Let The World Die And Spend Eternity In Hell?
By Joe Keim
September 1, 2010
Mark chapter 16 is quite possibly one the most exciting chapters in the entire Bible; it is in the 6th verse of this chapter that we are told that...
JESUS IS RISEN!
Do you realize that those three words, in Mark 16:6, set Christianity apart from ALL other religions in the world? Let me explain.
Every religion in the world follows a leader. For example...
1. Muslims follow Muhammad
2. Buddhists follow Buddha
3. Mormons follow Joseph Smith
4. Jehovah Witnesses follow Charles Russell
And the truth is, when Muhammad, Buddha, Joseph Smith and Charles Russell died, they stayed dead. And friend, they are still ALL dead to this day. But, in the case of Jesus Christ, that is NOT so.
Mark writes in Chapter 16:9, 12 and 14:
NOW WHEN JESUS WAS RISEN early the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene...
After that He appeared in another form unto two of them...
Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat...--Mark 16:9-14
Not only does Mark chapter 16 tell us that our King and Savior, Jesus Christ, rose from the dead, but the writer also offers proof by telling us that Jesus was seen by various people who had been with Him before they laid His dead body in the tomb, just days before.
Thus the question; which leader would you rather follow? Muhammad, who is still dead, or Jesus Christ who has risen from the dead?
Aren't you glad that you were raised in a home where you heard about Jesus from a child up? Otherwise, you may have been born into a family that followed a dead leader, rather than a live one.
Now, let's keep digging a little deeper to see what else happened in Mark chapter 16.
We are told in verse 14 that the eleven apostles had come together and were eating, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Jesus appeared right in midst of them. And according to Mark's writing, the very first words out of Jesus' mouth were...
GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD, and preach the gospel to every creature. --Mark 16:15
Jesus did not beat around the bush! He did not even seem to have introduced Himself as one who had come back from the dead. No, He got right to the point; He said "Go ye into all the world [everywhere] and preach the gospel to every creature."
Jesus knew that His time on earth was limited to about a month, and then He would be taken up to heaven. At the very forefront of His mind were these thoughts:
- Men, when I leave for heaven, you must carry on the truth that I have been teaching you for the past three years.
- Don't quit preaching the gospel until the whole world has heard.
- Preach it to every single man, woman and child you come in contact with. Don't miss a one! Don't stop until all have heard!
- Preach it to the white people and also to the black people. Preach it to the Russians, the Africans, the Americans, the Italians, the Mexicans, the Koreans, the Chinese, etc.
- Preach it to those who drive buggies and preach it to those who drive cars.
- Preach it to the city folks and preach it to country folks. Preach it to the rich and preach it to the poor.
- Preach it! Preach it until the day you are received up to glory.
- Preach it to the whole world!
And friend, just in case it did not sink in the first time, let's look at the verse again:
[Jesus commanded] go ye into all the world, and preach THE GOSPEL to every creature. --Mark 16:15
We are not to preach our own thoughts and ideas; neither have we been asked to preach our man-made rules, world religions and philosophies. But we are to preach the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news which the world desperately needs to hear.
Some years later, after Jesus had given the eleven apostles the clear command to preach the gospel to every creature, the Apostle Paul explained in greater detail what the gospel meant. He wrote...
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you THE GOSPEL which I preached unto you...how that (1) Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that (2) He was buried, and that (3) He rose again the third day according to the scriptures --1 Cor. 15:1-4.
Did you notice how Paul explained the gospel? He explained it as...
- Christ died for our sins
- He was buried
- He rose again the third day
I personally believe, it is very important that we understand that the gospel is not just that Jesus died and rose again. But it is that Jesus died, was buried and then rose again the third day. It is this 3-part message (gospel) that Jesus commanded His followers to preach all over the world to every creature.
And dear friend, may I remind us both; the commandment that Jesus gave to His followers that day was not just for them. It was for every generation of believers after them. I would also like to remind ourselves that Jesus' commandment to preach the gospel to the whole world does not consider difficulties, dangers, or barriers to be reasons for not going. Not once did Jesus talk about excuses for not sharing the gospel. He just said, "Go!"
The issue of eternal life vs. eternal damnation is far too important an issue to allow anything to stop the gospel from going forth. In fact, if you stop and think, what if a previous generation had completely stopped preaching the gospel? If that were the case, then we would have missed out.
Aren't you glad our forefathers didn't stop preaching the gospel? But now wait a minute, before we get too caught up in our excitement and appreciation; what about the nations who did forsake the gospel and quit passing it on to the next generation? Are we just going to sit on the side lines and hope that somehow things will change for them?
