Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hell to Pay: Believing that something is a figment of the imagination doesn’t change its hereafter reality

Many human souls have misconceptions about hell.
Part and parcel of those misconceptions are that
people refuse to think of an eternal place (when
they die), that can be filled with so much suffering
and anguish. Their false rose colored eye glass
conception of life after death is not  what Christ
 taught in the Gospel of Luke 16:19-31

I’m sure that you’ve heard somebody jokingly say that they would not wish to go to heaven because they would miss their friends.  But nothing could be farther from reality, as the destination Scripture calls, “Hell,” is not a final meeting place of friends.  Neither is it an environment that has anything to do with friendliness.

What is, “Hell?” To some people in our culture, it is only a word.  You’ve heard the casual language and even casually utilized the word, “Hell,” yourself.  It can be spoken in other forms such as someone describing a personal predicament – someone who has gotten himself into a “helluva” situation.  Or, a popular usage is that something has “Gone to hell in a handbag.”

Our culture’s use of the word, Hell, is often spoken to describe an extreme miserable situation; a most intolerable circumstance.  And, to a certain extent, the word, hell, and another forms of it, are utilized most appropriately.

Christ mentioned more about Hell than He did of Heaven

If you would but scour the Christian New Testament Scriptures, you will find that Jesus Christ, referred to Hell, more than He did, of Heaven.  Doesn’t that give us a clear clue?  Why would Christ make reference to hell, more than heaven?  Here is one instance where Christ spoke of hell:

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. [Matthew 10:28] -- Note:  The “Him” is, God, Himself.

Christ not only spoke of hell, but he warned of hell.  He warned and continues to warn people of hell through his written revelation, the Scriptures, and his Christian disciples of every age.  To God, hell was never meant to be.  But when a contingent of heaven rebelled, that portion of rebellious angels and their leader, Lucifer, were cosigned to that dreadful destination, the Bible calls, “Hell.” Isaiah 14:12-15 ; Luke 10:18 ; Matthew 25:41-46

Hell is the destination of the damned

One of the clearest and most alarming descriptions of hell is found in the Gospel of Luke.  Christ tells the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Luke 16:19-31        

This parable along with a host of other Scriptures, give us a clear description of hell -- not only the genuine existence of hell, but its environment, as well.  And, its environment is not a very delightful place, to say the least.  Rather, hell is a destination and place of frightening proportions; an abode that is umpteen times worse than any person’s personal nightmares coming true.

The Holy Scriptures describe hell
as a real place; a certain destination
in the hereafter. The suffering of a
person's soul's body in a hell  will be
 on various levels: physical, mental,
emotional; and, of course, spiritual.
Christ's Parable of the Rich Man and
Lazarus gives us a glimpse of this
immense suffering. Luke 16:19-31.
Hell is a certain reality experienced
by all who go there.
Scripture describes Hell, in various ways.  It describes a horrible place and wretched environment:

Hell is readily accessible.  It is a place, easy to enter. Matthew 7:13-14

Hell has its “Depths” – which leads us to believe, that it has various levels.  Proverbs 9:13-18

Hell is also described as being a “Bottomless pit” with thick smoke.  Revelation 9:1-2   

Hell is where there is for the forever destruction of both soul and body. Matthew 10:28

Hell is the final destination of the wicked and nations that forget God. Psalm 9:17 

Hell is a place of “Damnation.”  Matthew 23:33  

Hell is a destination of “Corruption." Acts 2:27

Hell is a place of “Everlasting punishment.” Mark 9:42-48 ; Matthew 25:41-46

Hell is an environment which possesses an “Unquenchable fire.”  Mark 9:42-48

Hell's unquenchable fire brings with it a continual everlasting [day and night] tormenting death.  Mark 9:42-48   

Hell is described as “The furnace of fire.”  Luke 3:17

Hell’s fire is described as being an “Everlasting” fire.  Matthew 25:28-30

Hell is described as an environment of “Outer darkness,” which leads us to believe that it is the loneliest environment with which one can ever find himself or herself.  Matthew 22:13

Hell is described as a place of utter regret, sorrow and anger – “Weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Matthew 8:11-12 

Hell is described as a final destination where a person will never die and be no more – but will continue on, being continually [forever] damned with the punishments of fire, corruption, loneliness, regret, sorrow, anger and unimaginable bodily pain.  Luke 16:19-31

Hell is described in the Gospel of Luke 16:19-31 as eternal death and continuous torment. Not only is hell an actual place in the continuance of the forever; it is a certain reality. It's an ever eternal reality of anguish and torment experienced by those who are now cut off from the very source of life, Himself - Creator / Savior God. Hence, hell is often referred to as "eternal death" as there is no life granted from the Lord and Giver of Life, to damned souls. 



