JeremiahCry Ministries

The Gospel By Paul Washer

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Biblical Outreach by John MacArthur

Biblical outreaching is more than dropping gospel leaflets over a city or inviting someone to a church concert. These four elements deserve a closer examination.
1. Evangelism is proactive. English translations of the original Greek text of Matt. 28:19 begin with “Go,” which is the translation of an aorist participle conveying the sense “having gone.” The main verb of the verse is “make disciples,” or literally “disciple” all the nations. Hence, what the command assumes is that Christians will go out for the express purpose of making the nations disciples of Christ.
Biblical evangelism is outreaching, that is, going out to the lost souls of this world. Many pastors have fallen into the error of thinking that if sinners among the nations want to be saved, they need to come to the church. The greatest single reason why the church is declining is that it has ceased to go out to the lost. For some reason, evangelism has become something to do in church—within the walls of the church building. The church today expects unbelievers to come to it, when in fact the church should go out to them. Effective outreach will take place when Christians realize that the starting point of the Great Commission is to move out from the comfort zones of ecclesiastical structures into the lives of the lost around them. From the pulpit to the pew—from the pastor to the parishioner—the perspective of evangelism must be that of a proactive, aggressive endeavor.
2. Evangelism is gospel preaching. The command to make disciples entails calling men and women to faith, obedience, and submission to Jesus Christ. Some equate evangelism with preaching social change, human rights, political liberation, economic equality, and many more causes. These issues, though they are righteous endeavors, are not biblical evangelism.
Evangelism is the preaching of the cross of Christ, that He died for the sins of the world, that He arose from the dead, that He is Lord of the universe and of His church, and that people must believe the truth of the message before it can have any effect on their souls (Rom. 3:1–31; 10:9–10; 1 Cor. 15:1–4; Gal. 2;16–21). It must include the deity of Christ, His incarnation, His sinless nature, His vicarious substitutionary death for sinful humanity, His bodily resurrection, repentance and faith on the part of sinners, and the coming judgment of the world.
In recent times, it has been a tendency of pastors and churches to water down the gospel of Christ. In an effort to make more converts, preachers have resorted to a diluted gospel void of the saving features. They have resorted to “another gospel,” and inferior results are evident. An effective presentation of the true gospel will take careful preparation, time, thought, prayer, and patience. Evangelistic preaching is a call for souls to become disciples of Christ. Anything short of that is not biblical evangelism. Pleadings for professions of faith, decisions, or other outward manifestations just to elicit a response, if they do not result in making true disciples of the Lord Jesus, are not effective evangelism.
3. Evangelism is transformed lives. Christ commanded that the disciples baptize the nations into the triune name of God as a symbol of their turning from their sins to the Savior. The gospel call is always “be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40) and “turn from these vain things to a living God” (Acts 14:15). The gospel is to let the nations know that God “is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30). It always involves “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Paul summed up his proclamation when he told King Agrippa that Christ called him to open the eyes of the Gentiles, “that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the domain of darkness to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18). Hence effective biblical evangelism always results in changed lives, souls yielded to Christ, believers submitted to the Lordship of Christ.
4. Evangelism is an ongoing discipleship. The Lord included in the Great Commission the additional task of perfecting and maturing disciples by “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). Effective evangelism has as its goal the incorporation of the disciple into the context of a local church or assembly of believers, where under the ministry and influence of gifted believers, the new disciple can grow into the fullness of the image of Christ (Eph. 4:11–16). New Testament evangelism issued from the local church and resulted in converts added to the local church. The measure of results was not the number of professions but the numbers added to the church, and later the number of churches formed through the churches’ evangelistic outreach.
The lethargy, lukewarmness, and compromising attitude within the church is responsible for the anemic and stagnant condition of the modern church. The church needs to renew its commitment to obey the mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ: Go! Rice speaks to this generation with a heart-stirring exhortation:
MacArthur, J., F., Jr, Mayhue, R., & Thomas, R., L. (1995). Rediscovering pastoral ministry : Shaping contemporary ministry with biblical mandates (Electronic ed.). Logos Library Systems (307). Dallas: Word Pub.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Howell Harris And Revival

‘A Fire was Kindled in my Soul’ – Howell Harris and Revival

We’ve seen that Howell Harris, the man who pioneered outdoor preaching in the 1700’s, was spurred on to a preaching ministry by a direct infilling of the Holy Spirit.

He saw the Spirit’s anointing as the source of his authority to preach and bring multitudes to Christ – even though he was angrily opposed by clergymen and violent mobs.

But he writes, ‘A fire was kindled in my soul and I was clothed with power…I could have spoken to the King were he within my reach – such power and authority did I feel in my soul…I lifted up my voice with authority…’ (Quoted in Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield, Banner of Truth, Vol 1. P.240)

Waiting for the Spirit’s Power

He began by simply going from house to house and reading from a book. When he felt the power of the Spirit filling him he would preach, but still as though he were reading.

