By Jonah Obonyo
We are pilgrims in this world. We will not be here forever. We are sojourners heading somewhere. We are on a journey – either going to hell or heaven. God does not desire that you go to hell; He desires for you to go to heaven. The truth is, hell and heaven are real. Where you will go is a matter of choice. Here is why you shouldn’t choose to go to hell:
1. God does not want you to go to hell
God’s desire is for you to go to heaven (John 3:16). That is why He sent His only Son to come to the world. He loved the world and did not want anyone to go to hell. Jesus left all that He had and died on the cross. He sacrificed all He had in order for you to make it to heaven. Heaven is for those who know Jesus. Heaven is for sons and daughters. Heaven is for those who have put the devil under their feet. Live for Jesus Christ. In 50 or 60 years from now, most of us will be graves. Where will you be when names will be called out? If you have Jesus Christ, you will not be dead; you will wake up on the other side and will rejoice together with apostles, Abraham, and Jacob. It is my prayer that you will make it to heaven.
2. Jesus does not want you to go to hell
Jesus did not come to give us a sign (a cross) to put on buildings. He came to save those who were lost. He came to seek and find those who are lost in the world and set them free so that they can go to heaven. He came with the power of blood. That blood is still fresh today. That blood is still working miracles today. That blood will cause us to have liberty that Jesus Christ brought to us. It nullifies the powers of the world; it nullifies the powers of ancestors; it nullifies the powers of the underworld and altars that speak against you. Jesus does not want you to go to hell (Hebrews 2:9-10). He overcame and is now seated on the right hand of the Father, making intercessions for us. Leave the world and come to Jesus and live for Him. He wants you to get saved and go to heaven (John 15:13). Work out your salvation to make it to heaven. We are on a journey to heaven.
3. The Holy Ghost does not want you to go to hell (John 16:7)
The work of the Holy Spirit is to convict people of sin. The Holy Ghost came to help us so that we don’t go to hell. Today, we don’t follow rules to obey God. Instead, we preach the gospel and the Holy Ghost will convict people. If you try to go to the wrong place, the Spirit will whisper to you that you are doing the wrong thing. He will reprove you of sin and show you the ways of God. He will teach you what to do and what not to do. He is a comforter, a teacher, and reproves. You cannot make it to heaven on your own strength; you need the Holy Ghost.
4. The people in heaven do not want you to go to hell
Luke 15:10 says there is joy in the presence of angels of God over one sinner who repents. There is joy in heaven when one sinner comes to Christ. I believe heaven was happy the day I gave my life to Christ in the early 80s. When you get saved, your drinking friends don’t want to let you go, but when you die, they are in a hurry to burry you.
5. People in hell don’t want you to go there
Luke 16:19-31 relates the story of the rich man and poor Lazarus. In hell, the rich man lifted up his eyes in torment and saw Abraham with the poor man in his bosom. He cried: “Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue…” But Abraham said to him: “Son, remember you received good things in your lifetime and likewise Lazarus received evil things and now he is comforted…. Between us there is a great gulf…” These people were arguing in the spirit world, not here on earth. Instead of waiting to go and argue in hell, why don’t you decide to argue here, now? Tell God: “I need you. I need to walk with Jesus. I need to be saved. I need to be delivered.” When the rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s house to preach to his brothers, Abraham told him: “They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them.” He did not want his brothers to go to hell where he was suffering torment.
6. Hell was not prepared for you
I always go to funerals and burials and whenever I stand to preach, in my spirit I always have a witness whether or not the person we are burying has a place prepared for him or her in heaven. There are those we burry and we just know they are gone (forever). Matthew 25:41 says: “Then He shall say to them on the left, ‘Depart from me and be cast into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” Hell was never prepared for human beings. It was prepared for angels of darkness and the devil. Those who follow the ways of the devil will go to hell. I pray that you will not be a candidate for hell. I pray you will be a candidate for heaven, instead. I pray today that your heart will melt before God. I pray today that the Holy Ghost will do something in your spirit.
7. There are rewards in heaven
Heaven is a place of joy and celebration. In heaven, you will reap the fruit of your labour. Heaven is a good place. The fruits of the trees of heaven are for healing, the streets are made of gold, and the light in heaven is Jesus Christ. We don’t have the sun in heaven; we only have Jesus who gives light to the whole heaven. Heaven is a place of fellowship; we will fellowship with those who have gone before us. You will see your grandfathers, parents, brothers and sisters who have gone before you. My friend, I pray that you don’t go to hell. Hell is not for you; you belong to heaven. Stop living a lie; live for God. Is your name written in the Book of Life? Are you a candidate for heaven?
Johan Obonyo is the presiding bishop of Cathedral of Praise Ministries International. This is an abridged and edited version of a sermon he preached at his Imara Daima Church, Nairobi, on May 26, 2019.