Have you ever waited for something to finally come and when it does you aren’t expecting it? Well, it felt like C3 last year was just yesterday and now it’s coming back.
I’m really excited for C3 this year, because it’s my first year to go more than just one day. If you don’t know what C3 it’s a huge church conference. C3 stands for Creative Church Culture. However it’s not just church related it’s relevant to everyone. It teaches the tools and skills people need to be a great leader in all aspects of their life.
C3 is a 3 day all day conference. However, for myself I’ll only be going to the “C3 nights”. They’re free and open to the public. It’s going be a night full of worship, learning and reuniting with old friends.
Wednesday kicked off the first night and we had a special guest: Tony Royster. He’s ranked #1 as the worlds best drummer and has been on tour with Jay-Z for the past 7 years. Before service he had a drum solo and it was incredible. Not only that he also came out at the end of the night and played with the band during the last song. He was even kind enough to take some pictures with our campus after service. (He’s the guy in the red Chicago Bulls shirt in the picture below)
During the actual service we had our head pastor, Ed Young, open up for C3 and preach for us. His sermon started about how there’s points in our lives when we tried to run our own lives. However, the moment we give control of our lives to Christ things start to change. But, this choice can’t be forced upon us it has to be something we give willingly and fully.
Pastor Ed then leads to the topic of Hell. Pastor Ed does a great job of adding humor into such a serious topic by joking around with what he’s saying.
“I’m not here to scare the Hell out of you. I’m here to scare the Hell into you.”
Pastor Ed goes into his points of the sermon shortly after introducing the topic of the night starting with: The Reality of Hell. He uses the story in Luke 16 about Lazarus and a wealthy man. Lazarus was a poor man, a beggar. Lazarus would sit outside this wealthy mans gate and beg for just scraps and crumbs, but the rich man never gave him anything. Eventually they both died and the rich man is sent to Hades while Lazarus is chillin with Abraham not suffering from the flames of Hell. Essentially the rich man in Hell begs for any acts of mercy to quench his suffering, but Abraham tells him it too late.
“Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.'” -Luke 16:24-25 NKJV
Pastor Ed then brings up, after the story, that Hell isn’t made for humans. It’s for the Devil and demons and God meant Heaven for humans. Everyone is given the chance to go to heaven, however, not everyone goes. Like I mentioned early Hell is a serious topic, one that people should take very seriously. And the Agony of Hell is a point that people need to see and understand. In Luke 16:24-25 is a prime example of how miserable Hell is and how a drop of water will be just satisfying enough to temporarily comfort the once rich man.
“We are born with a reservation in Hell. Jesus lived a righteous life… and offered us an opportunity to put him in the center of our lives. The reservation is canceled and we are offered to live in Heaven forever, and ever, and ever, and ever.”
Next Pastor Ed hits on the topic of: The Evangelism of Hell. The rich man in Luke 16 tries to beg Abraham to somehow warn his brothers about Hell, however, these attempts are rejected: “‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’” – Luke 16:29-31 It’s told in the Bible somewhere that when one goes to Hell they remember every instance that they had the opportunity to accept Christ and when they go there they pray that everyone alive will avoid Hell because it’s that awful and miserable.
The best way to avoid Hell is to reach to others who don’t know Jesus. But, you can only reach to those who want to be reached. It’s a tough reality to face, but it’s true. The Growth of Hell is a constant thing, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’.” – Luke 13:24-25
“I just checked the stats about death. It’s still hovering at about 100%. 1-out-of-1 die.”
Pastor Ed wraps up the night by saying, “God doesn’t want us to go to Hell, but He’s not going to keep you from Hell.” He then asks why he does what he does. Talking about the “Pros and Cons” of working for the church. He asks the audience repeatably, “Is there a Hell?” he goes on to say, “If there’s not a Hell I’ll sell this (the church)… I could be fishing right now.” And the truth behind this is clarifying. Why spend the money, time, and effort if there’s not a Hell?
Concluding this post I’d like to leave you with this verse it’s found in Luke 13 verses 28-30, “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out. And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God. And note this: Some who seem least important now will be the greatest then, and some who are the greatest now will be least important then.”