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HEAVEN AND HELL

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Thursday Evening, July 3, 2014

“I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:11-12).


This text has two parts. The first half is wonderful, but the second half is terrible. Yet, since both halves are true, I must preach on both of them tonight.

I. First, the promise of Heaven.

“Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven...” (Matthew 8:11).

Mr. Olivacce prepared that wonderful video we saw on Father’s Day. He has added more to it and you can now see it on the front page of our website. From all over the world we have had e-mails telling us how that video blessed them, with the burning of the mortgage on our building. They commented on the joy they could feel in our church when they saw the photos. They were thrilled to see so many races laughing and singing joyfully together. They don’t know how we do it. To be honest, neither do I! Our church is a miracle of God’s grace! And, of course, it has come about through your tireless work for Christ. God bless you!

So many people of different races in one church! Ah, yes, Jesus said it will be like that in Heaven! “Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down... in the kingdom of heaven...” It doesn’t seem strange at all to us – because we are drawn together by Christ – just as those from all corners of the world will be in the Heavenly Kingdom!

But notice that Jesus said, “many shall come.” I know that sometimes it feels like few will come. We live in such a dark and demonic city. We live in such a selfish and cruel country. A million and a half babies are tortured to death here every year. Yet the churches are silent! I cannot bring myself to say even one good word about pagan America on the Fourth of July. What we have become makes me sick at heart. But America will soon pass away and be forgotten – but we shall rejoice with millions of God’s people in the Kingdom of Heaven! That is our true homeland! That is our real country! That is our nation under God!

No heartaches are known in that city,
   No tears ever moisten the eye;
There’s no disappointment in Heaven,
   No envy or strife in the sky;
The saints are all sanctified wholly,
   They live in sweet harmony there;
My heart is now set on that city,
   And some day its blessings I’ll share.
In that bright city, pearly white city,
   I have a mansion, a robe and a crown;
Now I am watching, waiting and longing,
   For the white city that’s soon coming down.
(“The Pearly White City” by Arthur F. Ingler, 1873-1935).

It is not a small number that will be there! God says there will be “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” in the kingdom of Heaven! (Revelation 7:9).

In that bright city, pearly white city,
   I have a mansion, a robe and a crown;
Now I am watching, waiting and longing,
   For the white city that’s soon coming down.

“Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven...”

They shall come! They shall come! And nothing in Heaven nor on earth, nor in Hell, can stop them from coming! You think it’s hard to come – but I tell you it will be impossible to stop them from coming! Like the waves of a great tsunami the tide of God’s grace sweeps His chosen ones into the Kingdom with irresistible grace! Doubts will be swept away! Fears will be swept away! Guilt will be swept away! “They shall come!” Hallelujah! They shall come!

Come to Jesus now. He will not cast you out. He will save every one of you who comes to Him!

I can but perish if I go;
   I am resolved to try.
For if I stay away from Christ
   I must forever die!

Ah, don’t miss going to that white city! Don’t miss being able to sing with us,

In that bright city, pearly white city,
   I have a mansion, a robe and a crown;
Now I am watching, waiting and longing,
   For the white city that’s soon coming down.

II. Second, the warning about Hell.

Sadly, we must give you the second half of the text. I almost wanted to leave it out! But it is my duty to preach it to you.

“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12).

There is an elderly man with a feather in his hat who jogs by our house every day. He used to make long vacation trips with his wife to South America every year. He owns a beautiful home with a swimming pool in the back yard. A preacher named Curtis Goldman was staying in our house while this old man jogged by. Preacher Goldman went out on the street to witness to him, but he ran away, like he was being chased by a ghost. Goldman ran after him, shouting, “Stop! You’re going to Hell, old man! Stop! You’re going to Hell!” But the old man with a feather in his hat outran him. Night before last the old man with a feather in his hat couldn’t sleep. He put on his swim trunks and went out to his pool to swim a few laps. But he tripped and hit his head, and fell into the pool – about two o’clock in the morning. Someone found his cold, dead body floating in the water the next morning. The last words he ever heard from a preacher were these – “Stop! You’re going to Hell, old man! Stop! You’re going to Hell!” He was a nice man. I liked him. I felt great sorrow when I heard from Ileana how he died. I heard about it just before I wrote this paragraph.

