There Is No Place Like Hell Sunday, December 10, 2017
There Is No Place Like Hell (KJV)
By, James L. Thornton
Luke 16:22b. “The rich man also died, and was buried;
23a. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments,”
First I would like to establish the certainty of hell. Hell to some is just a by-word, or, with many, only a curse word. People are told, jokingly, to go there. But I want you to know that hell is no joke. It's a very real place. And THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HELL.
Fifty percent of all Protestant Preachers do not believe in hell. But I want to tell you that Hell is just as real as Heaven, and there are no conditions on earth that are in comparison to it. Many believe that life on earth is a little bit of Heaven and a little bit of Hell, and that the grave is the end. But just as sure as there is a Heaven, there is a Hell. And it will be the permanent address of most people.
Hell was created for the devil and his angels (2 Peter 2:4), and if you go there you will go as an intruder. Hell had to be enlarged to accommodate those going there who don't have to go. (Isaiah 5:14)
2 Peter 2:4. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;”
If there is no hell then the Bible is a lie, and Jesus told falsehoods.
The word "hell" occurs 54 times in the King James Bible. There are three different Greek and Hebrew words translated "hell." There are times this word simply means the grave, yet there are other times it means the abode of the wicked, a place of everlasting torment, with fires so hot that even the elements (atoms) melt. It also mentions hell as being dark (2 Peter 2:4).
Isn't it strange that God could create a place where even the fires of hell would produce no light. Remember God is light and any place where God is not present it is total darkness. This will be one of the punishments of Hell, eternal darkness.
Jesus speaks of the severity and the eternity of Hell.
"The damnation of Hell." (Matthew 23:33)
"Hell fire." (Matthew 18:9)
"Where the fire is not quenched, and the worm dieth not." (Mark 9:45)
"Tormented with fire and brimstone, and the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and for ever." (Revelation 14:10-11)
"The bottomless pit." Seven times in Revelation, where one falls eternally.
"The second death." Four times in Revelation, where one cannot die.
What is the second death? And where is the bottomless pit? If there is no hell. What did Jesus mean when he said, "It would be better to go through life with your hand cut off, or your eye plucked out than to go to hell?" (Mark 9:47)
Somehow I want to convey this lesson in terms as real as possible.
WHY DOES THERE HAVE TO BE A HELL?
Because the infinite suffering of Calvary calls for the same infinite punishment. Hell is the only logical explanation of Calvary. Why would Jesus go to the cross and suffer the agony, and the pain, and the reproach of the cross--if there wasn't something horrible to save men from?
We want to go Luke 16:19-31 where we have most qualified description of Hell there is.
"There was" (Jesus is speaking of a certainty) a nameless rich man--that tradition calls dives, who fared sumptuously every day. He was robed in purple and fine linen.” (He evidently had all that this life could offer him, living in luxury and splendor.) (Luke 16:19)
"And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his (the rich man's) gate full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores." (Luke 16:20-21)
Jesus is telling us of the great contrast between these two men. One rich faring sumptuously, the other a beggar and living in misery, his body covered with sores. But, both these kind of lives have an ending. Nothing in this life is permanent.
Time passed for both, and one day "the beggar died." (Luke 16:22) he had no earthly help, but had angels as pall-bearers, that carried him away into Abraham’s bosom, leaving no earthly possessions to be disposed of.
Suddenly--"the rich man also died." (Luke 16:22) life in any capacity, even faring sumptuously, is really short. A few years and it is all over. The Scriptures reminds us, "But the rich, in that he is made low; because as the flower of the grass he shall be pass away." (James 1:10)
Another scripture speaks to all of us, "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (James 4:14)
The scriptures have the strongest statements against the rich and powerful who have exploited the weak. For sixty centuries this has been going on and their end is near.
James 5:1-9. “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.”
The rich man (dives), in the story, died, and was buried, no doubt with all the pomp and ceremony that money could buy. Buried in a hewed vault of stone with a marble slab over it. (Matthew 23:27) We have all heard of the cold, cold grave, but let us hear what this rich man experienced on the grave.
Luke 16:23. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24. And he cried and said, father abraham, have mercy on me, and send lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for i am tormented in this flame.
"And in hell, " "And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments,"
What was the grievous sin of this man that God would open the gate and let him fall headlong unto that bottomless pit?
His sin was the complete un-mindfulness of others. He was swallowed up in himself. He was selfish and devoted to his own cause. He was wrapped up in his own little world of fine linen and sumptuous dining. Totally unmindful of those around him.
Selfishness and arrogance was the first sin of Lucifer.
Isaiah 14:12-15. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
Oh the horror of letting a selfish spirit get hold of us.
Dives saw something when he lifted up his eyes in hell.
Hear me as we take this short tour through hell.
Somehow I want to make this lesson in terms as real as possible.
