I went down, down, down, into what felt like falling into a dark and narrow well. I couldn’t stop myself and the walls were beyond my reach. It was like plunging into a void with no bottom. The longer I fell, the hotter it got.
Suddenly, the fall into the well turned into a cavern that spread into an unending distance in every direction. I descended even further into the deep darkness and suffocating heat.
I saw the gates of hell. It was an entranceway, but it was more sinister than anything I ever imagined. The gates looked so hideous that no one would ever dare to touch it. The creatures portrayed on the gates seemed to move with my approach. Guarding the gate were dreadful demon creatures with many heads and tails. They were there to forbid anyone from getting too close to the gates or from leaving them once someone entered them.
As I approached the gateway, I could see on the other side the masses of human beings in a place of fire like a volcano of molten rock. The wails and screams coming from the people were overpowering. I felt all strength leave my limbs as I approached the excruciating heat. The people kept screaming out my name and telling me not to enter the gates, but I couldn’t stop myself. An unseen evil power forced me forward through the barrier.
People were burning up without dying. Fiery worms were crawling in and out of their never-dying bodies, and the stench of rotten burning flesh was nauseating! I kept vomiting, I didn’t know what the ghoulish goo coming out of me was, but each time I threw up I writhed in excruciating pain, and then I hurled again. It never stopped.
Ominous words above the gate were etched in hideous stones that glowed darkly with the reflection of hellish fire. The words leaped in giant relief, and a strange and utterly offensive substance oozed from each letter to the ground.
I just glanced without reading, but the words read themselves to me and seared my mind like a branding iron.
ALL WHO ENTER HERE WILL SUFFER THE FIRES OF HADES AND A FURTHER SECOND DEATH IN THE LAKE OF FIRE FOREVER AND EVER. YOU ARE ENTERING THE GARBAGE HEAP OF ALL REALMS, THE PLACE OF THE DEAD, THOSE DEAD TO GOD AND TO HIS SON. YOU ARE ABANDONED. NO PRAYERS ARE HEARD, AND THERE IS NO ESCAPE.
I looked closer at the people as I passed through the pernicious gates. My eyesight was failing, and it got so black before me that I could no longer see my extremities. The only light I could see was a momentary glance as the fire burned me and the ghoulish worms ate me up. I could see people in the distance in suffering and torment that was unfathomable. I could hear their blood curdling screams of pain. Oh, the horrors! I could not communicate with them even as I screamed in pain. I felt the horrendous pain shoot through me over and over in never ending crescendos of hate, loneliness, and hopelessness.
In all my life upon the earth, I never felt a chill darken my soul like this place of torment. I never felt the utter despair of eternal torment like I felt at that moment. All hope was gone. I would never see my family or friends, and I was hopelessly lost forever with no way out! Oh God, if only I could warn my family. If only I could tell my friends that there is heaven to gain and a very real hell to shun!
Momentarily, I glanced up and saw the wretched beggar Lazarus that used to sit by my gate and beg for my help. I had so much in life, but I squandered my chance for deliverance by denying God and His commandments. Yet, what is this I see? Lazarus is seated next to somebody up there. Who is that?
Suddenly, I knew! It is father Abraham! Maybe he will have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue! I am tormented in these flames!
I called desperately with all the strength I had, but no one answered. I could see them, and they looked happy. They were not in torment! Lazarus had on the most beautiful clothes I ever saw. “Father Abraham, please send Lazarus to me! Please send Lazarus to me!” I cried and screamed. No help came…. But then, there was a small window opened to me to where Abraham and Lazarus were…
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen andfared sumptuously every day.20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,21 desiring to be fed withthe crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.22 So it was that the beggar died and was carried by the angels toAbraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.24 “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.’ 25 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. 26 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.’ 27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 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.” (Luke 16:19-31 NKJV)
That was not a parable. Parables were always stated in generalities and personal names were not used when telling them. Lazarus and that rich man were real people. The story was about two men in the area where Jesus was preaching. Jesus saw what happened to them after death in the unseen realm.
