Tag Archives: Satan

Sermon Wednesday – A Mighty Fortress

Welcome back!  This week, we present to you another sermon in the “Singing with Understanding” series.  We are looking at the words of songs that we sing, and showing the biblical ideas behind them so we can truly understand what we’re singing.  In case you missed the previous lesson (God’s Family), you can read it here.

Introduction

The name of Martin Luther is familiar to most people.  He is the founder of the Lutheran Church.  He was one of the catalysts in the Reformation Movement back in the 1500s.  He was a former Catholic priest who nailed a list of 95 things that the Catholics were doing that he believed were opposed to the Bible.

He famously declared that the Pope was the “man of sin” described in II Thessalonians 2.  The Catholics afterwards declared that Martin Luther was the “man of sin” described in that chapter.

But one thing you might not know about him is that he also wrote hymns—and we still sing one of them occasionally today.

The song is called “A Mighty Fortress.”

There are different stories about the first time this song was sung publicly.  But all are agreed that the idea was taken from Psalm 46.

  • Some have said that it was sung by Martin Luther and others as they were entering the room where they were to be examined by a Catholic inquiry against them.
  • Others have said that it was a song written for armies to sing as they battled the Ottoman (Muslim) Turks.

Whichever it was, the point of the song was to encourage the singers to rely on God for strength.

Today, our lesson will come from the biblical truths expressed in this song.

Verse 1 – The combatants in the great war.
Verse 2 – Our strength in the war.
Verse 3 –The war continues

Verse 1 – The Combatants in the Great War.

God is the first Combatant in this war.

A Mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.

There is safety and security in God.  He’s like a strong, fortified castle that cannot be breached.  You are completely safe from death inside His walls.  A “bulwark” is a defensive wall, a means of protection—and God’s protection never fails!

Romans 8:38-39 – No outside force has the power to separate us from the love of God which is IN Christ Jesus.

Our helper He amidst the flood of mortal ills prevailing.

If we were to rearrange the words to our normal usage, it would be He is our helper, prevailing in the midst of the things which have the power to kill (aka, sin).

In James 1, Christians are told to rejoice in the midst of trials and temptations; they are told to go to God for help in the midst of temptation.  So, in the midst of a world of sin and surrounded by temptation, God is our helper—He can help us overcome the enemy!

But who is the enemy?

Satan is the other combatant in the war. 

He’s still fighting against us.

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe.

Or, Our ancient foe is still seeking to harm us.  Satan is not some new enemy; he’s our ancient foe.  Satan is the originator of all things evil, for he has been evil from the beginning (John 8:44).  He is always described in the Bible as evil—thus he has always been opposed to God.  And he is continually trying to destroy us.

Our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8).  He is constantly firing flaming arrows at us (Ephesians 6:16).  He is indeed a very powerful enemy.

His craft and power are great

His methods (craft) are strong and effective.  After all, everyone who’s ever lived has fallen prey to his methods (Romans 3:23).  All, that is, except one—Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 5:20-21).

His power is great.  He is a strong enemy—defeating him isn’t easy.  Just try to go a week without losing at least one battle against him.

and armed with cruel hate.

Unlike the United States has historically been, Satan views the enemy with hatred.  The US, as a general rule, treats their enemies with respect and kindness (see the general treatment of prisoners of war, or even terrorists).

Satan is fueled by hatred, and doesn’t just want victory—he wants to destroy us completely!  He is “seeking whom he may devour.”

on earth is not his equal.

No one on earth can stand against Satan on his own.

 

This thought leads us into the second verse.

Verse 2 – Our strength in the War.

We touched on the two combatants in the war, but something that needs to be remembered is that we are in this war as well.

Remember Job?  There was a war between God and Satan, and the battlefield to determine the winner was Job himself.  Satan is not just God’s adversary, but OURS as well (I Peter 5:8).

Since there is no one on earth equal to Satan’s power, we cannot defeat him on our own.

Did we, in our own strength, confide, our striving would be losing.

Satan is too powerful for us to defeat on our own.  All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  Every person is a slave to sin if he is on his own.

There is good news, however: we don’t have to fight Satan alone—God has sent one to defeat Satan for us!

Our striving would be losing were not the right One on our side, the man of God’s own choosing.

