If I Die Before I Wake
Do you have the character and the courage to examine your own heart and toss out the things that would keep you from really believing the truth about Heaven or Hell? About who Jesus is? About who God is? About the laws of God and walking with God? Do you have the character to FORGET the things you've always thought, and FIND OUT what HE says the truth is? What is Hell, in an era where pied-Piper humanistic religious humans want to disregard, obscure, or attempt to explain away the Teachings of Jesus Christ on the matter? Jesus was the only One who really KNOWS about Hell, and He spoke often and practically on the topic. Even more importantly, what then is the OPPOSITE of Hell - the Wedding Supper of the Lamb that you are invited to begin now to live within?
It seems like modern thinking has brought us to the place where we don’t believe Hell is as hot as it was fifty years ago. We’d rather not believe in Hell, so we choose to exercise the option to just not believe in it at all. We’ll believe in Heaven, of course, but not Hell. Have you ever heard someone say, “My God is bigger than that. My God is the God of love… my God would never send someone to Hell.” And, of course, those people will go on to say that God couldn’t possibly have any standards for their lives because “my God is bigger than that…my God wants me to be happy.” Actually, their god is much smaller than the REAL GOD because their god is made in their own image (instead of the other way around)!
It doesn’t do us any good to approach life that way. It’s not smart—because it doesn’t change things. To believe a certain way about something doesn’t change the reality. Believing that the world is flat doesn’t make the world flat. There is a reality involved. God isn’t up for a vote. Heaven and Hell are not up for a vote. It doesn’t really matter what we think. Our job is to seek the truth diligently and to hide our lives in truth and reality.
Do you have the character and the courage to examine your own heart and toss out the things that would keep you from really believing the truth about Heaven or Hell? About who Jesus is? About who God is? About the laws of God and walking with God? Do you have the character to FORGET the things you’ve always thought, and FIND OUT what HE says the truth is? Maybe we will find out as we look at some very practical and relevant things…
Only a Few Find It
Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’”
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
From these two statements spoken by Jesus and recorded in the Bible, it’s clear that there won’t be one person who will make it to Heaven by accident, or by wishing it were so. There will actually be many people who are trying to make it to Heaven, and the Son of God (who I dare say knows what He is talking about) said they will not be able to!
I say that to sort of shock you into thinking with me through the remainder of this writing, because if you are not with me at this point, the rest of this will be a waste of time. You must take these things very seriously and personally for your own heart. Not for somebody else. Otherwise, God will not speak to you through this and your heart will be hardened. And if your heart is hardened, then there will be little chance that God will be able to prick your heart and bring you back. It will be much harder. Carefully consider what I’m about to say—take it practically and personally.
Embrace the Truth
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…
This verse from the Bible clearly tells us that God judges whether we “suppress the truth” that He shows us and choose to live wicked, self-centered lives, or if we embrace His Truth. Have we invested ourselves to find out what God’s ways are? Or are we lazy and apathetic?
Our job in life is, as the Bible says, to “love the truth and so be saved.” The person who seeks shall find. That’s what all of us have to be doing no matter what stage we are at in our pursuit of Truth. God answers the prayer of those who are diligently seeking, not those who are resting on their laurels (looking into the past and counting some good things as sufficient).
What about the situation where our environment has somehow blinded us? Maybe we’ve grown up in a very wicked environment or in some very materialistic environment, and we are clouded to the truth of God. We had all these things pushed in our face year after year, either because of bad family situations or some terrible thing later in life. What about all these sorts of things?
While some would like to think that those are valid reasons to ignore God and His truth, the Bible says that God has made His truth clear. And God knows what He is doing. It says that all men “are without excuse.” It doesn’t matter what your environment was. It doesn’t matter what your physical limitations are or what your sociological limitations have been—that has absolutely nothing to do with it. All men are without excuse because God has made it His project to show us enough truth to find out whether we are going to pursue truth, or walk away from it. He has shown us enough truth to make known the inclination of our hearts.
