John Hagee - There is No Hell?
The world media reported that the pope made the shocking statement that there is no hell: that in eternity, you just simply disappear. The Vatican was greatly alarmed and the world was stunned, as they should be. Theologically, if there is no hell, what did Jesus die on the cross to save us from? If there is no hell where the ungodly pay for eternity for their sinful conduct, why is the Bible saturated with that reality from the Old Testament all the way through the new?
And I know some of you are questioning, preacher, why preach on hell to our enlightened generation? The answer is because our enlightened generation is turning America into hell on earth. What we are experiencing right now is moral and spiritual insanity. Mass killings of innocent school children are transforming our public schools into a slaughter house. We have kicked God out of our public schools, period. We have mocked the Ten Commandments with its simplistic rules. One of them is "Thou shall not kill," which is something public schools could desperately use now. America must have a moral and spiritual revival or get prepared for a revolution in the streets of this nation.
If there is no hell, why did Moses write about it in Deuteronomy 32:22, saying, "For a fire is kindled in God's anger, and it shall burn in the lowest hell"? That's hard to misunderstand. If there is no hell, why did king David write in Psalm 9:17, "The wicked shall be turned into hell and all nations that forget God"? "All nations" include the United States of America. If there is no hell, why did Jesus say, "If your right eye offends you pluck it out"? Because he says, "It is more profitable for one of your members to perish than your whole body to be cast into hell," Matthew 5:29 and 30. Jesus said that, a Jewish rabbi.
If there is no hell, why did John the revelator write in revelation 20:14, "Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire"? If there is no hell, why did Jesus give us the story of the rich man and Lazarus? This is not a parable. You don't give first names in a parable. These were real people. They were in a real place. They had self-awareness. They knew who they were. They knew where they were. They knew where other people were. They knew how it was with other people. From this day forward, you're going to live forever somewhere, either in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, or in the place called hell. Those are the only two options. There is no third or fourth. Let's read together Luke 16:19 and following. Ready?
And there was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and faired 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. More over, the dogs came and licked his sores. And so it was that the beggar died and was carried by angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torment in hell, 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 beside all this, between us and you, there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who would 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.' and 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 the one rose from the dead'.
Father in heaven, let us, as a nation and as a world, wake up to a reality that there is an Almighty God who is sovereign over the affairs of the lives of men: and that some day we are going to answer to him for every word, for every thought, and every deed. And he will be the judge, not the social morays of our nation, not the teachings of our universities, but the yes and the amen of the torah of God, will we stand or fall. In the name of the Lord Jesus, we pray. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. Let's begin by allowing Jesus to give us a guided tour through hell. First, hell is a real place. Say that with me. Hell is a real place. I know it is, because I've heard some of you tell other people how to get there. Very colorful descriptions, by the way. It's the eternal home of real people who are there right now, who would love to sit in this service beside you and have five minutes time to pray a prayer of repentance to change the destiny of their eternal soul. But during their lives on earth, like some so of you right now, they were having so much fun. They were so busy: they didn't have time for God. They were having fun swimming in the sewer pipe of our progressive society.
To their shock and to their amazement, they died. For the Bible says, "It is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment". You have two appointments set up by God, and you're going to keep them. One is you will die: two, you will come into a judgment. You're going to face God some day, and you are going to give him an account for every word, every thought, and every deed. That's the Word of God. There is no soul sleep. You do not pass into oblivion. You are very aware the first breath you breathe in eternity. But during their lives on earth, they passed. They met the rich man when they stepped into the place called hell, just as you will. They met the prince of darkness, just as you will.
Secondly, hell is a place of torment. Verse 23, "And being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom". He knew who he was. He knew who they were. He knew where he was. He knew where they were. It's important for you to understand this, because there are those who are being pounded in the universities that beyond your last breath, it's all over: you die like a dog and that's the end of it. You're quite mistaken about that.
Thirdly, hell is a place without mercy. The rich man cried, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus that he may get one drop of water on the tip of his finger and give it to me", listen to his words, "For I am tormented in this flame". He knew how he was. Yesterday the rich man sat at a table covered with the finest wines that his considerable wealth could afford. He sat at a table and ate all that his wealth could buy. He dined at the finest restaurants. Waiters were at his beckon call. But suddenly he died. He may have been 25. He may have been 35. He may have been 55. He may have made it to 85.
