[Passage16: 22 -26]
“Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus 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.’ “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 10th session of Hell sermon series.
When the shepherds tend their flocks, some of the sheep wander out of the flock because, for example, they are looking for food somewhere else.
When shepherds realize that a sheep is missing, they will look desperately for their sheep.
Although the sheep are not aware how dangerous it is, the shepherd knows the dangers for a sheep that strays from the group.
I, as a shepherd that takes care of precious souls, the flock of the Lord, I feel the heart of the shepherd that is looking for a lost sheep.
When I see the souls who stray from the truth, go to the world, and commit sins, I deeply feel that my heart is broken.
It’s because I know very well that those who depart from the truth will finally fall into Hell the eternal death, and I know how horrible Hell is.
I don’t fear anything in this world. Should I be afraid of strongman or demons or of death?
I am not afraid of anything because I believe in God.
There is one only thing that I do fear. That is the punishment of Hell.
That is why, when I see the souls that are going towards Hell, I struggle with convulsions and not being able to sleep to pray for them.
It’s because I feel so much pain when I think that those souls entrusted to me will receive such terrible punishments in Hell.
Every word I am preaching at this time is true.
If Hell were just some imaginary world that is made up, I don’t have any reason to take this narrow path.
Therefore, when I preach about Hell, I hope you will believe it completely without having any doubts.
I urge you to believe in Jesus, who took the cruel punishments of crucifixion; and God the Father, who has loved us so much that He has given His one and only Son for us.
I earnestly urge you in the name of the Lord to dwell within the boundary of the truth all the time with firm faith.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, through the last session, I talked about the punishments of the first and second levels in the Lower Grave.
Mature adults, after passing through adolescence, receive the punishments according to each one’s sins, and the punishments are generally categorized into four kinds.
The first level punishments are the lightest, and as you go down to the second, third, and fourth level, the punishments become heavier and more severe.
Those who committed relatively lighter sins would receive the punishments of first and second level.
For example, there are some people who die without accepting the Lord because they didn’t hear the gospel.
If these people do not pass the judgment of conscience, they fall into Hell.
Among these people, those who have lived a relatively good life would receive the punishments in the first and second level.
Of course, even if they lived a good life, it is only goodness by the standard of men.
If they really lived a good life in the sight of God, they would be saved through the judgment of conscience, even if they had never heard the gospel.
The rich man in today’s passage also belongs to the ‘some-what-good-person’s’ category among those who are not saved.
While he was suffering from the flames, he worried about his brothers who were not saved.
In Luke chapter 16 verses 27 to 28, the rich man pleaded with Abraham as follows:
“And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house  for I have five brothers in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”
The rich man had this kind of goodness in him. But he finally fell into Hell because though he knew of God he didn’t believe in Him and he didn’t live by God’s Word.
Mark 16:16 says, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” As written, the greatest sin of all is not to believe in the Lord and God.
I explained that the punishments of first level in the Lower Grave are inflicted by non-living things such as rocks or sand that are heated up, boiling water, or ice.
The second level punishments are inflicted by living things such as animals or insects.
The punishments in the first and second level are relatively lighter than the punishments of third and fourth level, but this does not mean it is easy to bear with the pain.
In the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God once let me hear a confession of a soul who is in the Lower Grave.
It is by the special grace of God to let me spread the ghastly reality of Hell to many people.
Just like the rich man did in today’s passage, this soul appealed about his pain in the Lower Grave.
When I introduce his confession to you, I hope you may realize many things.
“I give thanks that I have a momentary rest. (It means his tortures have stopped for a moment so that he can speak).
They drag me, and they drag me so much, and I run, and I run so much, but there is no end. No matter how much I run, there is no end.
In this abominable place filled with filthy animals and insects and foul smell, when my skin is peeled off and when I bleed, the insects come and eat my flesh.
I run and run again to avoid these insects, but I stay in the same place.
Even though I keep on running and running, they still come and bite me. They eat my flesh and they suck my blood.
I’m so horrified and trembling. What should I do? I’m so afraid and terrified and I don’t know what to do.
I keep on running and running in an effort to look for a place to hide. But there is only darkness. There is nothing. There is nowhere to hide my body.