Eventually, as the Spirit fell upon him with such power he began to preach freely, often without any particular preparation and often with a sweeping power that affected all who listened. He referred to this as ‘the gale descending’. Houses became too small to contain the hearers. And so he began preaching in fields, and at town fairs.

Dallimore writes, ‘Because he was unordained, Harris refused to practice any kind of formal sermonisation, and stood before his congregations without a prepared message.

He looked to God for wisdom and power and as he began to speak his soul took fire and his speech became like a mighty torrent and rushed forth with tremendous conviction.’

Scorching hot from the Preacher’s heart

‘It was said, ‘The words flowed scorching hot from the preacher’s heart’, and ‘He would go on thus, pouring out old things and new for two, three or even four hours. Indeed, we have instances of his services continuing without a break for six hours.’

This work was mightily used of God. Harris ranged over a wide area of South Wales, and held meetings anywhere and at any time till the whole countryside became conscious of his condemnation of sin.

Under the power of the Holy Spirit hearts were broken, and it was not uncommon for people to come under such conviction that they would cry aloud to God for mercy while he preached.

Hundreds were converted – among them some of the most notorious sinners – and Harris made plans for their upbuilding by organizing them into societies.’ (ibid, p.241-242)

2500 miles on foot!

Harris himself kept detailed accounts of his meetings and his experiences of the Spirit in his diaries and was able to record that he had walked more than 2500 miles between meetings in Wales in just two years!

His passion for evangelism and his breathtaking success in bringing thousands to Christ became a stimulus to Whitefield and others. He was so popular in Wales that at his funeral the Countess of Huntingdon recorded that no fewer than 20,000 people gathered at his funeral.

A Voice in the Wilderness

But, back in the late 1730’s, as multitudes in Wales were gathering to hear him, as the ‘ordained’ clergy opposed him, Howell Harris, almost a voice in the wilderness, wondered ‘There must be some worthy men in the world of the same mind as myself!’ (ibid p.234)

Indeed, God had not only saved this pioneer preacher in Wales. In the year of Harris’s conversion Daniel Rowland had also come to Christ, so had George Whitefield and John Cennick. Thus God had sovereignly saved four of the men who were to be used mightily in the Great Awakening. 1735 was a vintage year!

The Wesleys’ conversions soon followed and a prayer meeting took place on January 1st 1739 that was to be the launch of a revival movement that would shake Britain and America.

These men had experienced individual outpourings of the Spirit, now the Spirit was to come upon them as they gathered together!

More next time…

You can purchase Arnold Dallimore’s excellent two volume biography of George Whitefield at a specially reduced price here

© 2009 Lex Loizides

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Flee from the R-Rated Church!

Soul-Saving Our One Business C.H. Spurgeon

"The Soul-Winner"
By Charles H. Spurgeon
Soul-Saving Our One Business (page 259)

"Christian men and women, nothing but the gospel can sweep away the social evil. Vices are like vipers, and only the voice of Jesus can drive them out of the land. The gospel is the great besom with which to cleanse the filthiness of this city, and nothing else will avail.
Will you not, for God's sake, whose name is every day profaned, seek to save some? If you will enlarge your thoughts, and take in all the great cities of the Continent; ay, further still, take all the idolaters of China and Hindostan, the worshippers of the false prophet and antichrist, what a mass of provocation have we here! What a smoke in Jehovah's nose must this false worship be! How He must often put His hand to the hilt of His sword as though He would say, "Ah! I will ease Me of Mine adversaries." But He bears it patiently. Let us not become indifferent to His longsuffering, but day and night let us cry unto Him, and daily let us labour for Him, if by any means we may save some for His glory's sake."

Friday, December 10, 2010

What is it to win a Soul ?

"What Is It To Win A Soul?"
By Charles H. Spurgeon
Taken from Faith's Checkbook - An Online Devotional

"Soul-winning is the chief business of the Christian minister; indeed, it should be the main pursuit of every true believer. We should each say with Simon Peter, "I go a fishing,' and with Paul our aim should be, 'That I might by all means save some.' We shall commence our discourses upon this subject by considering the question - WHAT IS IT TO WIN A SOUL?

This may be instructively answered by describing what it is not. We do not consider soul-winning to be accomplished by hurriedly inscribing more names upon our church-roll, in order to show a good increase at the end of the year. This is easily done, and there are brethren who use great pains, not to say arts, to effect it; but if it be regarded as the Alpha and Omega of a minister's efforts, the result will be deplorable. By all means let us bring true converts into the church, for it is a part of our work to teach them to observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded them; but still, this is to be done to disciples, and not to mere professors; and if care be not used, we may do more harm than good at this point.

