Note: In this material, the term “pastor” is used in its common usage; a leader of a denominational church. It is not used in the biblical sense as outlined and illustrated in the New Testament (Acts 20:17-32; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
5. Some Believers Will Burn In Hell
Not all believers are saved; shocking, but true.
The easy and obvious example is the demons. They believe in Jesus as the Holy One of God, but are doomed to eternal torment (Mk. 1:23, 24). Their failing is lack of submission to the Lord.
Other lost believers include those who work iniquity. Jesus said,
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (Matt. 7:21-23).
This means some who are religious, diligent in their labors, and believe in Jesus as Lord will not go to heaven. The Lord will reject them. Why? Because they worked “lawlessness.” That is, they did not do the will of the Father in heaven. They did not listen to Him. They did not follow His Word, where His will is found (1 Cor. 2:7-13). This includes people who use instrumental music in worship, practice the social gospel, or pervert the plan of salvation. The typical denominational pastor will not say a peep about this.
Other believers are identified by the Holy Spirit as falling short of the glory of God.
Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God (Jn. 12:42, 43).
To place the praise of men above the praise of God is sinful. Paul said if we seek to please men above pleasing Christ, we are not His servants (Gal. 1:10). If you are not a servant of Christ, you are not going to heaven. It is that simple. Still, pastors will not tell you this.
Another category of believers who will burn in hell include the immoral. Paul gives various lists of sins throughout his inspired writings. One such list is found in Galatians 5:19-21. Among the sins he enumerates are fornication, idolatry, sorcery, jealousies, envy, drunkenness and so on. Remember, he is writing the “churches of Galatia” (Gal. 1:2). He is not writing heathens. Thus, he said saints involved in the works of the flesh “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21). In other words, they will burn in hell.
Why will many denominational pastors not tell you this? One reason may be they are afraid of running people off. After all, it is a nice, easy message to teach people just to believe and everything will be all right. If their numbers fall, so will their popularity, prestige, and, often, pay check.
What can we learn from all of this?
First, we must not think that belief alone saves. It doesn’t. We are also to confess that believe before men (Rom. 10:9-13). We are to repent and be baptized to have the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
Second, once we are saved, we are not always saved. We can believe for a while and then fall away (Lk. 8:13). We may still believe Jesus is the Christ, but be lost.
Third, whether it is the demons or other believers, those who will burn in hell are those who do not submit to the will of God. They follow their own desires. They chafe under the gospel of Christ and want to live in the ways of the world.
The average denominational pastor will not deal with these issues. He is blinded by tradition and the doctrines of men. He is more of a hindrance than help.
It is up to each of us to examine what men say in light of the inspired, inerrant Word of God (Acts 17:11). If we do not, any faith we have is really not our own, but that borrowed from another. Therefore, let us diligently study God’s Word.