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← The Doctrine of Hell - Tim Conway

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Showing Revision 28 created 03/09/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. Is there anybody here
  2. that you expect that when you die,
  3. you will end up in hell?
  4. Is there anybody here
  5. that thinks that when you die
  6. that you be cast into hell?
  7. Nobody thinks that.
  8. (to person in audience) You think that.
  9. You expect to go to hell.
  10. Do you want to go there?
  11. But you expect to.
  12. Is there anybody here that
  13. has ever believed they were going to hell
  14. even though now they
    don't believe they are?
  15. Yeah, that would be me.
  16. Do you think that is normal?
  17. Do you think it is normal that people
  18. don't think they're headed there
  19. who really are,
  20. who then come to realize that they are,
  21. and then they're saved and they don't?
  22. Does that make any sense or
    does that totally confuse you?
  23. (unintelligible)
  24. Let me ask this:
  25. Do you think it's common

  26. that people who are very much lost
  27. and headed there think they're not?
  28. (unintelligible)
  29. Right. But give me a Scripture
  30. that would tend to lead us to believe
  31. that people by the multitudes
  32. think things are okay when they're not.
  33. Matthew 7 would definitely be one place.
  34. But Matthew 7 is one that
    we talk about a lot.
  35. And I mean for a reason.
  36. It has some really powerful truths.
  37. But prove it from somewhere else.
  38. (unintelligible)
  39. There's a way that seems right to man
  40. but the end is not so nice. Right?
  41. Yeah, and that's a good text.
  42. Was that the one you were thinking about?
  43. No, you were thinking
    about a different one.
  44. (unintelligible)
  45. Right, and do we not
    have in Ecclesiastes,
  46. the reality that because the punishment
  47. for people's sins is not
    carried out immediately,
  48. men seem to think that punishment
  49. is never going to come.
  50. Yeah, men are naturally deceived.
  51. Most men - in fact, all men -
  52. you know one thing we know about all men?
  53. All men fear death.
  54. No one wants to die.
  55. Who wants to be thrown
    into a lake of fire?
  56. Obviously, nobody.
  57. And you know what the problem is?
  58. Again, out of Ecclesiastes,
  59. God has written eternity on men's hearts.
  60. God has given man a conscience.
  61. (incomplete thought)
  62. And you know what Romans 1 says.
  63. There is no true atheist.
  64. Men try to suppress truth
  65. but the problem is they have eyeballs,
  66. or they have senses
  67. that tell them that creation
  68. has God's fingerprints all over it.
  69. And they have a conscience
  70. whereby they know right and wrong.
  71. As shattered as that may be,
  72. that image of God
  73. that was first implanted upon man,
  74. there's vestiges of it.
  75. And men know and they can't run.
  76. And death haunts them.
  77. Men know they're going to die.
  78. Now even though they may, in some ways,
  79. act like they're going to live forever,
  80. men have a gnawing fear inside.
  81. And here they are in life,
  82. and there's a way that seems right.
  83. In other words, men have a plan.
  84. Men think that they are
    going to construct a way
  85. that they're going to escape this.
  86. Every single man desires to miss hell.
  87. (incomplete thought)
  88. Now they may try to
    replace hell with annihilation,
  89. or they stay here
    with the Jehovah's Witnesses,
  90. or there is a kingdom, or there is heaven,
  91. they try to construct something.
  92. Mormons have all their insanity.
  93. You've got the paradise of Islam,
  94. you've got basically nirvana.
  95. I mean you just reach
    a state of nothingness.
  96. But anyways, whatever
    it is, it's not hell.
  97. Men try to construct any way they can
  98. because everything about hell
  99. is absolutely hellish.
  100. Men recoil at everything that hell is.
  101. But the thing is,
  102. every single man
  103. has constructed in his own mind,
  104. or her own mind some way.
  105. No man plans to go to hell.
  106. I guarantee if we could randomly
  107. take a cross-section of people -
  108. ethnicity, color, race, economic status -
  109. and we could resurrect
    them out of hell right now,
  110. If we could bring up a hundred
  111. or a thousand people from hell right now,
  112. I guarantee every one
    of them would tell you,
  113. "I never thought to go there.
  114. I did not believe I would go there."
  115. And you know what?
  116. They went there.
  117. Why? They were dead wrong.
  118. They were dead wrong.
  119. They were deceived.
  120. Men are always thinking,
  121. somehow I'm going to miss it.
  122. How do they think to do it?
  123. One, by constructing religion
  124. that they think is going to get them -
  125. whether it's some form
    of Christianity by name,
  126. or it's some other religion.
  127. They construct religions
  128. whereby they think to be moral and good
  129. and basically please God
    out of their own doings,
  130. and thus miss it.
  131. But you know the vast majority of people
  132. that have heard of Christ,
  133. you have to think that
    the way they thought
  134. they were going to miss it is,
  135. "I'm going to get right tomorrow." Right?
  136. It's procrastination. They put it off.
  137. "I want to live it up now,
  138. and I'll settle matters...."
  139. Brethren, you know I'm talking
  140. to real people here in this room.
  141. You know this is how we thought.
  142. I mean I thought,
  143. with all the wickedness in my life,
  144. I thought that I was
    going to be good enough.
  145. I thought somehow that I was
    going to be good enough.
  146. And I realize things
    weren't exactly right
  147. but I also had that other idea
  148. that I'll get it more right tomorrow.
  149. I mean, one of the things
    that the missionaries
  150. that work over in Turkey told me
  151. is that you see these nominal Muslims.
  152. Turkey is vastly populated
    by nominal Muslims.
  153. Very few of them are radical.
  154. And what the missionaries
    over there pointed out,
  155. you know most Muslims get serious
  156. about their religion when they're old.
  157. Now you think about why that would be.
  158. You know why it is?
  159. Their conscience is telling
    them something's wrong.
  160. Now they may be deceived
    about who the real God is,
  161. and who the real Prophet is,
  162. but the fact is they have a
    conscience that's telling them,
  163. "You are in trouble."
  164. And so now when they get older,
  165. they're making sure they
    go to prayer all the time.
  166. Men never think to go there.
  167. Or men say this,
  168. and this kind of goes along with
    constructing their own religion.
  169. But men basically say this -
  170. how many people say,
  171. "Oh, well the Bible says
    all I have to do is believe.
  172. I've called on the Lord Jesus Christ.
  173. The Scripture tells me I'll be saved."
  174. And yet, they've never
    repented of their sins.
  175. They've never bowed the knee to Christ.
  176. And they've got this idea
  177. that they are forgiven of their sins,
  178. they've got this idea
    that they're forgiven.
  179. One of the truths
  180. that the writers of the New Testament
  181. try to emphasize as
    much as almost anything,
  182. is this reality that if
    you are truly forgiven,
  183. if you are truly justified,
  184. if you are truly a Christian,
  185. if you truly belong to God
  186. if you're truly heaven bound,
  187. your life is radically different.
  188. Doesn't Scripture literally deal
    with that everywhere?
  189. You know why it does?
  190. Because men are masters
  191. at wanting to think
  192. that they get to heaven
  193. and keep their sin on the way.
  194. And they totally forget that
    the way is very narrow.
  195. And that there are few that are on it.
  196. Because unless you forsake
    all that you have,
  197. Jesus keeps you at arm's length.
  198. You can't come to His side,
  199. you can't be His disciple,
  200. you're no follower of His,
  201. if you think that you're
    going to get to heaven
  202. and still enjoy all your sin on the way.
  203. Hell. Hell is a reality.
  204. And just like we were talking
    about several weeks ago,

