December 2

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 1
     I John 1
     Micah 7
     Luke 16
            ''So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." (Luke 16:22-23)
            Whatever happened to Hell? Modem man has been successfully removing Hell from his theology, but apparently he has not removed it from his vocabulary. We hear him using that term many times. Actually, Hell is a real place, and probably the best passage to understand the subject of Hell is in Luke 16.
            During His earthly ministry, Jesus told many stories or parables. These were illustrations, or metaphors, that taught real truths.  The stories themselves were not actually true stories, but they taught the truth.
            So the question is, ''Was Luke 16:19-31 a true story, or just a parable?'' There is no question but that this was a very true story. Never did Jesus use a man's name in one of His parables. This time Jesus used the name of Lazarus. We must realize, then, that not only is Hell real, but this rich man in Luke 16 has been in Hell now for more than 2,000 years.
Actually, there are three Hells in Scripture. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word is Sheol. In the New Testament,
the word is Hades. These words describe the place where a lost person goes immediately at the time of his death, when his soul is separated from his body.
            Another place referred to in Scripture is called Tortoras. Tortoras is found only in II Peter and Jude, and mentioned only these two times in Scripture. It is the abode of the most wicked fallen angels (demons). Jesus mentioned a third Hell when He described Hell by the valley of Hinnom, which was the garbage dump for Jerusalem and burned constantly. He referred to it as Gehenna, and described it as the place where ''the fire bums forever, and the worn dieth not ." This is the place referred to in the description of the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20. It is the Lake of Fire for lost people who are in Hell. They are punished forever and ever, along with Satan and the demons. God never sends a man to Hell, but he is sent there by his sin. So sin teaches us there is a Hell. If there is no Hell, God the Father was a murderer to put God the Son on the Cross. The Cross was essential because there is, indeed, a Hell.
           This rich man discovered several things  when he went to hell.
1.    He discovered a variety of people in Hell. . . the famous,his own family, foes, even friends.
2.    He discovered the permanence of Hell.  It is a place where the lost are kept eternally.
3.    He discovered the pain of Hell - social, spiritual, and physical.
Because Hell is real,it is essential that you who are lost would receive Christ today. It is also essential that we who are saved would be totally committed to leading lost people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ which is the only hope to be delivered from Hell.
Pray today for the residents of Bali. There are very few Christians here on this island which has several active volcanoes. Pray that there will be an explosion of growth among the people of this island. The cost of discipleship is high and converts to Christ often face severe persecution and financial loss. Pray for the witness of Christians, this has great impact in leading others to make decisions. Cooperation among these Bali is a great need.
''Every man knows something that I do not know. I must probe until I find it, study until I learn it, work until I master it; hence, all men are my teachers."  Selected