(1) The sacrifice that Jesus made was infinitely greater than we have ever imagined. Not only does the Bible teach that He was not recognizable as a human being (Is. 52:14) while hanging on the cross, but it also teaches that He actually became sin (2 Cor. 5:21).
(2) Just before He died, Jesus said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). God forsook Jesus. He could not look upon the sin that Jesus had become. And if He forsook His only Son, what chance would any of us have? That is why, for those who foolishly ignore this great sacrifice, there is a real hell.
(3) In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word she’owl was translated:
- “HELL” thirty-one times and
- “GRAVE” thirty-one times
- Nearly every time it’s translated “grave,” it’s talking about where the godly go after death, and when it’s translated “hell,” it’s talking about the destination of the ungodly.
(4) Before Jesus’ resurrection, everyone went into the center of the earth when they died. It was separated into two compartments. One was called “Abraham’s bosom,” or “paradise,” while the other was called “hell,” a place of torment (Luke 16:23-28).
(5) After the Resurrection, things concerning hell changed. Jesus went to hell, took the keys of hell and death (Rev. 1:18), and set the captives free—those who were in Abraham’s bosom.
(6) After defeating the devil and setting the captives free, Jesus took those in Abraham’s bosom to heaven with Him, where all believers go now. But we will not live in heaven forever. We only live in heaven until the end of the age. Then God is going to make a new heaven and a new earth, and all the believers will live there with Jesus in the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-4).
(7) After that, hell will no longer be in the center of the earth, but it will be cast into a place that the Bible calls the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14), a place that was prepared for Satan and his angels (Matt. 25:41).
(8) In Matthew 25, we read the story of the nations coming to the Lord on His throne where He divides the sheep from the goats.
- In Matthew 25:34, He said to the righteous, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
- But to the unrighteous, He said,
“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). Although it was never intended for man, hell is an awful place where those who reject so great a sacrifice will join the devil and his angels for eternity (Rev. 20:10).
(9) The Scripture, in Luke, also shows that the people God honors are not necessarily the same people the world honors (Luke 16:15). This rich man had a beautiful home, fancy clothes, and the best of everything. He had it all, but he never showed the beggar any mercy. When he died, I guarantee you he had a fancy funeral. Thousands of people may have gathered, all talking about how great his accomplishments were.
(10) Yet the Bible says only that he was buried, left to rot in the grave. On the other hand, the beggar who was most despised on earth was carried away by angels. Which of the two would you rather have been? When you see this from an eternal perspective, it makes the suffering of this earth pale in comparison to what God has prepared for us (Rom. 8:18).
(11) We can also see from Scripture that there are no second chances. There is no purgatory, as the Catholic Church teaches. There is no ultimate reconciliation. On earth, the rich man rejected God and went directly to hell. When the rich man pleaded for mercy, Abraham could do nothing. There will be no mercy, no hope, and no goodness of any kind in hell, ever.
(12) There isn’t a single person on this earth who deserves anything good from God. And there is absolutely nothing people can do to gain His favor. If that offends you, then you have just experienced the offense of the cross (Gal. 5:11). In comparison to God’s standards, man’s righteousness is no better than filthy rags (Is. 64:6). But God loves man so much that He sent Jesus, a Lamb without spot, to be a sacrifice for sin.
(13) If Jesus died for past, present, and future sins—which He did—then what determines whether we spend eternity with Him or in hell? It is REJECTING the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
(14) The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit convicts us of ONE SIN, and it’s the only sin that will cause people to go to hell. That is the sin of rejecting the Cross of Jesus Christ.
“And when he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin [singular], and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me” (John 16:8-9, brackets mine). To say the least, avoiding hell is big. However, what Jesus accomplished on the cross is far more than the avoidance of hell.
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