Does God send people to Hell? 2 Peter 2:1-12

The following is the transcript from the March 6, 2016 service at Little Brown Church, Nashua, Iowa. 

Calvin Coolidge was known for his dry wit and the fact that virtually nothing seemed to upset him or disturb him. Before Coolidge became President of the United States, he was a senator in the Massachusetts State Senate. Apparently one of Coolidge’s responsibilities was to decide which bills would be presented to the Senate…and in what order.
Another senator from Boston was very insistent that a bill affecting his district should be called for a vote immediately. Coolidge told him he didn't think the bill was that important. Coolidge’s refusal and his manner so infuriated the other senator that he angrily told Coolidge "You can go straight to ****" and he told him exactly where he could go.
Unperturbed, Coolidge looked up at him and responded, "Senator, I've looked up the law on that…and I don't have to go."

Our sermon series this month is entitled: “Hard Questions for Lent”.
And our question this morning is: “Does God Send People to Hell?”
And the answer is: yes.

In Matthew 10:28 for example, Jesus says:
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One WHO CAN DESTROY both soul and body in hell.”

In other words: God will send some folks to hell.
In fact, in our text this morning, we will look at 4 groups that God will very deliberately send to hell.
The first group, 2 Peter 2:4 tells us, are often called Fallen Angels or Demons.

“God did not spare angels when they sinned, but SENT THEM TO HELL, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment” 
But what had these fallen angels done wrong? Well, God had trusted them with His most precious possession. Their job had been to protect the world He’d created, and especially Adam and Eve whom He had created in His own image.

But they had betrayed that trust. They had joined with Satan to take possession of that creation and to destroy the man and woman with whom God had shared His special gift of life. They CHOSE to follow Satan and so they shared Satan’s fate.

Isaiah 14:12—15 (NKJV) speaks of Satan’s condemnation by God:
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!…For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.”
The Bible tells us that Satan’s objective (and the reason why he would fall) was that he intended to destroy and damage people like you and I, because we were made in God’s image.
Then Revelation 12:7-9 tells us of a battle that took place following Jesus’ resurrection…

“…there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels (God’s angels) fought against the dragon, and the dragon (the devil) and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”

So John is telling us that God deliberately SENT the fallen angels to Hell.
God sent them there because they chose to rebel against Him. He sent them there because they deliberately hurt his people and His creation.
It’s always a really bad idea to hurt that which is precious to God. God takes it kind of personal.
But the main focus in II Peter 2 is not the fallen angels. The angels are just examples Peter used to show the nature of God’s judgment.
In addition to the angels and the second group Peter mentions are the people who died in the flood, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. 
“For IF God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment… (then He goes on to describe all the others that have suffered from God’s punishment) if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to HOLD THE UNRIGHTEOUS FOR THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, while continuing their punishment.” 2 Peter 2:4 & 9
In other words, the punishment of the angels and of evil people, cities, and nations throughout Scripture were ALL proof that God WILL send folks to Hell.

The third group that Peter tells us about are:
• False Prophets (II Peter 2:1)
• False Teachers (II Peter 2:1)
• Spreaders of heresy (verse 1)
• Those who follow the corrupt desires of sin (verse 10)
• Those who despise authority (verse 10)
• Blasphemers (verse 12)
These are people who actively seek to hurt the church. Now, they wouldn't paint themselves that way. In fact, they would often describe themselves as very dedicated “Christians”. They do what they do because they are trying to save the church from itself.
But God condemns them because they teach false doctrine. They don’t think what they teach IS false doctrine. But they teach heresy.
The Greek word we translate as “Heresy” actually means “Opinion”.
For example, if I were to preach my OPINION from the pulpit without having a good Biblical reason to back it up… I could very well be preaching heresy (opinion). 
The thing about heretics is that they not only want to present their “opinion”… they want it accepted as fact. They want others to approve and agree to their heresy. And if you don’t accept their heresy as “fact” they’ll get a little annoyed, even angry. And that annoyance and anger will lead them to hurt God’s church. “I’M LEAVING AND I’M TAKING OTHERS WITH ME.” That’s the kind of people God will send to hell.
These are the kinds of people who demand to get their way and if they can’t get their way they’ll split the church to prove they’re right.
They’re just like the fallen angels who followed Satan. They seek power and position. They are filled with pride and self-righteousness. They WILL get their own way no matter what the cost.
And God will send them to Hell along with the Fallen Angels, the rebellious people and cities, and the Heretics who hurt the church because they CHOSE to rebel against God.
But there is a fourth group who will go to hell because they made a different kind of choice; because they haven't chosen to belong to God.
Jesus tells us about this in Matthew 7:13-14,
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Essentially, Jesus is telling us “Make a choice”. There is one way that goes to heaven and you have to deliberately choose to take that road. But there’s another way that leads to destruction, and lots of folks choose that one.
Now Jesus WASN'T necessarily saying those who choose the “wide gate and broad road” are heretics. And He WASN'T SAYING that the folks who take that path have deliberately sought to hurt His people/ church.
In fact, these folks might be very nice neighbors.
They’re what I call “Nice unchurched folks”
They might donate to charities.
They might be fun to be around and contribute to society.
They might even be nice to stray dogs and help little old ladies across the street.

BUT they haven’t chosen God in their lives. They go to hell because they haven’t chosen to follow Jesus. These folks don’t so much get sent to Hell… as they just end up there.
But why would these folks end up in hell? The answer is simple: they'll go to hell, because they'll go with the one they belong to.
If you belong to God… you go with Him. But if you DON’T belong to God… you belong to Satan and you end up going where he’s going. And the Bible is very clear on the fact – you don’t want to go there.
But why don’t I belong to God to begin with? I mean… haven’t I been made in the image of God? Why do I have to deliberately CHOOSE to belong to Him? Well, the problem is – our sins alienate us from God.
We don’t get to heaven… unless we deal with our sins. AND WE'VE ALL SINNED. None of us DESERVE to go to heaven - our sins lock us out. And since we don’t deserve to go to heaven… there’s only one other place to go. Hell.
But you know, I've read the book… and the book says you don’t have to go to hell.

Essentially, God knows folks choose the wide gate and broad path. God knows that people reject Him and choose to live their lives their own way. So, right in the middle of that broad path God firmly places the cross.
Most of us here are Christians. You've already made the choice to belong to God and you've deliberately sought the gate and the way that leads to life. But you've got lots of “nice” friends, relatives, and co-workers who've chosen a different gate and different way… and they’ll end up in hell.
They need to hear what you know so that they can make that choice for themselves. But the way to life begins at the foot of the Cross.

Let’s pray.