To introduce unconverted persons to the church, is to weaken and degrade it; and therefore an apparent gain may be a real loss. It is a serious injury to a person to receive him into the number of the faithful unless there is good reason to believe that he is really regenerate. I am sure it is so, for I speak after careful observation. Some of the most glaring sinners known to me were once members of a church; and were, as I believe, led to make a profession by undue pressure, well-meant but ill-judged. Do not, therefore, consider that soul-winning is or can be secured by the multiplication of baptisms, and the swelling of the size of your church."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Divine Hammer

The divine hammer!

Spurgeon, "Preach, Preach, Preach Everywhere"

You do not know who the elect are.

You do not know whose heart will be
broken by the divine hammer of truth.
But it is your responsibility to use the
divine hammer on the hard heart.

And as the gospel is preached it will
attract to itself, by its own power,
through the Holy Spirit, those whom
God has ordained unto eternal life.

"Is not my word like fire," declares the Lord,
"and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?"
Jeremiah 23:29

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quote by A.W.Pink

To say that God the Father has purposed the salvation of all mankind, that God the Son died with the express intention of saving the whole human race, and that God the Holy Spirit is now seeking to win the world to Christ; when, as a matter of common observation, it is apparent that the great majority of our fellowmen are dying in sin, and passing into a hopeless eternity; is to say that God the Father is disappointed, that God the Son is dissatisfied, and that God the Holy Spirit is defeated.

- A.W. Pink (“The Sovereignty Of God”)

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Many of our attempts at evangelism are doomed before they start because we
insist on doing them on our own property where many unchurched people feel
very ill at ease. We Christians believe that Jesus Christ broke down all barriers
between the sacred and the secular by his own incarnation. Right: we should
therefore carry out that principle in our evangelism. We should reach out to
people where they are, and not expect them to come where we are. In a word,
much of the best evangelism will not happen in church at all. Evangelism in the
Early Church, "Michael Green"


Monday, August 16, 2010

The Local Church and Evangelism

This is a fantastic sermon on the local church and evangelism. This I think was from the Go Stand Speak/ JeremiahCry Conference held a few weeks ago.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

1st Friday outreach 8-6-10

A few of us got there early to find a place to set up.They changed things around and had some of the streets closed off to traffic. We walked around for about 45 minutes, handed out some tracts, and had a few one to ones before we settled on a corner. There were 7 of us altogether. I started to preach the Gospel and the battle began. A man got up from where he was selling his items and started to yell at me for being loud. He claimed he was a Christian. Before I started to preach I thanked our veterans for fighting for our freedoms, one of them being our freedom of speech. There were also police on the corner. The man complained to the police and someone else from the event came out to voice their disapproval. The police told them there was nothing they can do and that I have the right to preach. They had already checked to see if they could stop me and found out that they can't. I continued to open air preach and a young woman who works for 1st Fridays came up to me after I was finished preaching and said I was doing it wrong. I shouldn't be proclaiming the Gospel in the open air. She claimed to be a Christian and said we were scaring people away and it was harming their event and people were not coming out because of us. But on their web site they are claiming that they are getting huge crowds out for these events and there were plenty of people there.

This women also said they will go to the city council meeting and try to get us kicked out so we won't be able to come back. I told her we have a constitutional right and that we are commanded to share our faith,and we have been coming down here for almost 2 years. While all this is going on a Pastor starts talking to this women and is defending us and what we are doing.(God is always faithful to send encouragement). He heard me preach and was happy we were out there defending the faith. He later prayed with our team and myself that God would receive all the Glory and His Name be High and lifted up.

As the night progressed the crowds got huge and hundreds of tracts (maybe over 1000) got handed out and many people had one to one conversations and much more open air preaching took place. We had a lot of encouragement later in the evening after the spiritual battle we had earlier. God sent us many people to say thanks for doing what we were doing and to keep it up. See friends we fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. There was a mighty battle fought last night in the spiritual realm that we can't see but Jesus has already won the battle for us. Our God is in control of all things. May we continue to be BOLD and proclaim the Gospel.This fight is for the souls of men ,woman and children. We pray that God will raise up more laborers to enter the fight. Please pray for us and those who heard the Gospel last night.

No King but Jesus

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Doctrine of Hell


(Mat 13:49-50 KJV) So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, {50} And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The doctrine of hell is one of the most neglected doctrines in all of Scripture. When hell is mentioned today, it is generally ridiculed, as if the whole idea of hell were so old-fashioned that only the naive and ignorant would really believe that such a place actually exists. This is not hard to understand. Natural men hate the idea of being held accountable for their lives to a holy God, because they love sin and do not wish to part with it. The carnal mind throws up objection after objection to the idea of hell because it does not want to face the reality of it. Men live their lives thinking that maybe if they ignore a difficulty long enough, it will go away. Even conservative religious leaders are now attacking hell.

Let men do what they will, the frivolous objections of the foolish will not do away with hell. Amid the clamour to annihilate hell, those who believe the Bible to be true must stand and speak. Your consideration of the terrors of hell may be one of the most important things you can do in this life. (Ezek 33:4 KJV) Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. Please, I implore you, invest the time it takes to read this chapter and book to the end.

