fireballSin will take you farther than you want to go. It will keep you longer than you want to stay, and it will charge you more than you want to pay. Sin won’t ask for too much in the beginning, but in the end, it will steal everything you’ve got.

Many years ago, I was at the home of a preacher, and he was talking to me about his many problems. He was considering quitting on God, the ministry, and going back to his old, sinful lifestyle.

After a long explanation, he said, “You know, I just can’t live for God anymore.”

I looked at him and asked, “What in hell do you want?”

He looked at me with shock and said, “Oh, Brother Jesse, you’re cussing!” “No,” I said, “I’m not cussing. That is your stinking mind. I want to know, what in hell do you want?”

He didn’t know what to say. So, I grabbed him by the wrist and did something that probably seemed crazy. I said, “Come here!” I jerked him out of his seat, walked him to the kitchen, and turned on the gas stove. As the fire shot up, I held his hand above the flame. I didn’t put his hand in the fire, but I made sure to hold his hand just above it so he could feel the heat.

“Do you feel this?” I hollered, “Feel it? Do you enjoy this?” He looked at me like I was nuts and started trying to wiggle his hand out of my grip. I held him there for just a second or so more and kept asking him, “Do you like it? Does it like you?”

Then, I released his hand and questioned him again.

“Did you enjoy the flame? Did it bless you?”

“No!” he hollered back at me indignantly.

“Well, it is heat like that that’s going to burn your whole body for eternity if you choose hell!”

A Wake-Up Call Was Needed

Now, some people might call that crazy, but at the time, I eyed the stove and that was the only thing that popped into my head to do, so I did it! I’ll admit that I probably wouldn’t do that today.
I’m older and wiser, but this man was a friend. I cared about him. I didn’t want the devil to steal his life and ministry. Bottom line, he needed a wake-up call! He had allowed discouragement to fester in his mind for so long that it clouded his view of reality.

Although he knew the truth, this pastor was about to leave his church and abandon the people that God had placed in his care. He was about to start down a road that could only lead to disappointment, confusion, and misery for himself, his family, and his congregation.

What would make him give up a life of serving God?

Disappointment? No. Discouragement? No. Discontentment? Not really. There is only one thing that can make a person reject Jesus and choose a life of sin—deception.

This pastor had deceived himself into thinking that life was better without God, and that nothing he did mattered anymore. He thought his life was useless and his work was fruitless; that nobody really needed him and he didn’t need anyone else.

What was the devil dangling in front of his face? The deceptive notion that, without God, his life would be easy and trouble-free. The pastor considered the notion and was tempted to give up on the whole ball of wax.

Now, giving up is one temptation that has hit home with just about everyone at one time or another.

He Didn’t Understand the Repercussions of the Choice

I’m glad the pastor trusted me enough to talk to me about what was going on. Not many men are able to say, “Hey, I’m having trouble with this.” It’s an honorable man who will come clean to a friend.

I admit, I can be unorthodox in my way of getting a point across, but I know that the man was listening to lies from the pit of hell, and I figured that he needed to know it too!

The bottom line is that this pastor didn’t understand the repercussions of the choice that he was about to make. After years of living for God, he had become so familiar with the things of God, so comfortable with his ho-hum Christian walk, and so accustomed to his lifestyle that he didn’t understand what kind of “fire” he was playing with.

I honestly believe that this man needed to not only hear what I had to say, but he needed to feel the heat. He needed to know that he was about to throw away a good future with both hands.

He needed a wake-up to deception, and to stop toying with a lifestyle that was going to steal, kill, and destroy his life. And, well, at that time of my life, I was crazy enough to give him a fiery illustration that he wouldn’t soon forget!

Reality Check: “What In Hell Do I Want?”

So, when the devil tries to throw temptation my way, I give myself a reality check and ask myself, “What in hell do I want?! My answer is always “NOTHING!” There is nothing that the devil has to offer me that is better than God!

His offer may look good, but it’s not good! The grass may be green, but it’s sitting over a sewer. If it’s not from God, it can seem pretty on the outside, but it’s rotten!

When temptation is knocking at the back door, not too many people want to stop for a moment and think the situation through, but that is exactly what needs to happen. It’s the only way to stop yourself from immediately obeying an impulse. If you want to do the right thing, then it takes thought.

Crucifying your flesh daily—daily putting down every wrong thought—instead of just on Sunday or other church days, keeps you on the right track. The Bible uses the word “sanctification” to describe the state of purity we strive for. It doesn’t come by perfecting ourselves, but it comes by allowing the perfect nature of Christ to flow through us—to live in us and through us.

Hell Was Created for Fallen Angels

Do you know that hell was never created for human being?

That’s why it’s such a horrific place. It was created to handle outlaw angels. You see, because we know from the Word that some angels were chained in hell for rebelling with the devil against God in Heaven, we know that hell was in existence long before man was ever created. (See 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6.)

The Bible says hell is a place where “their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:46-48) Jesus called it a place of outer darkness, where there is a furnace of fire.

He said that in hell there would be great wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth. (See Matthew 8:12; Matthew 13:42,50; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 24:51; Matthew 25:30; Luke 13:28.)

As if that’s not bad enough, the place is crawling with hypocrites.

The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:50-51)

If you choose hell, you’re going to have to live there for eternity! That, alone, ought to make you say, “Help me, Jesus!”

Source: What in Hell Do You Want? by Jesse Duplantis
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers