The Reality of Hell

Here is a sermon I recently preached about the reality of hell. It is a counter-intuitive thing, this sermon has been one of the most requested sermons that I have preached in quite some time. I’m thinking the reason for that is that this is a topic that is not preached about much these days. To fast forward to the sermon you can go to 24:45.

“Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.” -William Booth

How To Take Sermon Notes

“The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‘We preach Christ; and him crucified.’ A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.” -Charles Spurgeon

I recently purchased the “Sermon Notebook” by matthiasmedia. After reviewing it for a bit I can definitely recommend it as a wonderful resource. Of course, being a pastor, there were a few things I wanted to change or tweak. We (New Life Church) will begin having copies of these notes available at the Welcome Desk in the church foyer.


  • Find out what the passage is ahead of time and spend some time reading it during the week. Write down any questions that you might have about the text.
  • Date: _________________________
  • Passage: ______________________
  • Topic/sermon title: _______________________
  • What is the general outline of this sermon?
    • ___________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________
  • How does this sermon point me to Jesus?
  • In one sentence, what is the main idea of this sermon?
  • What is God saying to me through this sermon?
  • What will my response be to what God is saying to me?
  • Look back over your sermon notes once during the week. Pray and ask God to use his Word to spiritually transform you into the image of his Son.

Do you REALLY know the story of Jonah?

This Sunday I am going to begin preaching through the book of Jonah. If you have been in the church for very long you know the basic story. The prophet Jonah runs from God and gets swallowed by a large fish. Eventually, reluctantly, Jonah preaches (the shortest sermon in world history) to the wicked city of Nineveh and they repent. You already knew that, right? I want to suggest to you that there is much more to this prophetic book then first meets the eye. If you will read Jonah with an open heart and mind I believe it both challenge and inspire you on a deep level. Here are just a few of the themes we will discuss in this book:

  • The sovereignty of God. Even the sea, and the creatures of the sea, are under the control of God.
  • The grace and mercy of God. The ironic part is that these characteristics of God are what infuriates Jonah!
  • The mission of God in the world. Israel has been commanded to be a light to the nations but they were more concerned about their prosperity than they were the world around them.
  • You will have to deal with some tough questions. For example, are we more like Jonah or Jesus?
  • How an attitude of nationalism can keep us from caring about others. Just for kicks look up the word “jingoistic” and then ask yourself if you see this as a problem when it comes to fulfilling the Great Commission.
  • There are tremendous similarities between Jonah and the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal son.
  • We must deal with the fact that we all have the tendency to love our comfortable lives more than we love other people.
  • The gospel is clearly being pointed to throughout the book of Jonah.
  • The book is, start to finish, a love story. The love of God for his lost sons and daughters.
  • A wonderfully inspiring theme is REVIVAL. The entire city of Nineveh repents and turns to the Lord. Will you join me in praying for revival here in Watertown, South Dakota? In your hometown?

My plan is to blog through each chapter, but today I just wanted to share this EXCELLENT video that details the overall story-line of the book of Jonah. The video was produced by the creative people at The Bible Project.