That was the sales blurb on the packet of ‘Little Lucifer Firelighters’ advertised in junk mail that arrived recently! And there was a caricature of horned Satan with his three-pronged staff. Guess what? He was beaming and winking one eye! Now, of course, we can smile at this. But for Christians the reality of it all ought to hit us deeply.
No laughing matter
For ‘hell’ is no laughing, smiling, beaming or winking matter! It’s a lost eternity of misery as depicted by Jesus in Luke 16:19-31 in the story of Lazarus and Dives. Those who have never accepted Jesus as Saviour are already doomed and destined for hell’s everlasting and unquenchable fire (Jesus’ own words of Matt. 25:31).
Sadly there are people, even Christians, who foolishly use the word ‘hell’ rather loosely as if it was even the Christian ‘in thing.’ It is not; neither is ‘damn’ or ‘damnation.’ In fact to use such words loosely displays a lack of understanding for the biblical meaning of the words and disrespect for the biblical usage of them.
Hell, according to scripture, means ‘the final condition of the lost (wicked) without Christ.’ It’s described as:
- Separation from God (Luke 13:25, 28)
- Outer darkness (Mat. 22:13; 2 Pet. 2:4, 17; Jude 6,13)
- Eternal or unquenchable fire (Mat. 18:8; Mar. 9:43, 45, 48; 2 Pet. 3:7)
- Everlasting contempt (Dan. 12: 2)
- Everlasting torment (Rev. 14: 10,11)
- Everlasting punishment (Mat. 25:46)
- Everlasting destruction or perdition (ruin)(Mat. 7:13; Rom. 9:22; Phil. 3:18,19)
- Where the worm doesn’t die (Mar. 9:44)
- The wrath of God (Rom. 2:5, 8, 9; 1 The. 1:10)
- Retribution (punishment proportionate to the evil) (2 Cor. 11:14, 15; 2 Tim. 4: 14
- The second death (Rev. 20:14; 21:8)
That’s a mean, frightening description list! 15 minutes of pure hell? No way…an eternity of impure hell!
Whatever happened to the good old time religion
Just recently we heard a great message at the church we base ourselves at. It was a clear exposition of end times by visiting speaker Dr Andrew Evans. Later we heard comments along the line of ‘We rarely hear sermons like that anymore in churches.’
True. But what about non-church people? What do they hear? And anyway, so many people in the world that we meet aren’t really interested; they’re living for the here and now under fleshly circumstances.
And sometimes one wonders if Christians really care about the lost, for if we did, we would be witnessing more and praying more. Many old time revivals broke loose only when Christians got a passion (and compassion) for the lost. They came to the prayer group and wept before a merciful God for salvations, especially for family and loved ones. It seems we’re missing something today of ‘that old time religion!’
We owe God everything for his great love and concern for us. As sinners (ie guilty of breaking God’s laws of love and obedience…the stupid things we think, say and do) we were destined for hell.
But a gracious God willingly sent his Son, Jesus, to die for us at Calvary. Jesus paid for the punishment for our sins in our stead, and everyone who accepts him as his/her Saviour is immediately reconciled with Father God and will not face hell.
That’s what the real meaning of Easter, recently celebrated in April, is all about… not cute bunnies and chocolate eggs!
This is good news! If only we could get a million advertisements out there offering ‘An Eternity of Pure Heaven. Almighty God’s Life-lighter, Jesus.’
An easily recognised gospel for all to see…
But would anyone be interested in such an advert? They might be…if we get to prayer!
Meantime, let’s remember that there is one advertisement that they are definitely reading every day – us!
It’s better known as ‘The Gospel According to You.’ Let’s hope they are able to have a good read every day! For ‘hell’ is a reality and no mere 15 minute matter!