Talking about sinners today is a really tricky, sensitive issue because it makes it sound as if the Christians who are talking about it are hateful, insensitive, intolerant, and judgmental. We’re accused of being unloving. Worse yet, gasp, unchristlike. Unscriptural.

Yes, there are Christians who go overboard and become unchristlike in their stance for righteousness and the truth. Some mean well and don’t know any better. Others are just plain hateful. So, yes, whenever anyone of us acts unchristlike towards anyone, the unsaved especially, we deserve a good tongue lashing and verbal trashing.

But what happens when we take a stance for truth and right and we aren’t hateful, self-righteous, judgmental, or unchristlike about it? What happens when we speak out with love and in love? Would taking a stance against sin be wrong or inappropriate? Truth be told, a lot of people would rather that everyone just shut up and not say anything about sin or sinners.

I’m not hateful or judgmental. I love sinners. I really do. I hate the sins they’re doing. But I’m concerned enough about their souls and eternal destiny to speak up against their sins and lovingly offer them the hope of salvation and the hope of a changed life found in Christ.

I was thinking about God’s love not too long ago. Namely, John 3:16, For God so loved the world. He loved the world. He loved and cared enough for sinners to send them His Son as a saving sacrifice for sin. If you had one, and only one, son would you kill your son, or have him killed, to save the life of a stranger or an enemy? God did. Jesus is God’s undeniable proof that He loves sinners and wants to save them from Hell. God is love (1 John 4:8). He loves sinners.

Only thing is, God left the gates of Hell open. He didn’t shut them up. I mean, if I saw the entrance to an underground world of eternal pain and misery I would shut the entrance up, cover it over, and secure it so that no one would ever fall in. This is love, isn’t it? You would do the same thing yourself. Why? Because this is what love does. Right? Yet God in His love for sinners didn’t shut the gates of Hell. Why? Damned souls are still falling into that pain pit at a record clip. These souls He loves He lets perish in the pit. And yet, He calls Himself, He is, the God of love.

The very talk of Hell causes many to deny God’s love. In their view, there’s no way God can be love if He sends people to Hell. Hell, to them, is proof that God isn’t love. He isn’t loving.

But God is love—even with Hell and in spite of Hell—because that’s what He says He is and I naively believe God for who He says He is. Besides that, I have human and world experience to prove it. Read on and I’ll show you.

God is love. And He works very hard and long to try and save sinners. 2 Peter 3:9 shows us God’s heart of love towards sinners, The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some people think of slowness; on the contrary, he is patient with you; for it is not his purpose that anyone should be destroyed, but that everyone should turn from his sins.

No, God doesn’t send people to Hell. All of us are free to choose our way and make our own decisions. God honors and respects our choices.

But choices have consequences. We suffer whatever consequences our decisions bring. We can blame God and everyone else for the consequences we suffer. We can choose to reject all blame or responsibility for our decisions and actions. But doing so will not relieve us of the self-inflicted consequences of our choices.

It’s like the crook who cries Foul! behind prison walls. He’ll ramble on about the unjust nature of his  incarceration and blame a cop, a lawyer, a jury, and a judge for being in prison. But for us who know better, the guy robbed a bank. He got caught. His imprisonment is his fault and no one else’s.

Generally speaking, a crook doesn’t commit a crime with the intention of going to prison. He figures he’s gonna make a clean getaway. If he gets caught he’s smart enough to beat the rap. Yet, for all his smarts and swagger, he lands up in the prison he never thought he would see.

This is the way it is with sinners and Hell. For all their bravado, sinners don’t want to go to Hell. But they end up there because of their sins. Now, really, whose fault is that? God’s or their’s? God didn’t make them sin. They chose to sin. They wanted to sin. So if Hell, like prison for a crook, is where sinners go to be punished for their sins; why do we blame God for sending sinners to Hell? If, in our right minds, we don’t blame a cop, lawyer, or judge for a crook’s incarceration; why are we so otherwise minded to blame God for all the damned souls in Hell?

