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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 8 No.17 A Message From Hell???

 

I know some of you are wondering what in the world is this about! Well my friends, it is an issue that has been on my heart and mind all week. We are facing uncertain times, and there is one issue of which we must be sure, and that is our true relationship with GOD!!!

We can live before the world a life of success, prosperity, popularity and even fame but have no relationship with God because we failed to “believe” God, His Word and His only Son, the Savior, Jesus Christ The Lord! And when we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ through the new birth of salvation, we are transformed by the power of His precious blood, which He shed for our sin. It IS why He came!

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Jesus came to save us from sin, and all who will believe in Him can have eternal life in and with God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit! But there is only one way – Jesus; believing that HE IS God; that He is the Son of God who came to die for our sin; not because He had to, but because He loves us that much.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent

in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of man

be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world through him

might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him

is not condemned:

but he that believeth not

is condemned already,

because he hath not believed

in the name

of the only begotten

Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds were evil.”   John 3:14-19

Jesus came because He loves us, but He gives the privilege of choice to you and me. We will choose whether we believe God or not, and refusing to choose is a choice! If we trust and believe in Jesus, there is life, but if we refuse Him and what He has done for us we stand (Both now and in the end, if we continue in unbelief.) condemned before God. And there is a day coming when every knee will bow before God—those who received Jesus as Lord and Savior bowing in love, gratitude and devotion; but those who refused Him will bow before their judge to receive the just rewards of their choices.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15

Just as the old adage talks about “nothing is certain but death and taxes”, we can be assured that death and judgment before God is certain (Whether you paid your taxes or not!). Without going into a lot of detail here, there are only two options for every person; either trust Jesus and stand before Him at the “Judgment Seat of Christ”, or reject Him and stand before the “Great White Throne”! You will bow before Him at one or the other. You can choose to bow before Him now, as your Lord and Savior, or you can stiffen your neck and go your own way in this world, and bow before Him ‘then’ with no recourse or salvation offered—you will bow before the One that you rejected and receive His true judgment.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:41

For those of us who belong to Jesus, our hearts desire should be that others would come to know Him. We are to share the truth of the Gospel as we have opportunity (The very least that we should be doing!), yet often our message of Jesus is not received any differently than He was. But that is nothing new—the truth has been rejected since the beginning! But often today people compromise the message to get others to “choose” Jesus, but friends, we must understand and clearly embrace the fact that the truth never has changed and still hasn’t today. Just as “Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him” because Abel was righteous before God by faith, and Cain came to God his own way, rather than in the manner which God had prescribed, and through faith in that “way”! And that way was looking forward to Jesus in faith and obedience! And only by faith in Jesus can we receive true “righteousness”.

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts….” Hebrews 11:4a

Just like us, Abel wasn’t righteous in his own merit, but by faith in the promised “One” who would come, the same “One” that saves and changes lives today!!!

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,

as though God did beseech you

by us:

we pray you in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him to be sin

for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

the righteousness

of God

in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

Paul also told the Romans that there is not one person that is righteous in and of himself, except Jesus Christ, the God-Man. In Jesus Christ we can receive God’s “righteousness”!

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10

For all have sinned,

and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified

freely

by his grace

through the redemption

that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth

to be a propitiation

through faith in his blood,

to declare his righteousness

for the remission of sins

that are past,

through the

forbearance

of God;

26 To declare, I say,

at this time

his righteousness:

that he might be just,

and the justifier

of him

which believeth

in Jesus. Romans 3:23-26

It isn’t our own goodness, kindness, generosity, open-mindedness, justice, love or charity, success or popularity that makes us right with God; but the righteousness of Jesus, which He died to impart to those who will believe. No compromise on our part will make the truth palatable to all. We can share the truth but we can’t make people believe, and Jesus Himself made this clear. If people won’t accept the truth, compromise, spectacular miracles or entertainment can’t change hearts and lives! Let’s look at a familiar account and see what we Jesus had to say.