Don’t brush this off by thinking that he was old – and you are young! Don’t you dare do that. I read the obituary columns in two newspapers every morning. I stopped reading the cartoons. We used to call them the “funny papers.” But they aren’t funny any more. They are sad and hopeless – as sad and hopeless as the old people who live alone in the nice houses where I live. Young people, never let your father or mother live alone. It’s a horrible way to live. Promise me before God that you will take your old mother or father into your home when they are alone. Promise me! Read them this point in the sermon, which is titled “Heaven or Hell.” Don’t let your parents live a dreary, lonely old age, with only a phone call or a text message every couple of days from you! Move your mother or father in with you when their spouse dies. THAT IS THE ONLY TRULY CHRISTIAN THING to do! At least try to do it. For God’s sake don’t let your mother wither and die alone – while you enjoy your life alone. If you do, you will reap what you sow. You, too, will die alone, and go to Hell alone, like the old man with the feather in his hat did yesterday, when he tripped and drowned in his swimming pool.

“The children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12).

There are some of you here tonight who have Christian mothers. Some of you are breaking your poor mother’s heart. We brought my mother into our home and my wife loved her, and we cared for her, during the last four years of her life. But there are church kids here tonight who will break your mother’s heart and turn her hair gray before it should be. You will go on and on and on doing the one thing that torments your mother’s heart at night! She may never tell you, but you are her only hope. She poured her life into you. She slaved from early morning until night to make sure you had a better life than she had. But you refuse to give her the only thing she asks from you! She doesn’t even tell you, because she loves you so much that she doesn’t want you upset. But, really, the only thing she really wants from you is to see you trust Jesus and be there to smile and celebrate when you get baptized! Can’t you give your poor mother that? She will feel like her life was wasted, like her life was worth nothing, if you don’t come to Jesus, get baptized, and make her proud of you.

Whether your mother is a Christian or not, please, for God’s sake, young people – come to Jesus now, while your heart is still tender and young. Don’t go on without Christ – until at last you run from Christ – as the old man with a feather in his hat did – and as you will do if you fail to trust Jesus now, while you are still young – and die and sink down to Hell, perhaps in a swimming pool, to die in the water and sink down into outer darkness, where there is not one drop of water to cool the tongue in the eternal flames.

Spurgeon told of a woman who had a dream that she told her children. She dreamed that judgment day came. The great Books were opened and God said, “Put the unsaved on the left side, and the converted ones on the right.” An angel came and took the mother, saying, “She is a Christian and must go on the right hand. But her children are lost. They are goats. They must go to the left.” She dreamed that the children cried and said, “Mother, do we have to leave you?” She put her arms around them and said, “My children, if it were possible I would take you with me. But it is not possible because you did not trust Jesus. I begged you to trust Him and be saved, but you did not listen and obey me. Now I must be separated from you forever.” In a moment the angel came for her. Her tears were gone now, overcoming natural affection, being made supernaturally calm and resigned to God’s will. She turned and said to her children, “I took you to church. I taught you the Bible at home. I prayed for you at night. Yet you rejected Jesus. Now all I have to say is Amen to your eternal condemnation.” Then they were snatched away from her and she saw them thrown into outer darkness, into the eternal flames.

Young person, what will you think, when the last day comes, and you hear Christ say, “Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.” And then you hear another voice say, “Amen.” And when you ask where that Amen came from, you find that it was the voice of your mother. Or, young woman, when you are cast into the outer darkness of Hell you may hear a voice say “Amen,” and find that it came from your own father’s mouth.

Many saved reprobates, drunkards, prostitutes, converted homosexuals, and penitent drug addicts will enter Heaven. And “children of the Kingdom,” like you, a child who came to church all your life, but rejected Jesus, will be thrown out into the outer darkness and the flames of Hell. And there you will have no hope forever – forever – forever! Lost for ever!

And it was so easy to escape this horror! All you have to do is trust Jesus – so simple – so easy – “Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now! He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.” Simply trust Him and your sins will all be cleansed by the Blood Christ shed on the Cross! Come to the Cross of Christ and be cleansed in His Blood! This sermon was loosely adapted and condensed from one by C. H. Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers,” which he preached to a great crowd in a field when he was only twenty years old. He would be the first to tell you that this song is true,

There’s room at the cross for you,
   There’s room at the cross for you,
Though millions have come, there’s still room for one –
   Yes, there’s room at the cross for you.
(“Room at the Cross For You” by Ira F. Stanphill, 1914-1993).

Would you like to speak with us about being made clean from sin by faith in Jesus’ Blood? If so, go to the inquiry room now. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
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THE OUTLINE OF

HEAVEN AND HELL

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:11-12).

I.   First, the promise of Heaven, Matthew 8:11; Revelation 7:9.

II.  Second, the warning about Hell, Matthew 8:12.