  205. you know there's people
    in Reformed circles today,
  206. or at least would
    identify in those circles,
  207. that are seeking to dismiss
  208. the idea of hell.
  209. And I don't know how I came upon it,
  210. but something somebody sent me,
  211. and I think it was actually good stuff,
  212. but has anyone ever sent you a good video,
  213. and then you got the
    thumbnails over there,
  214. and you're like, oh,
    that one interests me.
  215. I ended up watching something by Rob Bell.
  216. And he's just putting out a book
  217. where he said that they had
  218. some kind of art exhibit at their -
  219. I don't even want to call it a church -
  220. but within their gathering
  221. there in Grand Rapids, Michigan,
  222. and somebody had done
  223. a picture of Gandhi.
  224. And he said somebody came
  225. and did a handwritten note
  226. and put it on that picture and said,
  227. "Why is everybody making a
    big deal out of this picture?
  228. Gandhi is in hell."
  229. Well, that just stirred
    Rob Bell to no end.
  230. Rob Bell is a universalist.
  231. He thinks everybody's on
    their way to heaven.
  232. He thinks that it's a strike
  233. at God's character
  234. if we would believe in a god
  235. that puts people in hell.
  236. And I would say Rob Bell is destroying
  237. the true character of God,
  238. by saying that God wouldn't.
  239. His idea of God is not
    the biblical idea of God.
  240. But let's think about hell.

  241. Let's think about what
    Scripture says about it.
  242. Somebody tell me somewhere in the Bible
  243. that you can think of
  244. where something about hell is described.
  245. (unintelligible)
  246. Where is it?
  247. Matthew 25. Well, let's turn there.
  248. I'll have you guys guide
    me around the Scriptures
  249. and we'll look at various verses
  250. that have to do with it.
  251. And by the way,
  252. if Jesus is right, and He is -
  253. few there be that find life.
  254. Do you know the reality is?
  255. The reality is it's very likely
  256. that there are a number of people
  257. in this room
  258. that will actually end up in the place
  259. that we're going to look at.
  260. You don't think you are.
  261. But see, you are crafting
  262. your own means of escaping it.
  263. And there's only one
    way to escape this place.
  264. You see, this place
  265. is that which God created
  266. to righteously deal with sin.
  267. It's a place where people rightly suffer
  268. what their sin deserves
  269. for assaulting the glory of God
  270. the way that they do.
  271. Listen, can I tell you something
  272. before we look at this Matthew 25 verse?
  273. I want you to hear
    something very carefully,
  274. because you know when we talk about hell,
  275. what happens is, a lot of times,
  276. people begin to think God's a monster.
  277. Rob Bell thinks the God
  278. that will send people
    to hell is a monster.
  279. But listen, God is no monster.
  280. The Lord says that God's kindness -
  281. you know right there in Romans 2
  282. where it talks about God's fury,
  283. and God's wrath, God's judgment,
  284. it says that God's kindness is meant
  285. to lead people to repentance.
  286. You need to think on that.
  287. Listen, one of the reasons people
  288. just have this idea that somehow
  289. it's just going to turn
    out okay in the end
  290. is because - listen,
  291. that text in Ecclesiastes is so real.
  292. You know what happens?
  293. People sin and then they eat.
  294. Or even when they're
    eating they're sinning.
  295. God is giving them food. He's being kind.
  296. Men and women sin,
  297. and the sun shines on them
  298. and it rose on them today.
  299. (incomplete thought)
  300. Jesus Christ by the word of His power,
  301. He upholds this whole universe.
  302. He is so relevant
  303. to every single little particle of dust
  304. and everything, every bird,
  305. every aspect of this creation.
  306. Christ is so real to it.
  307. He upholds all the atomic matter
  308. that makes up the air,
  309. that you can wave your hand through,
  310. He upholds it all.
  311. He is this reality
  312. that virtually engulfs this world,
  313. and yet man looks around at it.
  314. He strikes God out
    of it, he suppresses it,
  315. he suppresses what can be known,
  316. he doesn't want to see,
    he doesn't want to know.
  317. He looks around at creation
  318. and he invents evolution,
  319. and he wants to just dismiss God,
  320. and you can go through
    95% of the radio stations
  321. and God isn't there.
  322. And you can go through 95%
    of the television stations
  323. and God isn't there.
  324. And you can go through
    99% of all that's made
  325. to show at the movies,
  326. and He is not there.
  327. You can look on the
    billboards and He's not there.
  328. He is this great reality
  329. and in the midst of all of it,
  330. the sun and the moon and the rain,
  331. and just the beauty we can look at,
  332. and blue skies and to hear birds singing,
  333. and to enjoy the things
    that He allows us to enjoy,
  334. and to actually have a night where
    we can lay our heads on our pillows
  335. and rest and rise up,
  336. that happens repeatedly
    over and over and over,
  337. to people who are wicked.
  338. And they sin and they think
  339. because that's the case,
  340. there is no God to contend with.
  341. Certainly, He couldn't be like
    what we're about to look at,
  342. because if He was, how in the world
  343. does He abide us when we sin like that?
  344. And it's because God is indeed kind
  345. and God is indeed patient,
  346. and He's giving time for us to repent.
  347. And the time that He gives us to repent
  348. is never meant to make
    us think everything is okay.
  349. Oh, how many people think that?
  350. Listen, I've had people tell me this,

  351. you've had people
    tell you this, undoubtedly,
  352. if you've done any amount of evangelism.
  353. But people tell me, well,
  354. I was sick and God healed me.
  355. I got better.
  356. I got sick, I prayed, God made me better,
  357. so I think everything is okay with God.
  358. But you see God's kindness isn't meant
  359. to lead people who are
    living in their rebellion
  360. to think that everything is okay.
  361. God's kindness is meant to lead
    them to repent and turn to Christ.
  362. Brethren, you see, it's hard
    for people to imagine.

  363. You know, the fornicator
    and the adulterer,
  364. he goes and does his thing,
  365. the homosexual goes
    and does his thing,
  366. and then he comes home and he eats.
  367. And he sleeps.
  368. And he feels health
    pulsating through his veins,
  369. and he lives like that.
  370. He can't imagine that he just sinned
  371. in the sight of a God who is so angry,
  372. and whose glory has been
  373. so assaulted and insulted,
  374. and diminished
  375. and stamped on
  376. and trampled over.
  377. He can't imagine that what he just did
  378. deserves to be punished
  379. forever and forever and forever
    and forever and forever.
  380. Because when he just did it,
  381. all he got was kindness.
  382. And that's right, he did.
  383. But that kindness, the Scripture says,
  384. isn't meant to convince him
  385. that it's all okay.
  386. It's meant to convince him
  387. that there is a kind God
  388. that will indeed receive him
  389. and forgive all of his sins if he turns.
  390. Let's look at Matthew 25.

  391. Here's one place that
    we see hell described.
  392. Listen to what describes
  393. people who are going there.
  394. Verse 41.
  395. They're on his left.
  396. "Depart from me, you cursed,
  397. into the eternal fire
  398. prepared for the devil and his angels."
  399. Eternal fire.
  400. Brethren, being burned alive
  401. is one of the most horrific
    things we can think about.
  402. When you see somebody
    that has been burned...
  403. I was just reading about Gehenna,

