1 Cor. 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Category: Hell

Does God Hear/Answer Your Prayers?

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As born-again believers, we know that God hears their prayers. We also know that God doesn’t always answer our prayers because we are not praying in His will. However, does God hear the prayers of those who are not born-again? We should let the Bible answer this question.

We must first ask, “What is prayer”? Jesus taught us how to pray using the Lord’s Prayer as an example:

Matthew 6:9-13  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  (10)  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  (11)  Give us this day our daily bread.  (12)  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  (13)  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Before we cover this model prayer, notice that Jesus prefaced the Lord’s prayer with verse 6:

Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Many religions today teach their members to pray repetitious prayers as a way to get more “religious” and closer to God. But God says differently in the above verse!

How would you like it if your children came to you and only spoke the exact same things every single time they talked to you? That’s not a relationship nor is it fellowship. It is merely a recital.

Jesus went as far to say that these types of prayers were “vain repetitions,” meaning that there would not be any response from God – trying to communicate with Him is in vain. The end result would produce nothing! Furthermore, Jesus said, “…as the heathen do”! Ouch!

Therefore, Jesus didn’t teach us the Lord’s prayer so we could repeat it word-for-word. When the Pharisees prayed in public, they repeated “canned prayers” and recited them out loud so people would “see how holy they were”! But they were far from holy; they were hypocrites. They followed the “letter of the law” but did not follow the “Spirit of the law,” in Christ Jesus.

We do know God hears their prayers when they come to Him for salvation.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

But if they do not get saved, He does not hear their prayers because of their sin.

Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Also, one can say they were “saved,” but if that person remains in sin proves that they did not repent of their sin. Repeating a prayer for salvation with an insincere heart doesn’t make one born-again any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. But a sincere prayer asking God for forgiveness of your sins and accepting His son Jesus as Saviour will save! (Romans 6:23)

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

This is why the Bible says you must be born-again! You must separate yourself from sin after you are saved! THAT, my friend, is repentance. A person who steals will repent and steal no more after salvation; one who consistently lies will lie no more after salvation. The born-again Christian is not sinless but that Christian will desire to sin LESS because he wants to please the Lord. A person’s focus changes after salvation; his focus is on the things of God. If Christianity is a chore or labor for a person who has claimed salvation, then that person should check his heart. Loving God is never a chore or labor. It is a by-product of a grateful heart for the one who has obtained salvation through Jesus Christ.

John 3:3-7 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  (4)  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  (5)  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  (6)  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  (7)  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

Some reject God’s call to be saved but have put it off thinking they have plenty of time. Others just flat out refuse to be saved because they don’t want to be called religious fanatics.

Proverbs 1:24-26, 28 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;  (25)  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:   (28)  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

Do you know what God thinks of their prayers?

Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

Zechariah 7:11-13 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.  (12)  Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.  (13)  Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:

The Lord’s prayer is to be used as an example. We pray to the Father in Heaven and recognize how holy He is. This denotes a relationship and a recognition that He is not only our Parent (our Father) but He is a holy and righteous Judge (who art in Heaven)! Just as you knew that you were in deep trouble when your mother said, “Wait till your father comes home,” so we know that our Abba Father in Heaven will mete out righteous judgment on His children if we do not walk in His will. But to the unsaved, God does not hear their prayers or answer them at all!

Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

When prayers are not heard, and the individual is not saved, that person will fall into the hands of God at the great Judgment and will suffer death twice! (The first death is when their body dies and their soul goes to Hell; the second death is when they appear before God and their name is not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This is where the second death occurs, and their soul is cast into the lake of fire for all eternity!)

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Your rejection of God and the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ, will result not only in your punishment but will pass down to your children and grandchildren because they have watched your “testimony” and have seen that you are not saved. They will follow in the same footsteps as you and will end up in that Lake of Fire as well unless you repent of your sins and live for God. This should be motivation to get saved and live for the Lord so your family will have an example to follow! (2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.)

Hell Is No Laughing Matter

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The best place to start when you want to learn about Hell is with Jesus. He spoke about it in great detail in today’s Scriptures. In this particular instance, Jesus is not speaking in parables. Parables didn’t have names associated to the person. However, in today’s Scriptures, Jesus speaks of Lazarus and a rich man. To me, this is the best depiction of what it will be like in Hell. So let’s read the account:

Luk 16:19-31  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  (20)  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  (21)  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  (22)  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  (23)  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  (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.  (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.  (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.  (27)  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.  (29)  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  (30)  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  (31)  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Just because you don’t believe there is a Heaven or a Hell, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. What if you’re wrong? Are you always 100% right in everything you think? Of course not! So what if you’re wrong thinking that Hell doesn’t exist?