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 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;

23 And in hell

he lift up his eyes,

being in torments,

and seeth Abraham afar off,

and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 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.

25 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.

26 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.

27 Then he said,

I pray thee therefore, father,

that thou wouldest send him

to my father’s house:

28 For I have five brethren;

that he may testify unto them,

lest they also come into this place of torment.

29 Abraham saith unto him,

They have Moses and the prophets;

let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham:

but if one went unto them

from the dead,

they will repent.

31 And he said unto him,

If they hear not Moses

and the prophets,

neither will they be persuaded,

though one rose

from the dead.”    Luke 16:19-31

I don’t believe that this is a parable as such, but a true story that Jesus shared (He never used ‘names’ in His parables). I think he named the beggar because no one would have remembered him anyway, yet he did not name the rich man, because some people may have remembered and known who he was. And while this account isn’t teaching us that the rich go to hell, and the poor go to heaven—it is teaching us that faith isn’t discriminating toward riches, but eternal destiny is the result faith in Jesus! And death is the end of any opportunity for salvation, and that is in God’s hands.

This account also teaches us that the greatest hearts for the lost are in Hell!!! Those who find themselves in hell, are concerned about those that they left behind, and they aren’t looking to have them join them in a “party” but they are begging that their loved ones be reached with the Gospel, just as this man did. Yet as this rich man asked that Lazarus return from the dead to reach his family, Jesus tells us that even someone “rising from the dead” won’t convince those who willfully reject the truth of the Gospel. I find it interesting that Jesus shares this truth knowing that He Himself would arise from the grave and people would choose unbelief, even in the light of HIS miraculous resurrection from the dead!!! It was true then and it’s true now. It is God’s grace that saves by faith—not fame, wealth or power! This man had it all in life, and lost it all in death. What about you? Are you counting on something other than the cross to save you? Only Jesus can save, and only by faith!

For by grace are ye saved

through faith;

and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God hath before ordained

that we should walk

in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10

While we aren’t saved “by” our works, we are saved “to do” good “works”!!! We are to “work out” what God has worked in through Jesus, and by the power of His Holy Spirit. We are to be His salt and light before the world. James says that we are not saved by works, but that when we are saved, our works are the evidence to the world that we belong to Jesus.  What we do not just what we say!

Yea, a man may say,

Thou hast faith,

and I have works:

shew me thy faith

without thy works,

and I will shew thee my faith

by my works.” James 2:18

And one of our greatest works is the display of a changed life by the power of the blood of Jesus, before a lost and dying world. People can’t argue with a genuinely changed life!

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

A new life in Christ Jesus is the evidence of that “transformation”– from the Greek word “metamorphoo”– yes the same word that we get our English word “metamorphosis” from. The change from “such a worm as I” to be evidence to the world of “that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. Do you want to be proof of the power of the cross, or a shame, or are you living a sham? The choice is yours, and the message from “Hell” is clear—choose Jesus and avoid being “tormented in this flame”; for just as certain as the reality of heaven, the judgment of Hell is just as certain for all who refuse to come to God through Jesus Christ. There is no second chance—the choices that you make today will have eternal consequences. You can choose life or death—but you will choose! Will you receive the “Message From Hell”? I pray that you will receive the truth while there is still time. For there won’t be a reunion party in “Hell”, but a grief for opportunities past for all of eternity!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

I pray to live like a new creature in Christ, proclaiming the truth of the Gospel, with NO regrets. Or you can spend eternity with futile desires that have no fulfillment? The choice is yours (And mine.), but remember that to every choice there is a consequence; and while you are free to make your own choice, you are not free to set the consequences for that choice. And those consequences are engraved in the hands of Jesus either as Savior or Judge—it’s your choice. My hearts desire and plea is that if you don’t know Jesus you will come to Him in repentance and faith—He wants to save you today. Or if you belong to Him that you will hold fast to the truth and share it today—in His power and not compromise (And you must get into the Word to know what it says! See 2 Timothy 2:15 & 3:16-17)

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”    2 Corinthians 6:2