Believer, do you realize that hell is for a bunch of people you know and love who are outside of Christ? After a funeral of an unbeliever are you faithful to give your children an honest and Biblical answer of where that person is at? It is a blessing for a person to have a fear of God, that they might flee from the wrath of God and come to Christ.
The excerpt is taken from the full sermon: Asking God to Destroy Our Enemies
The third thing we get from these Psalms is they remind us that God punishes individuals. Individuals. The main reason I think Psalm 109 bugs us so much is that David is going after one particular guy. Right? He's saying, God, do all this to him - this guy right here. Whatever his name was. David had one guy in mind clearly. He starts out talking about multiple enemies, but then he kind of focuses on this one guy. Do all this to him. See, if David had just kind of kept it general and generic, it wouldn't bother us so much. If he'd just say, "Oh God, deal with all the bad people out there wherever they are, whatever..." We'd have said, okay, great. That makes sense. But instead he focuses in on one guy. And that just really bothers us. Oh man, can that be right? But what struck me this week are that this list of things that David asked to happen to this one guy and we read that and just cringe and recoil at it. God is going to do a million times worse things to every person that's outside of Christ in eternity. Individuals. People who's names and faces we know. People that we dearly love are under the wrath of God. I know we all believe in hell as far as I know. We all believe in hell theoretically at least. We know that it's in the Bible. It's in our systematic theology book somewhere. But I think we desperately need hell to become a more practical, practical reality to us. That it become a part of our worldview - the way we see life around us, that looming in the background is this ominous cloud of eternal hell hanging over everyone that's outside of Christ. Hell is for a bunch of people that you know and love. It's not just this generic category out here. It's individuals. And that really bothers us. So your great aunt - your Great Aunt Beatrice we'll say - your Great Aunt Beatrice passes away at the age of 84. And your family goes to her funeral. On the way back from the funeral your thoughtful six-year-old in the back seat pipes up: "Hey mom and dad, did Aunt Beatrice go to Heaven?" The kid's asking the right question isn't it? It's like it doesn't matter what else was said at her funeral, the question is did she go to heaven. It's the right question. What are mom and dad going to say? How are you going to answer that question? Are you going to tell your kid the truth? Because see, Aunt Beatrice, she was a nice lady, but she didn't really go to church. She would say some kind of vaguely spiritual things at times, but she wouldn't talk about Jesus. When you'd try to bring up spiritual things, she'd shut it down. You've always thought of her as lost. Are you going to give your kids some weaselly answer of: "Well, you know, you can't really know what's in somebody's heart deep down." Are you going to tell your kid that? Are you going to say, well, you know, we don't know what happened those last two minutes she was in the hospital bed halfway conscious. Maybe, maybe she got saved in the end." Or are you going to tell your kid the truth? Oh kids, Aunt Beatrice is in hell. She's in hell. As far as we know, she's in hell. And she's been in hell ever since the minute she died. She's been in torment under the wrath of God. She's been suffering the most horrible things anybody can imagine suffering. And it's going to go on for a million billion years - as long as you can imagine in her future. And God is right to do that to her because she loved her sin and loved herself and hated God and despised the Lord Jesus Christ. Are we going to tell our kids the truth? Are we going to make hell real and practical? Oh kids, Aunt Beatrice was a very nice lady. We appreciated all the nice things she did for us. We appreciated the cookies she made us and all the playing with us. But you know kids, being a nice person is not how you get to Heaven. The nicest person in the world can't get to Heaven on that. There's only one way to Heaven, it's through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. He's the only way to the Father. If you reject Christ, there's no hope for you. One time people asked Jesus about why God's punishments happened to certain people. Why did God let these bad things happen to folks? Was it because these folks were super bad? They brought up these Galileans that got murdered over here, and then these other people that this tower fell on. And expecting to get this philosophical answer from Jesus, instead what Jesus did is He made hell practical. He said, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." He said don't you worry about them. You worry about yourself, your standing before God. He makes it practical. He points it back to the individual. People are frightening by lots of silly little things, but the fear of God - the fear of God is a good thing. It is a healthy thing. It says in Psalm 19, "the fear of the Lord is clean." It's pure. It's right. It's to be encouraged. God is a consuming fire. And God's hell is a really good thing to be scared about. When I was a kid, my parents loved me enough to tell me these things. My parents told me about sin and judgment and hell and stuff like that. I was scared of hell for years. You know? When I was Ruby's age, when I was James' age, I was scared of hell. You say what a horrible thing to make this poor kid be scared of hell! No. It was a great blessing because my fear of hell made me concerned for my soul and that made me want to seek the Lord and be saved. And God used it. My conversion - I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ when I was 10 years old by His mercy. Flee from the wrath to come. That's in the Bible, you know. You've got to know about the wrath in order to run from it, right? Every lost person we witness to - I had a wonderful time witnessing in the jail last night to this guy. We talked for two hours. He wants to be a Christian. I got to pour out the Gospel. It is so intense to look into somebody's eye and to plead with them to become a Christian. And to know that this is an immortal soul. That these are the most important words this guy's ever going to hear. And if he doesn't come through to Christ, it's not just that he's missing out on some joy. Or that he's going to have an unfulfilled life or he's going to have this God-shaped hole in his heart that's never going to get filled. No, the problem is that he's going to be under the wrath of God. He's going to go to hell forever. He's a heartbeat away from that. God punishes individuals that we know and love. So we see it in Psalm 109 and it bothers us. I mean, the things I just said bother us. You think about that.