Hell Really Is for Real!

And it is Why We Try to Win people to Faith in Jesus Christ!

June 23, 2013 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Matthew 10:28; 2Cor 5:11)


A.      Have you noticed? Something is missing…


1.      Modern man’s life now is Fat free, Caffeine free, Sugar free, Calorie free, Salt free, Gluten free, Additive free, … (Taste free) …

2.      But it doesn’t stop there! It also has become Commitment free, Care free, and worst of all, Hell free! Modern religion (almost every church you could visit) is basically 99.9% hell free today! Hell has “disappeared!”

3.      In other words, Most people do not believe in hell anymore!

4.      They don’t talk about hell, and they don’t worry about people going there!

5.      And so people aren’t getting saved much today!


B.      Something DIDN’T happen to hell – it didn’t shrink, or cool off, or become exposed as a myth


1.      No.  People’s view of GOD has changed. People think God is not holy and pure and righteous like He used to be. God is ONLY loving and nice and “understanding” now.

2.      People have changed their view of justice, and love, and righteousness, and eternity!

3.      No. Our generation’s view about hell changed when God’s men, Christian preachers, people who were supposedly followers of Jesus and not of the world, stopped preaching the hard things in the Bible like hell!


C.      The ignorance about hell has a very bad effect on people


1.      People now live like God is just going to overlook all our sinful living – we all are going to end up with God someday - universalism

2.      People don’t care about souls getting saved from the wrath to come! Less and less soul-winners out there

3.      Fewer and fewer missionaries going into the hard to reach places to win the lost!


D.     If there is no hell:


1.      There is no need for the Gospel, no need for men and women to be changed, to be saved, no need for preaching

2.      We are all going to get to heaven anyway, all we need is “teachers” who teach us how to be good people (not Godly people)


E.      But according to the Bible, whether you like it or not, there is a hell – and it is eternal – and most everyone is headed there!


1.      Matthew 10:28, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

2.      Jesus wanted us to know that the people or things of this world are not to be feared, that there are worst things than whatever this world throws your way. Christ wanted you to be concerned about what would happen to you eternally after you died.

3.      2Cor 5:11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men!

4.      And I aim to persuade some men this morning!


II.    Message


A.     Problems People Have with Hell


1.      So many Misconceptions - People have strange ideas about hell:


a.       It is a party down there – Rock and Roll concert


1)     Living easy, living free, Season ticket on a one-way ride

2)     Asking nothing, leave me be, Taking everything in my stride

3)     Dont need reason, dont need rhyme, Aint nothing I'd rather do

4)     Going down, party time, My friends are gonna be there too

5)     yeah

6)     I’m on the highway to hell - on the highway to hell

7)     highway to hell - I’m on the highway to hell


b.      Only the very very very bad go there


1)     You know, like Hitler, and Benito Mussolini, and Idi Amin, Satanists like Anton Lavey, mass murderers like Thomas Hamilton who killed 15 5,6 year olds at the Dunblane Primary School on 13 March 1996

2)     Those kind of people go to hell! At least many think so!


c.       It is only a “state of mind” – not really real – just separation from God – and that is not that bad!


1)     Every recent Pope including John Paul 2nd, and Francis say this!

2)     Every psychologist says this


d.      They say that life here on earth is the real hell – that sure is popular!

e.       Anything but the truth!


2.      To those who say, "hell is right here on earth," you haven't seen the half of it. Think about it.


a.       No matter how bad things seem here on earth, your life here will some day end. You will live what? 60 years? 70,80,90 years? Then your death would put an end to this earthly so-called hell. Death is your “wonderful” escape.

b.      But the real hell which awaits those who have no Saviour – who have never been born again – THAT HELL, IS NEVER OVER.

c.       Jesus in Matthew 25:46 tells us, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

d.      And in Revelation 14:11 we read, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night..."

e.       Ladies and gentlemen, a heart attack cannot end the true hell. Nothing will put an end to the torment of the real placed called ‘hell’.

f.        Your worst experience here on earth pales in comparison to the place called hell that Jesus spoke of. There is no comparison!


3.      Do you realise what the worst problem really is? That the majority of ‘Christians’ don’t believe in hell anymore! Not really!

