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A Solemn Warning to Those Who Reject Christ

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2024 12:00 am

A Solemn Warning to Those Who Reject Christ

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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May 9, 2024 12:00 am

Be motivated to heed Jesus' warning about hell and lovingly tell others about the dangers of rejecting salvation.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, May 9th. It's a popular belief that people can go to heaven no matter what they believe.

Is this possible? Clear answers come your way as the series on eternity continues with a solemn warning to those who reject Christ. Today, you would get up and see what was going on. Now, only a foolish person ignores warnings. And all through the Bible, in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Gospels, Jesus continuously issued warnings to mankind concerning life after death. And in the 16th chapter of Luke, he gives three warnings.

And I want you to turn there, if you will, because I want us to consider one of those warnings. And the title of this message is a solemn warning to those who reject Jesus Christ. Verse 19, there was a certain rich man and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day. And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate covered with sores and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man's table.

Besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now, it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died and was buried. And in Hades, he lifted up his eyes being in torment and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame. But Abraham said, child, remember that during your life you received your good things and likewise Lazarus bad things, but now he is being comforted here and you're in agony.

And besides all this, between us and you, there is a great chasm, a great gulf fixed in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be able and that none may cross over from there to us. And he said, then I beg you, Father, that you send to my Father's house, for I have five brothers that he may warn them lest they also come to this place of torment. But Abraham said, they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. But he said, no, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.

But he said to him, if they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead. What does the Bible say about this place called hell? Well, first of all, let me give you four words that are found in the Bible that describe this place.

One of them is called Sheol. That's the Old Testament word. The second one is the word Hades mentioned in our scripture here.

A third word is the Taurus where the fallen angels have been reserved in judgment or rather in punishment, in torment until the judgment where they will be ultimately cast in the lake of fire. And then the word Gehenna, which was the word Jesus used, taken from the valley of Henon outside of Jerusalem, where they burned the rubbish and it burned day and night. And so he likened the place of future punishment to that. It is also interesting to note here that most everything you and I know about future punishment is what Jesus told us. As you read the epistles, they make reference to it and some things are stated there. But most of what we know is what Jesus said.

Now listen to me carefully. Jesus is issuing a solemn warning concerning those who die and face life after death. And the first thing he says to us here is this, that hell or this place of future punishment is a place.

It is not a state of the mind. It is a place. When you look at these four words, Sheol, Gehenna, Taurus, Hades, all four of these words are four words that refer to a place of suffering and torment.

But listen carefully. The eternal lake of fire where men, where the false beast and the prophet, where Satan and all the fallen angels and every unbeliever will spend eternity is called just that, the lake of fire. We'll come into that a little later. All of these places are temporary places of suffering, listen carefully, until the great white throne judgment in Revelation chapter 20 where all shall be judged according to their works. And then their suffering will be by degrees according to the way they've lived here on earth. Not many people I know of like to talk about hell or torment or suffering. They love to talk about the love of God, the joy, the peace, the happiness, the mercy, the kindness of God. That's their kind of God. My friend, what you have to ask yourself is this. Is your God Jehovah God, the God of the Bible?

Or is your God one that you have formulated to meet your emotional needs because you cannot stand the idea of a God who would allow you to make a choice to shut him out of your life until finally he agrees and gives you what you want and allows you to shut him out forever and ever and ever? The issue is what did Jesus say about this place as he describes it in an issue of a solemn warning to those who will reject him? He says it is a definite place. He describes it here as a place. All the four words I described in a few moments all represent places. Hell is a place.

The lake of fire is a place. The second thing I want you to notice about his description is that it is a place of punishment. Now, if you go down to verse 24, it says 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 off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame. He is in agony. He is in torment.

He is suffering indescribable pain. Then, if you and I hold your hand there, go over to Matthew chapter 25. And listen, if you will, to verse 30 as Jesus is describing also issuing a solemn warning as he talks about the misuse of life here and now. He says in verse 30, and cast out the worthless slave into outer darkness, into that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. It is not only a place of agony, a place of torment, but a place of darkness and a place of crying, a place of weeping.

A place, he says, where there shall be the grinding of the teeth, gnashing of teeth. We're describing the place of future punishment for those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ. Then he says it is a place of unquenchable fire. That is, you can't put the fire out in Mark chapter 9, verse 43 and 44, a place of unquenchable fire. And notice, if you will, in this 16th chapter that the man who died and went to torment did not say, would you send over enough water to put out the flames because he knew it was unquenchable. Nor did he say, would you please get me out of this place because he knew next that it is a place that is fixed.

There is no escape. He said, rather, would you send somebody to my home, to my family and tell my brothers you don't want to come to a place like this? In fact, Jesus said it is a place of remembrance.

Listen to what he said, verse 25, but Abraham said, child, remember that during your lifetime, man, you had everything going your way but this man didn't. A place of remembrance. What do you think a person's going to remember when they get to hell? They're going to remember the opportunities they had to be saved. How many times they heard it on the radio but said, I don't want to hear that.

How many times people tried to share their faith but they said, I'm not ready for that now. They're going to remember their opportunities of being saved. Remember, remember, remember, remember. Listen, would you not agree that sometimes remembrance is tormenting? There's some things we like to forget in life forever, but I believe that the place of torment is going to be a place of remembrance while you don't forget. He says it's going to be a place of remembrance. It is going to be a place, Jesus said, look in Matthew chapter 5. He says hell is so bad.

Torment is so terrible. He says avoid it at any cost, even at this cost. Verse 29, if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, throw it from you. It is better for you that one of your parts of your body perish than that your whole body be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you, for it's better for you that if one of the parts of your body perish than for your whole body to go to hell.