In John 16, it says the Holy Spirit was brought to convict the world of guilt in regard to sin. The “world”…in other words, everybody. Everyone is without excuse because God has shown us all enough truth to see whether we will pursue it, or let it lie by the road as we walk on by. In that sense, it is pretty easy to understand that when God has this thing called “Heaven” and this thing called “Hell” that He is not being unfair. He has made the choice clear to us—we are all without excuse.
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
There is punishment in store for those who don’t know God and for those who don’t obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus. When He returns with blazing fire, as a hundred million angels fill the sky, there will be comfort for God’s people. But, it says that those who don’t know God, and who don’t obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus, face destruction that is everlasting. They will be shut out from the glorious presence of God Almighty.
What is Hell?
What exactly is Hell? Is that where God decides He will get out a whip and lash us because we didn’t do what He wanted us to do? The answer to that is NO. Hell actually is to be shut out from the glorious presence of God.
When we look out the window, we can’t help but see the Glory of God. That’s what it says in the Bible in Romans chapter 1. His creation displays His majesty and His glory and His love. We see the trees growing up out of dirt, of all things. How could that be? The sunshine, the blue skies, the birds in the air, the oxygen we breathe, the cool of the evening, the moon, the stars—creation is beautiful. That’s part of the nature of God. He gave us all these things because He loves us. No matter what your situation is in life (whether you are walking in total rebellion to God, or in total fellowship with God), at this point you are still sharing the glories of the heavenlies. For now, we are all sharing the goodness of God and fellowshipping with His creation.
Yet, there will be a day when the elements melt with a fervent heat and the heavens and the earth will be destroyed, and that day shall, all of a sudden, draw a line between the light and dark that exist right now. Obviously, there is darkness, sin and corruption on earth. No question about that. Light and dark are mingled, and we are all clearly given an opportunity to see enough light to pursue that light, leaving darkness behind. Yet, there will be a time when that line is firmly drawn, and all those who walk in rebellion to God will be shut out from the presence of God. There will be no more of God in anything.
You can imagine that in your mind by considering what would happen if tomorrow morning the sun didn’t come back up again. Just a small thing—just a small part of God’s creation. If the sun didn’t come up, and the winds started to howl, and the trees and the animals started to die, and then the snows came and life was just suffocated, earth would become a miserable, ugly place and all life would be destroyed.
That’s what would happen if God took away the sun, just that little bit of His goodness. If you can imagine God instantly taking away everything that is good and whole and beautiful—all the love, all the kindness, all the beauty—and leaving nothing but blackness, ugliness, hatred and disgust…that is exactly what’s going to be left. There will be nothing of God left in Hell. That’s what Hell is. It’s not some judgment that God casts down on people who don’t do things His way. It’s just that those who have chosen to fellowship with God on this earth will walk in full fellowship as they see Him face to face, and those who have chosen to please their own sinful natures and serve the father of lies will see God withdrawing the fellowship that He has been sharing with them. That’s all it is. And what is left is awful beyond words—that’s Hell. He will share His fellowship with those who have fellowshipped with Him here, and withdraw it completely and absolutely from those who have chosen not to fellowship with Him here. That’s what Hell is all about.
So, Who Is in Danger of Hell’s Grasp?
The following verse is taken from the book of Galatians in the Bible:
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity (which apparently is something different than sexual immorality), moral corruption, debauchery, idolatry (putting something, anything, before God—in your checkbook, in your time, in your thoughts), witchcraft (that might include the newspaper column that tells your daily horoscope or playing with a Ouija board), hatred, discord, jealousy (something simple like jealousy is right up there with witchcraft and sexual immorality), fits of rage (temper tantrums…How are you doing with that one? With your roommates, co-workers, traffic, children, parents, spouse?), selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy (looking at other people’s things and just wishing you could have them), drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Be not deceived. If any of those things are a description of your lifestyle, your way of living, don’t think you will inherit the Kingdom of God. You can “go to church” nine days a week and it won’t change that passage. We tend to forget to deal with our own lives, thinking instead that some form of godliness will save our souls. It’s just not so. It doesn’t say that. The Word of God says, “Don’t think that anyone who lives like this can possibly go to Heaven.” The reason that this is true is because there is a thing called sin, and the wages of sin is always death. That’s the nature of the universe. And there is only ONE Man, JESUS,who can free us!
Hell Does Exist
Let’s go back and talk some more about this modern day deception that says, “There is no Hell.” There is an old saying that says, “The man who tries to prove that there is no Hell generally has a personal reason for doing so.” The fact is that Hell does exist. Since that’s true, God, who cares for His Creation, certainly wants to make that information available to us! He wants us to have an understanding of the fact that Hell is very real. It’s something that we can’t eliminate just because it’s unpleasant. Ignoring Hell won’t make it go away any more than ignoring death will make death go away. Hell is real, and we need to understand that it’s real—just as Heaven is.
No Fun and Games
I’ve heard some people make a joke out of Hell. They say, “Well, that’s where all my friends are going to be anyway, so that’s okay. At least I’ll have friends to keep me company down there. We’ll just have one big party there.” I want you to know that is a very, very dangerous way of thinking. For one thing, it’s ignorant of the Scriptures—it’s also distorted, unbiblical and suicidal. There won’t be any fun and games in Hell at all! It will be a place of total darkness. It will be a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. It’s hard to have a lot of fun with your friends when you’re in total darkness and agony. God is light and God will not be present there. You won’t even be able to see your finger in front of your face. There will be no light and no comfort of companionship.
In Revelation 14:11 it says, “The smoke of their torment rises forever and ever.” Revelation 20:10 says, “There is no rest day or night.” There is no entertainment or recreation there. It continues on and on. No fun and games—just a pathetic loneliness and a deep crying out for something or SOMEONE that is not there. Total loneliness. You will be all alone in this place of torment.
Total Darkness Forever
The worst part is that Hell is eternal. If it would just last 1,000 years, after I made it through the first day I could say to myself, “Well, just 999.997 more years to go.” But it doesn’t work that way. Hell is eternal.
Matthew 25:46 “They will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Hell is an eternal punishment—weeping and gnashing of teeth. There is eternal punishment for those who are apart from Christ, and there is Eternal Life for those who are righteous. Some have said that this punishment is a one-time thing—that our souls are totally destroyed and that’s the end of it. Some people will tell you that in Hell we will have no more problems because we are destroyed once and for all. This totally neglects what God has said on that subject. “The smoke of their torment cries out forever and ever.” Jesus used the same word for “eternal” life as He did for “eternal” punishment. However long Heaven is, that’s how long Hell is. The two are synonymous in that way. They run parallel to each other. Life doesn’t end in one fell swoop.
Hell is a place of fire. We find that description over and over again. You ask yourself, “Well, how could it be a place of fire and not be consumed?” Is God who created all things not capable of doing ANYTHING (remember Moses and the flaming bush that wouldn’t burn up)? Regardless of whether our feeble minds understand it, God is capable of doing anything like that. If we refuse to change our lives and to live for Christ and obey Him in every area, then we will find ourselves in that place of fire that is never consumed. That’s a promise that God has made. God doesn’t lie. He will fulfill that promise.
“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of man will send out his angels and they will weed out of the kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of the Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Apparently, Jesus was dealing with a people who didn’t want to listen. Jesus said, “If you have ears, please hear what I am saying.” Christ certainly didn’t come to destroy the world, but to save it. He doesn’t desire for anyone to fall into Hell’s grasp. He wasn’t saying, “Ha, Ha, Ha, some of you are going to burn in Hell.” He was saying, “Please listen to what I am saying. Hell is real. It does exist.” Please judge and deal with your life accordingly. There is going to be fire—it’s REAL! We are not talking about the fairy tale version of life after death. Hell is something very real that Jesus spent much of His time talking about. It’s a place of fire and a place of darkness. Here are some more of Jesus’ words on the subject:
“Throw that worthless servant outside into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
“If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off, for it is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands and to go to Hell where the fire never goes out.”