God is love. In our preferences of love, He could have covered over Hell’s gates. He could have done away entirely with that miserable place and make it non-existent. But what good would that do? Seriously, stop and think about it. What good would that do?

Let’s translate the question into the reality of our day. What would happen if we closed all our jails and prisons? What if every prisoner was freed and loosed? What if no rapist, murderer, or pedophile was locked up or put away for good? What would our society and community look like then? Would we want to live in such a dysfunctional, No Hell, “utopian” society? The fact is, we’re already surrounded by gobs of people with criminal tendencies. That’s scary enough! Would we want to add to that sense of insecurity by emptying our prisons and letting every criminal go free? Life wouldn’t be normal as we know it now: it’d be a war zone where everyone’s attention would be riveted around self-protection and preservation. You can choose to live in such a society if you like. But I believe I speak for the majority when I say that that’s not the kind of place I’d like to live in.

It’s lamentable that people choose to be criminals. It’s sad when criminals are locked up. But it’s for everyone’s good. It’s what we call a necessary evil. A necessary evil that’s spurred by society’s care for its citizens, its efforts to promote the common good, and it’s vigilant, unceasing work to preserve peace, security, and the pursuit of happiness.

Turns out, God is similarly-minded. He really is a God of love. He has the smarts on us. He knew what He was doing all along when He made Hell and He was doing it for everyone’s good. Hell is undesirable and unpleasant. It’s a necessary “evil” if you want to call it that. But necessary nonetheless.

Hell’s existence doesn’t deny God’s love, any more than all our jails and prisons are a denial of society’s need to protect itself and promote the common good. If anything, and to the contrary, in my thinking, Hell proves God is love. When you do everything you can for everybody’s good—Calvary and Hell included—that is good and that is love.


Back in the old days when I was a kid and when my parents themselves were kids, we believed in punishment. Corporeal punishment. We got spanked on the butt. And it wasn’t always with a belt or a switch (which we were made to fetch for ourselves). Sometimes the higher powers would use what we called the Board of Education. It was a 1×4 piece of lumber that stung your behind to high heaven and brought the toughest punks to tears.

You can call it punishment, discipline, or training. They were all the same to us back then. We got a licking when we messed up. It was part of parental duty and loving concern. They were making sure we learned the right things, cut out the wrong stuff, and grow up the right way.

Nowadays, that  kind of discipline is considered child abuse. Unfortunately, in the world in which we live today, a lot of parents and adults are abusive. And I, for one, agree that the laws against child abuse are a good thing. The children need to be protected if the parents aren’t going to do that. (Wish to God the government would protect the unborn children too!)

The thing of it is, back then, no kid ever died or ended up in a hospital after a licking. We didn’t grow up scarred or hating our parents. We loved and respected them (after the pain went away). We turned out the way we did—that is, pretty good folks, if I may say so myself—because of the discipline, training, and punishment that our parents lovingly gave us.

Today, we still believe in training and discipline. We’ve taken the corporeal aspect out of things, but we still levy a bevy of negative-type reinforcements to help teach the kids what’s considered proper and improper behavior. We ground them; withhold their benefits, rewards, or privileges; put them on a points or strikes system; and the like. This is what we do in the family or in an educational/institutional setting.

Let’s talk about law enforcement. Society has laws. It lives by laws. The laws tell us what’s good or what’s expected of us. And when we mess up, the laws have consequences. It may be a traffic ticket, arrest, trial, and imprisonment; a death sentence, a fine, community service, and the like.

As in child-training, the law’s punishments or consequences are designed to punish and discourage or deter bad behavior.

A civilized society has laws and consequences that are deemed for the overall good of society.

But even uncivilized societies—for example, the bush and forest tribes that have largely been untouched by modern civilization—have their own laws, morés, or codes of conduct that the tribes’ people are expected to live by. And when they violate the morés they suffer the consequences that are imposed upon them by the tribe.

Everywhere in human society, past and present, primitive and modern, we humans have accorded ourselves the luxury of making laws and enforcing them. We require people, including ourselves, to obey the laws. And when we don’t, we’ve set up for ourselves a bevy of punishments to punish and deter bad or criminal behavior. This we deem to be for the good of human society.

Imagine what life would be like if we didn’t have laws. I’m thinking of my younger days when I was in the Philippines. There were no road lines or traffic lanes. Manila was packed wall-to-wall with jeepneys, motorized tricycles, and buses, each forging their way. If I stuck so much as the palm of my hand out of the jeepney I would be sure to touch another jeepney—that’s how insanely close traffic was! I learned right then and there that it’s a good thing to have road lines and traffic lanes. And on a larger note, I realized the value of laws.

Laws are, for the most part, a good thing. I know there are bad laws too. But by and large, laws are designed with the public good and benefit in mind.

Now think if we didn’t have punishments. The laws wouldn’t do a bit of good if there were no consequences for violating them. The consequences play a part in deterring most people from breaking the law. Without punishments, think of the chaos we would live in if people could break in and steal or kill without being arrested, tried, and imprisoned. Crooks and criminals would roam freely throughout the community, terrorizing the neighborhood. We wouldn’t be safe or secure. We couldn’t live in peace or at ease.

So what am I saying? Laws are, for the most part, a good thing. They’re for society’s benefit. And as much as we may dislike suffering the consequences of disobedience, the punishments that society lays on the disobedient—be it in the home, school, the workplace, or society—are also for the general good of society.

Now here’s what I’m really trying to say. If we as humans accord ourselves the privilege of enacting laws and consequences—for the general good of society and all mankind; then why would we not give God this same privilege? I’m talking about God’s laws as written in the Bible and the human heart. I’m talking about Hell and God’s prerogative to be the sole and supreme Judge with the power to punish and damn the disobedient?

I think it’s laughable, no, it’s insane, how a lot of people won’t let God lay down the law and punish those who break the law; yet we do the very same thing! If we can do it—if we can make laws and punish the disobedient—then why can’t God? Why do we find it so abhorrent, so primitive and unenlightened, to believe in a God who punishes disobedience? What is naturally found in civilized and uncivilized societies—the establishment of law and consequences—is, to me, a logical and self-evident argument for a belief in God’s law and Divine punishment.



We all know that attitudes lead to actions. Mindsets shape manners. Convictions give rise to corresponding conduct. And beliefs determine behavior. Our life is a reflection of the thoughts and philosophies that we live by.

Some of the things we believe and live by are genuinely good and true. Others we only think are genuinely good and true, but really are not. Our own human experiences remind us in sometimes painful and humbling ways that we’re not always right. We’re capable of being wrong. We’ve been wrong about some of the things we’ve believed and thought. It’s a hard and humbling pill to swallow and some people refuse to swallow it. They will always be right even though we know they’re wrong as wrong can be.

Just because we believe what we believe doesn’t make us right. This is another hard pill for some of us to swallow. But it’s nevertheless true. Our beliefs don’t make us right and they don’t mean we’re right. Our beliefs are right only when they line up with God’s Word. His truth is the plumb line that determines what beliefs are right and what beliefs are wrong. As the prophet Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 8:20, To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. When our beliefs contradict God’s Word we’re certain to be wrong whether we admit it or not.

Some of the beliefs that we hold dear in life are not good for us. We hold them dear because they allow us to live the way we want to live without repercussion or condemnation. They allow us to live with a free conscience and allow us to continue doing the things we love to do.

But the fact of the matter is, some of the beliefs that we hold dear in life are not good for us. They’ll end up killing us. Sin kills and damns us. And the beliefs that allow us to sin with seeming impunity put us on the road that leads to hell. Let’s look at one of these beliefs.


The human mind and heart are really so clever and deceitful. They are absolutely out-of-this-world geniuses when it comes to rationalizing or justifying what is, in actuality, wrong. And devilishly so. Here’s a case in point.

