Thursday, December 8, 2011

Is Hell Real?

My flippant remark about Hell

When I was a teenager and did not know the Lord, I heard frequently the words, Go to Hell . My flippant and even blasphemous remark was, I got kicked out for selling ice cream cones. I had been taught the idea of a real hell in my church and from my parents but suppressed that teaching. After my conversion, I have come to know through the Holy Spirit and the word of God that hell is real and not everyone will be saved. Our Lord Jesus said, Enter through the narrow gate ; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction,and there are many who enter through it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (NKJV Matthew 7:13,14)

Without the wrath of God and the existence of a real hell we would not need a Savior. God's love won for us eternal salvation. The Father planned it, the Son executed it and the Spirit applies it.

Associated Press article - hell unpopular, it is not user friendly.

I copied an article some years ago from our local newspaper written by an Associated Press writer. The title was “Hell’s Fires Growing Cold among Americans.” The writer states,
The long running crusade by liberal Christians and Universalists against the eternal punishment idea seems to be getting somewhere. Religious observers say preachers increasingly avoid mentioning hell. And polls indicate increasing numbers of people don’t believe in such a place.
Why is this so? It is because hell is not a user friendly term. People are afraid of hell and they don’t want to hear about it.

Paul's exhortation to Timothy

This phenomena is spoken of in 2 Timothy 4:3-5,
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
We may contrast today’s “no hell preachers” with the honesty of the great English puritan/ preacher, Thomas Brooks. In his series of sermons “Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices,” he preaches about those who die without Jesus Christ;
But this is not all; thou shalt not be only shut out of heaven, but shut up in hell forever; not only shut out from the presence of God and angels but shut up with devils and damned spirits forever; not only shut out from those sweet, surpassing, inexpressible and everlasting pleasures that be at God’s right hand but shut up forever under those torments that are ceaseless, without remedy and endless.” He then quotes the great preacher Chrysostom; preaching about hell saying, Let us not seek where it is, but how we shall escape it.

Brooks, Mr. Thomas. The Works of Thomas Brooks, “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices”(1861). London: James Nisbet and Company, p.56

Make sure you have sincerely and surely trusted in Jesus Christ who bore the penalty for our sin on the cross to keep us from going to hell and to ensure everlasting life with pleasure and enjoyment.