Series of 13 Sermons by Pastor Ron Thomas On
"Our Final Journey"

801 West Buckingham Rd. - Garland, TX 75040

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Final Journey Series

Luke 16:22-23. "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; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torment, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." Verses 27-28. "Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment."

Introduction: An often repeated phrase used by the world is, "Who the hell cares!" This expression communicates and characterizes the indifference that exist in the world today. We live in a don't care, care less, society. Most people only care about issues that affect them personally and presently. When it comes to eternity, most people are characterized by ignorance and indifference.

The ignorance and indifference in the world today regarding Hell is the result of false teaching and false concepts about its reality. From the church lectern, to the comic page, to the everyday casual references to Hell, this world has been taught either that Hell doesn't exist, or doesn't matter.

Here is one example of our ignorance. A servicemen in the Middle east writes on a postcard to his parents, "Glad you are not here! WAR IS HELL." Listen, war is horrible, no doubt beyond our imagination, but war is not Hell!

What is the world teaching about Hell? Here are a few of the world's modern conceptions regarding Hell. It is through this false view and false information that Satan is turning down the flames of Hell.

Modern conception One: Hell is only for the really bad. This is one of the biggest and worst misconceptions regarding Hell. This cannot be true far various reasons.

First, there is no indication that God sees sin in various levels, but rather Scripture plainly teaches that all sin brings forth death. Romans 6:23 states "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." I John 3:4 says, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

Second, the Bible indicates that the far majority of humanity will be lost, not just a few bad apples. Matthew 7:13-14 says, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

Third, the Bible teaches that even sincere people will be lost. Matthew 7:21-23 says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

Fourth, the Bible shows that liars, the unbelieving, and murderers, are all together in Hell. Revelation 21:8 says, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." The concept that only the really bad are going to Hell, is not a Scriptural principle, but rather one that is of Satan.

Modern conception Two: God is too loving to punish sin in a place called Hell. This is nothing but man's tendency and desire to try to reshape God in his own image. Romans 11:20-22 says, "Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." By God having to punish those who will not believe, displays not a lack of love on God's part, but a lack of love on man's part. In Ezekiel 33:11 we hear the heart of God. "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"

While "God is love," it is wrong to say that "Love is God," for God is far more than love. Love is but one single attribute of God. God is also Holiness. The Scriptures describe a thrice Holy God and in His presence mortal man cries out, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips."

Modern conception Three: The only Hell is that which we experience on earth. If one thinks this is Hell now, then he is sadly mistaken as Hell will be eternal, while life is only like a vapor. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell." The worst of tortures on this earth terminates in death. Hell is eternal death!

Modern conception Four: Hell is an annihilation. Jehovah Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists hold to this position. The question that one needs to ask the Scripture is, "How long is Hell going to be?" Matthew 25:46 says, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." If Heaven is eternal, so is Hell!

Modern conception Five: If we ignore Hell; live for the present, it will go away. For 120 years, Noah preached the coming judgement of God upon the world as he prepared the ark, but they did not listen. They ridiculed his message and partied the years away, but judgement came none the less. The rich man in Luke 16 did this very thing, and it failed. The reality of Hell can be ignored, but not forever!

What we need to realize is the fact that these false concepts are Satan's way of deceiving humanity in trying to get around Hell, when in fact they ought to be getting ready for the judgment to come and eternity.

Our question is, "Who cares about Hell?" In our text verse, we realize that there is one man who obviously cares. Verse 23 contains the most tragic phrase in the Bible, "and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments." Here we discover that in Hell, all ignorance and indifference ceases. Here is a man who cares about Hell. He died a rich man, but on his FINAL JOURNEY, he discovered that worldly riches are of no advantage. As we face eternity, what matters is not riches, but a relationship with God. In Hell, indifference turns into desire. Suddenly this man became an evangelist who cared about five brothers. He was concerned that they not come to this place called Hell. "Who in Hell cared?" He cared! Everyone who enters this place reserved for the damned, cares! The sad reality is that it is too late!

Right now is the time to face the reality of Hell. We must refuse to put off our responsibility to prepare ourselves for eternity, and then help others to do the same. The question, "Who in Hell cares?" has an answer. Everyone in Hell cares, but it is too late! We ought to care while we have the time to warn others about this dreaded place. Why should we care? Here are some biblical reasons that should move us toward compassion for the lost.

Reason One: We should care because Hell is a real place. Jesus plainly taught Hell's existence. Surprisingly, Jesus spoke more about the reality of Hell than any other person in the Bible, and He spoke more often about Hell, than Heaven! We cannot ignore the fact that Jesus as the Son of God, said plainly that people will spend eternity in Hell. When studying this subject, we must remember that the Greek word "Gehenna" is the one used to describe the eternal Hell. The name apparently derived from the expression ge hinnom, "Valley of Hinnom," a valley to the south of Jerusalem. In ancient times it was linked with the practice of sacrificing children to the god Molech and thus became a place of sin and shame. This word is used 12 times in the New Testament, and eleven times Jesus was the one speaking. In the descriptions He gave, He made it clear that we must do everything possible to avoid going to this place. Jesus warned His listeners in Matthew 10:28, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns us in Matthew 5:29-30, "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into Hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into Hell."