God forbid that we would be so selfish as to wait on them to come to us to hear the gospel; if they don't come, well than it's their own tough luck. I mean, wouldn't we want someone to come to us, if that other person knew about the gospel and we didn't?
The gospel has to be carried forth. No land is to be neglected; no people are to be ignored. The believer is commanded: "Go ye into all the world" (Mark 16:15).
You may have heard Christians make some of the following statements:
- But our church does not teach this, therefore, I am not going to be held accountable by God for not going.
- I don't have to preach the gospel; people are reminded of God when they see my plain life style and modest dress code.
- That's not for me. I am a quiet and reserved kind of person that has a hard time coming up with the right words.
- Other people know their Bible better than I do. If I tried to preach the gospel to my neighbor, family members or friends, I would get all tangled up and embarrassed.
- I don't want to appear as if I am too wrapped up in God or the Bible. Someone might look at me as a goody-goody two shoes.
The five excuses that I just listed may sound good to you now, but truthfully, do you really think they are good excuses?
Think about it this way, if God were to ask you why you didn't go into all the world and preach the gospel, which one of the five excuses would you use?
For example, if you and I were to use excuse #4, it would say a lot about where we stand with God. It would mean that the Bible has not been all that important in our life. It would also mean that our faith and understanding of God was weak, otherwise we would trust what Jesus said in in the next Scripture.
...take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. FOR IT IS NOT YE THAT SPEAK, BUT THE SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER WHICH SPEAKETH IN YOU. --Matt 10:19-20
Wow! Let that sink in for a minute. If I understand what Jesus was saying there, He meant that all I have to do is... Open my mouth and He will do the speaking. How hard could that be?
Well, one might say, I have no problem opening my mouth and letting Jesus speak through it, however, it's very frightening to me when I think of trusting the Lord to come through with the right words at the right time.
I hope that wouldn't be our answer, but if it is, than shame on us.
Several thousand years before Jesus spoke the words in Mathew 10:19-20 (the verse we just read), God met up with a young 20-yr old boy named Jeremiah and asked if he would partner with Him in reaching the children of Israel, who had strayed away from Him. The young boy replied by saying, "But Lord, I cannot speak, for I am only a child." The Lord, however, responded to Jeremiah with words that should give all of us courage to preach the gospel.
Look at the Lord's response to Jeremiah:
But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Then the LORD put forth His hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. --Jeremiah 1:7-9
Most of us have never experienced what it's like to have God speak through us. But those who have experienced it, have also felt the deep joy and fulfillment of having been used of God.
Look how the Psalmist put it:
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed (spreading the gospel), shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. --Psalm 126:6
I like how Samuel Eyles Pierce explains this verse.
"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed"-- This is very expressive of a gospel minister's life; he goeth forth with the everlasting gospel which he preaches; he sows it as precious seed in the church of God; he waters it with tears and prayers; the Lord's blessing accompanies it; the Lord crowns his labors with success; and at the last day he shall doubtless come again with joy from the grave of death bringing his sheaves with him; and will, in the new Jerusalem state, be addressed by his Lord with, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." -Samuel Eyles Pierce (1746-1829?)
Some reader might use the excuse that he or she only has an 8th grade education. To that excuse, I would have to remind you--the Bible tells us that Peter and his brother Andrew were fishermen by trade. Most likely, they were just ordinary and unskilled men in the community. But that did not matter to our Lord at all. He just needed someone who was willing to use their mouth for Jesus. That's all.
And He [Jesus] saith unto them [Peter and Andrew], Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.--Matthew 4:18-20
And with that said, may I remind ourselves, that is all Jesus is looking for in us. He can use us, whether we are 8 yrs old or 80. He can use us whether we stutter like Moses or lived in a whales belly like Jonah. He can use us whether we are a woman, a man, a child, educated or un-educated.
In fact, when the ordinary, unlearned fisherman named Simon Peter made himself available to God in Acts 2:14-41, God spoke with such power that 3,000 people cried out to God for salvation and were baptized.
Here is the record, as written by Luke:
It all started in verse 14 of Acts chapter2, when Peter got up and boldly began to preach.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: --Acts 2:14
And for the next 27 verses, Peter preached his heart out. Or should I say, Peter opened his mouth and the Holy Spirit of God took over. By the time we get to verse 41 of the same chapter, we are told that several thousand people were converted to Christianity.
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)
- Aren't you glad that Peter opened his mouth for God to speak through?
- What do you think God could do if you opened your mouth for Him?