Ahab was a King of Israel. He lived in the Royal Palace which was at Samaria. But, like a lot of kings throughout the ages, Ahab had other palaces that were scattered throughout the kingdom. One of these palaces was in the village of Jezreel.

Now the King wanted to do some gardening. And it just so happened that there was a nice plot of land next to the palace that would be ideal for his highness’ green thumb. So the King went to his neighbor—Naboth was his name—and he made an offer on the land.

To the King’s shocked dismay, Naboth wouldn’t sell him the land! The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers, Naboth told him (1 Kings 21:3).

Now Naboth wasn’t being disrespectful or anything like that. It was just that Naboth was a man of principle. According to the law, he couldn’t sell his land to the King. You can read about the laws of the land in Leviticus 25. Anyways, as long as Naboth wasn’t destitute or in a humongous sinkhole of debt, he couldn’t sell anyone the land.

When the Israelites took possession of the land during Joshua’s time the land was carved up between the twelve tribes of Israel. By Divine Law, the tribal lands were to remain in the tribe and in each of the particular families who made up the tribe. Ahab didn’t belong to Naboth’s family and tribe. So Naboth couldn’t sell him the land. It was a matter of law and principle. And Naboth just wouldn’t budge or compromise on that.

So what did the King do? He went back to the palace and sulked. And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food, 1 Kings 21:4.

Well, the King’s wife, named Jezebel, wanted to know why Ahab was just so down. So he told her what happened. Jezebel couldn’t believe it! Imagine the nerve of that Naboth to rebuff the King! The Queen was indignant! Do you now govern Israel?, she asked (1 Kings 21:7).

At that time they had what was akin to the divine right or prerogative of kings. This divine right was the recognition that the king could have whatever he wanted. He was, after all, the king. This is what Jezebel was hinting at. Are you the King or not? If you are, then act like one! You can have whatever you want!

Of course, Israelite kings are somewhat restricted or limited by the fact that they were expected to obey God’s laws. Even the King himself was duty-bound to obey God. Naboth reminded the King of God’s law and that’s why the King sulked: he couldn’t do anything about God’s law. Naboth was in the right. The King was in no position to buy, or own, the land.

Jezebel herself, however, was not an Israelite. She was as heathen as they come and she had no compunctions about disobeying God’s laws. Her husband was the King and, by golly, the King can have whatever he wants! She’ll make sure to that! While her devious mind went to work, she cheered her husband up: Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite (1 Kings 21:7).

What did she do? She wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city.  (9)  And she wrote in the letters, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people.  (10)  And set two worthless men opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death (1 Kings 21:8-10).

Unfortunately, Jezreel’s leaders were pretty spineless. The Queen was legendary for her wickedness and wrath and the town’s elders didn’t want to mess with her. So they did as they were told and poor Naboth got himself killed.

When Jezebel got the news that Naboth was dead, she told her husband the King to arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money, for Naboth is not alive, but dead (1 Kings 21:15).

As you’d imagine, the downcast King, on hearing the news of his good fortune, hightailed it out of the palace in sheer jubilation and went to take possession of the coveted piece of land that was now his.

When you’ve got your entire being focused on doing something wrong you don’t take the time to think things through. You don’t think about God, morals, virtue, right or wrong. You shut God out. But I love the way God butts right back in and speaks with a voice that will not be silenced.

1 Kings 21:17-19,  Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,  (18)  “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession.  (19)  And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Have you killed and also taken possession?”‘ And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.”‘”

Ahab was wrong and he did something wrong. Yeah, we can all say that it wasn’t his fault. It was his wife’s fault. It was her idea. But when he went to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard he was doing something he knew was wrong. In this way, he was complicit with Jezebel in the murder of a perfectly good man. 

So what’s the moral of the story? YOU CAN’T ALWAYS HAVE WHATEVER YOU WANT. It’s that plain and simple.