Why should we be so concerned about hell? Why should we spend time reading about hell? There are several reasons why it is profitable to do so:

1) Hearing about the terrors of hell may shock your conscience and awaken you out of your false security.

2) Hearing about hell helps to deter men from committing sin. Both the godly and the ungodly are persuaded not to sin as much when they are regularly reminded of the terrors of hell.

3) Hearing about the terrors of hell may help to awaken those among us who may think they are saved because they believe in Christ or the facts of the gospel, but who are not really saved and are on their way to hell, but don't know it.

4) Preaching the doctrine of hell is profitable to both the godly and the ungodly alike, as will be demonstrated.

Why aren't people fearful of hell? There seems to be a real lack of fear today of the reality of hell. This applies to both those who are in the church and those who are in the world. People are not afraid of hell. Why? You would not be afraid of a lion when it is only painted in a picture upon a wall. Why is this? Because it is only a picture. You know that it is not real. But if you were left alone in a jungle and came face to face with a real lion that growled ferociously at you, you would be terrified. The consciences of men are much like the man who only views the painted lion.

We hear of hell in the Bible. We know that the Lord Jesus spoke of hell. In fact, Christ spoke more of hell than anyone else in the Scriptures. Why do men not believe hell is real? Because they do not hear enough about it. We don't study what the Scriptures say about hell. It is not just what we hear which makes up what we believe, it is what we don't hear as well which helps to form our belief system. Only the Spirit of God can present the terrors of hell to our hearts in such a way as to see them alive before us. The doctrine of hell has been used by God more often to the conversion of sinners than any other doctrine in the Scriptures. Pray now that as you read this chapter the Holy Spirit will set hell before you as real indeed.


Most who scoff at hell today probably do so for several reasons. Primary among them is a desire to pursue their own paths of sin without having their consciences troubled about the consequences of their actions. They do not want to hear that what they are doing is wrong. They do not want to hear that their sin will be punished. I can hear someone say, "But isn't eternal torment in hell inconsistent with a merciful and loving God? How could a good God punish people in hell forever?" A misunderstanding of the character of God and the nature of sin can easily lead to such questions. Why is hell necessary? Let us examine several reasons for the necessity of hell.

1) The Great Evil in Sin and the Holiness of God. The difficulty most people have in understanding the necessity of hell is related to an incomplete and inadequate understanding of both how awful sin is and how glorious God is. We do not see what a great evil is in the least sin, nor do we understand God's holiness, His justice, and His wrath. If we saw sin as the greatest evil in the world and realized that every sin is a rejection of God's rule over us, a sneering at Him, a shaking of our fist in His face, and a hurling of dung at Him, we would begin to understand a small bit of what our sin is like to God. Every time we sin, we either set ourselves, or a pet lust, up in our hearts as a rival god. Sin rejects the Creator as God and sets up the creature in His place. If we could comprehend God's holiness and what it means to be holy, pure, perfect, upright, and untainted by the least sin, we would have a better idea of why God hates sin so much. Absolute holiness cannot tolerate the least sin, Habakkuk 1:13 "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: ..."

If we could understand the glorious holiness and purity of God and also the abominable nature of sin more, then we would have no problem with the absolute necessity of hell. (Jer 17:9 KJV) "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" The human heart is sick. The human heart is wicked. The human heart is deceitful. The corruption in the heart causes us to be deceived about the awfulness of sin as well as many other things.

2) God's Infinite Nature. In understanding what our sin is really like, we must view it through the eyes of God. God is an infinite, eternal being. Every act of sin is committed against an infinite, holy God. In every act of sin we dethrone God and set ourselves above God. In every sin this question is the issue, "Whose will shall be done, God's will or man's? Now, man by sin sets his own will above the Lord's, and so kicks God as filth under his feet."1 A single act of sin committed against a holy, infinite God deserves infinite punishment. It is an infinite evil to offend an infinite God even once.

3) Divine Justice. Even one sin against God calls for God to vindicate His name and His justice by punishing it as fully as it deserves. God can and will vindicate His justice. He promises to do so in Romans 12:19 where it says, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. One of the greatest preachers that ever lived, Jonathan Edwards, wrote, "The glory of God is the greatest good; it is that which is the chief end of creation; it is of greater importance than anything else. But this is one way wherein God will glorify Himself, as in the eternal destruction of ungodly men He will glorify His justice. Therein He will appear as a just governor of the world. The vindictive justice of God will appear strict, exact, awful, and terrible, and therefore glorious."2


Hell is a furnace of unquenchable fire, a place of everlasting punishment, where its victims are tormented in both their bodies and their minds in accordance with their sinful natures, their actual sins committed, and the amount of spiritual light given to them, which they rejected. Hell is a place from which God's mercy and goodness have been withdrawn, where God's wrath is revealed as a terrifying, consuming fire, and men live with unfulfilled lusts and desires in torment forever and ever.

