If you’ve been a serious fisher at some point in your life, you’ve probably got a story about a fish that got away. Depending on how good a story-teller you are, your fish tale might be pretty dramatic! When we fish for people, though, as God calls his followers to do, the stories of the ones that get away are far more heartbreaking.
Why? Because the Bible makes it clear that there are two possibilities for the eternal destiny of all people. Each is equally real, though if we admit it, most of us are far more keen to think about heaven than hell – especially the Bible’s picture of hell.
As you listen to this message, you’ll hear me say that many people have a tolerable picture of hell that they have created with their own imaginations. Yet none of the religious traditions that depict hell paint a tolerable picture of it. If we take seriously what the Old Testament, the New Testament, or even the Qu’ran say, you’ll find that hell is not a place anyone would want to go.
This was a hard message to prepare and to preach; after all, talking about the devil’s domain is not something he wants God’s people doing – he’d rather we have these tolerable pictures of hell so that we will be less likely to come to the One who has the power to redeem us from the real hell that we deserve. Jesus’ death and resurrection were, once-for-all, what it took to snatch us from the hands of the devil. All we need to do is trust him.
I based the message on Luke 16.19-31, the story of the rich man and Lazarus.
You can listen to the message by clicking this link. A few times throughout the message, you’ll hear long pauses, but don’t stop – keep listening.