Holy Hell?

March 1, 2013

Odd title for a sermon, perhaps, but it got your attention. Hell must be holy since I have heard that phrase many times over the years as a remark of astonishment whether the cause of the astonishment was positive or negative. In that holiness besides being a character trait and the expression of that character is also tied to sanctification Hell is holy.

Sanctification is about separation be it from the World or God or someone or something set aside for God’s use or purpose. In that Hell was created or set aside/sanctified for the final separation of the devil, his demons and those who refuse the gift of salvation it is then holy. Funny, how people can be theologically correct about something and yet not believe in it or believe that God would have such a place or even that they might end up there themselves. Most people think they are going to Heaven and only people like Hitler, Mussolini, Mao and Jack the Ripper go Hell.

What is even funnier is that the world speaks more about Hell than the Church, who is the representative of God and has the responsibility as His ambassador to proclaim the pardon offered so people will not join satan in the Hell that was prepared primarily for him and his minions.

Think about how much people talk about Hell. They are investigative journalists on the topic for they are always wanting to know about Who, What, When, Where, Why and How in Hell things are. They tell people to go to Hell regularly. They hold some interesting perspectives on what Hell is like and most are not even near accurate.

They think they know the temperature there as they will let you know where you are is hot as Hell or sometimes say it is cold as Hell, which is a joke unless they are speaking of Hell, Montana in the winter. It may be a reverse comparison saying it is as cold as Hell is hot. Indeed, you have to wonder if they called that town Hell just so they could give a map to the people they are telling to go to Hell.

On one hand, they are correct when they speak of being as lonely as Hell or dark as Hell and yet some will speak of their intention to party with their friends in Hell, which will not happen. Some think the devil will not let them in for they are so bad even he does not want to hang out with them. The other egotistic attitude is that satan is afraid they will take over so he will bar the door.

They think Hell is insane since some people are crazy as Hell. People will wish they could go insane there as a hope of relief, but they will be perfectly sane whereas they are insane here for missing the opportunity to miss Hell and they will remember in perfect detail every opportunity they ignored. Indeed, there will be Hell to pay.

I have not counted, but others have and say that the Bible speaks more about Hell than Heaven. That would make sense as avoiding Hell should be people’s main priority. It doesn’t matter how much you know about Heaven if you end up in Hell. In fact, more description is given about Hell than Heaven even with Revelation and John being caught up there. Details about Hell on earth during the time John is there abound, but are sparse when it comes to Heaven itself.

Luke 16:20-26

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

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.

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. KJV

Many just consider this an allegory or parable, but Jesus names the beggar and many theologians feel that once having named the beggar the people knew which rich man he was talking about. Search the Scripture and you will see that in other places it is a real place and not some scarey story. Hell being real did not shock the hearers. What shocked them was that a rich man went to Hell as they thought being rich was a sign of God’s blessing and even approval. People don’t change much no matter what the culture or era because many preachers preach that same thing. Paul said that such teaching was “perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Tim 6:5,6 KJV

While the torment in Hell is real it really is not as bad as it will get. Are you thinking, “The Hell, you say?” I’m saying that Hell is just a holding cell prior to the final judgment at the Great White Throne. It may be bad, but it is like Paradise compared to the final trip to the eternal prison.

Rev 20:12-15

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. KJV

You notice that the rich man was able to have an intelligent conversation with Abraham even though he was tormented and got to see Abraham and Lazarus. In Hell, it will be far worse and you will see no one as it will be total darkness. If you think it out and check the other references Hell starts to look like a vacation spot. It would best to stay the Hell out of Hell. Is that even a logical sentence? Yet, many would say it like that. We don’t always make much sense we talk about Hell. Maybe that is why people don’t sense their need of staying out or even that they would go there. After all, it is a compliment to say that she is one Hell of a woman or he is one Hell of a man. How can you fear Hell with those kind of concepts? Indeed, folks who refuse salvation will be having one Hell of a time, but it will not be a time of joy as it is now. They will be crying, not laughing like Hell.

Church, why do we take Hell so lightly? As an LST was about to land on Normandy one of the soldiers asked the Chaplain on-board if there was a Hell. The Chaplain was trained in a Liberal seminary and he replied that he did not know. The soldier then asked him why they needed him. Indeed, what can you offer men facing death if you do not know what God has for them on the other side depending on where they stand with Him on this side?

Some Christians quit reading this message after the first reference to Hell that they did not like. They are quicker to walk away from this sermon than they are to walk towards a person that might be going to Hell and rescue Him. They are so easily angered and offended by some illustrations of the misuse of the word Hell and yet blithely let people to Hell without much thought or effort.

Ezek 33:2-6

2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:

3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;

4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. KJV

Now the theologians in the house are going to say this only applied to Ezekiel. Yes, it was directed at him as a watchman for Israel, but we are now watchmen for the world. We are now more than watchmen that only had that one duty. We are called to much more and as children of the Most High God we are called to our Father’s fields. We are called to a field white unto harvest. If the watchman was responsible if he did not give a warning how much more so are we who are princes and priests of the Kingdom? I say we are spoken to here and as Paul there should be some woe in our lives if we preach not the Gospel or be the witnesses we are called to be. We love to appropriate the promises throughout the Bible no matter who they are addressed to but explain away the duties and responsibilities.

If the World can raise Hell to a level of mirth and admiration then we should be doing all we can to put it back in its proper position under the feet of Jesus so that we can pull people out of the jaws of Hell like brands from the fire hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Unbelieving friend, why would you want to go to such a place when the free gift of forgiveness in Christ can keep you out and give you a glorious future beyond description? Don’t let your friends keep you from Heaven. They will not be any help to you when you are bound and cast in the Lake of Fire after a stint in Hell. Jesus will hear if you believe what the record says about you and Him. Call on Him today!

My Brothers and Sisters, it is long past time to stop living for this world that will just be a big bonfire in the end. Who in Hell will be cursing you because you never spoke to them or maybe just gave up on them? You may not go to Hell, but it will not feel like Heaven when you see the opportunities you had to lead a soul to Christ and you did not take it!

Rise up, O child of God, and gird your armor on and take back the ones taken captive in sin and are dead men walking straight to Hell. Hell is mad at you and God so it is time to be madder than Hell and kick down the gates as Jesus said we would if we would submit to His will and Word and allow the Spirit to empower us, not entertain us.

Matt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. KJV

Will you take up the battle for souls? The war is won in Christ and He has promised us victory in freeing other POWs (Prisoners of Wickedness). We will prevail, not the gates of Hell!

Brethren, see poor sinners round you slumbering on the brink of woe;

Death is coming, hell is moving, can you bear to let them go?

See our fathers and our mothers, and our children sinking down;

Brethren, pray and holy manna will be showered all around.

            • George Atkins-

Is it well with your soul to let them go? God help you if it is. Even so, come Lord Jesus! Marantha!


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