Again, for those who claim that Hell is instantaneous annihilation, we know that Jesus can’t be wrong. And Jesus said that Hell is a place of weeping, and Hell is a place of gnashing of teeth. How does a person that’s instantly vaporized have time to weep? How do they have time to gnash their teeth? Obviously, Hell is not instant annihilation as some might claim.
“…the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”
The Soul is Conscious
It’s a place of darkness, a place of fire, a place of torment. The soul is conscious. It’s not just in some world of oblivion where you don’t understand or recognize anything. In fact, in Luke 16 Jesus draws back a curtain and lets us take a glimpse into eternity. While some would want to label these Teachings of Jesus as “figurative,” the context and content both indicate that Jesus was totally clear and serious about what Eternity is really like. The nature of Eternity is just like Jesus describes it! What can we glean?
Lazarus is freed from the burdens of this life. He is freed from the poverty, humiliation, and shame he had in life as a beggar. In the afterlife, Lazarus was clothed with a robe of splendor and great riches. And that’s really what Heaven is all about. That’s the destiny for someone who walks as Jesus walked and will live as Jesus wants them to.
However, the rich man found himself in a very different situation. The rich man was stripped of all his possessions and all his wealth. He was stripped of his honor, his dignity, his power—his ability to tell people what to do. He was undergoing the wrath of God and suffering the humiliation and bitter anguish of being apart from God in the life after death. That was the rich man’s destiny because of the choices he made in his life on Earth.
In Luke 16, we see that the rich man called out for Lazarus to put a drop of water on the rich man’s tongue. That alone means there is a consciousness. It is also clear that the rich man remembered his brothers who were in danger of the same thing. Hell is not an oblivion where we don’t understand or feel anything. There is weeping and gnashing of teeth. It’s a conscious state. Intense suffering in total darkness.
Punishment That Fits the Crime
A common question people ask is: “Isn’t eternity too long to suffer? Wouldn’t you think eternity is too long to suffer as penalty for a few short years of rebellion here on this earth?” That is a good question, but I have two other questions. First, on what basis then would you think you could ever deserve Heaven—eternal paradise, glory, peace, comfort, righteousness and life for eternity—for a few short years of having abandoned your life into the Blood of Jesus? How could it be that you deserve eternity in paradise in exchange for a few short years on earth? And yet, that’s easy to conceive, while eternal torment in exchange for a few short years of self-centered living, somehow is not. That doesn’t seem honest or logical, does it? Second, does a judge consider the punishment for a crime by how long it took to commit the crime? Or does he consider the penalty according to the drastic nature of the crime involved?
Let’s say that a person committed a crime that took only five seconds to commit. Would it be right for the judge to sentence him to life in prison for a crime that took only five seconds to commit? For instance, murdering your children or your neighbor? It doesn’t take very long to put a bullet into someone’s chest. And if someone brutally murdered your only child, you would have something to say about it if the judge only sentenced the murderer to five seconds in prison, wouldn’t you? Or even five years for that matter…
It doesn’t have anything to do with how long we sin, does it? It has to do with two things: What is the nature of that crime? And who was the lawgiver that declared it a crime in the first place?
If you did not obey your librarian, there wouldn’t be a whole lot that could be done about it. She doesn’t have much authority. However, your country’s government carries a lot more authority, doesn’t it? So, when I have wronged them, a greater punishment can be invoked upon me. Now, consider the punishment for those who defy Almighty God! Those who defy their Creator are in grave trouble. Because of the Majesty of the Lawgiver, the punishment is that much more severe and certain. We make ourselves out to be gods and we say God doesn’t count. “I’m going to do it my way. I’m free. I can live my life however seems best to me.” Making ourselves out to be gods is a very arrogant and serious crime.
God says that the ugliness of our pride, or jealousy, or selfishness, or slanderous tongue murders the only begotten Son of God. Would you say that’s a serious crime? It is, whether you think so or not. And that’s the reason why Hell is an eternal punishment and we are sentenced for forever, not just a short period of time. The book of Revelation uses the phrase “forever and ever” thirteen times. It is used ten times in regards to the lifespan of God, the lifespan of Jesus Christ and the praises of Heaven. The other three times it’s used to refer to the smoke of torment in Hell. So, however long God’s lifespan is, that’s how long Hell is—that’s how long torment is. Hell is a conscious, endless suffering.