I think a lot of times we use our status or position in life to fool us into thinking we can have whatever we want. We may not be the King, like Ahab, but I’m the boss, I’m the pastor, I’m the man-in-charge, I’m the father, or I’m the mother, I have the final say, I’m an adult, I can think for myself, I can make my own decisions, I’m a Christian, I’m a child of God, God says I can have whatever I want (Mark 11:24), and, by golly, I can have whatever I want!

Nice try, bucko. But you’ve got it wrong! Mark 11:24 is true. But God also said you can’t have whatever’s sinful or harmful for you. Look it up for yourself in James 4:1-3. You can’t have whatever you’re lusting after—not with God’s blessings or permission. Some of the things you want aren’t good for you. You might think otherwise. But God knows better than you. He knows what’s good for you and what’s not. When something you want isn’t good for you God puts His foot down and  says, No, you’ve got it wrong. You can’t have whatever you want.

Of course, you can contravene God’s law and get whatever it is you want. But be forewarned. You will pay the consequences, like Ahab did. Yeah, he got the land that he wanted. But he paid for it with his life! Read it for yourself. In 1 Kings 21 he gets the land. And in the very next chapter, 1 Kings 22, he gets killed. What he wanted and got ended up killing him. So was it worth it?

Is it worth it to you? Are you willing to die to get whatever it is you want? If it came right down to it, are you willing to go to hell to get whatever you want?  Is it really worth that much to you?

Listen, if you can learn this one lesson now, while you’re alive and not after you’re dead, you will be so much the wiser: NOTHING AND NO ONE IS WORTH GOING TO HELL OVER. Give it up. Let it go. When it comes to what’s unlawful, illicit, or ungodly, whatever  it is you want, it’s not worth hell.

If we don’t learn from the mistakes of others we’re doomed to repeat those same mistakes. So take it from the dead if not from the Lord and His Word: you can’t always have whatever you want. And if you insist otherwise you will live to regret the day you disobeyed the Lord. You can count on it.


We all like to hear good things said to us or about us. The positive words of encouragement do us a world of good.

I know the words that I’d like to hear God say to me when I stand, or rather, lie prostrate, before Him at the judgment seat. I’m hoping He’ll say Well done, thou good and faithful servant!  These have got to be the sweetest words I’ll ever hear God say and I’m really hoping I’ll hear Him say them to me one day.

Unfortunately, God doesn’t only say good things all the time. He’s got some harsh words to say too. And the scariest of these words that I definitely don’t want to hear Him say to me are, I never knew you. Depart from me, you worker of iniquity! Friends, when you hear God say that to you, you’re as good as toast!

These words of our Lord are taken from His sermon on the mount. Here’s the fuller version of what He said: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  (22)  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  (23)  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity, Matthew 7:21-23.

These 3 verses, in my opinion, are the scariest verses for a Christian because they tell us that many professing Christians who believe they’ll go to Heaven when they die will have a rude awakening and the shock of their life when our Lord sends them to hell instead.

Why will the Lord send these Christians to hell? (1) Because they’ve not done the will of God. They lived their lives in disobedience to God and neglected, or refused, to do His will; and (2) they worked iniquity, that is, they continued to live a life of sin, continued to live like the heathen. Instead of quitting sinning, they persisted in sin.


Two things shock and frighten me about the Christians who God will send to hell. (1) These unwary, unsuspecting hell-bound Christians called and considered Jesus their Lord; they worked for the Lord, engaged in Christian ministry or leadership; they prophesied and preached the word of the Lord; they cast out devils; and they did many wonderful works—not just a few or a handful, but many—they performed lots of signs and wonders; they did miracles of healing, deliverance, and who knows what else.

Jesus didn’t deny that they did these things. So what these Christians said and did were true. They did all these things that they said they did. So they were very effective in Christian ministry and many people were saved, healed, and delivered through them.

Most frightening perhaps is the fact that these people did way more for God than most of us have done to date. They did many things that most of us have not done even once as far as healing or casting out demons is concerned. These hell-bound Christians put us to shame by how much they did and how successful they were in their witness and ministry.

