Last night I heard a sermon about Hell. We don't hear as many sermons about Hell as we used to. The minister pointed out how much Jesus talked about Hell....which is a great point. He also talked about how Hell is a real place that lost souls will be cast into some day. We probably would be more evangelistic if we took that to heart more often. He quoted several applicable scriptures about those who are lost being condemned to Hell for eternity. That is one of the absolute truths that we may not understand, or even like, but it is the truth. If you believe in God, then you don't have any other choice but to believe in Heaven and Hell.
As the minister was coming to a close, he asked the question we used to hear so often when sermons like this were preached, and this is not word for word what he said, but pretty close. "How many of us here tonight can honestly say that we know we are not in danger of going to Hell if God came back tonight"? I wanted to stand up and holler out "All of us who are in Christ better KNOW we aren't in danger of Hell"! Does that mean we can't fall away, of course not. But I doubt any believer there last night was currently in rebellion and turned their back on God. I would assume they wouldn't be there if that was the case. My point is this: Hell is as real as the nose on my face or yours, but it is NOT an option to those who have come to the Lord! We need to preach that! That is what the Gospel or Good News IS! Do we need to preach Hell? Of COURSE we do.........to the lost who have never come to know the Savior or believe yet! They ARE in danger of eternal Hell. I believe that it is heresy to teach or preach that we who have been saved are "Once saved, barely saved"....and to teach our young people that they are in danger of eternal Hell fire if they haven't gone forward since their last sin. I am convinced we would have a greater impact on the world if they see our confidence in Jesus as Savior instead of seeing people who are living in fear of being only as good as our last prayer or confession. Like Paul, we need to live in confidence.......not because of us, but because of HIM! "I KNOW whom I have believed, and am CONVINCED that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day". Do you believe that too? I DO!! I KNOW I am going to Heaven, and I am trying to live a life that reflects that unbelievable blessing. I fail LOTS of times, but I have all the confidence in Him that those failures don't cause me to lose my salvation. I have faith that as long as I am trying to walk in the Light, and don't turn my back on him in rebellion, that I have been promised the reward that HIS sacrifice gave to all of those who believe. There is not such a thing as a "Lost Christian". Either you are lost, or you are a Christian. You can't be both.
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ABBA, Father. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit, that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory".
"If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus who died- more than that, who was raised to life- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of God?"
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height not depth, not anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord".
May we all live lives that testify and witness our confidence in Him, and let it transform our lives to His likeness so that those who don't know Him will be drawn to his "Good News" of ETERNAL life. Let's don't be guilty of putting another link in the chain of fear around so many Christian's necks that communicates they are in danger of Hell. That is heresy....it is NOT the Gospel message. If we teach that, the Cross was for nothing and the Savior died for no consequence.
"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"
If we trully believe, then we trully know that we are a saved people! Heaven is the reward HE gave us......and we are all going there to be with HIM! Isn't that GOOD NEWS? Let's live lives "worthy of his calling"....not lives of fear.