Wednesday, May 7, 2014

LifeShape Prayer & Discipleship Module 4 – The Future Block 5 – The Devil and Hell

LifeShape Prayer & Discipleship
        Module 4 – The Future
        Block 5 – The Devil and Hell

The Old Testament was originally written in the Hebrew language while the New Testament was primarily written in Greek. A serious study of the scriptures will at some point necessitate a reference be made to the original meaning of some word as it was spoken and meant to be understood in its mother language.

The Bible you know and read is a translation of the best manuscripts available at the time that particular version was translated. As languages evolve with time and words take on different meanings, translations of the scriptures, although closely guarded by both God and man, can offer the comparative reader with shades of meanings and at times a studious challenge to understand the Holy Spirit’s original intent.

Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth as we read the Word of God. Whether reading the King James Version, the New King James Version, the English Standard Version, the New International Version, the Amplified Bible or the New Living Translation, or one of the many other versions translated into a different language, we can still gain a consistently accurate rendering of the scriptures from simply reading each verse as it fits into context with the one message the Bible is telling.

Anyone who has access to a commonly approved version of either the Old or New Testaments can come to know and be skilled in God’s Word. Although some versions may use one word in a scripture and a different version use another, the choice of those differing words are current day attempts to best convey the truth and the original meaning to its readers.

Tonight we are going to survey the scriptures and discuss both the devil and hell. Some of the verses we will cover may use differing words to describe our topics. Whether your Bible chooses to use the word “hell” or “Hades” or “Gehenna” or “Sheol” or simply, “the Pit” – these are all references to the same place and the same predicament – separation from God in a place of torment after death, reserved to, and awaiting the final judgment of the soul. Hades is a place of thick darkness where the worm never dies and the fire is never quenched. That’s hell …

Jesus gives us a glimpse of both heaven and hell prior to His death, burial and resurrection in the account of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. A simple reading of this passage reveals that the souls of men are received into either heaven or hell immediately after death and there will be no changing places after that point. Eternal decisions are only made on earth.

Hell is the place you do not want to go. It is real! God would not have crucified His only Son to save you from a place that did not exist!

Hell was not created nor intended to be occupied by the souls of mankind. Eternal torment in darkness forever was created for the devil and his angels. Jesus spoke concerning the final judgment of the souls of man in:

Matthew 25:41  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.”

The devil, satan, that old serpent, the enemy of your soul, is a rebellious, pride-filled fallen angel who was once a trusted servant of God. The devil no longer wanted to serve and support God and decided that he had rather do things his way. The devil sowed discord among the angel servants of God and drew many by deception to follow his mutiny. God cast the devil out of heaven along with those angels who supported the rebellion. This divided heaven and a war has ensued ever since.

As if it was not bad enough to have rebelled against the One who had loved him and cared and provided for him, the devil further brought division to the family of God in the earth. This sneaky serpent began to talk directly to God’s children in the Garden of Eden and succeeded in deceiving Eve. She stopped trusting God and His Word and rather decided to do her own thing and she rebelled. She further divided Adam and others from the loving and caring relationship they could have had with their Father.

God hates rebellion and all rebellion is of the devil. God decided that the penalty for causing this division in His family was eternal damnation in a lake of fire and brimstone that would burn forever and ever. One day the devil and his angels will be cast into that lake that was prepared for them and unfortunately, so will all the souls of mankind who have refused to trust God and accept the forgiveness and salvation that only comes through Jesus the Messiah. Until then the souls of these men wait in hell.

Today the devil is still deceiving people. He hates God and he hates God’s human creation. The greatest deceptions he can master is to lead people to believe there is no God, or no devil, or no hell, or no penalty for sin – especially for the sin of simply doing things your own way – rebellion!

One day there will be a final judgment – we will talk about that in a few weeks – but until the final judgment … there is hell. Hell is a temporary holding place where the lost souls of man and hordes of demons reside awaiting the final judgment. Hell is a place of great torment.

2 Peter 2
4  For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
5  and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;
6  and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;
7  and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked
8  (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)  — 
then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

Jesus admonished us:

Matthew 10:28  "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Sad to say, hell has enlarged herself and the pit which has gotten bigger will never be satisfied. It will burn but will never be consumed.

Isaiah 5:14  Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

At the final judgment hell itself will have fulfilled its purpose and it will be cast into the lake of fire forever. That’s what the book of Revelation says:

Revelation 20
13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

There is “Good News” however! God has not left you without a Savior.

Key Scripture: Revelation 1:18  I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Important Points
1.  There is a devil and he does not like you.
1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (deceive & divide)
2.  There is a hell but it was not designed for you.
3.  Upon death, the soul of a person goes immediately to heaven or to hell.
4.  Once in hell, a person cannot get out.
5.  Good News, people don’t have to go to hell!

Supporting Scriptures
        Revelation 12:9&10     Genesis 3:1ff      Matthew 4:1ff
        Matthew 13:39           1 John 3:8         Hebrews 2:4

        Revelation 20:13         Isaiah 14:15       Matthew 16:18