Matthew 25:31-46 New King James Version (NKJV)
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
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: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Jesus is in Jerusalem speaking to the masses. (I would have made the passage in red, but today I don’t have access to my computer and I’m writing this whole thing on my phone. That is why I have missed the past two days of devotions) He has been preaching to the multitudes the truth and winning disciples. This passage is the last of the things He preaches in Jerusalem before the Pharisees plot to kill Him. He is speaking of the Judgement Day. He has been speaking of the Tribulation and the Endtimes. Here He clearly lays out that some will be cast into Hell.
The first thing we should look at is whether or not Hell actually exists. There is an abundance of scriptural evidence for the existence of Hell. Revelation 21:8 says, “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”
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God.” Psalms 9:17 NKJV
“in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,” II Thessalonians 1:8-9 NKJV
To deny the existence of Hell is deny the Word of God. Even those who claim we should only listen to Christ’s direct word cannot deny the existence of Hell.
Why Would God Send People There?
There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power. But it has the full support of Scripture and, specially, of Our Lord’s own words; it has always been held by Christendom; and it has the support of reason
– C.S. Lewis
I have a huge habit of seeing the best in people and assuming the best. I believe people want to be good and nice. That I know people are not good, however, is what helps me not to get hurt as much as my naive hope would let me.
This belief of mine surely makes me wish all people would go to Glory with Him in the End. It is easy to ask “Why would a loving God send anyone to Hell.” The simple answer, if that question can have a simple answer, is that He is a perfectly just God as well as a loving God.
If we truly accept that there is no on righteous, no not one, then we understand that we all deserve Hell. For we know sin cannot be in the presence of God. When we sin, the sin leaves a mark on our souls. We become so unclean that in the perfect presence of God, we cannot exist.
As we saw in the last two devotions, our Loving God has provided a way to be justified in Him and enter the Kingdom. This is a matter of Faith, and the heart. We cannot be forgiven without faith. It is an acceptance of the gift.
But there are always going to be those who refuse to accept this gift. When God made us, we were originally perfect, but we were given a wonderful attribute in our creation: Free Will. This allows us to choose. He won’t force us to love Him. He wants the choice to love Him. But we are also able to choose to reject Him in sin. Those who choose to reject Him will never have their sin washed away because they cannot be justified without faith. The sin in their hearts will always be there. When we die it is too late.
““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 father’s 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.’ ””
Luke 16:19-31 NKJV
Again, from the mouth of Jesus, we hear of Hell and that it takes repentance during our lifetime. If God made a world a world without Hell, then it couldn’t be the best possible creation, because then we wouldn’t have free will.
Scripture With Scripture
“You cannot add to the Word, and you have to look at the entire scripture, you cannot ignore parts of scripture.”
I had a Bible study at my house last night and we were watching a video. The teacher (Dr Kent Hovind, The Creation Seminar)was talking about theories that tried to reconcile the Theory of Evolution with the Bible. He made the above statement.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
Believing the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, true Word of God means you must look at all of it. You cannot pick and choose to find your desired outcome. When Lee Strobel set out to disprove the Bible in the 1980’s he kept finding evidence that supported it. Finally, a coworker asked him, “what is enough evidence?” (Watch the movie “The Case For Christ” for more on that wonderful true story) He set out with a goal, letting his preconceived notions interpret his findings.
Adding to, or taking away from the Bible means we aren’t trusting fully in His word. If His Word needs more, then it isn’t infallible, and if His Word needs less, then it isn’t inerrant.
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Are you guilty of ever trying to find your truth in he Word? When you read today, ask Him to show you the truth. There is an absolute truth. Always. There are individual perceptions and an absolute Truth. Find the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.