"The Neglected Place Called Hell"
by David Legge | Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com
Now I announced this morning that I'd be taking the topic really today, 'Two Neglected Truths' - and this morning we looked at 'The Neglected Person of the Holy Spirit'. I hope that was a help to you. Tonight, as we present the gospel, I want us to consider: 'The Neglected Place Called Hell'. You remember that I did give an introduction this morning and said that I deliberately didn't take the overarching title 'Two Neglected Subjects', or 'Two Neglected Issues', because the Holy Spirit is more than an issue and a subject, He is a person and we ought to cultivate a relationship with Him. But in the same vein: Hell is not a subject, Hell is not an issue, Hell is a place, a real place.
That's what I want us to consider as we read together Luke's gospel chapter 16 please, and we're going to begin reading at verse 19. Luke 16, beginning to read at verse 19, and of course the Bible is the word of God - I hope you're aware of that - but the words we're going to read are the actual words of the Lord Jesus. If you have a particular version of the Scriptures that is a red letter version, you will see that these words are in red letters, so it's God's Word but it's also the words of the Lord Jesus telling the story, and we believe it is completely factual - for He says: "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed" - verse 19 of Luke 16 - "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus", He gives the actual name of this man, something He doesn't do generally in His parables, "which was laid at his gate", the rich man's gate, "full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in Hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead".
Let us pause for a moment's prayer please: O God, the reading of Your word just now has brought a deep sobriety and seriousness upon our consciousness and, we do trust, upon our hearts. For Lord, what we are reading about is a very difficult consideration to human hearts, that there is a real place called Hell, and that those who have not faith in God through our Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood at Calvary's cross will enter that place after death and be there for all eternity. Now Lord, we are dealing with Your words, we are dealing with Your truth, and we pray that we will be honest and faithful with it - that we will not allow our human emotions, which can be so fickle and unpredictable, to determine what we say and not say. Yet in everything we pray that we will be gracious and loving, remembering our Lord Jesus Christ of whom it was said: 'He was full of grace and truth'. But Lord, our chief end tonight is to present Christ to those who have no hope, those who are lost. Oh God, we pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to come in deep conviction upon those who are still in sin, who have not yet repented and believed the gospel. Oh God, we need that Holy Spirit moving in their mind and heart, and indeed in their will. Lord, send the fire, we pray, 'tis fire we want, for fire we plead, the fire will meet our every need! Lord, send the fire, save souls, restore those who are backslidden and cold in their faith, and revive Your people to this great reality - and, indeed, all the truths of eternity that this world and the devil himself would rob us of. For Christ's sake we pray these things, and for His glory alone, Amen.
Now, they say confession is good for the soul, and I have to confess to you that I don't believe I have ever read a novel in my life. You might say - and if you're an English teacher, I know I'm in trouble already - 'That's not something to brag about!'. It might surprise you even more to know that I did English Literature at GCSE and even A-level, but somehow I got through it all without reading anything that was on the curriculum! But what helped me was that at the particular time I was doing my A-level English Literature, the BBC very kindly did a dramatisation of Middlemarch, which happened to be the great tome of about 600 pages or thereabouts that I was meant to read. So I set the video recorder every night and made sure that I got it documented, and just sat down and watched it over and over again and again, and I passed! In fact, do you know what I got in my A-levels? 'B-B-C' - that's right! I don't know if it was a coincidence or not! But I've always been more interested in documentaries, and I think deep down - and I'm not decrying anyone who's interested in reading fiction - but there's just something in me that doesn't want to waste time on something that's not true, I would rather look into something that is factual - that's just the way I am.
