As I was riding along the other day I passed a church house with one of those marquee type signs which are so popular. The sign really caught my eye because there spelled out in big letters was this message; "THERE WILL BE NO UNBELIEVERS IN HELL". I was immediately struck with several thoughts. I thought about the fact: that too many people today think it is cute to present the gospel with catchy phrases; that too many preachers portray the gospel as a series of sound bites, a step by step pattern for the flesh to follow; that often far too many of us speak without giving very much thought to what we are saying; that error is perpetuated by copy cats who repeat clichés without investigation. But most of all the thing that struck me was the utter error that was set forth in those letters on that sign. Now I am fairly confident that I know what the signist was seeking to convey. He(or she) was trying to point out that when the wicked get to hell they will realize that GOD really is GOD, that HE is no figment of their imagination. The scripture sets forth the same concept in James 2:19, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." Yet the scripture would no where describe the devils as "believers". The basic error of the sign stems from the mistaken concept that believing is something men have the ability to do if the situation gets right. Those who propose this idea are ignorant of the fact that men are dead in trespasses and sins and apart from a supernatural work of grace they will not believe.(see Jn.5:38-40;6:36) The signist supposes that these people in hell have been changed by the knowledge they have, and would now embrace CHRIST if only given the opportunity, But men's hearts are not changed by fear nor are they drawn to HIM by the skill and reason of men. Men by nature despise the way and person of CHRIST. A man may be temporarily affected in the flesh by persuasive arguments or dire circumstances but unless the LORD awakens him (a sinner) and gives him the gift of faith he will not believe though cast into the most awful situation the flesh can imagine, even hell itself. The Bible describes believers as those who are in possession of something rather than those who consent to a few facts or agree to some principles. Here are a few contrasts between true believers and those men who inhabit the regions of darkness and hell.
Believers are those who possess eternal life given to them by GOD himself.(see Jn.1:13, I Jn.5:13) They have passed (present tense) from death unto life. (see Jn.5:24) No one in hell has life, rather they are possessors of eternal death having received the just recompence of their reward. (see Heb.2:2; Eze.18:4) Believers possess the promise which is "given to them that believe".(see Gal.3:22) We have the hope of HIS calling, the riches of glory, the working of HIS mighty power. (see Eph.1:18-19; Phil.2:13) Those in hell have no hope, are in abject poverty and are appointed unto wrath by HIS power. (see Eph.4:18; Rom.1:18;9:22; Prov.16:4; Rev.6:16)
Believers have received the word of GOD and possess a love of the truth, and it works effectively in them, i.e., their lives are altered by it. They are made new creatures being born again. (see I Thess.2:13; I Pet. 1:23) Those in hell despise the word of GOD and have not received a love of the truth that they might be saved. (see II Thess.2:10-12) The fires of hell won't make a man who hates the word of GOD now, love it just because he is tormented. He may cry out for relief and lament his condition but he will have no desire for obedience.(see Lk.16:23-31)
Believers possess an admiration for the LORD JESUS. HE is precious in their sight. (see II Thes.1:10; I Pet.2:7) Those who inhabit hell have no love for HIM, for they are forced to worship with HIS foot on their neck. (see I Pet.2:8; Mt.21:42-44; Rev.15:4)
Believers possess living water and shall not thirst(be without water). They dwell in the light and darkness cannot swallow them. (see Jn.7:38, 12:46) Those in hell are dying of thirst, hungry, and in perpetual darkness.(see Lk.16:24; Mt.25:30)
In order for a man to believe the gospel he must be born again. John said that those who believe in CHRIST JESUS were born not of blood (i.e.,natural birth or family ties), nor of the will of the flesh (i.e., ability of man to choose); nor of the will of man(i.e., man as a group could not devise the means); but of GOD. The greatest and most undeserved gift on earth is to be given the gift of faith, (i.e. grace) that we might believe. Are you a believer?
Pause, my soul, Adore & Wonder,
Ask, O why such love to me?
Grace has put me in the number
Of the Saviour's family.
Thanks, eternal thanks, hee.
...taken from Rippons collection. #19mam