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Hell Is the Default Destination

Posted by Pastor J.D. on March 20, 2017

Most people assume that as long as they don’t mess things up in their time here on earth, they’ll go to heaven when they die. But Scripture says the opposite. God created us for heaven, but the rebellion of the human race, in which we are all participating, has destined us for hell.

Hell, not heaven, is our default destination.

Notice the breadth of who is described as going to hell in Revelation 21:8: “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (ESV).

Included in that list are the ones you’d expect: murderers, sorcerers, etc. The “really bad” guys. But it also includes a lot of people who could be found in the church, like:

  • The cowardly – those who would never stand for Jesus in front of their friends
  • The faithless – those who went to church but never really trusted God enough to obey him with their relationships or their money
  • Idolaters – those who wouldn’t put God first in their lives
  • Liars -those who came to church but whose submission to God was not sincere

Hell is an eternal place of torment, and all of us—no matter where we fall in that list—are deserving of its agony. That reality makes me think of the words of Charles Spurgeon: “These are such weighty things, such that when I dwell upon them, I feel far more inclined to sit down and weep than to stand up and speak to you.”

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This weekend’s message covered a lot of ground, but we recognize that it also has the potential to lead to some confusion. The following resources (most of which I mentioned during the message) should help fill out what I couldn’t get to in my “brief” 40 minutes of preaching.

Christian Marriage, Gender Roles, and Abuse

  • Follow Up Resources for a Sermon on Headship and Submission, Brad Hambrick. Our Pastor of Counseling links to some of his excellent Gospel-Centered Marriage material here, showing how Christian marriage is more than gender roles. He also shares a bunch of helpful material to address different aspects of how to respond to abusive relationships.



  • Work as Worship, RightNow Media. (Note: You’ll need a RightNow log-in to access this material. If you haven’t logged in already, ask your small group leader or campus pastor.)

Your weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Chart of the Week

Six Areas of Christian Growth, Jason Gaston. The Christian life is a long process of becoming like Christ. That process—what theologians call sanctification—can often be hard to quantify. How can we know if we’re actually growing? Gaston, one of the Summit’s pastors, offers a tidy little chart, summarizing all of the ways that the Bible talks about our growth in Christ. It’s a helpful way to visualize how the gospel affects our everyday life.

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