Matthew 10:28 Jesus Said: 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.
For more than 35 years I witnessed to my father about Jesus Christ. For 35 years my Dad refused to listen to me, consistently rejecting Jesus.
In 2007 my father sent me a letter informing me that the doctors had not given him long to live and that he would not be long for this world. I sat in the stunning reality that my dad may not make it to heaven, despite my many efforts.
In the final few months of my dad’s life, his heart changed. As he began to contemplate the reality of eternity, his own sin, and the uncertainty of what was ahead for him at the moment of death, my dad wanted to talk to me. He wanted a pastor to visit him. Dad didn’t tell me exactly why, but there were indications that he wanted to confess his sins and receive eternal life. I told my father that I could help him in that area as I had been a pastor for many years and had led many people to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. He explained that he was too ashamed of the things he had done to tell his own son, pastor or not.
In the final week of his life, dad was taken to a hospice where he lay unable to speak or respond in a normal fashion. I sat by his bed and read the Bible to him, prayed with him as I held his hand, and recited the sinner’s prayer on several occasions. I understood that although dad could not speak or open his eyes, I knew that he could hear me and that the spirit within him was able to respond. I believe that my father did respond to Jesus Christ and received the forgiveness of his sins and eternal life.
Dad was afraid of death and hell, and rightly so. Jesus said as much about hell as He did about heaven. When Jesus spoke of hell, He referred to it as a place of torment, eternal fire, deep regret, and conscious awareness by those who were assigned there. Jesus spoke of how easy it was for any person to find themselves in this place of torment. In Matthew 5:22, Jesus said that if a person was simply angry with another person, they were in danger of hell.
Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!” shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, “You fool!” shall be in danger of hell fire.
The reason that a person can find themselves in hell for simply being angry is that the destination of all human beings is hell. We are born into this world as sinners, separated from God and have no hope of eternal life. The purpose of Jesus coming to the earth and taking the body of a man, was to die for the sins of all men and give us the opportunity to have eternal life.
The Bible describes the fact that there is only one way of escape from hell and eternal separation from God: The Cross of Jesus Christ. Whether a person chooses to believe that truth or not, determines whether their final destination is; heaven or hell. Like it or not, hell is for real, and unless all of us repent of our sins and turn to Jesus Christ, we will never see heaven.
The new book out by Rob Bell called “Love Wins”, paints God as so loving and merciful that He could not possibly send anyone to hell. What pastor Bell has neglected to include in his thought process and understanding of God, is the fact that God is just as much a God of Justice as He is a God of Love.
Sin is an offense to God and He promised that “The soul that sins, will die eternally”. The promise to Adam was that on the day that he sinned against God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would die.
Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
Genesis 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Some scholars have estimated that the number of angels that God created, numbers upward of 10 to the 25th power. That number comes from the reference in the Bible to the number of stars being as many as the grains of sand on the earth. A code name for the angels that is often used is “Stars”.
Genesis 22:17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore
Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches
Scientists have concluded that the number of grains of sand on the earth is approximately 10 to the 25th power. If this conclusion is correct, it gives us insight into the number of angels that God originally created before He created man. This would mean that the number of fallen angels who took Lucifer’s part when he fell and became satan, would number immensely more fall angels than there has been human being created on the earth.
Did you know that when the angels fell that there was no plan of salvation offered to them by God? All of these fallen angels, along with satan, will be assigned to the fires of hell forever.
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment
If God did not spare this great heavenly lot who number more than the number of human beings, why would anyone suppose that God would spare any human being from the fires of hell if they do not repent?
God demonstrated His love towards us by giving all men the opportunity to avoid hell and eternal separation from God. He did so by the giving of His Son Jesus Christ who bore all the sins of the whole world when He die on the Roman Cross.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 2:2 And Jesus Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
God also loves the angels, but one-third of them will spend eternity in hell. One of God’s eternal attributes is that He is a just God who will punish all sin. God punished all of man’s sin in the person of His Son Jesus Christ. When anyone takes Jesus as their Lord and Savior, their sins are done away with and there no longer remains any wrath for their sins from God, towards the person who receives Jesus Christ.
