Sermon Recap: HELL based on Luke 16:19-31, Revelation 21:8, and Matthew 25:41-43

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about hell. Some minimize what actually takes place in hell and view it in a positive light. Others are terrified that the devil is going to come and drag our souls straight down to hell with just one poor choice. Then there are those who argue against the very existence of hell, claiming it does not exist. Additionally, there is a group that argues that God is loving; everyone goes to heaven, and no one goes to hell. With all the many perspectives, what is the truth about hell? What does the Bible actually teach?

  1. Hell is a real place (Rev 21:8, Matt 25:41, Luke 16:23). These are three scriptures that speak and describe hell as a literal place, a fiery lake of burning sulfur (Rev 21:8). There are also a few other cognates in Scripture: Gehenna, or the place of wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth, also Hades, the belly of the earth, the underworld, the place of the dead, and the Abyss. Hell is real, but was originally prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41). Satan and his angels wanted the throne of God and rebelled against him. God, in his love, prepared a domain where Satan can rule without God’s presence because a loving God will not force anyone, including the devil, to repent.  Hell was never intended for humanity. Satan, however, wanted to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) humanity’s relationship with God and inspired humanity to embrace the same rebellious spirit. God never intended humanity to go to hell; rather, Satan tricked humanity into rejecting God and thus embracing hell.
  1. Hell is not a place you want to be (Luke 16:23, Matt 25:41). Hell is described as a place of torment and agony (Luke 16:23). Torment is to relive “how did I end up here?” again and again. Agony is to relieve the pain and regret of our choices, dwelling on the consequences of our decisions. Hell is a place of eternal fire, where the fire does not quench, and the worm does not die (Mark 9:48). In this life, we have the choice to follow God or go our own way. Hell is the place we live with the fruit of the choice of going our own way, apart from God.
  1. Our eternal destiny is final once we die (Luke 16:26, Matt 25:32, 46). When we die, we will all face the judgment seat of Christ (Heb 9:27, Matt 25:31-46). If our name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, we will enter into heaven. How do we know if we are in the book? Do we embrace Christ? What did we do with his salvation, grace, and mercy? Once our destiny is determined, the chasm is fixed (Luke 16:26). One cannot switch from heaven to hell and vice versa. Some may argue that this seems very unloving by God. However, God loved us so much that he gave us a Bible to tell us the truth, to warn us of what can still come and what the result of a sinful lifestyle would be. God also gave us Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. We have every moment we are alive to repent and follow Jesus. If we wait until after we die, we are not repentant; we are just like a child trying to get out of the consequences! God will never force someone to follow him against their will. I love my children, but I cannot force them as adults to make the right choices, to choose what is healthy and good, to choose a life of obedience to God.
  1. Our choices determine our destiny (Luke 16:25, Matt 25:42-43). Only a few will find salvation (Matt 7). Every day we have the choice to follow God or live in sin, embracing a rebellious lifestyle. The sinful lifestyle will lead to hell (Rev 21:8). God will not allow those in willful sin to enter into heaven. Likewise, a life of selfishness will lead to hell (Luke 16:25).
  1. Hell can be avoided (Luke 16:19-21, 29, Matt 25:42-44, Rev 21:8). God has given us the ability to choose life and embrace heaven! Listen to and obey the Word (Luke 16:29). That is precisely the counsel that Abraham gave in response to the rich man’s pleas–we have Moses and the Prophets! God has given us the Word to guide our living–follow it! Love your neighbor (Luke 16:19-21, Matt 25:42-44). Show we love God by loving our neighbor, extending them the same opportunity for hope. Repentance (Rev 21:8). God has given us ample opportunities for repentance (2 Pet 3). Turn from sin and go back to him.

God is loving. He told us the truth. He has warned us of the consequences. He paved the way for salvation. It is up to us to accept what God has given us or reject it.

Questions for Reflection

1) Why does humanity choose hell?

2) What torments you? What past choice keeps you in agony?

3) If you were to die today, where would you go? What is the state of your relationship with Jesus?

4) What sin do you struggle with that you need to find freedom from?

5) How much time do you spend in the Word? What parts are difficult to obey?

Upcoming Service

This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the Foundations of our Faith series with the sermon titled, “Heaven,” based on Revelation 22:1-5, 2 Corinthians 5:1-8, and Isaiah 65:17-25. How does the Bible describe heaven? And how do we get there? Come by our tune in on Sunday to find out!

