ROM-439-190714 - length: 100:51 - taught on Jul, 14 2019
Infinitely worse than we could ask or imagine...the abyss.
a Christian Church
Welcome to Barah Ministries…a small, intimate, and local Christian Church with a worldwide impact. My name is Pastor Rory Clark. At Barah Ministries, our God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We make a difference by teaching the Word of God from God’s perspective, and not from man’s perspective.
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - According to the Bible Hell Has Structure
What does hell look like? Well none of us humans know for sure. We haven't been there. Bu the bible says it exists, and it's interesting to envision how it might be structured. In today's lesson, we'll do that.
In addition…just as we do every month… we’ll celebrate The Lord’s Supper. At the Cross, the Lord taught us about the other side of GRACE.
Second Corinthians, Chapter 3, Verse 17 says…
SECOND CORINTHIANS 3:17
Now God the Holy Spirit is the Lord’s agent…and where the Spirit of the Lord is…there is freedom.
It's God the Holy Spirit's job to teach free people, believers in Christ, how to be free. This is especially important because Christians love being enslaved to our lusts. Galatians, Chapter 4, Verse 3…
So also we believers in Christ…while we were children (baby believers)…were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.
Let’s listen to Austin French as he sings a FREEDOM HYMM.
MUSIC AND REFLECTION
Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ
Enjoy the Singing of His Praises
Let us pray...
We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…
Thank you for making us aware of your plan for unbelievers…
Father, help us to know the depths of misery in store for those who are choosing to go to the Lake of Fire…and give us the courage to provide them with the accurate gospel message so that God the Holy Spirit can lead them, with His supernatural power, to residence in heaven in Your presence for all eternity…
…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - According to the Bible Hell Has Structure
We continue our study of Romans, Chapter 15, Verses 14 to 21…and we are parked on the subject of evangelism. Specifically, we’re looking at what the Bible has to say about hell…The Lake of Fire…a place we believers in Christ wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies.
Like everything else God does, hell is organized. Years ago, when I was
studying Systematic Theology, I put together a slide to illustrate what I think Hades looks like. I want to be clear that this slide is biblical only to the degree that there is a biblical backup for what I have illustrated here. So, I’ll do my best to provide biblical backup without stretching the truth.
What’s important isn’t whether this illustration is the dogmatic structure of Hades…what is important is what the Bible has to say about Hades and the Lake of Fire…what is important is doing everything you can to keep friends, family, and strangers from living there for all eternity by providing them with the accurate gospel message.
In Greek mythology, Hades was the god of the dead and the king of the underworld. In the Roman pantheon, his Roman equivalent name was Pluto.
Here are the compartments of Hades I envision...
The residence of Old Testament believers up until Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Luke, Chapter 23, Verses 42 and 43…
And the repentant thief was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”
And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
THE GREAT CHASM FIXED
Described in Luke, Chapter 16, Verse 26…Abraham says to the rich man…
"…between us and you, there is a great chasm fixed…so that those (in Paradise) who wish to come over from here to you (in Torments) will not be able… and that none of you may cross over from there where you are to us.’”
The residence of unbelievers until they are thrown in The Lake of Fire.
Luke, Chapter 16, Verses 23 and 24…
"In Hades, the rich man lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away (in Paradise) and saw Lazarus (the poor man) laying in Abraham’s bosom.”
“And the rich man cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham…have mercy on me…send Lazarus here so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue…for I am in agony in this flame.’”
The residence of the fallen angels from Genesis 6 who cohabitated with women, against God’s will, creating a race of super creatures. Their goal was to wipe out true humanity. Just as they were about to be successful, the Lord wiped out the whole earth with a flood…except for eight people… Noah…his sons Ham, Sham, and Japheth…and their wives. The Lord then incarcerated this group of fallen angels in Tartarus. Genesis, Chapter 6, Verses 17 and 18…
Behold, I (the Lord), even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which there is the breath of life, from under heaven… everything that is on the earth shall perish.
But I will establish My covenant with you Noah…and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
Second Peter, Chapter 2, Verse 4…
SECOND PETER 2:4
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment…
This seems to refer to the angels of Genesis 6 because of the verses that followed. But I don’t think there is any reason to be dogmatic about this.
The maximum-security prison for the worst of the fallen angels. It is described as “the bottomless pit.” During the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth, Satan will be incarcerated there…Revelation, Chapter 20, Verses 1 to 3…
Then I (John) saw an angel (from heaven) coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.
And the angel laid hold of the dragon…the serpent of old…who is the devil and Satan…and bound him for a thousand years…
…and the angel threw Satan into the Abyss…and shut it and sealed it over him…so that he would not deceive the nations any longer…until the thousand years were completed…after these things, Satan must be released for a short time.
In Luke, Chapter 8, Verse 31…a legion of unclean spirits seemed to know about Jesus’ power and they seemed to know about this place called the abyss…
The unclean spirits were imploring Jesus not to command them to go away into the abyss.
The fallen angels who live in the Abyss will be released in the future to attack human beings during the Tribulation period. Revelation, Chapter 9, Verses 1 to 11…
Then the fifth angel sounded, and I (John) saw a star (Satan) from heaven which had fallen to the earth (expelled from heaven) and the key of the bottomless pit (The Abyss) was given to him.
In numerology, five is the number of grace. It is God’s grace being shown to unbelievers of the Tribulation period, giving them one more chance to believe.
Satan opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace…and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.
Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth…and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (unbelievers).
And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but they are allowed to torment them for five months…and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man.
And in those days, men will seek death and will not find it…they will long to die, and death flees from them.
God does not allow unbelievers to kill themselves during this time.
The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle…and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.
They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.
They had breastplates like breastplates of iron…and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots…the sound of many horses rushing to battle.
They have tails like scorpions…and stings…and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.
They have as king over them…the angel of the Abyss…his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek, he has the name Apollyon.
Satan has an inner circle. This member of his inner circle, Apollyon, has a name which means “The Destroyer.” No matter how Satan and his minions describe themselves, they have one mission…to destroy people.
Let’s take a five-minute break…when we come back, we’ll take the offering…we’ll enjoy the elements of The Lord’s Supper...and we’ll learn that God taught us about a different side of grace at the Cross.
FIVE MINUTE BREAK
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - According to the Bible Hell Has Structure
As you support us, we can support you. Thanks for your generosity and for making giving a habit. We especially need your help in the summer months.
Let’s welcome Deacon Denny Goodall with the offering message.
Deacon Denny Goodall
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.//For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU
David Bauer, Instrumental
THE LORD’S SUPPER CELEBRATION
At the Cross, the Lord Taught Us the Other Side of Grace
Welcome to The Lord’s Supper Celebration, the most intimate expression of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ in The Christian Way of Living. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ demonstrates His desire for a deep, intimate and personal relationship with His believers by creating a way to keep on sharing His body and His blood with us, just as He did with His apostles on the night before His death. Luke, Chapter 22, Verses 14 to 16…
When the hour had come (and His crucifixion was near) … the Lord Jesus Christ reclined at the Passover table…and the apostles reclined with Him.
And the Lord said to the apostles, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer … ”
“…for I say to you I (the Lord Jesus Christ) shall never again eat this Passover meal until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God the Father.”
In First Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 26, the apostle Paul says, on behalf of the Lord…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 11:26
…as often as you eat this bread (representing His body)…and as often as you drink this cup (representing His blood)…as part of the Lord’s Supper Celebration…you proclaim as a reality and you announce the significance of the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross…and His resurrection from the dead…until He comes again at the second coming.
For non-resident congregation members, you are invited to join in the sharing of the communion elements with your resident congregation family. Get your own bread and your own cup and celebrate with us. We are in unity with one other…we are in fellowship with each other…so let’s break the bread and drink the cup together in grateful remembrance of our Lord. This is a celebration for which we set aside time. We don’t do it on the move. This is a happy time and a significant event in the Christian Way of Living. During the Lord’s Supper Celebration, the Lord Jesus Christ wants His believers to look back for a moment to REMEMBER how He rescued us from the kingdom of darkness. The Lord wants us to REMEMBER His sacrifice…how He shed His blood to cover our sins. The Lord Jesus Christ wants us to REMEMBER the deliverance to the resurrection life He orchestrated, bringing us into His kingdom of light. Most of all, the Lord wants His believers to look forward with ANTICIPATION that He is coming again.
As believers in Christ, when we celebrate The Lord’s Supper we ask ourselves in reflection, “What did the Lord Jesus Christ do for us at the Cross?”
At the Cross, the Lord taught us GRACE.
