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No Corners Cut, No Pacifying, No Round-About Way

“The Man Who Went To Hell with Heaven on His Mind!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

“No matter how you approach the subject, Hell is an awful thought. It is a place where there is eternal torment and pain in unquenchable flames – Matt 3:12.  It is a place of eternal separation from the presence of God… It is a place prepared for Satan and his angels – Matt 25:41.”  Am I talking to somebody today?

Now before you get all bent out of shape and say, “No she didn’t,” Who does she think she is?” I want you to know that “Some God has called to be those who bring positive words of encouragement and comfort and hope. Some He’s called to be those who exhort, rebuke and correct. Like Jeremiah – Titus 2:15 – God said Lou, you are not going to have a delightful, prosperous ministry, because when they hear what you have to tell them, they’re going to reject it, and they’re going to reject you, despising you, and your words the whole way through, but I’ll be with you.” The Bible says, “Rebuke is oil for our head” – Psalms 141. It tells us to rebuke our neighbor frankly – Lev 19:17; rebuke them sharply – Titus 1:13 and that those who sin, is to be rebuke publicly – 1 Tim 5:20…and then it tells us that those whom God loves, He rebukes – Rev 3:19. Don’t hate the messenger!

Now I can only think of one thing worse than going to Hell, and that would be to go to Hell with Heaven in your mind. You might be asking yourself, why she always talking about salvation, repentance, and Hell….. Well, the Bible says in Ephesians 5:15-16; Colossians 4:5; Psalms 90:12 to “Redeem the time.”  I venture to say that there aren’t many who are thinking about eternity. Most people are so wrapped up in themselves and their lives that they have no time for thoughts of God, Heaven, Hell, or where they will go when they die. Death is coming, Hebrews 9:27. One day real soon you will leave this world forever. When you do, you will go either to Heaven or you will go to Hell. If you are not saved, you need to consider where you will go when you die.  Maybe you are a good person who has lived a clean, moral life. Maybe you are a church member, a leader, a teacher, and everyone thinks your life is complete. But, in spite of all you have, there is still something missing in your life. You know you have what it takes to live, but you also know that you are unprepared to die. You have everything you want and need materially, but you do not have spiritual peace with God. Everything looks good on the outside, but the insides are all messed up. That is a terrible way to live, but it is an even more horrible way to die.  I want you to consider the following people and their rejection of the Savior. Judas Iscariot – He kissed the gates of Heaven and went to Hell – Matt 26:49; Acts 1:25. Felix – He looked into salvation, but he wanted to wait to a more convenient time – Acts 24:25. Herod Agrippa – He stepped up to the very door of Heaven and turned away – Acts 26:28. Festus – He heard the claims of the Gospel and called them the ravings of a mad man – Acts 26:24. The same thing continues to happen all around us. People come in and out of churches. They hear the Gospel message; they are challenged to repent of their sins and to turn to Jesus for salvation; but many leave the church just like they came in. They leave lost and still on their way to Hell. If you do not repent of your sins, you will eventually die and go to Hell with Heaven in your mind.

As far as we know, every one of the men I mentioned died and went to Hell with Heaven in their mind. Mark 10:17-22 tells us about a young man who went to Jesus, heard the way of salvation, and he turned away to leave as lost as he came. All three Gospel writers tell us that this young man was rich. He lived a life of privilege. The world was his! Luke tells us that this man was a “ruler”, Luke 18:18. He lived a good life. From every outward appearance, this young man was riding high on the pinnacle of success. He was everything a mother or father could want their child to be. If you looked at his life, you might think that he had it all. But, appearances are deceiving! In spite of everything he has going for him, this young man had one thing missing. He had much, but with his much, he had an itch he could not scratch. He had found that his youth left him unsatisfied. His money had left him feeling unfulfilled. His morality, his clean living, and his religious activity had not been able to satisfy the deepest longing of his soul. Unfortunately, many people never realize that nothing in this world is more important than their soul’s salvation, Mark 8:36-37. At least this young man was concerned about his soul. Are you? If you are not, you should be! He is concerned about the right issue, in the presence of the right Person, John 14:6; Acts 4:12. He comes at the right time, Isa. 55:6; and he came in the right way, 1 Pet. 5:5. This young man got a lot of things right in his encounter with the Lord, but, it is the things he got wrong that cause him all his trouble. He thought salvation could be earned. He came to Jesus with Heaven in his mind, but he walked away with Hell as his destination! This rich, young man made two heartbreaking decisions. He made an earthly decision – He chose his possessions over Jesus! He loved his money more than he wanted to be saved. Jesus will allow you to make the same choice. It may not be money. It may be pleasure, some sin, your family, your independence, etc. If you want it, He will let you keep it! But, ask yourself this question: “Is it really worth more than my soul?”  As far as we know, this young man died and went to Hell. But, he went there with Heaven in his mind. Don’t let that happen to you! Look at your life. You might have a lot going for yourself, but if you do not have Jesus Christ, you are lost, doomed and headed to Hell. Don’t go to Hell with Heaven in your mind! It is decision time, for Deuteronomy 30:19 says that, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” What will you do?

