Despite what popular pastors or teachers are saying now days. Hell is a real place. It is filled with tormenting fire and eternal pain. For most Christians, we see Hell as a place for those who don't go to church on Sundays or who don't own a bible. We even have an unwritten list of who gets in heaven and who gets into hell.
Heaven bound ( By the American church methodology)
1. If you go to church on Sundays then you are heaven bound.
2. If you read your bible at least once then you are heaven bound.
3. If you recite some scripture, even if it is a little wrong, then you must be heaven bound.
4. If the pastor shakes your hand after service then you must be heaven bound.
5. If you worship for more than an hour on any given day then you are heaven bound.
6. If you pray more than 5 minutes a day then you are heaven bound.
7. If you tell three people a week they are going to hell then you must be heaven bound for sure.
Hell Bound ( by the American church methodology)
1. If you are a prostitute then you are hell bound ( Even though as a christian male, he might look at porn from time to time. That is OK because Jesus has made him Holy. )
2. If you are a pedophile then you are hell bound even if you ask for forgiveness.
3. If you kill someone you are hell bound regardless of repentance.
4. If you don't come to church on Sundays then you are hell bound.
5. If you listen to country music then you're defiantly hell bound.
6. If you don't look Christian enough then you are hell bound.
7. If you don't pray like the pastor does then you are most likely going to hell.
I know some of the above sounds absurd but many Christians actually think this way. Many think because they have said a rehearsed prayer that Hell is no longer on the table of consideration. Many think if they do good deeds or give to the local church that Hell is now a distant memory. We are free!!!!! Is this true? Do Christians ever have to worry about Hell? I believe the answer is yes and no. Yes if you are doing the following and No, if you are not.
Top Four Reasons why Christians are going to Hell.
1. Talking about other people especially someone in the faith.
a. Matthew 5:22 But I can guarantee that whoever is angry with another believer will answer for it in court. Whoever calls another believer an insulting name will answer for it in the highest court. Whoever calls another believer a fool will answer for it in hellfire.
b. God's word is clear. If I am angry with a fellow believer then I will be judged for it one day. If I insult another believer, I will be judge more harshly. However, if I call another believer fool or worthless then I am in danger of eternal punishment in hell. How many times have Christians talk badly about others? When you and I talk wrongly and with injustice about one of God's children then we are in danger of hellfire and rightly so. You are God's child, but so are they. Some Christians are going to hell because they refuse to stop judging and gossiping about others. They are ensnared in a repetitious lifestyle of talking badly about others. May we all guard our hearts.
2. Doing works for the Lord without Spirit guiding,not having godly character or a relationship with Jesus.
a. Matthew 7:20-23 So you will know them by what they produce. (21) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the person who does what my Father in heaven wants. (22) Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name? Didn't we force out demons and do many miracles by the power and authority of your name?' (23) Then I will tell them publicly, 'I've never known you. Get away from me, you evil people.'
b. How many tel-evangelists seem to have the power of God but their character is far from the Lord's. Many do for God without ever knowing who God really is. You can have the biggest ministry in the world and see thousands come to Christ, but if your character does not match the character of God then you will find yourself in Hell one day. Is that harsh? Is that too strict? Does it make you think differently? It does me.
3. Many Christians have placed themselves in an elitist group. Only certain people from certain races or backgrounds can join their country club like church. Those who believe this way will wake up one day with hell fire starring them in the face.
a. Matthew 8:7-13 Jesus said to him, "I'll come to heal him." (8) The officer responded, "Sir, I don't deserve to have you come into my house. But just give a command, and my servant will be healed. (9) As you know, I'm in a chain of command and have soldiers at my command. I tell one of them, 'Go!' and he goes, and another, 'Come!' and he comes. I tell my servant, 'Do this!' and he does it." (10) Jesus was amazed when he heard this. He said to those who were following him, "I can guarantee this truth: I haven't found faith as great as this in anyone in Israel. (11) I can guarantee that many will come from all over the world. They will eat with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (12) The citizens of that kingdom will be thrown outside into the darkness. People will cry and be in extreme pain there. (13) Jesus told the officer, "Go! What you believed will be done for you." And at that moment the servant was healed.
4. The Luke warm Christian will soon discover the torments of Hell. When a believer is just going though the motions or has no life of Christ within them, then their eternal judgement is still being written.
a. Revelation 3:14-22 "To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write: The amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the source of God's creation, says: (15) I know what you have done, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. (16) But since you are lukewarm and not hot or cold, I'm going to spit you out of my mouth. (17) You say, 'I'm rich. I'm wealthy. I don't need anything.' Yet, you do not realize that you are miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. (18) I advise you: Buy gold purified in fire from me so that you may be rich. Buy white clothes from me. Wear them so that you may keep your shameful, naked body from showing. Buy ointment to put on your eyes so that you may see. (19) I correct and discipline everyone I love. Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act. (20) Look, I'm standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I'll come in and we'll eat together. (21) I will allow everyone who wins the victory to sit with me on my throne, as I have won the victory and have sat down with my Father on his throne. (22) Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches."
b. Lukewarm Christians have several traits. They don't walk in His power. Their character is shameful. They spend money unwisely. ( Church building funds and church events are better funded than missionaries or outreaches.) They are caught up in the comforts of the world. Does this sound like any Christians you may know? Just sit back and see how many come to a church feeding event and how many come to a church outreach event. I wonder if we told the Lukewarm Christians that he or she will go to hell if they don't come to the outreach would more believers be at these kind of events? Just wondering, nonetheless you get the hint. Lukewarm Christians are easy to point out. They are the ones that only come on Sunday mornings and complain about how things use to be.
We have to look internally and make sure we are not falling into the same traps. Our salvation is only sure in one person, Jesus Christ. If we try to guarantee our salvation through our own merits then we will fail every time. We need our Savior more now than ever before.Salvation is in Christ alone not through our religious do's and don'ts. To die in Christ means to become more like Him.