 70 come from Jesus Himself.
When people attempt to deny the doctrine of Hell, there are three basic approaches. These are first …
RATIONALISM: “There is no God, therefore there can be no Hell.”; Charles Darwin said, “This is a damnable doctrine.” But, I say, “Let God be true and every man a liar” Rom. 3:v4
Then there’s the approach of RIDICULE: “There may be a God, but it is silly to speculate about millions of disembodied spirits frying in a lake of fire somewhere.” Or, “This is the twenty first century, wake up!”.
Some have said that, “The idea of Hell was born of revenge and brutality on the one side, and cowardice on the other. They have no respect for any man who preaches it! They dislike the doctrine, hate it, despise it and defy this doctrine.”
But I repeat – “Let God be true“!
Then there is the RELIGIOUS approach …”There is a God, but He is a God of love and therefore He would not and could not send anyone to Hell.” A theologian by the name of Bertrand Russell said, “I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly human can believe in everlasting punishment.…
I must say that I think all this doctrine, that hell-fire is a punishment, is a doctrine of cruelty.”
This too is the position of the cults and of liberalism. Christian Science: “Hell is an error of the mortal mind.” Jehovah’s Witnesses: “The wicked will be annihilated.” Mormonism: “All will eventually be saved, and not suffer eternal punishment.” Seventh-day Adventists: “God will someday blot out all sin and sinners, and establish a clean universe once again.” Man may try to use religion as a soapbox to preach that Hell is a myth, but I say, “Let God be true and every man a liar!” So you can keep on saying that Hell is a lie, but what if it is true?
Like most Preachers, I do not like to preach about it, even to think about it, but Hell is a living reality. If the teachings in the Bible concerning Hell are a myth, then we have no real need for this Broadcast, this Bible I have before me, this Preacher, or any of the things we do. If there is no Hell, then there is no Heaven, and there is no Saviour, because if there is no Hell, He lied to us and therefore He has disqualified Himself.
Let me just add, before I dig into these verses, that this story of the Rich Man and Lazarus from Luke 16, is not a parable!
The rich man who is spoken about in this passage is still in Hell and untold millions more have joined him there. Today, I want to examine this Horrible Place Called Hell. I want us to
get an idea of what Hell is really like.
First of all HELL IS A PLACE OF UNINTERRUPTED CONSCIOUSNESS
When we meet the rich man, he is alive in this world, and he is enjoying his wealth and power. After he experiences death and is buried in verse 22, we see him in Hell. But, he is not dead;
his body is dead, yet he is still very much alive. He is a conscious man who is very aware of his surroundings.
Notice what the rich man is alive to in Hell.
v.23 reveals that People In Hell Can See – The rich man looks at his surroundings through scalding tears. This passage is very graphic; this is a real man in a real place, experiencing real torment. This is a literal man in a literal body in a literal
place called Hell!
And v.27 reveals that People In Hell Can Hear – He Hears the screams of millions of parched throats. Matt. 13:42, says “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” – He hears his fellow sufferers moan, cry, curse and scream.
And People In Hell Can Feel – This passage, like no other in the Bible illustrates for us the pain and suffering that exists in Hell. You see, Hell is not a state of mind! It is a real place, where real souls spend a real eternity in real torment.
Notice a few of the truths the Bible reveals about Hell.
Hell Is A Place Of Punishment
Matt. 25:41, reads, “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:”
Hell Is A Place Of Fire – Luke 16:24
Mark 9:43-44, says “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:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
Hell Is A Place Of Thirst -Luke 16 v.24-25
The rich man longed for just a single drop of water.
Hell Is A Place Of Pain – Luke 16:24,25,28
Rev.14:10-11, “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.”
Then also, Hell Is A Place Of Wrath – In the Old Testament, we read that the prophet Habakkuk cried out for the Lord to remember mercy during a time when His wrath was being poured out, Habakkuk. 3:2. This has always been God’s way! When He destroyed the earth in Genesis 6-8, He extended grace to Noah and his family. He remembered mercy and even placed His rainbow in the clouds to declare His mercy. Even after this world rejected Him, He sent His Son Jesus to die for the sinners any way! That is grace! That is mercy!
