Creflo Dollar - The Reality of Heaven and Hell - Part 1
I'm gonna start a series that it's gonna sound a little awkward, but I'm gonna talk about tonight and next week "The Reality of Heaven and Hell". And the reason why I believe the Spirit of God, he spoke this to my heart, he says, "I want you to teach on the reality of heaven and hell". And I thought, "Well, why"? Because when you talk about hell, that is a message to unbelievers. And so I'm gonna deal with hell tonight. And just so you can take good notes so you can minister to unbelievers, but this is not for you. Let me please make sure you understand something. If you have been born again and you have made Jesus the Lord of your life, you are heaven-bound. You are heaven-bound. But if you are not born again and you're not a believer, listen very carefully tonight. We hope we can change your mind, amen?
And so Father, we do praise you. We thank you for your anointing. We thank you that these words will come out correctly with love. And we give you praise for it now in Jesus's name, amen.
Well, as we begin, right before I get into this, I want just show you a lot of times people, you know, they come to this conclusion that certain things don't exist because it's not really kind of like preached about enough. And you know, and when it's not ministered, it's not in a person's mind, and so they just kind of think it doesn't exist, or they start listening to people who don't know what they're talking about, and you absorb what they say.
So, before I really get started, I want to turn to the Scriptures and I wanna show you some things in the Scripture just about some of the things it says. Let's go to Matthew chapter 13:42. Want to look at six scriptures and then I'll get started. So, remember, this is the reality of heaven and hell. And you're gonna learn something about both existences, but you're gonna be grateful that you made a decision to get born again. You have all life to make one decision, and that is the decision to make Jesus the Lord of your life. So, this is a part of our Understanding series, and certainly this is something that every new member needs to get ahold of.
Matthew chapter 13:42, and just listen how this goes, 13:42. He says, "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth". Now, he's talking about, again, unbelievers. They'll be cast into a furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. It's very interesting, what do you do with that Scripture? Do you tear it up and throw it away? Well, now let's go to this next Scripture I want you to see, Matthew 10:28. Matthew 10:28, and these are just Scriptures that you can use and look at. He says, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both the soul, and the body in hell".
So, here again it makes reference to hell. And for people who don't believe in it, the Scripture is very clear about making reference over and over again that there's a hell. We live in a generation now where they don't believe in heaven or hell. So, I want to take time to show you the reality of this. Look at 2 Peter chapter 2:4, 2 Peter chapter 2 and verse 4. Now, notice here he says, "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but he cast them," notice the direction, "down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgement".
Now, listen what the Scripture says. This Scripture says that God did not spare those angels that sinned. Those, you remember that whole war in heaven? And those angels that rebelled against God, God did not spare those angels that sinned, but he cast them down to hell. You're gonna find out that hell was not created for us, it was created for fallen angels, it was created for the devil and those fallen angels. But that was a place that was created for the rebellious angels. And Satan of course was an archangel, so every rebellious angel, there was a place that was created for them. And he says, "They were put in the chains of darkness, cast them down to hell". So, it's a literal place, it's a literal place. It was not originally created for men.
Let's go to Psalms 9:17, look at a couple more Scriptures, and then we need to locate this. Psalms 9, verse 17, he says the wicked shall be turned where? "Into hell, and all the nations that forget God will be turned into hell". But remember the original purpose for it was not for mankind. Look at Mark chapter 9, verse 43. Mark chapter 9 and verse 43, he says, "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched".
So, there's too many references that are making reference to that place. And so let's see if we can locate it. Ephesians chapter 4:9, Ephesians chapter 4:9. This is interesting, he says, "Now that he ascended", now referring to Jesus. "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended". Remember he sent those angels down. "He descended first", watch this, "into the lower parts of the earth". So, he just, you know, this Scripture tells us that this is located in the lower parts of the earth. It was created for all fallen angels and demonic forces, the lower parts of the earth. And of course, Jesus went to hell, the lower parts of the earth, for three days and three nights, okay? And the lower parts of the earth. So, we know where it is. We know exactly where it is. It is in the lower parts of the earth or Hades.
Now, what I'm about to show you is something in Luke chapter 16 which was an actual event that took place. Go to Luke 16, and when you get to Luke 16, and this is where I want to spend the majority of my time tonight. Luke chapter 16, I just want to give you those Scriptures. And one of the reasons why it's important for you to get these Scriptures, it's because when it comes to heaven, most people believe in it, and most people believe that they're going there. On the other hand, while some people believe in hell, most don't think they're going there. Now, you're living in a very interesting time now. You're living in a very interesting time, where there are people that don't believe in God, and they don't believe in the devil, they don't believe in hell, they don't believe in heaven.
