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A Hell of a Message | The Truth About Hell

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2022 3:00 am

A Hell of a Message | The Truth About Hell

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 11, 2022 3:00 am

There are things we don’t like to talk about in polite company. Politics, of course. How about embarrassing moments, a troubled past, those times we didn’t tell the truth, the date that went very badly. Near the top of the list would have to be death and the existence of Hell. But today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that our knowledge of Hell may be dangerously limited . . . or worse yet, influenced by all the things we’ve heard in books or on TV or movies. We’ll get the truth today.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at We have to get our information about eternity from a reliable source. Pastor Greg Laurie looks to the Bible for the truth about hell. There's a lot of misinformation about hell. That hell's a party place, you know? Just get together with your friends and it's one long party that the devil rules from hell.

And the devil has red skin, pointed ears, a pitchfork and horns and hooves and a tail with a point, right? None of that is biblical. This is the day when the lost are found This is the day for a new beginning Amazing grace, how sweet the sound Again you hear when the angels are singing This is the day, the day where life begins There are things we don't like to talk about in polite company. Politics, of course.

How about embarrassing moments, the troubled past, those times we didn't tell the truth, the date that it went very badly. Now, the top of the list would have to be death and the existence of hell. But today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out our knowledge of hell may be dangerously limited or worse yet influenced by all the things we've heard in books or on TV or movies.

We'll get the truth today. This is the day, the day where life begins We are in the gospel of Luke chapter 16. So turn there with me if you would.

Luke chapter 16. We are in a little series right now where we are talking about eternal things. We talked about heaven. Tonight we are going to talk about that other place. Not heaven.

It also starts with the letter H. I mentioned survey done in my last message. What people believe about heaven and hell. And many people believe that heaven is a place where people who have led good lives are eternally rewarded. And hell is a place where people who have led bad lives and die will be eternally punished.

Well, I've already pointed out that's incorrect. Heaven is not a place created for people who have led good lives and will be eternally rewarded because no one has led a good enough life to get to heaven. If we've learned nothing else from the book of Romans thus far we've learned that. No one is good enough to get to heaven. Heaven is for forgiven people. So I pointed out there is going to be what we might call some bad people in heaven. Bad people who turned from their sin and believed in Jesus. And in the same way there is going to be some good people in hell. And by good I mean people that maybe were moral and maybe self-righteous but never took the time to turn from their sin and put their faith in Christ.

Know this. Hell was not made for bad people. Hell was created for the devil and his angels. That's what Jesus said. So it's not designed for people. It's designed for Satan and his angels. And I'll explain more in our next message about why these angels rebelled against God and followed Satan.

And sometimes we don't want to talk about this. And sometimes people will acknowledge there could be a place like hell for the really really bad people. You know the Hitler's of the world.

The Osama bin Laden's or the Mao Zedong's or the Stalin's or a member of ISIS. Yeah they're going to go to hell. But we don't ever want to think that we could ever go there or someone we know could go there. In fact is the idea of divine judgment is probably one of Christianity's most offensive teachings. And I think this is because there's a lot of misinformation about hell. One of them is that hell's a party place you know.

Just get together with your friends and it's one long party. That the devil lives in hell. The devil rules from hell. And the devil has red skin, pointed ears, a pitchfork and horns and hooves and a tail.

With a point right. None of that is biblical. Okay the devil is not that funny little creature. The devil does not live in hell now nor does he rule from hell now. He's in the supernatural realm. The Bible describes him as the prince of the power of the air.

The spirit that now works and the children of disobedience. No Satan is not in hell now but he's going there one day. But he is not ruling from hell as many people mistakenly think. So hell is there and of the 40 parables that Jesus told half of them relate to God's eternal judgment of sinners.

J.I. Packer said and I quote, an endless hell can no more be removed from the New Testament than an endless heaven can end quote and that's true. But some atheists have criticized our faith because of the biblical teaching on hell. The late Christopher Hitchens a well-known atheist was quoted to say, not until the advent of the prince of peace do we hear of the ghastly idea of further punishing and torturing the dead. Nothing proves the man-made character of religion as obviously as the sick mind that designed hell end quote.