Yes, I took creative license with the story and retold it with my own descriptions. Notice that it is still based on the Scriptural teaching about Hades, and then the final resting place of hell and death, the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, the place of eternal punishment. (See Revelation 20:10-15, 21:8.) Hades is a temporary holding cell until the final judgment, and the lake of fire is the eternal abode of the damned. Make no mistake about it, those in Hades will receive their final judgment and be thrown into the lake of fire. Once in Hades, it’s bye-bye for eternity. Eternity has no end, just like it has no beginning. It is a horror beyond all horrors. Nothing can be compared on earth, regardless of the tragedy, to eternity in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. I hear people all the time talk about the hell they went through. Others say they are going through hell. It’s NOTHING compared to eternal separation in the place of eternal torment.
Waiting until you die and are in hell’s flames and torment for eternity are not the place to try to get out of hell! It would be too late to get out! There is no redo! Once a person dies, it is judgement time! (Hebrews 9:27) Let me say it again in a slightly different way. There is an immediate judgment for each person that dies, and they are ushered into heaven in God’s presence, or they are incarcerated in Hades. Hades is not the end for them. Something worse is coming that is called the Second Death or the eternal lake of fire and brimstone. People will be finally judged for their lives upon the earth and the records will reveal what they did against God and show that they rejected God’s gift in Jesus.
The way to get out of going to a devil’s hell is by repentance if you are backslid or if you have never received Jesus as Lord and Savior. It all begins with repentance.
Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 NKJV)
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19 NKJV)
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:30, 31 NKJV)
Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. (Acts 8:22 NKJV)
As a side note, this was addressed to Simon (Bar Jesus) who had already converted to the Lord. Acts 8:22 was addressed to a “born-again” and water-baptized Christian believer. Simon had allowed wickedness back into his heart and he needed to repent. Let’s get it correctly in our thinking. Initial repentance of sin is a part of believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confessing Him as Lord (Romans 10:9). After that, if a Christian sins, we still have access to the eternal blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (See 1 John 1:7-10, 2:1, 2.)
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:30 NKJV)
…But declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. Acts 26:20
Yes, there is a heaven to gain by receiving what Jesus did for us through His sacrifice and by living for Him according to His Word and His moral guidelines. There is also a hell to shun. You do not want to perish and go there! God wants all people to repent so they don’t perish! (2nd Peter 3:9, Luke 13:3, 5)
Choose life (Jesus) so that you and your seed may live! Don’t choose the curse, darkness, and eternal death brought on by rebellion to the Lord and His Word! (Deuteronomy 30:19,20; John 3:16) That is the ONLY way you get out of going to a devil’s hell!
Some may be thinking, “Oh but that is narrow thinking and way too exclusive. Don’t you think that in God’s mercy He provided many ways to get to Him?” Absolutely not! Jesus stated about Himself that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one can come to God except through Him! (John 14:6) Read it and adjust your thinking to the truth. There are not hundreds of ways but ONLY one way to the Father, and His name is Jesus.
Yes, it’s a very narrow way.
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. 14 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 NKJV)
It is so narrow that few there are that find it when you compare the broad way of the world of sin and darkness. Sadly, most human beings on the planet will go to hell, but you can be very happy and full of joy with the good news I am sharing with you today. You can avoid hell and gain God and all He provided through Jesus. Then, you can tell others about it if you are still alive on this earth.
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.(Romans 10:9, 10 NKJV)
After you do that, then there are everyday matters to live the Christian life. You must become obedient to God’s Word and His MORAL commandments in Scripture. Making Jesus your Lord means that you submit to His Word and obey His moral commandments. Too many miss that part about living in obedience to the Word.
7 Those who keep on doing good and are looking for His greatness and honor will receive life that lasts forever. 8 Those who love only themselves and do not obey the truth, but do what is wrong, will be punished by God. His anger will be on them. (Romans 2:7, 8 NLV)
The same verses in another translation:
He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness... NLT
And one more for the road:
…praise, honor, and immortality to those who continue in doing good and seek eternal life; but to those who are rebellious, and reject the truth, and follow iniquity, will come indignation and wrath… NMB
That is not Paul’s teaching on salvation by works, but it is teaching about good works (obedience to God’s commandments) and doing what is right according to God’s truth- His Word (not YOUR truth) AFTER you receive Jesus as your Lord. That is probably one of the most misunderstood New Testament teachings. No, you didn’t receive Jesus via good works. We received God’s gift in Christ as the sacrifice for our sins, but there is more to it than that concerning eternal life. We must lay hold of eternal life so that it doesn’t get away from us. (1st Timothy 6:12)
Here’s the issue.
