Hell – Part 3 of 5: “Are You Sure that You Will Escape the Sentence of Hell?”

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We begin our time together this week with the following quote by the eighteenth-century New England Puritan, Jonathan Edwards: “Almost every natural man that hears of Hell flatters himself that he shall escape it.” Hmmm…

Should an irreligious or mere professing religious person flatter himself, in this way, about Hell? Does he or she have a legitimate reason for feeling this way?  No!  Why not?  …because he is void of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:14, “The mind of a natural man cannot appraise spiritual things, he is not even able to do so”). Despite such self-flattery, he shall only escape the sentence of Hell, if he turns and repents of his sin and then trusts in Christ alone: “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. 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). Furthermore, the book of Proverbs (16:25) says that this man is a fool because he deceives himself into actually believing that he is eternally secure: “There’s a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” His main problem is that he has just enough earthly religion to form a concept of Heaven and Hell, but remains a stranger to heavenly religion (John 3:7; 8:31-32; James 1:26-27)! Sadly, he has learned to live comfortably in a religious system that accepts both a demon-faith and a dead-faith (James 2:19 and 2:26 respectively), and thereby falls short of true salvation as it is depicted in Scripture (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). This system of false security is a fabrication of his imagination. So, what’s the bottom line with this individual? The simple answer is, he does not love Christ.  Rather, he loves a false savior – a self-made idol “look-a-like” - that cannot save but gives the soul false hope.  Oh yes, this is the man who has never truly bowed his knee to King Jesus, yet lives in a religious dream world, a world of spiritual self-deception (Jeremiah 17:9; Hebrews 3:12-13).  God alone knows the heart of man. This man is none other than a shell of man-made religion which is about to crack, collapse, and then melt under the intense heat of Hellfire (2 Timothy 3:5; Luke 16:24)! He may have religion, but he’s condemned already (John 3:36), fit only for the eternal fire! Paul describes him and the other ‘obvious’ inhabitants of hell:  “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” (Gal 5:19-21). Dear reader, are you ‘practicing’ the above? I hope not. If so, repent, and fly to the cross of Jesus Christ without delay! Otherwise, you will NEVER see the ‘full day’ that Solomon promised (Proverbs 4:18 - “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day”). I close with the chilling words of the English Puritan, Thomas Brooks:  “The damned shall live as long in Hell as God Himself shall live in Heaven.” …Hell (part 4), next week…

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