The Reality of Hell. I debated whether or not to use a daily devotional to read about hell. But I think it is vital for all of us to remember that while we long to be home in heaven we need to realize that there is a hell also for eternity. I pray that we can all be reminded so that we can be disciples today and reach others for Christ for their eternity in heaven.
Luke 16:19-31 “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, which was laid at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table; moreoever 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 recievedst 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.”
I don’t like to think much about hell. But I have to because God’s Word teaches about it. The plain truth is that hell is real, and real people go there forever. Several times in the Gospels we read that Jesus was grieved when people turned away from him-grieved because he knew they were walking down the road that eventually would lead to hell.
The message Jesus brought is simple: Unless you turn and put your trust in me, you will die in your sins and face an eternity without me. In Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus, we see the rich man begging for a little relief from his suffering. Father Abraham explains that this kind of relief is not possible. The rich man then turns his attention toward his brothers who are still living. “Then I beg you…send Lazarus…Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”
Notice that a short time in hell turned this unbeliever into a motivated evangelist. In a sense the rich man is saying, “Someone has got to warn people that hell is real and that real people go there.” How tragic that the man in this story found out too late.
What’s it going to take for you to become motivated? Pray that God’s grace, not his wrath, will fill your heart with a passion to save the lost.
Lord Jesus, let us not forget that the stakes are sky high. Eternal life and eternal death hang in the balance. Help us not to become complacent but to be your witnesses. Amen.