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This is part two of a four part delivery – the first four points below were covered yesterday; we pick up today with point five in this section:

  1. yesterday’s devotional or get entire message here
  2. yesterday’s devotional or get entire message here
  3. yesterday’s devotional or get entire message here
  4. yesterday’s devotional or get entire message here

  5. Satan stands ready at this moment to seize for himself as many souls as he can. He cherishes each lingering moment that God permits him to claim more for his possession and dominion. The devils watch and wait, ever vigilant to see who will make the fall next. They stand watching like hungry lions awaiting their prey, expecting to have it any second… but for some reason are held back, if only for a moment.

    At any moment, if God decided to remove His restraining hand from the ravenous devils, they would pounce on the poor souls. Hell stands ready and only God keeps it from swallowing up those who could slip in at this very second.

  6. The hearts of sinful men contain the principles of wickedness that would already have them fuel the fires of hell if it were not for God’s merciful restraint. The very nature of the flesh is the foundation of the torments of hell.

    There is that rotten part of man’s heart, which man can use to great destruction that are the seeds of hell’s fire. These wicked tendencies are active and powerful in the race of men, exceedingly violent, and again, only God’s restraint keeps that wickedness from flaring up into a great consuming fire to receive the same torments as those souls who are already damned.

    In other words, every heart in every man has the potential and capability for great wickedness; and the wickedness would quickly send each of us to hell if it were not for God’s merciful decision to keep this from happening this very moment.

    The souls of wicked men are like the stormy sea (Isa 57.20). For a little while God restrains their sinfulness in the same way that He can speak to the stormy waters saying, “the raging water can come only to this point, and no further”; but if God were to let the waters go without restraint, it would flood and destroy everything in its path without mercy.

    Sin is what destroys and ruins lives; it’s very nature and purpose is to destroy things. If God decided not to intervene and restrain it, then there is no way that every one of us would not totally wreck our lives.

    This teaching of this truth is almost non-existent today. Think about it. The nature of sin is TO DESTROY EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES. We are all sinful. If God did not mercifully restrain the effects of sin in each of our lives, we would most certainly destroy ourselves in a very short time.

    Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? (NKJV)

    The wickedness in our hearts has no boundaries or moderation; and as long as sinful people inhabit the earth, it will be like a fire that is held back by God, which if let loose would consume the entire world. The heart of man is a place of sin, and if God wasn’t keeping us from it, our soul would quickly be consumed in the fire.

  7. There is no comfort for the wicked man just because immediate danger or death can not be seen. In the same way, just because a person is healthy now, the wise man knows that at any moment he could die from an accident even those he’s sees no immediate cause for concern.

    Yet it is the common experience of mankind that we do not think about the fact that we stand on the very edge of eternity, one step away from leaving this world. The number and variety of ways that we could die this very moment are so many, you can’t even count them.

    Unsaved people do not see that they walk over top of hell on a thin, rotting floor that is so weak it can barely hold their weight and threatens to break and cave in at any moment, sending them plummeting to eternal torment.

    When is the last time you heard the truth of this? Think about it. There are a thousand thousand ways a person could die at any given moment. For the unsaved, it’s like walking a tightrope over the fires of hell. At any moment, they could lose their balance, trip, the rope could break, a gust of wind could blow them off… any number of things could send them into eternal torment of hell at any moment. And only the mercy of God keeps it from happening this very second.

    When was the last time you heard, or presented, this part of the Gospel?

    The potential to die comes at us from all angles, every moment of the day, and yet most are unseen to us because God protects us. There are so many ways that a person can die unexpectedly and be immediately in hell, that it should almost be considered a miracle that any wicked person live one minute longer.

    All the ways that a sinner can die this second and be in hell are so numerous, and so much in God’s hand, under His power and control, that if He were to quit caring or being concerned for even one moment, then every sinful person would be killed and go immediately to hell.

    That is a point you should not lightly pass over. There are countless ways a person can die at this very second. Each of these ways, like everything, are under the power, control and providence of Almighty God. If God were to quit caring, quit restraining, or withdraw His attention for even a moment, then every sinner would no doubt be killed instantly and forever be lost in the tormenting fire of hell.

