Escaping Hell (Matthew 23

33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Matthew 23:33

Some people could read Matthew 23 and come away saying, this has to be the meanest writings in all of literature.  I understand this viewpoint.  When Jesus pronounces “woes” on the Scribes and Pharisees, He is pronouncing judgment upon them.

However, be assured this is not the words of a mean God, but of a merciful and just God. Jesus is pointing out the reasons why they would not escape hell (It is what will be just), but at the same time He was pointing out how they willingly and with malicious intent rejected Him as their Lord and Savior.

These leaders and their nation would not escape Hell!

Question: What do you know about Hell?

Here are three things I know about Hell:

  1.  Hell is a real place.

Never once did these religious leaders reject the reality of this place.  They even accused Jesus of being from hell.  Be assured the Bible over and over teaches us of the reality of hell, Check out Mark 9 for teachings regarding this place.

2. Hell will be the residence of all who reject Jesus.

Jesus is the only way to heaven (John 14:6).  He is the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14). Be assured the one place our ever-present God will not be is in Hell.

3. Hell is at the end of the road  of a life lived apart from Jesus.

The religious leaders in Matthew 23 seemed to be living on the road of a good life.  They seemed to be traveling through life trying to reach others on the road, but they were really trying to win people to themselves and not to God.  Consider the following:

  • People deceive others through false teaching, Vs: 15.
  • People deceive themselves by creating false teachings, Vs: 3.
  • People are deceived by others who are empowered by Satan, Vs: 23-24.

In this moment I am almost inclined to agree with those who say, this is mean teaching.  But I now realize it is not true.  Notice how Jesus ends this teaching:

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

These people had rejected Jesus who wanted to take them off the road to Hell and place them on the road to Heaven.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved,” Acts 16:31.  

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10

Brothers and sisters, through Jesus one escapes hell.

If you have not believed in Jesus, do it now!  If you have believed in Jesus live out His life now!!!

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