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Everlasting Joy or Torment

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ESUS said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." There is a worldly peace but it is a false peace. And if this message disturbs your peace you can make up your mind that your peace is a false one. A man said that his father tried to teach him that there was no hell, but the son knew enough about the Word of God not to believe such a heresy.


There is no one who spoke more about hell fire and eternal punish­ment than Jesus Christ Himself. I am going to read what He said. He is an authority. God Almighty, the Father, sent Him and told Him what to speak; and He spoke it faithfully. He said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." I am persuaded that if people read God's Word there are going to be many who will have some light that will bring them into God's Heaven or sink them into a lost hell.


I am going to read about two men. They were as far apart in society as is possible to be in this world; and they were a great deal farther apart in the world that was to come. This is what Jesus said:


"There was a certain rich man."


He was a certain rich man and Jesus could have called his name if He had wanted to, but He said:


"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day."


He was having a good time he was banqueting and getting the finest food; he was not worrying about, anything. That is just about what a rich man does. He trusts in his riches and he knows his riches can buy anything in this world. But his riches cannot buy anything that comes from Heaven. That is salvation.


"And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

"And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

"And it came to pass, that the, beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried."


And he was carried somewhere. Where did he go? No angel carried him to Abraham's bosom, but he went somewhere. Death is no respecter of persons. We do not need to fool ourselves; someday, somewhere along the line, that summons is going to come and we are going to be called just like the man mentioned in the Bible who made no preparation for the here­after — but he was making plenty for the present. He had a great crop coming in and he saw that his barns were too small and he said, "This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." He thought: you do not need to starve, even if the rest of the world is starving; you will have plenty on hand. But about that time he heard a voice that came down from Heaven: "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"

Every rich man will leave behind everything he has, his full barns, his money, and everything else. God said that this man was a fool. Anyone is a fool, whether he is a rich man or beggar or whoever he is, if he leaves God out of his plans. He is an absolute fool because God is the One to whom we must give an account. God is going to call us all someday. The summons will come to every one of us. I am sure we are not foolish enough to believe we are going to live forever in these bodies. But the man who has Christ in his life has the promise of eternal life, and when his body goes back to the dust his soul will go to God.


The sinner knows that he is not going to God; and he probably does not know where he is going. But God is going to let him know where he is going.


We read that this rich man died and was buried. They gave him a wonderful burial. They probably had a preacher there who gave him a good send-off. They no doubt sent him right on to Glory; eulogized him and said he was a self-made man, told how he made his money, said that he was a good citizen, was a very shrewd businessman and made lots of money. That preacher fixed him up for Heaven. But the Lord didn't. What did Jesus say about it? He said this:


"And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

"And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."


Now, you soul-sleepers, what do you think of that? you people who say no one ever comes back from the dead, that no one knows what is hereafter. I am telling you by the authority of God Himself that Someone did come back, and He never changed His doctrine, either, when He came back. That was Jesus.


Someone says, "Do the dead speak?" Here is a dead man talking ­the rich man. He has all his senses, all his faculties. He can talk; he can feel; he can see; and he can pray, for he says, "I am tormented in this flame."


There are many people who are going to pray in hell. That is too late! You had better pray before you get there. Pray like the 'publican prayed; don't pray like this man prayed. He said, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus." Away off there he could see Lazarus in Abraham's bosom having a good time. Lazarus got rid of his sorrow, rid of his worn-out clothes, and he was living over there in luxury and in ease, and was being blessed and comforted. This rich man had fared sumptuously every day an the finest food, and had worn good clothes; but now he is in hell and in torment. He doesn't talk about his clothes nor what he is. He wants to get out of that place. One will not be in there five minutes before he will want to get out.


"Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." And all will be torment­ed down there, too, if they don't believe God's Word and make themselves ready to meet Him. There is no after-place where they can get right; there is no purgatory. That there is a purgatory is one of the biggest lies the devil ever concocted and sent out over the world, but there are millions who believe it.