Yet, in spite of all they accomplished, they find themselves barred from Heaven because they lived a double life. They worked for the Lord and continued to sin on the side. They professed to be Christians, yet continued to live and act like heathens.

(2) The second thing that really frightens me about these hell-bound Christians is the fact that they are not a handful or an insignificant minority. They are not a few among many. They are not the oddballs or the exceptions to the rule. Jesus said many shall say unto Me. Brethren, there are many among us who will not step on streets of gold, who will not live in heavenly mansions, who will not spend eternity in Heaven.

And if there are many among us, then we must ask ourselves, “Am I one of the many Christians who will end up in hell?” That is truly a scary thought and it ought to motivate us to do everything in our power to make sure we are not one of the many who will be barred from Heaven, but one of the few who find, and walk, the strait and narrow. Jesus said in Matthew 7:14, Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth to life; and few there be that find it.


This stands in stark contrast to the only condition that many Christians believe is the only thing you need to do to be saved and go to Heaven, and that is, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31); whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13); and  whosoever believeth on Jesus shall not perish but shall have life everlasting (John 3:16).

Of course, all these verses are true. Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ will get you saved.

But God couldn’t say everything at one time or in one verse. Believing and receiving Jesus into your heart and life is just the beginning. Salvation isn’t just an act or a conversion experience. It’s a life. And it’s a life that’s lived in obedience to God’s will. These verses that we just read in Matthew 7 bear this truth out.

Here are some of the things God wants all of us to do. These are the things that will get us to Heaven. And failing or refusing to do them will imperil our soul and cause God to utter the scariest words that none of us want to hear God to say to us.

  • Do the will of God. Matthew 7:21, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
  • Abstain from sin and iniquity. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10,  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  (10)  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Walk the strait and narrow. Matthew 7:13-14, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  (14)  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
  • Don’t believe wrong doctrine. 1 Timothy 4:1, Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
  • Live a holy life. Hebrews 12:14, Follow peace, and holiness, with all men; without which no man shall see the Lord.
  • Confess the Lord before men and not deny Him. Matthew 10:32-33, Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  (33)  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
  • Live the crucified life. Luke 14:27, And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Galatians 6:7-8,  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  (8)  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
  • Be spiritually fruitful. John 15:2, Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
  • Persevere or endure to the very end. Matthew 10:22, He that endureth to the end shall be saved.

The point is, many people limit salvation to believing on Christ. And since that’s all they need to do to be saved, then there’s nothing else they need to do to be saved. They’re saved already. They’re going to Heaven. So now they can relax, breathe a sigh of relief that they’ve escaped the fires of hell, then go back to living the heathen lifestyle that they’ve always lived.

Jesus is here correcting this mistaken notion of salvation and He’s telling us as clearly as He can that, yes, salvation and Heaven begin with believing. But it doesn’t stop there. You need to mix actions with your faith. You need to act like you believe. You need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. You need to live your life in obedience to God and do His will.

DISOBEDIENCE IS DAMNABLE.  One act of disobedience may not necessarily be damnable. Just because you sinned once doesn’t mean you’re going to hell. Repentance and forgiveness are God’s provision to save you from hell and avert the hellish consequences of sin and disobedience.

But one continuing act of disobedience—if you spend the rest of your life disobeying God; then that life of disobedience is certainly damnable. And the only thing that will save you from hell—the only life-saving thing you can do for yourself—is give that sin up, turn away from it, then spend the rest of your life in obedience and holiness unto God.

IF YOU PERSIST IN SIN, THAT SIN WILL KILL YOU. And the fact that you consider yourself a believer, the fact that you’re a minister, or a successful Christian worker or an effective witness or evangelist; the fact that you call Jesus your Lord and consider yourself a Christian; the fact that you fully expect to go to Heaven when you die; will not save you from hell. Sin will send you to hell and the only way it won’t is if you give it up, quit doing it, and start obeying God. Sinning might be cool with the crowd you hang around with. But, believe me, you’ll be hot as hell itself when payday comes, as it surely will. YOU JUST CAN’T SPEND YOUR LIFE DISOBEYING GOD AND EXPECT HIM TO BE NICE TO YOU ON JUDGMENT DAY!