Now, I wonder if you're reading this passage of Scripture tonight, whether or not you're looking at it with eyes that say, 'This is factual'; or whether you've got spectacles on that interpret these words as something fictional, a fairytale, something akin to a film that Hollywood would produce: 'Hell'. It has to be said that this truth of a place called Hell has fallen into disrepute these days, even in the church. From pulpits there is a hesitancy to talk about it. Now, I know some people are very harsh in the manner in which they preach on it, and that is wrong - and yet we cannot shy away from the fact that Hell is a very real truth that none other than our Lord Jesus Christ taught, in fact more than He taught on the subject of Heaven - that might surprise you. Vance Havner, a preacher in the southern states of America, was questioned after he preached a sermon on Hell, and the man at the door said to him: 'Why don't you preach to us about gentle Jesus, meek and mild, rather than all this Hell stuff?'. He said: 'Oh, that's interesting, that's where I got all my information on Hell from!'. The Lord Jesus Christ spoke a great deal on Hell, and though He didn't use the particular word in this story, He depicts that place of torment. The word that is used for Hell, the lake of fire, in the New Testament is a word called 'Gehenna'. It is used twelve times in the New Testament, and eleven of those twelve times it is used by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
The word, in fact, dates back to the story of the great kings of Judah. It refers to the Valley of Ben Hinnon, which was southwest of Jerusalem, the city. During the reign of wicked King Ahaz, about 750 BC, he - in his leaving of the worship of the true and living God - began to worship the gods of the nations around, the pagan gods. He actually went to the point of offering human sacrifices to those gods, and indeed he sacrificed his own sons to them. His grandson, Manasseh, was no better, he continued this practice - and his great-grandson, Amnon, followed suit. It wasn't until good King Josiah, he was named as, came to reign at eight years of age - and at the age of twelve he decided he was going to be done with all this idolatry in the nation. Do you know what he did? In the Valley of Ben Hinnon, where these pagan sacrifices were being made, he decided to turn it into the city rubbish dump. All the rubbish, the carcasses of animals, even the dead corpses of criminals, were cast into the Valley of Ben Hinnon, all the rubbish was dumped there, bodies were left to rot, and rubbish was constantly burning - and so there would be a constant rot and smoke rising from Ben Hinnon, which actually gives rise to the statement of our Lord Jesus Christ that 'Hell is a place where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched'.
Now, it's not a very appetising depiction, is it? Yet it is how Lord Jesus Christ described Hell. I wonder is it real to you tonight? You might say: 'Who believes in Hell these days?'. My friend, Jesus believes in Hell, Jesus taught about Hell. Whatever you know about the Lord Jesus Christ, you've got to know this: He says it is real, and He says that those who have not faith in Him are going to that place. It is a reality, it is not a fiction. Irrespective of whether or not we like the idea, that is irrelevant - and I would ask you to consider how irrational and unreasonable it is for you to just obliterate the concept from your mind just because you don't like it! We don't like cancer, but it is very real. Schoolboys and girls don't like detention, but it's very real, and homework. I don't like the dentist, but I know because of all the pieces of mercury in my head that it is very real. We cannot just ignore the things that are real that we don't like. Death is a prime example of this, because we know, and we hear so often at funeral services: 'In life we are in the midst of death' - we pass cemeteries day after day, we see funeral processions passing through the town, we read the obituaries - and yet we live our lives so often in complete denial of the reality of death. We try to shut it out, why? Because we don't like it, so we don't want to contemplate it - and often what we do is we laugh about it, and we tell jokes about it, because we tend to humour the things that we cannot face and stare eyeball-to-eyeball.
Hell must be, and if there was no Hell one would have to be created. You say: 'That's a very strong statement!'. Well, we have all, I think, who are good upstanding citizens of our own society, come to terms with the law - I hope you have at least! You have recognized that if you break the law - and if I'm coming down the M1 at 90 miles per hour, and I get clocked, and the cops get me, well I realise 20 miles an hour - I think that's right anyway - 20 over the limit, that I'm going to get booked, and I'm going to get, what is it? A £60 fine, three penalty points - and then, if my tyres are bald as well, another three penalty points. I have to submit to the law, and recognize it. Now, are we going to say that God cannot do that in His own universe, that He cannot apply His law, and He cannot punish us according to His law? Are we going to rob God of that? The God who is displayed in the Bible as being absolutely just, as being absolutely righteous, absolutely fair - and whilst He is loving, and He is gracious, and as we'll hear tonight He has created a way whereby we can escape punishment and Hell by His forgiveness - yet He has to be true to His nature! He cannot, like some policemen have done, turn a blind eye to the crime, He must deal with it! He cannot sweep it under the carpet.
Hell is the natural and inevitable consequence of sin. If we don't have a Hell, then people like Adolf Hitler who blew their brains out after committing one of the greatest atrocities that the human race has ever seen - 6 million Jews exterminated - that means Adolf Hitler got away with it. Stalin got away with his atrocities. Is that what you want to believe? That's what you must believe if you don't believe there are any consequences as to how we live, how we behave in this life, that there is no judgement after death, that we all get off scot-free. That's not what Jesus taught, it's not what the Bible teaches, it is not what commonsense and reason teaches. As certain as you suffer pain when you're hurt in your body, you will suffer Hell when you sin against God. As water drowns and fire burns, sin damns - do you believe that?
