Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr.
Delivered On
March 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM
The Horrors of Hell
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday March 16, 2014
The Horrors of Hell
Luke 16:19-31 - Special emphasis - verses 22-23
It is a fact of life that people differ in the economic position.
Some are affluent and can afford almost everything their heart
desires. Others, in contrast, are nearly poverty ridden can hardly
obtain the bare necessities of life.
While these vast social differences exist and appear so
undemocratic, attention must be given to the certainty that all
people - the rich and poor - will one day come to the end of this
earthly life. As a line goes from the song - That Awful Day Will
Surely Come - soon death shall come and rob us all of what we
here possess. Admittedly, the admonition carries a somber
reminder, it - also - sounds a wake up call regarding human
destiny after death.
The topic of death and its aftermath is one of widespread
opinions, theories, dogmas, generalizations, and Religious doctrines.
These views range from the notion that there are no post death
experiences to the claim that there are post death experiences.
Religions that include Buddhism, Scientific Religion, Unity of
Christianity are but a few groups that disclaim any experiences
after death. In contrast, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity assert
that there are post death experiences. Of particular importance for
our religion, Christianity, is the doctrine of the resurrection of the
dead. This belief is anchored in biblical teachings and it was taught
by Jesus. The resurrection, in this connection, will be followed with
the period of eternal judgment which will be the time of rewards
and punishment. Further, the resurrection will also be the prelude
to the great separation between the godly and the ungodly. One
group, the godly will be privileged to heaven and the other, ungodly,
will be sent to hell. This latter group will be destined for eternal
punishment - a fact which is one of the most solemn doctrines
in the Bible.
Our sermon today will address this topic of eternal
punishment using as a subject - The Horrors of Hell. It will
examine three aspects of Hell, namely: 1. The reality of Hell,
Who is going to Hell and 3. How to avoid that awful trip.
It is an unfortunate fact that so little attention is given to the
topic of hell whether in Bible study, street evangelism, or preaching
from the pulpit. This neglect is certainly regrettable because eternal
punishment is a prominent topic for the New Testament Church.
“Jesus spoke more of hell that of heaven, and ( our text ) is one of
His plainest statements on the subject. It’s also the only passage
in Scripture that describes the feelings of the unconverted after
Since the topic of hell is so often neglected except in the use
of fowl language, it is deemed appropriate to address this word.
Accordingly, will now be focused on the first aspect of hell which
is the reality of hell.
There are four different words used in the Bible to describe
post death experiences. First, there is the word Gehenna; it is used
in reference to a valley to the Southwest of Jerusalem where trash
and even dead animals and even humans were burned. Gehenna
was also viewed as the place of final punishment for the ungodly
after the resurrection. The thought of being destined for Gehenna
invoked fear, dread, worry, anxiety, and helplessness. In sum, the
attitude was that of horror as noted in the subject - The Horror
of hell. Remember, friends - horror a psychologically painful and
intense fear of a forthcoming possibility. Hence, the thought of going
to hell must be less than a pleasant idea.
The second word, Sheol, was used to describe an existence
beyond the grave as found in Job 21:19 where he stated, “The
wicked in a moment go down into Sheol. It is from this notion that
the Catholics derived the doctrine of Purgatory. Their belief is that
prayers can be uttered from the deceased and thereby bring about
changes in that person’s destiny. Beloved, don’t be misled - nobody
can change your destiny after death.
The third word is Hades; it refers to the place of final
punishment of the wicked. Hades more closely approximates the
meaning of Hell. Both of these words convey the same reality;
they denote a place of everlasting punishment.
The fourth word is Hell and its description will be the focus
of the first aspect of the subject - the horrors of hell. As you will
recall, the first concern is the reality of Hell. Any Bible believing
Christian must accept the reality of Hell since Jesus often spoke
about it. In verse 22-23 of our text, Jesus said that “the rich man
also died, and was buried: And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in
torments...”. The Bible teaches that hell is explicitly a place of
everlasting duration. No escape, no parole, no pardon, and no
mercy! In the text, it is noted that the rich man cried for mercy
only to hear the words In thy lifetime thy receiveth many good
things but .. I add .. thy did not comply with Matthew 25 when
Lazarus begged merely for crumbs.

Beloved, “Hell is therefore, both a condition of retribution
and a place in which the retribution occurs. Hell, is further,
the place where no righteous persons are found; it is the place
of permanent separation from God, and it is the place of everlasting
punishment; it is described in Revelation 20:14 as a lake of fire.
Friends, against these few observations on hell no of us should
want to experience the agony of that everlasting punishment. Let
us ever be mindful of the fact that, as described in the Bible, hell
is a horrible, hot, and dismal place. Despite these negative
characteristics of hell, there will be many to be so assigned. This
biblical fact leads to the second characteristic of hell? Who are
some of the inhabitants in hell?
The potentate of hell will be the devil. Revelation 20:10 tells
us that the devil will be cast into hell after his reign for a 1000
years following the tribulation. But he will not be along, for the
Bible tells us that some angels - the fallen ones - will also be
cast into hell. Their destiny is described in 2Peter 2:4 where it is
written, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast
them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to
be reserved into judgement”. At this point, we have noted that
two groups will be in hell: Satan and the fallen angels. But friends
there is another group; it will come from humanity; among those
hell bound will be the false prophets, the reprobate mind, the
ungodly, and those who cursed the Holy Spirit. In describing
the human migrants, John wrote in Revelation 21:12-15 that
the book of life will be opened and all those whose name is found
in the book of life will be awarded everlasting life. Quite a different
experience awaits those whose name is not found in the book of
life. They will be cast into the lake of fire, an experience known as
the second death. Probably, the experience would not be so
unbearable if the hell resident was totally unaware of his
situation. Such is not the case, however, for the Bible teaches
that there human awareness exists beyond death. In this regard
there are three aspects of this awareness; they were all evident
in the rich man’s experiences. First, there was the psychological
aspect; he knew where he was and he also recognized where
Lazarus was resting. Next, he was physiologically aware of his
bodily pain for the Bible tells us that he wanted Lazarus to come
a touch his tongue; Dives, his name, also cried aloud that “I am
tormented. Finally, he was socially aware of his five brothers
yet alive; thus he cried, send Lazarus to tell them to straighten
up. Although his pleas were heard, not one of them was granted
because he was destined for everlasting punishment in hell.
What a horrible destiny, but it can be avoided -
a fact that leads to the last consideration of the sermon - How to
avoid Hell? Beloved, it takes a well made up mind to forsake the
world and its follies merely to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Once that level of determination has been attained, the person must
acknowledge him/self as being totally deprived - or a sinner by
nature. Sensing that helpless state, the individual must next yield
to the ever present Holy Spirit and, thereby, surrender herself to
Christ. This act of surrender is so easy once a person decides to
accept Christ as Savior. The process of acceptance requires no
cart wheeling down the aisle, no shouting and testifying, to seeing
of a ghost, and giving up of worldly possessions. Friends, one has
but to turn to Romans 10:9 and find the key to unlock the door to
salvation and, at the same time, detour the reality of Hell - that
place of horror.!
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