To begin with, I’ll say this. If you get a word from God three times and that word is a warning, then heed it. Listen and take it in. If it comes three times, it is certainly from our God. I’ve had it happen to me. Reading Jeremiah 27 (whole chapter), I was reminded of this fact. The Lord warned Israel to put themselves under Nebuchadnezzar’s rule. There was an earthly judgement to follow if they disobeyed.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people speak of hell. Countless times. But when I was given a picture of it, I decided to write about it. Here is another teaching on the same theme using more Scriptures and a couple of films to back up God’s warning. Not that He requires it. His word is Law and cannot be changed.
I was watching a filmed sermon some time ago and was reminded of the parable of the net. This parable fits every person alive, and it fitted all those who have gone before us since Adam, and it will fit all those who live after us. Some teach that death is the end until Christ comes. It isn’t. We only have to read Christ’s teaching on the Rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. The parable we’re looking at first is horrific. Listen as Tim describes it. The Parable of the Net is one where a dragnet is used and every type of fish gets drawn in. You know what happens. The good are kept. What’s useless gets thrown out. This describes the end when Christ judges the world. After His people are called Blessed and given their reward, the lost are dealt with. The angels are there to throw each lost soul into a dreadful place called hell. It’s yet another example of something so vividly dreadful that people dodge it like they dodge any kind of sickness or filth.
I remember back about 20-odd years ago and some television or radio programme described two reactions that we have. It’s to do with things that look good and look bad. Take a tomato, for instance. If it’s good, and looks red and delicious, we instantly want to smell it. Then, we want to take a big bite out of it and taste its succulence. If it’s well grown and of a good variety, you might see a look of bliss on the face of the eater, and there will likely be a vocal delight. That depicts the love of Christ towards those that believe in Him. When He stands and presents us to the Father, this Scripture will come to pass: “Here I am with the children God has given Me.” That comes from Hebrews 2:13.
Now look at a rotten tomato. Instantly, we are repulsed. We don’t even want to pick the thing up to throw it out. We will likely cover our hands with a glove or some paper. Anything to keep us from touching the vile thing. Well, this is what God thinks of sinners who refuse to repent. They are considered vile. Repulsive. Rotten to the core and to be cast out. Thrown into hell. And that’s exactly what will happen to all who refuse Christ. And His angels will cast, or throw these ones into the burning lake of fire where their worm does not die and the fire is never quenched. (Mark 9:44, 46, 48).
Why do we act so wickedly? Why will some refuse His love and mercy? He’s given the free offer of life rather than death. He came to earth to save sinners. He healed the sick, raised the dead, taught about His Father and heaven and about hell and how to avoid it. Then He hung on a cross and even asked forgiveness from His Father towards those who were sinning against Him at that time. Yet the world hates Him. What has He done? All He ever wanted was to save us from the wrath of God. That’s what the final place of hell is. God’s wrath against all sin and sinners.
Don’t you hate it when you hear of someone bashing up an old lady or gentleman? Don’t you hate it when someone hurts and otherwise mistreats a child? Don’t you feel anger when someone steals from someone you know, or even steals from you? Don’t you want revenge? Well, I have to tell you, so does God. He wants revenge against all who practise lawlessness, and every kind of sin is lawlessness. If we live against God’s law, well, then God will have revenge against us if we don’t repent and turn to Him.
I love the fact that Tim Conway draws us to Ezekiel 47:1-12 while speaking. Here, we are seeing the parable of the net taught again whereby the waters in this chapter envision people. The waters go down to the desert from the east country. This is the worldwide mass of people, if you like; and the gospel is preached to everyone. Didn’t Jesus say that the gospel shall be preached to the whole world before the end comes? That’s when the end will come – when the gospel has been preached everywhere it can be preached! It must be preached to every tribe, tongue and nation because representatives from every known language, every tribal people and every nation will be found in Heaven. That’s a Scriptural promise. Be absolutely warned that the same will be true of hell, for there will be those from each nation, tribe and tongue who will refuse Christ. That refusal, if held on to will certainly bring judgement on the person holding onto it.
Back to Ezekiel and those who hear the gospel and react properly to it, or, in other words, repent, will be healed. Verse 12 gives us a picture of the river whose trees growing either side are for food and for healing. The food is the Bread of Life. Feeding on it will bring healing, or salvation. It’s beautiful! The trees likely represent the Apostles who initially bring the gospel to the Jewish people, and then afterwards, the gentile peoples. And those who hear the word of salvation and repent will live with God forever, instead of going to that dreadful, frightening place of burning.
Here’s a question people might ask: If there’s fire, how come it’s dark? Fire gives off light. The darkness is a terrible lack of God’s Light. His Light is precious. Here’s what it says to me: Those who are with Christ in Eternity are able to bask in His Light. Know what that means? There will be no need for the sun or any other lamp for God will be our Light. Another way of looking at God’s Light is the light of the gospel. Those who have it and are regenerated are able to live in that light whilst waiting for His return, and in Eternity, we live in God’s Glorious Light.
We cannot see Him and live at the moment, even Christians, because we still live within our corrupt bodies. He said to Moses, “I will place my hand over you until I pass by, then I will remove my hand and you will see My back. You cannot see My face and live.” That’s when Moses asked to see God’s glory. (Exodus 33:18-23).Truth is, He’s just far too glorious for us to look upon. But in the Day when He returns to take His people, we will be given glorious new bodies fit for heaven and fit to stand before Him and see Him face to face. That’s another tremendous promise He gives all who love Him and keep His commandments. I’ve heard a precious sister in the Lord talk about those who don’t come to Christ saying: “They shall keep the bodies they died in or those they have when Christ returns.” I haven’t seen this in Scripture for myself so cannot comment upon it fully yet, but I doubt the lost will get glorious new bodies. They are not going to live with Christ, after all. In fact, in Scripture, you wouldn’t believe what happens to some people if I sat here and told you. I do know this, that there’s a Scripture which talks about raging painful sores given to those who follow the ‘beast’, or the ‘man of sin’ at the time of the Great Tribulation. Everyone who gets that we know will be damned forever. See, some people teach that the door of grace closes when Christ comes. I don’t believe it takes that long. If terrible judgements are going to fall on the lost, their day of grace has already ended. In the Great Tribulation, all who are without Christ are going to spend their time cursing God because of all the judgements being poured out upon them . If anyone is doing that, (Cursing God), they certainly are not living under grace and, if they have that sore and have taken the mark, or in other words, their spiritual state is opposite to that of one who loves the Lord, their time of grace has already ended. God’s Spirit will have stopped striving with them as promised in Genesis 6:3.
So the darkness is the complete and utter absence of God’s Light. Everything that souls against God have in this world will be taken from each of them at death. That means, all earthly pleasures. We are told, “We came into this world with nothing and it is certain we will carry nothing out!” (1 Timothy 6:7). If no repentance comes while they breathe, then they are cast into outer darkness forever. That means their rejection of God becomes non-reversible. Once judged and in hell, a soul can never change their mind. They live in their unlovely state forever with all the pain, anguish and gnashing of their teeth it will bring.
Hell is a terrible place. I give you these films in the hope that God will shine His light into your soul and save you. If you truly love life, then choose Life. Why will you die?