Faithlife Sermons

Bed in Hell (1 Way)

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Introduction: Throughout the ages, God has referred to His faithful people as His servants. The Bible even calls Jesus “His holy servant.”

Unlike the religious leaders who exercised unquestioned authority over the people, Jesus came not as a ruler, but as a servant. From the example of His own life He teaches, “But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43–45).

Christ ransomed us that we, too, might serve God and man. In our zeal to serve, we often overlook a critical truth: The servant does not choose his tasks. Our concept of serving God may be doing what we would like to do—for God. We tell God what we will do for Him, and what we will not do; where we will go for Him, and where we will not. We even tell Him what must not interfere with our plans. In doing this we forget He is the Master, and that the Master assigns the task. Our part is to give ourselves to Him, accepting the assignment He gives to us.

A servant is not free to serve on his own terms. Jesus said, “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you to go and bring forth fruit” (John 15:16). So, we have been chosen to “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1). The race set before us may not be on the track we would choose. Perhaps we would not choose the people God has placed around us, or the location or circumstances we find ourselves in, but a servant is not above his Master. “A disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord” (Matt. 10:24, 25).

Christ’s life was one of sacrifice and doing the Father’s will. Though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor (2 Cor. 8:9). He counted equality with God a thing not to be grasped but emptied Himself and became a servant (Phil. 2:6, 7). He came to do God’s will (Heb. 10:5–7).

As servants following in the footsteps of Christ, we must present our bodies as “living sacrifices” and say, “Here I am—I have come to do Your will,” regardless of what the task may be.

We can take God's presence for granted. We can assume that because Jesus said He would be with us always, He will follow us wherever we go

Point 1: Jesus does not follow us; we are to follow Him. You do not invite God to join you in your activity. He invites you to become involved in His activity. Jesus said: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16).

There are those who take God's presence for granted. They assume that because Jesus said He would be with us always, He will follow us wherever we go. I got into a conversation with someone early on this past week and they actually felt that the verse of scripture found in Psalms, Psalms 139:8 (NRSV) If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. They actually were trying to push the opinion that if there own actions pushed and placed them in hell God would be there to pull them out because they believe in him.

There is a large difference between standing on Holy Ground and on Dangerous Ground.

Three realms God operates in: 1. Heaven (Ps. 139:8) 2. Hell (Ps. 139:8) 3. Earth (Ps. 139:9-12)

In what sense is God in hell? In the same sense that His presence is everywhere. His personal body is not in hell and never has been there except to create it (Mt. 25:41), as far as we know. Christ went to Hell during the three days and three nights His body was in the tomb (Ps. 16:10; Mt. 12:40; Acts. 2:25-32; Eph. 4:8-10; 1Pet. 3:19). Though God's personal body is only at one place at a time, His presence is felt in all parts of the universe. No man can escape His presence but God could never take up residence in Hell because if he did, it would no longer be hell!

The person who was speaking to me twisted scripture to suit their situation. Psalm 139 verse 8 is not a literal description it is a verse that the psalmist uses to let us know that we can not outrun God’s presence, even if we run ourselves in to hell!

Now there are so many lessons within that verse, that verse contains both wisdom and warning.

When you make your bed doesn’t that mean that most of the time you plan on coming back to that spot? When you make your bed most of the time doesn’t that mean that this is a place that you are going to rest in sometime during the night?

I did not come here to talk anybody’s business but my own I spent a large part of my life making a bed in hell! I have had my days when I made a bed in some places and looked for rest with some people that I had no business being with.  In no way, shape, form, or fashion when I was making my bed and sleeping with the enemy was I concerned about the nearness of God.

What are you saying Minister Wright?. . . . .Doesn’t the verse say: Jesus said He would be with us always. . . .didn’t we read that we can make our bed in hell that he would be there?

There is a large difference between standing on Holy Ground and on Dangerous Ground.

