JUDGMENT IS COMING - - Rev.20:11 - 15
One of the most colorful agnostics in American History was Robert C. Ingersoll, who gave dramatic lectures through out the nation questioning the Bible and the existence of God. One night when he was addressing an audience in a small town in New York, he proclaimed eloquently his doubts about a future judgment and hell. When he was finished an old drunkard stood up in the rear of the hall and said with thick tongue: "I sure hope you are right, Brother Bob. I'm counting on that."
II. Modern man does not like to think of God in terms of wrath, anger, and judgment.
A. He likes to fashion God after his own preferences and give God the characteristics he wants Him to possess.
1. This modern "god" has the attributes of love, mercy, and forgiveness without justice.
2. This means an absence of judgment and punishment for sin.
a. Justice is impossible without judgment.
b. Law cannot exist without a penalty. Reason would tell us that there will be a time when the Hitlers, the Eichmanns, and the Stalins will be brought to an accounting. Otherwise there is no justice in the universe.
B. Man does not knew God as He really is.
1. The Bible teaches that God is indeed a God of judgment. If the Bible teaches anything, it teaches that God is going to judge man. Time after time Jesus warned of judgment: "It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you" (Matt 11:22).
2. The Apostles taught throughout the New Testament that there would come a time of judgment: "He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained" (Acts 17:31). "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasured up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds" (Rom. 2:5). "To you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Thess. 1:7,8). "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27)
III. Why Fear God? (Exodus 20:20---Matt 25:31-46)
A. Statements of men about fear in the world.
1. Dr. Robert Hutchins of Chicago University said "The Atomic Bomb should frighten us into that Christian character and actions necessary to the creation of world society."
2. Dr. Wilbur Smith: "Ours might easily have been an age without fear"
a. Modern Science -- virtually eliminated the dread of sudden pain and death due to disease.
b. Cultivation has eliminated the fear of famine.
c. Democracy has eliminated the fear of a dictator.
d. Social Insurance has virtually eliminated insecurity in old age.
3. Suddenly when fear should be eliminated, the most frightful form of sudden unannounced, liquidation is heralded from the housetops.
a. Prof. Harold Urey - leading scientist on atom bomb wrote frank confession entitled "I am a Frightened Man."
b. Has God reserved such a fearful force to be the final and universal hold on an otherwise fear less - care less and care free humanity?
B. Yet some educators discredit fear as a motive worthy of creating faith and moving men heavenward.
C. Nevertheless the same men make use of the motive of fear in everyday life.
1. We fear the uniformity of the laws of nature and obey them.
2. We fear a fall because of respect for the law of gravity.
3. We fear to some degree the law of the land. If the laws of the universe are so fixed as to defy respect, how much more the laws of morality given by God.
4. The poet Goldsmith said "Fear drives more to duty than Gratitude."
5. The London Times (May; 1943) "Causes in the drift from church going and relaxation of moral standards are attributed to the disappearance in belief of eternal punishment. Men are not afraid of God as they ought to be, they cast off restraints fear imposed."
D. Jesus believed in a future judgment.
1. He spoke of quenchless flame of Hell.
2. Beware of Hypocrisy.
3. Fear Him who can destroy body and soul in Hell.
IV. Hell is a Place - Same as Heaven
A. Jesus used such words as: Place of torment, darkness and weeping.
B. In the N.T. 264 chapters, 27 Books, 234 times God speaks of a place of judgment and eternal punishment. (Matt. 25:41,46)
(If on a road of 27 miles in length I found 234 sign boards saying, "This road leads to destruction" I would turn and take another road." II Thess.1:7-9
V Hell is a Place of Separation.
A. Separation of the wicked from the righteous.
B. Separation from Christian loved ones.
C. Separation from the love of God.
D. It is the Penitentiary of Heaven.
1. To separate those who resist God's law.
2. To separate those who reject Christ.
3. To separate those who deny the Bible.
VI. Hell is a place of Eternal Suffering.
A. When sick you hope to get better.
B. When business is bad--we hope for improvement.
C. When despondent, we hope for death.
D. But here suffering - offering no hope or escape. Forever lost is written upon every chain of hell and blazes in every fire of that lost region.
VII. Hell is a place of Reaping.
A. Of evil influence -- old drinking buddy - you led me here.
B. Son to his father, daughter to her mother.
IX. Hell is a Place of Remembrance
(Dr. Wilbur Penfield,s report)
Dr. Wilbur Penfield, director of the Montreal Neurological Institute, said in a report to the Smithsonian Institute: "Your brain contains a permanent record of your past that is like a single continuous strip of movie film complete with sound track. This film library records your whole waking life, from childhood on. You can live again those scenes from your past, one at a time, when a surgeon applies a gentle electrical current to a certain. point on the temporal cortex of your brain." The report goes on to say that as you relive the scenes from your past, you feel exactly the same emotions that you did during the original experience. Could it be that the human race will be confronted by this irrefutable record at the judgment bar of God when "God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ"? (Rom 2:16).
When he was a young man, Judge Warren Candler practiced law. One of his clients was charged with murder, and the young lawyer made the utmost effort to clear his client of the charge. There were some extenuating circumstances and the lawyer made the most of them in his plea before the jury. Moreover, there were present in the court the aged father and mother of the man charged with murder; and the young lawyer worked on the sympathies and emotions of the jury by frequent references to the God-fearing parents.
In due course, the jury retired for deliberation. When they had reached a verdict, they returned to the jury box. Their verdict read: "We find the defendant not guilty." The young lawyer, himself a Christian, had a serious talk with his cleared client. He warned him to steer clear of evil ways and to trust God's power to keep him straight.
Years passed. Again the man was brought into court. Again the charge was murder. The lawyer who had defended him at his first trial was now the judge on the bench. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury rendered its verdict of "Guilty."
Ordering the condemned man to stand for sentencing, Judge Candler said, "At your first trial, I was your lawyer, today I am your judge. The verdict of the jury makes it mandatory for me to sentence you to be hanged by the neck until you are dead."
Today Christ is our Lawyer, our Savior, willing to forgive and to cleanse and forget. However there is coming a fearful day when He will be our Judge.
X. Who goes to Hell.
A. Unbelievers go to Hell, He that believeth not is condemned already.
B. Christ Rejecters go to Hell.
I have no time for Christ - - too busy.
At last you will find time to die.
You will be in hell because you
rejected only road to salvation.
Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.