  8. Our desire or ability to preserve or protect our lives will not secure one extra second of existence for us. It is the common experience of all men that this is indeed true. No amount of money, talent, fame or power can ensure that you will extend your life for one second past the time God allots you.

    Man’s wisdom certainly gives us no protection from death. If that were true, then we would see some difference between the wise and powerful compared to others; but we don’t. All men die with equal opportunity regardless of status or privilege.

    Ecclesiastes 2:16 For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool! (NKJV)

    The wise and powerful die just as surely and suddenly as the fool.

  9. All the efforts and tricks that evil men use to avoid hell, even while they continue to reject Jesus Christ will not keep them from hell even one second less.

    Almost every person who hears about hell imagines that it somehow doesn’t apply to them and entertains the idea that they will escape it somehow; perhaps by being a “good” person. Or perhaps they convince themselves that they will do something in the future that will change things.

    People dream up all sorts of plans and ideas that allow them to either escape hell or to be convinced it doesn’t exist at all. They believe that what they have thought up is a good idea and must be true. In our day when one person’s “truth” is as good as another’s, people just deny that hell exists, or believe that a “loving God” wouldn’t send anyone there, or they just make up their own religion that declares their safety from hell.

    Either way, instead of accepting what God has declared about the reality of hell, foolish men somehow believe they can just make up their own reality, and even though it will cost them their soul for all eternity, their pride will not allow them to believe otherwise.

    Sinners hear God’s Word that only a few will be saved (compared to how many will be lost) and they hear that the greater part of mankind who has died chose hell over God, but still hold onto the foolish belief that THEY will be different; that hell was for others, but not them.

    It is not their intention to choose hell; they do not believe they will end up there. They have every intention and plan to take care of things in the future and arrange life in such a way that hell will not be their destination.

    But this is complete foolishness! Men deceive themselves by their own plans rather than simply following God’s. They rest their fate in their own wisdom and strength. They place their trust in nothing more than a dream.

    The majority of people who have died, having the same grace offered to them by God as we have, have no doubt rejected that grace and are now in hell; not because they were less wise than we are, but because they simply chose to trust themselves, and not Christ.

    If we could ask each person, one by one, who is now in hell whether or not they expected to end up there in misery and torment (even though they had been adequately warned while alive), we would no doubt hear them reply:

    ”No, I never thought I would end up in hell. I had it all figured out. I thought I had things taken care of. I had intended to do something about it, but death came unexpectedly. I wasn’t looking for it when it happened; it came when I wasn’t ready. Death out-smarted me, and God’s wrath came too quickly for me to avoid. What a fool I was! I thought I had it all figured out, deceiving myself with my ignorant ideas; and just when I thought all was well…. Hell came calling.”

    No person plans to end up in hell. To the contrary, we all convince ourselves that we don’t deserve it, and that somehow, some way, certainly we will escape it (I’m speaking of those without Christ). We ignore, change the rules, rationalize or put off dealing with it for a future day. No one plans to go to hell. No one intends to go to hell. No one WANTS to go to hell. Not one person there right now thought they would be there.

  10. God has not promised to keep the unrepentant sinner from death and hell for even one moment. God has made no promises outside of Christ and the New Covenant to preserve any life, to give any reward, or to save any person from eternal death.

    And it is true that most people have no interest in Christ, no interest in the New Covenant or the Mediator of that Covenant; and so God is under no obligation to extend to them one less second in hell.

Given these things, it is plainly true that no matter how much human effort is made, no matter how much religious effort is made, no matter how many prayers are offered up, no matter how much sincerity is involved… until, and unless, a person believes in Jesus Christ for salvation, God is under no obligation to save them from the hell they themselves have chosen.

This applies to a person no matter how “good” they are as well. It has become popular today to preach a religious of morality and goodness resurrecting the age old damnable lie that if a person is simply “more good” than He is bad, that a god who is truly loving could never justly condemn them to hell. “Goodness” does not save. Belief and obedience in the Gospel of Jesus Christ does; that, and that alone.

End of Part two

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