You may be saying: 'Well, why? Why does it have to be the case? Why' - and this is what I often hear people say to me - 'Why should a God of love send people to Hell? If He is so loving as you say He is, why should He send them there?'. Well, I have to caution you for a moment: be careful what you accuse God of doing. In Matthew's gospel 25 verse 41, the Lord Jesus Himself said that Hell was created for the devil and his angels. I believe the Bible teaches that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, and He never intended to exterminate and destroy in eternal punishment His own creation. If we go to Hell for rejecting Christ, and sinning our eternity away, it is because we have chosen to, as Isaiah's prophecy says, go our own way - which, in fact, ultimately is the devil's way, and he'll lead us to Hell. Kenneth Woodward put it like this: 'Human freedom means the capacity to make moral decisions which have radical and enduring consequences. Hell, then, is not a place created by God bent on getting even, but the alienation we choose for ourselves'. Woody Allen in his film 'Crimes and Misdemeanours', in the introduction says: 'We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices' - and he's right! All of us end up as the sum total of our choices. The great writer, C. S. Lewis, put it like this: 'There are two kinds of people in the end in the world, those who say to God, 'Thy will be done'; and those to whom God says, 'thy will be done''.
You see, we have choices, and God has made us that way. Hell is very real, and God - as He has always done - sets before mankind the narrow way and the broad way, the narrow way that leads to life, and the broad way that leads to destruction. He has always said: 'Choose which way, choose you this day whom you will serve'. My friend, I don't know whether I'm answering questions in your mind and in your heart, but you can't just imagine Hell away. In the 1970s the Beatles had a smash hit with John Lennon's song which included these words: 'Imagine there's no Heaven, it's easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky' - well, you can imagine all you like like that, and it's very hard on a beautiful, sunny spring day like today to imagine an awful place called Hell. It's very difficult in our materialistic and advanced scientific and technologically advanced age to imagine this Hell - it seems to be prehistoric, it seems to be callously archaic to many people. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ tells us it is real!
Do you know what He does for us this evening? He effectively gives us a documentary on Hell here in Luke's gospel chapter 16, and He, if you like, takes us to that place and gives us a glimpse of that place so that we will be forewarned not to go to that place. Come with me to it: Jesus said there will be no class distinctions in Hell. This story is about two men, one was rich, one was poor - but irrespective of what their lot was in life, it was the rich man, the Bible says, who lifted up his eyes in Hell being in torment. It was the bag of bones, the beggar at that rich man's gate for whom the angels came to escort him to Heaven. Do you understand? The tables are being turned now - no class distinctions in Hell. Here was a rich man who fed his body, yet his soul was parched. He provided for things temporal and ignored that which was eternal and spiritual. But there is a great lesson in this: the destination of these two souls was determined before the grave, it was determined now.
I don't know why this beggar had become a beggar and become so poor. I do know that this rich man was religious, and that is a warning for many religious folk who don't have faith in Christ and are not born again. If you read the preceding verses to this story you will find out that it was the love of money that took him to Hell. But, my friend, one thing I'm absolutely sure of: this beggar, with the little he had of this life's goods, he had his eyes on God and the things that matter, and it was well with his soul. Now I want to ask you tonight: is that the case with you? You might be so busy in your career, earning money, doing as well as you can in education, you could be providing for your family - and all those things are not bad, but they are inherently sinful if they are things that keep us from trusting Christ and considering those things which really matter.
In Hell Abraham called this man 'son' - now that is frightening. He was a son of Abraham! I've already told you he was religious, that means he was a Jew, he was among the people that God had chosen ethnically to be a light to the world. Yet his ethnic origin did not guarantee him a place in Heaven, and that's the same here! Oh that people in Ulster would realise this, and right across our globe! It doesn't matter what tribe you've been born into, what religious creed you were given from an infant, it doesn't matter whether you're a son of the church or a son of William! It doesn't matter to God! Incidentally, it doesn't matter who you are a natural son or daughter of. It was Billy Graham, years ago, who said: 'God has no grandchildren' - that means He has only children, that you have to deal with God yourself, and you don't get to Heaven because your mother or your father is saved, or your granda was saved, or granny - no! It's something you must deal with. Here was a man, and he was secure in his religiosity, and yet he ended up in Hell - imagine Abraham talking to one of his sons in Hell! There's going to be some surprises there!