So Hitchens is basically saying this was a New Testament teaching that came from Jesus himself which is not true. The topic of hell is taught in both the old and the New Testament. Atheist Bertrand Russell said quote, I must say that I think this doctrine hell fire a punishment for sin is a doctrine for cruelty. It's a doctrine that put cruelty into the world and gave the world generations of cruel torture and the Christ of the gospel could certainly be considered partly responsible for that end quote.

Now that is a pretty compelling argument. Basically what they're both saying is hell the teaching of hell is at the root of a lot of the problems in the world today. And people because they believe this do horrible things in the name of religion. But actually history would directly contradict that. In fact history would show us that a lack of belief in God in the afterlife is at the root of atrocities.

Let me ask you this. If the atheistic Stalin really believed that he would be accountable to God and face God do you think he would be as cruel as he was? Would Mao Tse Tung and other atheistic mass murderers have done the things that they did if they believed there was a final judgment they would face?

If Hitler believed in a future judgment would he have murdered six million Jewish people? Timothy Keller points out quote, a lack of belief in a God of vengeance is actually something that secretly nourishes violence end quote. The truth is a belief in hell can be viewed as a constraint or a restraint on cruelty. So the idea is if you don't believe there's a God and you don't believe there's an afterlife and you don't believe there's a final judgment what constraints do you have?

Why not just do whatever you want to whoever you want whenever you want because there's nothing to pay for later. But if you believe in a judgment and you believe in a God that's watching over you and you believe that the Lord will repay these things it will affect you in the way that you live. The truth is belief in the afterlife affects us in this life as well as the next life. The belief in heaven is a motivation to live a godly life.

Belief in hell is a motivation to not live a wicked sinful life because we know things will be coming out openly one day. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing about listeners who find Jesus because of Harvest Ministries is so encouraging. Pastor Greg as a 20-year listener to your radio show and fellow Harbor High graduate I thought you would appreciate hearing how I used your salvation prayer to bring my dad to the Lord in the final moments of his life. My father was a big gregarious man who played football for the Missouri Tigers back in his early years.

He became a successful businessman in California and was married four times. However through the years he was a very good father to me and my three siblings. Just recently my dad flew out for a visit and got to hold his great-granddaughter for the first time.

It was on this trip that he fell down a staircase which set in motion a domino effect of health issues that were insurmountable leading to a heart attack days later. Knowing he had just hours or minutes to live and not knowing if he had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior I asked him if he would like to repeat after me the prayer of salvation that I've heard you pray Pastor Greg and he promptly said yes. After leading my dad in this prayer of salvation I said to him dad congratulations you're going to heaven.

A quiet peace settled over him and he was no longer afraid to meet his maker. Have these daily studies in God's word touched your life or the life of someone in your family? If so why not drop Pastor Greg an email and let him know.

Send it to greg at harvest dot org. Again that's greg at harvest dot o-r-g. And now Pastor Greg continues this hard-hitting look at what the Bible says about hell. We're going to look at Luke chapter 16 and sometimes this is called a parable. Let me explain what a parable is. Jesus told a lot of parables.

Parables are illustrations. Sometimes I'll tell stories to my grandkids. They'll say papa tell us a story and I'll just make up something on the spot. A random story.

Sometimes they're in the story and I'll name little creatures from the forest the names that they have and they love that of course. And I'll just make something up or I'll come up with an illustration to bring a truth home to them. So a parable is an illustration. A parable is defined as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. So Jesus told a lot of parables. A sower went out to sow seed and some seed fell here and some seed fell there.

Or a father had two sons and one ran away and the other stayed home. And these are generally parables or illustrations that may have been based on actual people but in general they were just stories that Jesus told to make a point. What we're about to read is not a parable and I'll tell you why. Because Jesus begins with the words a certain man. A certain man and more specifically a name is given. The name of Lazarus. Jesus never named people in parables. The reason I bring this up is you are about to read a behind the scenes look at the afterlife. This story that Jesus told this true story I might add tells us what happened to a believer and a non-believer.

