A Story of Hell

Bible Book: Luke  16 : 19-31
Subject: Soul Winning; Evangelism; Hell; Judgment
INTRODUCTION

The Bible records an account of a rich man and poor man who both die. The poor man goes to heaven and is embraced by Abraham. The rich man dies and suffers in hell, looks across the great divide in heaven and asks for mercy, water, and for someone to warn his family to avoid this place of torment.

In another account, Jesus tells a story of a future time when He separates humanity into two groups: “the sheep and the goats.” He welcomes one group (the sheep) with the phrase, “enter into My peace.” To the others (the goats), He says, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt 25:41)

The Bible so often speaks of the reality of hell.

One of the most difficult questions for Christians is, “How can a good and loving God send someone to hell?”

●God does not send anyone to hell; we go of our own volition as we reject Christ.

●“Christ did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

● Favorite: “I did not need God to condemn me to hell; I am taking care of the hell part on my own. That’s why Jesus came to save me, not condemn me.”

In 2001, 71% of Americans believed in hell. In 2008, 59% of Americans believed in hell.

“Where people who have led bad lives, and die without being sorry, are eternally punished.”

Richard Baxter (Puritan pastor) lived his life from the perspective of both heaven and hell. He directed his church members on, “How to Spend the Day with God.”

“Let God have your first awaking thoughts; lift up your hearts to Him reverently and thankfully for the rest enjoyed the night before and cast yourself upon Him for the day which follows. Familiarize yourself so consistently to this that your conscience may check you when common thoughts shall first intrude. Think of the mercy of a night’s rest and of how many that have spent that night in Hell; how many in prison; how many in cold, hard lodgings; how many suffering from agonizing pains and sickness, weary of their beds and of their lives. Think of how many souls were that night called from their bodies terrifyingly to appear before God and think how quickly days and nights are rolling on! How speedily your last night and day will come! Observe that which is lacking in the preparedness of your soul for such a time and seek it without delay.”

Why I cannot demise to being softer on hell than Jesus and the Scriptures.

It’s eternal. (forever)
It’s a place of pain
It’s a place of fear

His truths are designed to warn, impress upon us, and direct us; like caution lights.

It’s a place of sadness

In Dante’s Divine Comedy, describing the journey of the author through hell and ultimately to heaven. In the Inferno section, he describes the sign above the portal of hell. “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

It’s a place of isolation.

I used to say, “That’s where all my friends will be.”

It’s a place of separation

A FEW GOOD THINGS IN HELL

1. Good People Are In Hell.

According to human standards. The rich man is possibly as moral and caring as I am. He let the man Lazarus sit at his gate and beg. It isn’t if he is better than me or not, but what he did with Jesus.

2. Good Vision is in Hell.

Luke 16:23, “And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

He was able to see what he was missing.

3. Good Prayers are in Hell.

Luke 16:24. "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.'”

“have mercy on me” – if he had sincerely prayed it in this life, he would be saved.

4. Good Memory is in Hell.

Luke 16:25, “But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.’”

Consciousness, memory, and awareness there. Remembering sermons, Christmas stories, Easter, prayers of others for you, tracts, etc.

5. Good Theology is in Hell.

He realizes that God exists. Everyone in hell believes the Bible. They know that Christ is the only way to heaven. All in hell will honor Philippians 2:11, “and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

6. Good Priorities are in Hell.

Luke 16:27-28, "Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'”

Evangelism/witnessing/soul-winning was a priority in hell. This should challenge us. People in hell wishing someone would go to their family to tell them about Christ before it is too late.

“testify to them” – witness

“lest” – warn them

7. Good Intentions are in Hell.

One can reject Christ through outright rebellion, but rejection of the Lord does not have to be active. One can deny and refuse Christ also through apathy, indifference, procrastination, and even ignorance. Some people fully intend to follow the Lord, and one day they plan to do so.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

To Receive Christ:

● Do while you are alive

● While in your right mind

● While the Gospel appeals to you

Lastly, Hell was not prepared for you! Jesus has prepared a place for you.
John 14:1-6, "‘Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except