No class, religious distinctions, none of the distinctions we make in this life are made in Hell, the only distinction is those who have faith in Christ and are born again, and those who are not. Come with me again: Jesus taught that those who enter Hell will experience never-ending torment. Come with me, it is His words now - verse 23, this rich man was able to see the beggar in Abraham's bosom, which is essentially paradise. He was able to see, he had sight in Hell - do you know you'll be able to see in eternity, whether you're in Heaven or whether you're in Hell? Verse 24 says he spoke, you will have speech in Hell. He is being in torment it says, that means he's experiencing pain - his senses are alert in Hell. Verse 24, he's thirsting in Hell, so much so that he asks that the beggar would be allowed to dip his finger in water and cool his tongue, but he can't get that! Which teaches us that mercy is only before the grave, he had sinned away his day of mercy and now it is too late. If he had felt his need for water when he was on earth, he would have got it - for the Lord Jesus said: 'Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled'; the Lord Jesus said to a woman at a well, 'I'll be able to give you water that you'll never thirst again'. He says to us tonight: 'Come everyone who thirsts, and drink of the water of life really' - but when you die and enter Hell there is no water, there's no mercy.
Verse 25 shows that he had his memory in Hell, for Abraham told him to remember the opportunities he had in his lifetime. We often hear at funeral services that there are no pockets in a shroud, you'll not take your bank book with you, or your golf clubs, or your Mercedes-Benz to the grave. But what you don't so often hear is that you will, according to the word of God, you will take your memory beyond the grave. 'Son, remember' - that's a frightening prospect, and yet it's so real, especially when you consider the opportunities that you perhaps have had to trust Christ. I know there are people here, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the last time I preached from this pulpit that you were here as well, and you're still not saved tonight. God will cause you to remember those opportunities, and if the sensual torments of Hell were not enough, those mental torments surely will be enough for all eternity!
You might think this is fanciful, but Dr Wilber Penfold, the director of the Montreal Neurological Institute, wrote a report that said that our brains contain a permanent record of our past that is like a single continuous strip of movie film complete with soundtrack. This film library in our brains records your whole waking life from childhood on, you can live again those scenes from your past at just a touch, when a surgeon applies a gentle electrical current to a certain point on the temporal cortex of the brain. As you relive the scene from your past, you feel exactly the same emotions as during the original experience. Now, if that's what people in white coats can do to us now, what do you think God is able to do in eternity? There will be great loss in Hell. This rich man was separated from his five brethren, so much so that he wants to warn them - but it is a one-way ticket to Hell, all those who go in do not come out. There is a great gulf fixed, Abraham told him, those in Hell cannot pass to Heaven, and those in Heaven - not that they would want to - but if they could help those in Hell, they cannot pass over there - it's one way.
If he had cried out like this to God when he was alive, 'Lord, save me! Lord, remember me when you come into Your kingdom!', like the dying thief did. If he had prayed these same prayers, not to a man like Abraham, but to the living God, he would have been heard! But could it be that the greatest prayer meeting in the universe tonight is not on earth, but it's in Hell - and they're all unanswered prayers, because they're praying when it's too late! I wonder will you be there, my friend? This man was desperate for other people not to go there, and I'll tell you: he would be a million times a better preacher than I am here tonight. He says to Abraham: 'Send, send Lazarus back to warn my five brethren that they don't come to this place'. What a cry from Hell: 'Send, lest they come to this place'. Do you know something? Abraham said no, Abraham said: 'No, it's too late'. 'They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them' - now that simply means they have the word of God, what more do they need? My friend, let's face it: if someone came back from the dead this very evening and knocked on your door, and said to you: 'Hell is real, don't be going there, trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, repent of your sin and don't be going to Hell!' - what would you do? I know what I'd do, I'd ring 999 and get the men in the white coats to come and lift him and take him away. We wouldn't believe! Yet what we can believe, a more sure word of prophecy, the word of the living God that is self-authenticating - it proves it is the word of God, and we don't have time to go into it, I could show you tonight how we know it is the Word of God - but we have the Christ of God telling us, the living Lord Jesus who no one could find fault with, who died for our sins and rose again the third day to prove who He was, He's telling us that there is this real place - what more do we need?
