You may have seen the clip of Kent State linebacker (Andre Parker) running 58 yards in the wrong direction. What amazed me was that the opposing team chased him as he ran the wrong way, and they tackled him. I can’t believe that they too were disorientated, and suspect that they may have been embarrassed by what he was doing, and wanted to take him out as soon as possible.
(Here is a link to the whole story)
This world is running in the wrong direction too. But this is no game. They are heading for Hell, and we are to do more than say that they need to turn around. We must run after them and tackle them, because we care and we don’t want to see people burn in hell with the devil for a companion, for ever and ever, when the alternative is in Heaven with Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Edwards in 1741 during the height of the Great Awakening. Wrote this in his book,
“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.'”
Edwards proclaimed, “O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: ‘Tis a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you as against many of the damned in hell.”
There is only one of two places in eternity that we can go: Heaven or Hell. Each one of us will be placed in one of these two places on Judgment Day to be there forever and ever. Jesus Christ Our Lord is speaking of eternity in Matthew 25:46 says,
“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life”.
Notice that the duration of the lost in Hell is exactly the same as the duration of the saved in Heaven, “forever and ever”. It is hard for us as mortals to grasp how long eternity will be, but after we have been there a billion years, eternity will have just begun.
According to the U. S. News & World Report, January 31, 2000, 36% of people do not believe in Hell.
But Hell is a real place. To say there is no Hell is to make God a liar. “Let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
Satan does not want you to believe in Hell. Satan is accomplishing his purpose since there is very seldom any teaching on Hell today. It is not a “politically correct” subject. A person who does not believe Hell is real will most likely go there. Ignoring or scoffing at Hell will not do away with it. Hell is eternal according to God’s Word.
We do not like to think about eternal punishment. But it evidently must be very important or God would not have told us about it. Let’s first consider what the Lord says about eternal punishment of Hell and then we will turn our attention to the alternative, Heaven.
Jesus spoke as much about the eternal punishment of Hell as He did any other subject. He took our punishment and gave His life to keep us out of Hell. In His attempt to persuade us not to go to Hell, He has given us numerous warnings in His word.
Our Lord in describing how horrible that Hell will be for the many who will end up going there, Jesus says in Matthew 13:42, “And will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth”.
This definitely will be a horrible and terrible place beyond description. Jesus says in Mark 9:43-48 concerning those who are lost, that they will be “cast into Hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched: where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched”.
Jesus tells us if there is anything in our life that is going to cause us to be lost, to correct it or to get rid of it now. Notice Jesus says a person is cast or thrown into Hell. The worm is a flesh-eating maggot that does not die, but will continuously feed forever and ever on the lost in Hell.
In Hell, one is burning over every square inch of his body and even all on the inside but is never consumed. The continuous fire and the worms will never accomplish the annihilation of any person who is lost.
The lost in Hell will prefer to cease their existence, but they cannot.
Their perpetual nightmare of torment will continue forever and ever. It will never cease. The lost “shall be tormented with fire and brimstone…and the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night” (Revelation 14:10-11).
The occupants of Hell will never know relief or rest from their torment. Hell is such a horrible place. Hell is not a fictitious place, it is real.
There will be no reprieve or appeal to a higher court, because we will have been judged by the highest. The Lord is trying to get our attention and to give us fair warning. He is pleading with us not to go there because He has already paid our price and taken the punishment for our sins on The Cross. But we make the choice. The choice is ours. We will bear the responsibility and the consequences.
One of the many warnings Jesus gives us is the true account of the rich man and Lazarus. “There was a certain rich man” and “there was a certain beggar named Lazarus”. [The rich man was lost],“And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, son remember…and besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us” (Luke 16:19-20, 23-26).
Notice it says there was a certain rich man and a certain beggar named Lazarus. This is not a fictitious fairy tale. In Hell people will be in continual unceasing torment and pain in which all will be constantly pleading for mercy. With their unquenchable thirst they will beg for even one drop of water, but they will not receive it. How much relief and how long would one drop of water last on the tongue of those who are being eternally tormented in the burning fires of Hell? It would not last even one second. We must wake
and heed our Lord’s warning. Their desperate and hopeless state is permanent where they will remain eternally. They are condemned there forever. In Hell people are conscious and will see, feel, wail, and remember as they endure the continual intense pain and suffering.
The many who end up in eternal punishment will not be there alone.
The lost in hell will have company. Revelation 20:10 says, “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever”.
