HELL!

                            READING: Luke 16:19-31
 

    INTRODUCTION

 
    [a] It is customary today to poo  poo  the  whole  idea of hell - it is
    'uncivilised!' It is a 'product of the fears of the dark ages!'
    [b] 'We want to preach a God  of  love!!  Not some sort of cruel Judge,
    Who is just waiting to damn the wicked!'
    [c] In all their deliberations, the  armchair theologians end up with a
    'MARSHMALLOW GOD' Who treats sin  as  unimportant,  and just becomes no
    more than a figment of  their  imagination  -  Can I say reverently, He
    becomes no more than a GREAT SUGAR DADDY IN THE SKY!
    [d] They have manipulated the idea of  a  LOVING GOD, until He is a God
    no longer interested in RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUDGEMENT!
    [e] The Bible knows nothing of such a God!
    [f] The God of wrath and judgement that we see in the Old Testament has
    not changed!
    He simply has revealed more of His nature and His love through Christ!!
 

    JUDGEMENT

 
    [a] But that does not  detract  one  iota  from  the  God Who hates and
    loathes sin in every shape or form,  and will judge those who leave Him
    out of their lives and refuse His Salvation in Christ!
    [b] See the Christ of  God  hang  in  agony  and  shame on the cross of
    Calvary bearing the sin of  this  whole  world  -  THEN  TELL ME SIN IS
    UNIMPORTANT AND DOES NOT CARRY THE PAIN OF JUDGEMENT!!!
    [c] If you doubt the judgement  of  sin  -  then  look to Christ on the
    cross, as He dies the "just for  the  unjust, that He might bring us to
    God" says the apostle Peter!
    (ii) He also says, "He bore our sins in His Own body on the tree." 
    (iii) "Behold the Lamb of God, that  taketh  away the sin of the world"
    says John the Baptist! 
    (iv) "He was wounded for  our  transgressions;  He  was bruised for our
    iniquities" says the prophet Isaiah! 
    (v) "Greater love hath no man than  this,  that a man lay down his life
    for his friends" said Jesus of Himself! 
    (vi) "For He hath made Him to be  sin  for us, Who knew no sin, that we
    might be made the  righteousness  of  God  in  Him."  said  Paul to the
    Corinthians.
 
    [d] AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN THE SCRIPTURE REITERATES THAT CHRIST TOOK
    OUR PLACE ON THE CROSS, BEARING OUR SIN!
    WHAT NEED, IF THERE BE NO JUDGEMENT??? IT WOULD MAKE NO SENSE!!!
 

    RICHES

 
    [a] In the Bible you find that PURPLE was the colour of worldly riches.
    [b] In Luke 16:19,  Jesus  told  about  the  RICH  MAN  AND LAZARUS THE
    BEGGAR.
    [c] In His description of the rich  man, Jesus says, "he was clothed in
    PURPLE AND FINE LINEN."
    The contrast to this was of course that LAZARUS WAS CLOTHED IN RAGS!
    [d] The high quality expensive cloth  was  dyed purple, and was not the
    sort of thing most people could afford - especially Lazarus.
    [e] How wonderful it would be to be rich - or so so many think!
    The problem is  that  so  many  of  the  richest  people  are spiritual
    paupers!
    [f] SO IT WAS WITH THE RICH MAN! In spiritual things, the situation was
    reversed, Lazarus was rich, and the  one  with all this world's wealth,
    was spiritually bankrupt!
    [g] Both the men  in  our  story  were  starving!  One physically & one
    spiritually!
 

    KEEPING THE FAITH

 
    [a] Sometimes, when people are  saved,  they  suddenly expect that they
    will no longer have a  care  in  the  world  -  all their needs will be
    magically met, and they've "never had it so good!"
    [b] The  Bible  teaches  no  such  thing!  Lazarus  was  obviously  the
    equivalent of a Christian in his day - and look at the state he was in!
    But the thing is, he kept his  faith!!  Through it all, he kept true to
    the Lord, otherwise he wouldn't have ended up in Paradise!
    [c] When he died, Lazarus,  it  says,  was  carried  by the angles into
    Abraham's bosom or paradise! The place  of  the 'righteous' dead. I use
    that term guardedly, as I know  "There  is  none righteous, no not one"
    according to Scripture. But it was  a  place  of waiting, for those who
    had sought to follow God in their lifetime.
    [d] THE RICH MAN ON  THE  OTHER  HAND  DIED  -  AND ACCORDING TO JESUS,
    WAKENED UP IN THE AGONIES OF THE FLAMES OF HELL!
    [e] Jesus told this story for  a  reason  -  to warn His hearers of the
    dangers of eternal damnation  for  those  who  die  without having made
    their relationship right with God!
    [f] SIN IS A VICIOUS PLAGUE  WHICH  WILL  DAMN YOU FOR ALL ETERNITY, IF
    YOU DIE WITHOUT CHRIST!
 

    WEIGH IT UP - CONCLUSION

 
    [a] When Jesus told a parable, he did not give the characters names!
    SO DO NOT BE FOOLED INTO THINKING THIS WAS A PARABLE!!
    [b] Jesus loves us, so He warns  us  of the consequences of a life that
    leaves God out of the picture!
    [c] The Bible tells us in John  3:16,  that God "GAVE His only begotten
    Son, that whosoever  believeth  in  Him,  SHOULD  NOT  PERISH, BUT HAVE
    EVERLASTING LIFE."
    Jesus also says, "WHAT SHALL IT  PROFIT  A  MAN,  IF HE SHOULD GAIN THE
    WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL."
    [d] "O Abraham," wails the rich man,  "if  someone were to go back from
    the dead, then they would believe!"
    [e] That's exactly what Jesus  has  done,  and yet you haven't believed
    yet, have you??
    [f] Not one of us knows  if  we  will  have  a tomorrow - well does the
    Bible say, that "NOW IS THE  ACCEPTED  TIME,  BEHOLD  NOW IS THE DAY OF
    SALVATION."
    [g] I'm sure the rich man had no idea that his life was about to end!
    SUDDENLY! IN HELL HE LIFTED UP HIS EYES BEING IN TORMENT!
    A SPLIT SECOND - AND IT WAS TOO LATE FOR ALL OF ETERNITY!!
    [h] My dear friend, we love you tonight,  and we don't want you to risk
    Hell for all eternity - we would plead with you at this moment -
    GET RIGHT WITH GOD!!
 
         Salvation Army Song Book
 
    SONG                        TUNE
    239                         414
    CHORUS 81
    125                         28
    226                         606
    962                         487