Tag Archives: hell

Cold As Hell

Welcome Winter

If you live in other parts of the country or the world, you may not understand the mind of a Southerner. On the other hand, there’s probably no “may” to it.

Sweet tea in Mason jars. It’s a Southern thing.

You don’t understand why we like sweet tea, grits, cornbread, fried okra (if it’s done correctly), banjos, guns, God, and an occasional jab at the North (those *@!% Yankees). But that’s OK, we love you, anyway, as our typical hospitality demonstrates.

But when it comes to winter… You guys up north REALLY don’t get us. Seriously. Anytime we get excited about snow, you talk about how much you can’t stand it. You even make fun of how we shut down our lives when no more than a quarter of an inch falls on the streets.

You really, really don’t understand.

So, when yesterday morning was the coldest day of the year so far, and when this morning’s temps were all the way down in the high 20’s here in Chattanooga, you folk not from here don’t understand how a guy like me could be giddy over being able to break out a fleece-lined flannel shirt in order to go outside and see my breath as I walked over crunchy, frost-covered fallen leaves.

You see, it’s like this: When you’re accustomed to frying in high heat and swimming in humidity, actually experiencing cold weather in winter is refreshing. And, yes, we are dreaming (and hoping, praying, etc.) for a white Christmas.

Any Cold Is Bad

However, there are some Southerners who hate any kind of cold. Many of them are the poor and elderly who don’t have the ability to fight off the low temperatures. They suffer during this time.

But then there are others who moved to the South to escape the cold winters of the north; they feel betrayed when it gets cold down here.

Finally, there are those who can’t be happy no matter what. They want to complain about anything and everything, hot or cold. As a matter of fact, more often than not it’s that type of people you will hear repeat a familiar descriptor about the weather:

“It’s cold as hell outside!” 

Describing Hell

“Hell” is a word that is used in describing a whole host of things (or, a whole heck of a lot of things… see what I did there?). Things are big as, hot as, loud as, messed up as, weird as, and sorry as hell. But on what do they base their adjectives? How much do they really know about Hell in order to draw a similarity that makes any sense?

I mean, if I was to say, “That ant is as tiny as Mt. Everest,” would that even compute? No, because Mt. Everest isn’t tiny.

Then why say something is as cold as hell? I mean, we know from the Bible that Hell is hot, but how hot exactly is up for debate; therefor describing something as “hot as hell” is within the realm of possibility, at least.

But “cold as“? Really?

On the other hand, Hell is described as a place where the residents will, despite the wailing masses crying out for a single drop of water, be completely and utterly alone. They will reside in a place without love, without compassion, without the gentle touch of a caring hand, without a single, solitary voice ever saying, not even once in a billion years, “It will be OK.”

Does that make you shiver thinking about it? It does me.

Maybe Hell is “cold” after all. 

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Filed under America, General Observations, places, Weather

HELL…It’s Not Just a Curse Word

Believe me, it’s not an easy subject to discuss, even though millions of people every day use it as a curse word. However, if Jesus spoke more about Hell than He did about Heaven, don’t you think we should, too?

Some people accuse us preachers of making this stuff up in order to scare people. Others, like Bertrand Russell, reject Christianity because of Christ’s teaching on the subject. Nevertheless, it’s clearly biblical, and it’s clearly horrible, so how can we say we love people if we don’t warn them?

If you can spare the time, I invite you to listen to the sermon I preached this past Sunday morning. Should you become concerned about the fate of your soul, I would encourage you to go to the “Eternal Life” page on this blog for further information.

If you find the attached sermon helpful, please share it with someone who needs to hear.

Click on the picture for link to the audio.

 

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Filed under Bible Study, Life/Death, Preaching

Just Around the Bend

There are a lot of straight roads, some of which go on for miles upon miles. Most roads, however, are not completely straight; they have turns and curves.

Life is like most roads: it is full of twists and turns, many of which conceal what’s just around the bend.

This morning I was traveling down a stretch of Highway 24 that curved along beside the Tennessee River and into downtown Chattanooga. The sun was rising in the east, therefore practically blinding anyone driving in that direction.

The following thought crossed my mind and prompted me to pull out my camera: “This sort of looks like I’m on the road to Heaven, and there’s the glow of the city just ahead.”

That’s when I took this picture.

Fact is we really don’t know what lies ahead around the bend, do we? Sure, we have things like maps, GPS, and the popular Waze app, but eternity is not exactly a pot hole, speed trap, or detour.

Just around the next bend in the road your trip could end. What then?

It would be best to know what direction you are headed, for only one leads to eternal life (Matt. 7:14; John 14:6).

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Filed under Future, Life/Death, salvation

Sure of Your Next Step?

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Preaching on hell is not something I like to do, but every so often I need to. You see, to love people is to warn people, especially when their next step could be their last.

 

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Filed under Future, ministry, Preaching, salvation

If You Think It’s Hot Here…

“There’s a Hotter Place”

 

If you think that it is hot here,

Then you might be surprised to know

There’s another place that’s far, far hotter,

A place where you never want to go.