And you know, they can live like hellions and tell them, "Where you think you're gonna go when you die"? "I'm going to heaven". "Well, is Jesus the Lord of your life"? "Who"? It's not gonna happen. And so let's look at this real carefully. Luke 16 and let's begin at verse 19. Luke 16 and verse 19, are you there? All right, now let's break this down. "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and he fared sumptuously". Now, the first thing that got my attention here is that the Bible said there was a certain rich man, which means he's not making this story up. There was actually this guy existed. There was a certain rich man, a particular one, a specific man, a certain rich man. And he said, "He was clothed in purple and fine linen, fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar," and then this is interesting, he said there was a certain beggar, and he gave the name, this beggar's name.
So, we're not talking about some made up fable. We are actually referring to two certain people, very specific situation as he begins to give us insight on this. And then he said, "And the beggar's name was Lazarus, which laid at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table, moreover the dogs came and they licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died". His name is what? Lazarus. "The beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosoms".
Now, this is very interesting. Remember, this is a situation that took place before Jesus was born and before Jesus had died. And you've got to understand what happened. The hell was divided up into two compartments. And between the bottom part, and the top part was this great gulf, which kept people from crossing over. And so the upper regions of hell was referred to as Abraham's bosoms. This is the place where all of those who were in covenant with God were there until Jesus came to set the captives free, all right? Okay, so on the other side, or the lower part of hell was where, you know, wicked men, men who were not in covenant or didn't believe God, it's where they went, okay?
All right now, so now you understand here when he said that he died, "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosoms. The rich man also died, and was buried, and in hell. The rich man died, was buried. And in hell he lifted up his eyes". Now, I want you to count the number of times the word "torment" appears. "He lifted up his eyes, being in torments, he seeth," and notice the senses that were working. Both of these guys were dead. But when you die, your physical body goes back to the dust of the ground, of the earth, but your spirit and soul goes with you wherever you are. If your soul didn't go, you wouldn't be able to recognize people. Your spirit and your soul. All right, now watch this, "And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosoms. He cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me'", the nerve of this guy, "'and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue.'"
Now, Lazarus ain't doing that no more. "'For I am tormented in this flame.' And Abraham said, 'Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime'". So life is over, they're now in eternity. "Remember thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there's a great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence". And then he said, "I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'" So, he was just saying like, "Look dude, just, you know, somebody go and tell them this is all real. And I didn't know this is all real, but now I'm here. I need somebody to go warn everybody else".
And we think, wow, that would be a pretty good idea, right? And there's a lot of things happened because actually when Jesus rose from the dead, these folks who were in the upper region, the Sheol, got up too. The Scripture says that some people in the city saw their relatives who had died walking in the city. Y'all better watch out because maybe just maybe, maybe just maybe just a little bit of... I can't prove this, you can't disprove this, but I know God's love is so strong. And maybe just maybe before this rapture comes that he might just let you see somebody that was gone just at a last attempt to say, "This is real, get it right".
All right now, watch this now. All right, we're reading the Scripture, right? Don't go on talking about, "Reverend Dollar said". No, we're reading. This is reading 101. Reverend Dollar said? No, we just reading. Verse 29, "And Abraham saith unto him, 'They have Moses, they got the prophets.'" They got Creflo and them. "Let them hear them". I ain't sending nobody back from the dead. 'Cause you know what would happen, won't nobody believe it. "I've come from the dead to tell you, now it's time to get saved". "Oh, it's a trick, you ain't from no dead. What circus you work for"? They wouldn't believe it anyway, and he knew that. "And he said, 'Nay, father Abraham: but if one went from the dead, they will repent,'" or change their mind. "And he said unto him, 'If they hear not Moses, and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.'" That's a strong indictment.
So, what are the things we see here? Share about four or five things we see here just in this verse of Scripture. Number one, people in hell suffer. People in hell suffer. The rich man uses the term "torment" three times in this parable, and Abraham used it once. And so it's clear that the rich man is in real pain, not imagined pain, not symbolic pain, he's in real pain. Number one. Number two, once you're in hell, you cannot cross over to heaven. "Well, if I go to hell, I'll just, you know, change my mind and cross". No, no, once you're in hell, you can't cross over. You have to understand something. There's nothing more permanent than you dead. You ever heard, "Dead as a doorknob"? That's it. That's it. This is the dressing-up room right now. And you only need to get dressed up one kind of way, "I believe Jesus".
