|Volume 23 Number 12 December 2021
Detours on the Road to Hell
Ernest S. Underwood
Thesis: Salvation; To point out the different persons or things that are of assistance in keeping one from eternal destruction. To encourage the hearer to recognize what has been done for him and encouraging him to respond in a favorable way.
1. Read Matthew 7:13-14.
2. Regarding the text:
(1) There are either of two roads on which all are traveling.
(2) One road leads to God, the other to torment.
(3) It is the desire of God that all travel the road which leads to eternal life.
3. The road to hell is divided.
(1) On one side are the malicious, murderers, rapists, liars, homosexuals and sodomites.
(2) On the other side are those who are good, honest and morally pure, and yet, they never have done anything to be saved.
4. Because God wants all men to be saved, He has established detours to keep man out of hell.
5. In this lesson we shall identify some of those detours.
I. The Bible, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:21.
A. This is the book that tells of God’s plan for redeeming man (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 1:16).
B. This is the book that creates the faith that saves (Romans 10:17).
C. It tells of Heaven and how to get there, as well as Hell and how to escape going there.
D. When men shun the Bible, they close their eyes and ears to one of the detours on the road to Hell.
1. How many have been taught but have not obeyed?
2. How many children of God have been brought face to face with error in their lives but have not repented?
II. Christian Parents.
A. The importance of godly parents is made plain in the Word of God (Isaac, Samuel, Timothy).
B. How many of us are Christians because we had parents who taught us to be honest and accept truth?
C. Parents, think of yourself as the only detour on the road to Hell your child may see.
D. Children, are you following the example of godly parents?
III. Christian Friends.
A. How many in this audience were brought to a knowledge of the truth by a friend?
B. Jesus taught that one is to love his neighbor; this involves teaching.
C. Think of the friends who have prayed for you, showed interest in you or pleaded with you.
D. Don’t close your eyes to this detour to keep you out of Hell.
A. 1 Corinthians 1:21, “It pleased God by the foolishness of the message preached to save them that believe” (NKJV).
B. Many despise preaching, especially if the sermon applies to them.
C. Yet, many people have been convicted of their sins and obeyed the Gospel because of Gospel preaching.
D. I have observed as people cry, hold to the pew, then sit down after the invitation song when they knew they should respond.
E. This sermon, and all others are a barricade, a detour – don’t let it pass!
V. Bible School Teachers.
A. One place where enormous good is done, and that gets little attention, is the Bible classroom.
B. What would this church be and what would our children be without dedicated Bible teachers in the classroom?
C. I have observed, as some young person responds, the tears of joy in the eyes of the teacher. Why?
D. Teachers need to be extremely careful of their lives because of the influence they exert.
E. Elders need to make sure of the stability of each teacher for this same reason.
F. Students, are you going to ignore all the good that has been done by your teacher and be lost in spite of it?
VI. Christian Mates.
A. Some non-Christian mates have been converted to Christ because of the godly example of their companions.
B. If your companion is not a Christian, you will never lead him or her to the Master if you are unfaithful or compromise your faith.
C. For those of you who have faithful Christian companions, you ought to be thankful for them. It is they who have exerted the correct spiritual influence upon your children.
D. Will you ignore this wonderful detour that God has provided you?
VII. The Cross.
A. Stationed in the middle of the road to keep you from being lost is the cross – with the Savior hanging upon it, pouring out His blood that you might be saved.
B. John 3:14; John 12:32; John 15:13; Hebrews 5:8-9.
C. This day, will you look at the dying Savior and walk around him on the cross, when you know that he died for you?
1. God has done His part.
2. The blockades or detours have been placed to prevent you from being lost.
3. Will you ignore these things and be lost, or
4. Will you obey today and be saved?
What Samuel Can Teach Us
Mark T. Tonkery
As one reads about the life of Samuel in 1 Samuel, there are many life lessons one can apply to his or her own life. Here are four life lessons from Samuel that every Christian can use to help someone to be a better Christian.
First, we can learn the power of prayer. In 1 Samuel 1, we see Hannah could not have children, and so, she prayed fervently for a son. God answered that prayer by providing Hannah with Samuel. Samuel continued the discipline of prayer. We read about Samuel praying for Israel in 1 Samuel 12:23, where Samuel stated, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you in the good and the right way” (NKJV).
May we have the confidence and faith as Hannah and Samuel did when they talked to God in prayer. James 1:6 reminds us, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” May we pray with confidence and faith.
Second, we can learn how to be faithful to the Lord. Samuel grew up knowing the Lord, and the Lord used Samuel to do His will (1 Samuel 3:19). Samuel never fell away from the Lord. Samuel remained steadfast in his faith and devotion. What an example for us, especially when we understand that people of faith in Samuel’s day were rare! Today it may seem that followers of God are in the minority, and there are very few of us keeping the faith. Maybe this is how it always has been, but we must keep in mind that just like Samuel, we can be faithful to the Lord despite the majority of people not following Him.
Third, we can learn obedience. As Samuel grew to know the Lord, he learned to be obedient. First Samuel 3:19 tells us, “So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” Samuel never failed to do the will of the Lord.
In this world, it is hard to sometimes do the right thing, to even obey God. However, Samuel reminds us we can obey God, even when it seems difficult. In fact, we must keep in mind that it is always right to obey God (1 Samuel 15:22).
Fourth, we can learn how not to raise our children. If there is one flaw in the life of Samuel, it is that he failed to guide his children in the ways of the Lord (1 Samuel 8:3). It seems he followed in the footsteps of Eli in the way he raised his sons, who were worthless and evil (1 Samuel 2:12). It is very easy, especially for spiritual leaders, who spend their time helping teach and lead others to the Lord, to neglect their own families.
Parents have the responsibility to teach their children the ways of the Lord and to set a godly example before them (Ephesians 6:1-4; Deuteronomy 6:7). If we do not teach our children the ways of the Lord, then who will? May we lead our families in all the ways of the Lord and not neglect their spiritual wellbeing.
Prayer, faithfulness to the Lord, obedience and raising godly children are four lessons we can learn by studying the life of Samuel. Hebrews 11:32 depicts Samuel as a person of faith; for what will you be known? God needs people like Samuel today, people who are willing to give their loyalty and devotion to the Lord all the days of their lives. Will you give loyalty and devotion to the Lord all the days of your life?