Three realms God operates in: 1. Heaven (Ps. 139:8) 2. Hell (Ps. 139:8) 3. Earth (Ps. 139:9-12) Judging from everything that the Bible tells us God can operate in Hell but he can never live there.

That being the case, the question for us becomes, If we make our bed in hell and God does decide to for the moment be there, do we perceive his presence?

Those who have resisted God on earth continue in their hardheartedness thereafter We have no hint from Scripture of repentance in hell. If unbelieving was what you were at death, that is how you will enter eternity. . . . .rebellion, hate, and selfishness will continue. The rich man in hell (Lk 16:19-26) is remorseful, not repentant—scripture shows him in hell not wanting to change but to find relief!

Point 2: Being present everywhere at once; one of God’s unique attributes. Because God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1) and through His Son continually sustains all that is (Heb. 1:3), He is present to the whole of creation and to its parts.

King David realized that there was nowhere he could go to escape God’s presence (Ps. 139:7-12), and no conditions such as darkness could hide him from God. Even though God is present everywhere, He is not perceived everywhere. He can be fully present and yet hidden from the eyes of creatures, or He can make His presence felt either in blessing or judgment.

There is no mistaking the effect of light upon a darkened place. Light boldly and unabashedly announces its presence and vigorously dispels darkness.

God's desire is to fill you with His light. He wants you to shine as a brilliant testimony of His presence and power in your life, so that the darkness in the lives of those around you will be displaced by the light of God's glory.

 In announcing His own coming, Jesus said, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, / And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death / Light has dawned” (Matt. 4:16).

There was no ignoring Jesus' arrival upon earth! Darkness was dispelled! Everywhere Jesus went, God's truth was boldly proclaimed, people were healed, hypocrisy was exposed, and sinners found forgiveness. The world was never the same once the Father introduced His light through His Son.

It is always about holiness. . . . The Hebrew word usually translated 'holy' had a much wider meaning than the English word 'holy'. To most English-speaking people 'holiness' usually indicates some ethical quality such as sinlessness or purity. To the Hebrews the word originally indicated the state or condition of a person or thing as being separated from the common affairs of life and consecrated wholly to God. (In Hebrew, also in Greek, the words 'holy' and 'sanctify' come from the same root.)

God was considered holy, because he was separate from man, and indeed from all created things (Exod 15:11-12; Ps 99:3; Isa 6:3; 8:13; Rev 3:7; 4:8). Israel was holy, because it belonged to God and was cut off from the religions and customs of the surrounding peoples (Exod 19:6; Deut 7:6). The Sabbath and other religious days were holy, because they were separated from the common days of the workaday world (Exod 31:15; Lev 23:4,21,24).

Because holiness signified separation from all that was common and everyday, the word naturally developed a wider meaning that included ideas of excellence and perfection. When applied to God this carried with it ideas of moral perfection. God's holiness meant that he was separate not only from the common everyday world but, above all, from sin (Hab 1:12-13). Please do not allow any misunderstanding of scripture to cloud your thought process, your judgment, your logic, or your ability to reason. You can make your bed in hell but Gods Holiness does not permit his presence to take up residence everywhere.

There is only one way to insure that the presence of God is with you always and everywhere. . . . . . . .You have to follow him! When you are following something, then you are always near to what it is that is leading you.

Following Jesus requires absolute obedience. He does not seek our counsel about which direction we think is suitable. God already knows what is best without ever having to consult with us.

Point 3: Following Jesus will lead you into experiences you never dreamed of! You will be with Jesus as He weeps over those trapped in sin. You will feel the pain that Jesus feels. You will see those who were spiritually blind experience the joy of coming to see God for the first time.

You will see lives that were broken, made whole. You will see marriages restored; those in bondage, released; and those who mourn, comforted.

At times it will be easy to follow Jesus. At other times, you will be tempted to abandon Him. Following Jesus can mean going through a storm or standing on a mountaintop.

The only way to assure that God will never leave you is to make sure that you are following him in obedience. If you are following someone in obedience, if you are following someone correctly you will always be in their presence. If you are truly walking in obedience you can not lose sight of God for truly he is too big to miss!