And so what happens is that we have thousands of opportunities to decide our future destination. But once our physical life ends, there are no more chances. The believer enters heaven while the non-believer enters hell, and that's it. You got people who are alive today think they're so smart, think they know everything. Oh, would love to debate with you and have these theological debates and all of that other kind of stuff. None of that matters. 'Cause what I'm talking about, every eye gonna see. All we got to do is wait till you die and you'll see I was right. And I'll tell you right now I'm right, you're wrong, and we'll see. Do you think you can afford to take that chance? There is no way. I am so glad that I am ever ready. You ever heard that term? I am ever ready. I'm always ready. And that's how you do it. You get saved.
You see, once you made Jesus the Lord of your life, you're good. So, all of this stuff I'm talking now, your heart don't need to be beating fast. You don't need to, "Oh Lord, I need to do this. I need to". No, you done already did what's necessary. You have made your reservations to Holy Ghost Hotel, hallelujah. You're all ready. But now if you've never made Jesus the Lord of your life, this sermon should concern you, amen? Here's the third thing I want you to understand, people in hell are fully conscious and aware of where they are. They're conscious and they are aware of where they are. Just as a person in heaven knows where they are and how they got there, the person in hell will know why they are and where they are. They won't be able to say that they never had a warning and that they were never warned because they will know that they had ample opportunity to change their ways.
I think the tormenting part, I think fire may be, it may be literal, it may be symbolic, but I think it's the worst thing you can think about. I think there's gonna be some stuff that's a lot more tormenting than the fire. Somebody say, "What could be more tormenting than the fire"? Knowing that all you had to do is accept Jesus's forgiveness, that could be tormenting. Knowing that your name was in the Lamb's book of life, but because you never made Jesus the Lord of your life, it was wiped out. That's tormenting. And all the chances you have. Tonight's another chance. You're on the stream right now, and you could turn it off because you're freaking out, "I don't want to hear this". Or you could pay attention to me and make the choice of your life. The only choice that matters in your life right now is have you made Jesus your Lord and personal Savior? That's big.
Now, look at Revelations chapter 20. Revelations chapter 20. Now, this is, I could preach an hour on what I'm about to show you, but I don't have time. This is new believers for people to get it, get some understanding, get some Scriptures, and go on. We can get deep in it a little bit later. But look at Revelations 20, verse 11. He said, "I saw a great white throne". Now, before I go home, go home. Before I go on, the great white throne is just simply it's a judgment of non-believers. Okay, so everybody's gonna die, right? And then there are gonna be two resurrections. There's gonna be the resurrection of those believers and you know, you'll be clothed and meet Jesus in the air. And then the second resurrection, you don't want to be a part of that. That second resurrection from the dead is where non-believers are gonna be judged and you know, sentenced. And this is this judgment right here.
All right, now listen to this about this judgment. This is the judgment of non-believers who will be at this judgment seat, everyone who has rejected God's offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Everybody that's rejected God's offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ, you'll be at this place. The number of people that have rejected that offer, Jesus is saying, "I was the ransom. I paid the price for you to be free". The unbeliever said, "I don't want it". The unbeliever said, "I don't believe". They're gonna be at this judgment.
So, why are they there? Because they did not believe in Jesus. Look at John 3:18. They did not believe in Jesus, and the people who don't believe in Jesus and didn't receive what Jesus had made ready for them, they will be at this judgment seat. This is gonna happen. And don't miss Sunday, 'cause Sunday I'm gonna talk to you about the signs of the time. I'm gonna talk to you about everything that's happening right now and literally show you. I'll go back I think in some cases 50 years and show you how it constantly progressed to where we are right now. And the Bible prophesies that that generation will see the return of the Lord. We have not known what that generation or who that generation was, but we pretty much know it's this one. It's this one.
He said here, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God". So, he's condemned already. What a sad day. What a sad day to see the consequences of not believing. You know, people poke fun at preachers and all the other kinds of stuff, and later on you're gonna find out that the most important job on the planet. But they don't know it now. They don't know it now. God has an intent, and we have a decision. And the truth is that God never intended for any person to go to hell. He didn't even create it for that.