Home> The Lower Lights> Oct 2002

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  Alan Jones, Editor

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"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48166     

Volume 2                                                                October 2002                                                                                  No4 

 

THERE IS A HELL

 

     A survey taken by Life magazine and re-ported in their December, 1998 issue found that 72% of Americans believe in heaven, while 56% believe in hell.  This survey is similar to others I have seen.  More people believe in heaven than be-lieve in hell.  Just over half believe in hell.

Why do people believe as they do about heaven and hell?  The answer is clear when you see how the same people answered another question, “Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of  God?”  Only 33% said, “yes”.  This means that most people’s “belief” about heaven and hell is just their opinion, rather than their Bible-based convic-tion.  Since they do not hold the Bible to be from God, they do not look to it as the Authority on heaven, hell or any other question.

            If the Bible is the Word of God (as abun-dant evidence shows that it is), then there is a hea-ven.  Jesus said, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.”  (Jn 14:1-3)

If the Bible is the Word of God, then there is also a hell.  The same Jesus, who assured men that there is a heaven, solemnly warned that there is a hell.  He said, “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” (Mk 9:43-44).

 

Jesus goes on to say that it would also be better to lose a foot or an eye, than to go to hell  (Mk 9:45-48).   None of us would like to do without a hand, a foot, or an eye, but Jesus says that men should take extreme measures, that they should do whatever it takes, to avoid this place of terrible and never ending suffering.   

            Why do more people believe in heaven than in hell?  Certainly, when you consider what people would want to believe, a “dwelling place with God” would be much preferred to “unquenchable fire”.  But, beyond this, many people have the wrong idea about God.  They believe that He is much too loving to send anyone to hell.  Again, their idea comes from their opinion rather than their Bible-based conviction.

The Bible tells us that God’s acts of judg-ment in the past guarantee that men will be sent to hell as a punishment for their sins.  God committed the angels who sinned to pits of darkness, He de-stroyed the ungodly of the ancient world of Noah with a flood, He reduced Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, and He caused the Israelites who left Egypt for the promised land of Canaan to die in the wil-derness (cp. 2 Pet 2:4-9, Jude 5-7).

  These examples of God’s wrath against sin, of His justice, assure us that, if we accept the Bible as the Word of God (as the evidence compels us to), then there is a hell that awaits all men who have sinned and who have not been forgiven of those sins.


 

MOST MEN ARE GOING TO HELL, BUT WHO CARES?

 

Even many who believe in hell may be of the opinion that it is reserved only  for men who have done very evil things such as Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden , or Saddam Hussein.  But, what does the Bible, the Word of God, say?  What does Jesus say?  Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Mt 7:13-14). 

            Jesus said that most men are going to destruction- to hell.  Why will the majority of men go to hell?  They will go to hell because they went through the wide gate and walked on the broad way.  It is easy to get on the road to hell and it is easy to walk there.  There are no restrictions.   Anything goes.  Indulge yourself.  Satisfy yourself.  Don’t worry about God’s law.

Few men are willing to meet Jesus’ conditions of forgiveness so that they may enter the gate that leads to life.  They will not believe that He is Christ, the Lord and confess their belief in Him with their mouth (Rom 10:9-10).  They will not repent of their sins and be baptized (Acts 2:38).  Some go through this gate, but do no stay on the narrow road that leads to life.  They say that they are Jesus’ disciples, but they do not keep His commandments and live like Him (1 Jn 2:3-6).  They will be in hell, along with those who never went through the gate.

 

Most men are going to hell.  But, who cares?  God, the Father cares.  He so loved the world that He gave His Son so that men would not perish, but have eternal life. (Jn 3:16).  His desire is that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim.  2:3-4).  He has not yet destroyed the world because He does not wish for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9). 

  Jesus cares.  “We know love by this, that he laid down His life for us.” (1 Jn 3:16)  No amount of silver and gold could save us from hell, but only the blood that He shed while bearing our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet 1:18-20; 2:24). 

The Holy Spirit cares.    He revealed the “good news” of the love of the Father and the Son. He urges men to come and drink of the water of life so that they may not be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death  (Rev 22:17; 20:15; 21:8). 

             Are you walking on the broad way that leads to hell with the majority of men?  Do you care?  God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit loved you enough to create a way to prevent you from being punished for your sins in hell.  If you go to hell, it will not be their fault, but yours.  You will have chosen to pay for your own sins instead of letting Jesus pay for them with His blood.   Won’t you set aside your will and obey the will of Jesus?   Enter the small gate and walk on the narrow way and be among   the few who find life.
 

 


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