God so loved the world that He sent someone save people from perishing (John 3:16).  Our strength in the battle—our ability to overcome Satan—is found in one Man.

Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He.

  • It is Jesus Christ who has fought for us.
  • It is Jesus Christ who has already won the victory (Hebrews 2:14, Revelation 12:7-11).
  • It is in Jesus Christ that we win the victory as well (I John 2:13).
  • The One who fights with us is more powerful than the one who fights against us (I John 4:4)!

Lord Sabaoth is His name.

The word Sabaoth means armies.  Christ is the captain of the armies of God (Joshua 5:13-15).  Christ is called “the captain of our salvation” (Hebrews 2:10).  In Revelation, He is described as the leader of the army of God (12:7-11).

From age to age the same.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  He is eternal—He is God (John 1:1).  If God (Christ) be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

And He must win the battle.

The outcome of the war has already been determined, for Christ has won!  Now, all that we have to do is choose which side we are on!

Verse 3 – The war continues.

Even though Christ has won the victory for us, we must still continue with the battle here on earth.

And though this world, with evil filled, should threaten to undo us

Just because Jesus has won the victory, that doesn’t mean we can rest.  We must be vigilant because Satan is still on the attack (I Peter 5:8).  Christians cannot get the idea that we can sit back and relax!

We will not fear, for God has willed His truth to triumph through us.

Christians have need to fight, but they have no need to fear, for God has given us a spirit of power, not of fear (II Timothy 1:7).  God has already determined that His truth will endure; His truth will triumph; and that victory is through US!

  • WE—the church—are the pillar and ground of the truth (that which hold up the truth).
  • WE—the church—are the ones who have been entrusted with the faith (Jude 3).

God’s word will stand forever, and we are the ones who are supposed to carry it to others so that we can conquer hearts!  In order for us to be victors in the war, we have to stay focused on heaven!

Let goods and kindred go.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).  Don’t be like the rich young ruler (Mark 10:29-30).  We can’t let the things of this world take our eyes off the prize: eternal life in heaven with God!

This mortal life also; the body they may kill.

When this song was written, the Catholic Church had threatened to take property of those who fought against it.  You could be tried and executed for heresy if you left the Catholic Church.  So when this song was written, they had a great fear of being killed for their faith.

In the first century, it was much the same—the Jews killed many Christians.  But the point is that even though they may be faced with death, they must remain faithful (Revelation 2:10).

God’s word abideth still, His kingdom is forever.

Regardless what happens to us, God’s word still stands.  Even if thousands—millions—of Christians fall away, God’s word still says what it says.

God’s kingdom will never fall.  It is eternally victorious—and those who are part of that kingdom have eternal life in heaven awaiting them (Matthew 25:34).

Conclusion:

Let us never forget that we are in the greatest war in history!  The two greatest enemies of all (God and Satan) are fighting on the biggest battlefield of all—the human race!  And WE are in that war!

We have a promise of protection and help from one side if we join Him.  We have a promise of being destroyed if we join the other side.

Which side are you on?  God never fails.  We cannot win the battle on our own; we can only win it through Jesus Christ.  But that victory is guaranteed if we stay on God’s side.

Whose side are you on?

-Bradley S. Cobb

Bible Q&A – Why Did God Create Us If He Knew We Were Going To Sin?

Question: If God knew we were going to sin before He ever created us, why did He even bother? He could have spared Jesus’ life by just not creating us in the first place. –M.P.

I read something recently that a preacher wrote on this topic, and it—well, frankly it irritated me. He basically said “It doesn’t matter why He did it. He just did it, so accept it and move on.” Like many other people in the world, I don’t just want to know what is or isn’t true, I want to know why it is true.

Obviously, there are some things that we will never know or understand this side of eternity. And it is also true that there are some things that God did not see fit to reveal to us (Deuteronomy 29:29).

But does God really leave the question of why we were created unanswered? This is one of the biggest, most important questions that can be asked. Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? These are just different ways of asking the same question: why did God create us?

And God did not leave this all-encompassing question unanswered.

But before we attempt to answer this question, let’s establish a couple points.

God knew mankind would sin before He created Adam.

Jehovah once staked His entire claim to being God on His ability to accurately know and foretell things which were in the future (Isaiah 41:22-24). If He did not know in advance that mankind would sin, then Jehovah is not God.

The necessity of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was known by God before He created the universe (I Peter 1:21). God had already decided on His plan of salvation and who would be saved before He created the universe (Ephesians 1:4).

So, without a doubt, before creation, God knew that mankind would sin.

But He created man anyway.

Everything God does has a purpose.

Every animal of the field, every plant, every star, every cloud, even the very molecules that we are made with all have a purpose. Every command of God has a purpose—none of them are arbitrary. Every verse of the Bible has a purpose—none of them are there just for the fun of it.

When God blesses His people, it has a purpose. When God punishes His people, it has a purpose.

And when God created mankind, He had a purpose in mind for it.

Why did God create us, since He knew we would sin?

The Bible gives us some very important pieces of information, as well as a very clear-cut statement that answers this question for us.

There is a war going on between God and Satan. You see it from Genesis all the way through Revelation. And it’s played out on the battlefield of humanity. With each moment, with each choice, individuals choose the winner in their own lives. When we choose to do righteousness, God is victorious. When we choose to do evil, we have given Satan the victory in that battle.

Nowhere perhaps is this shown more clearly than in the first two chapters of the book of Job. God and Satan are at odds with each other, with Satan claiming victory—he has influence even on God’s people, and basically claims he goes anywhere he wants whenever he wants to (1:6-7). God stops Satan and says, “have you considered my servant Job? There is none like him in the earth: a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God and eschews [avoids] evil” (Job 1:8).

And from there, the battle gets fiercer as Satan destroys Job’s riches, his servants, and his family in an effort to get him to turn against God. Everything that happened to Job was a result of the battle between God and Satan. In this battle, Job chose to serve God—and Satan lost.

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Outside of those who are mentally incapable of making a decision between good and evil, every person on earth has chosen to give Satan the victory in at least one battle. Even if that person repents and lives a life of faithfulness, the fact remains that it was still not a complete victory for God, since that person chose to sin at various points in his life.

All have sinned—except for one: Jesus the Christ. The Scriptures repeatedly state that Jesus “knew no sin” (II Corinthians 5:21), or “did no sin” (I Peter 2:22). He lived a perfect life—one that gave God a complete victory over Satan. When Jesus died on the cross, it sealed the greatest victory possible (Hebrews 2:14-15). Satan’s claim to power had been proven wrong because Jesus Christ did not sin.

Jesus was made to die the most horrible, agonizing death known to mankind after undergoing a severe beating—yet through all of this, he still did not sin. Satan pulled out all the stops to try to get Jesus to relent, to sin just once, but it didn’t work.

Let’s hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The Bible tells us that the meaning of life—the meaning of our very existence—is to fear God and keep His commandments. That is what life is all about. This is what we were created for!

As each of us makes the choice to follow God in our lives, we give Him another victory. As we choose to sin, we give Satan the upper hand in this battle. We determine the outcome in the individual battle between God and Satan in our lives.

Since we were created for the purpose of serving God and obeying Him, what do we deserve when disobey? If you had a tool, designed to do a specific job, and that tool wouldn’t do what it was designed for, what would you do? After a while, you’d probably throw it away. Now imagine that tool has a mind of its own and though it can do the job it’s designed for, it refuses to do it. So, you try to encourage it and coax it. It works for a little while, but then refuses again. So you coax it some more, but it still won’t listen. So you give it a warning, still little changes. You punish it to try to get it to work, but that only works for a little while (if at all). This tool is stubborn and refuses to work. Finally, your patience is at an end and you burn it.

We are that tool. We were designed for a specific job: fear God and keep His commandments. As we do what we’re designed for, God gets the glory. But what’s so amazing about God is this: when we do what we’re designed to do—serving Him—we will get to share in His glory. We will be partakers of the divine nature (II Peter 1:4). We will be able to spend eternity in the presence of God Himself. We will be victorious soldiers shouting victory forever with our King, Jesus the Christ!

So, why did God create us, knowing ahead of time that we would sin?

Because it is through mankind that God wins the victory over Satan. Without a human living a perfect life, there was no true victory. In our lives, it’s like a boxing match that goes twelve rounds with each side winning some rounds and losing others. One side won at the end, but it wasn’t the complete victory. In Jesus’ life, it was a first-round knock-out.