You stay saved by doing what is right according to the covenant AFTER your first encounter with Jesus as Lord and Savior. You don’t receive Jesus and then live like a sinner every day. That would nullify in your life your initial reception of His salvation. It is a devilish idea that if you practice sin as a Christian that grace will cover your sin and you will still go to heaven WITHOUT repentance. Practicing sin without repentance and cleansing from that sin by the blood of Jesus will keep a person from inheriting the kingdom of God.
Now the deeds of the flesh are clear: sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, just as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. (Galatians 5:19-21 TLV)
The New English Translation (NET) states the last sentence like this: “Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!” I found at least 12 other translations that use the word practice besides the NET, and some use the words indulge, continue, and live that way. That is the correct way that last sentence should be translated. If you have fallen for any of these things as a Christian, IF you repent, then you can still go to heaven or inherit the kingdom of God. These verses warn Christians that practicing or making a lifestyle out of any of these sins will cause a person to be left out of the kingdom of God. There will be no welcoming committee in heaven for the Christian that practices sin without repentance. Paul taught that, but it is not the only place he mentions that truth.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals,thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. (1st Corinthians 6:9-10 NET)
I’ve heard the Biblically ignorant state, “That was speaking to the unrighteous, and in Christ Jesus I am righteous. So, that refers to the world and not to me.” Wrong! The context of these verses is Paul correcting Christians for defrauding fellow believers, and then it is followed by an exhortation commanding believers to flee from sexual immorality. The unrighteous in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 is referring to the unrepentant Christian that has yielded to sin and continues to practice it.
But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. (1st John 1:9 NET)
John is speaking to fellow believers and what to do if we sin. After we confess our sins to the Lord, He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all UNRIGHTOEUSNESS. Wait, but I thought that we were the righteousness of God in Christ! Why be cleansed from all UN-righteousness? It’s really simple. The righteousness that a Christian has in Christ, that righteousness they received upon their salvation, is conditional and not automatic. Our right standing with God is always conditional. The Christian’s position in that righteousness will be negatively impacted by unrighteous behavior, lawlessness, or sin. The person that sins must receive forgiveness and cleansing from that which is against righteousness.
It is a dangerous place to remain in sin because it connects a person with the unrighteous. Paul warns that if a person stays there and continues to practice that sin, whatever it may be, they are going to be rejected from the kingdom (rule and reign) of God. That means that the practitioner of lawlessness (not subject and obedient to God’s law or commandments of a moral nature) will hear the terrible words of rejection from the lips of the Lord in Matthew 7:23, “I never knew you;depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
In case you have any question about what practicing lawlessness means:
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; indeed, sin is lawlessness. (1st John 3:4)
Get straightened out with the following verses from any heretical mindset. It will work IF you will receive the Word of God on the subject.
And because lawlessness (sin is lawlessness – 1st John 3:4) will abound, the love of many will growcold.But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 24:12, 13 NKJV)
Only those that serve the Lord and obey His Word to the end will be saved. Note the condition. He who endures to the end shall be saved. Salvation is conditional. Enduring to the end means that when the end comes, you will not be practicing sin or lawlessness. That should be clear enough, but there are many more verses, so I will give you a few more.
But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end… For we have become partakers of Christ IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end… (Hebrews 3:6, 14 NKJV)
We are His house IF (it’s conditional) we hold fast to the end! Wishy-washy Christians that die in their sins are left out of this equation. The unrepentant Christian is left out.
The other conditional statement in verse 14 about salvation is as clear as the first one in verse 6. We are partakers of Christ IF we hold fast the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end. In other words, and so that there are no mistakes in interpretation, it is not only how we began our life in Christ when we first believed, but it is how we wind up at the end of our lives (“to the end”). That is the moment of judgment, either to an eternal separation from God, or to an eternal bliss in the presence of the Lord. Again, note the conditional statements concerning our salvation.
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.By this gospel you are saved, IF you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1st Corinthians 15:1, 2 NIV)
You are saved by the gospel only IF you hold firmly to that Word. If you don't, then your believing is in vain! I feel sorry for those that continue to espouse a damnable once-saved-always-saved heretical theology! Salvation in Christ is conditional! It always has been conditional and always will be.
The next few verses will overturn the devilish thinking that that one can practice sin without responsibility or consequences.
Let me set up the next verse by asking the question, “Is Jesus the author of eternal salvation for everybody?”
…He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Hebrews 5:9 NKJV)
Nobody gets eternal salvation except those that obey Jesus!