The Bible describes the Lord in many ways, and one of the ways He is described is that He is a God of GRACE…John, Chapter 1, Verse 14…
And the Word (the Lord…God the Son) became flesh (true humanity…Jesus Christ)…and He lived among us for a while…and we were eyewitnesses to His glory…the glory of the uniquely born One from God the Father…FULL OF GRACE and full of truth.
When we think of GRACE, we think mostly of its compassionate side. We sing, “Amazing! Grace! How sweet the sound!” We marvel at a God who covers our mistakes. Yet seldom do we think of the demanding side of Grace. We don’t think much about the God who, by means of grace, is preparing us for spiritual warfare with the demanding invitation that we live a specific manner of life in the face of the adversity He uses to toughen us up…to encourage us to a life of purity.
It would be completely unfair for God, as our parent, only to be lenient with us. God knows that He has sent us into enemy territory by having us live in Satan’s kingdom, planet earth. That’s why He warns us with an order in Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 11…
Pick up and put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
A parent who is lenient only is preparing a child for the slaughter. Today, so many parents are sending their kids into the world completely unprepared for the battle they are entering. The self-induced punishment for lenient parents is that they have to continue “parenting” long after their parenting is supposed to be complete. That’s why today’s kids are leaving home at thirty years old, crying at work when things don’t go their way, and incurring record levels of debt which they may never be able to pay off.
Luckily all parents are not singularly lenient. I am always looking for ways to edify my good friend, Pastor John Farley, and I can tell you he is a great parent. He is on an emotional rollercoaster right now with his son Jack going off to the Army. He’s proud on the one hand and scared to death on the other hand. No one wants to raise a child only to lose him in warfare. Yet Jack is totally prepared for what he is facing in the Army because Pastor Farley armed Jack with the full armor of God…a spiritual life. Pastor Farley showed compassion to Jack in grace, yet he was equally demanding with his grace. It’s this total grace that is our Lord’s specialty.
When I look back to the Cross, I see the Lord instructing us with grace…a grace that could withstand the humiliation and the torture of the Cross. Isaiah, Chapter 53, Verse 7 says…
The Lord Jesus Christ was oppressed and He was afflicted (on His way to the Cross)…yet He did not open His mouth…like a lamb that is led to the slaughter…and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers…so Jesus did not open His mouth.
Our Lord was able and willing to be in submission to His Father’s will…to go to the Cross to die for the sins of the world…and as He was led to the slaughter, He chose not to defend Himself. He saw no need to use His divine power (omnipotence) against those who opposed Him. He was willing to count on the protection and the guidance of the God and Father that He had known and trusted before the foundation of the world.
In Titus Chapter 2, Verses 11 to 15…a pastoral epistle…we get a picture of grace…
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men…
…instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires…and instead instructing us to live sensibly (with self-control)…living righteous and godly lives in the present age…
God expects us to live pure lives now…and…
…looking forward to the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus…
God expects us to live pure lives in the future as well.
…(Christ Jesus)…who gave Himself (as a sacrifice) for us to redeem us from every lawless deed…and who gave Himself to purify for Himself a people for His own possession…a people zealous for good deeds.
These things (Titus…I, Paul, want you to) speak and to exhort (those doing well) and to reprove (those who need correction) with all authority. Let no one disregard you (don’t be intimidated as you Pastor the flock).
When most Christians think of grace, what comes to mind is relaxation.
Yet grace is not, “Now that you are saved just sit on your arses!” Underneath it all, we just don't want to work…we think things will just come to us…that we will not be required to work to get benefits.
Grace would demand an answer to the question, “Can you endure when there is an earthquake in your life? This is the time of year when the major tennis tournament at Wimbledon in London is going on. As I watch, the thing that amazes me is that every point matters. It’s much that way in life, especially in the matter of the spiritual life…everything we do…everything we fail to do…matters.
When we look at the Cross, in the matter of grace, God teaches us three things about grace…the Gift of Grace…the Goal of Grace…and the Method of Grace.
THE GIFT OF GRACE is salvation. Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 16…
FOR I (Paul…and by implication every Christian) am not ashamed of the gospel (message of the Lord Jesus Christ)…FOR the gospel message is the divine power of God the Father (omnipotence at work) FOR the salvation of everyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ…to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Gentiles).