If that weren’t enough (which it is), there is another way of looking at it as well. Our sins never stop with ourselves. They carry on into other people’s lives. Our sins hurt, affect, and influence other people. Our decisions and ways of living have an effect on and change the very lives of all those we encounter. For this very reason, there is no such thing as a small sin.
A wise man once said, “The sign on the doorpost of Hell reads this way: ‘Those who enter this door leave all hope behind.’” There is no hope once we enter those gates. Hebrews 10:31 says, not without reason, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, a terrible and hideous thing to fall into His hands. There isn’t any nightmare you could have that would come close to the terror of living in Hell for one minute, let alone eternity.
But Ohhhhh, What an Opportunity!
Now, let’s consider another popular question…Have you ever wondered why a wonderful, kind, generous, loving, glorious God would allow such a terrible place to exist? It’s because this terrible place wasn’t meant for YOU!!! One of the reasons it’s so bad is because it wasn’t prepared for us. Jesus said it was prepared “for the devil and his angels.” He doesn’t want you to be there. That’s why it’s such a terrible, terrible place. Jesus said the road is broad and the path that leads to destruction, Hell, is broad. The vast majority of people will take that broad, terrible road that leads to destruction. But, THAT is not what God desires for you!
Do you want to know what He does have in store for those who will totally and completely give their lives to Him? He intends for us to live in the fullness of Him where time doesn’t exist and joy overflows. I’m sure you’ve experienced a time when you were with someone or in some circumstance that was absolutely fabulous, a fantastic time. You looked at your watch and you thought it had been 30 minutes, but hours had gone by! Time didn’t exist. That’s the kind of relationship that Jesus really wants to have with us, and for us to have with each other, for that matter—where time doesn’t exist. We are so lost and overflowing in His joy and in a relationship with Him that we step out of the bounds of time. The pressures, the priorities, and all the demands of our circumstances, our worries, and our concerns—don’t matter. Isn’t that what happens when you are really in a situation of love and exuberance and joy that’s fulfilling and real and alive? You just lose track of time. “Wow! It seems like we’ve been here just a few minutes.” We’ve all had some point in our lives where God showed us that shadow of what it’s like to be with Him—if we would just open our eyes to see Him. Time doesn’t exist in His realm.
God knows that if we will take the time to be with Him that He will demonstrate His character to us in such a way that He will be absolutely irresistible. The qualities of His character are staggering. Being lost in time happens when there is something amazing about what is happening. There is something about being with Him that catapults you out of all the other things that you were encumbered and dragged down by. Suddenly you are dazzled by something that is outside of the realm of your normal flow of experience. Jesus is like that. He is inviting us to come walk with Him. “Come, let’s reason together. I will dazzle you with all My qualities of kindness, mercy, and everlasting forgiveness.”
“My personality will be so attractive to you that you won’t be able to stand it. You won’t be able to resist Me, so just come walk with Me a little while. If you will just isolate yourself a little bit, you’ll see My smile, you’ll see the gleam in My eye, you’ll see how the wind blows through My hair, you’ll see and hear and experience things that take you to another realm, and time won’t exist there anymore. You will see My leadership and My strength. You will see how I have a resolve against sin. You’ll see that I have a focus and a clear vision of what life is supposed to be. And you’ll hear the depth of My laughter and feel the warmth of My encouraging embrace. AND, I know how to take you there! Come follow Me. I’ll show you leadership. I’ll show you strength. I’ll show you an immovable character and quality of life that will dazzle you, that will make you want to come with Me because it’s safe and secure where I am. I’ll show you a kindness and a sensitivity that will see right into your heart and life. If you come to Me and lay down your miserable life full of yourself, then I’ll wash you, and cleanse you, and put My Spirit inside of you. Then, I’ll draw out the diamonds and the rubies and the jewels that are there. I’ll draw those things out. I’ll make you a queen, I’ll make you a king.”
