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Luke 16:19-31 THE TRUTH ABOUT HELL
Intro: I praise God for the modern world in which we live. Just think of the conveniences and gadgets that we have to make our lives easier. Imagine what life would be like if you had none of the wonderful things that accompany our modern world. This world is a wonderful place, and this is a wonderful time to be alive, but along with the blessings that we have and the things that we enjoy here, there are some things in our modern world that are anything but good. One of the worse things that has come about in the modern world is skepticism concerning the things of God, especially those things written in the Bible. Many in our day have no confidence in the truth of the Word of God. Be that as it may, the Bible is still Gods word, it is still divinely inspired and it is still believable in every aspect.
Perhaps no other teaching has received more doubt that the one I have read about today, the doctrine of Hell. If someone still believes in Hell, they are called old-fashioned, out of touch, out of step with reality, foolish and ignorant. Many, appealing to rationality and reason, tell us that the concept of an eternal hell where sinners burn forever is ludicrous and demeaning. Others appealing to the nature of God will say that it flies in the face of everything God is to teach that He will consign some people to Hell. Still others turning to religion tell us that man is capable of redeeming himself and therefore, every man is working out his own heaven and there will be hell for no one. The cultists, without exception, have all concocted a plan whereby they, and their followers, can escape eternal damnation and live joyfully in a better world. Even those who reject their plan will either be totally annihilated or will ultimately be saved. That sounds pretty good, but it is a lie!
This morning, I am not concerned with what you believe about Hell. I am not concerned with what the world believes about Hell. I am not concerned even with what I believe about Hell. Our focus today will be this, "What does God believe about Hell?" Because in the end, it wont matter what any of us think about it, the Scriptures will be proven correct and every philosophy and opinion of man will perish.
Therefore, this morning, as God gives liberty, we are going to discuss The Truth About Hell. If you are going there, this is your wake up call, and your opportunity to do something about it. If you are saved, this is a reminder that billions are Hell bound as we speak. Here is the truth about Hell.
I. v. 23, 28 HELL IS A REAL PLACE
A. This text treats Hell as being as real as any other geographic location. (Ill. As real as "Abrahams bosom" Heaven!) Cant have one without the other! (Ill. ABC News poll this week showed that 70% of Americans believed in Heaven, while only 56% believed in Hell!)
B. Jesus believed in Hell Luke 16:19-31; Mark 9:43-48
C. Where is Hell? (Ill. Difference between Hades and Gehenna!) (Ill. Ahaz, Molech and the valley of Himmon.) (Ill. Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; 2 Pet. 2:17; Jude 1:13.) All these verses teach the fact that Hell will be outer (Away From) darkness This is the reality of Hell It is absolute, eternal separation from the presence of God 2 Thes. 1:8-9
II. v.22 HELL WILL BE FILLED WITH REAL PEOPLE
A. Ill. This man was some mothers son, possibly, he left a wife and children behind. He certainly had brothers who were on his mind, v. 28.
B. Here is the sad fact, people you know and people I know will populate Hell. In fact, it may be those of your own household that die and go there.
C. Hell wasnt made for men, Matt. 25:41, but those who reject Jesus Christ as their personal Savior will go there! (Ill. Matt. 7:21-23; Rev. 15:11-15)
D. Hell will be filled with real people. People who simply said no to God. Will you be among them? Who do you know that will be?
III. v. 23-25 HELL CONTAINS REAL PUNISHMENTS
A. Ill. The language used. It couldnt be any more plain that Hell is a place of pain and torment. (Ill. Many feel that this is symbolic -They had better hope not! Symbolism is only used when conventional language is inadequate to describe something. The reality is always much worse than the symbol!)
B. Here are some the real torments that Hell contains:
1. Unquenchable Fire Mark 9:43; Luke 16:24
2. Memory and remorse Ill. Rich man "Son remember" 25, 27-28
3. Intense, unsatisfied thirst Luke 16:24-25
4. Misery and pain Luke 16:24-26; Rev. 14:10-11
5. Frustration and anger Luke. 13:28; Matt. 24:51
6. Eternal separation Rev. 21:8 Ill. From what? Everything beautiful!
7. Undiluted wrath Ill. Rainbow, Hab. 3:2! In Hell, Gods fury will be unleashed!
C. If for nothing else, this ought to make everyone want to be saved! (Ill. "What if it isnt true?" Ill. "What if it is?") Where do you want to spend eternity?
IV. v.26 HELL GUARANTEES REAL PERMANENCE
A. Ill. The rich man was told that he had to stay there. He is still there this morning!
B. If you die without Jesus Christ, you will most certainly go to Hell! If you go to Hell, you will be there forever, with one little exception Rev. 20:11-15!
C. Hell is not:
1. Annihilation Rev. 19:20; 20:10! Rev. 14:10
2. A Temporary Place of Purging v. 26
3. Hell is not the grave v. Ill. 22-23
4. Hell is not a parable, and it is not a scare tactic. It is reality and it is waiting on you if you are outside Jesus Christ today!
V. v. 27-31 HELL CAN BE AVOIDED THROUGH A REAL PROMISE
A. Ill. The rich man is told that the Word of God holds the answer.
B. It still does Ill. It tells us of Gods love for sinners John 3:16. Of Christs death to save them Isa. 53:1-12; Rom. 5:6-8; 2 Cor. 5:21.. Of Christs resurrection that guarantees eternal life to all who come to him by faith Matt. 28:6; John 11:25-26. (Ill. It takes real work to go to Hell!)
C. It tells of a God who will save all who will come to Him by His grace.