You’re Going To Hell!

         Back in the primitive past when Christians were grossly intolerant and actually believed in and followed the Word of God, preachers really said this. They actually told people in no uncertain terms that unless they repented and got right with God they were going straight to hell.

         And people got saved.

         And they dedicated their lives to God.

         And they were ever-thankful for the great price the Lord paid on their behalf.

         And they loved the preacher for preaching the truth.

         Speaking of which, there was once a man, about fifty years ago, who was a self-described drug addict-satan worshipper-bad dude biker, and the kind of guy who could kill a man relatively quickly without a weapon. He happened to hear a preacher once. The preacher shouted, with absolutely no fear, “You’re Going to Hell!!!”

         The hell-bound man repented and gave his life to God. Later, he also became a preacher. And one night, several years later, I happened to be in a small church building where this man was preaching a revival. The little place was packed and the Spirit of God was powerful. The title of his sermon was… ready?

         Known in Hell.

         He quoted from the Book of Acts, or actually, he shouted from the Book of Acts: “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” [Acts 19:15 NKJV]

         The big idea was that the devil knows those responsible for wrecking his kingdom. He knows those who attack his gates and steal back souls for the Lord.

         In the Acts story, the evil spirit knew who the Lord Jesus was, and it knew who the apostle Paul was, and was deathly afraid of both. Real Christians are Known in Hell.

         But what about the fake believers?

         Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. [Acts 19:16 NKJV]

         After hearing this nice little Christian message—Known in Hell—I decided that right then and there would be a very good time to surrender to God. The next thing I knew I was up at the front with about a million other people. The kingdom had to add an extra wing that night. And another hell-bound man got turned around and headed in the right direction.

         Now, even though we humans don’t like such talk, for obvious reasons, the default destination for every human is hell.

         And without real repentance, a born-again experience, and surrendering one’s life to the Lord Jesus, the following applies:

         You’re going straight to hell. You will not pass Go. You will not collect $200.

         Because you have repeatedly trashed the commandments of God, because you have rejected the incredible offer of necessary salvation and undeserved grace, because you have dishonored, disobeyed, disbelieved, and disavowed discipleship, you will be eternally disconnected from God and disappear. You get the hot place. You will spend your first big vacation on the other side of earth at Fire Lake.

         In you will go. And you will never return…

         There are certain things that most people refuse to acknowledge. Hell is often at the top of the list. We don’t want to believe there is a hell. We don’t want to believe in the possibility we may end up there. Some think, “How could a loving God ever send anyone to such a place?”

         Here’s how: Because human beings are sinners, to one degree or another. The very fact that God is a loving God is why those who appreciate His offer of grace should not have to spend eternity with sinful, rotten idiots whose greatest sins are questioning the existence and motives of the very God who made them, rebelling against Him at every turn, thinking they know better and are better than Him, and who are so ridiculously lost in their own self-worth and deception they would rather have their pride and sin than eternal life.

         Jude knew about such people in his time:

         Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

         Why would Jude tell them to contend earnestly for the faith? What happened?

         For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

         Oh.

         Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

         I think that’s what we call a precedent.

         And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

         And there’s another precedent. And it gives us all a very good indication of how God feels about a certain lifestyle.

         Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

         But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

         Cain was evil. He offered an unacceptable sacrifice to God. He killed the godly seed. Balaam was a prophet for hire (Send me money and God will bless you!). And Korah and his rebels took a very fast shortcut to hell. These were in part religious people… Is Jude pointing toward unreal Christians? 

         These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.

         Uh oh.

         It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

         Wow…

         But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. [Jude 1:3-19]

         Bingo.

         But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. [1 Timothy 1:8-11]

         So the most stupid people of all are those who reject the laws and commandments of God? And live according to their own sinful nature? And refuse to come clean? And trade the lusts of this very short life for the loss of their souls for all eternity?

         Can they be described further?

         “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” [Revelation 21:8]

         But what if a person is a liar by profession? What about those who support the murder of innocent babies? What about those who unreservedly and with full knowledge serve mammonas, the god of riches and avarice? Who sell their soul for wealth and power? Who cut out a little section of the planet for their own purposes through illicit means, not caring at all about who they rip off in order to pad their evil little nest?

         “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” [Matthew 23:33]

         And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? [1 Peter 4:18 KJV] [1]

         Um, could it be…

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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Posted on April 26, 2013, in Real Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Excellent. Without the knowledge of hell, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross has little meaning. We don’t understand what we are being saved from. . . We don’t understand what we rightly deserve because of our sin and the horror of our fate without the saving blood and grace of Jesus Christ.