We live in a culture where people think that they can create their own reality

It is common place for people to discard traditional morality.  It is also common place for individuals and society to trash the traditional understanding of tolerance.  Traditional tolerance is replaced with political correctness and multi-cultural thought.  Hence, it is deemed wrong to insist on any one standard of truth or reality because all beliefs [supposedly] deserve equal status. 

The current anti Biblical understanding is that as long as a person is sincere – that’s all that counts and matters.  Since the traditional understanding of truth and reality has been replaced with godless evolutionary thought, people actually think that certain Scriptural realities are purely imaginary.  I find this to be so, as I participate on a local online public forum.  One participant recently, basically dismissed the whole Bible as a fairy tale.  To that, I responded that he was denying history and the historical person of Christ.  I continued, by saying, that according to his illogic, a person would have to discount the existence of George Washington – implying that one would also then have to dismiss historical documents that evidence Washington’s existence.

Ignoring the reality of “hell” does not make it go away.  Nor does ignoring hell, make its existence a non contributor in a particular soul’s forever suffering, anguish and permanent judgment and punishment.  You’ve heard people say:   “I believe that hell is on earth and I’m living it, already.”  Again, nothing can be farther from the truth as related by the Hebrew and Christian Scriptural testimony.

This last week on the local online forum an individual posted a comment designed to denigrate certain [other] forum personalities.  He listed his opinion with descriptive words and / or, phrases.  This emeritus pastor was also one of his targets.  He went on to state, his dislike for me by stating there might be a unique hot place in hell for Rev. Bickel, "if there was, indeed such a thing as hell."

Perhaps, more tormenting than the physically felt
torments of hell, is the forever regret of having
rejected Christ the Savior who came to rescue
human souls from their sin and soul's eternal
destruction. Christ's Parable of the Rich Man and
Lazarus underscores this eternal regret in the
Gospel of Luke 16:19-31
The forum personality was not unique in his denial (perception) of hell.  Countless people like him delude themselves with denial as they exercise their God-given free will.  But, they will have no one but themselves to blame for their willful unbelief.  Their rejection of Christ the Savior who came to rescue them from their sin bondage and future punishment will someday be wholly recognized, but only too late.

People will glibly, say:  “How could God allow people to go to hell?”  To this, I reply, “God gave his gift of free will.  God did not create robots without hearts and minds.” God, lovingly, will not force his sinful creation to worship Him, against their own wills.  The New Testament book of Romans, chapter 1 tells us why people deny the very Creator which made and sustains their human presence.  Romans 1:18-32

Scaring a person about the existence of hell, and all its anguishing forever implications, will not motivate a person to escape sin’s ultimate punishment

Christ’s Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus illustrates that people will not be convinced of hellish realities even though they should witness someone coming back from the dead to convince them. [Luke 16:19-31] Has Christ’s own Resurrection from the dead and his holy life’s testimony convinced a majority of this earth’s past and present populations?  Not so.  Matthew 7:13-29

Sin damns a person to hell.  But the God of human history comes with forgiveness of sins:

People continually attempt to deal with their sin and sin nature in a variety of ways.  This past week we witnessed an individual who apparently dealt with his frustrations and anger by killing himself and others when he crash landed an airplane into a Texas IRS office building.  Golfing great, Tiger Woods, (at the very least) insinuated that his departure from the practice of Buddhism contributed to his lecherous and adulterous lifestyle.

Even though Christ died for your sins of thought,
word and deed; sins of commission and omission;
that does not translate into you being one of His
children, headed for heaven; no more than a
cookie jar being guaranteed of possessing
cookies in that jar. It is by God's grace through
faith that a human soul is saved from sin and its
eternal judgment and punishment in hell.
Ephesians 2:1-9 ; especially Ephesians 2:8-9 -
In short, you must be "born from above." As the
sinful Israelites looked to the Brazen image to
escape their poisonous snake bites; you are to
look to Savior Christ to be saved from your sin
and all its eternal consequences. John 3:1-21


But no matter how people attempt to deal with their sinful human natures – all of us will fall, short.  It is a common mistake thinking that we humans can forgive ourselves for our human shortcomings, whether it is first degree murder or telling a “white lie.”  The reality is, that we cannot cleanse or forgive ourselves.  And it is for that reason that the sinless Jesus Christ came to live the human experience in our world to bear the world's sin. [John 1:29] It was His holy life, suffering, death and resurrection from the dead which makes His sacrifice for human sin to be the single most distinguishing and legitimate factor, which separates religions world-wide, for their ultimate truthfulness and reality.

