View from the Pew – The Truth About Happiness, Part Four

What did you learn from last week’s sermon?

Q1: What is chaff?

Q2: Did Christ speak more about hell or heaven?

Q3: Is it more important for you to know God or for God to know you?

Sermon Summary & Answers

Nathan Ross jumped back into the pulpit for his fourth installment of The Truth About Happiness. He focused on…

Psalm 1:4-6.
4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous [in heaven].
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.

It is all about wrath, judgment, and souls perishing – but the congregation was riveted, laughed out loud several times, and “Amen” could be heard repeatedly. This was not your average hellfire-and-brimstone-sermon. For a quick recap of Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, just click the summary links.

Ross rightly points out that the topic of hell is very distasteful to today’s people in part because hell has been preached with an unloving tone to invoke fear of a vindictive God and doesn’t reflect the glory and holiness of a just God. This style of preaching can only invoke a works-based-righteousness that is simply worthless. To further injure the perishing soul quivering in the pew, there is a lack of focus on the gentle, loving-kindness shown by Christ’s sacrifice and substitution for their sins – no focus on forgiveness.

However, hell needs to be preached. We have to understand our destiny, our place in eternity. This is most certainly part of who we are right now. I am a Christian, and I try to translate everything through a Christian worldview (Biblically) because the bulk of my existence will be in heaven. To me, staying in a secular mindset or worldview (hell-bound) is like asking me to stay in kindergarten – no growth – very hot eternity! The news that Christ bore the wrath of hell for us is the GOOD NEWS. We can’t simply say, Christ, handled terrible stuff for us. What “stuff,” and why? If I didn’t know the answers, I wouldn’t care.

“Jesus spoke about hell a lot. As a matter of fact, more than anyone else in scripture. He spoke more about hell than he did heaven. He describes it as an eternal torment, a place with unquenchable fire-weeping and gnashing of teeth. He calls it an outer darkness. Hell is what hell is because God is Holy. His holiness demands justice and justice demands wrath for deserving sinners.”

Nathan Ross

If we love people, we will warn them of this wrath-path that can be avoided; not just, so they don’t burn. We do this because He is so worthy of everything. He is worthy to receive every person whom God gives to Him. We have to turn people to something better.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth [and hell] will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace

sorry, my brain just broke into song. Tissue, please.

When an unbeliever’s heartbeat stops, and they instantly arrive at that Great White Throne of judgment, they will have no security in eternity. This person was wicked and blown about like wheat husk-trash (chaff) while they lived on earth. This person only lived for the present (secular world). They never looked ahead.

“You cannot get true happiness in this world unless you have faith that sees through death. The chaff is never truly happy. God never intended you to be happy outside of Him. He shall burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12). Does this sound unloving, friend? It’s the exact opposite. Only a sadist would know all of this and keep it from you. Repent and believe. The text says the wind will drive you away if you’re chaff. Don’t be driven by the wind into judgment.”

Nathan Ross

You might think you know God but that doesn’t matter at all. That’s just chaff making noise as it blows away in the wind. The real question is, DOES GOD KNOW YOU?

Matthew 7:21–23
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

God, “knowing” you is Him confirming you, approving of you, intimately enmeshed in you. Jesus is the wrath remover so that He can “know” you and welcome you into heaven.

If you are at all confused about this topic; if you feel unsettled in your stomach – talk to an elder or other believer in our church. They can guide you with the simple yet perfect truth of God.

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Melissa Strautman

Did you find this quiz and sermon summary helpful? Log on to each week for the latest sermon study guide. Jessica will send the link out in the Midweek church emails.


  1. the husk that falls off a grain of wheat – it is the trash
  2. hell
  3. The only important thing is for God to know you.