Not very good company to be in. Notice that the torment goes on “day and night forever and ever”.
There are many people who scoff at the idea of eternal punishment, but they are scoffing at what God says. The fire will burn forever and those who are lost will be there in the fire for eternity whether they want to believe it or not. In eternity their scoffing will quickly change to weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. We must take what our Lord says in the Bible seriously. Hell is real! There is no way for the horrors of Hell to be adequately described in human language. Many people do not realize the danger of eternally losing their souls.This is a very serious situation!
Those lost in Hell will be those “whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (2 Peter 2:17).
Those in Hell will attempt to find God,
“Then they will call on Me, but I will not answer; they will seek Me diligently, but they will not find Me” (Proverbs 1:28).
They will not be able to forget their rejection of God. There will be no atheists in Hell, because all those in Hell will believe that there really is a God, but it will be too late then.
“The Lord knows how to…reserve the unjust under punishment for the Day of Judgment” (2 Peter 2:9).
Hell must be avoided at all costs. No one can begin to exaggerate how horrible Hell is going to be. Its misery and anguish is beyond description. It will never, never, never, ever end.
We are being warned, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31)
“Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord we persuade men”
(2 Corinthians 5:11).
We must make sure we don’t end up in Hell, and we must warn other people who will listen.
We “must be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10).
Jesus has promised, “Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
Anyone who ends up in Hell will only have himself to blame.
In Hell there will be billions of people crying out in indescribable pain and agony for which there will be no relief or hope that things will ever get better. There will be haunting memories of all the opportunities of salvation that they passed up. Eternity is forever and has no end.
There will be no opportunity for second chances. Hell is eternal, final, and irrevocable.
We read in Revelation 14:11, “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever, and they have no rest day or night.”
But reading further we see in Revelation 20:15, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire”.
It is imperative that our name be found in the Book of Life. Is your name in that book?
Do you know for sure, or are you making a wishful assumption? It will be too late on the Day of Judgment to find out that your name is not there.
Now The Good News… Heaven !
Now let us turn our attention to something more pleasant, Heaven.
Our Lord says in John 14:2-3, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”.
Heaven will be a very wonderful place. For the few who go there it will be beyond their wildest dreams and they will be totally surprised and amazed.
As we read in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
There is no way that the glories of Heaven can be adequately described to us mortal human beings. The only way will be to see it.
Heaven will be the very opposite of eternal punishment. Revelation 21:4 says, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away”.
There will be no weeping, and no wailing, and no gnashing of teeth as will be happening in eternal torment of hell.
But there will forever and ever be nothing but joy, and peace, and happiness, beyond description. What a wonderful place Heaven will be.
But again, the choice is ours.
We cannot escape the consequences if we make the wrong choice.
We will not accidentally end up in Heaven. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people.
Our Lord says in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.”
Going to Heaven has got to be our number one goal in this life. We must want to go to Heaven more than anything else.
Let us save men by all the means under Heaven; let us prevent men going down to hell. We are not half as earnest as we ought to be. Do you remember the young man, who, when he was dying, said to his brother,
“My brother, how could you have been so indifferent to my soul as you have been?”
He answered, “I have not been indifferent to your soul, I have frequently spoken to you about it.”
“Oh, yes!” he said, “you spoke; but somehow, I think, if you had remembered that I was going down to Hell, you would have been more earnest with me; you would have wept over me, and, as my brother, you would not have allowed me to be lost.”
Let no one say this about us.
We often take the words of Jesus for granted. Take for instance Jesus said,
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”(Luke 21:33)
Jesus said that just after He listed what we commonly call “the signs of the times.”
Jesus spoke about things that would come to pass 2,000 years after He said them. Jesus, with 100 percent accuracy, predicted the future.
Modern science struggles to accurately predict tomorrows weather. He also said that heaven and earth would pass away before His words passed away.
Try saying something profound today and see if people remember it tomorrow, let alone 2,000 years latter. The words of Jesus are without precedent, without comparison, without the scope of human foundation because Jesus was no ordinary Man. He was God in human form, our Lord, Savior, and coming King.
Receive Jesus Today is my plea, go to Heaven and be with Jesus for eternity. Leave hell to the devil and his angels. Flee the wrath to come and run into the arms of The Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at The foot of His Cross. Repent and confess your sins to Him for Jesus will abundantly pardon. In Jesus Name, Is my prayer, Amen.