  404. or the Valley of Hinnom.
  405. It used to be, I understand,
    a pleasant place.
  406. In fact, it was pleasant,
  407. had a river flowing through it.
  408. It was a valley not far from Jerusalem,
  409. but what happened in evil days,
  410. is that's where they sacrificed to Molech,
  411. and if you've read anything
  412. or know anything about it,
  413. is basically this god
    they created - a statue -
  414. that was part man and
    part cow and had arms.
  415. They would heat that thing
    up until it glowed red hot,
  416. and they would put their children
    in the arms of that statue.
  417. And in days of good kings
  418. that became a repulsive place
  419. and they would put their garbage there.
  420. That's the picture that is created.
  421. If Jesus could liken hell to anything,
  422. He likened it to a place
  423. that was absolutely abominable to the Jew,
  424. where children had been
    sacrificed to a false god.
  425. It was a place where
    fires burned all the time
  426. to burn up the garbage
    that was stacked there.
  427. Dead bodies, and refuse,
    and sewage, and all sorts...
  428. I mean it was a place that
    was absolutely defiled.
  429. It had fire.
  430. To a Jew, you probably couldn't imagine
  431. any more horrible place in the world.
  432. "Cursed people..."
  433. Listen, when Christ says, "Depart,"
  434. people don't understand.
  435. Jesus upholds the universe
  436. with the word of His power.
  437. And in His kindness,
  438. He gives you everything you have.
  439. Anything that is enjoyable,
  440. anything that is pleasurable,
  441. anything that is peaceful,
  442. anything that is restful,
  443. He gives it to you.
  444. Men don't realize it.
  445. Because they live habitually seeking
  446. to strike God from their minds,
  447. suppress Him from their thoughts,
  448. they exchange the glory
    of God for everything else.
  449. They seek to worship money,
  450. and fun, and pleasure,
  451. and sex, and sports, and power.
  452. And they have so sought to "atheitize"
  453. (if that's such a word) themselves
  454. and to suppress God out of it,
  455. man doesn't realize that every good thing
  456. comes from the Lord.
  457. And when He says, "Depart,"
  458. He is withdrawing every good thing.
  459. When He says to "Depart,"
  460. that's it. Cursed.
  461. Everything in this life
    that was a blessing,
  462. everything in this life that was
    an expression of His kindness,
  463. it's pulled.
  464. Men don't understand
  465. if God withdraws everything.
  466. It's not just the church down
    on the corner goes away,
  467. every pleasure is gone forever.
  468. Every satisfaction is gone forever.
  469. Every joy, every smile,
  470. every form of happiness is gone forever.
  471. Any sense of relief - you know the relief
  472. when you've had a bad cold,
  473. and you start getting better?
  474. Or you pounded your thumb with a hammer
  475. and the pain begins to go away?
  476. You're exhausted and weary,
  477. and you're able to lay
    your head down and rest.
  478. Don't you understand?
  479. There's no rest, night or day,
  480. forever and ever.
  481. There is no rest. It's cursed.
  482. It's blackness of darkness.
  483. It's a fiery furnace.
  484. Listen, if you were
    thrown bodily into fire,
  485. that's the kind of reality.
  486. When you go to take a breath,
  487. there's no cool air,
  488. fire goes in your lungs.
  489. If you seek to have relief, there is none,
  490. because every nerve is
    being confronted by pain.
  491. There's no rest in the
    soul if that happens.
  492. Listen, things go bad now,
  493. we can find relief, typically.
  494. There's some relief. There's some way out.
  495. There's no way out.
  496. "Depart from me..."
  497. Those are the words of the cursed.
  498. They're words that are falling
  499. upon the ears of people who deserve it.
  500. Nobody is going to say, "This isn't fair."
  501. You say, "Isn't that overreaction?"
  502. "That if I sin once,
  503. God's going to remove every kindness?"
  504. You haven't sinned once.
  505. You've done nothing but sin.
  506. That's what Scripture says.
  507. Scripture says we're worthless.
  508. And even our righteousness's
    are filthy rags.
  509. And here's the catcher for
    everybody in this room.
  510. You can't argue the way a cannibal can
  511. who might live on a South Seas island
  512. (unintelligible)
  513. and he died before Clark
  514. and Harris and Paton arrived.
  515. You don't have that.
  516. You've sinned a lot,
  517. and you've had Christ offered.
  518. And if anybody in this room perishes,
  519. it will be with so much light,
  520. there will be no excuse.
  521. God's judgments may seem severe,
  522. but brethren, I think if
    we could have talked with Isaiah
  523. the moment he came out of the temple
  524. there in Isaiah 6 -
  525. I mean he saw the Lord -
  526. brethren, there probably was not
  527. a more righteous man in the land.
  528. Isaiah was "the" prophet.
  529. I mean was God was looking
  530. for somebody to take the message,
  531. He chose Isaiah.
  532. Isaiah saw the Lord and he said,
  533. "I'm a man of unclean lips."
  534. "I dwell in the midst a
    people of unclean lips."
  535. He said, "Woe is me."
  536. If you would got him coming
    out of the Temple and said,
  537. "Isaiah, what do you think?
  538. You think when we sin it's overkill
  539. for God to send us to
    hell forever and ever?"
  540. He'd have said, "You have no idea."
  541. The Lord is so glorious,
  542. to sin against Him is a crime
  543. of unimaginable heinousness,
  544. and wickedness, and depravity.
  545. You have no idea when you sin
  546. the glory that you are sinning against.
  547. He would have been speechless, I'm sure.
  548. He probably would have looked
    at you with glazed over eyes
  549. of amazement and astonishment.
  550. To even think that he could
    have come into the presence
  551. of the high and exalted Christ like that
  552. and have emerged without being consumed.
  553. And there's only one way.
  554. It's the only way that you and I
  555. will escape in Judgment Day
  556. It's if our sin is forgiven.
  557. Brethren, we're talking a place
  558. that was made for the
    devil and his angels.
  559. There's a reason why,
  560. if you die unrepentant,
  561. you go to a place that was made
  562. for the devil and his angels.
  563. It's because you are as bad as they are.
  564. They may have had a lot longer
  565. to do their wickedness,
  566. but listen, if you're being sent
  567. to the same place they are,
  568. it's because you are like they are.
  569. Do you not realize that?
  570. Men are like demons.
  571. They're like the devil.
  572. That's why they're sent there.
  573. They are liars, they're murderers,
  574. they're God-haters, they're in rebellion.
  575. It is a place for those
  576. who have sinned against a kind God.
  577. Listen, if you end up there

  578. after all the kindnesses He showed you,
  579. and after the times you've had to repent,
  580. and after the pleadings of God's people
  581. to you, the brethren
    even from this church,
  582. and you were given
    opportunity upon opportunity.
  583. I mean what can you say,
  584. if you come to Judgment Day,
  585. and you're told to depart,
    and every goodness,
  586. every kindness
  587. is withdrawn and taken away.
  588. And not momentarily.
  589. It's not like when you get sick here,
  590. or you fall into some infirmity.
  591. There's no relief.
  592. And it will be just,
  593. and you will see that it will be just.
  594. Eternal fire prepared for
    the devil and his angels.
  595. And who goes there?
  596. Mass murderers,
  597. Adolf Hitler,
  598. pedophiles,
  599. no - yes, they do -
    and some of those don't,
  600. because they looked to Christ in faith.
  601. But listen to the description of those
  602. who find their place in the lake of fire.
  603. "I was hungry and you gave Me no food."
  604. Wait, where's the pedophiles,
    where's the sodomites?
  605. Where are the real wicked people?
  606. I mean, I thought you had to be
    like Adolf Hitler to go to hell.
  607. This is saying somebody was
    hungry and I didn't feed him.
  608. That ought to startle us.
  609. It's not just the Adolf Hitler's.
  610. It's not just the people
    that killed the six million Jews.
  611. This brings it down to
    where you and I live.
  612. No, you didn't kill six million
    Jews, and neither did I.
  613. But all you have to do
    to be like the devil
  614. and end up where he is,
  615. basically see other people in need,
  616. and you turn your back.
  617. You say, "Is that evil, is that wicked?"
  618. You better believe it is.
  619. "I was hungry, you gave Me no food.
  620. I was thirsty, you gave Me no drink.
  621. I was a stranger, you did not welcome Me.
  622. Naked, you did not clothe Me."
  623. Brethren, we jump down to verse 46:
  624. "These will go away
    into eternal punishment."
  625. You say, "What?! Some guy needed clothes,
    and I didn't give him clothes?
  626. I'm going to hell forever?
    Eternal punishment?
  627. Isn't that a bit overkill?"
  628. But you see, this is an
    expression of what's in men:
  629. rebellious, lawless,
  630. all they think about is themselves.
  631. Brethren, the idea here isn't
  632. that if you go feed somebody,
  633. you're going to earn your way to heaven.
  634. The idea here is look,
  635. if you turn from your sin, you repent,
  636. you bow the knee and surrender to Christ,
  637. and you trust Him,
  638. what Jesus does in your life,
  639. is He gives you a heart to love people.
  640. If you don't have a heart to love people,
  641. you can't say you're one of Christ's.
  642. And you have no claim on heaven.
  643. And listen, if you'll flee to Christ,
  644. He'll make you into a person
  645. who will be concerned to feed others.
  646. If you look and you say,
    "All I've had is hatred,
  647. all I've had is selfishness,
  648. all I've had is self-centeredness,
  649. that's all I have.
  650. I don't really care about others.
  651. If I ever do anything for others,
  652. it's just what I can
    do to be seen by others.
  653. Just so I get a good reputation.
  654. If that's all it is, and you
    know in the secret places,
  655. you don't really care about other people,
  656. you just care about how you're perceived,
  657. you care about your reputation,
  658. but you don't really care about others,
  659. turn from it.
  660. That doesn't mean you have to fix it.
  661. It just means run to Him who can.
  662. Confess it all to Him.
  663. Ask Him to make you like He is.
  664. Ask Him to begin to
    make you into His image.
  665. That's what He does. Trust Him.
  666. Turn from this. Turn
    from the selfish life.
  667. The righteous -- they
    go into eternal life.
  668. Eternal punishment.
  669. The fires there don't burn out.
  670. There's no end.
  671. Eternity.
  672. I mean, think about eternity.