 

“Trifling with Sin!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

The rule is simple: “If you play with fire, you will get burned.” “If you court trouble, trouble you will find.” “Make your bed and you have to sleep in it.” “Whatever you sow, you shall reap.”  So do not lie to yourself.  God will not be mocked. If you compromise His rules you will suffer horribly for it… You better know that you know!

Yeah, it might feel real good while you are indulging, but the long-term consequences will crush and grind that little pleasure into oblivion. You will never remember the pleasure when the horrible consequences of your folly burst into flames because sin brings misery with and after it.  If you don’t believe me just ask Samson, Judges 16. Samson thought he could walk on sexual coals, but Delilah stole his strength and left him blinded and chained to grind for the Philistines. David did not think he would be burned either, but his short tryst with Bathsheba cost him dearly for the rest of his life. Profane Ammon craved his sister, but the event horribly disappointed him and cost him his life. Now Joseph, Joseph is a hero, for when he saw and felt the fire, he ran as far and as fast as he could, Genesis 39:12. He knew that even though Potiphar’s wife greatly desired him there would be hell to pay with God and men. He chose the certainty of a false accusation rather than the lying promise of stolen pleasure.  Proverbs 22:3 tells us that, “the prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” You cannot walk with God and hold hands with the devil!

Samson and Delilah story… love lies and loss. A story, that should, be read, studied, and taken to heart. Their story does not teach us lessons about genuine love and romance, but about the dangers of getting too close to the enemy. Their story is a story of deception, greed, lust and destruction. Their story stands as a constant warning to those who would trifle with sin. Their story is a reminder to us all that sin is deceptive and that it is deadly. There may be “pleasure in sin for a season,” but the end of sin is never worth the pleasure it provides.

Most people, however, think that they can control their sin. In truth, but for the grace of God, sin controls us, and it will be our master if we allow it a foothold in our lives. Only God’s grace keeps us from the wolf’s fate. Instead of playing with sin you should be like Joseph and put as much distance as you can between your temptation and yourself, Genesis 39:7-12. I tell you, you might not face the same thing Samson did, but you will pay a price for indulging in sin. You will sacrifice your intimacy with God. You will sacrifice His power. You will endanger the relationships that matter most in your life. One thing is certain – sin always pays back both believers and unbelievers with boredom, guilt, shame, loneliness, confusion, emptiness, loss of purpose, and loss of rewards. The problem I earnestly believe is that we do not know how powerful sin in. We do not know – we have no idea – it’s a term we toss around – and talk about – in a gleeful tone. But let me say something to you, we have under estimated its power, its grip and its hold on us. I submit to you that we have been bamboozled, hoodwink, fooled, brain washed, and beguiled.

You know the word for Sin in the Greek language is “amartia” (ha-mar-tia). It means “to miss the mark.” Every time we sin we do miss the mark because every sin we commit is an offense to God, and God cannot be in the presence of sin. That is why if you choose to keep committing the same sins without repentance you will stop feeling His presence in your life. The Holy Spirit will stop speaking to you if you refuse to repent. I want you to know that sin has many consequences; more than I have mentioned, and it is always destructive, but repentance is always constructive. For great sin, there is great grace.

