From my reading in Luke 16 in the One Year New Testament.
Hell is a taboo subject in our culture. The movie “Heaven is For Real” is a best seller and made it to the big screen, but I’m not sure that the sequel “Hell is For Real” would be as well received. People love to think about the joys of heaven but cringe at the thought of Hell.
I don’t like the idea of hell either, but I think it is important for believers to be motivated to save people and for non-believers to wake up to the tragic reality before them.
Jesus tells a parable about a rich man and a poor man, named Lazarus, that gives us some valuable information about hell. Keep in mind that this is a parable, so it is not meant to be a doctrinal passage about what hell is like. But from the context of the passage, we can still learn some things.
When I share these principles, I don’t share them with joy, but with a heavy heart.
Hell Is A Place Of Torment
“and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.” Luke 16:23
Hell is a place of torment. The Louw Nida lexicon defines torment here as “severe pain associated with torture and torment.” Torture is perhaps the worst physical human experience we can observe, so someone who is tormented would be experiencing that type of pain.
Hell Is Hot
“The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.” Luke 16:24
The pain that is experienced is like being burned by flames, which is arguably the worst pain people can experience. Hell is often described in relation to burning and flames, but the ironic thing is that, unlike earthly fire, it does not consume the victim or ever go out.
Hell Is Permanent
“And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.” Luke 16:26
In the same way that Heaven is eternity with God, Hell is eternity separated from God. There is a great separation and no one can escape once they are in Hell. The mission is urgent because Hell is permanent and we only have a short window of time to reach people before it’s too late!
God Has Provided An Escape From Hell
“But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.’ ” Luke 16:31
God sent the prophets of the Old testament to give people an opportunity repent and turn to God for forgiveness. It is interesting that Abraham said “they won’t even listen if someone rises from the dead,” and that is exactly what Jesus did!
Jesus died so that you and I don’t have to go to hell.
He took the punishment we deserved on the cross and rose from the dead. Some people know this fact but still don’t listen.
They stubbornly try to keep control of their own life, livings separated from God on this earth. Unfortunately, that decision has eternal consequences and they will continue to be separated from God for eternity in hell.
We don’t have to be punished for our sins because Jesus was punished for us!
He came back to life and offers us life along with him!
All we have to do is repent of our sin, surrender control of our life to God and receive the free gift of eternal life now and in heaven.
Hell is for real and you don’t want to go there.
If it wasn’t then why would Jesus have to die?
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