So Luke 16. Let's read together starting in verse 19. There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen. And he lived each day in luxury. I'm reading from the New Living translation. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores.

As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table the dogs would come and lick his open sores. Finally the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. So we'll stop there. Again it's a real story.

This really happened. It's a glimpse into the invisible world. It's a story of two men. One owned everything and possessed nothing. That was the so-called rich man.

The other owned nothing but ended up inheriting everything. That would be Lazarus. One went to comfort as we'll see in a moment. One went to torment. And this is where the redeemed criminal went when he was crucified next to Jesus. And Jesus said, today you'll be with me in paradise. See in the Old Testament days before Jesus died and rose again when a believer died they went to comfort to Abraham's bosom in the comfort section of Hades. Hades used to have two sections.

It was comfort and torment or smoking and non-smoking okay. So when you died before Jesus was crucified and rose again you would go to this place of comfort but now that Christ has risen again when a Christian dies they go to heaven. So all that's left in Hades now or hell is a place of torment. So that's what happened to the thief who died on the cross and believed in Jesus.

But now let's find out what happens to a non-believer. Drop down to verse 22. Now I'm reading from the New King James Version. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torment in Hades he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, father Abraham have mercy on me send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I'm tormented in this flame. Abraham said, son remember that in your lifetime you received your good things and likewise Lazarus evil things.

Now he is comforted and you are tormented. And beside all this beside between us there's a great gulf fixed so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot nor can those from there pass to us. Then he said, I beg you therefore father that you would send him to my father's house for I have five brothers and he may testify to them lest they come to this place of torment. Abraham said, they have Moses and the prophets let them hear them. And he said, no father Abraham but if one goes to them from the dead they will repent. And he said to him if they do not hear Moses and the prophets neither will they be persuaded the one rise from the dead. So we'll stop there.

Okay so let's understand. The rich man so called. His sin was not being a rich man. His sin was being a sinful man. A wicked man who had no concern for God or the eternal. He was obsessed with greed and material things. Verse 19 says he was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously.

That's King James 4. This guy was living large. This guy wore only the finest clothing. The designer clothing. This is the guy who would post a photo of himself laying on a pile of money smoking a cigar and posted on Instagram or something.

And there are people that do that of course flaunting it. Check out my bins. Check out my bling. Look at all this stuff I have. Look at these women. Look at my life. Look at me. You know and that's the life they're living.

That was this guy. If he was around today he would have been that guy flaunting everything that he had to fare sumptuously simply means he had parties every day. Massive parties.

And all the people would come and watch this guy party his life away and he was living the good life and he had unlimited funds to eat whatever he desired. All the fancy foods you could want. I really don't like fancy food.

Do you? Like French food. What's the deal with that? Now we're talking French fries. I'm in.

Okay but we aren't. You know French food. Oh it's so I we can't pronounce what it is and then you find out you're eating the brain of a snail or something. I mean who eats snails?

French people do. It's called escargot right. Well they're in garlic. Anything tastes good in garlic okay.

You could eat dirt in garlic and it would taste nice. But why a snail of all things? You ever look at a snail and the portions are like minuscule and you eat this meal and then the next course and and then the next course and that's it. I'm like I'm hungry still right. I want food. I want a burger now.

I want pizza now. Something a sandwich anything but this stuff you know. That this guy was living the luxurious life. Eating all the fine foods. Meanwhile outside of his gate was an impoverished man named Lazarus. The Bible says he ate the scraps that fell from the rich man's table.

Here's what that means. Back in those days they didn't use napkins. They used bread. They used bread to wipe their oily dirty hands on. So they would eat with their hands.

Not with the fork and knife or cutlery as we call it right. They just take the bread. Dip it into the various things and put the meat in the bread or whatever it is. The fish in the bread. And then when they were done they would take another piece of bread. They would wipe their greasy fingers and they'd throw it on the floor.

Usually that's what the dogs would eat. Well this is what Lazarus was living on. His diet was the bread that had been used to wipe the grease and the oil of the food off of the rich man's hands. And also we read that he was carried to the gate. Which would imply he probably was disabled. In some way he could not move. He was not mobile. So not only is this guy impoverished.

