Evangelist–Prophet Tiff Shuttlesworth
Speaking about hell in church can be controversial for many people, but it was mentioned in the Bible many times. In the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16, we get a glimpse of hell.
In Luke 16, we see the contrasting lives and ultimate destinies of the Rich Man and Lazarus. In hell, the Rich Man pleads with Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five brothers about the torment they may face. The Rich Man is concerned for his family and wishes to prevent them from experiencing the same fate. However, Abraham responds by saying that his brothers already have the writings of Moses and the prophets, which contain the Word of God. The Scriptures provide guidance for righteous living. If the brothers do not heed the teachings of Moses and the prophets, even the miraculous resurrection of someone from the dead would not convince them to change their ways.
Now is the time to get right in our relationship with God. If we have backslidden or distanced ourselves from the church, it’s not too late to return to God. And if we know people in this state, let us pray for great conviction and drawing of the Holy Spirit. This is also our prayer for those who still need to accept Jesus and be a part of the Kingdom of God.
God has given us His invitation so we can respond to His message. And as we say yes to Him, gain the faith, courage, and humility to turn away from sin to fully turn our hearts to Jesus. Christ’s return is imminent. These days call for us to intercede for the salvation of entire families, households, and communities. We must pray and fast until we see those around us turn to Jesus.
As we contend for the souls that need to be transferred to the Kingdom of God, we also need supernatural intervention. The Word of God, which has divine authority, can speak to hearts in ways beyond human capacity. Its power is beyond the abilities of any preacher or sermon.
The three things in hell that should be present in every church
The Rich Man in hell cried because he realized that it was too late for him. While he was on Earth, doing wrong and right seemed easier.
Since the pandemic, many people walked away from the church, relying solely on online services. While online ministry is an excellent tool for evangelism, there is still value in the church coming together and gathering as the Bride of Christ. Divorcing yourself from the gathering of the church puts your soul at risk.
We need to return to the church. There is a holy covenant and honor that comes from honoring the House of God. When you forsake the church, you dishonor the House of God and bring dishonor to your own house. We need to set an example and continue to show those around us the significance of being in church. We live in a day and age without remorse for sin. The temporary pleasures this world offers will be outweighed by eternal regret, so we must encourage others to do what is right. Let us remember that God rewards those who choose righteousness. Hebrews 10:25 says:
“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The seeds of greatness in the image of God are inside every person. But we’ve created an impotent religion in the United States of America, where people go to church and sing the songs, but Monday through Saturday they don’t read their Bible or pray. Many people have forgotten and forsaken the church, and they’ve never led anybody to Christ in their entire life. Their own children are going to hell, and they haven’t shed a tear. That is a religious person, but not a saved person. And Christ is not returning for religious people; He’s returning for redeemed people.
When was the last time there were tears in your eyes? Where are the tears of godly sorrow for our sins? Where are the tears shed for the souls of our unsaved children and grandchildren, and family? Where are the tears of spiritual leaders whose hearts are broken because the church has become dry and cold and impotent and no longer impacts or influences its community in which God planted it? Dry eyes make for dry churches.
Lamentations 2: 11 says, “I have cried until the tears no longer come. My heart is broken, my spirit is poured out in agony as I see the desperate plight of my people. Little children and tiny babies are fainting and dying in the streets.”
Prayer is talking to God from a sincere heart. While many of us have an image in our church or our circles, we can be quite different and simpler on most days. We can pray to God even when we’re not in business or ministry mode. We can acknowledge Him in all our ways and everything we do.
We can talk to God all day long. We always have an opportunity to draw near to Him. We can stay connected to Him even when it’s just us and Him. Because we have an intimate relationship with Him, we can ask Him for divine orders, wisdom, and knowledge.
Every time you talk to God in prayer, you take what’s in your hand and put it in His hand. There won’t be change if it’s in your hand. But every time you pray, you take what’s in your hand, put it in God’s hand, and God can do in a moment what you can’t do in a lifetime.
God has assigned us tasks in certain places and seasons that will require us to trust Him fully. But we must live with this knowledge: God never calls you to a task to fail. He always calls you to succeed. So, don’t give up even if it looks like the ultimate failure. Just keep building upon the precepts of the eternal covenant, knowing that there will be a comeback.
Third: Passion for the Lost
Luke 16:28 tells us that the Rich Man had brothers who were left on Earth. The Rich Man knew it was too late for him. But he immediately had a great passion for the lost. He’s no longer pleading for himself at this point, but he wants someone to reach out to his brothers. We only know a little about the Rich Man. He could be the eldest brother. He could also be the most successful brother. Whoever he had been, we can tell that people looked up to him. The people in your family, openly or subconsciously, often look up to you. Your decision to repent of sin and to receive Jesus Christ is not only securing your own place in eternity. The Bible says this blessing will be upon you and your descendants.
Nobody wants to go to Heaven and leave their family in the worst place. We want our spouse, children, grandchildren, and other loved ones to be there. But we shouldn’t just say or wish this. We must pray and fast fervently about this.
Where is prayer and fasting in the modern church? The early church fasted two days a week for over 400 years. That was the normal practice of the early church. They took the words of Jesus literally. Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees, you cannot in any manner enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:17-20).” The Pharisees fasted two days a week. Those humble early New Testament believers said, “Well, if the Pharisees fast two days a week, that’s the standard.” And for 400 years, the early church fasted two days a week.
Fasting is one of the greatest keys to the last days. Fasting accelerates the vision of God. It doesn’t buy you anything or earn you anything, but it’s impossible to crucify your flesh and not accelerate your spirit. Prayer moves the work of God. Fasting accelerates the work of God.
The Rich Man in the passage, all of a sudden, is pleading for the souls of his brothers. “Please, have someone go tell my brothers.” We can do the same. Let us claim the souls of our loved ones for Jesus. Before our ministry. Before our other pursuits. Let us pray and fast for our loved ones. Angels of God, mighty warriors from Heaven, tells us we have angels on assignment. Hebrews 1:14 says concerning the mighty angels of God, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth for those who are the heirs of salvation?”
Do you know the power available to you as a believer when you walk in the covenant of God? The angels of the Lord are with you. They’re with you when you go out and come back home. You will not be defeated, for the warriors of Heaven are on your side.
As believers, let us rise up as soul winners, passionately pursuing those who are lost, and bringing them into the fold of God’s love and salvation. May our churches be transformed into vibrant centers of revival where the Holy Spirit moves mightily, and lives are forever changed. May we never lose sight of our incredible responsibility and privilege as ambassadors of Christ. With hearts ablaze and faith unyielding, let us shine brightly in this dark world, bringing hope, healing, and salvation to the lost.
Continue to claim salvation for your loved ones. Live in light of eternity. Watch the full sermon “Things in Hell that Should Be in Every Church” by watching the complete video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ackk8Oput9A.
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