So do you want God to say to you on Judgment Day Depart from me, you worker of iniquity? These are definitely the scariest of words to hear when hell is only a judgment sentence of God away. If you don’t want to hear God send you to hell with these words, then do the smart thing and quit sinning. Spend your life serving and obeying God and you’ll definitely not hear God say these scariest words to you on Judgment Day.


In teaching through the life of Christ the other day the Lord brought me to Matthew 7:13-14. It’s the familiar analogy of the two roads of life: Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate.  (14)  But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.

For too many of us, our concept of salvation is glued to John 3:16 and Acts 16:31. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! It’s so easy to get saved! That’s the way the Lord made it so that everyone can get saved if they wanted to. All we have to do is believe. I mean, how hard is that? It isn’t. It’s so ridiculously easy that anybody can believe and be saved. Nobody, but nobody, can ever accuse the Lord of making it so hard to get saved!

But, like all of us, the Lord couldn’t say everything in a single verse, a single sermon, or a single point of time. There’s always the rest of the story, the whole picture, or the whole counsel of Scripture. Jesus went on to say more things about salvation and Matthew 7:13-14 is a good case in point.

I was musing on these verses when the Lord reminded me that the sermon on the mount was given to believers (Matthew 5:1-2). Jesus isn’t talking to heathens here. He’s talking to people who believe and follow Him. In other words, they’re already saved.

So if we’re already saved, why does Jesus tell us to enter the strait and narrow gate? When He tells us to go through the strait and narrow it’s because we’ve not gone through the strait and narrow yet. We’re outside the gate and He’s telling us to go through, and inside, the gate.

But wait a minute, Lord. I’m already saved. I already believe in you. Aren’t I already on the strait and narrow?

Obviously not. Conversion takes us off the broad road and it brings us to the gate of the strait and narrow. Getting saved doesn’t automatically put us on the strait and narrow. We get there only when we make a personal, knowledgeable decision to go through the gate and spend the rest of our life walking the strait and narrow. If we haven’t made that decision, then we’re not on the strait and narrow. Since there are only two roads in life, not three or four, then not being on the strait and narrow means we’re still on the broad and wide.

Each road takes us somewhere. Each road leads us to its ultimate destination. The strait and narrow leads us to life (Heaven); the broad and wide takes us to destruction (Hell). {BTW, there is life after death. When we die we either go to life, or Heaven; or we go to destruction, or Hell.}

Here’s the kicker. WHERE WE GO WHEN WE DIE IS DETERMINED BY WHAT ROAD WE’VE TRAVELLED ON. If we’ve walked the strait and narrow, we’ll go where that road takes us: to Heaven. If we’ve walked the broad and wide, we’ll go to Hell because that’s where that road takes us. There’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell that we’ll end up in Heaven when we’ve spent our whole life walking the broad and wide. We’ll go wherever the road takes us. And the broad and wide road definitely doesn’t take us to Heaven.

So if we’re saved, but not walking the strait and narrow; if we’re Christians, but walking the broad and wide; how in the world can we expect to go to Heaven? Do we seriously believe we can live like heathens on the broad and wide and still make it to Heaven because of the “Christian” nametag that we wear? Because we say we believe? Because we say we’re saved?

Just so that none of us are surprised by what Jesus would say to us on Judgment Day, here’s what He’s going to say to all those who aren’t walking the strait and narrow (Matthew 7:21-23): Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in.  (22)  On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, “We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles.”  (23)  But I will tell them, “I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!”

Okay. So you’re saved. You’ve gotten saved. That’s great! Way to go! But don’t stop there! Don’t keep on walking the broad and wide road that you’ve known all your life.  Go through the strait and narrow gate and start walking the highway that leads to Heaven.