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    • Thank you. It seems as though the enemy has been successful in hiding the truth regarding hell, largely because the people who should be acknowledging it either refuse to do so or neglect to do so. The world can be very bewitching in that the people of God are often tempted to treat it like home instead of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom. I’m pretty sure the Word of God is very clear that this world is not our home, and the more comfortable a believer is in this world, the less comfortable he or she becomes in the kingdom. This is why many believers drift away, and are often deceived by the drifting. The evidence for this is all around us, and brings to mind the following:

      For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? [Hebrews 10:26-29]

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  2. Thanks so much for your spiritual boldness. Christians need to be faced with choices and to know that there are indeed eternal consequences, both good and bad, for those choices. Here’s to no nonsense Christianity!

    People tend to veer away from the simplicity that is Christ. And the simplicity that is scripture. And accountability. God truly means it when His inspired word says “let your yes be yes and your no be no”.

    I’ve always said I am a character and need building. Hammer away!

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    • Thank you for the great comment. Our Lord Jesus is very clear about everything, at least for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. We are all in much need of spiritual clarity. Praise Him for his Word and for making clear distinctions regarding spiritual matters, and especially our eternal fate.

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  3. Good words RJ. A couple questions of thought… with mainstream evangelists now explaining away eternal judgement (without mention of names mind you), don’t you think the natural man would prefer to believe these who profess to study and know the Word have latched on to a truth that maybe the Church missed for two thousand years? As they teach, that there is no hell? Secondly, it seems by the actions of those who do claim to believe in a literal place called hell (my finger is pointed at me), that the love of Christ must not be very compelling, or else I see the Bible promoting the idea that His people will be vessels spending and being spent to carry the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ to our homes, neighborhoods, cities, nations… world. I guess the question is “what would a people who really believe hell is real look like? What would they be doing with their life? How would we spend each moment?”

    I recall a certain atheist once asked how those who believed in a place such as hell could go about life with no apparent emphasis on ensuring no one crossed their path without hearing of the Good News. He said, “even I as an atheist would rush to save a child in traffic from being run over. These people believe in an eternal punishment, but carry on about life as though no one is at risk?”

    Provoking thoughts good friend.

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    • Thanks for the insightful comment, Mike.

      Regarding the atheist’s comments, veteran believers know very well how difficult witnessing can be. It is not that they are necessarily not frantic about saving the lost, but understanding that much effort extended does not necessarily mean salvations by the truckload.

      I have wondered the same thing, in fact. But I always try to go to the Lord for His example. The Lord was always out there ministering and seeking lost sheep, but He did not seem to be frantic about it. He understood, of course, that if a person had no eyes to see or ears to hear, if a person had no faith, and if a person was simply not at all hungry for truth, there was little or nothing He could do.

      I remember hearing a pair of young Christian evangelists many years ago, one a former non-Messianic Jew from Israel and the other a former Palestinian Muslim. They said witnessing in Israel was such that you had to be directed by the Spirit of God. Instead of the mass evangelism methods of America, one had to be careful to witness to the right person or it could get ugly.

      So even though we must be about our Father’s business and spend our time wisely, we have to be careful not to run around being frantic because the Lord never did. But the atheist does have a point in that many Christians, if not most, don’t seem to care too much about who lives or dies.

      Regarding hell, whoever makes a claim it does not really exist must rewrite the entire New Testament. Some do this, and doom themselves. But it is up to each individual to make their calling and election sure, study the Word of God very carefully, and work out their own salvation. There will always be those who listen to the enemy and believe his lies, even to the point of disbelieving Scripture.

      I think wisdom tells us to pace ourselves, work long and steady, listen to the voice of God, be directed by Him, love everybody, shine our light, and be a willing vessel. A tall order for any believer, but all things are possible with God.

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      • Very good response, RJ. Taking it a step further then, one might better weigh their belief in this place called hell by their degree of compassion regarding say… mission activity in places where the gospel has never been heard? Maybe deep within the heart of a third world nation? Lands where missionaries are imprisoned for any presentation of the gospel?

        Rather than taking on a frantic notion, Paul related his drive to carry the gospel as a debt he owed to all (Rom. 1:14), especially those who had never heard of the name of Jesus (Rom. 15). He would then describe this force as what drove him with the words, “the love of Christ compels us (me)… so that we (I) no longer live for ourselves (me) but for Him (2 Cor. 5:14).”

        This compelling force produced a man who left no doubt where he went, that there was a wrath which was to come, and that God gives Good News, Jesus endured the wrath on our behalf.

        My comments here, as your article does, are probing to understand the question, “Are there really Christians today who believe that one day God will judge the world just as Paul believed it and gave his life ensuring he carried the gospel everywhere he possibly could, knowing the fate of all who rejected the good news, including those who never hear its life-giving message.

        I think this is one of those times when the old adage holds truth, “actions speak much louder than words.” We can claim to believe in this place called hell all we want, but the effort and direction of our lives will be the tell-all.

