Luke 16:19-31 New Living Translation (NLT)
Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.
22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.
24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’
25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’
27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’
29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’
30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’
31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
1. Hell – It’s Real
2 Timothy 4:3-4 New Living Translation (NLT)
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
CONDITIONAL IMMORTALITY OR ANNIHILATIONISM
Some people will not be saved.
• The human soul is not naturally immortal. Eternal existence is a gift of God to the redeemed.
• The unrepentant will be punished, but this period of conscious punishment will be temporary.
• At the final resurrection, the unrepentant will be destroyed and cease to exist. The biblical “fire” of hell is a consuming, rather than tormenting, fire.
• Some conditionalists believe that after death a person will receive a second chance to accept or reject God.
RESTORATIONISM OR UNIVERSALISM
All people will eventually be saved, and God will restore the creation to perfect harmony.
• Eternal punishment contradicts the love of God, since God wills the salvation of all and has the power to overcome sin and evil. God’s love is stronger than human resistance.
• If there is a hell, it is not eternal. Punishment is temporary and remedial, leading the sinner towards repentance and union with God.
• Even the devil can ultimately repent and be saved.
Deuteronomy 32:22 English Standard Version (ESV)
22 For a fire is kindled by my anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol,
devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
Matthew 13:40-42 New Living Translation (NLT)
40 “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Revelation 14:9-12 New Living Translation (NLT)
9 Then a third angel followed them, shouting, “Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand 10 must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.”
2. Hell – It wasn’t created for you.
“Sometimes we hide behind questions like “how could a good God create someone and then torment that person forever?” Yet few people deny that He does this to Satan. Some even rejoice in this.”― Francis Chan, Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We Made Up
Matthew 25:41 New Living Translation (NLT)
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.
Revelation 20:10 New Living Translation (NLT)
10 Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
2 Peter 3:9 New Living Translation (NLT)
9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
Ephesians 2:10 New Living Translation (NLT)
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Genesis 1:26-27 New Living Translation (NLT)
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Deuteronomy 30:19 New Living Translation (NLT)
19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
3.Hell – We need to talk about it.
“In my desire to distance myself from sadistic Christians who revel in the idea of wrath and punishment, I may have crossed a line. Refusing to teach a passage of Scripture is just as wrong as abusing it.
I really believe it's time for some of us to stop apologizing for God and start apologizing to Him for being embarrassed by the ways He has chosen to reveal Himself.”― Francis Chan, Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We've Made Up
Luke 3:15-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
15 Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. 16 John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”
18 John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people.
Matthew 3:8-10 New Living Translation (NLT)
8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. 9 Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 7:18-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. (And just so you’re clear what He’s talking about – He says this in verse 20) 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
Matthew 5:22 New Living Translation (NLT)
22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
On Aug. 11, 1927, Smith Wigglesworth stood in Angelus Temple to preach on preparing for the Second Coming of Christ.
One of the things he said was this –
“In the last days It will be common for preachers to deny the existence of hell. Denying hell prepares the way for antichrist.”
“Please forgive me, Lord, for wanting to erase all the things in Scripture that don't sit well with me. Forgive me for trying to hide some of Your actions to make You more palatable to the world. Forgive me for trying to make You fit my standards of justice and goodness and love. Help me to be eager to leave what is familiar for what is true. You are God; You are good; I don't always understand You, but I love You. Thank You for who You are.