THE GOAL OF GRACE is that the Lord would gather a people for His own possession…a specific kind of people…a holy people eager to do good things in Satan's kingdom. God is counting on us. God's grace demands character from us. Over time, because of the lessons inflicted on us in Satan's kingdom, we get tired of doing the things that reflect a lack of character, and instead, we realize the only way to live is by the standard God has set. Second Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 3…
SECOND CORINTHIANS 11:3
But I (Paul) am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
THE METHOD OF GRACE is demanding instruction. We must remember that comfort is our enemy. It was not comfortable at all for the Lord to become human…it was not comfortable at all for the Lord to die on a Cross.
Edifying things are difficult…discomfort is your friend. Thomas Edison puts it well…
THOMAS EDISON ON HARD WORK
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. It is astonishing how many people have difficulty in putting their brains definitely and systematically to work.”
THOMAS EDISON ON HARD WORK
“Because thinking is often hard work, there seems to be no limit to which some will go to avoid the labor associated with it. If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
It’s God’s grace at work when things are easy. Also, it is God’s grace at work when things get tough. Grace is both compassionate and insistent. The Cross is a great place to witness the tough side of God’s grace in action.
THE LORD’S SUPPER CELEBRATION
Enjoying the Elements
Obeying God’s command, we keep on celebrating Christ and His Cross
on a regular basis. We eat to remember who He is as a PERSON. We drink to remember His WORK on the Cross…the voluntary sacrifice He made to deliver us. We remember with gratitude what God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have done to save us. Matthew, Chapter 26, Verses 26 to 28…
While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take…eat…this is My body (which is being broken for you).”
And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you…”
“…for this is My blood…the blood of a new testament (a new covenant)… blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of their sins.”
As you enjoy the bread and the cup, REMEMBER the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us keep on giving thanks that we are loved unconditionally and we are accepted fully by a Lord who is always there for us…the One on whom we depend. Let’s keep on being transformed by His life…His death…His burial…His resurrection from the dead…and His Word.
What has the Cross done for you? According to the group MercyMe…it has made you FLAWLESS!
LORD’S SUPPER SONG
GOD WANTS YOU!
Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life
The closing moments of our study are for the benefit of anyone who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU.
When a person evangelizes to you, they are presenting a gospel message for your consideration. They know they cannot “convert” you, although the pressure you experience from some of them might feel like that’s what they want to do. Most are simply giving you facts to consider…facts that you may or may not know.
For example, if you have ever had Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door, they are evangelizing to you. If you have ever had members of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints come to your door, they are evangelizing to you. Unfortunately, both of those groups are inviting you to share eternity with them in the Lake of Fire, because neither of these groups believes that Jesus Christ is God. I have family members who are part of one of these religions, and in spite of my best evangelism efforts, my family members don't want to hear anything I have to say.
Many parents are leading their children to a destiny in the Lake of Fire. If you want to assess whether or not you’re a good parent, just ask yourself a simple question…are you influencing your children to have a relationship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Sovereign God of the Universe? He is the only way to get to heaven…John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…
Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am the truth (through the gospel message…the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”
If a gospel message makes it sound like you have to work to get to heaven, it’s probably a false gospel message. Second Peter, Chapter 2, Verse 1 warns…
SECOND PETER 2:1
…false prophets also arose among the people…just as there will also be false teachers among you…who will secretly introduce destructive heresies…even denying the Master (the Lord Jesus Christ) who bought them (to earth)…bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6 says we don’t have to work to be saved…
…if salvation is by grace (a free gift from God)…and of course it is…it is no longer on the basis of works…otherwise, grace (as a free gift) is no longer grace (it is not free).
Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 4 says you CAN’T work for salvation…
Now to the one who works (for salvation), his wage (for his work) is not credited (to his account) as a favor (from the grace of God), but (his wage is credited) as what is due for the work.
Do you want to get to heaven free of charge? Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…
“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”
John, Chapter 3, Verse 36 warns…
“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”
John, Chapter 3, Verse 17 highlights Jesus’ mission…
For God the Father did not send God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) into the world to judge the world…but the Father sent the Son into the world that the world might be saved through Him.
Who is this God who saves you? The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:3
For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance what I also received… that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:4
…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Scriptures…
Take the free gift of eternal life right now! There’s no time to waste! God wants you. If you want to go to heaven when you close your eyes in this life, simply believe of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
Who provides your “so great “salvation? His name is JESUS…the sweetest name in any language. Here’s June Murphy to sing about him in her song COME SEE A MAN.
COME SEE A MAN
Let us pray...
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Thanks for listening!