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What Do You Believe About Hell? Mar 05 2012


"...to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord." - 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

Have you ever taken a minute to think about hell - who's going to be there and what it's all about? Did you know that Jesus spoke more about hell than He did about heaven?

Jesus tells an interesting parable about a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus. The beggar sat each day at the gate of the rich man's house, hoping for some leftovers from the rich man's feast, but they never came. Both men died. Lazarus, the poor man, went to be with God, and the rich man went to hell. Seeing Lazarus across a great divide, he begged that Lazarus might dip his finger in water and bring even a drop to cool his tongue because of the agony of the heat, but it was too late. They were separated by the great divide - forever.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I'm certainly not saying the poor will go to heaven and the rich will go to hell. This is just the parable Jesus chose to use. But, have you noticed how many people act like hell doesn't exist? They believe everyone eventually goes to heaven because God is love. What if they're wrong? Jesus believed in hell. Do you believe He was wrong or do you believe He tells the truth?

A truth about eternity: until you believe in the bad news of hell, you can't understand the good news of Jesus. He came to save us from hell and guarantee us a place in heaven. The question is: what do you believe about hell? What Jesus says, or something else?

5 Comments

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More of a question than a comment. Our society is filled with individuals who choose not to work or even attempt to find employment. The tax burden associated with massive entitlement programs appears to be draining our economy & leading to massive debt.
I realize we need to care for the poor/needy, but how do to discern the difference between the poor & the lazy/irresponsible? Where does good stewardship of God's money fit into this process?
A very complicated problem that must be addressed or our ability to help the truly poor & needed will be greatly impacted as the number of truly lazy/irresponsible grows to record numbers.

 
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I shouldn't get started on this, B J. My short response is that we should care for the poor, needy personally and through churches, not the government. Success/failure of government programs are evaluated by how much of our money they gave away, not if it went to the right places. I promised to be short, so just PRAY; pray for the right changes this time and get God back into Washington like our founding fathers intended.

 
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Bryant's been preaching out of Romans 1 recently, and yesterday talked a little about what Hell will be like. He reminded us that Hell will be a place where there is no God, and none of God's people. There will be no restraint on evil as there is now. He said we've seen a glimpse of that at times as God has "given people over to the sinful desires of their flesh". In Hell that restraint will be gone completely and permanently. That really brings the point home. It will be an eternity without love, without goodness, without compassion. What an awful place.

On the issue of the government helping an increasingly dependent and unmotivated electorate, I totally agree, Chuck. Those on the left often bring up Jesus as a way to make their case for more and more social programs and entitlements. While it's true that Jesus wants us to care for the poor, that would be as individuals and as part of his Church, not through the government. It's still a challenge for individuals and the church to try to determine who is truly in need, but that's the best place for those decisions to be made.

 
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I don't think the word "away" is in the original. The torment comes from being in the presence of God without truely being consiled. A better tanslation reads: "And to you who are oppressed He shall grant to be at peace with us when our Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed from heaven with the host of his angles, at which time he will avenge with flaming fire those who know not God and those who do not acknowledge the gosple of our Lord Jesus Christ; for they, at the judgement day, shall be rewarded with everlasting destruction from the presence of our Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be gloried by His saints and to perform His wonders among His faithful ones, so that our testimony concerning you may be believed in that day." The most important thing any reader of this comment should contemplate is: to what is God refering and meaning when he says "so that our testimony concerning you may be believed in that day". This is meant to apply to every believer. What is this testimony about us? It is helpful to each believe when he knows this testimony himself.

 
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Non-believers like to make jokes about hell. "If there's no beer in heaven, I don't want to go", or "all my friends will be in hell, so why would I want to go to heaven?"

I don't know what heaven or hell is like really. I just know that I have been drawn to the Lord and to his Word. Every day is a new experience of life with him, and the peace and joy therin. At some point, I will leave this life, and I feel the assurance of his promise that he will never leave me nor forsake me. That he has gone before me to prepare a place for me. That nothing else can compare to it and that I will never tire of being there in his presence.

Hell? I don't know, but Jesus warned that it would worse than anything man could imagine. That's not what "motivates" me, though. I am not running from something; I am drawn irresitably to something, or more correctly, to someone.

 

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