When you die is something that you do not know. The Bible says, "Boast not yourself of tomorrow: for you know not what another day may bring forth". There's not a person in this auditorium that can guarantee you'll be alive this time next week, not one. And you will stand before an all-knowing, all-mighty, eternal, sovereign God, and give an answer for your life. But suddenly he died and he opened his eyes in hell. And he asked God for one drop of water, one drop, and he's still waiting for it because there's no mercy in hell. God didn't give him one drop of water.
Hell is out of date by today's thinking. I understand that. But let me tell you something: hell's not out of business. The Bible says, "The boundaries of hell are expanded every day". That's because people are going there. You do not go to hell because you made a bad start. I don't care how miserable your life is or how deep in the hog pen you happen to be with the prodigal son: God still loves you and you can come back home regardless of what you've done. But the one thing you cannot escape is to step into eternity without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
If you are a Christian and you die (now I'm talking about judgment), when you die and you get to heaven, you're going to stand before the Lord. And Paul said, we're going to give an account for every deed done in this body. The Bible also says, "The foolish works of the flesh will be burned with fire". That means the foolish things that you've done on this earth will be revealed and purged from you. Your salvation is not in question, but I assure you, your deeds that are not like gold and silver tried in the fire will be revealed to everyone that's in heaven. Then you get the righteous robe based on the works that you did that were approved of God.
A lot of Christians are working themselves to death pleasing themselves. You better make sure that what you're doing is pleasing to God, because that's the only thing that will stand the test of fire. And then comes the college whiz kid that's been there six weeks and he knows everything, "I don't believe in hell". I don't really care what you believe. It's still there and you're still going. What you believe has no bearing on reality. I know your professors told you other than that. But reality doesn't change based on what you believe or think. Fire burns whether you believe it or not. The earth round whether you believe it or not.
Can you believe it that in the national newspaper, they're saying that a major university on the eastern coast has a graduating class that the majority of the students do not believe that the earth is round? Can you believe a parent who has spent a quarter of a million dollars sending a child to this high-class university, and he comes home and he's not sure that the earth is round? How stupid can you get? The Bible fact is that most people are not going to heaven.
And listen to this very closely. I know that when you read the express news, and people die, everybody in the express news goes to heaven. They went to the Lord on such and such a day. Now here's what the express news says in Matthew 7:13. It's the good news from heaven. Matthew 7:13 says, "Enter into the straight gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to hell, and many there be that find it". That word "Many" means "In the majority". "Few there be that find the straight path that leads to the throne of grace". Hear it again, "Many" and "Few". Jesus was saying the majority of humanity will spend eternity in hell. I didn't say that. But then you can call Jesus an extremist if you want to, a fanatic maybe, a right-wing Bible fundamentalist, who is always on a tantrum. But he's going to be the judge of all the earth some day. And you're going to stand in front of him. And he's really not going to be impressed with your Ph.D.
Have you duped yourself into believing that a loving God would never send anyone to a place as horrible as hell? You're exactly right. God has never sent anyone, no one, not ever, not one soul, to hell. You go there because you rejected the redemption of Jesus Christ on the cross. You sent yourself there. Where are you going to be five seconds after you breathe your last breath?
One day a smirking, arrogant man asked me: he said, "Preacher, where does hell begin"? I said, "Hell begins at the end of your Christless life. One second past your last breath, you're going to step into an eternal darkness until you are plucked out, sentenced, and sent back to the lake of fire". He said, "That sounds gruesome". I said, "It's not gruesome really, because there's a way of escape. And that escape is Jesus Christ. But if you ignore the way of escape, I assure you, you are going to experience just that". He said, "That's just way too hard for me". I said, "Partner, it's the sweetest deal you're ever going to hear on this side of God's heaven".