One of the torments in Hell will be that a person takes all his senses with him. Dives had his sight, all his feelings for pain, his voice, and his memory.
One of the greatest torments in Hell will be every Sermon you heard, will be repeated in your mind over and over throughout eternity. Every plea by some Pastor or Evangelist which you ignored will be heard OVER AND OVER again in Hell
Dives looked across the "gulf" (chasm) and he saw a land where there was no pain and suffering. He saw something else, "He saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." (Luke 16:23)
Dives saw things that he never saw while he was on earth.
He had a revelation in hell.
Dives had a prayer meeting on his first day in hell.
The first real prayer dives ever prayed he prayed in Hell.
It was sincere prayer.
It was earnest prayer.
But it was a too late prayer.
Yes there will be prayer meetings in Hell.
The day will come when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, But with many it will be too late to pray. Hell has become a bye-word and a curse word, but Hell is no joke.
Be it ever so horrible,
There is no place like Hell.
"Father Abraham have mercy on me, …" (Luke 16:24)
This is the only time in the New Testament when a cry for mercy went unheeded. There is no mercy in Hell. But there is mercy for every individual before they go there.
The roles had been reversed.
Dives was a rich man on earth,
But he was a beggar in Hell,
Here is a man begging for mercy who had daily shown no mercy.
Day by day he had passed Lazarus, in his miserable condition, and turned his head, and went on his way, without any pity being shown. Just think how some of his wealth could have been used to alleviate some of the misery Lazarus had endured every day.
James 2:13. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
"And send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in these flames." (Luke 16:24)
Can we imagine so desperate a thirst that a person would beg for someone to dip the tip, not his whole finger, not a hand in the water, but the tip of one finger in water, and touch their tongue just for the taste of water. Take a good drink before you go there because, there is no water in Hell.
"But Abraham said, son, remember.." (Luke 16:25a)
One of the torments of Hell will be a person's memory. One will be able to remember all past events. They will pass before their eyes like pictures on a giant screen, eternally reminding them of their lives. They remember the "good life" they enjoyed. They remember opportunities they ignored to avoid the place they are in. Every Sermon, every altar call, every appeal by some Minister to give their heart to God and receive mercy. Memory will be a scourge in Hell, besides the excruciating pain.
Luke 16:25. But Abraham said, son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Can't get any water in hell, "there is a great gulf fixed."
There is no passing from one place to the other.
Then if you can't help me,
Luke 16:27. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28. For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29. Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30. And he said, nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31. And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
I wonder if maybe there is someone in Hell who is praying for you.
There is no road out, no way out,
I can't get you out, Bro. …..…. Can't get you out.
But there is a way to stay out.
You may say "God wouldn't send people to hell.
Do we have to vindicate the justice of God?
Who are you to say no to God?
Who are you to walk out on God?
To turn your back on God?
God that created the world,
God that flung the stars into the heavens,
God who took his finger and traced the course of the babbling brook down the mountain side,
God who scooped out the seven seas with his hands,
And God who set the sun blazing in the universe,
Who are we to say no to such a being?
We are so small and insignificant.
Hell is the mad house of the ages.
Hell is the insane asylum of the universe.
There are murderers in Hell,
There are rapist in Hell,
There are gangsters in Hell,
There are harlots in Hell,
There are liars in Hell,
There are thieves in Hell.
The dregs of the ages are in Hell.
There you will find Cain,
There you will find Esau,
Judas is in Hell.
Hell is the place of the lost.
Lost to love, there is no love in Hell,
Lost to hope, there is no hope in Hell,
Lost to happiness, there is no happiness in Hell,
Lost to mercy, there is no mercy in Hell,
Lost to church, there is no church in Hell,
Lost to saints, there are no saints in Hell.
THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HELL!
No one will miss you in Hell, for God will wipe away all memory of you from their minds.
Forgotten by Mom,
Forgotten by Dad,
Forgotten by loved one's,
Forgotten by God himself.
In eternity there is no clock,
In eternity there is no calendar,
In eternity there is no passing of years.
How long is eternity?
I heard it this way.
Just suppose the earth was a steel ball, And an eagle came down from outer space once every ten-thousand years, And brushed that steel ball with the tip of it's wing. When the eagle had come down and touched the steel ball enough times to wear it away till you could hold it in one hand, Eternity had just begun.
God knew that the human mind could not comprehend the word "eternity," so he only had it used one time in Holy Scriptures, then he used the word forever, and this too beyond our power to understand.
When we consider the seriousness of this lesson, and whether or not it is right or wrong, think of the following question.
Suppose I die believing in Hell, am I harmlessly wrong, or dangerously wrong?
I will close with the following scripture.
Revelation 14:11. And the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his image.
13. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead who die in the lord, from henceforth: yea saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."
REMEMBER THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HELL.
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By, James L. Thornton