HIGHWAY TO HELL
Voltaire, the French philosopher of the eighteen century was lying on his deathbed. Addressing his doctor, the bitter author said “I am abandoned by God and man. I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months’ life.” The doctor replied, “Sir, you cannot live six weeks.” To which Voltaire responded, “Then I shall go to Hell, and you will go with me.” Soon thereafter, he died into a Christless state and entered Hades.
“The wicked perish without hope,
because they die without God.”
Steve Lawson said “Know God, know hope. No God, no hope. Sinners without God have nothing to hang on to when encompassed by death. Far worse, they have no one to hang on to them…no Savior, no Redeemer, no Conqueror of death.”
It is a sad thing to fall into the hands of the Living God, which is why Hell exists. It’s the eternal judgment of God for the ones who do not believe. Jesus said “and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matt 13:42. In Mark’s gospel we read “And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” Mark 9:47-48
John penned these words in the Book of Revelation about the ones who rejected the gospel. “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Rev 20:11-15
This is how Bildad believed Job would face death….alone and lacking a deliverer. Bildad at this point in his “interrogation mode” believed that Job was one of the wicked and he would die in empty despair as the lost. Bildad believes there is unconfessed and hidden sin in Job’s heart, and if he was unwilling to confess, he too, would die with the wicked.
We have to understand something here as we approach this text!
Every single one of us is a sinner, including Job and his three friends. Every single one of us has broken the heart of God, because of our sin. Every single one of us is “lacking” as we approach the Judgement seat of God without the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Every single one of us is no different than Voltaire apart from the gospel penetrating our hardened hearts with grace and truth. Every single one of us is going to Hell; apart from the miracle of redemption in Christ alone, through the gospel.
Hell is described as a place of conscience torment.
Jesus told a true story “The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.'” Luke 16:22-24
Hell is described as place to warn others about the intense suffering.
In the same story we read “And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house—for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” Luke 16:26-31
Hell is described as outer darkness and eternal suffering.
Matthew penned these words “I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Mat 8:11-12
The reason Hell is so terrible is because God is so great. And despising Him is so evil that it deserves this terrible punishment. The truth is that the wicked do die and are eternal separated from the everlasting mercy and grace of God. Bildad responds with truth about the state of the wicked, but he also lacks to preach the redemptive plan for sinners as well.
Where are the comforting words of grace for a broken man who has lost much?
Where is the hope that lies within your heart Bildad?
Where is the compassion of directing Job into His loving sovereign arms?
Where is the sermon that points us to God and His grace?
Bildad have you forgotten what you have heard growing up? Have you forgotten how God dealt with…..
Adam and Eve and provided a sacrifice for them. Genesis 3
Noah and his family, in how God delivered them out of wrath over the wickedness of mankind. Genesis 6, 7, 8
Abraham and his son when they climbed Mount Moriah and God provided a sacrifice for Abraham. Genesis 22
What about you me? When we are in the presence of others in their pain and sorrow and brokenness?
Do we forget to tell them about the whole counsel of God and His redemptive plan for sinners?
Do we forget to tell them about the hope found in the Kinsman Redeemer?
Do we forget to tell others about the saving grace found only in Jesus Christ?
Or; Do you just go guns blazing and telling others how wicked they are and they are on their way to Hell?