But in order to have that complete victory which destroyed Satan’s power, it had to be a human who lived sinless. Mankind was created because it was through mankind (specifically Jesus Christ) that God won the ultimate victory over Satan.

-Bradley Cobb

Sermon Wednesday – What is Hell Like?

Today, we continue our series on “Fundamentals of the Faith,” and today’s topic is one that a lot of people really don’t like to think about–Hell.

Introduction:

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take all the uncomfortable parts out of the Bible?  You know, things like be thou faithful unto death?  Things like, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution?  Or what about hell?

What about hell?

Does hell really exist?  If so, does it last forever or is it only temporary?  Would a loving God punish someone eternally for a comparatively short life of sin?  How is hell described in the Bible?

These are questions that people have about hell, and it’s up to us to be ready to show them what the Bible has to say on the matter.

Does Hell Really Exist?

Sadly, the reality of hell–which was once almost universally believed–is being rejected by many people in many religious groups.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses all deny hell exists.  Their doctrine is that all evil people simply cease to exist when they die.  Thus, you can live your life as evil as you want, and when you die there is no punishment at all.

There are even those within the church who deny the existence of hell.  This isn’t limited to liberal or conservative either, as there are those on both sides who hold this view.  We’ll consider some of the arguments they use a bit later in the lesson.

The most important thing we need to remember when discussing any Bible topic is this: it doesn’t matter who believes it or how widespread that belief is; what matters is what the Bible says about it.

Acts 17:11-12a – These were more noble than they of Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed…

It is also extremely important that if we believe something, we know why we believe it.

Because that’s what my preacher said” isn’t good enough.

Because that’s what mom and dad believed” isn’t good enough.

We need to be able to show from the Bible why we believe what we believe.

So, you may believe there is a hell—but can you prove it from the Bible?

Hell is not always called hell in the Bible.

In fact, if you (like me) use the King James Version, you could get confused pretty quickly, because the word hell in the KJV doesn’t always mean hell.

  • Acts 2:27 (KJV) says that Jesus’ soul went to hell.
  • Revelation 20:14 (KJV) tells us that hell was cast into the lake of fire…which generally speaking is believed to be hell.

So, hell was destroyed in hell?  That makes no sense.

So, we need to make some observations before we get too far into this discussion.

In the Old Testament, the word “hell” is always the Hebrew word Sheol.  Some translations actually just render it Sheol.  It means “the abode of the dead” (Thayer).  Sometimes it refers to a place of torment, other times not.  Without considering the context of each section, we cannot gain much insight on the topic of “hell” from these passages.

In the New Testament, there are two words translated hellOne is Gehenna (see Matthew 5:22, 29-30).  This word is a reference to a place of fire and torment, as is obvious from the passages mentioned.

The other is Hades (see Matthew 11:23, 16:18).  This is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Sheol.  This word simply means the unseen realm, or the abode of the dead, and is used ten times in the New Testament.  Though it can include the idea of a place of torment (Luke 16:23), it also describes where Jesus’ soul went after His crucifixion (Acts 2:27, 31).  It is a general word that includes all the unseen realm—including a place of paradise and a place of torment.

Hell is a place of torment reserved for the wicked after their time on earth.

Though the word hell isn’t always used, the concept of a place of punishment after death is clearly taught in the New Testament.

Luke 16:19-31 tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus.  They both died, and the rich man awoke in torment—conscious torment (16:23).  While in torment, he was conscious, proven by the fact that he was able to hold a conversation.  It was a place of flame (16:24).

“You can’t use that passage, preacher! It’s a parable, not a real story.”

It doesn’t say it’s a parable, and even if it was, Jesus never gave a parable that described things that didn’t actually happen.

“Well, you can’t use that passage because it’s speaking of Hades, not hell.”

I say that the man has obviously been judged because he is now in torment.  But if you want to discard that passage, we’ll just have to go somewhere else.

Matthew 25:41-46 describes the judgment scene.  Jesus calls the ones on his left “cursed” and sends them into “everlasting fire” (24:41).  He doesn’t use the term “hell,” but this is a description of the same place.

Mark 9:43-48 describes hell as a place of punishment for those who sin.  Jesus uses the word “hell” (Gehenna, the place of fiery torment) in verses 43, 45, and 47.  He describes it as a place “where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched” (verses 44, 46, 48).