I want to do my own praying for forgiveness for sin. You will have to do your own, too. Do not depend on someone else's prayers to get you through. You will do some praying and some digging and be paying the price and coming clean with God. This old-time religion may be straight, but it is the real thing. You do not hear a message on hell everywhere. You might go to some churches for years and never hear it. Why? Because they don't believe it. You might just as well close the Book and say, "I don't believe anything in it." If you believe in Heaven you have to believe in hell; because the same Jesus said that there are both places, and He cannot contradict Himself. He said it.


"But Abraham said, Son, remember . "


That fellow could remember, too! Let me tell you, you will remember; you will have your faculties. Don't forget that. And don't let anyone tell you that you are like an ox or a horse and that when you die that is the last of you, and that you might as well have a good time while you are liv­ing on this earth and full of your sins. You will meet them all — every sin you ever committed; you will meet them when you stand before the living God. It is in the Bible.


"But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

"And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."


If you fail to make preparation here and go down to hell, you can cry and pray and sweat, but you might just as well not say a word, be­cause the gulf is fixed and you cannot pass over it. If anyone would have a little sympathy for you and want to go down there and bring you over, he could not go, because the gulf is fixed and it is a "great gulf." We want to be sure when we pass out of this world that we get on the right side of that gulf.


Way back there in the beginning God breathed into man and man became a living soul. God did not say that about a horse or an elephant or anything else. He said it about man. He wonderfully made man, fixed every artery and every bone in its place, and gave him a brain. He breathed the breath of life into him and he became a living soul — a soul immortal, a soul that cannot be killed, a soul that never dies. God says that all souls are His.


Then the rich man gets anxious about his family, his brothers:


"Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

"For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment."


It would have been easy for him to say: "It's terrible down here. Father Abraham, if you can't do anything for me, if you can't get me out of here, send Lazarus to my family and tell them to keep out of this place. Tell them to change their lives; tell them to get rid of their sins. Tell them there is a terrible hereafter; tell them there is an eternal burning hell and I am in it."


What did Abraham answer him?


"Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them."

"And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

"And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."


The condition is just the same today. I suppose there are some poor harebrained skeptics who say, "Send us someone from the dead." No, you would not believe, you hypocrite! You would not believe if one did rise from the dead. You would have some other excuses for your sin. "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."


It is the same today; if men hear this Word of God and it does not have effect on them because they do not believe it — the abiding Word of God — and they do not act and take it at its face value, a thousand people could be raised from the dead and come back to tell them, still they would be unbelievers and on their road to hell.


Jesus made it plain about this place called hell. There are many sects and so-called religious people who say there is no hell; but my friends, there IS one! A man came to me one time trying to give me his literature. I said to him, "I know that kind of literature. You are in the outfit that doesn't believe in hell-fire, aren't you?" He said, "Would you be sorry if there wasn't such a place?" I said, "I certainly would, after all God said about it. I would not know where I stood." Neither would you. We want to stand upon the Word; that is our foundation.


If we believe what God put in this Bible, and walk in the light of it, we are going to get out of this world alive, for God has made a way of escape. It was Jesus who spoke those words: "I am the way, the truth, and the life." And again He said, "I am the door of the sheep." Now, Mr. Atheist, Mr. Infidel, and whoever you are, if you ever reach Heaven you will go through the Door — and that Door is Christ. If you don't go through that Door, you will lift up your eyes in hell.


Many are denying the divinity of Christ; they are denying His Blood Atonement; they are denying His miracles and saying there is no divine healing. They have cut out about everything in this Bible. They took hell out, but they have left Heaven in. Well, if those people, with no faith in God's Word and with all their sins, are going to a place they call "Heaven," I hope no Christian is going to that same place. Christians have a differ­ent kind of Heaven to go to than these unbelievers. That is God's Word. And eternity is a long, long time. God cannot lie. We must either deny God's Word or we have to accept it. Everyone has to make a decision one way or the other: it is either for Heaven or for hell. What are you going to do about it?


I don't want to go where that rich man is. No music, no songs, no hymns, no beautiful faces of Christian people! No river of water of life, no tree of life, no streets of gold, no mansions, no glory of the Lamb! Ah, no! Only weeping — and wailing — and gnashing of teeth!


Thank God, we can make the right choice and hear the Lord say: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

By Rev J. Robbins

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