There is Hell. (Luke 16:23-26) 10-26-14 (Sun)
Many churches are in hardships because there are so little people attending church but in this place, it is a chaos due to too many people. This place is the hell. Some think there are too many people in hell because of Korean people. “People diligently went to church because they knew the agony and the fearful conflagration of the hell. However, these opinions started to change due to Koreans. Korean people demand for more fire and heat because they think the hell's heat is nothing. They have no fear of the Hell. This may sound ridiculous but there is a serious problem standing right behind it. The heat of the hell is profoundly hot. It is a place of eternal agony. That is why people say do not put yourself that leads you to hell. Hell arouses a person's alert. However, people cannot always be alert because of the Satan. If the Satan doesn't do anything, obviously everyone can go to the Heaven. So the Satan made a decision to make people not believe in the hell by not letting them hear anything about the hell anywhere. Satan deceits people to think the hell is only a myth. As more less information is exposed, people's fear of the hell will decrease. Honestly, there are reasons why the pastors, including me, do not frequently talk about the hell.
People get really uncomfortable when we start talking about the hell. People's face expression clearly shows uneasiness as soon as we speak about the hell. This is what Satan exactly wants from us: the inconvenience toward the hell. Today's word is about the hell and the story about “The rich man and Lazarus, the poor.” I want you guys to feel a little discomfort through today's sermon. If you do, it means you have payed good attentions to the sermon. If not, then there will be a problem.
1. The Hell is the Place of Agony. (23-24)
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades (hell), where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. Some scholars tell this kind of situation is just a symbolic representation because impossible to see the heaven in the hell. This is true. But it is not just a symbolic representation. And the heaven that is talking about here is not the real heaven. It was a paradise where the dead’s waited for Jesus Christ before Jesus was crucified. This paradise disappeared as the Jesus Christ was resurrected and went back to where God was. How remorseful could the rich man have felt for being able to see this paradise as he was going through an agony? So he called to Abraham, ’l"Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire."
Can you imagine how hot the hell is? It is a place of eternal flame and agony. Have you ever seen anyone who was greatly injured by fire? The burn is considered the most painful injury than any other injuries of all. The hell is full of flames everywhere. There is no water or anything but fire. The hell is the fearful place of eternal torment of fire. But the Satan makes this place seems as just a myth. He makes people think that the fire in the hell cannot really burn people and it is just an exaggeration. The hell is real. It is a place of agony. You will be burned to eternal, not even being able to die. It is not even possible to imagine the pain of the hell. That is why, in the Bible, says do not let your loved ones go to the hell.
2. The Hell is a Resentful Place. (25)
Abraham replied, "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony." The rich man and Lazarus' fate has completely turned around. In the verse 24, the rich man asks just for a finger of water and in the verse 21 shows Lazarus begging for food in the front of the rich man's table. The rich mans could have felt a great remorse as he was seeing Lazarus. Unfortunately, his life as a human has ended and his soul was bound to suffer in great flames of the hell. The reason why Lazarus went to the heaven and the rich man went to the hell was not because their status. It was because of their faith. Nothing can change after the death. There will be only eternal agony in the hell and eternal bliss in the heaven. Period.
3. There is No Escape in the Hell. (26)
Why did Abraham do nothing for the rich man? It was because Abraham could do nothing for him. Their fate has already been chosen and there was nothing that could have changed it. As it is said in the verse 26, "And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us. After death, people are divided into two groups: 'you' and 'us.' 'You guys who went to hell,' and 'us, who are in heaven.' Remember, the ones who you have loved can end up going to hell and be separated forever. How tragic is that? Abraham said, "And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us." There is no way that people could go pass through hell or heaven and meet each other. There are no escapes or doors. It truly depends on whether we believe in Jesus Christ to go to hell or the heaven. And most importantly, this opportunity can be only used during the time of our human life in Earth. Once we die, the time of choice is over. Only the Jesus Christ's judge will be waiting for us. Do not be a fool and let yourself end up being in a place of eternal agony.
In Mathew 13:44-46, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." He is telling us to give all we got in order to go to the heaven. In Mark 9:43-47, "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell."
This tells us we need know how to put everything down even if it takes us to break our hands and hurt ourselves. It is better than falling into hell. Going to heaven is the most prior thing than any other things that we have.