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"A Story of Hell"

Sunday, July 21, 2019

SERMON SERIES - Who's Your One?

Who's Your One?
Who's Your One Training

Welcome to the Empowered Living Church (The ELC). We are celebrating the launch of this new church in our new location as we prepare for our next step. Thank you for being a part of God's victory. Our objective is to save souls, make disciples, and build God's kingdom. We are spending the month of July identifying, supporting, and connecting with one person we hope to win for God's Kingdom. You not want to miss it.

BIG IDEA

The heat was so hot on the golf course my colleague said his kidney’s were toasted.


If you want to create an awkward conversation quickly, there are a few sure-fire topics to bring up. Politics, for example, is sure to do it. Religion often does the trick as well, particularly when someone suggests that there is a singular way to God through Jesus Christ and that all those who do not have faith in Jesus will spend eternity in hell. Conversation over.

KEY SCRIPTURE - Luke 16:19-31 (NIV)

The Rich Man and Lazarus


19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”


CONTEXT

The Bible records an account of a rich man and poor man who both die. The poor man goes to heaven and is embraced by Abraham. The rich man dies and suffers in hell, looks across the great divide in heaven and asks for mercy, water and for someone to warn his family to avoid this place of torment.


God does not send anyone to hell; we go of our own volition as we reject Christ. 


For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  (John 3:17, NIV).


Richard Baxter (Puritan pastor) lived his life from the perspective of both heaven and hell. He directed his church members on “How to Spend the Day with God.”


“Let God have your first awaking thoughts; lift up your hearts to Him reverently and thankfully for the rest enjoyed the night before and cast yourself upon Him for the day which follows. 


Familiarize yourself so consistently to this that your conscience may check you when common thoughts shall first intrude. Think of the mercy of a night’s rest and of how many that have spent that night in Hell; how many in prison; how many in cold, hard lodgings; how many suffering from agonizing pains and sickness, weary of their beds and of their lives. Think of how many souls were that night called from their bodies terrifyingly to appear before God and think how quickly days and nights are rolling on! 


How speedily your last night and day will come! Observe that which is lacking in the preparedness of your soul for such a time, and seek it without delay.”



Time to Review South Bend, Indiana

TEACHING POINTS / THOUGHTS TO BUILD ON

I. HELL IS ETERNAL.


II. HELL IS A PLACE OF PAIN.


 III. HELL IS A PLACE OF FEAR. 


IV. HELL IS A PLACE OF SADNESS. 


Dante’s Divine Comedy describes the fictional journey of the author through hell and ultimately to heaven.  In the “Inferno” section, he describes the sign above the portal of hell. “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” 


V. HELL IS A PLACE OF ISOLATION. 


VI. HELL IS A PLACE OF SEPARATION. 


A FEW GOOD THINGS IN HELL: 


I. GOOD PEOPLE ARE IN HELL. The rich man in this story is moral and caring. 


II. GOOD VISION IS IN HELL. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  (Luke 16:23 (NIV). 


III. GOOD PRAYERS ARE IN HELL. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ (Luke 16:24 (NIV) 


IV. GOOD MEMORY IS IN HELL.  “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. ‘(Luke 16:25 (NIV). 


V. GOOD THEOLOGY IS IN HELL. 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:11 (NIV). 


VI. GOOD PRIORITIES ARE IN HELL. 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ (Luke 16:27-28 (NIV).


 “testify to them”: witness


 “lest”: warn them

 

VII. GOOD INTENTIONS ARE IN HELL.  One can reject Christ through outright rebellion, but rejection of the Lord does not have to be active. One can deny and   refuse Christ also through apathy, indifference, procrastination and even ignorance. Some people fully intend to follow the   Lord, and one day they plan to do so

CLOSING THOUGHT / CHALLENGE

Hell was not prepared for you! Jesus has prepared a place for you.


Jesus Comforts His Disciples


John 14:1-7 (NIV)  1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”


Jesus the Way to the Father


5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”