Heaven or Hell

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					                                 Heaven or Hell?
                                 October 31, 2007

Memory verse—Col. 3:1 Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your
hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”

Memory verse for next week: I Corinthians 2:9-10a
Reading for next week: Section 2 of Alcorn

Joke of the week: Last week, John took a vote on whether I’m going to heaven.
So, where do you think John’s going?!
Joke about man going to hell and three different rooms, standing on head.

Intro: If you died tonight, would you go to heaven? Would you go to hell?

Interesting comparison—most people, when asked, will tell you they’re not sure
they’d go to heaven. But when you ask them if they’d go to hell, then they think,
“Probably not, I’m pretty good, surely God wouldn’t send me or others like me to
       Story about Josie’s mom—80 years, nominal but not practicing Catholic,
funeral service, interruption of son, “Are you saying my mom’s not in heaven?!”
       Not my place to decide, but according to the Bible, I would think she’s not.

Is our default destination heaven or hell?
Hell. Rom. 3:23
Alcorn, p. 25, “If we understood God’s nature and ours, we would be shocked not
that some people could go to Hell (where else would sinners go?) but that any
would be permitted into Heaven.”
We will all be judged. 2 Cor. 5:10, Heb. 9:27, Rev. 20:11-15

What is hell like? Where do you get that idea?

We grew up on teaching about hell—sermons about punishment, fear, doing more,
you could die on your way home, 18 verses of Just as I Am.
    Matt. 5:29-30 So bad that it’s better to lose parts of your body than go
    Mark 8:36-37 So bad that you could gain the whole world and it would be
     a bad trade for your soul.
    Matt. 13:40-42, 50 Place of fire, weeping, wailing, gnashing
    Luke 16:19-31
        o Place of inescapable torment
        o Place without possibility of comfort
        o No hope (Eph. 2:12—eternal hell begins now, just like eternal life)
        o Terrible suffering
        o Conscious
        o Retain memories of past, present
        o Retain memories reasoning
        o Long for relief
        o Have strong desires
        o Alone?
        o Forever

If hell is the opposite of heaven, then here are some additional points.
Heaven                                 Hell
Presence of God                        No God, devil
Light                                  Darkness
No suffering                           Endless suffering
Joy                                    Sorrow, sadness
Creativity and entertainment           Boredom, nothing new
Rewards                                Punishment
Fellowship and reunion                 Loneliness and separation

Who goes to hell?
Matt. 23:33 Some Pharisees are there! Sons of hell.
Matt. 7:21-23 The self-religious/righteous are there
Matt. 10:15, 11:22, 24, 12:41-42 Unbelievers, unrepentant
Matt. 24:51 Hypocrites are in hell, not in the church!
Matt. 25:41, 46 disobedient
Heb. 10:26-27 Deliberate sinners who reject Jesus
2 Peter 2:4 Angels of Satan
Jude 7 Sodom and Gomorrah
Rev. 20:10, 14 Satan and Death
Rev. 20:15 Everyone whose name is not in the Book of Life
Rev. 21:8 All kinds of unrepentant sinners
Hell’s not a popular topic. Why not?
  1. For us, we don’t want to think we deserve eternal punishment, but we do.
  2. Some don’t want to offend people, or run them off.
  3. Some think it’s unloving to talk of it, but it’s really loving.
      Doctors in Argentina who wouldn’t tell patients they’re terminally ill.
      Is it loving not to tell someone of a danger in their path?
              In fact, there are some crimes that if you see or know about, you are
      liable for, as an accomplice. Child abuse is another example where you
      have to act or it’s illegal. But we don’t apply the same standards to
      speaking of Jesus.
  4. It’s not “politically correct”.
  5. Others?

Satan’s motives for our denying hell. He wants:
 1. Unbelievers to reject Christ without fear.
 2. Christians to be unmotivated to share Christ.
 3. God to receive less glory for Christ’s redemptive work.

But it’s more compassionate and loving to talk about hell than not to talk.
**It’s all in the way we talk about it.**

Alcorn says, “The best of life is a glimpse of heaven; the worst of life is a glimpse
of hell. This world is the closest Christians will get to hell, and the closest non-
Christians will get to heaven.” P. 28

How do you assure salvation?
But we do have to do something to change our default destination.
And it’s better to do it now. 2 Cor. 6:2
   You have to accept it. Rev. 22:17 Story of ancient cities with their rolls of
      citizens, which guards at the gate would check. (Rev. 21:27) And story of
      Ruthanna Metzgar, singer at wedding of wealthy man.
   You must confess sins—it’s not automatic Prov. 28:13, Acts 2:38
   Objective or subjective salvation, So also in Christ (Neal Punt)
          o Example of house closed up, but with light outside

Conclusion: Read p. 37 from “God invites…” to end.

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