In Matthew 13:47-50 the Lord Jesus tells a parable relating to the judgment. In verses 49-50, the Lord describes the fate of the wicked: "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, {50} And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

In examining these words of the Lord Jesus we should first notice that hell is described as being a furnace of fire. Nebuchadnezzar's furnace was heated seven times hotter than normal and is described as "a burning fiery furnace" (Daniel 3:23). John the Baptist spoke of "unquenchable fire" and Revelation describes hell as "a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19:20). Can we really imagine the horror of which these words speak? Imagine every part of your body on fire at the same time, so that every fiber of your being felt the intense torment of being burned. How long could you endure such punishment? Christ tells us that "there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." The lost will wail and gnash their teeth from having to endure the most intense pain and suffering they have ever felt as the flames consume them and constantly burn every part of their bodies. And there will be no relief.

Jonathan Edwards describes in graphic language what the fires of hell will be like: "Some of you have seen buildings on fire; imagine therefore with yourselves, what a poor hand you would make at fighting with the flames, if you were in the midst of so great and fierce a fire. You have often seen a spider or some other noisome insect, when thrown into the midst of a fierce fire, and have observed how immediately it yields to the force of the flames. There is no long struggle, no fighting against the fire, no strength exerted to oppose the heat, or to fly from it; but it immediately stretches forth and yields; and the fire takes possession of it, and at once it becomes full of fire. Here is a little image of what you will be in hell, except you repent and fly to Christ. To encourage yourselves that you will set yourselves to bear hell-torments as well as you can, is just as if a worm, that is about to be thrown into a glowing furnace, should swell and fortify itself, and prepare itself to fight the flames."3 Hell is also described as a place of darkness. The Lord tells us of the guest without wedding clothes who was cast "into outer darkness" (Matthew 22:13). Jude writes of those in hell "to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever" (Jude 13). Christopher Love says in his work Hell's Terrors: "darkness is terrible, and men are more apt to fear in the dark then light: hell is therefore set forth in so terrible an expression, to make the hearts of men tremble; not only darkness, but the blackness of darkness" 4

Hell is compared to Tophet in Isaiah 30:33. Tophet was the place where the idolatrous Jews sacrificed their children to the heathen god Molech by casting them into the fire. Day and night shrieks and howls were heard in that place, as day and night shrieks, howls, and wailing are heard in hell. Isaiah speaks of "wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it" setting hell ablaze. There is good evidence from the Scriptures that God Himself will be the fire in hell. Hebrews 12:29 says, "For our God is a consuming fire." The ungodly on earth ignorantly dance for joy when they hear pastors speak about the love and mercy of God, but they will be the beneficiaries of neither, unless they repent. To them God will be an all consuming fire. Hebrews 10:30-31 warns: "For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. {31} It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

You shall not escape hell, sinner. God will be your hell and His wrath will consume you and be poured upon you as long as He exists. "(Psa 90:11 KJV) Who knoweth the power of thine anger?..." It is because God Himself will be the fire in hell that words cannot possibly express the terrors of the damned in hell. "There is no reason to suspect that possibly ministers set forth this matter beyond what it really is, that possibly it is not so dreadful and terrible as it is pretended, and that ministers strain the description of it beyond just bounds...We have rather reason to suppose that after we have said our utmost, all that we have said or thought is but a faint shadow of reality."5 In Luke 16:19-26 Christ tells us of two men. One of them was rich (he has traditionally been called Dives); the other man was poor (his name was Lazarus). Both men died. The poor man was carried by angels to heaven and the rich man went to hell. The rich man did not go to hell because he was rich, nor did the poor man go to heaven simply because he was poor. The Lord shows us through this contrast that our circumstances may change drastically when we pass from time into eternity. We are not to be fooled that just because God may not have dealt harshly with us here, that he will not do so after death. The eternal abiding place of both men resulted from the condition of their hearts before God, while they were on earth. Lazarus was a true follower of God. Dives was not. We want to carefully note what the Scriptures tell us about Dives and his condition, for from that we may learn much about hell. Verses 23-24 indicate to us that Dives is "in torment." What does it mean to be "in torment?" This torment refers to both torment in body and torment in soul as well. As we have seen, men's bodies will be tormented in a furnace of fire. Every part of the body will feel the pain of that fire. Men with severe stomach pains can be in great agony from that alone, but this pain will be far greater. Death from cancer is sometimes said to cause extreme pain in the body, but the pain of hell will be far worse. If your body were afflicted with many different and painful diseases all at the same time, you still would not begin to approach the pain of the damned in hell.

