ASKING THE HARD QUESTIONS--PART II
SERMON TITLE: WHY DOES HELL EXIST?
SERMON THEME: GOD IS JUST
INTRODUCTION: WHY WOULD A LOVING GOD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
· JESUS BELIEVED IN HELL, BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONE WHO TALKED MORE ABOUT HELL THAN HEAVEN.
29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
· MORE PEOPLE BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF HEAVEN THAN BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF HELL.
THE SPIRITUAL AND THE PHYSICAL REALITIES OF LIFE.
II CORINTHIANS 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
I) THE FIRST REALITY OF LIFE IS THAT HELL IS REAL PLACE.
30 “‘The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.
· GEHENNA IS A GREEK WORD THAT REFERS TO AN ACTUAL PLACE IN THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF THE CITY OF JERUSALEM.
· JESUS WAS USING HELL TO MOTIVATE THOSE WHO WERE SPIRITUAL TO ACT MORE SPIRITUAL. JESUS DID NOT WANT PEOPLE TO GO TO HELL.
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
PEOPLE ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE WHEN THEY CHOOSE NOT TO LISTEN TO GOD.
II) THE SECOND REALITY OF LIFE IS THAT HELL EXIST TO PUNISH SATAN, AND EVIL.
10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
· SATAN IS THE EMBODIMENT OF EVERYTHING EVIL, AND HE CAME TO STEAL, KILL, AND DESTROY.
II THESSALONIANS 1:8-9
8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might
· IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THE REALITY OF HELL, YOU WILL NEVER APPRECIATE THE DEPTH OF GOD'S GOODNESS AND HIS GRACE.
III) THE THIRD REALITY OF LIFE IS THAT HELL IS THE ABSENCE OF GOD'S
· JESUS TELLS A PARABLE ABOUT MAN IN HELL SEPARATED FROM GOD.
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
FOUR LESSONS FROM HELL
1. THE RICH MAN WAS FULL CONSCIOUS & AWARE OF HIS REALITY.
2. THE RICH MAN'S CIRCUMSTANCES WERE ETERNALLY FIXED.
3. THE RICH MAN KNEW HIS PUNISHMENT WAS JUST & FAIR.
4. THE RICH MAN BEGGED & PLEADED FOR SOMEONE TO GO & TELL HIS BROTHERS ABOUT JESUS.
IV) THE FOURTH REALITY OF LIFE IS THAT GOD IS HOLY, JUST, & LOVING.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
· GOD IS HOLY, GOD IS JUST, AND SO GOD MUST PUNISH SIN, BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE.
II CORINTHIANS 5:10
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
· JESUS PAID THE PRICE FOR YOUR SINS BY SATISFYING GOD'S JUSTICE, WHICH DISPLAYED HIS AMAZING GRACE AND UN-ENDING LOVE.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
CONCLUSION: JESUS CAME TO GIVE YOU THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND HE
CAME TO GIVE YOU LIFE.
II PETER 3:9
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.