DESTINY OF THE LOST
††††† The destiny of the lost is tragedy beyond
belief. All one has to do is read Luke 16:19-31 to get a glimpse of this awful
calamity. "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine
linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named
Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the
crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked
his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to
Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments
in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his
bosom. Then 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 my tongue; for
I am tormented in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your
lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but
now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and
you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to
you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.' Then he said, 'I beg you
therefore, father, that you would send him to my fatherís house, for I have
five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place
of torment.' Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them
hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the
dead, they will repent.' But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the
prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'"
††††† A "Newsweek" poll found that 94
percent of Americans believe in God; 77 percent believe in heaven; 76 percent
think they have a good or excellent chance of getting there. But, only 58
percent of those surveyed believe in hell.
††††† The Bible teaches there are two gates
which men may enter, two ways men may walk and two destinies men may reach.
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that
leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the
gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find
it" (Matthew 7:13-14.) "How beautiful heaven must be." However,
there is likewise a horrible destiny awaiting those that reject Christ. We must
not close our eyes to that awful place of torment.
††††† Hell is
a place of vile association.
Unbelievers and those who do not obey the gospel will be in hell. (2
Thessalonians 1:7-9.) Hell will be the eternal abode of the sexually immoral,
idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers and
swindlers. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11.) Those who do not love and believe the truth
will also be in hell. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12.) Others among the vile
associates in hell will be angels who sin and unfaithful Christians. (2 Peter
2:4; 2 Peter 2:20-21.) Revelation 21:8 describes some who will be in hell.
"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral,
sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which
burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Hell is a place
of vile or evil associates.
††††† Hell is
a place of separation from the saints. Those who die faithful in the Lord will be blessed in heaven.
"Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write: 'Blessed are the
dead who die in the Lord from now on.' Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest
from their labors, and their works follow them." (Revelation 14:13.) If we
are faithful children of God we will go to Heaven. However, many will not be in
heaven. Hell will be their eternal home. If we go to hell we will be separated
for all eternity from God's people, from every righteous person, from every
good person and from every holy and good influence. "But there shall by no
means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but
only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." (Revelation 21:27.)
What a horrible end it will be when you realize you are lost and lost forever.
"There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and
Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the
††††† Hell is
a place of eternal darkness. Hell
is a place of outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
(Matthew 8:12.) Many of us have gone down into those caves and experienced the
darkness when the lights are turned out. It would probably do us good to just
be quiet for a moment and feel the darkness. Hell is a place of darkness which
is darker than any darkness we have known.
is a place of despair. Observe John's picture of Hell in Revelation
14:10-11. "He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence
of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their
torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who
worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his
name." There is a false cult which goes about teaching that there is no
everlasting punishment in hell. If the Bible is true, if black print on white
paper means anything there is a place of everlasting punishment. There is no
rest day or night, no refreshment, no hope of release! Despair! If you die and
go to hell all hope is lost.
is a place of torment in flames. Someone may ask, "Is this
figurative or literal fire"? All I can do is preach it like it is written.
I would rather face God at judgment and have Him say, "You took my word
too literally"; rather than say, "You got so smart you tried to
explain my word away." Hell is a lake of fire and brimstone. "The
devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where
the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night
forever and ever." (Revelation 20:10.) Someone says, "This is just
something to scare people." But, I had rather scare you into heaven than
to lull you into hell.
††††† You do not have to go to hell. You can die
in the Lord. God wants to save you. "The Lord is not slack concerning His
promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing
that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter
3:9.) Every where we look we see reminders that God loves us and wants us
saved. The mountains remind us of God's love piled high at
††††††††††† Have you obeyed the gospel? (Mark 16:15-16.) Are you living for Heaven? (1 Corinthians 15:58.)††††††
By Charles Box,