Luke 16: 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,
Starting from this Sunday morning service, we will begin sermons about Hell. I have already given a series of sermons about hell, and a book was published based on it.
But the reason why I am repeating it is to let more people know about Hell, including the GCN TV viewers.
Until recently I preached about Heaven. God wants everyone to know about Heaven and Hell.
Heaven and Hell surely do exist.
It is only natural for a man to die once he is born.
After death, everyone will be judged and go to either Heaven or Hell.
God the Father wants His beloved children to know this fact and live with the hope for heavenly kingdom.
He doesn’t want anybody among all mankind, the descendants of Adam, to fall into Hell. We can see how truthful His love is from Romans 5:7-8.
It says, “For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
God even gave us His one and only Son Jesus to save us from falling into hell.
Jesus was spotless and blameless, but he took the cruel punishment in the place of us who were sinners.
If we just believe this fact and live in the light, everyone can be saved from hell and go into the heavenly kingdom.
The way of salvation and the gate of heaven were opened widely for all sinners through great love of God. But when we preach this fact, today people are indifferent or they don’t want to accept and believe it.
Some of them say, “With the developments of science and technology, do you still believe in heaven and hell?” “Have you been there? We will find out when we die.”
As science develops and the sins and darkness prevail more in this world, people’s consciences become more and more numbed. They deny the life to come and the judgment.
Because they do not know the truth, so many people commit many kinds of sins following their lust and go the way of death.
Even those who say that they are believers, who say they believe in God, befriend the world and commit sins. Because their understanding and belief are vague, they don’t have fear of the Judgment and of the terrors of Hell.
But time keeps running towards the end without stopping. And, the heart of God the Father is desperately seeking to save just one more soul. That is why God has let us know clearly about Hell and to preach about it.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, hell is not something that is very easy to preach about.
When people hear about hell, those who have faith and are full of Spirit will say they are grateful saying, “I am grateful that God has saved me from such a fearful place.”
But those who have weak faith or new believers are afraid just to hear about hell. Some of them do not attend worship services or even leave the church. That is such a heartbreaking thing.
Some people who do not know about the spiritual realm may have misunderstandings because they won’t believe what the Word says about it.
Even as for me, as a pastor, I would like to preach only words of blessings saying, “Just believe in Jesus and then you will receive salvation and blessings.”
Then, preaching would be comfortable both for me and for the church members. But, if I preach only words that are comfortable and easy to receive just because it is good to hear, then who would struggle against sins to the point of shedding blood?
Only when we clearly know about the reality of Heaven and Hell can we be on alert, not befriending the world. Then, we will take hold of the better heavenly dwelling places by force.
Furthermore, if you have any wall of sin and you become afraid when you listen to this message, it means you have received a blessing.
Upon hearing about the sins of the believers in the church of Corinth, the apostle Paul once wrote to them with tears asking them to come into repentance.
Because of it, they repented.
Paul was so happy to hear it and wrote to them once again.
The first half of 2 Corinthians 7:9 says, “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance.” If we can be sorrowful to the point of repentance, it is such a great blessing!
When we want to turn from sins and repent, God always gives us grace and strength.
If we repent from the heart and turn back and live in the light, God does not even remember the past sins.
He will make us clean as said in Isaiah 1:18, latter half, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.”
Therefore, even if you have been walking in darkness until now, I urge you to rely on the love of the Father God and turn away completely.
That way, I hope you will be able to listen to these messages having the faith that you can surely go into heavenly kingdom.
Brothers and sisters, the word I am going to deliver from this point on is all true.
I hope that not a single person among you will have any doubt. We cannot learn about the spiritual realm through the knowledge or power of men.
We can learn about it only when God tells us.
God tells us about the existence of Hell by writing about it in many parts of the Bible.
But with the limited volume of the Bible, He cannot write every detail about hell in it.
Therefore, He will tell us more details and deeper things about the spiritual realm through people who communicate with Him.
Amos 3:7 says, “Surely the LORD God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.”
And since God doesn’t want any of His children to fall into hell, why wouldn’t He tell us the secrets about hell?
He wants everyone to know.
There are some people who have been to Hell by the special grace of God.
Even among our church members, some of them have seen Hell with their spiritual eyes.
34 years ago, I was healed of all my diseases by the power of God. I surely met and experienced the living God.
Since then, I have accepted and believed every word of God concerning Heaven, Hell, and the Judgment.
As a result, I have tried to talk about the God whom I met and to preach the gospel.
But when I met those people who wouldn’t believe, I felt great pity for their souls.
I always thought about how I could lead them to believe that all the word of God is true.
Meanwhile I began to pray to God by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When I prayed with so much fasting even at risk to my life, God began to explain to me about the Bible.
He also let me know clearly about Heaven and Hell.
I preached the messages I received without any fear.
Even though I was persecuted or had to undergo sufferings because of it, I did not stop preaching.
It’s because I know well the heart of the Lord who doesn’t want anyone to fall into hell.
Something that I am very thankful for are the books on Heaven and Hell that are translated into many languages and published in many countries.
Many people have testified that they repented of their past lives, and through reading the books their hearts were renewed.
Something else to be thankful for is that God is showing us clear evidences so that we can believe that all of the words given are true. For those people who didn’t believe to come to believe, Jesus showed powerful works and said as follows:
John 14:11 says, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”
The Lord has been showing us amazing works of God’s power since the beginning of this church. Recently, He has let us experience the spiritual space, which is different from this physical space.
Through this, namely the spiritual realm, we could be assured even more greatly about the actual existence of Heaven and Hell.