The Lamb of God died in your place and mine on the cross, as He did, He demonstrated in perfection the love of God for sinners, Rom. 5:6-8, – but those who reject it, must go to Hell.
Hell is also A Place Of Frustration and Anger
Matt. 24:51, says, “And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Hell Is A Place Of Eternal Separation From God
2 Thes. 1:8-9, “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 from all that is good and decent – Rev. 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Some might say this world is Hell? And sometimes it seems that we go through hell on earth? Although it does get bad here, I can assure you it is far worse there! Some contend that what the Bible says about Hell is purely symbolic? My dear friend, you had better hope not! When the Bible uses symbolic language, it does so to describe things that are indescribable to our human minds. In other words, the reality is far more intense than the symbolic. If what the Bible says about Hell is only symbolic, then Hell is far worse than even the Bible says it is. However, the Bible always uses very clear and plain language where Hell is concerned.
We have seen in v.24 that People In Hell Can Want – The rich man desires water. Apparently, those lost to Hell will still have many of the same wants and desires that they had in this world.
In v.25 People In Hell Can Remember – This poor rich man remembers every witness who ever came to his gate.
He remembers Lazarus lying there. He remembers turning a deaf ear to the pain and plight of Lazarus. He remembers all the opportunities he wasted during life. He remembers that he could have been saved. He remembers that he could have lived for the Lord. He remembers in glaring detail the truth that things did not have to turn out this way. He remembers all his chances
and he realizes that they are gone forever now.
This shows us that contrary to much of the thinking of Psychiatric Medcine, the mind, the brain is not the only source of memory. Remember that this mans brain was dead and the Bible says it was buried in a grave? Yet he remembers …?
for Hell is a place of Memory And Remorse – Luke 16:25. He wanted his brothers spared too – verses 27-31. He experienced regret too! Memories, guilt and remorse – If you think those things are bad here, just imagine what they must be like in Hell!
You see, you still have time here to settle things with your fellow man and with the Lord. You still have opportunities today, but when you arrive in Hell, it will be forever too late. Now
you may be wondering what all this proves? It simply proves that this man is in Hell, but he is alive even in that awful place. Hell is not the end. It is merely the beginning of an endless eternity where the lost experience a living death forever.
Don’t let the world, liberal theology or the Devil himself tell you that Hell is a figment of some preacher’s imagination.
– NO! It is a real place where real people go!
Hell Is A Place Of Uninterrupted Consciousness
HELL IS A PLACE OF UNANSWERED CONCERNS
This man is suddenly concerned about some things that probably never crossed his mind while he was alive. Oh, these things might have briefly crossed his radar from time to time, but he was not concerned enough about any of them to do anything about them.
Now He Is Concerned About Life After Death – He may not have ever given eternity a single thought while he was alive, living in his great house and enjoying his hard earned wealth. Now, and maybe for the first time, he is very conscious and concerned about the facts of life after death.
My dear friends, you need to understand a few things: you are alive today, you will die someday, and after you die, your soul will continue to live for ever in either Heaven or Hell! That’s why you need to come to the Lord while He is still giving you a chance to do so, “seek the Lord while he may be found” Isa 55:6
- 24 reveals that He Is Concerned About Repentance – This man probably never gave his sinful condition any thought at all. He lived like he wanted to live and enjoyed himself to the full. Now he is dead and in Hell and there is a noticeable change in his attitude. He cries out to Abraham and calls him “Father.” It seems that he is interested in making some changes in his life, but of course, it is too late now!
Thoughts of repentance and of dealing with your sins might not enter your mind often. But, I just want to remind you that there will come a day when it will be too late for you to get right with God. There will come a day when you will leave this world and how you stand on that day is how you will enter eternity. Jesus made the issue of repentance very clear in Luke 13:3. “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish“.
v.27-28 reveal that He Is Concerned That Others Miss Hell –
While he was alive, we do not know what kind of relationship this man had with his five brothers. He may have loved them and he may have shared his wealth with them. But, I am almost certain that he never gave a moment’s thought to where they would spend eternity. Now, he is in Hell and he knows they are just like him. He knows that where he is, his brothers will soon be. Now, he is concerned for his brothers, but again, it is too late.