Think about this: How many lost people do you and I cross paths with each week, and not once do we warn them about their eternal destiny. Do we not care at all?
Here are some questions for us to consider:
- What man or woman would allow their next door neighbor to go to an eternal hell of fire and brimstone and not warn them about it?
- Who, knowing that their best friend has not yet obeyed the gospel, would not fall on their knees and weep for God to save him or her?
Is our farm or business or garden or canning actually that much more important than that lost soul? Or how about the man who lives in another city? Another state? Another country? Does it matter at all, that they do not know the gospel? Are we really that cold hearted that we will just try to excuse our guilt away?
Look at the words of Jesus:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. -- Acts 1:8
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying ... Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, ... and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. -- Matthew 28:18-20
Are you going? Have you told anyone? If not, why? Maybe it's because you yourself have not believed the gospel. Oh, you say, but wait, I have made a vow on bended knee to build up in the Amish church as long as I live; I have also been baptized and am following the teachings of my forefathers.
My dear friend, as good as those things may seem to you, they are not the gospel. Remember what the gospel is? Let's read it again, so we know for sure.
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: --1 Corinthians 15:1-4
The Bible has a clear message to those who have not yet obeyed the gospel. In fact, God describes what will happen the moment someone dies and has not yet believed the gospel.
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; --2 Thessalonians 1:8-9
The words "everlasting destruction" does not mean total destruction or ceasing to exist. They mean exactly what they say in this verse: to be separated from the face of the Lord and from the glory of His power-an eternity of woe (A.T. Robertson. Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol.4, p.44).
They mean complete ruin and loss; to be cut off, excluded, removed, separated, extinguished, deprived, abhorred, and banished from all the good things of life.
Complete ruin and loss: from all that life should be.
Cut off: from the presence of God and from the glory of His power and of heaven.
Excluded: from all joy, pleasure and satisfaction. It is utter emptiness.
Removed: from all companionship and associations and from all possessions. It is being left all alone and left with nothing. It is utter loneliness.
Separated: from the presence of all goodness and righteousness-from God and from all those who sought after righteousness. And there is no prospect of the separation ever ending, not even for an hour.
Extinguished: from love and affection. It is a hell of passion let loose.
Deprived: from the Holy Spirit restraining the force of evil. It is a hell of lawlessness.
Abhorred: from the bodies of glory. It is a decayed carcass (Isaiah 66:23-24).
Banished: from all hope. It is being eternally lost forever, and there is no prospect of the banishment ever ending-not even for one hour.
The great black preacher, E.V. Hill, who is now with the Lord, once shared how he as a youngster went to a church service, many years ago, and that night the preacher got up and started preaching on hell. As he was preaching, he shouted out, "if you are sitting in this place tonight, and not yet born again, you are like a person who is swinging over the lake of hell on a cob web."
Dearest reader, there is a lot of truth in that statement. No man, woman or child, alive at the present time, is promised the next 30 seconds on this side of eternity. James chapter 4 describes life as a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. And while we are yet alive, we must keep our focus on eternity.
It Isn't Fair!
Fred D. Jarvis
It isn't fair! It can't be right!
I now protest with all my might!
I raise my voice both loud and strong.
It's wrong my friend! It's wrong; it's wrong.
It's wrong, I say, dead wrong, indeed!
That's why I weep and beg and plead.
It is black and wicked sin
To keep the light from dying men!
I plead the cause of men afar,
Unsaved, unloved, untold they are
Why have we been so late and slow?
Why have there been so few to go?
Unsaved, unsought, and still untold
Because we love and hoard our gold.
How dare we show such selfish greed
And keep the truth from men in need?
Let's follow Jesus' last command!
Let's take the light to every land!
This truth is plain: The need is great;
The time is short; the hour is late!
Let's not linger, rest, or sleep,
But rise and go and give a weep
And quickly tell a dying race
Of Jesus' love and power and grace!
The Bible says:
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. --2 Corinthians 4:3-4
Whenever I read this portion of Scripture, I can't help but ask myself, "am I really hiding the gospel from those who are lost?" Who in their right mind would do such a wicked selfish thing like that? I mean, think about it. Why, if I know and have believed the gospel, would I than hide it from others who are lost?
There is only one good answer to this whole thing: you and I have to quit hiding the gospel and get busy telling everybody that they can be saved from hell, if they will just believe the gospel.
This study was written by Joe Keim, for the Amish Voice, in hopes that my people, the Amish, might better understand the great need of taking the gospel to other people and nations of this world.
- Joe Keim
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