Jesus said, listen, figuratively speaking, he's saying here, it's better for you to go through life maimed, no hands, no eyes, no feet, whatever it takes. The one thing you don't want to do is end up in the place called the lake of fire where you suffer eternally for getting your way. You say, what do you mean getting your way? Getting your way, God, I don't want you in my life.

I don't have time for you now, no place for you in my life. When a man dies separated from God, he gets his way. God allows him to have his way, no place for God in his life, and he spends eternity separated from God, which is one of those words here, separation.

Separation from his family, separation from heaven, separation from God. And let me tell you what I believe one of the worst things is going to be about standing in the great white throne judgment in the presence of Jesus Christ being rewarded. Listen, being rewarded for all the works in the great white throne judgment, salvation won't be an issue. You'll only be in that judgment because you've rejected Christ. He says their men shall be judged according to their works.

The books are going to be open. And God has a valid account of what we have done and what we have failed to do in the judgment seat of Christ. Only believers are going to be there and we're going to be rewarded for our good works and we will suffer the loss of God because of our sins. But in the great white throne judgment, when the lake of fire is opened following that, he says men shall be judged by their works.

A place of loneliness, a place of regret. But a place wherein men are going to be and women are going to be judged according to their works and therefore they're going to be levels of suffering. That's why there has to be a judgment. He says, for example, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for you. He said to the city there in Matthew Chapter 11. He said some shall suffer more stripes than others in Luke Chapter 12. So that the judgment will determine the degree of suffering. So Jesus made it very clear as a warning. He's done everything in his power, everything in his power to keep men out of the place of eternal suffering except to force their will and to violate their free will. But he says this is the way he sees it, a place of agony and suffering and torment and darkness and tears and anguish and separation and hopelessness and helplessness.

A place where there will be degrees of suffering. That is the Word of God. You don't like it? I don't like it either. That isn't even the issue. The issue is this, if your house is on fire and I know that it's on fire, you wouldn't want me to just walk down the street and say, well, that's your tough luck, buddy.

You'd want me to come running in and awaken you out of your bed and tell you that the whole top floor of your house is engulfed in flames and do my best to rescue you lest you be consumed in the smoke and flames. You and I are living and walking around people every day who do not believe the testimony of Jesus Christ, incarnate Son of God. They do not believe the witness of the Bible.

They absolutely refuse to acknowledge the testimony of their own conscience and they spurn the wooing of the Holy Spirit. It is your responsibility and mine before God to warn them and to assure them that Jesus Christ will save them. But likewise to warn them that if they reject the offer of salvation, they choose by an act of their rejection to spend eternity separated from God.

Now I want you to listen carefully to what I'm going to tell you. Here is the whole gospel in a paragraph form. God the Father incarnate in His Son, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of a virgin, sinless and absolutely perfect, came into this world for the primary reason of dying on a cross. That was God man dying on the cross. On that cross was placed all the sin of all mankind for all the ages of time. In the dying of Jesus Christ on the cross, bearing the weight and the guilt and the penalty for all of our sin, He bore and paid in full.

Listen to that. He paid in full. He stamped it in full, paid in full your sin debt, past, present and future. When He died and was buried and ascended, He went to the Father, offered the blood of His own death before the Father as the final payment, the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. His death and His sacrificial payment was accepted. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof of that. And in the acceptance of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son is full payment of our sin. Every single person who accepts His death as payment for their sin and receives Him personally as their Savior experiences the eradication, the forgiveness, the blotting out of all debt for their sin, past, present and future. And they are eternally a child of God, stamped, sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise under the day of redemption. And they forever shall be a child of God, now indwelt by the very person of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit and forever and ever and ever and ever when time ceases for all eternity, a child of the living God. For a believer to die today, absent from the body, present with the Lord.

Listen. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you are free from all eternal suffering once you've placed your faith in the all-sufficient, substitutionary, vicarious death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Turn to Revelation chapter 20, and let's look at a couple of verses quickly here. Revelation chapter 20 is he's describing this final place called the Lake of Fire. Verse 10 says, The devil who deceived them was thrown into the Lake of Fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Verse 14, And death, or the grave, no more death after this, and Hades torment were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the ultimate place men will spend eternity without Christ.

This is the second death, the Lake of Fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown in the Lake of Fire. And the way to get your name in the Book of Life is to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and he becomes your life.

Now listen to me. There's only one way to get to heaven and only one way to avoid what we just said. And the way to do that is to confess your sins before God. That is, repent of your sins. That is, you're willing to let God turn you around. That is, to have a change of attitude about the way you've been living and recognize that you need to be forgiven of your sins and that you must receive Jesus Christ by faith as your personal Savior. That your works, you can work till you are old in your life, and you can suffer forever.

You'll never work your way into heaven. It is a gift offered by God through his grace. It is what Jesus has already provided for you.

And my friend, you have this offer. If you're willing simply to ask him to forgive you and tell him that you're a sinner, that you've sinned against him, and tell him that you're accepting his death of his son on the cross as full payment of your sin, and you are turning your life over to him, then my friend, the Bible says that you'll be forgiven of your sin, your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and forever and ever you belong to God. And you're not going to die and suffer. You're going to die and spend eternity with him. So, my friend, the next few moments could be the next few most important moments in your life where you either turn God down one last time or forever. Or you allow him into your life and ask him to forgive you of your sins and trust him as your Savior.

Foolish men and women ignore warnings. Wise men and women take heed to them. And so I want to invite you to receive Jesus Christ right now by faith. Let's pray together. I pray, Father, in Jesus' name, that somebody to whom you've spoken today will respond even in these next few critical moments in their life. They say, yes, I'm receiving Christ as my Savior, and avoid eternal punishment is my prayer. In Jesus' name, amen. Thank you for listening to A Solemn Warning to Those Who Reject Christ. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-09 02:56:14 / 2024-05-09 03:03:36 / 7

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