Apart from Christ everyone is going to reside in Hell. So we need to warn them, but also wrap our arms around their legs, pleading and begging them to rest in the gospel of Jesus Christ. What Bildad describes here is correct for the lost unregenerate sinner, it’s a horrible place reserved for the unredeemed. But what Bildad neglects to say to Job is how he can find rest and hope for his broken soul. What Bildad fails to understand is that our sin through the fall of Adam is the effect and reason why Hell exists. Sin is devastating and no rescue at all….except through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Bildad is so angry at this moment, “All comfort and compassion, has now left the building” (v2-v4) Bildad is going for the throat to finally close the mouth of his disrespectful friend. Bildad summarizes the destruction of those in Hell; that the wicked will die without hope and they will not escape God’s judgment! (v5-v21)
Is Bildad right? Yes! And this truth should drive us to our knees in adoration and praise to our glorious God. This truth should remind each and every one of us of that great love that He has for us. This truth should fill us up with compassion and boldness to tell the lost about this terrible place and the only way to escape it, is through the gospel truth of Jesus and His saving grace. In our natural state we are all wicked, lost, and dammed people, as Bildad describes here; including himself. Romans chapter three is very clear about our natural state, but what we read near the end of Romans three, is what warms and blesses our hearts with hope and joy. Paul said “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Rom 3:21-26
Resting in His grace and mercy as He is our substitute for our sins of the past, present and future. We are justified though the sanctifying blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus was our “propitiation” which means He was our substitute to satisfy the justice of God’s wrath over our sin. The moral obligations that we owe for our sins are paid to God though Jesus’ death and now the Father is satisfied. Isaiah wrote of this truth “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:5-11
Though tragic to read, but joy fills my heart because it’s this truth that speaks hope into my heart. Jesus is the ONLY WAY to be delivered from such a horrible and wicked place. Jesus is the ONLY WAY we will ever have victory over our sin; and the gates of Hell will not prevail against His grace through the gospel. Despite my sin and suffering we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Despite my daily battle over my sin, we are forgiven and declared not guilty before a holy Judge. The Apostle John wrote this to remind us of this this truth “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10
What we need to understand about suffering is this! As children of the Living God we will all taste some darkness until we are delivered into Heaven’s glory. And to understand that Christians will have seasons and times of suffering that leave you feeling lonely and empty. And though you are redeemed you will sin, but when you sin, you will hate it with holy passion. This is where we need to “lean in” more and rest in His grace, as He delivers you into eternity, despite the suffering and your sin. We will go through seasons and moments of life that feel like your own personal Hell (Gehenna). But the amazing thing about that is that we will never reside there for all eternity, based on the grounds of the finished work of Christ. Our present Hell might feel uncomfortable as we walk our way into His glory, but our hope is in the Light, that shone into our darken hearts and revealed His glory and love through the gospel. This is what Bildad failed to explain to Job.
Remember this truth “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Cor 4:1-6
What seems and feels like hell on earth for the believer, is nothing compared to the eternal weight of glory when we stand with Him for all eternity.
Can you imagine what it will be like for those who
reject the truth of the gospel and the Written Word?
Bildad has given a vivid picture of their end or beginning. The bible is very clear what happens! Its’ devastating and horrible, something I never want to experience for me or even our worst of enemies. What Bildad describes is something that should drive Bildad to his knees; especially if his friend Job really did sin against God. Instead of scaring people to Heaven, tell them the whole story from the bad to the good. Don’t just stop at the bad, because the Bible says “we all have fallen short of the glory of God.”
What we learn from Bildad’s response is this….. It reminds of the place that was our home, before the gospel awakened our dead hearts. Paul wrote “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” Eph 2:4-5. Knowing this truth should cause every one of us to pursue God and His Son, Jesus Christ all the more. For the believer our death ends in victory, but for the unbeliever it ends in eternal defeat and torment.
Be gentle when counselling and consoling a hurting brother or sister. Bildad lost his patience and went right to fire and brimstone. Don’t do that, but speak the truth in love at the right time.Be discerning of misguided theology and read your bible clearly and faithfully.
Just because a brother or sister is going through a time of suffering, it’s not always the result of sin. You are not God, and you cannot see into the heart of the hurting brother or sister, so stop playing judge and jury over their life. Address sin when it’s open for the world to see; but be very careful of your examination to always rush to the idea, “You must have sinned.” We must show caution in what we say, and not automatically assume the worst.
Our response is to set their eyes upon the very one
who can save their soul from Hell.