Revelation 14:11 speaks of some who were condemned, and says of them “the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night…”  This, again, is a description of hell.

Jude 7 describes the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha as “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”  Literally, it means they have suffered and continue to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.

So, the question now is this: does the Bible describe a place of torment for the wicked after their death?

Without a doubt, such a place is described in the Bible.

How long does hell last?

Some people, when faced with the reality of hell, try to soften the impact of it by declaring that it is only temporary.  Some people say that it’s a place of torment until judgment day, and then all those who were in hell will simply be destroyed and cease to exist.

Others say that hell is a place of torment after judgment day, but that each person will be punished for a specific period of time based on their sins, and then they will be put in heaven after they’ve learned their lesson.

The problem with both of these theories is that neither one of them is found in the Bible.

As we’ve already seen from several passages, hell is a place of “everlasting” torment.  It’s a place where torment lasts “for ever and ever.”  It’s a place where the fire is never quenched (Mark 9:43-48).

If hell ceases to exist at any point, then the Bible has just lied!  You hear me? If hell ceases to exist—ever—then the fires were quenched, and the Bible has lied.

Think about that carefully, and understand what that means.

If you say that hell is a temporary place, then you are calling God a liar.

It is a place that is every bit as eternal and everlasting as heaven itself.

Matthew 25:46 says “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”  The words “everlasting” and “eternal” in that verse are the EXACT SAME WORD in Greek.

So, however long “life eternal” is, that’s the same length of time “everlasting punishment” is.  So, if hell is temporary, then so is heaven.  If hell will have an end, so will heaven.  If heaven is eternal, so is hell.

Hell is a place of unending torment reserved for the wicked.

But a loving God would not punish someone eternally for a short time of sinning!–Right?

That’s the argument, and it’s a very emotional one.

A 20-year old lives a life of fun and pleasure, never giving any thought to religion, and he’s hit and killed by a drunk driver.  Is a loving God really going to torment him eternally for what amounts to only about 10-12 years of sin? (because when he’s a small child, he has no clue what sin is).

A preacher that I know, called me one evening, struggling with this question.  He said, “Brad, I know what we’ve always taught, and what the church believes, but someone hit me with this question, and I’m at a loss.”  He expressed that he was having a very difficult time rectifying the idea of a loving God and eternal punishment.

And I’ll tell you the same thing I told him.

If a loving God will not punish someone eternally for a short life of sin, then a just God will not reward someone eternally for a short life of obedience.

Did you get that?

The logic works both ways.  A just God will not reward someone eternally when they’ve only spent a few years in His service, right?

Do we call the justice system unfair because it punishes someone for the rest of their life for a one-time action?  Someone intentionally shoots an innocent person—something that takes less than a second—yet we punish them for perhaps 60 years!  The punishment is absolutely deserved.

If you go to hell, it’s because you deserve to go there!

Whoa! Isn’t that a bit harsh?  No, it’s not. It’s the Bible.

All of us deserve to go to hell because of our sins.  However, those who take advantage of the blood of Christ can avoid hell and all its terrible torment.

If you don’t take advantage of it, whose fault is it?

But let’s dig a bit deeper into this idea of deserving to go to hell.  Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”  The whole duty of man. The whole purpose of man. This is the meaning of life.  This is the entire reason man was put on this planet was to fear God and keep His commandments.

When you look at Job 1-2, you see God and Satan at war.  The individual battles are waged in the lives of humans.  In these chapters, Job is the battlefield.

You are the battlefield between God and Satan.  You determine who wins and who loses in your life.  We were designed and put here as the instruments by which God defeats Satan.

Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

If you have a tool, designed for a specific purpose, and it won’t do what it’s supposed to do, you get rid of it.  Now, imagine that your tool can talk, and that it says to you, “I know what you want me to do, what I’m designed to do, but I don’t want to, and I’m not going to do it.”

You beg and plead with it, and still it indignantly refuses, and tries to keep other tools from working for you.  Eventually, you’re going to destroy that tool; and it will deserve it.

As humans, whose entire purpose is serving God and keeping His commandments, what do we deserve if we refuse to obey Him?

Yes, we deserve hell.

How is hell described in the Bible?

If we could just for 5 seconds peel back the lid on hell and experience it for just that short amount of time, I am convinced that we would serve God and never look back.

Hell is a place that God has created to torment Satan and his messengers forever (Matthew 25:41).

You know what Satan deserves because of his opposition to God.  Satan deserves the worst possible torment imaginable.

And if you aren’t a faithful Christian, you will be joining him forever.

Hell is a place of fire.

Mark 9:43-48 describes it as the place where the fire is never quenched.  Revelation 20:14-15 calls hell “the lake of fire.”

Ten years ago, a man was clearing out trash that was on the edge of his back yard.  He starts a small burn pile to get rid of the trash and leaves.  And being the guy that he is, he adds more and more, trying to get it done quicker (that, and he likes seeing the fire).

Then came an extremely loud pop!  Something in the fire shoots out and lands on the man’s hand, and he looks on in horror as he sees his skin literally start to melt.  The searing pain rushes through his whole body, and he screams.

He grabs something and as quick as he possibly can, he scrapes the burning material off his hand (causing even more pain in the process).  He grabs his hand, trying to stop the pain, but nothing works—in fact, if anything, it gets worse.

Slowly, he removes his grip and looks at his hand, and at the place that was tormenting his entire body.  The spot of pain was less than half the size of an M&M, but the burning tormented his entire body.

That was me.

But the fires of hell are not confined to one small part of you.  It’s not just a spot on your hand.  It’s not just a finger or a toe.

If you go to hell, you are in the lake of fire.  Imagine yourself in the middle of a lake of water, and you’re drowning, thrashing around trying to stay afloat.

Now, as you have that image in your head, watch as the water turns to flames, and you are completely immersed in fire, thrashing about, trying in vain to escape the pain.  Is it any wonder that john the Baptist promised that Jesus would baptize some people in unquenchable fire? (Matthew 3:10-12)

You know the pain of fire when you get burned on one part of your body.  Now imagine it continually burning every part of you.

Hell is a place of darkness.

To the person trapped in an underground cave with no light, even a small speck of light is a sign of hope.  But with no light, living in complete darkness, there is no way to see what might be around you—what could be trying to attack you.

Paranoia can easily creep in when someone is in complete blackness.  Mentally, being in complete darkness for an extended period of time can actually drive someone insane.

You are thrown into a coffin, the lid shut, and then you are put in the ground and covered in earth…and you’re still alive.  It’s completely black and you’re freaking out, hyperventilating, sweating, and the heat inside the coffin is quickly rising.

Then you find a flashlight and turn it on.  Instantly, things have improved because there is some light—even though your condition hasn’t improved, the light has a somewhat calming effect.

In hell, there is no light.

Hell is called the place of “outer darkness.”

  • Matthew 8:12 – the children of the kingdom shall be cast into outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  • Matthew 22:13, 25:30 both describe hell in the same way.
  • I Peter 2:9 may have this idea in mind as well, God “hath called you out of darkness” [perhaps, freed you from the punishment of hell].
  • Jude 13 describes the fate of false teachers as “the blackness of darkness forever.”

Hell is not just a place of pain, but of mental anguish as well.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30).  There will be anguish because each person in hell will understand that they brought it on themselves.

There will be anguish over lost opportunities to obey the gospel.

There will be anguish over each and every sin committed.

Hell is described as a place with a foul stench.

Worms (literally, we’re talking about maggots) thrive there (“where the worm dieth not”).  Maggots are found around rotted meat–and you probably know that smell well.

It is a place of fire and brimstone.  If you’ve smelled sulphur, you know how nauseating the stench is.

Some experts believe Gehenna (the Greek word for hell) was also the name of a continually burning garbage dump outside Jerusalem.  It would have had dead animals, rancid meat, human waste, and many other foul odors constantly going through the air.

The smells of hell will attack your senses to the point where you can hardly breathe, causing you to hyperventilate, taking quick, shallow breaths in an attempt to keep from being as affected.

And as the smells get through, your stomach is turned and you’re not just fighting the smell, you’re fighting not to throw up.  All of this horrid stench is attacking you, and you can’t see where its coming from because it is completely black.

And there’s no way to get away from it.

And the black flames burn over your entire body, and no matter how you move, you can’t stop the pain even for a moment.

And there’s no getting out of it.

Conclusion:

Today is the day, and now is your chance.  You can avoid the fires of hell by becoming a Christian.  Do it now, before it’s too late!