Proverbs 14:12  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the account of the rich man and Lazarus:

  1. This was not a parable because parables never mentioned names. In today’s Scripture, Jesus named the poor man, Lazarus. Jesus knew him by name. (Exodus 33:12, Exodus 33:17) Just as I don’t know everyone else’s children’s names, but I do know my own, so does God know the names of each one of those who love Him and are saved.
  2. The rich man lived in luxury here on earth. He had expensive clothing and plenty to eat. Lazarus, on the other hand, had rags and looked for scraps to fall from the rich man’s table so he could eat. In fact, the rich man’s dogs licked Lazarus’ sores! Their lives on earth could not have been any more opposite. This isn’t to say that it is wrong to be rich. What is wrong is that the rich man had no compassion toward those in need. His focus was on himself and how to please his own flesh.
  3. Notice how each one died. Lazarus was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man, on the other hand, was simply buried and went to Hell.
  4. Let’s take a look at the circumstances in their destination. Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom. This gives us a view of being hugged and in comfort. While Lazarus was on earth, he was neglected and alone. But now he was being comforted. In Hell, the rich man, lifted his eyes and could see Lazarus and Abraham afar off. So the rich man was quite conscious of what was happening.
  5. Notice that the rich man was in torment. Noah Webster defines torment as: “Extreme pain; anguish; the utmost degree of misery, either of body or mind.” He was in such pain he was crying. What was the rich man crying about? He was begging for mercy! Notice in verse 24 that he had a thirst that was never to be quenched. Even being in Hell, the rich man was still high and mighty in his unrepentant thoughts. He didn’t ask Abraham to bring water, but to send Lazarus! Also, the rich man was so thirsty that he would have even welcomed a drop of water dripping from Lazarus’ finger! Now I would say, “that’s thirsty”! And why was the rich man thirsty? The verse ends that he is tormented in this flame! If you’ve been working out in the yard on a hot summer day, you are well aware of how thirsty you can get. Not only was the rich man thirsty, but he was burning! Receiving a burn anywhere on your body will produce pain. I think of my worse sunburn and how the pain lasted for a few days. The rich man was in the flames and was not being consumed! He is still burning there and will be for all eternity! His pain will never go away. I also noticed that Lazarus was with Abraham sharing in the joys of Heaven. However, the rich man was not with anyone. He was very much alone.
  6. Abraham reminded the rich man of the reason he was in Hell in the first place. He had all the comforts that his riches could afford him while he was on earth but he didn’t care for his eternal soul. Meanwhile, Lazarus had nothing on this earth but obviously did care about where he would spend eternity. He may have been poor but he was apparently rich in faith.
  7. The rich man thought about his family on earth while he was in torments. He didn’t want them to go to Hell to experience what he was experiencing (vs. 28 “this place of torment.”) But Abraham told the rich man that they had Moses and the prophets to listen to. I found it interesting that the rich man knew his family wouldn’t listen, just as he didn’t listen. Instead, he said that if one from the dead would go to his family, they would repent. But it doesn’t work that way, as we see in Abraham’s reply. He said in verse 31, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose form the dead.”

Dear Reader, Hell is a real and literal place. It’s nothing like the humorous skit performed by some comedian. It’s unfortunate that they could not care less about their future! The New Testament speaks more about Hell than Heaven! The warnings are there in the Scriptures. I would venture to say that every home has a Bible in it, whether in print or on their cellphones/computers. No fortune teller or medium can bring anyone back from the dead to warn them. They have the Scriptures which contain all that we need to guide us. It is the road map to Heaven and that is through Jesus Christ.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

There are other Bible verses that tell us about the characteristics of Hell – none of these characteristics are pleasant:

  • Hell is a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12). The word gnashing according to Noah Webster means: “Striking the teeth together, as in anger, rage or pain.” Imagine crying because you are in pain yet being so angry with rage because of your bad decisions that placed you in this place for all eternity!
  • Hell is a place of eternal damnation to anyone who denies Christ as Saviour, which is considered blaspheming the Holy Spirit. (Mark 3:29).
  • Hell is a place where the worm doesn’t die (Mark 9:48). Just as worms eat decaying bodies, in this instance, the body will never decay.
  • Hell is a place where the fire is never quenched (Mark 9:48). It will be burning for all eternity.
  • Just as we read in today’s account of the rich man and Lazarus, we see that Hell is a place where those without Christ will cry and beg for mercy. They will have memories of their families. They will be alone. They will be in torments with no way to escape! (Luke 16:19–31).
  • Hell, according to the Apostle Paul, is a place of everlasting destruction, everlasting absence from the presence of the Lord, and everlasting absence of the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:9). It will be too late to accept Christ as Saviour at that point; you will, however, regret your rejection of Him for all eternity.
  • Hell is a bottomless pit filled with dark smoke (Revelation 9:2). Have you ever seen astronauts preparing for their mission in a gravity-free chamber? They float around and do not change direction until they run into an object. Imagine then being in darkness and always falling and never running into anything! How frightening this must be! You can’t see your hand in front of your face and you’re continually falling! The graphic I posted above shows that the darkest part of the flame is black. Although the outer part of the candle can produce light, the black part does not. This is what it will be like in Hell.
  • Hell is a place where God’s wrath is poured out. Those who are there will be tormented with fire and brimstone. Their torment will go on for ever and ever neither will they have rest from their torment! (Revelation 14:10-11).

Just as both the rich man and Lazarus immediately went to their final destination, so will each and every one of us (Hebrews 9:27). It is our choice as to where that destination will be. Have I frightened you? I certainly hope so. Spending eternity in Hell is no laughing matter. Please, friend, I beg you! If you have not been born again, please do so before it’s eternally too late for you. You do not know when you will die. You could be on your way home from work and get in a car accident. If you have read this post through, then you are accountable for knowing the difference between Heaven and Hell. Now let me show you how you can be saved. Don’t be like the rich man! If you are not born again, your sins are not covered by Jesus’ sacrificial offering of Himself. You have not been redeemed by His blood. It is no coincidence that God has placed you here for such a time as this so that you may be saved if you are not already. Please click here and the link will open up in a separate tab to You Can Be Born Again and Know It!

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