The Shocking, Sweet Spirit of Christ About Suffering in Hell

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning and evening, July 29, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Luke 16:19-31

Text: Luke 16:23

Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Introduction: One of the things that causes the liberals to accuse fundamentalists of not having “the sweet spirit of Christ” is the fact that we preach about the subject of hell. We try to alarm people about hell. Liberals, on the other hand, are always trying to be positive, giving the promise, “Something GOOD is going to happen to you!” The Bible says of them,

Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

They use “good words and fair speeches” to deceive simple people.

The truth is, Jesus preached about hell, and liberals would not have wanted to hear him then, and they would not want to hear Him preach now if He were here in the flesh.

One of the alarming things about modern Christianity is the absence of preaching from the pulpits about eternal torment. Look with me at what our “Sweet” Savior said about the subject of hell!



Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

The Bible reveals

A. The Person of its preparation

  • GOD made hell
  • John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

B. The place of its preparation

  • It is located in the heart of the earth. This can be definitely determined by comparing the statement of the Lord:
  • Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
  • With the statement of Peter:
  • Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

C. The purpose of its preparation

  • Matt. 25:41 above – “for the devil and his angels”
  • It is true that lost people go to everlasting fire, but it was not originally prepared for them, according to the Lord.



Mark 9:42-48 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. 43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

The pains of hell consist of, in addition to the burning flames, the agonies of:

A. Reality

  • Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
  • “… in HELL …”
  • Hell is REAL. Every skeptic who denied the existence of hell, who was taught that hell is just a myth, that hell is on earth, etc. will weep and wail as he realizes that hell is REAL.
  • If you are lost and laughing at this warning, one day you will be in eternal torment, and part of your agony will be the fact that this preacher told you the TRUTH, the REALITY about hell and you rejected it!

B. Realization

  • Luke 16:23 “… he lift up his eyes …”
  • The rich man knew where he was.
  • He was CONSCIOUS, although his body was dead.

C. Recognition

  • “… and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”
  • If Luke 16 is any indication, people in hell will be able to see their friends and loved ones, burning in the flames, and they will be helpless to help them.

D. Requests denied

  • Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
  • “… have MERCY on me …”!!!
  • There is NO mercy in hell!

E. Remembrance

    • <li

>Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

  • “… Son, REMEMBER …”!
  • Lost person, I believe that you will remember, throughout eternity, every tract you threw down, every time you passed up the opportunity to go to church, every time you hid from the preacher or soul-winner who came to your door …


F. Restraint

    • <li

>Luke 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

  • There is no getting out on good behavior.
  • There are no visits allowed from friends or family members.
  • It is FOREVER. No escape!!!


G. Regret

  • Luke 16:27-28 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
  • People in hell want to be soul-winners or they want others to be soul-winners.
  • There are people in hell today who, if I understand this text correctly, wish that YOU would sign up for the soul-winning training program next Sunday!



Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

Notice that Matt. 25:46 says “EVERLASTING punishment” and that Matt. 18:8 says “EVERLASTING fire.”

A. Everlasting torment

  • Have you ever hurt for so long that it felt good to QUIT hurting or to NOT hurt?
  • There is no relief in hell!

B. Everlasting thirsting

  • The rich man just wanted a DROP of water, but he couldn’t get it!

C. Everlasting thinking

  • The rich man in hell still remembers. Now he sees his five brethren in hell, also suffering, and he thinks about how he influenced them badly.
  • Men will think about how they would not allow or encourage their wives and children to go to church or listen to the message of salvation.

D. Everlasting twisting and turning

  • The Bible speaks of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
  • My wife led a boy to Christ a couple of weeks ago who showed us terrible burns on his chest and stomach. You don’t want to stay still while you are burning!



Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

A. The unholy

  • No one will be in hell who does not deserve to be there.
  • Even those people who seem to be “good people” but were not saved will be revealed at the Great White Throne Judgment to be dirty, deceitful, and desparately wicked.

B. The unhappy

  • Don’t kid yourself! There are no parties in hell!
  • You who cannot even face the sorrow of attending the funeral of a loved one, how will you endure the torments of hell?

C. The unhelped

  • You won’t be able to help any of your loved ones after they have gone to hell.
  • If you want to help them, the way to help them is to win them to Christ NOW! It is better to risk hurting their feelings than it is to let them burn for all eternity.

D. Liars

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses who said that Jesus Christ is NOT God will be in hell.
  • Satan’s ministers will be in hell.
  • Counterfeit believers, professors who are not possessors, will be in hell.

E. Lustful

  • One of the torments of hell will be to have strong cravings and desires, such as the rich man of Luke 16 had for a touch of water, and not ever have any of them satisfied for even a second.

F. Losers

  • I’m not referring to a person who has tried hard and failed as a loser.
  • I am talking about someone who has CHOSEN to lose by making a BAD decision.
  • Christians aren’t losers; LOST people are losers!
  • And a person who is a loser can also be said to be:

G. Lost, lost, lost!

  • What a terrible word!
  • Lost at sea — how sad!
  • Lost at war — how sorrowful!
  • Lost forever in hell — ?? There is no adequate way to describe how sad that is.

You do NOT have to go to hell!

Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day. He paid the price for your sins, so that you do NOT have to go to hell. He offers eternal life to you as a free gift. You may have that gift today by faith in Jesus Christ, trusting Him and Him alone for your salvation. Don’t trust YOUR works; trust HIS.

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