What Abraham was saying to this man in Hell was: people on earth have all they need to be saved now, they have the Word of God. But, my friend, though you may not believe, even though one came back from the dead to tell you - the fact of the matter is: One has come back from the dead, the Lord Jesus Christ. It was Joshua Burns who said: 'The trouble with quotes about death and Hell is that 99.999% of them are made by people who are still alive'! But this story is told by a Man who would go through death. The Bible says He would taste death for every man, because death is the wages of sin - because we have sinned we die, because we have broken God's law, the ten commandments - you know them, perhaps, as well as I do - because you've transgressed those, the punishment is death, and death is a proof that we are sinners. But Jesus came to be the Saviour of sinners, and He died on the cross, and He took the punishment and the wages for our sins - so He tasted death for every man. It was as if all the deaths of all the people that ever lived were rolled into one great death and put on Him. I think He's qualified to talk to you about it. But more than dying the deaths of all men on the cross, I'll tell you something even worse than that: the Bible teaches that He took the Hell of humanity.
Now people say to me: 'I don't believe in Hell and all this after you die. I believe Hell is on earth, and I could tell you a few stories, and you would start to believe that maybe Hell is a place on earth' - some of the circumstances that folk go through, and they do go through an awful lot of things that I would never ever want to. But, my friend, if you want to see Hell on earth come with me now to Calvary. Come with me to the cross where Jesus is hanging. He is nailed, He has been rejected as the Jewish Messiah, and He is put to death. I've already told you He's dying the death of every man, but you look at that scene - tell me it's not Hell on earth! You see the Bible says Hell is a place of outer darkness, and for three hours on the cross the Bible records that there was a darkness that covered the whole land, a supernatural darkness I believe it was. The Lord Jesus was experiencing the wrath of God for our sins that should have been ours. The Bible says that Hell is a place of weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and the Lord Jesus cried from the cross: 'I thirst'. We've seen the rich man thirsting in Hell, and Jesus there on the cross is crying: 'I thirst, my tongue cleaves to the roof of my mouth' - is it not Hell He's going through? O, there He is, and the Bible says that Hell is a place of separation, and you listen very carefully as the Lord Jesus cries: 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?', 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'. He's being separated from God there, because God is laying on Him the sins and iniquities of us all.
Do you understand what's going on here? He's undergoing our Hell! Now, He hasn't descended into Hell, the literal place, but it's as if Hell has been put into His bosom. That's why Isaiah says His soul was made an offering for sin - and just as in the Old Testament, they used to take the little lambs and slay them, and burn them, He is the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world! My dear friend, what He endured no tongue can tell, to save your soul from death and Hell. He is the one who gives us the vision of Hell tonight, and I'll tell you: He doesn't give you it to give you nightmares, my friend. I'm not preaching on it to put you off your supper - oh to God that you would be, if you would be saved - that's the purpose! That's why the Lord Jesus Christ is letting us see this documentary, this glimpse into this awful, real, literal place for all eternity - why? Because He is the Saviour of men, 'For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved'. He went through our Hell, the eternity of Hell for men and women compressed into three hours, and laid upon God's Son, that you might not go there! Now if that isn't love, the oceans are dry, there's no clouds in the sky, and the sparrow can't fly. If that isn't love, then Heaven's a myth, and so is Hell - but that is what Christ did for you.
Does it mean nothing to you, my friend? Would to God that you, as the Psalmist put it, would experience tonight the pangs of Hell getting hold upon you, realising that before God you've broken His law - and the greatest sin that you've ever committed is unbelief, for you're not saved tonight and you haven't trusted Christ. That is the unpardonable sin: unbelief. All sins can be forgiven, but God cannot forgive unbelief in His Son, the rejection of the only Saviour that has been given to men. My friend, if that's you tonight, I pray in God's stead: waken up! Waken up! Realise that Hell is more real than the seat you're sitting on tonight, more real than the loved one beside you, more real than the job that you're in! I'm told that moles are a creature that only open their eyes when they die. We read that this rich man lifted up his eyes in Hell being in torment, but it was too late. Colonel Charteris, dying, said: 'I would gladly give £30000 to have it proved to my satisfaction that there is no Hell' - but you cannot, you cannot. Not least because the One who is the truth, He says: 'If it were not so' - if the realities of Heaven, and the awful prospect of Hell was not so, He was the man to tell us! But He told us it is.
