“Do You Believe in Hell – Part 3 of 5?”

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Today, we begin with the following quote by the great New England puritan Jonathan Edwards, “Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it.” Is it right that the natural man should flatter himself this way about hell? Does he have a legitimate reason for doing so? No!

But why not? Because he is void of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). Despite such self-flattery, he shall not escape the sentence of hell unless he repents of his sin and trusts in Christ alone, “For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25). The book of Proverbs says that this man is a fool because he deceives himself into actually believing that he is spiritually secure, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (16:25). His main problem is that he has just enough earthly religion in his life to form a concept of heaven and hell, but is a stranger to true heavenly religion (John 3:7; 8:31-32; James 1:26-27)! Sadly, he has learned to live comfortably in a religious system of carnal belief that is foreign to Scripture. A system that is the work of his own earthly imagination. The fact is, this man does not love Christ; but instead, loves his own fabricated system of pseudo-Christianity which allows him to have Christ on his own terms. Oh yes, this is the man that has never truly bowed his knee to Christ, yet lives in an irreligious dream-world, a world of self-deception. But God knows otherwise. This man is none other than a shell of man-made religion about to crack, collapse, and melt, under the intense heat of hell (Luke 16:24)! He may have religion, but he is condemned already to the eternal fire (John 1:18; 3:36). Paul candidly describes him and the other obvious inhabitants of hell, in Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: Immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Are you practicing such things? I hope not. If so, repent, and fly to the cross of Christ without delay! Otherwise, you will never see the full day of heaven (Proverbs 4:18)! Therefore, the English puritan Thomas Brooks soberly reminds us, “The damned shall live as long in hell as God Himself shall live in Heaven.” Dear friend, this Scriptural thinking and living about hell, begins with our heart preparation today, to encounter the living God tomorrow morning; in both our public Worship, through the praises and prayers of His people; and through the reading and preaching of His Holy inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! Soli Deo Gloria!

 

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