You know, I’ve always been intrigued by the point of no return above waterfalls. For example, if you’re in a canoe above Niagara Falls drifting downriver there’s a point that if you go by it, you can’t save yourself. It’s the point of no return. If you’re up river far enough, you’re able to paddle to shore. But if you go past the point of no return, the current will take you over the falls and there’s nothing you can do about it. No matter how hard you paddle, you can’t save yourself. The point of no return is an invisible line above the falls, on one side of it you can save yourself, on the other, you can’t. Repentance can be like that. A lot of people think that they have lots of time to repent. They think that they will have until the moment of their death to repent. And that is true of some people. Consider the criminal who was crucified with Jesus. It was not until his death was very imminent that he repented and turned to Jesus. But that is not true with all people. God gives only a certain time to repent, and after that point, it’s too late. Jezebel, God said, “I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling…”  Revelation 2:21-23… The Bible is full of examples of people given time to repent but they refused: Genesis 4; Jeremiah 5:3, Amos 4:6, Zephaniah 3:2, and Zechariah 7:1, to name just a few. 2Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is patient towards us. He is not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” That’s God’s heart. He wants us to repent. That why He gives us time to repent. That’s why He pleads with us to repent. That’s why He sends people; ministers, preachers, friends, family members who beg us to repent. Jezebel was not ignorant of her sin. She knew what she was doing, and she refused to repent.  Therefore it became too late for her to repent – not because God wouldn’t pardon her, but because she had hardened her heart. Jezebel had been confronted, she’s resisted, and she refused to repent. Don’t be a Jezebel. The door of repentance is still open. There’s still hope, but not forever.… Hebrews 12:17… That Day is fast approaching.

I can hear the thundering cry of Jeremiah. Oh that the church will wake up and see that they are being warned by the Word of God that there are wicked men that lay wait hiding in the bushes and setting a snare for the unwary. Setting a snare for those who are not yielded to God, still living by unbridled lusts in the very depths of their soul, they are halting between two opinions. As in the Old Testament times, God’s willingness to spare and bless the nation and spare and bless individuals who repent still stands. But equally true, as Paul said, there will come a day when His righteous judgment will be revealed. I can’t imagine how it will be for those who have heard but who have consciously and willfully rejected Him. Don’t Wait Too Late…Repent!

“All Rise… Hear Ye, Hear Ye… Court is Now in Session!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

The Honorable Judge, God the Father, is presiding. All persons having business before the court, come to order. Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to God’s Ultimate Supreme Court. We will hear the case as scheduled. First case on the courts calendar is {insert your name}. Counselors, are you ready to proceed?

Man… Have you ever wondered what it will be like to stand in God’s courtroom? “Well today, you will have the privilege of actually going into God’s courtroom kinda like court TV and seeing how at least one sinner fared in his trial…“ Believe it or not, one of these days we will ALL stand in the Ultimate Supreme Court of God. No one will be left out! The preachers, deacons, church members, popes, priest, nuns, choir members, drunks, whoremongers, drug addicts, pimps, pushers, homosexuals, liars, thieves, murderers, idol worshipers, fornicators, adulterous, brothers, sisters, grandmothers, grandfathers, moms and dads. The king, the pauper, the general, the president, the foot soldier, the master, the slave, the borrower and the lender we will all stand before God. There will be no escape and there will be no exceptions! {Hebrew 9:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Acts 17:31}

On that day the Judge will make no mistakes. His verdict will be true and accurate. His decision will be final!  There will be no negotiating. There will be no second chances. There will be no appeals.  Before the judgment begins, the earth and sky will be destroyed by fire {Revelation 20:11-12} {2 Peter 3:10} after that destruction we will then be judged accordingly. (2 Corinthians 5:10} {Revelation 20:12-13}.  The Books will be opened. {Romans 2:6-7} {2 Corinthians 5:10} {Matthew. 25:31}. We will be reviewed and examined. After the judgment period, we will witness the greatest separation that the world has ever seen. {Matthew 25:31; Matthew. 5:22; Mark 9:43 2Kings 23:10; 2 Chronicles 28:3}.  Are you prepared for the Final Judgment Day?  If you are not a Christian, you ought to be, and you can be one right now. Your eternal destination depends on it. Maybe you are a Christian, and lately you have not been living a faithful and fruitful life for the Lord. Possibly, there may be someone who needs to confess their sins before God. You may have been living in secret sin, trying to hide it from God and your brethren. But God’s hand has been heavy upon you and you are ready to confess. I just want to remind you that we still live in the day of grace. During this time in history, a sinner can come before God and cry out for forgiveness and the Lord will receive them and save them by His grace. Today is the day of grace. Today is the day of forgiveness. Today is the day of repentance. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day of mercy. There will be none of those things given out on that Final Day. Only judgment, swift and sure, will be issued from the Great White Throne and from the Lord. Please don’t do a foolish thing and die without Jesus! Come to Him while the door is open.