They scratch me on my back. They bite my arms. They peel off my skin. They eat my tendons. They suck my blood.
I am in this pain and torment right now, but later, I will be thrown into the lake of fire.
What should I do? What do I have to do?
Though I didn’t believe in the Lord, I lived somewhat good life during the life on Earth.
I came to realize how great my evil was only after I came to this place. I regret again and again because I am receiving these punishments.
Let there be nobody like me.
Even though people think they are good and they may even think they are living by the will of God, there are many among them who have come here.
There are many people who said that they believed in God but did not live by His word, and are receiving much more pain than I am in this place.
This pain is unbearable. Even if I want to faint to forget this pain for a moment I cannot do it. Even if I close my eyes to forget this suffering, I cannot have any rest because everything is clear.
If I open my eyes, I can see no end. Even if I keep on running again and again trying to avoid the punishments, I am in the same place all the time.
What do I have to do about this?
Let there be nobody like me. Truly let there be nobody like me.”
Even at this moment this soul is lamenting and sighing and he is suffering from filthy animals and insects.
Through his confession, we can understand that many people who said they believed in God and also those who thought they lived a good life have gone to Hell.
When we discern between good and evil, the standard of men and the standard of God are different.
I hope you will realize this very clearly so that you will have goodness and faith in the sight of God.
This soul does not have any more chances to choose between Heaven and Hell.
There is no way for him to get out of the terrifying Hell.
But for those who are living in this world, they still have a chance.
Even if they are going completely opposite to the way of salvation, they still have a chance to change their future.
For those who have already chosen the truth, the way of salvation, the narrow path, they have a chance to advance into more beautiful dwelling places in Heaven.
I hope you will be thankful that you still have this precious chance, and hold on to this chance so that you will not lose it.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, now, I will talk about the punishments of the third level in the Lower Grave.
The punishments of the third level are inflicted by the messengers of Hell directly.
The punishments of the third and fourth level are given to those souls who have committed much more evil deeds than those who are receiving the punishments of the first and second level.
These are the people who have received the Holy Spirit and experienced great grace of God but who stood against God, persecuted the men of God, blasphemed the Holy Spirit, and did so many evil things.
For example, they are King Saul who stood against David, who was loved by God; and Pilate, who gave the death sentence to the sinless Jesus. They are receiving the punishments of the third level.
I will explain to you later what specific torturers they are receiving.
The punishment of the third level is at a different dimension from the punishments of the first and second level. What is the reason?
It’s because the punishments are directly inflicted by the messengers of Hell that have no mercy whatsoever.
The punishments of the first and second level are also terrible, but the punishments of the third level, the tortures given by the messengers of Hell, are even more terrible.
The messengers of Hell, unlike animals or other living things, have the forms that look like men.
They can also think like men and act and speak like men.
But with much higher intelligence and techniques that human beings can’t think of, they torture the souls to give them unimaginable pain.
The more painful the souls feel, the more pleasure they get. So, they always think of the ways to give the souls greater pain.
Their goal is to give the souls more cruel and more brutal tortures with various methods and instruments.
This is also the whole purpose of their existence.
Can you imagine their cruelty?
To help you understand better, I will introduce some of the torturing methods and tools used during the Middle Ages.
In the Middle Ages, they didn’t have the concept of human rights like that of today, and they had strict order in the social hierarchy.
Therefore, many times the rulers tortured the people in horrible methods and executed them.
They devised so many kinds of torturing methods and instruments, and ways of execution to inflict pain upon people.
There were some violent autocrats who, if they didn’t like somebody, brutally executed the person.
For example, they skewered a person onto a sharpened wooden stake and left him until he died.
There were also some cruel autocrats who enjoyed torture as a form of entertainment. And they also devised methods of torturing to maximize their pleasure.
For example, they plucked out the eyeballs of some criminals. They heated up metal boots and forced the person’s bare feet into them and then they drove a wedge between them with a big hammer to break their bones.
Those autocrats enjoyed themselves watching such people suffering from unbearable pain.
Also during the Middle Ages in Europe, they had a notorious religious court trial called ‘witch hunting’.