The rich man prayed in hell, "Father Abraham, have mercy upon me". He wasn't asking for justice: he was asking for mercy. But he waited too late. But there's an unusual thing to mention here. It's difficult to get people to pray today until they really get in a jam, and then they want to pray right now! I haven't prayed in six months. But suddenly the x-ray reads... The doctor says... And you want God to get there in a hurry! You treated him like a junk yard dog, and now you want him to be the prince of your life.
It's difficult to get people to pray today. But the largest prayer meeting of all time is going to be conducted in a place called hell. If you go to your grave this week, and there's not one person in this audience that can guarantee you'll be alive this time next week. The Bible says, "Do not boast about tomorrow, because you don't have guarantee that you will live tomorrow". If you go to your grave without Christ, you will have heard your last sermon. You will have heard your last Gospel song. You will have heard your last invitation, but you will not have heard your last prayer. You will not have heard your last prayer. You will pray. You will beg God, as those around you are begging God. But there is no reprieve, because you have stepped into eternity.
The Bible's description is very, very clear. The rich man died. The day is coming that you will die. President or pauper, makes no difference: you're going to die. And if you die without Christ, here's what God says you're going to experience. You're going to step into a place of darkness, total darkness, and listening to the sobbing people who are there. And knowing that they're there only waiting to be sentenced at the Great White Throne Judgment: and that forever and forever and forever, they're going to go from this place to judgment, back to the lake of fire.
Hell is a place of consciousness. The rich man knew who he was. He knew where he was. He looked from a bottomless pit of eternal darkness where he couldn't see his hand in front of his face, and looked into a city of perfect light where the lamb is the light. He looked from a city where people were weeping and crying, to a city that was flooded with joy unspeakable, where people were singing around the throne of God. He looked from a waterless inferno called hell, toward the sparkling river of life that flowed beneath the throne of God. He heard the sobs and the screams. And he listened to the saints on the other side, singing on the hills of glory. He looked from a city where the wicked can never be at rest, to a city where everyone was at perfect rest.
He heard satan laugh in his face, "You fool, you fool! You sat in that church every Sunday. You sang the songs. But you never, ever confessed your sins and received the blood atonement for your life. One, 60-second prayer could have done that! But because you didn't do that, you've lost your soul. And it's forever, and forever, and forever. Hell is a place of memory. The murderer will remember his dying victim. The rapist will remember his screaming target. The liar will remember the liars of his toxic tongue.
I read an article the other day that said, 92% of the American people habitually lie. The Bible says, "All liars shall have their part in the lake of fire that burns forever". Think about that. The adulterer will remember the night of sin. The fearful and the unbelieving will remember the times that they heard the Gospel story and rejected the way of salvation. If you leave this service without Christ, you'll walk the chambers of eternity for a million years remembering every word I've said. You'll have a long time to remember, forever, and forever, and forever. What choice will you make? Who will you serve, the Lord Jesus Christ or satan, the prince of darkness? What choice will you make, heaven or hell?
That choice is yours. And I assure you, you cannot guarantee that you will live to have another chance to make this choice. Today is your day of decision. Can we stand to our feet and bow our heads in the house of God. I want you just to bow your head and let the presence of the Holy Spirit fill this room. Pastor Matt, I'd like for you to sing a verse of this song. And then I want to talk to you very briefly. "Just as I am without one plea". Just as I am without one plea but that thy blood was shed for me and as thou biddest me come to thee oh Lamb of God I come I come the Bible says, "The angels rejoice over one soul that comes to heaven". There's a super bowl going on right now: enjoy it.
I want you to pray this prayer. And I want you to know that when we're praying it, God in heaven is listening. And God has a book. The book of revelation said he has two books, one where all of your sins are written down: one for the names of people who have asked the Lord to forgive them of those sins. As soon as we finish praying this prayer, the blood of Jesus Christ is going to clean your record whiter than snow. Angels are going to write your name down in the lamb's book of life, redeemed this day in San Antonio, Texas. Pray this prayer.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to forgive me of all of my sin. Cleanse all of my sin. From this day forward, I want you to be the Lord of my life. I will read the Word of God. I will obey it. Jesus Christ will be the Lord of my life, my shepherd, from this day forward. And I will serve him with all of my heart, soul, mind and body. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.