Tiger Woods may choose to worship before a graven image, but it is Jesus Christ, who came to reveal the true God to all of humanity.  It is only through Christ, his life and sacrifice -- and resurrection, that we humans can find peace with the Triune God and avoid the just punishment and judgment of our Ten Commandment breaking sins before that same holy and just God.

Friend, don’t dare be tempted to follow an example of doing yourself in, to avenge what is (or, what you think is) right and wrong.  Don’t follow Tiger Wood’s example thinking that you can control your impulses by worshipping a false (graven image) god. 

Come to see yourself as a helpless sinner in desperate need of the true God’s help and deliverance. Come to know that historical Christ, in the divine revelation of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.  That is where faith to believe in Him is found! Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:17 ; Acts 8:26-39 ; 1 Peter 1:23.

Those same loving God gifted Scriptures are the power and influence to bring you to faith and understanding, in Him.  By God’s grace you will come to truly know Him, and believe in Him.  Then, you will not have to go it alone when your life’s journey is at its end.  You will have then avoided the horrors and punishments of hell by receiving the forgiveness and peace of the sin forgiving, and risen Christ. 


Amen.

Also:  For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:

The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins 


Old Testament:

Isaiah 53:1f – The divine prophesied Christ, hundreds of years before his birth.  Christ’s purpose, mission, life, suffering and death, all, outlined

New Testament:

John 3:14-21 – God’s love for a sinful world and his remedy

John 3:36 – There is no other Savior from sin and its future damning destination [hell]

John 14:6 – No one can know God, except through Christ Jesus – Note:  See also –  1 Timothy 2:5-6

Matthew 7:13-29 – The Narrow Way versus the Wide Way versus the Wide Way

1 John 5:11-12 – True and eternal life can only be found in Christ

Acts 4:12 – Only through Christ can the sinner find deliverance from the chains of sin and sin’s eternal punishments -- See also:  Acts 10:42-43

Matthew 22:1-14 – Christ’s Parable of the Man without a Wedding Garment, speaks of the utter necessity of Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  Only being clothed with the “Garments of Christ’s” holiness will anybody be admitted to God’s holy heaven

Philippians 3:7-14 – Our own [sinful] human intentions and attainments mean nothing before a holy and just God who must punish us sinners to the fullest measure in hell.  However, having the righteousness [holiness] of Christ, which He attained for us, by His birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection – that divine [sin] covering will stand a sinner in (favor) stead, before divine justice.  The sinner who receives this righteousness of Christ will not be condemned on account of his sin.  Please see, again:  Matthew 22:1-14
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News Reports to Cause a Rational Person Not to Doubt the Literal Punishment of the Place We Call, "Hell"

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Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Note for further reference and understanding:

Please note:  Topical Messages, by subject

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
http://www.thechristianmessage.org/

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

 The Christian Faith -- Parts 1-3:

2 comments:

  1. This is a very sobering exposition of the doctrine. May I suggest a few additional thoughts. 1) "Hell is a real place" can be misleading if we misunderstand "place" to refer to location. Hell is a reality; it is our experience of diminishing relationship with God the source of life. The closer to God, the more life, the farther from God the more death (dying). Even this description of the case is metaphorical in that we are not talking about closeness as location in the space/time continuum, but a spiritual state. That hell, the experience of damnation is a state of being is related to the second thought, that we can and do experience hell, or at least there is a connection between our experience of being cut off from God, having no hope, feeling condemned, etc., and the reality we call hell. Traditionally, we speak of Christ suffering the tortures of hell while on the Cross three hours. He was locally in Jerusalem but experienced hell; We speak of His descent into hell as his proclaiming victory over Satan and all spiritual forces who oppose God's will. The challenge for us as proclaimers of God's truth is to help people see where they are on God's "map of salvation," so as to be guided to eternal life (heaven).

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    Replies
    1. Rev. Zeile -

      Thank you for your excellent comment!

      After having read it; I was reminded of what I mentioned in the one caption that hell's sufferings had a spiritual dimension. I was so busy updating the pics and captions under neath [them] that I didn't go back and add a paragraph in my text, saying that one of the most horrific torments of hell is that the person is so tormented that he is forever cut off from God - all that is holy, just and perfect; without any possibility of ever having a second chance to experience God as God originally intended that individual to do so.

      In fact, when you mention about Christ in your comment:
      My wife and I were discussing Christ's anguish in the garden just prior to his capture by the Roman guard. That "cup" which the Christ of the [great] Passion conversed about in His prayer to His heavenly Father, was the cup of total sin suffering (anguish, agony, etc. et al. He was about to pay to the full measure for the whole world's sins; past present and future. That suffering was experiencing hell's torments for every sinner, it could be said.

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