  673. Listen, we can sit here now
  674. and we feel comfortable we're not there.
  675. We can breathe.
  676. You know, men comfort themselves:
  677. well, I'm not there right now.
  678. I've got time.
  679. Well, listen, what time do you have?
  680. Your life is but a vapor.
  681. You don't know if you have tomorrow.
  682. There's no guarantee of it.
  683. People get cut off.
  684. What you have time for
    is right now to repent.
  685. Listen, God has been kind
  686. to bring all of us to this hour.
  687. This is a real place.
  688. I can just move through some other verses.
  689. Just right here in Matthew.
  690. Matthew, by itself,
  691. just gives us material
    for an outstanding study.
  692. Let's all turn over to Matthew 13,
  693. a tremendous study on hell.
  694. It shows up again and again.
  695. Matthew 13:24: "He put another
    parable before them, saying,
  696. 'The kingdom of heaven may be compared
  697. to a man who sowed good seed in his field,
  698. but while his men were sleeping,
  699. his enemy came and sowed weeds
    among the wheat and went away.
  700. So when the plants came up and bore grain,
  701. then the weeds appeared also.
  702. And the servants of the master
    of the house came and said to him,
  703. "Master, did you not sow
    good seed in your field?
  704. How then does it have weeds?"
  705. He said to them, "An enemy has done this."
  706. So the servants said to him,
  707. "Then do you want us
    to go and gather them?"
  708. But he said, "No, lest
    in gathering the weeds
  709. you root up the wheat along with them.
  710. Let them grow together until the harvest,
  711. and at harvest time
    I will tell the reapers,
  712. gather the weeds first
  713. and bind them in bundles to be burned,
  714. but gather the wheat into my barn."
  715. And then He goes on to
    explain it, down in verse 36.
  716. But we'll just jump to verse 39:
  717. "The enemy who sowed them is the devil.
  718. These are the sons of the evil one
  719. who find their way into the kingdom.
  720. The harvest is the close of the age.
  721. The reapers are the angels.
  722. And as the weeds are gathered
    and burned with fire,
  723. so will it be at the close of the age.
  724. The Son of Man will send His angels
  725. and they will gather out of His kingdom
  726. all causes of sin and all law-breakers."
  727. If that's your life,
    if you're a lawbreaker,
  728. and you're a cause of sin,
  729. here's your lot at the end of this age:
  730. "And throw them into the fiery furnace.
  731. It that place, there will be weeping
  732. and gnashing of teeth.
  733. Then the righteous will
    shine like the sun
  734. in the kingdom of their Father.
  735. He who has ears, let him hear."
  736. You get the same thing, look at verse 47:
  737. “Again, the kingdom
    of heaven is like a net
  738. that was thrown into the sea
  739. and gathered fish of every kind.
  740. When it was full,
  741. men drew it ashore and sat down
  742. and sorted the good into containers
  743. but threw away the bad.
  744. So it will be at the close of the age.
  745. The angels will come out and separate
    the evil from the righteous
  746. and throw them into the fiery furnace.
  747. In that place there will be
    weeping and gnashing of teeth."
  748. Listen, if you have a red-letter Bible,
  749. you'll notice, that's in red letters,
  750. which means Jesus Himself, the Christ,
  751. He came and He looked
    men square in the face,
  752. and He said, "There is
    a hell to be avoided."
  753. It is a place of outer darkness,
  754. it is a place of weeping,
  755. it is a place of the gnashing of teeth,
  756. it is a place that He
    likens to fiery furnace.
  757. Now look, you say,
  758. "Well, it's called the lake of fire;
  759. it's called the fiery furnace,
  760. how can it be fire if it's outer darkness?
  761. Isn't that maybe just symbolic?"
  762. Okay, maybe it is. But I'll tell you what.
  763. If the closest thing Jesus
    has to describing it is fire,
  764. if that's all there is in this world
  765. that He can come up with,
  766. that even approximates
    what it is, I would say,
  767. even if it's spiritualization,
  768. even if it's symbolic,
  769. that certainly would not be
    anything to find comfort in,
  770. because it's not going
    to be better than fire.
  771. If anything, it's going to
    be worse than fire.
  772. And if it is the same as fire,
  773. being thrown into a lake of fire forever,
  774. brethren, do you recognize,
  775. when it happens, you're there.
  776. When you wake up, you're there.
  777. And it's all over.
  778. Eternity is written over everything.
  779. There is no escape.
  780. There is no second chance.
  781. There is no time to repent now.
  782. And for all you would kick
    yourself, and feel foolish,
  783. and hate God for putting you there,
  784. and hating everybody else
  785. that encouraged you in your sin,
  786. and realizing how many times
  787. you despised the preaching of the Word,
  788. how you'd want to pull your own hair out,
  789. gnash your teeth,
  790. whether in hatred to God
  791. or in absolute devastation
  792. because of your own foolishness.
  793. Brethren, this is real
  794. and Christ says, "Wake up."
  795. Christ says in another
    place, Matthew 18:8:

  796. "If your hand or your foot causes
    you to sin (or to stumble),
  797. cut it off and throw it away.
  798. It is better for you to
    enter life crippled or lame
  799. than with two hands or two feet
  800. to be thrown into the eternal fire.
  801. If your eye causes you to sin,
  802. tear it out and throw it away.
  803. It is better for you to
    enter life with one eye
  804. than with two eyes to be
    thrown into the hell of fire."
  805. Listen, Jesus knows what hell is.
  806. And He is not only the Truth,
    and the Way, and the Life,
  807. He came to bear truth and to speak truth
  808. and He looked at men,
  809. and He said, "I know what you don't know.
  810. I know how bad, how hellish,
  811. how fiery it is.
  812. I know the punishment
    that takes place there."
  813. Listen, Jesus Christ is the One
  814. who tramples out the
    fury of God the Almighty.
  815. It is the wrath of the
    Lamb you have to fear.
  816. He knows His own wrath.
  817. He could look at everything in this world,
  818. everything that is to be prized,
  819. everything that is to be cherished,
  820. everything that is to be yearned for
  821. and longed after by man,
  822. and He could look at hell,
  823. and He could say to men,
  824. "I know.
  825. I know what the real value
    of things in this world are,
  826. and I know the real
    terror of what hell is.
  827. And I'll tell you this:
  828. whatever it takes for you
    to cut off or tear out
  829. the things of this world
    that hold you back
  830. and keep you from following Me,
  831. every idol, every lust,
  832. every sin, every thing,
  833. that you would have over Me,
  834. that would have follow
    after to disobey Me,
  835. that you think you need in your life,
  836. at the expense of Me,
  837. and surrendering to Me,
  838. and trusting Me,
  839. believing in Me,
  840. coming to Me,
  841. calling upon Me,
  842. putting all your trust,
  843. I know it is not worth holding on
  844. to all the money that Gates has.
  845. It is not worth all the money
  846. that is to be had in this world,
  847. all the treasure, all the pleasures,
  848. even if you could live
    as long as Methuselah
  849. and enjoy everything to the full
  850. and live life to the
    complete in this life,
  851. to have it all,
  852. to have all that men aspire after,
  853. all the fame, and all the money,
  854. and all the houses,
  855. and all the beauty,
  856. all the health, to have it all.
  857. All that men think they
    want and think they need,
  858. He knows, if you had it all,
  859. and you could live as long
    as the oldest man ever lived,
  860. if you could have it all
    for a thousand years,
  861. He looks at it and He says,
  862. there's no comparison.
  863. Whatever it takes to
    cut it off and tear it out,
  864. you better do it.
  865. It is better for you to do that
    than to end up in this place.
  866. It's insanity to go after
    anything in this world
  867. that's going to be gone soon.
  868. And the truth is
  869. you're not going to live
    as long as Methuselah.
  870. The truth is, if you
    live 80 years, it's long.
  871. And the truth is, you're not going to get
  872. all the money in the world,
  873. and the truth is that whatever you do get
  874. in this world is not going to satisfy you.
  875. It's going to leave you empty,
  876. because it's a lie.
  877. (incomplete thought)
  878. Brethren, Jesus is
    offering men eternal life.

  879. He's offering men forgiveness.
  880. He's offering men the opportunity
  881. of seeing God face to face.
  882. He's offering men the opportunity
  883. of having every tear wiped away.
  884. All sorrows and pain and death.
  885. He's offering you
  886. the treasures of Christ,
  887. an eternal inheritance.
  888. He's offering you riches
  889. and He's calling you
  890. to flee from the wrath to come.
  891. Folks, this is what it means to be saved.

  892. To be spared from the wrath of God.
  893. Jesus said many are going to come
  894. from the east and the west,
  895. and from the north and the south,
  896. and they're going to sit
    down in that kingdom.
  897. They're going to sit down with
    Abraham and Isaac and Jacob
  898. while many of the sons of the kingdom
  899. are going to be cast into outer darkness.
  900. Brethren, let me hit you
    with another verse.
  901. One of the pictures that we see
  902. comes at us in 2 Thessalonians.
  903. "When Jesus comes..."
  904. it says mid-way through
    2 Thessalonians 1:7:
  905. "...when the Lord Jesus
    is revealed from heaven."
  906. Here's His coming.
  907. "...With his mighty angels..."
  908. That's what we saw in the parables.
  909. He's coming and He's going to
  910. send His angels out to gather in
  911. the wheat and the chaff,
  912. the good and the bad.
  913. Here He comes,
  914. "...in flaming fire,
  915. inflicting vengeance on those
  916. who do not know God
  917. and on those who do not obey
  918. the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
  919. They will suffer the punishment
    of eternal destruction
  920. away from the presence of the Lord
  921. and from the glory of His might,
  922. when He comes on that day
  923. to be glorified in His saints,
  924. and to be marveled at
  925. among all who have believed,
  926. because our testimony
    to you was believed."
  927. Listen, who are these people

  928. who are going to face this punishment?
  929. They're the people who are going
    to be condemned when He comes.
  930. Can I show you a picture of these people?
  931. It says here that they will suffer
  932. this punishment who did what?
  933. They didn't obey the gospel
    of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  934. They didn't know God.
  935. But jump over to 2 Thessalonians 2:12:
  936. "...in order that all may be condemned
  937. (here's our group who's being condemned)
  938. who did not believe the truth
  939. but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
  940. You say, who are the people

