Is there anything that compares with being lost for all of eternity? It is so terrible that we as preachers seldom wish to ever preach on the subject. I determined that I had to treat the subject occasionally to warn people of the seriousness of what lies ahead if they refuse to accept the salvation which Christ has provided for them at the expense of his own life. Figuratively speaking, I always preached on it with tears. Christ spoke of hell twice as much as he did heaven.
I had a vision of hell in May 2004. I know that visions are more meaningful to those who have them than those who are told about them. I was not close enough to hear the weeping and gnashing of teeth spoken of in Matt. 13:50 but I saw thousands of people who were moving back and forth like ants on an ant hill. They, apparently, were seeking relief from their misery. There were not any two people speaking with one another. There was no esprit’de corps or fellowship. I looked up and saw a ceiling about 100 foot high that appeared like a cave with its rocky surface. This makes sense to me because many of us believe hell is in the center of the earth.
Luke 16:19 and verses following give us one of the best insights into hell. Lazarus, a beggar, died and went to paradise which was like heaven and a rich man died and went to hell. He didn’t go to hell because he was rich because many rich people go to heaven. He went there because he rejected Christ’s plan of salvation. Paradise, at that time, was close enough to hell that people could communicate with one another. This is not so now. The rich man saw Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom, a place of comfort and called unto Abraham asking that he send Lazarus to him and to place one drop of water on his tongue to relieve him of the pain he was experiencing. I, personally, have never experienced the kind of pain that one drop of water would alleviate.
Father Abraham informed him that such was impossible since there was a great gulf between them and Lazarus could not cross it. The rich man then demonstrated an amazing evangelistic spirit when he requested that Lazarus be sent to warn his five brothers. Abraham then suggested that they had Moses and the prophets to warn them. May I this day warn you of hell. Such, I feel, is very appropriate.
If on a dark, rainy night there is a bridge out on a road on which people are traveling it would be a grave dereliction of duty not to warn people and save their lives. Hell was made for the devil and his angels according to Matt. 25:41 but because of people rejecting Christ’s plan of redemption they also go there. II Peter 3:9 says that Christ doesn’t want any to perish. Matt. 7:30 tells us that the way to destruction is broad and many are on that way but few are on the straight and narrow way to eternal life. This is what drives us as soul-winners to go hundreds of miles to win one soul to Christ.
I had a cousin of mine who was older than I and had enjoyed a career in the Army. I learned that he was in the Ireland hospital at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Knowing that he was not a Christian I drove there and led him to the Lord. One year later I preached his funeral in Georgetown, Kentucky. A letter, he had written, was handed to me to be read. In it he said that for many years he had the privilege of serving the commander-in-chief, the President of the United States, but today he stands before a different commander-in-chief. His name is the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I read that letter there were tears all over the Tucker Funeral Home. You want to be assured of heaven after this life then be sure to invite Christ into your heart as Lord and Savior. He will come in and forgive you of every sin and guarantee that you have eternal life in heaven. Then pray for all your loved ones and friends to do the same. Eternity is a long time to spend in the wrong place.
The writer is the pastor emeritus of the Christian Tabernacle in Sidney.