Allow me to give you a glimpse of events that might take place on that day. In Zechariah chapter 3, it gives us a look at the guilt of the sinner. This drama is in the setting of a courtroom.  It is in the Ultimate Supreme Court.  God is the Judge; Joshua the High Priest the defendant and Satan is the Prosecuting Attorney. Satan, bringing his case against Joshua before the Lord.  He is standing at Joshua’s right hand opposing him. Satan’s says to the Lord, He is dirty. He says to the Almighty, He is guilty. He is a sinner whose righteousness is as filthy rags. The audacity of Satan: In the Ultimate Supreme Court of God standing around accusing God’s people of their sins. Image that! Talking about, “Drama in the Courtroom,” Ole Satan; the Accuser of the brethren… See how subtle and merciless Satan really is. Bringing up past sins, things that God has already forgiven us for. Bringing up things we did yesterday and even five seconds ago, accusing us, pointing a finger in our face. Bringing accusations to God that we deserve to die in Hell. Satan, the Accuser of the brethren! Accusing us before God; accusing us before men, and accusing us before ourselves… Truth be told though, Satan was right.  Joshua was dirty, sinful, and guilty.  Satan knew it, God knew it, and Joshua knew it.  But thank God that in the court of Heaven we have an Advocate – a Defense Attorney who has never lost a case. His name is Jesus. His plea on our behalf is always the same. Your Honour, the defendant is indeed guilty, but the penalty has been paid. I myself paid the ultimate penalty for his sin and died in his place. The DEBT is paid in full!  Thank God for Jesus! We are not only forgiven; we are justified. We are declared righteous.

Listen, you may be a guilty sinner or a backslidden saint.  Either way I want you to know that you have an Advocate in Heaven.  So no matter what you’ve done, if you will bring your guilt and your sin to God, He will take your case, plead your case, win your case, and commute your sentence from death to life.  I tell you the most indispensable requirement for knowing the Word of God is to understand our predicament – the fact of our sinfulness before God. I am guilty. You are guilty. Everybody in your family is guilty. We are all guilty before God.  Hold on to this truth. Let it make you wise. I don’t want you to perish. If God is opening your mind to understand His truth, now is the time to act! For there will be no second chances on that Day. I want you to know that on that Day, Witnesses will be called forth and they will testify either for you or against you. The first witness will be the Word of God itself- (John 12:48}. Jesus says, “Every word I have spoken to you will judge you on that day. My Word will be the witness!” Also, witnesses shall arise such as the men of Nineveh, the men of Sodom and the Queen of Sheba. {Matthew 12:41-42}. When you stand before the Judge and your book is opened, the vast multitudes of Ninevites will step forward. Those who died in the holocaust of Sodom and Gomorrah will come forth, as will those of Tyre and Sidon. These wicked ones will gather round, incredulous as they hear the list of all the opportunities you had to receive the Word of God: Bibles, radio, and TV, teachers, witnesses, and friends, family. They will cry out, “This man’s judgment ought to be worse than ours! How could he reject so many opportunities and deny such powerful light? We had no Bible, no constant reminders, and no second opportunity. But he had all this!” Jesus says Sodom would have repented if they had heard what you’ve heard – {Matthew 11:23; Matthew 24:14}. If you know in your heart you’re not ready to stand before Jesus –Act Now! If you don’t I want you to know that this one message is enough to damn you to eternal hell if you reject it. It will stand as a witness on Judgment Day… I want you to know that the Judge is keeping an account right now! Are you going to pass the test?