  941. who are going to go into the hell-fire?
  942. What describes them?
  943. They just simply live lives
  944. where they had pleasure
    in unrighteousness.
  945. You say, what? It's not the
    Adolf Hitler's? Yes, it's them.
  946. But listen, who has pleasure
    in unrighteousness?
  947. People who can sit down and
    watch things on the computer,
  948. on the television that's unrighteous,
  949. and just delight in those things.
  950. They can here a filthy joke at work
  951. and laugh with the other guys,
  952. then go to church on Sunday.
  953. Listen, one of the things
    about the parables,

  954. those parables by and large
  955. are not talking about the whole world.
  956. When it says the net gathers in
  957. the good and the bad;
  958. when it says that the
    angels are going to go out
  959. and they're going to
    gather some into the barn
  960. and the others they're going to burn,
  961. folks, this is a picture of the kingdom.
  962. This is the idea of who looks
    like they're in the church;
  963. who looks like they're on the way.
  964. When Jesus talks there in Matthew 7
  965. about the broad way,
  966. wide is the gate, broad is the way,
  967. brethren, that leads to destruction.
  968. He's not talking there about
  969. just anybody and everybody.
  970. He's talking about the crowd
    that's down in verses 21, 22, 23,
  971. who are saying, "Lord, Lord...
  972. we did many mighty
    works, we were there..."
  973. He says, "Depart from me."
  974. Why? Because you're lawless.
  975. You are people that
    took delight in lawlessness.
  976. You loved unrighteousness.
  977. That's it.
  978. And now they've lost it all.
  979. Listen, that's what repentance is,
  980. it's turning away from
    the unrighteousness.
  981. It's not making yourself righteous.
  982. It's not making yourself clean.
  983. It's fleeing to Christ
    in your filthiness,
  984. to Him to clean you,
  985. to Him to save you,
  986. to Him to help you and forgive you,
  987. and wash you in His blood,
  988. confessing your sin to Him.
  989. That's the picture.
  990. He says this is to be
    escaped at all costs.
  991. And He bids men, "Come."
  992. The Scripture says, whoever comes
    to Him, He'll never cast out.
  993. You come to Him, He'll never let
    you fall into a place like that.
  994. But listen, if you think
    you're coming to Him
  995. to get your sin forgiven,
  996. but you're going to go on
  997. loving your unrighteousness --
    no, no, no, no.
  998. You're not coming to Him in reality.
  999. Nobody comes to Christ in reality
  1000. who just wants to get delivered from hell.
  1001. That's not it.
  1002. We come to Him to be saved
    from the wrath of God.
  1003. The wrath of God is for our sin.
  1004. It's to take care of all of
    the problems of our sin.
  1005. The guilt of the sin,
    the power of the sin,
  1006. the presence of the sin,
  1007. my inclination to sin,
  1008. my love of it.
  1009. Brethren, folks, friends,
  1010. I'll just look at one last verse,
  1011. I know there's a whole lot more
  1012. and I was going to have you
    guys throw them at me,
  1013. but I guess the one you threw at me
  1014. was almost good enough
    for an entire message.
  1015. But just think of Revelation 19.

  1016. You have them singing there.
  1017. The marriage supper of the Lamb,
  1018. they're singing, "Hallelujah!"
  1019. Great things.
  1020. “Hallelujah! For the Lord our
    God the Almighty reigns. (v. 6)
  1021. Let us rejoice and exult
    and give Him the glory,
  1022. for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
  1023. and His bride has made herself ready."
  1024. Oh, you want to be there at all costs.
  1025. "It was granted her to clothe herself
  1026. with fine linen, bright and pure -
  1027. for the fine linen is the
    righteous deeds of the saints."
  1028. You see that?
  1029. Jesus changes His people
  1030. into righteous-deed doing people.
  1031. "Blessed are those who are invited
  1032. to the marriage supper of the Lamb."
  1033. But this Christ,
  1034. who is marrying His people,
  1035. down in verse 15:
  1036. "From His mouth comes a sharp sword
  1037. with which to strike down the nations,
  1038. and He will rule them with a rod of iron.
  1039. He will tread the winepress of the fury
  1040. of the wrath of God the Almighty."
  1041. Do you realize this?
  1042. When Jesus comes, Scripture says this,
  1043. earlier in the Book of Revelation 1:7.
  1044. Behold, He is coming with the clouds,
  1045. and every eye will see Him,
  1046. even those who pierced Him."
    And listen to this.
  1047. "All tribes of the earth will wail
  1048. on account of Him.
  1049. Even so. Amen."
  1050. That verse strikes me.
  1051. You say, wait, over in 2 Thessalonians 1,

