Revelation 20:11-15 / Is Your Name in the Book?

Posted on July 26, 2016

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This is the Fifty-first in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on July 17, 2016. This message looks at the realities of hell for all who are not in the book of life. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not necessarily a full transcript.
SERMON AUDIO:

Rev 20:11-15

SERMON NOTES:

Hell is a commonly corrupted doctrine, and a favorite of the false teachers. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny it, many liberal theologians deny it, and recently the well known false teacher Rob Bell has denied it.

I’ve often wondered about the motives of the person who denies hell. The Bible is so clear on its existence, that you can’t make a Biblical case against it. I can only guess that the people who teach that hell doesn’t exist simply don’t believe the Word of God.

In Rob Bell’s case, I am sure that is true. He even teaches universalism, by stating that everyone will go to heaven whether they profess Christ or not. And why wouldn’t you believe that if you don’t believe in hell? Where else are you going to go? Universalism is the logical progression from a denial of hell.

If there is no need to profess Christ, then why did He die? hopefully, by now, you can see where this type of teaching leads. While it may make people feel good to believe that God’s love will not send people to hell, its simply not the truth.

While it may be common for Christians to say “God doesn’t send people to hell, we send ourselves there.” That is not what Scripture says. Hell is real, and God does send people there.

  • Revelation 20:15

Notice that these people are cast into the lake of fire, they are not jumping in on their own.

Certainly people make the decision to reject Christ, and therefore accept the consequences of hell, but just as a criminal willfully breaks the law, his fate is not sealed until the judge sentences him to prison. At that point, the criminal does not willingly drive himself to the prison and check himself in. No. . . he is handcuffed and taken away.

In the same manner, a sinner’s fate is not sealed until God pronounces judgment. At that point, they are cast into the lake of fire. Yes, God does send people to hell.

Let’s go ahead and look at an overview of the Biblical case for hell. First, understand that this was a very important topic for Jesus. Hell is not a word we need to avoid. Jude tells us that we need to pull people out of the fire.

  • Jude 23

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus talks about a literal and and eternal hell.

  • Mark 9:43-44
  • Mark 9:46
  • Mark 9:48
  • Matthew 25:46

Notice that Jesus says that the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. It is a place where the body never burns up, and the fire never burns out! What’s more, Jesus was actually quoting the Prophet Isaiah.

  • Isaiah 66:24

Daniel also speaks of eternal punishment:

  • Daniel 12:2

As you can see, the Bible speaks very clearly about a place of eternal torment and punishment.

Some People actually teach that hell is real, but  the soul is annihilated. The preceding verses, however, clearly teach that the soul is eternal. Another teaching is that people in hell will eventually repent, though the preceding verses should be enough to refute that idea, the Bible has more to say on that.

  • Matthew 13:41-42

This term “wailing and gnashing of teeth,” in the Greek, literally gives a picture of someone who is in a fit of anger and rage, not sorry and repentant. People in hell will simply be angry and blaming God, not repentant.

Take the story of the Rich man and Lazarus. We see the rich man in hell, but he was not repentant, he still viewed Lazarus as a servant. Notice that in verse 24 that he wanted Lazarus to bring him some water. This man’s attitude had not changed one bit!

  • Luke 16:19-31

Yes, the Bible makes it very clear that hell is real, and that anyone whose name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire.

  • Revelation 20:11-15

Without faith in Jesus Christ, and acceptance of the sacrifice that He made on your behalf, your name will not be recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and that is the only thing we should truly fear.

  • Matthew 10:28
  • Luke 12:4-5
  • Hebrews 10:31

The thought of hell may be fearful, but God’s amazing love shines through. He gave us the escape that we didn’t deserve, and “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” He took the punishment that we deserved, when He could have simply turned His back. Instead, God turned His back on Jesus, so that He would never have to turn His back on us. The acceptance of God’s grace couldn’t be easier.

  • Romans 10:9
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Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons