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Hell  

I just put the finishing touches on a sermon focused entirely on hell.

Not exactly my idea of fun.  But as I have complained about the paltry attention hell is given in today’s pulpits, I felt compelled to “search the Scriptures” and focus on this awful eternal destiny.

It didn’t take long to arrive at what may be the most disturbing story in the entire Bible.  Luke 16 takes us to the gates of hell itself where a formerly rich man is now doomed to unending agony.   What we encounter in this passage is the closest thing we have to a video clip of hell.

Scripture notes discomforting details about the man’s experience.   Verse 23 records, “In Hades he lifted up his eyes….”  So the man was fully conscious and able to see.

He was also able to feel.  Verse 23 goes on to describe him as “being in torment.”  In verse 24 he virtually screams, “I am in agony in this flame.”

In verse 28 this terrified man begs, “I have five brothers…warn them so that they will not come to this place of torment.”

Some try to minimize the literal eternal flames and the literal eternal agony of hell by saying this story of Jesus is a parable, not an actual historical account.  And it may well have been a parable. But that doesn’t mean hell is somehow different than what we read about in Luke 16.

At no point before or after this parable does Jesus say anything that would contradict the details of this story.  The many scriptures that speak of Hell consistently support the personal eternal agony of the Luke 16 passage.

Which takes me to a comment I heard from 99-year-old Art Rorheim.  Standing before a crowd, this venerable soul-winner paused, drew a breath and checked his emotion as he boldly asserted, “There are two kinds of people in this world: those who are headed for heaven, and those who are headed for hell.”

Where will you go?

 

If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God was raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  –Romans 10:9

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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