"Don’t Pick on My Kids"
Hell is real. Hell has purpose. God uses Hell as punishment, not rehabilitation. When Christians suffer - and some die - God does not just simply sit back without a care. There will come a time when the wrath of God will be revealed.
Don’t Pick On My Kids
(2 Thes. 1:5-10)
A. I want you to put yourself in the place of a judge. You hear all the evidence of someone who has stolen the identity of many people, spent over $100,000 in stolen money from their accounts and lived a life of luxury vacations until the time they were caught. Your job is to give the sentence for the crime? The law allows you put them in jail for up to 7 years. What do you do?
B. A person stands before you and the evidence places this person as one who has abused and harmed six people. They have caused such harm that one the victims committed suicide. They stand before you now for judgement; you have the ability to put them away for the rest of their life. What do you do?
C. As a parent you have to decide between the life of two of your children. You can only save one, doing nothing means you will save neither. How do you decide whom to save? Who lives? Who dies?
D. Do you think making judgement about the lives of people is easy? Do you think that you have it within you to determine sometimes who lives and who dies?
E. Jesus tells a story about a very wealthy man who lived a wonderful life but cared nothing for others. In fact, there a was man who laid at his gate, this wealthy man did nothing. In the course of time both men died. The poor man was in paradise – not because he was poor; and the rich man was in torment – not because he was rich. The judgement given upon the rich man was that he had the ability to help and did nothing.
I. God Is Just
A So we come to our text and we see God making judgement calls upon the lives of people who have done evil and the lives of those who chose to not obey God. Listen again to verse 5-7.
B. Christian persecution is seen in the schools, work place, and the halls of justice. When Christians feel the pain that is caused by their faith in Jesus, Paul writes to them and says, “Don’t ever think God is not aware of your persecution.” As he told the Romans, “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
C. Suffering does not fit out picture of God. Why does he let it happen to begin with? The suffering of Job, the martyrdom of Stephen, or Paul’s thorn in the flesh seem pointless to many. Habakkuk and other prophets complained to God about the injustice that went on around them. Even in Revelation we read about the souls who had been slain because of God’s word calling out (Rev. 6:9-10).
D. You are God’s children, and when you pick on his kids you pick on him. While we sometimes want retribution and vengeance, we need to remember that God says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” Now don’t pick on my kids.
II. God’s Punishment of the Wicked
A. Set off a smoke alarm using test button. The sound you just heard is very unpleasant. It is loud, it is annoying, and you probably would rather not hear it. Nevertheless, this noise can save your life because it comes from a smoke alarm, which is intended to make a clear warning of impending danger so that you will take actions to save your life.
B. Verses 8-9. I assure you that the Devil believes in a real Hell. You may not believe in hell this morning, you may think that it is just a state of mind, but as the old revival preacher said to the skeptic, “Your not believing in Hell don’t lower the temperature there one degree.” The world may not believe, but there will come a time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.
C. What we learn from Paul in this small passage is that Paul places two groups of people in Hell. (1) Those who do not know God and (2) those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. There is great fear for me in those verses. It is not just those who are inflicting persecution upon Christians, but also those who deny God will be hell.
D. Knowing that, it does drive me to share God’s message of hope, love, grace and salvation. For to withhold it leaves people condemned.
E. Look at how Paul describes Hell. He says in verse 9 that they will suffer eternal destruction and shut out from the presence of God. What does that mean? In hell there is no hope – no hope of relief from the pain and agony. The rich man, in the story Jesus told, wanted a drop of water but even that was denied to him.
F. In hell there is no God. They are shut out from the presence of God. When times are tough I can call out to God in prayer. I can cry unto the Lord, the rock of my salvation. I know that in pit of my anguish the Lord will hear my cry and lift me up. In hell I could cry out for all eternity and my prayer would go nowhere. In hell I am cut off from the presence of the Lord. There is no God in hell. Prayer has no avenue to God. They are in eternal exile from the power and glory of God.
A. There is something I want you to understand before you leave, Hell is avoidable. Some may disagree with me, but I believe everyone is given the opportunity to have eternal life, but few will choose it.
B. This morning I hope you realize the horribleness of hell. To be absent from hope, love and God is to absent from all that is good. God loves you and wants you to live with him. Listen (knock on the podium). That is the sound of knocking. Rev. 3:19-20. Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart and he wants to come in. Will you repent and obey? Will you open that door and let him be your Lord as well as your Savior? Hell is real, but you don’t have to go there. The one who created it can save you from it. Will you come to him today?
C. Our text ends with a word of joy to us (verse 10). I hope you are secure in your salvation. I pray you celebrate Jesus every day. If you died today where will open your eyes? Would you behold the glory of God or the darkness of hell?