God destroyed all those who lived on the earth at the time of Noah, except Noah and his family.
2 Peter 2:5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;
Mathematicians have estimated that at the time of the flood, taking into account the lifespan at that time of more than 900 years, the number of children they could bear, and the generations that had lived on the earth since the creation of Adam, that there conservatively could have been more than 6 billion people living on the earth. 6 billion people who refused to repent of their sin and come to God for salvation, died and descended into hell.
A person has the choice to either believe the testimony of the Bible, or reject it. That is the privilege that God has given to every person. What we choose to believe or reject, determines our eternal destiny. God has placed the choice for that destiny squarely in our own hands. If a person misses heaven and ends up in hell, they will have no one to blame but their self.
I have read several articles and visited a few websites in which a person who openly declares their self to be a homosexual, also claims to be a Christian.
This is an impossibility.
The act of becoming a Christian is the taking of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The process of receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior can only happen where there has first been repentance for the sins of that person and a turning away from those sins. The Bible clearly defines sodomy as a sin, in the same category as murder, lust, lying, stealing or any other sin. Sodomy is no less, nor greater sin than any other, but it is sin and punishable by eternal death.
The Bible has several demonstrations of the condemnation of sodomy, with graphic illustrations of entire cites that were destroyed because of the sin of sodomy.
2Peter 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly
Paul began the Book of Romans by making an example of those who have chosen the gay lifestyle as being the object of God’s wrath and judgment for their sin:
Romans 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
This is no surprise to us for the old testament clearly defines sodomy, or lesbianism as an “Abomination to God”.
Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
It is a sign of the last days that certain groups of people have re-classified their sin as no longer a sin. The lifestyles of the homosexual and the lesbian has become accepted by a greater number of society. Websites have been created to inform the gay person that God loves them and will accept them in their gay lifestyle as a Christian.
No person can receive eternal life and the forgiveness of their sins, unless they turn away from those sins and then receive Jesus Christ.
When Jesus spoke of hell, He did so with graphic illustration:
Luke 16:19-31 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then 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.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
Jesus describes those who are in hell as being alive, conscious, aware of the fact that they are in a permanent place of judgment, with no hope of ever being relieved of their suffering.
The person who finds their self in hell will feel eternal remorse, eternal regret for their decision to reject Jesus Christ. They will desire that they could go back to the earth and warn their families that hell is a real place and the consequences of rejection Jesus will place them in this horrible torment.
Jesus said that we have the words of Moses and the Prophets, the words of the Bible, that is sufficient to inform us of what God requires. Jesus goes on to point out that even if someone should return from hell and tell the world that hell is real, they will still not believe.
Jesus returned from hell and told us that it is real, yet the majority of people on the earth today refuse to believe and continue in their unbelief.
Some have asked how a God of love could assign a human being to eternal punishment.
The reward for obedience to God’s command to repent and receive Jesus Christ is Eternal life. The punishment for rejection of God’s command to repent and receive Jesus Christ, is Eternal Punishment. The results for both decisions being equal, God told us ahead of time, the choice is ours.
Since the death of Osama Bin Laden, there have been several articles published that have asked the question of whether the architect of terrorism is in hell. Of course the answer to that question can only be answered by God. No one knows what occurs in the final moment of a person’s life. If any person repents of their sin and turns to Jesus Christ, they will be saved.
The thief on the cross next to Jesus was there because he had led a life of sin and was being punished for his sins. Yet as he heard the words of Jesus who was on the cross next to him, and saw Jesus, he believed in Him and asked Jesus to simply “Remember me when you come into your kingdom”
Luke 23:42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
That simple statement was sufficient for Jesus to proclaim to the thief that “Today you will be with me in paradise”.
Luke 23:43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
How simple God has made it for anyone to be saved and miss the fires of hell. If we will only repent of our sins in sincerity and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God will forgive us and grant us eternal life. What a great and merciful God we have who has demonstrated His justice in punishing our sins in His own Son, and demonstrated clearly His love by allowing us the privilege of obtaining eternal life when we believe Him and obey what He has said.
Route: PASTOR JOÃO NOGUEIRA DE LIMA