  1052. it says that there are going to be those
  1053. who are awaiting His return.
  1054. They're going to rejoice when He comes.
  1055. They're going to be amazed, that's true.
  1056. But, brethren, can I tell you something?
  1057. Scripture speaks about a remnant,
  1058. and it speaks about
    few there be that find it.
  1059. And it says many are on the way
  1060. that leads to destruction.
  1061. There are so many on
    the way to destruction
  1062. that when Jesus comes,
  1063. it says not some tribes
    wail, some tribes rejoice.
  1064. In John's mind, he sees a picture
  1065. of the coming of Christ,
  1066. where all the tribes wail.
  1067. Why?
  1068. Because there's so few in light of
  1069. the vast multitudes of humanity
  1070. that John can speak that way
  1071. and be biblically accurate
    and biblically true,
  1072. even though he does not mention
  1073. the saints being there.
  1074. Why do I stress that?
  1075. I stress it for this reason.
  1076. Throughout all of history,
  1077. most men do not hear
  1078. a clear presentation of the gospel.
  1079. In all of history, most men miss heaven.
  1080. You know it's true.
  1081. There are people in this room
    that are going to perish.
  1082. You know it's true.
  1083. I'm saying this because, look,
  1084. if God has not only shown you
    all the kindnesses of creation,
  1085. but in addition, He's
    shown you the kindness
  1086. to allow you to hear the Gospel
    and hear the truth
  1087. and know that Jesus
    Christ died on that cross
  1088. to save sinners just like you and me;
  1089. to save even the chief of sinners.
  1090. I mean, why would God want us to know
  1091. that God has saved the chief of sinners?
  1092. Why would God want us to know
  1093. that He saved the thief on the cross?
  1094. Why would God want
    us to specifically know
  1095. that Mary Magdalene had 7 demons?
  1096. Ever think about why these things
  1097. have been specifically told to us?
  1098. They're told to us
    so that you might see
  1099. how bad the people are that God saves.
  1100. And if you've had this kindness,
  1101. that God has not only given
    you all this light of creation,
  1102. all the light of His kindness,
  1103. but in light of all that,
  1104. in addition to all that, on top of it,
  1105. you've been allowed to hear the truth,
  1106. come, flee to Him at once.
  1107. Listen, I remember my step-dad.
  1108. My step-dad came down to Texas,
  1109. and I wanted him to hear the truth.
  1110. And he sat under Pat Horner
    out at Community Baptist Church.
  1111. I was out there then.
  1112. He came and he heard me preach -
  1113. at a nursing home I know
    he heard me preach -
  1114. (incomplete thought)
  1115. but he was able to sit under
    the preaching several times.
  1116. I had evangelized my dad,
  1117. I had spoken to my dad,
  1118. but I think that was the most truth
  1119. he ever got in his life,
  1120. I know that was the
    first time he ever sat under
  1121. a good and solid sermon
  1122. that had truth in it
    that was actually preached
  1123. by one of God's messengers.
  1124. He refused it,
  1125. even when I was speaking
    at the nursing home,
  1126. he was rebelling against it,
  1127. he was rejecting it,
  1128. and he no more than
    went back to Michigan,
  1129. he had a massive heart
    attack -- it was amazing --
  1130. he had a massive heart attack,
    then he had a stroke,
  1131. then he got cancer, then he died.
  1132. Brethren, folks, when you hear the truth,

  1133. there's a real hell out there.
  1134. And Jesus, by way of His
    ambassadors, is telling you,
  1135. escape that place at all costs.
  1136. What will you give in
    exchange for your soul?
  1137. You'll give everything.
  1138. (incomplete thought)
  1139. Look, don't wait until the flames
    overflow you to realize,
  1140. "Okay, okay, now I'll give
    everything in exchange for it!"
  1141. Don't wait till then. It's too late.
  1142. He speaks to you now while you have life.
  1143. Do not leave this place
    tonight if you are lost

  1144. and run back your sin.
  1145. It is suicidal. Don't do it.
  1146. You've heard the truth.
  1147. Oftentimes, when people hear the truth
  1148. and they harden themselves,
  1149. God will see to it that they get hardened.
  1150. And many times when you harden
    yourself against the truth, it's all over.
  1151. You won't get to hear it again.
  1152. You'll be like my step-dad.
  1153. The next thing you'll be in the grave.
  1154. I don't remember who it was,
  1155. they told the story about the 2 young men
  1156. that had girlfriends that went to church.
  1157. Their girlfriends' parents
    made them go to church.
  1158. The two guys showed up to get the girls
  1159. and the preacher saw them come in.
  1160. They stood there in the back
  1161. waiting for the service to get over
  1162. and he make a beeline to them,
  1163. and went back and began to talk to them.
  1164. And they rejected and they refused,
  1165. and one of those young men
    died right away after that.
  1166. We sought to proclaim truth
  1167. to a prostitute who
    came and lived with us.
  1168. And she rejected it and died after that.
  1169. There was a man that joined our church.
  1170. He was a heroin addict,
  1171. and he went back to his heroin
  1172. after he'd heard the truth,
  1173. and God took his life.
  1174. There was a young man.
  1175. He joined this church.
  1176. Exposed to a lot of truth,
  1177. he went back to his coke,
    God took his life.
  1178. There's a prostitute by
    the name of Zebedee,
  1179. she was exposed to the truth
    in this church in our early days.
  1180. God took her life.
  1181. There was a man from
    one of the local churches
  1182. that had us come preach,
  1183. and he tried to pull a scam on us,
  1184. but we preached truth to him.
  1185. He rejected it and God took his life.
  1186. He was young.
  1187. Brethren, folks, do not
    go out the door tonight
  1188. and go back to your sin.
  1189. This could very well be from God,
  1190. that it's your last time.
  1191. It's it. It's over. It's done.
  1192. And what's been described,
  1193. you may in unbelief go
    back to your sin right now,
  1194. but you will believe it one day.
  1195. And the sad things is, it's going to take
  1196. you being plunged into it
  1197. to realize how valuable your soul was.
  1198. How bad your sin was.
  1199. How foolish you are to reject --
  1200. do you realize that place was made
  1201. for the devil and his angels
  1202. and they don't get any chance.
  1203. They don't get the opportunity to repent.
  1204. Can you imagine those demons in hell,
  1205. screaming at you?
  1206. "You had the truth set before you.
  1207. You had the opportunity we never had.
  1208. You had the opportunity to be in heaven,
  1209. and to have Christ,
  1210. and to walk with God and to live forever,
  1211. and you chose drugs, alcohol,
  1212. sex, partying, money, greed, sports, fame,
  1213. and just wanting to do life your own way."
  1214. "I don't want to feed any hungry people,
  1215. I want to live for me."
  1216. Just do it your way.
  1217. What a fool if that's what you would do.
  1218. Listen, there are people
    in here that love their sin.
  1219. I'm telling you, do not go out the door
  1220. without crying out to the Lord,
  1221. confessing your sin,
  1222. calling on Him to save you from it.
  1223. Don't go!
  1224. There's a good possibility you
    will never come back again.
  1225. Some of you.
  1226. Amen. We're dismissed.