Today, I am asking for even greater power from God. Be sure that this is by no means for me. As a pastor, it is to save even those people who do not believe the word of God that is preached.
In the Bible we can find that Noah preached again and again that there would be the Judgment of the Flood. But until the day Noah went into the ark, people were eating and drinking and getting married.
How sorrowful Noah must have felt for those people!
Abraham knew that Sodom and Gomorrah would be judged and prayed with all his life.
He asked God to save those souls who were about to perish.
Because I know so clearly about the Judgment and Hell, I am asking for greater power of God with this kind of desperate heart for salvation.
When you see and experience these powerful works, I hope all of you will believe all the word of God.
God is full of mercy and compassion. He shows not only clear evidences but also gives us love that can go beyond the justice. As the end draws near, He gives us even greater love and mercy and grace and power.
I hope you will rely on this love and change, and also boldly teach and preach about this Hell to save the many dying souls.
If you listen to the sermon about hell carefully, you will be able to understand the spiritual realm more deeply.
Pastors or leaders will be able to give more accurate counseling on the Laws of the Spiritual Realm or Justice.
Therefore, I hope you will understand the message very well and make it your own strength.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will make all the Word your life and power so that you will go into the farthest place from Hell, namely New Jerusalem.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in today’s reading passage, it tells us that the rich man died and went to Hades. Where is Hades? Hades is another word for ‘Grave’.
Is it another word for Hell? Actually it’s not. The Grave is a separate place from Hell.
If we understand about the Grave, we can understand the whole structure of Heaven and Hell. We can also understand the process of how people who die on earth enter into Heaven or are cast into Hell.
The Old Testament also talks about the Grave. Jacob and Job also said that they would go down to the Grave.
But Numbers 16 tells us that Korah and his people who stood against Moses fell into the Grave alive. This means that Grave is divided into two places, one for those who are saved and the other for those who are not saved.
In today’s passage we can see the rich man and the beggar Lazarus both went to the Grave. But their situations were quite the opposite.
The rich man was suffering from the flames while Lazarus was at the side of Abraham, resting.
It’s because the place where the rich man went was the Lower Grave that belongs to Hell and the place where Lazarus went was Upper Grave that belongs to Heaven.
Namely, the Grave is divided into Upper Grave belonging to Heaven and the Lower Grave belonging to Hell.
Now, where is this Grave located? To understand just what Heaven and Hell look like, including the Grave, we can think about the diamond shape.
To think on a plane, we can think about the shape of a rhombus.
If we cut a rhombus into two haves horizontally, we have a triangle on top and an inverted triangle below. We can think of the triangle on top as ‘Heaven’ and the inverted triangle below as ‘Hell’.
Saying that the peak of the upper triangle is New Jerusalem, the base of the upper triangle is then the Upper Grave.
From the Upper Grave up, it will be paradise, the 1st kingdom of heaven, the 2nd kingdom of heaven, the 3rd kingdom of heaven, and New Jerusalem. The higher the position, the better dwelling place it is.
Of course, in the spiritual realm we cannot draw the borderline like we do here on earth. The spiritual space is limitless. Also, even if we say it is a diamond shape, we cannot define the shape of heaven.
I am just explaining this way for those who have physical limits to be able to understand.
You can think of Hell as being symmetrical with heaven.
The widest part of the inverted triangle is the Lower Grave. Getting closer to the lower peak it is the deepest place of hell.
That part that is closest to the lower peak is the bottomless pit that is otherwise called the ‘abyss’, that is mentioned in Luke 8:31 and also in the book of Revelation.
But the two triangles, namely ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ are not adjacent to each other.
They are a tremendous distance apart from each other, beyond any physical measures. Also as Abraham said in today’s passage Luke 16:26, there is a great chasm between the Upper Grave and the Lower Grave.
Those who dwell in Heaven and Hell cannot visit one another. But with a special permission of God, as in today’s reading passage, they can see or talk to one another like the rich man and Abraham talked.
In the spiritual realm, even with a great distance, people can see or talk to each other if God allows it. Today, even with the ability of men who are only creatures, we can talk with others who are on the other side of the earth while even seeing their faces.
And what can God the Creator not do?
Just think about the sea of glass in Revelation 4:6. We can feel the mystery of the spiritual realm.
At the Final Judgment, everything will be shown on this sea of glass.
Everything we have done, said, and thought in the past on earth will be shown as if it is happening real time. This will be the evidence to judge each person.
The things that are impossible on this earth because of physical limits are possible in spiritual world. In the next session, I will talk to you about the Grave in more detail.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the way to heavenly kingdom is not wide but narrow. Nevertheless, when we choose this way of heaven we can have true peace in life.
How many people are living in so many struggles just while living for 70 or 80 years?
To extend this limited life just a little bit they rely on medicine and other worldly knowledge.
They spend so much money and time to exercise and take health food.
They live to gain more fame, authority, and money. But they live in vague fear and doubt about whether life to come really exists.
What is the result of that kind of life? It is the unimaginably fearful punishment of hell which is difficult to just think or talk about.
I urge you not to live this kind of foolish life. Just imagine you are at the judgment throne of God right now.
Looking back, would you not have any regrets?
What if God then says that He will give you one more chance?
If you had regretted anything in your past life, how thankful you would be to God for giving you one more chance!
And in fact, you have received this kind of chance one more time today.
I ask you to grab a hold of this opportunity.
I urge you to live a valuable life each day so you can go into New Jerusalem.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will live a happy life forever there, without any regret!