 

Here the summer has certainly parched us.

Here the crops are all failing fast.

But there’s another place where it’s much, much hotter,

And the heat wave lasts and lasts.

 

Here you can find you a bucket

With ice and cold water or beer.

But there’s a place where it’s so much hotter,

People beg for the drop of a tear.

 

Oh, you think it’s so terribly hot here,

You avoid it be staying inside.

But there’s a place where there’s no hiding from it:

The Hell of the lost who have died.

 

by: Anthony C. Baker

 

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Filed under Faith, Future, poetry

Why Hell?

You Prayed

This weekend I asked if you, my friends, would pray for me. I asked that you would pray because I was going to be preaching on a very difficult subject, the subject of Hell.

Well, I believe you did. Thank you.

I Preached

Not many people preach about Hell anymore. Aside from the occasional street preacher, few pastors, especially television jet-hoppers, even dare suggest such a place. Most focus on your “best life now,” or ask for multiple “seeds of faith” so they can travel the world and you can reap a “harvest.”

However, I preached about Hell. I preached that Hell is a real, horrible place where those who reject Christ as Saviour will spend eternity in torment. Is that popular? Uh, no! (I could have said “hell no” but that would have been too easy)

Unfortunately, it’s not just the unbelievers who mock the idea, but much of the Christian world now scoffs at the idea of a literal place of torment where the lost will dwell. Even Jesus said it is a real place, so how is that even possible?

But, believe me, preaching on Hell is not easy. It’s depressing, draining, and haunting. That’s why I appreciate those who prayed.

The Sermon

So, for those of you who’d like, I am attaching the audio of the sermon I preached Sunday morning. The title of the message is “Why Hell?”

I really can’t say that I hope you “enjoy” it, but I do hope something in it will challenge you live out your faith with more urgency.

Many people argue over whether or not the rapture will happen any time soon, if at all. They argue over when the “end of the world” will come, if it all. However, whatever you believe about end-time prophecy, Jesus said that it is appointed unto man once to die…the end of this world is coming for all of us, sooner or later.

Are you prepared? Are you ready? Do you need a reason to share your faith with others sooner than later?

Then listen.

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Filed under Life/Death, Preaching, salvation

Preparing My Heart for a Sermon

No Selah

If you expected to see another “Selah” post this morning, I apologize. I really did want to have the next one finished for this morning, but I was unable to do it. However, I did preach on the subject of the next verse, and so I know it is a good one.

So, next week’s study through the “selah’s” of Psalms will be on Psalm 9:16. Look it up and see what you come up with, and then we can compare notes. Hint: there’s a very unique word which will play a big part.

Preparing

Tomorrow morning (Sunday) I am going to be preaching a sermon on a very difficult subject – Hell. I know that some of you may have a different take on the place Jesus mentioned far more than heaven, but it’s something that needs to be preached.

Today I’ve been listening to some old sermons by some great preachers of the past. One was an audio version of Charles Spurgeon preaching a sermon called “Heaven and Hell.” Another was a 1985 recording of a sermon entitled “Hell Has No Exits,” by Leonard Ravenhill. In addition to my own notes, I wanted to hear what others had said, and the way they said it.

And, oh, how my heart was not only stirred, but greatly burdened!

My father used to tell me when I was young, “Son, never get behind the pulpit unless your mad, sad, or glad.” In other words, get up to preach with the appropriate emotion for the subject at hand – don’t be dull, drab, or apathetic. After hearing the above sermons, in addition to my recent study on Hell, my heart is breaking…not just for the lost, but for the rest of us who have forgotten what those without Jesus will one day face.

Just a Glimpse

Folks, if we could only catch a glimpse of Hell – forget Heaven! If we could just see for a second that horrible place! If we could only for a second comprehend the terror of our friends and loved ones that moment before they are “cast” into eternity.

Everything Heaven is, Hell will be the opposite (I’ll save that for a future post). Just ponder that for a moment! Everything you look forward to in Heaven, the opposite will be what the lost will endure.

Leonard Ravenhill said in his sermon that much of us think what’s wrong with America is that so many people don’t believe in hell anymore. He said [quoting loosely], “I’ve got news for you! YOU don’t believe in Hell! If you did, you’d live differently, preach differently, pray differently, and worship differently!”

Pray for Me

So, would you take a moment and pray for me? Pray that God would speak through me in the morning. Pray that His power would fill me. Pray that my heart and my mouth might be prepared in such a way that those who hear the sermon will respond appropriately to the Spirit’s leading.

Most importantly, pray for that soul who might be present in the morning; that soul who is lost. Pray that he/she/they might feel the same convicting power which flooded over those when Jonathan Edwards preached. May they cry out before the sermon is over, “What must I do to be saved??”

God bless. Y’all go to church somewhere on the Lord’s Day, you hear?

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Filed under Church, Life/Death, Preaching