Here is another statement on the subject from the lips of Jesus:
Not everyone who says to Me,‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he whodoes the will of My Father in heaven.Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have wenot prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’Andthen I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)
You can’t practice lawlessness and expect to hear, “Welcome to heaven and have a glorious eternity!” Be very cautious with these verses. They are no-nonsense. Even if you confessed His Lordship, and even had a part in supernatural ministry, but then reneged on your faith and practiced wickedness without repentance, you will hear the terrible words from the Master, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!”
Do we see an immediate example of that in the Gospels? Yes, we see that happening to Judas Iscariot. He was sent and anointed by Jesus as an apostle, ministered supernaturally (Matthew 10:1-8), but he betrayed Jesus and was lost for eternity because he never repented and turned from his wickedness and committed suicide. (See Matthew 26:14-16; 27:3-5) Matthew 27:3 says that when Judas saw what he had done and realized he was condemned that he was remorseful for his sin. Being remorseful or feeling bad over your sin may be a part of repentance, but real repentance turns away from wickedness, turns back to God, and seeks His forgiveness and cleansing from it. I wrote that last part of the sentence in bold and italics to emphasize what real repentance does.
Look at the awful things king David did in the Bathsheba incident (Second Samuel chapters 11 and 12). He committed premeditated murder, theft, adultery, treachery, covetousness, lying, and probably a host of other sins. Talk about being guilty, David messed up in ways that many have never done, and yet he was forgiven and restored. See Psalms 51 for David's prayer of repentance and petitioning God for forgiveness and cleansing. It reminds us of 1 John 1:8-10! Most likely John had Psalms 51 in mind when writing 1 John 1:9. David's restoration and forgiveness were so complete that he married Bathsheba. God blessed the union because Bathsheba was the mother of king Solomon, the very blood line from where Messiah came! Wow!
No matter what sins you committed, there can be complete and total forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration. David and Bathsheba are great examples of that truth. They are a demonstration of the great love, compassion, and grace of God!
Now, compare that to king Saul and how he was confronted on a few occasions for his sins (ex. 1st Samuel 26). There was no real repentance. He only had remorse and the sorrow as the world feels when they do something wrong. He wound up visiting a medium (1st Samuel 28), never repenting of sins, and he died by falling on his own sword (1st Samuel 31).
Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.(2nd Corinthians 7:9-10 NKJV)
Feelings of sorrow like the world has only leads to death. That is what happened to Saul and Judas Iscariot. Godly sorrow that leads to a real repentance is what works. That is what David had!
Here is an important instruction about those that truly know the Lord.
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. (1st John 2:3-5 NKJV)
Keeping or obeying His commandments is at the center of knowing the Lord when you are a Christian. A Christian that lives in a consistent breaking or violation of God’s commandments does not know the Lord. I am speaking about those commandments in Scripture that reveal living moral or righteous life before God. I am not referring to any commandment in Scripture exclusively given to Israel or commanded concerning the Levitical priesthood, Temple worship, animal sacrifice, feasts and festivals, and other ceremonial type commandments. Do you know what I am referring to?
If you have not been taught about the clear distinction in the Bible between moral and ceremonial commandments, you must be taught it correctly. Here is my Scriptural contribution on this important subject. It’s a free 62-page PDF document. Get it here: Did the Grace of God Cancel Biblical Commandments?
Paul, when writing to the Corinthian church, stated it like this:
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but obeying God’s commandments is everything. (1st Corinthians 7:19 ISV)
The true follower of Jesus is described in Revelation 14:12 (NET) in this way:
This requires the steadfast endurance of the saints—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to their faith in Jesus.
There you also have the true definition of a “saint”. It’s not one canonized by the Catholic church. A saint is the one that is steadfast and enduring in their obedience to God’s commandments and holds to their faith in Jesus. No canonization is needed!
Once you make up your mind to be a follower of Jesus for the rest of your life, the next thing is to be baptized in water as evidence of your glorious decision for the Lord. (Acts 2:38; 1st Peter 3:21 NET) Then, you MUST find a church that never closed their doors for the Covid tyrannical nonsense and refused to open the door to the spirit of antichrist. If possible, you should be a part of a church that NEVER caved to the Covid mess. (Hebrews 10:26) The only way I would ever go to a church that bowed their knee to the Covid mess would be IF the pastor publicly repents for yielding to the devil!
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