I urge the Church today, I urge you my Brothers and Sisters in Jesus that we must reach the world while there is time! Let us open our mouths and share Jesus with this lost and dying generation. Let us do what we are called to do in the Gospels and go tell the world about a Saviour – who loves them, died for them and will save them; if they will simply trust in Him.
So, … Hell Is A Place Of Uninterrupted Consciousness
And … Hell Is A Place Of Unanswered Concerns
And … HELL IS A PLACE OF UNSHAKABLE CONVICTIONS
Seconds after his death the rich man was convinced of some things that may have been unclear to him before he died.
First of all he realized that Hell Is Real – Many see this passage as merely another “story” from Jesus. But, Jesus never called anyone by name in a parable or story. Here, He called “Lazarus” by his name. Hell is real!
Then he realized that Hell Is Not The Grave – This man knows for sure that Hell is not the grave. He dies and is buried and Immediately, he finds himself in the flames of Hell, verse 23.
He realises that Hell Is Not Annihilation – This man knows that Hell does not spell the end of man’s existence as many would
teach. He knows for sure that the soul lives on forever in Hell, when it dies in an unbelieving state.
He also realises that A Loving God Will Allow Men To Go To Hell – This man now has no doubts that God will allow man to follow his unbelief all the way into Hell, Some people argue that Hell cannot possibly be real, since a loving God will not allow man to go there. Let me remind you that God sends no-one to hell, …Men and Women send themselves to Hell, by refusing
to accept the Saviour, and by rejecting God and his love. Hell or Heaven is your own choice, God will allow you what you choose!
Then he sees that Hell Is Not Purgatory? – (There is no mention of such a place in the Bible). The rich man is convinced that he will remain where he is forever. He asks that Lazarus, and not himself, be sent to witness to his brothers. He knows that he will never be permitted to leave the torments and flames of Hell.
So then … Hell Is A Place Of Uninterrupted Consciousness
Hell Is A Place Of Unanswered Concerns
Hell Is A Place Of Unshakable Convictions
HELL IS A PLACE OF UNENDING CONDEMNATION
There Will Be No More Chances – No more chances in Hell! While he lived, the rich man had the same opportunities that Lazarus had. They both had the testimony of the Law of God,
They both had the revelation of God in creation, They both had light, They both had a choice to make. Apparently, Lazarus chose to place his faith in God, while the rich man embraced unbelief and placed his trust in riches, power and in himself.
Because the rich man chose sin over the Saviour, he is in Hell
and he is in a place where God will never call him again. He will never hear another sermon. He will never hear another song. Never will anyone invite him to a Church. He is forever separated from everything that has to do with God. He has made his choice and his day of opportunity has passed forever.
No more chances.
And There Will Be No More Changes – Just as there will never be another opportunity for the rich man to be saved or rescued, there will never be a change in his experiences of torment. Now, we believe that there will be a change in the location of those in Hell. Right now, the souls in Hell are in a place of torment, Only God knows its location?… Yet at some point in the future they will be called out of their present Hell and they will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ for judgment, Rev. 20:11-15. After they are judged, shown to have rejected the Saviour, they will be sent away into the lake of fire. Their location will change, but their condition will never be changed. They will still be lost. They will still be separated from God and they will still be in eternal torment!
NOW THIS FINAL WORD.
On one occasion Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, the agnostic lecturer of the last century, was going to give an address on HELL. He declared he would prove conclusively that Hell was a wild dream of some scheming theologians who invented it to terrify credulous people. As he was launching into his subject, a half-drunken man arose in the audience and exclaimed, “Make it strong, Bob. There’s a lot of us poor fellows depending on you.
If you are wrong, we are all lost. So be sure you prove it clear
and plain.” No amount of human reasoning can change what God said in His Word. He has spoken as plainly of a Hell for the lost – as He has of a Heaven for those who are saved.
Yet if you are lost, you can be saved today! Here’s how:
Understand that you are a sinner in the sight of the Lord. Understand that God loves you and that Jesus died for you
and rose again from the dead.
Place you faith in Him alone for your salvation. And …
Understand that you can do that very thing right now!
And may God Help you and Bless You as you do.