This is the second sermon in my series of sermons – Do You Want To Go to Heaven? After introducing somebody to the bread of heaven, there is a question – a common question – that people may ask you. They will ask, “you really believe in all of that stuff?” It is the one question that is the sum of many questions. They are asking – do you really believe in God? Also – do you really believe that hell and heaven really exist?
Of course I believe in the Lord. When asked this question, I often respond, “I cannot believe that all of this – life – is random”. You see, I believe that is a Creator behind life and also believe that there is a purpose to life. I simply cannot believe that life exists at a complete random whim. Scripture (Gen 1), which I have faith in, tells us that God is responsible for life. This means that the Lord had a purpose for creating us as well.
As you have seen me say before, God wanted, and still wants to dwell with His creation. If I believe this to be true, then this also means that I believe in both heaven and hell. In today’s sermon, I want to touch on the Lord’s purpose for creating mankind, and then I want to focus on eternity once again.
The Lord’s purpose for us
Many of us search for our reason and purpose for being here in this world, right? I am a spiritual person, as you know, and I used to wonder, why did God create us? Did God create us solely to wander around in this world? How many of us have asked this question?
One day I decided to sit down and really read the bible – all 66 books of the protestant bible. During the 2 years it took for me to read all 66 books, my eyes are were opened to the answer. God, from the start, created mankind with the sole intent of dwelling with mankind. I feel like this parable of the wheat and tares expresses this really well.
Parable of the wheat and tares
Jesus, in Matthew 13, was in the midst of giving parables when He said (Matt. 13:24-25), “the kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while the man slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.” The sower, in this parable, is the Lord and the sower’s seed is mankind. The farmer plants a crop with the intent of harvesting a good crop. No farmer plants with the intent of harvesting a spoiled and rotten crop.
The enemy, however, saw what the sower had done and because he is no good, he decided to sow tares. (The enemy mentioned in this parable is the enemy of the Lord – the devil. Tares is a weed that looks similar to wheat but is of no good.) God plants with the intent of harvesting a good crop but the devil plants with the intent of ruining. I cannot think of a better description of how our world works than this parable.
Again, I say to you, that the Lord wants to dwell with mankind but look at Satan – he doesn’t want the Lord to have that happiness. Because the devil does not want God to have that joy, he does not want you to have that joy. He hopes that you get caught up in the weeds that he has sown in the world.
The sower’s servants even ask (Matt 13:28), “do you want us then to go and gather them up?” It is hard to differentiate the tares from the wheat when they are younger. So, the sower’s response is (Matt 13:29), “no, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.”
Then we see the sower say this:
Again, I tell you that God wants to dwell with mankind! Instead of uprooting us from this world, God gives us an opportunity to live a life that would lead us to dwelling in His barn! God could have uprooted His field at any time, but He chooses not to do so just so that everybody can have an opportunity. The choice is whether or not you want to be gathered into His barn.
Why was Hell created?
I tell you, again, that God is real and that heaven and hell are real places. Some will ask the question, “if God intended to dwell with us, why did He make Hell?” Let’s take a look at this place called Hell. I feel like we as believers need to know and understand this place so that when we ask somebody, “do you want to go to heaven?” we can explain the only other option.
I don’t want to confuse the Hell that I will speak of today with the Hades spoken of in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Hades (called Sheol in Hebrew) is a purgatory where all souls went to dwell prior to Christ death on the cross and His resurrection. The righteous now go to be with Christ in heaven after physical death. However, Hades is still a place of torment for the unrighteous as it is referenced in that parable.
The misconception of hell
There is, however, another hell that is spoken of in scripture. In Matthew 25:41, we are told that an everlasting fire was prepared for both Satan and his angels.
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:Matthew 25:41 NKJV
Some like to believe that the devil sits by the lake of fire today, but that is not the case. Nobody has been cast into the lake of fire yet. Satan is the prince (ruler) of this world. He is still in the world today sowing tares and casting doubt into all of mankind. However, this age is coming to an end and the day approaches when Satan will prepare to have a “final battle” with the Lord that he know he’s going to lose.
Revelation 19 tells us that the beast and false prophet are the first that will be thrown in the lake of fire. (The beast is the one known as Antichrist.)
20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.Revelation 19:20 NKJV
Then the devil will lose his “battle” and be thrown into the lake of fire as well.
10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.Revelation 20:10 NKJV
Some will ask, “is it really a lake of fire?” Let’s remember, by this point, we are no longer speaking of things on a physical plane but on a spiritual plane. This Hell is also referred to as “Outer Darkness” in scripture. Hell will be a place of everlasting torment that is no longer in the presence of the Lord.
Hell is not meant for you!
I want you to understand that the place of outer darkness was never meant for mankind! As we saw in the parable of the wheat and tares, the Lord wants to harvest you and bring you into His barn (heavenly kingdom). God gives us every opportunity to grow towards Him. However, some will choose to grow away from the Lord and become a weed. We must take scripture seriously and so, therefore, we must also take the warning messages in scripture seriously as well.
In our key verses, we read this warning:
41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.Matthew 13:41-42 NKJV
If you want to go to heaven, you must not be a cause of sin or do evil. Sin is considered to be everything that is opposite of the way of God’s righteousness. Those that choose to oppose the Lord’s way will be cast into outer darkness. This darkness will be consumed with those regretting and thinking on the error of their ways. Hell will be a place filled with nothing but anger, hatred, and wrath. There will be no place for happiness and joy. Again, there will be no place for light because the Lord will not be there.
I tell all of you, this place is not meant for you! God did not create you for the intent and purpose of you going to this place! No, the Lord our God wants you to be with Him! God wants you to know happiness, joy, and love for all the days of your eternal and spiritual life! That place of torment is not for you! Do you want to go to heaven?