If you’re counting on going to Heaven just because you’ve gotten saved and can therefore continue living like the heathen you’ve always been, the Lord’s got news for you. You’re not going to make it to Heaven if you don’t walk the strait and narrow. What road are you on?

Getting saved is the start of your journey. Where you end up depends on the road you choose to take. So choose wisely. YOU CAN CHOOSE THE ROAD YOU TAKE, BUT YOU CAN’T ALTER ITS FINAL DESTINATION. You will go where the road leads you.



1 Peter 1:12 talks about the gospel and the plan of salvation that’s been revealed to men by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Angels want to know more about the plan of salvation. They don’t know about it because it doesn’t apply to them. The plan of salvation applies to men, not angels. To them, salvation is a wonderful thing. It arrests their attention; it arouses their interest; it piques their curiosity. So they live with the longing to know more, to investigate and look into, this wonderful gospel of salvation.

Why did God choose to save sinful men, but not sinful angels? Both men and angels are rational beings with a mind to think freely. They both have free will to choose to obey God or disobey Him; free will to follow Lucifer, or stay true to God (Isaiah 14:12-14, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6).

Both have bodies, though of a different sort or composition. If Adam had not sinned, death would not have entered the world. Adam and Eve, and their posterity, would have lived endlessly without suffering, sickness, or death. Because of sin, their bodies became subject to death. Angels live endlessly. When many of them sinned against God and followed Lucifer in his rebellion against God, their bodies, I’m sure, underwent change. For those of us who’ve seen demons and angels, demons don’t look anywhere near as nice or angelic as angels. They’re rather ugly, frightful creatures (Revelation 9:1-10). And it’s certain that God did not make them this way. They became what they are now because of their rebellion. So their bodies changed appearance, but, unlike men, they didn’t become subject to death. They live endlessly in a tormented existence.

Good angels are ministering beings that assist believers (Psalm 91:11, Hebrews 1:14). They’re with us here on Earth, though, for the most part, they’re unseen by us. They have free will and a mind. They see things. When they see a man and woman kiss, do they long to know this sort of love? When they see a man and woman consummate their love, do they long to feel such oneness, and wonder, and ecstasy? When they see a family playing together and having gobs of fun, when they hear the laughter of children, when they see the tight hugs of parents and children; do the angels long to experience such happiness and joy? These God-sent angels see countless things, both good and bad. Do they ever wonder what it would be like to be human? Do they ever covet, or envy, being human? Can these good angels sin at any time, being tempted by all the enticements of humanity? Are good angels sinning right now and becoming damned demons?

I don’t know the answer to these questions. I just know that, for whatever reasons, God—in His sovereignty—decided not to save sinful angels or demons. He chose to provide salvation for sinful men, conditioned on their faith and repentance. But He made no such provision for demons. He extended no such offer to fallen angels. Demons live without the hope of redemption and salvation from hell. Fallen, sinful angels live tormented with the fact that they’ll never know the heavenly bliss they once knew many eons ago. They live eternally damned without hope.

That’s why I’m glad I’m not an angel. If I was, would I have followed Lucifer or God? If, as an angel, I see all the things humans do, would I follow suit and sin in the process? I don’t know. Do you? What would you have done if you were an angel? I look at myself today and ask, Do you know how temptable I am? You ought to know because I’m just as human as you are. We’ll all temptable. We’ve all fallen at some time or another. As humans, we at least have a chance at repentance, forgiveness, and salvation. We have a shot at Heaven. But for angels that sin even once, they have no such chance. They had their chance and they blew it. Now they live tormented for all eternity without the hope of redemption or reconciliation. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. I wouldn’t want to take that chance. Yeah, I’m thankful I wasn’t created an angel. Infinitely more, I’m thankful for a God who loves me immeasurably. He made a way for me—and countless others—to be saved. Because of Him and the Christ who died for our redemption, we can spend eternity with Him. Yes, the human experience is filled with tears and troubles. Heartaches and pain. But as long as I have hope of Heaven, I’ll always be thankful I’m human and not an angel.