4.      If you do not believe in hell, you obviously have not read your Bible, and, secondly, in denying the existence of hell, you are calling Jesus a liar.


B.     The Bible’s Teaching About Hell - Extensive



2.      Jesus made it clear that hell is real and that you should do everything possible to avoid going there.

3.      The Parable of the Wheat and Tares (Matthew 13: 24-30).


a.       The kingdom of heaven is like:


1)      A man, Planting good seed, In HIS field

2)      During the night, His enemy, Planted tares – "darnel weeds" – tares are fake wheat stalks. it was illegal by the Romans  to do this to your enemy because it was such a bad thing! It would starve out a community

3)      AMONG the good seed – intermingled them

4)      Both wheat and tares appeared to grow together, but the farm workers discerned right away that there was not only wheat in the field. They wondered if they should start separating them from the wheat

5)      The Farmer declared, No because they would pull of the wheat along with the tares

6)      The conclusion was to WAIT and let both grow together. At harvest, it will be easy to tell the difference then!

7)      THEN you will burn the tares!


b.      The Parable Explained (13:36-43)


1)      The sower / farmer is Jesus

2)      The field is the whole world

3)      The good seed are the children of the kingdom – followers of God

4)      But the tares are the children of the wicked one – Pharisees, Sadducees (John 8:44) – the religious fakers

5)      The enemy that sowed them is the DEVIL

6)      The harvest is the end of the world - Armageddom

7)      And the reapers are the angels (see Rev 14:14-19)

8)      As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

9)      Hell fire is for:


a)      Tares, fakers, frauds, liars, reprobates – those who refuse to get into God’s kingdom

b)      All things that offend GOD, and sin – that go against God

c)      There shall be wailing and gnashing of TEETH – what are TEETH doing in HELL and how are they gnashing, and burning, if it is only the grave?!


c.       THEN, at the beginning of the millennium, at the establishment of the kingdom of heaven will the righteous shine forth!


4.      Luke 12:4-5, "And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”

5.      Matthew 5:29-30, "And if thy right eye offend thee (if it is causing you to sin against God), pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."

6.      And Jesus illustrated in a very dramatic way that you should do whatever you have to do to keep yourself from hell. It is better to give up something (or someone) now than to hold on to those things (or people) and suffer eternal loss in hell later.

7.      And I don't know about you, but since Jesus said that hell is real, I'm going to believe Him and heed His warning.

8.      The Problem is not with God – it is  with People – we are part of the reason why hell exists


C.      The Purpose of Hell


1.      One main purpose of hell is RIGHTEOUS JUSTICE against wrongs!


a.       That justice would be served upon all that do wrong!

b.      The Judgment of Satan and his angels brings justice (Isaiah 14:12-15)


1)     Mat 25:41  “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”

2)     In Rev. 14:10-11 it describes their experience, "he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. 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."

3)     This describes the final location of the devil, and those who followed him willingly or by being deceived.


c.       The Judgment of Sinners


1)     Hell was made for the devil and his angels, it was not first intended for man. But hell has plenty of room for all who reap the consequences of their sins!

2)     Lawbreakers, sinners, the unholy, ungodly (those that are not like God)

3)     Judgment of those that OFFEND God! Mat 13:41,42  “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

4)     We all break God’s laws – we owe God for MANY crimes against HIM (James 2:10) – guilty of all!

5)     But modern man is only worried about offending other people


a)     Don’t won’t to racially offend someone

b)     Don’t want to offend the homosexual crowd

c)      Don’t want to offend other religions and cults – no no!

d)     You could be sued and taken to court and be punished!!!

e)     BUT! What about offending the all holy Creator God of this universe?!


6)     There IS evil, that MUST be judged!


a)     Richard Dawkins doesn’t believe anything is evil – just not acceptable right now – give it time!

b)     The MAXIMUM time a person now can spend in prison here for a violent crime is only 10 years,unless it is murder!!!

c)      Mandatory “Life imprisonment” for murder only lasts and AVERAGE of 12 years here in Ireland!

d)     Mankind does not know about justice! But GOD does!


7)     We are dealing with eternity here!

8)     Eternal life, or eternal damnation!

