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3 Things in Hell that you
Should Find in Every Baptist Church!

by Pastor Shelton Cole
Faith Baptist Church
Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Text: Luke 16:19-31

" There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And 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 amtormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come fromthence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, theywill repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."

Introduction:

When I first began the thoughts for this sermon, my family offered suggestions about some things that some of the things that are in hell that you should find in every Baptist Church. Fire was one of them as I recall. Another good one is tongues on fire. Someone suggested deacons. While we might make light of this, I want to drive home today that this sermon is a very serious subject.

In our text there are two characters. The one wakes to everlasting comfort and the other opens his eyes in eternal torment. Yet, even in this agony he is able to demonstrate 3 brilliant beacons for us to heed and follow.

I want you to note that today's text is not just another story. It is not a parable either. A parable, like Jesus often used, has no named characters, and usually speaks in metaphors not actual events. This account is the real account of man going to hell.

Theme: 3 Things in Hell that you Should Find in Every Baptist Church

I. Tears

Luke 16:23-24, "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried ... "

Mat 8:12, "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Illustration:

Uncle John Vassar, "one of the greatest soul-winners of his century." was going from door to door distributing tracts and speaking with people as opportunity came. An Irish woman heard of this strange man who was entering the houses of the town without introduction, and said, "If he comes to my door he shall not be kindly treated." The next day, with no knowledge of the threat, he rang her bell. When she recognized him she slammed the door in his face. Nothing daunted, he sat upon the doorstep and sang (and perhaps wept):

"But drops of grief can ne'er repay

The debt of love I owe;

Here, Lord I give myself away;

'Tis all that I can do."

A few weeks later this woman was saved and as she gave account of her salvation to the church she could barely say between her sobs, "Twas those drops of grief. They burned themselves into my heart."

A. Moving ahead in every endeavor with tears of sacrifice, grief, and joy.

Note: If you never do anything for the Lord which people might revile you for or you do not put your heart into your effort you will never be grieved.

Psa 126:5-6, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

Acts 20:31, "Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years Iceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."

B. Doing the right thing in love even in times of conflict and trouble.

2 Cor 2:4, "For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you."

Theme: 3 Things in Hell that you Should Find in Every Baptist Church:

I. Tears

II. Prayer

Luke 16:27, "Then he said, I pray ... "

Illustration:

George Mueller, the prince of intercessors prayer for more than half a century for a group of five personal friends. The first was saved after 5 years. Two came to Christ after 10 years of prayer. After 25 years the fourth man came to know the Lord. The fifth he prayed for up until the time of his death, and two months after he died this last one got saved.

A. Personal Prayer offered up by each Christian in the church is vital.

Acts 2:42, "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine andfellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

B. Corporate Prayer in our Church is vital to our existence for it brings upon us:

1. The power of God

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

2. The presence and blessing of God

Acts 12:12, "And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying."

Theme: 3 Things in Hell that you Should Find in Every Baptist Church:

I. Tears

II. Prayer

III. Concern for the Lost

Luke 16:28, "For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment."

Illustration:

Great men of faith and mission in the past had one thing in common that made them successful in God's eyes. It was a heart that was broken for lost souls. A heart that would pay any price to see souls saved.

George Whitefield, the famous English evangelist said, "O, Lord give me souls, or take my soul!"

David Brainerd, missionary to the North American Indians, said, "Lord, to Thee I dedicate myself. O accept me and let me be Thine forever. Lord, I desire nothing else, I desire nothing more."

John Hunt, a missionary to the Fiji Islands, a prayer upon his dying bed: "Lord, save Fiji, save Fiji, save these people, O Lord; have mercy upon Fiji; save Fiji!"

Jim Elliot wrote in his diary, "God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life, that I may burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God for it is Thine. I seek not a long life but a full one, like You Lord Jesus.""

The Church that does the following things will be a powerful and influential Church in the community and in the World.

A. Captures the reality of Hell

B. Realize that their life is not theirs to live but God's to control.

C. Places their heart within the framework of the Church that Jesus loved died for.

Theme: 3 Things in Hell that you Should Find in Every Baptist Church:

I. Tears

II. Prayer

III. Concern for the Lost

When was the last time you wept over your sinfulness, or grieved over the lost loved ones in your family? Why aren't you ever in prayer meeting with the Church? What is your excuse for not trying to win people to Christ?

Invitation:

Let every head be bowed and every eye closed. If you cannot point to a time and place where you remember trusting Christ as Saviour and praying for God save you from your sin, I want to talk to you this morning. With your head bowed, listen to me. Would you like to know 100% sure that when you died you will go to heaven? No one looking around but me and God would you raise your hand if you would like to know that and I will pray privately for you.

Christian, people in Hell today are crying and praying for you to go to their lost loved ones and tell them. Where are your tears Christian? Where is your prayers? Where is your heart? Today, you know the decision that God would have you to make today. Maybe you have never been baptized, obey God today and be baptized. Maybe you need a church home, a family of believer you can call your own, a pastor you trust, if you are not a member of a church you don't have any of those. You may need to rededicate your life to Christ, be involved, do something for God. Won't you come and share it with me today and let us pray. You come.


Send comments to Shelton Cole
Published 10/31/95