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Session (1 of 4) Hell

Shane Willard

Page 7 of 10
There was one Roman general named Varus who went into a town called Sapphirus in 14AD. This entire town of Sapphirus decided: we're not going to say what's on the coin, we're not going to do that. Varus decided to make an example of them, and he crucified 2,000 people in one day, at one time, in 14AD.

Who was 14 years old in 14AD? [Jesus.] Where did Jesus grow up? [Nazareth.] Sapphirus is only about 800 metres from Nazareth; so Jesus, when He was 14 years old, would have heard the screaming of 2,000 people being crucified in a day, and Jesus says: do not fear them.

“Do not fear them, for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and nothing hidden which shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear, proclaim that from the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill your soul. But rather fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna.”

In other words, if you want to talk about hell, let's talk about hell on earth. Let's talk about your anger problem. Let's talk about your self-righteous, critical attitude, and let's talk about your tendency to fear men instead of fearing God. That is Gehenna.

3) The next time He mentions hell is in Matthew 18:1. It says: “at that hour, the disciples came to Him, saying: who's the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Verse 2 says: “and Jesus called a little child to Him and set him in their midst. He said truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever shall humble himself like this little child, this one is greater in the kingdom of heaven.”

It's always about humility - not thinking you're better than other people. Jesus was very hard on people who thought they were better than other people. There's this one place where Jesus goes into a village in Galilee, and this group of people from this village come up to Him and said: “Rabbi, are only a few people going to be saved?” Jesus gets mad at them!

I thought: why would Jesus get mad at them; until I realised that in that region in Galilee, there were a bunch of strict Orthodox Jews. They thought that they were the only ones going to be saved, because they were the ones keeping the Torah the best. They actually called themselves the Elect, like the true bride of Christ or something. Jesus shows up, and they say: are only a few going to be saved?

Have you ever been asked a question by someone who wanted to know the answer? That's vastly different to being asked a question by someone who already knew the answer, and they just want you to agree with them. Totally different. They said: are only a few going to be saved? Jesus says: (I'm paraphrasing) just the nature of your question tells me you're not.

He says: at the marriage table, many will come from the north, the east, the south and the west; but you who actually think you're in, will actually be shut out. Why? Because they thought they were better than other people. They thought they were in, and everybody else was out. Can we find ourselves in that story anywhere? Pride.

He keeps going… In verse 5 He says: “and whoever shall receive one such little child in My name receives Me”.

Matthew 18:6 He says: “but whoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in Me, it would be better for him that a donkey's millstone were hung around his neck, and he be cast into the depths of the sea. Woe to the world, because of offences, for it is necessary that offence comes, but woe to that man by whom the offence comes. So if your hand or your foot causes you to offend somebody else, cut it off and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than have two hands or two feet and be cast into Gehenna.”