Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Lake of Fire

Revelation 20:15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

I think that one of the biggest misconceptions in our society is that almost everyone is going to heaven. Surely, in a culture where conversations over politics and religion are said to lead to an argument, the mention of hell is a subject to be avoided like the plague. It been said that we need to know what we have been saved from (hell) before we can really understand what we have been saved to (heaven). Some people may not believe in hell, but God makes it clear that all “the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” - Revelation 21:8. We don't even realize that the default is hell and we have a choice to make 

I was once told that I was obsessed with hell because I do talk about that real place of eternal damnation for the unsaved sinner and wish no one to go there. Actually, Jesus Christ said more about hell than anyone else in the Bible, so the Lord was obsessed with this real place also. To the unsaved, He will say: “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” I never want to be ignorant of the truth. One of my greatest euphonies in Christianity is that we must realize that we are lost in sin before we can be found in Christ. The gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ is centered on this truth. Hell is no party place. It is eternal separation from God, eternal separation from any good, never-ending torment in solitary confinement. No wonder nobody wants to hear about hell. Yet, hearing about this unthinkable actual destination drives us to the Savior. I remember listen to a Christian radio program where baseball great Albert Puljos spoke of how his wife-to-be, Deigre, told him while they were dating that she had to breakup with him because she couldn’t stand to think of him going to hell. His immediate response was: “I do not want to go to hell. How do I get to heaven?” He trusted her, hell was real and realized that he was lost. Albert today states: "My life's goal is to bring glory to Jesus. My life is not mostly dedicated to the Lord, it is 100% committed to Jesus Christ and His will. God has given me the ability to succeed in the game of baseball. But baseball is not the end; baseball is the means by which my wife, Dee Dee, and I glorify God. Baseball is simply my platform to elevate Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior."

Many argue that the lake of fire is symbolic and should not be taken literally. If so, the reality must be so indescribable that it can only be symbolized by an eternal lake of fire. 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” Unbelievers had better pray that they are right. Rather than questioning the reality of hell, which is the just destiny of all who reject or ignore the free gift of salvation provided by the infinite love and sacrificial suffering of God Himself in Christ on their behalf, men and women should come to Christ in faith and be saved. Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once. Speak the gospel truth in love. Decrease the population of hell.

Romans 10:8-9 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):  that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

In Christ, Brian


Susan said...

True about hell being the default destination, and the the symbolism of hell as a lake of fire is probably not nearly as terrible as the reality of hell will be for those who end up there. Sobering thoughts.

Brian Ray Todd said...

So true Susan. I don't know how many times I get people (even Christians) who do not want to discuss the reality of Hell, yet it is the first part of the gospel equation. I remember one Pastor telling me that he never mentions Hell or Satan because they were both defeated at the Cross by Jesus. But, what about those who do not know the Lord and still going there?! It is those sobering thoughts which you mention ... Those who end up there and those who escape with the smoking char of flames on the edges. The reality of omitting Hell from the discussion is that some will not be saved from what they do not know. Speak the truth in love ... to pull them out of the pit and into the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessings.

Mark said...

I "borrowed" an image and linked back to this page. Hope that's ok.