Jesus has all these qualities. He is perceptive in 1,000 different ways and wise beyond words. This is our Master. This is Jesus. This isn’t some fairytale. This isn’t some story out there about some god that created the earth and sits on a big ole’ white throne and we are all going to be judged. This is about the person of Jesus and His Father who rule over us. If we will just be looking, if we will take the time to encounter Him, there is absolutely no way to resist Him any longer. The problem has been a lack of willingness to abandon ourselves into His very capable and loving hands. His trustworthiness is beyond belief. But we don’t always get close enough to see it because we get a little too busy, too selfish, too careless—we just won’t take the time to be dazzled and wooed by Him.
He wants to build an army of followers, but it’s not just some theoretical, logical, doctrinal issue—“Follow Me or you’ll go to Hell.” Well, that is true, but that has nothing to do with what Jesus came to show the twelve. Do you think they followed Jesus all over the countryside because He was wagging His finger at them and telling them to follow Him or they would go to Hell? Do you remember any scriptures like that? Is that what He did when He went and prayed to the Father all night? Did He say, “Father, show Me what I should say,” and then stand up and say, “You twelve, you come with Me or you’re going to go to Hell”? No. They wanted to be with Him because they saw something about Him that just amazed them. They saw His wisdom, kindness and patience. They saw strong leadership and an unwavering character. They saw someone who could take the pummeling of life and stand tall with just a little corner of His mouth smiling in the face of it, with courage in His eyes. And they wanted to be like Him—they wanted to be with Him. They weren’t going anywhere because there was nowhere else they wanted to be other than by His side. He didn’t have to threaten them, and He’s not threatening us either. He’s inviting us to see Him for who He is and to see the amazing qualities and the amazing personality that He has…so that we would want to be with Him, in this life and the next.
An Invitation to a Wedding—YOURS!
If you think about the picture that’s in the Scriptures of how life for and with Christ culminates—what is it? It’s a courtship and a wedding supper. He’s appealing to us, saying, “I have this confidence about Myself, saith the Lord, that if you will be with Me and take a look at who I really am, there will be no other suitors that compare. There is nothing else in the whole universe that will win your heart like I can, because I made you for Me. The other things have distracted you, but if you will just take the time and step up alongside Me, you will see what life was meant to be. I want you to marry Me. I want you to come with Me and be Mine. I want you to give up your life of sin and rebellion and come to Me. Fall into My arms and let Me take care of you. Let Me wash you and make you as white as snow. I died so that you could be made clean…take up your cross and follow Me. Put your hand in Mine and I will take you to a place you’ve never dreamed of. And we’ll have a wedding—the most beautiful wedding you’ve ever seen!”
That invitation is the thing that has from the beginning of time brought people to seek after Him. That’s the invitation for us, too. That’s the invitation to “pray.” That’s the invitation to “obey.” That’s what it’s all about. It isn’t just some external doctrinal thing. It’s a drawing and a wooing of what’s inside of us. It’s looking at all that He is and saying, “I can’t live without that! I don’t want to live without that! I would never dream of living outside of His will for my life and outside of His purposes. I want to follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Whatever He wants for my life, He’s got it! He’s the Bread of Life, and where all my nourishment and fulfillment are found. He’s that picture of leadership and kindness and forgiveness and mercy that I can’t live without—that I don’t ever want to live without. I want to see Him be strong. I want to see Him be severe. I want to see Him be kind. I want to see Him be loving and compassionate. I want to see Him be wise beyond words. And I want to be with Him! I want to hear every word that He has to say, and I don’t ever want to be more than a step away from Him the rest of my life. I cannot turn my back on Him because of my own selfish pride or laziness or hurt feelings. I can’t turn my back on Him. The loss is just too great. The temptation is there, but the loss is too great.”
Last Chance? Don’t Miss it!
I hope that you have given your life to Jesus and have repented of sin—throwing all wickedness, vileness, and selfishness aside. I hope you are living for Him and making your decisions for Him and in Him, not coddling those seemingly “little” bad habits and living in carnal ways of thinking. In other words, I hope that you’ve abandoned your life into His arms and therefore have been washed in His Blood. There is no reason for low living. God has something much better in mind for you. Hell is a real place, it’s not a fantasy. God doesn’t play games with His creation. The Bible doesn’t mix fantasy and reality. God doesn’t make any idle threats—not even one. As difficult as it might be, these are all truths that you and I have to deal with.
On that “great and horrible day” for those who have lived for themselves, and lived by their own opinions, each will stand before the Throne to “give an account for every deed done.” There will be no excuses; there will be no additional opportunities; there will be no exceptions to the judgment due. Those who are not living now as abandoned into the Will of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and His Commands…will be separated from family members by the demons of Hell, and forever banished in torment and aloneness to the vile, loathsome fury of satan’s fiery Hell. That will happen. It’s a very real thing. I just tremble at what awaits a person who is outside of Christ and is refusing to obey Him. It will be a nasty, nasty thing, for both the “christian” unconverted masses (Mat.7), as well as those who have never claimed Him.
Some people have listened and listened and listened but have refused to do anything about what they’ve heard. They have said a lot of holy words, but their actions don’t support them. They have a lot of leaves, but absolutely no fruit. Jesus cursed the fig tree for that same reason. In Luke 12:47,48 it says that the severest punishment, the hottest places in Hell, are for those who understand the will of the Master and don’t do it. They don’t make themselves ready to meet Jesus. For those who hear the words of the Master, and either refuse to obey them or don’t make themselves ready for Him, the hottest place in Hell will be awaiting them.
I dare say that many, many people have heard and listened and understood these things over and over again. Are you one of those people? Are you sure you have another tomorrow left? Some of you may not. Some of you may be sprouting gray hairs now, and time is growing very, very short. I want you to understand the reality of this, just as Jesus made it abundantly clear over and over again. If you have proven your lack of repentance or your denial of His Lordship by stubbornly hanging on to bad habits and doing your own will rather than His, then that is sin that will cost you your soul. By your stubborn refusal to obey His will, your life and your soul will be required of you. Don’t think, “I’ve got a few more years to get my life in order.” God may say to you, “You fool. Your life will be required from you this very night!” It is foolish to operate in the future. Call on Him while He is near.
But remember, if you come to Christ, who brings salvation full and free…then all those sins are gone. There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ, who live for Him and walk in His love, mercy, and compassion. But it’s a decision that you will make—once and for all. We do have memory in the afterlife, and I hope your memory isn’t a memory full of regrets from a burning Hell. “I really wish I had obeyed Jesus and that I had responded to His open arms.” I hope that won’t be your regret. I hope that wherever you are right now, you will make it right with Jesus and commit your life to Him totally and completely—because there is no salvation without that: for this is the definition of Biblical faith. I want you to understand what God intends for you to have, and it’s NOT the place prepared for the devil and his angels!
Hell was not prepared for you. Choose something different for your life. Okay? Come Along and Find out what He HAS prepared for you!
1 Jesus spoke far more about Hell than He did about Heaven. Jesus spoke more about Hell than virtually any other subject during His time here on earth. He wanted to make Hell very clear to us. I think you can see how it would be an injustice to withhold such a prominent part of Jesus’ teaching. If we don’t bring that truth to you in about the same proportion that Jesus did, we really wouldn’t be “walking as Jesus walked.” “Knowing the fear of the Lord we persuade men,” were the words of Paul. He certainly had a crystal clear understanding of what it was he was dealing with. One denomination took a poll amongst their members and discovered that two-thirds did not even believe in the existence of an everlasting place of torment called Hell. Being religious doesn’t necessarily mean that you understand what God has said about the eternal destination of His creation, whether it be to paradise or to torment. I am sure that, intellectually, most of us believe in the fairy-tale version of Hell, but being able to hear and understand with the ears of our heart the screams of agony of millions of people that are in torment right now, is harder to grasp. To actually believe that they are in the torment of Hades, in the fire of torment right now, is a little bit hard to relate to. But it is happening. And those who are full of faith, full of the Holy Spirit will understand and be able to actually hear those screams, and it will motivate them to tell others.