“Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” - Matthew 23:33
The language that Jesus uses here is shocking. Remember, it is directed at religious leaders. Imagine calling some of today’s spiritual luminaries snakes and a brood of vipers. There might be a series of libel claims.
But Jesus’ words are based on their own words and actions. They had said that they were the children of those who murdered the prophets, and that they were intent on plotting to kill Jesus and His followers to prove their righteous indignation. They were determined to murder the very person who gave them their existence and all their blessings.
Hell was staring them in the face, a place where they were destined to go to unless they experienced true Holy Spirit conviction and a change of heart. It is impossible to have their attitude and speak and act like they did and escape the awful torment of hell.
Hell is not a joke. It is a real place of indescribable torment. A place of eternal separation from God. A place where memories are alive and fleshly lusts and desires cannot be satisfied - an eternal place of suffering. The proud religious leaders of the law had their own ideas and way of life. They were satisfied with themselves that all was well with their souls, but they were, in fact, destined for hell.
How can you escape this terrible place, Jesus asks?
The way to escape hell is not to push Jesus aside, who is the only way, truth and life, but to acknowledge Him as the Lord of your life. Embrace Jesus, admit that you are a sinner and the only way to be saved is through the Lord Jesus Christ by repentance and confessing that He is your Lord. By renouncing the devil and all of his sinful works you can become a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear heavenly Father thank You for the only way into Your kingdom, the Lord Jesus whom You sent, who came to this world and gave Himself on the cross to die in my place that I may have eternal life. Today, please forgive me of any hypocrisy and help me to live in obedience to Your perfect will, in the name of the Lord Jesus.