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Mar 12, 2017

Good News About Hell

Good News About Hell

Speaker: Dennis Gallaher

Series: John

Category: Sunday Morning

Make no mistake. Hell is a real place, and it can be a scary thought. The good news, however, is that hell is easily avoided.

John 15:1-8  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that bears no fruit, He takes away. And every branch that bears fruit, He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean through the word which I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you remain in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing. If a man does not remain in Me, he is thrown out as a branch and withers. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

We left off last week in John 14 with the words, “Get up. Let us go from here.” They would walk a mile or so to the fateful garden where Judas’ kiss would set in motion the Great Passion. Walking through the streets, possibly going to the temple, whose gates remained open during the Passover season. All around would be the symbol of the identity of the Jewish people, the grapevine. The massive doors of the temple were adorned with the golden grapevine with the clusters of gold being the size of a man’s hand. Vineyards could been seen everywhere throughout the countryside.

Here in the final statement, Jesus declares that the national identity could only be found in Him.

vs. 1  “I am the true vine.”

Then He declares: “My Father is the vinedresser.” He is telling them that His Father is the one that will care for the vine.

In verse 2, the subject turns to the branches. The Father lifts the soiled branches up, trimming away, pruning the useless stems, so the vine will produce fruit.

We are to…
- Bear fruit (vs.2)
- Be pruned to bear more fruit
- Be who abides in the true vine, Jesus, bearing much fruit (vs.5)

Good News About Hell

vs. 6   If a man does not remain in Me, he is thrown out as a branch and withers. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

It is the end of pruning season and new growth is beginning to show on the vines. The pruned branches are worthless and the smell of the fires filled the hillsides.

Those who do not abide in the Vine, the true Vine, are destined for the burn heap, destined for the fires of hell.

Matthew 7:13-14  “Enter at the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who are going through it, because small is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Lies we believe:
- Most people think it is cruel to suggest that only the most vile are destined for hell.
- Heaven is our default home, not hell.
- It is cruel to warn others that disaster is ahead.
- Satan’s lie is that it is unloving to warn people about hell, when actually, it is unloving to not warn them about it.

Earth is the in-between. It is a little bit of hell and a little bit of heaven.
- For those who do not know the true Vine, it is as close to Heaven as they will come.
- For those who know the Lord, it is as close to hell as they will ever experience.

The good new about hell is:
- It’s not that hard to avoid.
- You just have to stop believing the lies about hell.

Lies about hell:
- There’s no chance in hell you will go there.
- A loving God could never allow a place like that.
- Good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell.
- Hell’s not a real place.

There could not be more of a contrast in verse 7.

If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you.

These are some of the strongest words used concerning prayer. If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you shall demand as your due whatever you are inclined to, and it shall be granted.

But always remember, it is guarded by the flaming sword, “If you abide in Me.”

What a contrast. On one hand you have a burning brush pile. On the other, you have the branches integrated into the vine, resulting in fruit, more fruit, and much fruit.

On the one hand, you have lives that are producing nothing of lasting value and destined for hell and destruction. On the other, you have the church of Jesus Christ, and if our eyes are on the goals of the Vine, destined to produce fruit.

Revelations 21:27  No unclean thing shall ever enter it, nor shall anyone who commits abomination or falsehood, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?
Do you know and serve Jesus? Does Jesus know your name?

Accept His pardon for all your sins today.


Digging Deeper:

What does it look like for you to be a vine that produces fruit?
Where do you see a field ready for the harvest?