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?