9)     No purgatory, no limbo, no time out for good behaviour – only Hell!


d.      But there is a second reason for this awful place called hell…


2.      The Second Purpose for Hell is the Fear of God


a.       No one takes God seriously unless they know He has authority

b.      God is not this old man who just waves off all our sin and just “loves” everybody in spite of the evil we do!

c.       No! God is the absolute righteous judge, who knows what’s in your heart, what you have said, what you have done, and will judge you for EVERY THING that was ever wrong!

d.      Pro 16:6  By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”

e.       2Cor 5:11 “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men!


3.      The third purpose of hell is to convince us that the consequences of our sinful lifestyles, and rebellious attitudes against God is not worth it!


D.     The Reality of Hell


1.      Deu 4:24  For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

2.      Heb 12:28, 29 “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (WHY?) For our God is a consuming fire.”

3.      Deu 32:21,22  “They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.”

4.      Mat 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

5.      2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 also shows us that those who die without believing in Christ will go to hell: "Them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power."

6.      So, anyone who dies without repenting of their sin and asking Christ to be their Saviour and Lord will end up in hell.

7.      Keep in mind that there is no sin too big that Jesus' sacrifice cannot cover it. But if you insist on rejecting Christ’s attempt to save your soul, and you die in your sins, these verses show you the fate that awaits you:


a.       A Second Death – infinitely worse than any death you can experience here! Revelation 21:8, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

b.      The judgment of GOD. Psalms 9:17, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."

c.       You will miss heaven! 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

d.      Righteous Torment, for all eternity! Revelation 14:11, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."


E.      The Only Way of Escape


1.      Is salvation actually possible? (Matthew 7:13,14)


a.       Jesus said few there be that will find life

b.      Many will go into destruction (hell)


2.      JESUS made it possible!


a.       Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

b.      John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

c.       There are a lot of so-called good people who are going to find themselves in hell, and there are a lot of people that this world would label as bad, who are going to make it to heaven. Why is that?

d.      Because the only truly "good" thing that you can do that counts towards your salvation is to repent and accept Christ’s death in your place as enough to pay for all your sins against such a holy and righteous God.

e.       Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Believe ONLY on Him! Not on your best efforts, your religion, your baptism! They will do NOTHING for you in the day of wrath!

f.        When you accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour, your name is written in the Book of Life. If you die and your name isn't written in the Book of life, Revelation 20:15 warns "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."


3.      Listen to a sinner's praise! Psa 86:13  For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”

4.      THAT is the GOOD news!


III.    Application – Hell is Why We Persuade Men


A.      Hell ought to have an effect on US


1.      It ought to scare everybody – I want to scare the hell out of everyone of you!


a.       I am so glad for a place called ‘heaven’!

b.      But heaven doesn’t motivate people to humble themselves before God!

c.       But HELL will!


1)     Some, save with fear… Jud 1:22,23  And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

2)     Some people try and talk about God’s love and grace and goodness

3)     But they ignore the very reason why hell exists – because of sin in us!

4)     The world needs to hear hell preached! The WORLD uses the word hell more than Christians do!

5)     They need to see sinners fleeing once again from the wrath to come!

6)     Have YOU any fear of God? Not just reverence, but TERROR?


d.      My job is to preach the whole counsel, the whole Bible

e.       That includes all the negative stuff too!

f.        So, I preach it so that you can be saved!


2.      It ought to humble us – we FALL at the presence of God almighty – HE is LORD

3.      It ought to motivate us, to care about a whole world going to hell


a.       I preach the realness of hell so some young men and women would care to obey the Lord Jesus and go out into the highways and hedges and compel people to get born again before it is too late! Eternally too late!


1)     Rom 10:11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

2)     Rom 10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

3)     Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

4)     Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

5)     Rom 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!


b.      Paul walked and travelled 10,000 miles to tell people of a Saviour from the wrath to come

c.       Peter travelled throughout Israel and out to Babylon

d.      Thomas to India

e.       They all went and preached

f.        Not because people loved their message

g.       But because they loved people’s souls! And wanted people saved!


B.      Let’s let the reality of hell motivate us today! Who will YOU warn about hell, and who will you win to Christ this week?