The actual purpose of this trial was to distinguish heretical ideas that were not right according to the Orthodox Christian doctrine.
This later became a tool to indiscriminately execute even innocent people.
They tortured innocent people in various ways in order to make them confess that they were witches.
For example, they put some heavy rocks or metal pieces around people’s necks and put them in water.
And if they floated on the water they condemned them as witches and executed them, but if they were ‘innocent’ and sank, they just left them.
If they tried to come up to the surface to survive, then they were executed being condemned as witches. If they stayed in the water naturally, they drowned.
Some crafty noble men, in order to take other people’s possessions, tortured innocent people to make them say that they committed sins.
When they tortured somebody, they first took him to the underground torture rooms that were dark and humid.
The floor of the torture room was stained with blood and there were many torturing instruments that looked fearful.
And the person could hear the screams of other people who were being tortured too.
So, the one who is brought to this torture room is captured by terror even before the torturers actually began.
One of the most common tortures at the time was tightening rings.
They put the thumb or the toes into the metal rings, and they tighten them until the bones were crushed.
While tightening, they pulled out each of the fingernails or the toenails.
Next, they twisted the arm to their backs, bound the wrists, and hung them in the air.
Then, as time passed, they would feel excruciating pain of their whole body being twisted.
At this time, they didn’t just hang the person.
They would repeat lifting him up and putting him down on the floor, and they magnified the intensity of the pain as they changed the speed of doing it.
In some cases, they put some metal pieces that weighed hundreds of kilograms around the ankles.
Then the muscles and joints of the whole body widened, and he would feel the pain of the whole body being torn apart.
If he still didn’t make a confession, they would put him in a torturing chair.
This chair is not an ordinary chair.
Not only on the chair itself, but also on the back, the arm rest, and on the leg-rest, small gimlets were densely spaced.
The person would be so surprised to see this chair and he would try all the best not to sit on it.
Then, some strong men would hold him tight, lift him up, and then strongly sit him in the chair.
Then, the sharp gimlets would pierce each part of his body.
There were also some cabinets in men’s shape. They had long nails placed densely, inside and in the door of the cabinet.
They would put a person in it and slam the door. Then, what would happen to that person?
The long nails would pierce his eyes, chest, back, and all parts of his body.
Finally, the cabinet would be filled with blood.
This person would slowly die of excessive bleeding.
Also, when they were questioning somebody, they would burn sensitive parts slowly, such as armpit or the sole of the foot.
By burning the armpit, the pain became the greatest, and by burning the sole of the foot, the pain would last for the longest possible time.
This was a popular method because it was simple but the pain was great.
There were actually countless torturing methods, such as pinching the skin with heated-up pliers, cutting off the tongue with a knife, and searing inside the mouth with a hot iron.
So many innocent people finally confessed they were sinners being unable to bear with such tortures, and they were executed.
Even though they insisted on their innocence, they would be tortured even more and finally died.
Some examples of executions are putting the convict into a frame that looked like a wheel and rolling it so that the person would be torn apart.
They would also hang the convict upside down, and begin to saw from the groin into the body.
They would also pour molten lead into the ears and nose of the convict.
In the next session, I will talk to you about the punishments of the third level in the Lower Grave.
[Conclusion] Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, before I talk about the punishments of the 3rd level, I talked to you about the tortures and execution that actually existed in the human history.
These were all devised by the evil of men.
It’s unbelievable that human beings devised these things to torture other human beings, but they are all true.
But no matter how cruel the people may become, they cannot be compared with the messengers of Hell.
The messengers of Hell never have any pity on any person.
They consider the souls in Hell like trash or their toys.
How wretched it is that people become like trash?
Furthermore, if we think about having to be trampled on and tortured by the messengers of Hell, it is such a fearful thing.
Therefore, we should never become valueless beings by falling into Hell.
Not only on this earth but also in the kingdom of heaven, we should be precious and lovely persons.
Then, who are precious persons?
They are the ones who do their whole duty as men.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.”
We can become precious persons who resemble God if we fear God and keep His commandments.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will all do your duty as men and go into New Jerusalem, and be considered noble.
[Amen and Amen]