Not only is this guy eating scraps from this other man's table. But they have to carry him to the gate. So every day when the rich guy would cruise in or cruise out and the gates would open up he'd see Lazarus.

And he'd say who cares about him. Well then one day death came. And death is the great equalizer. And we're told that the beggar died. But he was given an angelic escort to heaven. And by the way when a Christian dies they are escorted by angels to heaven.

Isn't that great to know? An angelic escort. But that is not what happens for the non-believer. The rich man was not ushered into heaven like Lazarus. The sin again was not his wealth.

It was his disregard for the spiritual which revealed itself in his prideful flaunting of resources and his neglect of a starving disabled man sitting at his door. And they both died. And they both went to their respective places. One went to comfort.

The other went to torment. One of the world's wealthiest men Malcolm Forbes made this statement shortly before he died quote, the thing I dread most about death is that I know I will not be as comfortable in the next life as I was in this life. End quote.

That's true. Now if you put your faith in Christ you'll be much more comfortable in the next life. If you put your faith in Jesus the best is yet to come. If you've not put your faith in Jesus enjoy life now because it's all downhill from here. So the best thing of course is to believe in him now and then you're prepared for the afterlife. Some important insight today on A New Beginning, life and death insight from Pastor Greg Laurie and a message from his series The Afterlife and the Eternal.

And if you want to know how you can believe on the Lord now go to Harvest dot org and click the words know God. You know Pastor Greg when I get in the car you know I buckle my seat belt adjust the mirror look behind me as I back out of the garage then shift into drive and look both ways before I pull out onto the street and you know frankly I just don't give that a lot of thought. But back when I first learned to drive which was right after cavemen invented the wheel every little thing required maximum concentration. It was exhausting. Some people are trying to live the Christian life that way you know nothing is easy everything is exhausting.

Is something wrong? Well I think that it's just a whole new world you're learning a whole new lifestyle you're learning a new language everything's new but think of this as new in a really good way. You know the Bible says if any man be in Christ he is an altogether different kind of person old things have passed away behold everything becomes fresh and new. Now it is true that driving requires your full concentration when you're first starting but at the same time it opens up a whole new world because now you have freedom you have mobility and mom doesn't have to drive you everywhere. So you know the Christian life can be like that we're learning these things it's hard at first or different like reading the Bible praying these are things that don't necessarily come naturally but these are things that will help you in your spiritual growth in fact these are what we would call disciplines of the Christian life don't be frightened by the word discipline. Discipline is important it's a root word of the word disciple disciple we are to be disciples of Jesus so you apply some discipline in your life and every morning you say I'm going to read God's word I'm going to pray you know and you discipline yourself to be a part of a church and so much more to resist temptation the list goes on. So I want to help you to learn more about these disciplines more how to live this Christian life more how to drive the car if you will and as you do it more and more it will become second nature to you and these principles are found in a little book that I wrote that is titled the new believers guide to effective Christian living I'd like to send you a copy and I'll give it to you for your gift of any size now some of you might be generous and and make a contribution to our ministry and I'll thank you in advance for that others can't give that much but we'll still send you the book because this is an important resource I'd like to put in your hands so order your own copy of the new believers guide to effective Christian living for your gift of any size yeah that's right and we hope you'll get in touch today so we can get it on its way to you keep an extra copy on hand to give to a new believer who crosses your path it's small enough to keep in a purse or the glove compartment of your car so contact us today with your donation and be sure to ask for the new believers guide to effective Christian living you can call us at 1-800-821-3300 that's a 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning box 4000 riverside california 92514 or go online to are you receiving pastor greg's daily devotions get these inspirational thoughts in your email box every day sign up free of charge at well next time pastor greg continues his series called the afterlife and the eternal we'll consider the reality of hell and how we can avoid that judgment join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher greg lord hey everybody thanks for listening to a new beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners so for more content that can help you know god and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a harvest partner just go to
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-19 20:00:26 / 2022-12-19 20:09:32 / 9

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