Men's consciences shall be in torment in hell as well. Conscience is the worm that will not die which the Scriptures speak of (Mark 9:48; Isaiah 66:24). Dives is told to "remember that during your life." Men will be tormented with extreme pain, but they will also be tormented by their own memories. They will remember hearing of hell and scoffing at it. They will remember being warned and told to repent or told that accepting the blessings of heaven without submitting to Christ as Lord falls short of salvation, but they took no heed to those warnings. They will be tormented by seeing at a distance the glories of heaven (as Dives was able to do), and knowing that for all eternity they will be damned. They will be tormented by unfulfilled desires and unfulfilled lusts (Dives is not able to receive even a drop of water to cool his tongue). They will be tormented by the knowledge that they will never escape from hell (Dives is told that "neither can you pass to us"). They will be tormented by the cries, shrieks, and curses of the damned around them. The most extreme torments a man can experience on earth will be like flea bites compared to the torments of hell.

Jonathan Edwards speaks of men unable to find even a moment of relief in hell in his sermon on The Future Punishment of the Wicked: "Nor will they ever be able to find anything to relieve them in hell. They will never find any resting place there; any secret corner, which will be cooler than the rest, where they may have a little respite, a small abatement of the extremity of their torment. They never will be able to find any cooling stream or fountain, in any part of that world of torment; no, nor so much as a drop of water to cool their tongues. They will find no company to give them any comfort, or do them the least good. They will find no place, where they can remain, and rest, and take breath for one minute: for they will be tormented with fire and brimstone; and they will have no rest day nor night forever and ever."6


The most terrifying aspect of all about hell is its length or duration. Hell is eternal. Hell will last forever. Can you comprehend eternity? No mathematical equation or formula can explain it. Your mind cannot conceive of eternity, but it is none the less real. This aspect of hell alone should cause men to cry out in repentance. It is not surprising that skeptics of all ages have attacked the eternal nature of hell, substituting doctrines like the annihilation of the wicked in its place.

Let us look at the Scriptures to verify the eternal nature of hell and to try and understand eternity better. Then we will explore why hell must be eternal. (Rev 20:10 KJV) And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. This verse clearly gives us the duration of hell. Hell is forever and ever. How could a stronger, more certain expression be used? If the Spirit of God wanted to communicate the eternal nature of hell to men what could communicate it better than the expression "forever and ever?" The Scripture has no higher expression which is used to denote eternity than "forever and ever" for it is the very phrase used to tell us of the eternal existence of God Himself, as in Revelation 4:9: "to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,"

Does anyone doubt that God will live to all eternity? How then can you doubt that hell will not last to all eternity when the same expression is used for both? "We can conceive but little of the matter; but to help your conception, imagine yourself to be cast into a fiery oven, or a great furnace, where your pain would be as much greater than that occasioned by accidentally touching a coal of fire, as the heat is greater. Imagine also that your body were to lie there for a quarter of an hour, full of fire, and all the while full of quick sense; what horror would you feel at the entrance of such a furnace! and how long would that quarter of an hour seem to you! And after you had endured it for one minute, how overbearing would it be to you to think that you had to endure the other fourteen! But what would be the effect on your soul, if you knew you must lie there enduring that torment to the full for twenty-four hours...for a whole year...for a thousand years! Oh, then, how would your hearts sink, if you knew, that you must bear it forever and ever! that there would be no end! that after millions of millions of ages, your torment would be no nearer to an end, and that you never, never should be delivered! But your torment in hell will be immensely greater than this illustration represents."7

Christ, describing the great day of judgment, tells of the separation of the wicked and the righteous using these words: "(Mat 25:46 KJV) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Is there anyone who would deny that heaven exists eternally? Will the lives of the blessed in heaven be brought to an end one day? Of course not. But the same Greek word is used here in this verse to speak of the eternal life of the righteous and the everlasting punishment of the wicked.

Hell will last as long as heaven does. In hell there will be different degrees of torment appointed to men as indicated by a number of Scriptures. Luke 12:47-48 says: "And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. {48} But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes...."

Christ says in Matthew 11:24: "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

The verses in Matthew indicate that the people in Capernaum will receive a greater punishment on judgment day than those who had lived in Sodom. The verses in Luke speak of a differentiation in judgment based on the amount of light received: some will receive many stripes and others will receive few. Those who commit greater sins than others or more sins than others will receive greater punishment in hell (John 19:11). Religious hypocrites, those who profess Christianity but are not real Christians, will be punished more severely than others (Matthew 23:14-15). The Lord said of Judas Iscariot, "it had been good for that man if he had not been born." (Matthew 26:24). How could any of these things be said to be true if annihilation were what awaited men after death? The presence of different degrees of punishment only makes sense in light of the ability to sensibly feel the torment. Could it be said that it would have been better for Judas if he had never been born if annihilation was all that awaited him?