My friend, will you be there? Or will you be saved tonight? Will you change your attitude toward your sin, realising it's destroying you, realising it's ultimately damning you - and will you turn to Christ your Saviour, who only wants you to put your faith in Him and trust Him alone, receive His eternal life as a gift, just in a child-like manner - that's what He requires of you, that's all. Not your works, not your church attendance, not your goodness, not your charitable deeds and alms - all He wants, and all that's any good to Him, is your faith in Him!
In the United States one day, in the Senate, Vice President Calvin Coolidge was the presiding officer that day, and one senator told another senator in a heated row: 'Go straight to Hell!', that's what he said. Of course there was a furore, and the offending senator along with the victim was brought into the presiding officer's office, and the two of them sat down before the desk. It seemed that Calvin Coolidge had a rulebook on the table before him, and it was as if he was flicking through the rules to see what to do, and the two of them were still at one another's throats. Then he interrupted them in the midst of their bickering, and he said: 'I've been looking through the rulebook' - and then they noticed it was the Bible - 'I've been looking through the rulebook and, gentlemen, you don't have to go there'. The rulebook teaches that you do not have to go to Hell. It is real, Jesus warns us of it, but you do not have to go there.
Let us pray: now, I'm conscious that God has promised for His word not to return void. You're maybe here tonight and you're unconverted, you're not saved, you're not born again, you're still in your sin - that means, the Bible says, you're condemned already because you have not believed on the only Saviour, the Son of God. My friend tonight, let me level with you - and understand that I'm not trying to unnecessarily offend you - but you must know the truth: that you are only a breath away from Hell, and yet you're only a step from Heaven through faith in Jesus Christ. I'm calling upon you now to take that step of faith - 'What is that?', you say. Well, it is believing that if you come to Christ now, that He will receive you because of what He has done, what He has endured for you. You simply come and admit to the Lord, saying in prayer from your heart: 'Lord, I'm a sinner, save me'. Now it's not those words that save you, it's believing that He will hear you, and has heard you, and has saved you - that is what saves, the faith.
Young people here tonight, children, if you're young enough to understand that you've sinned against God, and you're young enough to understand what it is to face consequences and punishment in the home from your mother and father, you're young enough to understand that there is punishment from a holy and righteous God - but that God loves you and sent Jesus to die to save you, and you can be saved tonight. Young person tonight, if you've never done it, from your heart say: 'Lord, I'm a sinner', even the children here, 'Lord, I'm a sinner, save me'. I was eight years of age when I did that, you can do it tonight. But there is an older person here, and your heart has been hard, and you've sinned away the opportunities that God has given to you - man, you know rightly, you know rightly, that you could never point the finger at God if you ended up in Hell. He would say to you: 'Remember, remember the 31st of May 2009'. Dear man, dear woman, come to Christ tonight: 'I'm a sinner', say, 'Save me'.
Now, if you've trusted the Saviour tonight, I want you just to tell us at the door. I'll be at the door to greet you - or maybe tell someone in the meeting that you know better, it is important to confess Christ. We can help you if you haven't taken that step yet, we could pray with you, we could give you literature that you could go and read in privacy - but I beg of you tonight: there is nothing more serious than this. Get right with God.
Oh God, we thank You, Lord, for giving us a glimpse of eternity. Lord, we're not worthy of it, and yet You have done it. You've shown us Calvary - Lord, help us again, even Your own people here tonight, to see their sin again on Him. Oh, what it cost You, our God, to redeem us! Yet Lord, there are those here tonight still intransigent, still stubborn, still hardhearted toward the bleeding Lamb. Oh God, tonight, move them, and if the love of Christ does not lift them, may the Hell that is before them shift them! God, cause them to repent and believe tonight. Lord, help us as Your people to not be atheists regarding Hell, but if we need to, to go to the four corners of the globe to tell them of a Saviour who died lest they go to this place of torment. For Christ's sake we pray, Amen.
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Preach The Word.
This sermon was delivered at Portadown Baptist Church in Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the recording, titled "The Neglected Place Called Hell" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.
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