The forsaken focus on the reality of Hell : Where are they now?

The reality that MOST people in the world and MANY in the church will be tormented forever in Hell grips me night and day.

imageYesterday I wrote an article titled “Shock Christianity.” I strongly exhort you to read it as this is a follow up message. You can read it HERE.

You can also listen to a provocative podcast on the same topic of Shock Christianity and what love really looks like on that page.

We have been duped.

So many in the church have been deceived into believing in a costless, easy salvationand it is so penetrated our culture that any argument against it is aggressively rejected.

The false grace message, as I have shared many times, is lulling people into a spiritual coma, and that is the best part of the news. The worst? Many of them will move from coma to trauma as they enter eternity into the terror of Hell.

Just as I shared yesterday, I am beyond concerned and troubled regarding the state of the church.

When I walk into even the most vibrant, Spirit-filled church, the grid I see is that of many people who are intimate with Jesus, and potentially many who are following Jesus in an unsaved condition.

In fact, in a life-giving church of 1000 people, it wouldn’t surprise me if 100 of them are truly saved.

False Love

As I wrote in yesterday’s message, there is a false love movement that is exceedingly popular in the world today. The focus is on self—our experience, our emotions, our feelings. The goal is affirmation and emotional intimacy that masquerades as true love.

The result? People avoid dealing with the tough issues in the hopes of encouraging and affirming people. Many people in the church who are on their way to Hell are affirmed in their journey—by other Christians! No alarms are sounded. No warnings shared. No grief and tears. Just a smile and a hug for their friend who is in a treacherous, lukewarm condition.

Consider the shocking statements by the Pope this past week:

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone,” the pope told worshipers at morning Mass on Wednesday. “‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”

Francis continued, “We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said that although he has been skeptical of Francis' outreach to the nonreligious, he welcomed Wednesday’s comments.

“I gather from this statement that his view of the world's religious and philosophical diversity is expanding,” Speckhardt said. “While humanists have been saying for years that one can be good without a god, hearing this from the leader of the Catholic Church is quite heartening.”

Regardless of whether his true intent was lost in translation or not, the message he sent is being received by many that they can simply do good and that they are safe. My God.

Hell isn’t for bad people. It’s for those who reject intimacy with Jesus. It’s for those who reject his Lordship.

This passive approach of false love extends well beyond the landscape of the church. We have overestimated the power of being nice and passive with those in the homosexual movement, for example. How is this working for us? Many churches functioning in a spirit of false love and overreaching sympathy are now affirming people in the lifestyle that is killing them!

Churches “very rarely talk about sin and refuse ever to say that homosexual behavior is a sin.” Only a minority of people in the churches in Britain, “speak out the word of God. And they get a lot of aggression for it,” she said.

“The church is doing a disservice to homosexuals by denying sinners their liberty in the lord Jesus Christ. They are blind guides leading others into a ditch of destruction.” ~Lesley Pilkington

So, what is true love for the homosexual community? Warn them! Awaken them! It’s not about being moral or talking about how it affects them here on Earth as much as it is about their eternity.

We have to have the guts to tell them that Hell is their future and we desperately don’t want them to go there! Staying silent is not love.

Jesus made mention of Hell and a coming judgment dozens of times in the Gospels. Jesus had more to say about Hell than He did about Heaven!

And Jesus made it absolutely clear that people who refuse to repent, who turn away God’s provision of forgiveness and salvation, will spend eternity separated from God in a place of conscious torment that He often called “Hell” (Matthew 5:29).

Now in spite of the Bible's clarity on this issue, Satan has deceived millions of people into believing a variety of other “softer” options. Satan, “the father of lies” (John 8:44), never ceases to take advantage of those who are willing to lay aside Biblical revelation for something that is more palatable. ~Charlie Campbell

Where are they now?

Rest in peace. That phrase is spoken at most every funeral in the world, yet it’s only truly applicable in a small percentage of those who enter eternity. Most don’t rest, and most have no peace.

I have heard many say that it’s not loving to mention the reality of Hell to people. When evangelizing, many completely leave out the truth about eternity without Jesus. Hell isn’t mentioned. The cross isn’t mentioned. Repentance isn’t mentioned. And, as a result, people are lured into a false religious experience that gives them false hope. Some say that we only need to reveal the love of Jesus, and it’s actually detrimental to mention negative things such as sin and Hell. If that’s the case, Jesus himself failed. He mentioned Hell often.

Let me make it clear: It is deep love that warns people about eternity separated from Jesus!

Some say it’s a fear tactic to mention Hell. That is absolute insanity. With the Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus didn’t say that it was unloving to mention Hell. He said that it’s a part of the presentation of the prophets, yet it is ignored! Jesus said that people needed to hear about Hell and be convinced about it!

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” [Luke 16:19-31 ESV]

So, just where are people who have died right now? Just who is resting in peace?

Some suggest that just one in one thousand avoid the torment of Hell. This would be a narrow road indeed.

Where are Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Andy Griffith, Steve Jobs and other stars who have died recently? Really think about it. Of course, we can’t arrive at a definitive answer, BUT we must consider the question.

If we default to believing Whitney Houston, for example, went to Heaven, that belief will impact the way we live our own lives. Of course, my sincere hope is that she is there…that goes without saying. But, lets think about this very difficult question.

Another way to ask the question is, is it truly rare for even professing Christians to make Heaven? Is it possible that a small percentage of church goers will truly make it?

Now, compare the two perspectives.

The point? Hell is real. Hell is expanding. Most go there. They are not resting in peace. Affirming people in unsaved, lukewarm conditions is aiding them in their journey to Hell. That is not love. Not even close.

This is the issue that grips me every day of my life. My primary message is for the church. I can’t get too excited about teaching on anything other than awakening if that teaching will only help people in the few years leading up to their plunge into Hell. The spirit of awakening is upon me!

The Good News

I don’t believe you can preach the Good News without it being in the context of the bad news.

Approximately 100 people die every minute. This means, possibly NONE of them are in Heaven right now. Possibly all 100 are in Hell. Or, maybe one or two made it.

In the time it has taken you to read this article so far, approximately 500-1000 people have died. It’s possible that 950 or 975 or 990 of them, for example, are in Hell right now.

Many of them are absolutely shocked to be there. This very second, as you are reading this, somewhere in the belly of the Earth, they are freaking out. They thought they were saved, but were not. Nobody sounded an alarm in their life. The Gospel was possibly dumbed down and diluted—and that is what they bought into.

Getting saved is simple but not easy. Free but not without great cost. Few are interested in salvation like that.

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20  And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21  And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23  And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24  And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26  And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28  Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29  Jesus said,“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” [Mark 10:17-31 ESV]

Who then can be saved? The disciples wrestled with the issue of salvation, and so must we! We must work it out with fear and trembling. We must endure to the end. Few do that, and a prayer decades prior with some cleaned up living and church attendance is not what saves.

Without intimacy with Jesus and a willingness to surrender all, Hell is the future.

So, the Good News is truly good news when seen on the backdrop of eternal darkness.

The love of Jesus is clear when presented in contrast to such hatred.

It’s time friends to shout from the rooftops this message. The fear of the Lord must grip us and the hunger for intimacy with Jesus must overwhelm us!

It’s those who aren’t intimate with Jesus who will be cast into Hell. People who he didn’t know.

21  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23  Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers! ’ [Matthew 7:2 HCSB]

Do you know anybody who’s not intimate with Jesus? Warn them. Call them higher. Pray for them. Do not presume that they are safe. They absolutely are not.