Reason Two: We should care because Hell is an eternal place. Matthew 25:46 reads, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Remember? We are created, born, for eternity. Everyone will spend eternity some place, somewhere! Think of eternity. Someone described eternity as follows: "If a dove began a journey from earth to the moon. And the moon was made of steel. The dove brushes his wing against the moon and flies back to earth and returns, over and over again. When that dove has the moon wore down to the size of a marble, then eternity is just beginning." In these verses Jesus makes it painfully clear, that Hell is eternal, it is everlasting fire, it is suffering without end. Note also that verse 46 declares that the righteous shall experience life eternal. They shall inherit real life, a blessed, conscious existence in peace, joy, and comfort. The most important thing to realize is that both the wicked and the righteous shall live eternally, either blessed with Christ and the righteous believers of all ages, or tormented in Hell's inferno with the devil and the fallen angels. The blessings and rewards Christ bestows upon His faithful servants shall be theirs forever, and the suffering of Hell's inhabitants will never cease throughout all eternity.

Reason Three: We should care because Hell is a terrible place. There are people who in their rebellion and pride say they want to go to Hell, so they can be with their friends and party! All this reveals is their ignorance. Hell is the last place anyone would want to go. There was a program called "Scared Straight." In this program, they took juveniles to visit the prisons, showing them what its like to be locked up for life. It is a sobering thing when that steel door shuts behind you cutting you off from your freedom and friends! How terrible is Hell? Hell is such a terrible place that Jesus said in Matthew 26:24b of those who will be cast into it that, "it had been good for that man if he had not been born." and in Matthew 18:6, "it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Listen, just one glimpse of Hell would be enough to scare anyone.

It is a place of darkness. II Peter 2:4 reads, "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." Jude 13 says, "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." Matthew 25:30 "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

It is a place of fire. Matthew 13:41-42 says, "The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 25:41 says, "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Mark 9:43-46 reads, "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Here on earth fire devours and reduces its prey to ashes, and burns out when it runs out of fuel; but not so in Hell. There, the fires burn with a fierceness that none can comprehend but the ones who experience it, yet it does not consume them and never will. They shall ever be burning; they shall ever be tormented, yet never consumed!

It is a place of eternal pain. In Luke 16:28 the rich man speaks of Hell as a place of torment. "For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment." A burn is probably the most painful injury a person could suffer. That unceasing, gnawing pain throbs and pounds at the flesh and causes great suffering. In our present human bodies of flesh, blood and bone, there is a physical limitation to the amount of pain and suffering one can endure. If pain, terror, or suffering became too severe, one would either faint or die. However, we have learned that our soul spirit existence BETWEEN DEATH AND THE RESURRECTION, is free from all physical limitations, and the capacity to experience pain is multiplied a thousand fold! In Hell, there is no relief for the tormented soul!

Jesus used the Greek word, "gehenna" to describe Hell as a place, "where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:43-48). He likened Hell to a stinking garbage dump; a place of perpetual fires where maggots and other repulsive, loathsome creatures live in all of the decaying, putrid refuse; eating, gnawing, devouring, and yet never consuming the filth and corruption there. According to Christ, Hell is a place where loathsome creatures bite, tear, and devour the inhabitants, inflicting unimaginable torture upon them, yet never totally consuming them and thus never relieving them of their agonies!

It is a place of hopelessness. Being condemned to Hell for eternity is not to be compared with merely going to prison for a few years. As bad as that may be, at least in prison there is always the hope that you could be pardoned or paroled, or given a new trial and found not guilty. And in prison, inmates possess a mounting excitement and anticipation as the end of their sentence and their release date draws near. They have something to look forward to. Not so in Hell! From Hell there is nothing to look forward to; no pardon, no parole, no release, no anticipation, no hope, and no end to its awful suffering and punishment. There is no redemption from Hell; it is eternal. After suffering for ten thousand years you've just begun. The Bible in Revelation 14:10-11 describes Hell as a place where "the wrath of God shall be poured out without mixture," and where the wicked, "shall be tormented with fire and brimstone... and the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night." Anyone who dies without a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be certainly and irreversibly condemned to the eternal lake of fire. (Mark 9: 44-45).

It is a place of separation and isolation. There is such suffering and torment in the flame, but no one to hear their cries and no one to care even if they did! There is none to offer a sympathetic ear, no one to lend a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. Imagine the utter desolation one must feel to be eternally rejected by God.

Think again if you are ever tempted to tell someone in anger to go to Hell! Hell is terrible beyond our imagination.

Reason Four: We should care because Hell will claim people we know and love. The rich man as a resident of Hell was concerned about the family he left behind. Who will Hell claim in your family? We are not in the same situation as this rich man. We have opportunity to do something. What can we do?

We can pray for the souls of men. Many times it is through prayer that we develop a burden for the lost. Every time we pray, we should pray for a burden. Romans 9:2-3 expresses the burden on the heart of Paul. "That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." In Romans 10:1-3 he says, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." We must ask God to move us from our indifference! As we pray, we must pray for boldness to speak. In Ephesians 6:18-20, admonishes people to pray, and specifically for him. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."

We can go and share the gospel with the lost. Every believer has been called, commissioned to be a witness. Acts 1:8 says, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Paul wrote in II Corinthians 5:11, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences." As God gives us a burden and boldness, we must speak to the lost, taking advantage of every opportunity to share the life saving, life changing gospel.

We can give so others can go where we cannot go. The greatest investment of our resources is the cause of Christ in Garland, in the Dallas metroplex, in Texas, in America, and around the would.

"Who in Hell cares?" We ought to care! Those who die without Christ, will meet God unprepared, and "In Hell lift up their eyes being in torment."

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