Annihilation is like no punishment at all. Each time the unbeliever sins he is adding to his torment in hell. The person who sins twice as much as another with similar light will receive twice as much punishment. Every day that sinners continue to live and breathe here on earth without repenting, they are adding to their torments in hell. Romans 2:5 tells us: "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;"

The Lord Jesus encouraged the righteous to lay up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. The wicked are increasing their future wrath and torment in hell every day by their continued sinning. They add to their punishment daily. In hell men will wish that they had never been born. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said: "In hell there is no hope. They have not even the hope of dying--the hope of being annihilated. They are forever--forever--forever lost! On every chain in hell, there is written "forever". In the fires there, blaze out the words, "forever". Above their heads, they read, "forever". Their eyes are galled and their hearts are pained with the thought that it is "forever". Oh, if I could tell you tonight that hell would one day be burned out, and that those who were lost might be saved, there would be a jubilee in hell at the very thought of it. But it cannot be--it is "forever" they are cast into the outer darkness."8

Christopher Love uses an illustration to try and help us understand what eternity means: "Suppose all the mountains of the earth were mountains of sand, and many more mountains still added thereto, till they reached up to heaven, and a little bird should once in every thousand years take one (grain of) sand of this mountain, there would be an innumerable company of years pass over before that mass of sand would be consumed and taken away, and yet this time would have an end; and it would be happy for man, if hell were no longer than this time; but this is man's misery in hell, he shall be in no more hope of coming out after he hath been there millions of years, then he was when he was first cast in there; for his torments shall be to eternity, without end, because the God that damns him is eternal."9 Earlier we looked at the necessity of hell or why there must be a place like hell. Now we will look at why hell must not only exist, but why it must exist eternally.

Why is it necessary that hell be eternal? There are several answers to this which we shall explore briefly. The first reason we will look at is the one mentioned by Christopher Love in the passage just quoted. The God who damns men is an eternal God. "Ultimately the eternality of hell is based upon the nature of God."10 Is God's Word eternal? Is God's nature eternal? The Scripture tells us: "(Heb 13:8 KJV) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

(Psa 111:3 KJV) "His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever."

1 Pet. 1:25 "....But the word of the Lord endureth for ever."

If God's Word is eternal, if God's righteousness is eternal, if God Himself is eternal, then why shouldn't His wrath be eternal as well? As eternally existent, all of God's attributes are eternal and immutable; therefore, hell, as an expression of God's wrath, must be eternal. Hell must be eternal because God's justice could never be satisfied by the punishment of sinners no matter how long it lasts.

Christ makes this clear when He speaks about settling with your accuser before you get to court, otherwise you shall be cast into prison and "I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite" (Luke 12:59). Man can do nothing to pay for his sins. No amount of punishment in hell, no matter how long, can ever atone for sins. It is impossible; therefore, hell must be eternal.

Thirdly, hell must be eternal because the Scriptures tell us that the worm which gnaws the conscience of men in hell never dies. "for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched..." (Isaiah 66:24). If the worm never dies, then those being tormented by the worm shall never die. Lastly, hell will be eternal because men continue to sin in hell. They increase and compound their guilt there. Hell is a place where tormented men curse God, curse themselves, and scream and wail with blasphemous language at their fellow men around them. Wicked men will increase each other's torments as they accuse, blame, and condemn one another. Men will not repent in hell because the character of sinners does not change. They remain sinners. Men will sin to eternity, therefore, God will punish them eternally.


The Old Testament prophets warn us repeatedly of the dangers of hell: "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" (Isaiah 33:14, KJV). "(Nahum 1:6 KJV) Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him."

Sinner, are you so arrogant as to think you can bear the wrath of God poured out in full measure upon you? You may think that hell is not so hot and that you will be able to bear it quite well. If you believe that you are more than a fool. The terrors of hell cause the devils to tremble and are you so foolish as to be unmoved by them or make light of them?

Do not think that simply because you go to church, or believe in God, or believe intellectually in the truths of Christianity that you will escape hell. The majority of those who regularly attend churches every week, all over the world, will go to hell. Thomas Shepard, pastor and founder of Harvard University, wrote: "Formal professors and carnal gospelers have a thing like faith, and like sorrow, and like true repentance, and like good desires, but yet they be but pictures; they deceive others and themselves too...most of them that live in the church shall perish."11 You who profess to be Christians, but do not read your Bible much and pray little: how shall you escape the damnation of hell? You who are not especially bothered by little sins or troubled by the vain and filthy thoughts which you have: are you ready to go to hell? You who think the kingdom of God consists in a verbal profession of Christ or intellectually believing that Jesus died for your sins, but who are not concerned with living a holy, godly life and give little or no thought to God during the week: are you prepared to endure the torments of hell, day and night, forever and ever? You had better be, because if these things are true of you, you are headed straight for hell, unless you repent. Do not delude yourself!