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        • I saw an illustration in a Christian Magazine once, the one put out by the Rez Band out of Chicago. There was a very long single file line of relaxed, completely unaware people, and they all had blindfolds on. The line stretched ahead all the way to the horizon. Occasionally, someone in the line had been able to remove his or her blindfold, and at the end of the line at the horizon was the great yellow glow of hell. These “seeing” people then went about frantically trying to tell everyone what was up ahead and where they were heading in an effort to stop them, but very few listened. So, maybe being somewhat frantic is called for.

          And yes, though in a probable minority among overall “Christian” adherents, there are those who believe that hell is real, as the Lord said it was, and that it will be the eternal fate of most humans.

          But I would like to clarify. I do not think the Lord will sentence people to hell simply because they never heard the Gospel. I’m not sure how this will necessarily work because the NT is not absolutely clear on it. It could be that those who show hunger for truth will be sent a witness to give them an opportunity, and those who would never choose the Lord (God knows every heart) would never be sent a witness. To say that every human being who has ever lived will be given a chance at the Gospel seems a stretch. I mean, if someone living in South America at the time of the Lord died soon after, how was it possible that he received a witness? Who shared the Gospel with him?

          The truth is probably in the following:

          And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. [Revelation 20:12-13]

          This is a little off subject, and opens up a whole new study. But it does not affect the reality of hell. I really believe that if Christians told the truth as the Lord did, many more people would understand the reality of their possible fate, and might otherwise be saved. They would understand that this world is a proving ground and a spiritual test.

          This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. [2 Thessalonians 1:5]

          “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” [Acts 14:22]

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  4. Yes, very well said, RJ. I agree that the Bible no where indicates people will go to hell for not hearing the gospel.

    Instead, the Bible makes it clear that everyone is under God’s wrath for suppressing the knowledge of His truth. The first three chapters of Romans makes it clear that everyone knows there is a God through creation and conscience, but like Adam (because we inherited the curse of his rebellion), we all choose to make gods out of the created… including making a god of ourselves.

    It seems apparent that all peoples will be held accountable for the amount of revelation they were given, but it’s also clear that all peoples have been given enough revelation to know there is the One true God. The harsh reality though is that no one does what they should with that revelation. Therefore, everyone stands already condemned.

    I realize we get deeply into God’s sovereignty with discussions like this, but none the less, think about the revelation we’ve been given in Western culture and the words of Jesus, “To whom much is given, much is required.” That we’ve been given the resources and the ability to go as no one has been able before, but choose instead to lavish ourselves beyond reason with selfish materialistic stuff paints a very poor picture of a people who say they believe that when someone dies without Christ they spend eternity in a fiery pit called hell where the burning torture never ends and the worm never dies.

    I know I keep returning here with response after response, but I think you’ve opened the door for something desperately needed to be discussed by all of us who claim we believe that Jesus has saved us from the wrath to come, but show little interest in proclaiming the good news of the gospel to every creature on the planet. Something may be amiss here. Blessings good friend.

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    • Yeah, and I agree. There’s definitely something amiss. It’s a heart problem.

      We seem to get all fired up in the beginning of our walk with the Lord, what with all the new revelation, and release from bondage to sin, and desire to tell the whole world about our good fortune, and that they too can know the Lord.

      Then persecution comes our way, and the cares of this life kick in, and selfishness rears its ugly head, and we develop a tendency to slack spiritually, because we become burdened with the cares of this world, and our stuff starts owning us, and we lose that spiritual fervor, and we discover that the people in church with more money and influence are better thought of and respected, and Christians become dead tired working and going to church all the time.

      And we burn out because we care so much and want to master all of our responsibilities, both spiritual and otherwise. So then many Christians learn to take it relatively easy and let the new blood handle the fervor and difficulty of spiritual work while finding a padded pew and a routine…

      This leaves them yawning in church pews all over the country due to the fact that the classic church pew yawner is the highest state of equilibrium between abject frustration and unyielding, colossal guilt. [Page 220, Real Christianity © 2001]

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  5. One of the most famous sermons ever preached was, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” by Jonathan Edwards. Thanks for sharing, R.J.

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  6. A very thought-provoking and well-written post!

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  7. Amen, Amen, and Amen again to that!! And I love your statement on “Real Christians are Known in Hell.” Never thought about it that way!! Real eye opener. I’m sharing your post!

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    • Thank you, Elissa! I’m currently reading your post of April 29 about persecution coming to America. The Lord has been showing His people this over the last several years. I made this claim in my book. Though not a pleasant topic, extreme persecution in any location actually proves spiritual maturity within the Lord’s community. Strong, mature, real Christians attract persecution. This is just fact. Thank you for writing about this. It is actually very good news for America. Now, back to your article…

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  8. Kedoshim Ministries

    Excellent article. Continue to be bold!

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  9. Kedoshim Ministries

    Reblogged this on Kedoshim Ministries and commented:
    Excellent article by RJ Dawson. Truth!

    Like

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