In the Midst of the Fire

The message was brought by Rev. Mark Osborne.

Some say hell will never happen, but I have bad news for you.  God is a just God.  It will happen.

Luke 16: 19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.24 And 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.25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

In the midst of the fire.  Everyone is going to die.  We’ll all face it.  This flesh has to go back to the ground.  It is our hindrance.  It keeps us from God’s presence.  The rich man hung on to his riches; they were his hindrance.  Satan tells us not to give up certain activities or we’ll never have any fun.  What we give up makes us closer to the Lord.  The rich man here hung on just like the rich young ruler who came to Jesus did.  He told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor and follow him.  He didn’t do it.  His riches were his hindrance.  We have many hindrances in our lives too.

Lazarus died; the angels carried him to heaven.  Later the rich man died.  In the next scene he lifted his eyes in torments.  In hell there are torments—with an s.  The man will never get rid of the times he didn’t accept God.  That’s a torment.  The heat will be so hot that people in the torment of it can’t see it.  Matthew 13:41-43 says the Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  What’s taking place here?  It’s too late to get out and there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.  The opportunity is today.  It could go away. How many people are saying “not now, Lord”?  They want to live it up.  I hope our family members are listening to us. Are we doing our part to stand up for Christ?  Hell is for eternity just like heaven is.  The rich man found out too late.

His desire was to send a message to his family.  Are we sending the message out that there is a hell to shun, a fire that will burn forever?  They’ll find out eventually.  Don’t say that.  Don’t think like that.  What if Jesus had said that and gave up on us?  Who’s going to hell?  Verse 41 says all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire.  What offends?  Have you rejected Jesus?  That’s an offense.  It’s not only that.  It’s those which do iniquity.  We’re all sinners.  There is none righteous, no not one.  As sinners we deserve hell.  Romans 5:8 says but God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  He’s worth telling someone about.  Why are we afraid to do it?  The devil does all the things he possibly can to distract us from salvation.  Take him back to where you were saved.  I take him back to the house down the road from here.  I’ve not been perfect since I got saved, but God has helped me and been with me.

In Daniel chapter 3 we find three others in the midst of the fire, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  The rich man was under torments in his fire.  These three were pressured to do what God said not to do.  They boldly said they would not bow to an image.  Anger built up in the king.  The world hated Jesus.  They’ll hate us.  The devil will do his best to ruin our lives.  The furnace was heated seven times hotter than normal.  The men who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fire died doing so.  The king had these three men thrown in there. A little while later, he looked out and saw four men.  He declared this fourth man looked like the Son of God.  When we’re in the fire, God is with us.  The men were bound but they walked around.  They walked out of the furnace without the smell of fire on them or a singe of their hair.  God is powerful enough to burn the ropes off but not singe the hair.

How much do we trust God?  The king said blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him.  They leaned on Jesus, more than leaned.  They laid their lives in his hands.  You can go to work with a smile because the Lord is with you!  And when they ask you why you’re smiling take advantage of it and say “because I have the Lord.”

Jesus is the only way out of hell.  He said I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No man cometh to the Father but by me.  God has given us so much to be happy about.  If you’re in the midst of the fire, trust God to be with you.

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