Daily Bible Readings for July 9 – 15

July 9: Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 What does this passage teach us about God?

July 10: Isaiah 1:10-20 What does this passage teach us about God?

July 11: Isaiah 2:1-5 What does this passage teach us about God?

July 12: Isaiah 2:6-22 What does this passage teach us about God?

July 13: Isaiah 4:2-6 What does this passage teach us about God?

July 14: Isaiah 5:1-7 What does this passage teach us about God?

July 15: Isaiah 6:1-13 What does this passage teach us about God?

This Week’s  Events:

Reminder: Sunday School is at 9:15, Worship at 10:30!

Wednesday, July 10–VBS opening night; check-in starting at 5:30 pm

Sunday, July 14–Lynne & Bill’s Bible Study @ 4 pm in church library

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, July 17–VBS @ 5:30 pm

Thursday, July 18–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm

Monday, July 22–Outreach Team Meeting @ 7 pm

Sunday, July 28–Vespers @ 5 pm-special guest Strength in Peers

VERSE OF THE MONTH!

Every month we will feature a verse. The goal is for the entire church to learn this verse for the month so we grow in our memorized Bible knowledge. The verse of the month of July is Ephesians 2:8-9:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Announcements:

Social Media

Beaver Creek has updated its social media page. Please follow and share so many people can see what is happening at Beaver Creek! You can find the pages as follows:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beavercreekchurchva/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeaverCreekChurchVA/

Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story

We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. Contact Alice Over, Phyllis Simmons (worship leading), or Joscelin Cooper (children’s story) if you want to serve.

CHILDREN’S CHURCH & NURSERY

Children’s Church will take the summer months off (June, July, August).

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Vacation Bible School starts this Wednesday at 5:30 for check in, then dinner at 5:45. It is not too late to register!

The registration form for VBS is now available. You could also fill out the form here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdHLvFYD2rbF0Vg19pWJGQ9KFMy6oDCuUesW-8nEtmXXTgp1Q/viewform?usp=send_form

CHURCH RETREAT

Our next church retreat will be Friday, August 9 – Sunday, August 11. More information will be released in the coming days. If you would like to camp, the reserved sites are J-1, J-2, J-9, and J-10.

NEED FOR CLOTHING & HYGIENE PRODUCTS

As stated on Sunday, there is a need for clothing and hygiene products:

Women’s shirt size M/L

Pant size 10

Shoe size 6 1/2 – 7, depending on the shoe

Boy shirt size 7/8

Pant size 6/7 or 7/8

Shoe size 13c or 1

There will be a box in the narthex to place donated items. If you would like to donate a gift card instead, gift cards for Walmart or Target would be great (clothing & hygiene products), as well as for grocery stores.

Nursery

The Christian Education Team is looking for six to eight volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School and church hours. There will be a signup sheet in the back. If you would be willing to volunteer to allow our families to participate in worship, please inform one of the members of the Christian Education team (Theresa Eckard, Scott McAvoy, Becky Whitmore), or sign up on the signup sheet!

Sight & Sound Interest

The Fidelis class is in the process of coming up with a trip proposal to see Noah at Sight & Sound in 2025. Please stay tuned for the information once the trip is planned!

Four Ways to Give! 

1) Mail your tithe to the church office

2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm

3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving

4) Place in the offering plate on Sunday!

Prayer Needs

Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Louise Shirkey & Carolyn Wine

Eddie Baker (health)

Mary Batterman (health)

Sandy Bennington (health)

Sharon Botkin (health)

Katie Cooper (concussion)

Savannah Cox (comfort and peace)

Quinn Cox (health)

Norma Cunningham (recovery)

Amy Cyzick (health)

Natalie Dodge (health)

Bob Hess (health)

Tim Howdyshell (health)

Christy Lazer (health)

Ruth Luce (health)

Mark Martin (health)

Meeta McNett (health)

Betty Miller (health)

Norlen Miller (health)

Mary M Miller (health)

Savannah Miller (health)

Tami Plaugher (health)

Victor Samalot (health)–Pastor Ryan’s grandfather

Ann Simmons (health)

Bob Simmons (health)

Millie Simmons (health)

Crystal Smith (health)

Norma Suter (health)

Whitmore family

Mary Whitmore (health)

Judy Winner (health)

Cindy Wittig (health)

Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church

Good News Brief–July 9, 2024