“…fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
No one wants to face the reality of hell, but it is referred to 162 times in the New Testament and 70 of those times were from the lips of Jesus. We can therefore forget the reality of heaven if we illogically choose to disregard the reality of hell. Why? Because both were clearly taught by the Lord Jesus Himself. We cannot simply believe our preferred half of what God’s Son came to teach us.
No one understands the torment of hell better than the very One who gave His own life to keep us from going there! Hell was made for Satan and his angels, long before Adam and Eve ever chose to sin against God (see Matthew 25:41). Like Satan, they could not enter heaven in their sinful condition. Adam and Eve needed a Savior, and all of their descendants were in that same fallen state. This is why the Bible says, “there is none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10)
The Lord Jesus personally described judgement and hell in a vivid way. He said, “…He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left…Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” (Matthew 25:33 & 41)
Those who have procrastinated and chosen not to accept Him, or have taken His holy name in vain, will be found guilty of rejection and all manner of other sin – while sadly not having a Savior! To those like this – who He called “goats,” the Bible explains that He will say, “…I never knew you: depart from Me you who do the work of iniquity.” (Matthew 7:23) This tragic but fully deserved judgement is totally avoidable. However, it is also ultimately certain! This is why pastors are called to proclaim the truth and Christians are called to witness. We are to rescue all that are perishing while there is still time!
Once our lives have ended it will be too late to appreciate and accept God’s forgiveness. His salvation has long been freely available to us through His Son’s sacrificial death and resurrection. Following those events, Scripture declared, “now is the hour of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) This is why there was a strong spiritual urgency about Jesus’ departing command for us to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8) and make disciples, “…of all the nations.” (Matthew 28:18-19) That passionate concern is because God truly cares and is, “not willing that any should perish…” (2 Peter 3:9)
If you are not already certain that you have made your own peace with God by sincerely repenting and accepting His Son as your Savior, then you can privately do that today. Wherever you are, you can quietly and sincerely pray the sinner’s prayer which is written below.
The Bible explains, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“Lord, I am a sinner, but I am sorry for my sin. With Your help I want to turn from my sin today and begin a new life. Please come into my heart and take control of my future. I now give You my life – from today forward, I will love You, serve You, and tell others about You as I read Your Word and worship with the members of a Bible-believing church. Thank You for answering my prayer, coming into my heart, and forgiving my sin today. From this hour forward, my life belongs to You and You alone!”
By Billie Hanks Jr.