5-5-5 Daily Devotions: “Afterlife-Is Hell Real, Part 3” August 8-9, 2020

5-5-5 Daily Devotions

Afterlife "Is Hell Real?" Part 3
August 8-9, 2020

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S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Conversation Starter

Where do you get your views of the afterlife?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Scripture:

For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began.

 

But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:24-28 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:

I trust Jesus and the guidance of his Holy Spirit to help me discern truth from Scripture. I know what the Bible DOESN’T say:

1)     The Bible does not say anything about second chances after death.

2)     The Bible does not say this reality is hell right now and it will only get better.

3)     The Bible does not say that everyone gets into heaven.

 

The first century Jewish view of Hell was pretty close to what we would call the traditional view today – judgment followed by eternal reward or punishment, with fire and darkness imagery. Jesus could have stopped that view in its track at any point. But He didn’t. In fact, He doubled down on it. Jesus didn’t just talk about Hell. He used the worst possible words to describe it.

 

Application (5 minutes)

Sometimes the severity of the solution indicates the severity of the problem. Jesus came out of Heaven to die for the sins of others, experience separation from God and Hell, and then rose again. If we had just needed to become good, Jesus would have given us an example. But we needed to made new, so Jesus gave his life. How does the serious nature of the solution invite you to appreciate the gravity of the problem in a new way?

 

Can you imagine what Heaven would be like if sin was allowed to be present and aggressively grow for eternity? This is the reason for death—God put a time limit on sin and the world it hurts. There is no room in Heaven for sin or death. Those who go must allow God to make them new. Have you surrendered to God so he can make you new?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

Lord, we humbly approach you and ask that you apply Jesus’ righteousness to us. Thank you that Jesus entered Heaven to make a place for us! We ask that our old sinful self would die so that you can make us new. Thank you for baptism, where we act out our choice to let you put the old sinful self to death with Jesus, a burial, so we can live a new life with Jesus in us—the gift of the Holy Spirit!

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Conversation Starter

Jesus said, “The first will be last, and the last will be first.” What do you think that means?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Scripture:

Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

 

“The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’ “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’

“Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’ The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’ But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:19-31 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:

Some people say about Hell, “I’ll just go hang out with my friends and it will be one big party.” Ask the rich guy in Luke 16 if he thought Hell was a party.

 

Jesus describes it as an unbridgeable chasm. There is not a place I can go where I am out of the presence of God. I could stand on the surface of a planet on the other side of the known universe, and I would not be out of the sight of God. But Hell’s torment is more than just fire and darkness. It’s the loss of that which sustains us, the very presence of the Father.

 

Application (5 minutes)

The rich man became a compassionate evangelist, asking for his brothers to be uniquely warned. Does Abraham’s answer surprise you?

 

Who do you need to show compassion on today?

 

Who do you need to connect with today?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

Lord, teach me to be humble, compassionate, and generous today. Help me to see your truth and find creative ways to share it effectively while there is still time!

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Conversation Starter

What is your favorite fruit? Would you recognize the tree/plant/bush that it grows on?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Scripture:

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.

 

Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

 

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” Matthew 7:15-27 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:

The worst part of hell for me? It’s the separation from God. I say to myself that I know Jesus, but does Jesus know me?

 

Application (5 minutes)

“Building a house on solid rock” means building your life on Jesus’ principles. What top three favorite principles from Jesus are you (or will you be) building your “house” on?

 

Why is hypocrisy (doing things FOR Jesus without FOLLOWING Jesus) such a danger?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

Lord, thank you for loving me. Thank you for being clear on your truth and expectations. Please search me and see if there is anything in me that doesn’t fit your plan for my life. Help me to grow in your grace and peace. Teach me your ways so I can build my house on your principles and be truly known and accepted for eternity by you!

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Conversation Starter

Does God call you to be humble and powerfully confident? How can both be great attributes of a healthy Christian?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Scripture:

This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering.

 

And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you. And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.

 

When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him. So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 NLT (Bible.com)

 

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:

I believe in Hell because God’s justice demands it.

I believe in Hell because God did the unthinkable to save us from it.

The cross is where the reality of my sin meets the hope we find in Jesus.

 

Application (5 minutes)

Isn’t that a powerful prayer—that God would give someone power to accomplish the good things their faith prompts them to do? Paul’s example was to 1) prayer this for people he loved, and 2) write them a letter telling them about his prayer. Who could you pray “Paul’s prayer” for and then send them a note of encouragement letting them know you are praying for them?

 

Who needs you to “speak the truth in love” and help them get a chance to be reconciled to God through Jesus?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

Lord, thank you for giving me power to do what my faith prompts me to do. Use me to help others be reconciled to you!

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Conversation Starter

Are there certain people in your life who are potentially dangerous that you feel safe around? Why?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Scripture:

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.  1 Timothy 1:15-17 NLT (Bible.com)

 

You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things.

 

Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

 

But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. Romans 2:1-9 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. 2 Peter 3:11-14 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Application (5 minutes)

God sent Jesus to save sinners. What does this teach us about what God is like?

 

Have you allowed God’s kindness to turn you towards him?

 

How do you approach those who are “storing up for themselves terrible punishment”? Do you imitate Jesus “speaking the truth in love”?

 

Are you making “every effort” to be found living a peaceful life that is pure and blameless in God’s sight?

 

What is the difference between guilt (feeling separation, isolation, shame) and godly sorrow (sharing God’s heart towards the sin problem while feeling loved, connected, and embraced)?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

Lord, thank you for sharing your righteousness with me. Thank you for reaching out with kindness while I was still a sinner.

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