Christianity does not consist in words, or pious statements, or mere intellectual belief, but in a new heart and a new life dedicated to not sinning and living for the glory of God. If your heart and life have not been changed by God, you are still in your sins. If you are living in known disobedience to the word of God and are unconcerned about it, you have no right to assume you are going to heaven: you are on your way to hell! Repent of all your sins and turn to Jesus Christ and surrender to Him as Lord. Listen to the words of Christ: "(Mat 18:9 KJV) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

"Nothing short of the complete denying of self, the abandoning of the dearest idol, the forsaking of the most cherished sinful course--figuratively represented under the cutting off of a right hand and the plucking out of a right eye--is what He claims from every one who would have true communion with Him."12 But remember, the difficulty involved in forsaking all for Christ is nothing compared to spending eternity in hell. I do not believe anyone can be scared into heaven, but I do believe they can be scared away from hell, so that they might begin to seek God with all their hearts, and to beg Christ to have mercy on them. Men stand on the brink of the pit of hell and are ready to fall headlong into it and yet they are completely unaware they are in any danger. If hearing about hell can cause otherwise senseless men to consider eternal truths, then preaching about hell is valuable indeed. It is better to view hell now, while you are living, and be terrified by it, than to have to endure hell forever when you die.

I would not have you to be more afraid of hell than of sin. Sin is your real enemy. Sin is worse than hell because sin gave birth to hell. Would you be willing to go to hell for all eternity for the enjoyment of a little pleasure and lust here on earth? Flee from sin! Flee from living for self and self-pleasing to Jesus Christ. When you die it will be to late. All opportunity to repent ends at death. This doctrine is useful to the godly as well as the ungodly. The doctrine of hell should stir up within the righteous a fear of God. A godly fear is useful in many ways. The one who has a fear of God in his heart has a greater respect for the commandments of God. He who truly fears God will not fear men and would rather displease men than God (Isaiah 8:12-13).

This doctrine should increase your faithfulness and joy in Christ that you have been delivered from the torments of hell and should likewise increase your love for Christ who endured the wrath of God upon the cross for you. The doctrine of hell should stir up within you a fear of sin. It should cause us to fear even little sins and be careful to confess and forsake sins of the heart and thought life also. Let the doctrine of hell keep you from the practice of sin.

The doctrine of hell should help the godly to be patient under all outward, temporary afflictions which come to them. No matter how great your afflictions are in this world, they are far less than the torments of hell from which the Lord has freed the godly. You may have to undergo lesser torments while on earth, but remember they are only temporary and you have been freed from the greatest of all torments so you may rejoice even in a time of affliction.

This doctrine is useful to motivate you to tell others of the message of Christ. Eryl Davies wrote in his book The Wrath of God: "The eternity of hell's sufferings should make us the more zealous and eager to tell people of the only One who is able to rescue them. Do we shrink from declaring these solemn truths? Does the thought of hell displease us? Remember that God will be glorified even through the eternal sufferings of unbelievers in hell. His injured majesty will be vindicated...What is supreme in the purpose of God in the election and reprobation of men is His own glory, and hell also will glorify the justice, power, and wrath of God throughout eternity. In the meantime it is our responsibility to pray and work for the salvation of sinners before such awful punishment overtakes them."13

I cannot leave without one final word to those who think they are converted, but are not; and also, to those who know themselves to be unconverted. Can you conceive of eternity? Stop now and try to imagine being tormented unceasingly, forever, without end. Does this not terrify you? Never a chance for a moment's rest. Never a drop of water to cool your parched throat. Think again of how long eternity is. Try to imagine it: day and night, forever and ever, burned with fire like a spider in a furnace of flames. Shrieking, howling, wailing, cursing the day you were born, and being cursed by the devils and damned souls around you eternally. Remembering, forever remembering, how you were warned on earth and how you ignored those warnings: self-satisfied and self-deceived that all was well with your soul. Job's wife told him to curse God and die. Unless you repent and flee to Jesus Christ, who is your only hope, you shall curse God eternally and be tormented by Him in His presence in the awful fullness of His wrath, and you shall never die. You shall never die. You shall never die! Eternity is forever!


1 Thomas Shepard, The Works of Thomas Shepard, Volume 1, (New York: AMS Press, 1967), p. 94.

2 Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 2, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1974) p. 87.

3 Ibid, p. 82.

4 Christopher Love, Hell's Terrors, (London: T. M., 1653), p. 19.

5 Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 2, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1974) p. 884.

6 Ibid, p.80.

7 Ibid, p. 81.

8 Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The New Park Street Pulpit, Volume 1, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1990), p. 308.

9 Christopher Love, Hell's Terrors, (London: T. M., 1653), pp. 54-55.

10 John Gerstner, Heaven and Hell, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991), p. 77.

11 Thomas Shepard, The Works of Thomas Shepard, Volume 1, (New York: AMS Press, 1967), p. 58.

12 A. W. Pink, Studies in the Scriptures, January 1932, p. 18.

13 Eyrl Davies, The Wrath of God, (Mid Glamorgan, Wales: Evangelical Press of Wales, 1984), p. 59.