 Point 4: You may have had life and the ruler of this world, the enemy of the faithful, throw some hard and painful, pain filled challenges at you. Some may have had moments when they may have stopped following Jesus, while there is time make the choice to follow again. Correction is available.

When most folks stopped following Jesus, they did so on their terms. But the returning to Jesus is strictly under His conditions. He is God, and we are not. We can return to and stay in his presence.

Are you willing to follow Jesus anywhere, at any time, under any condition? That is the only way you can follow Him.

Point 5: Following Christ involves radical change. Jesus told Peter and Andrew to leave their fishing business and become "fishers of people," to help others find God. Jesus was calling them away from their productive trades to be productive spiritually. We all need to fish for souls. If we practice Christ's teachings and share the gospel with others, we will be able to draw those around us to Christ like a fisherman who pulls fish into his boat with nets.

Following Christ involves a conscious decision. These men already knew Jesus. He had talked to Peter and Andrew previously (John 1:35-42) and had been preaching in the area. When Jesus called them, they knew what kind of man he was and were willing to follow him. They were not in a hypnotic trance when they followed him, but had been thoroughly convinced that following him would change their lives forever.

KEY BIBLE VERSE: Jesus said to the disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me." (Matthew 16:24)

Following Jesus is a radical commitment. When Jesus used this picture of his followers taking up their crosses to follow him, the disciples knew what he meant. Crucifixion was a common Roman method of execution, and condemned criminals had to carry their crosses through the streets to the execution site. Following Jesus, therefore, meant a true commitment, the risk of death, and no turning back (see Matthew 10:39).

Following Jesus is a costly commitment. The possibility of losing their lives was very real for the disciples as well as for Jesus. Real discipleship implies real commitment—pledging our whole existence to his service. If we try to save our physical life from death, pain, or discomfort, we may risk losing our true eternal life. If we protect ourself from pain, we begin to die spiritually and emotionally. Our life turns inward, and we lose our intended purpose. It is only when we give our life in service to Christ, that is when, we discover the real purpose of living.

Following Jesus is an all-encompassing commitment. We should be willing to lose our life for the sake of the gospel, not because our life is useless but because nothing—not even life itself—can compare to what we gain with Christ. Jesus wants us to choose to follow him rather than to lead a life of sin and self-satisfaction.

He wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny and to let him direct us. This makes good sense because, as the Creator, Christ knows better than we do what real life is about. He asks for submission, not self-hatred; he asks us only to lose our self-centered determination to be in charge.

Conclusion:  Now, Christ is no longer here in human flesh; and therefore following Him cannot have precisely that physical sense. Yet now, no less than then, it implies that you obey his revealed will, and do the things that please Him. Now, you are to imitate his example and follow his instructions. By various methods, He still makes known his will and you are to follow whithersoever He leads. You must accept Him as the Captain of your salvation, and let his laws control all your life. He comes to save his people from their sins and from the ruin that sin, unforgiven, must bring down; and you must accept Him as such a Saviour. This is involved in following Him.

Practice the Presence of God - Begin to practice a realization of the presence of God in your life. If you have yielded your life to Him, He is with you. He sees you and He is interested in every detail of your life. He is your partner now; so do not ignore Him in any activity of life. Do nothing that you would not do if He were bodily present. Say nothing that you would not like Him to hear. Go no place where you would have the least doubt that He would go. If you will follow these simple principles, your life will be happy and victorious, and God will make you prosperous in all things of life, as you ask in faith, nothing wavering.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892) -  True have his promises been; not one has failed. I want none beside him. In life he is my life, and in death he shall be the death of death; in poverty, Christ is my riches; in sickness, he makes my bed; in darkness, he is my star, and in brightness, he is my sin; he is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and he shall be the new corn of the host when they come to Canaan. Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood; and of truth and grace he is full, infinitely full.

Let us pray. . . . . .

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