Perhaps you are scratching your head and wondering just what this title implies. Does it suggest that a prophet of God taught people how to get to hell? Actually, it does… well, sort of!

Zephaniah lived and worked during the reign of Josiah. Josiah was one of the few kings that truly turned to the Lord. He instituted sweeping, nation-wide religious reform, casting down idols and destroying the high places where people worshiped false gods. However, Josiah’s reforms, although fervent, did not affect any lasting change in the morality of the people. Zephaniah was sent by God to the nation of Judah to encourage the people to repent.

Zephaniah's Four Easy Steps | Jack McNiel, Evangelist, Oak Grove Church of Christ

The Prophet Zephaniah stated, “Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.” -Zephaniah 3:1-2

His message is simple. Notice what is about to happen to Nineveh and the other great nations (Zephaniah 1:8 and 2:15). Watch God’s judgment in action and take note as to why it is happening. In chapter 3:2, Zephaniah lists four simple steps that would lead to Jerusalem and Judah’s downfall.

Four Easy Steps to Hell

Today, even you, like the people of Jerusalem, can complete these four simple steps and have your place reserved for all eternity in “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone…” (Revelation 21:8).

  1. Obey not the voice of God
    Ignore the commandments of God. Don’t read or study the Bible, skip worship, and be lazy.
  2. Receive Not Correction
    Develop a prideful attitude. Don’t let others tell you that you are wrong. Get mad when they try to correct you. Tell them: ‘That’s just your interpretation.’ Or, stick your fingers in your ears and yell Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah Nah!
  3. Trust Not In The Lord
    Develop a lack of faith and trust in God. Exemplify this attitude by your worship of materialism. Trust in the, almighty dollar. Spend the Lord’s money on the lottery. Call Dr. Laura for help, forget about the Bible as if it is irrelevant to modern man.
  4. Draw Not Near To God.
    Place no value in fellowship with the Lord. In fact, run as far from Him as you can. Be an atheist. Be an agnostic. Become apathetic.

Four Easy Steps to Heaven

Interestingly, the Prophet Zephaniah’s four easy steps work both directions. We can take his four easy steps: How to Get to Hell, and apply them in reverse and from them we can determine how to get to Heaven.

Today even you can follow these four simple steps and have your name written for all eternity in the book of life.

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”  – Revelation. 3:5

1. Obey the Voice.
Obey God and His Son Jesus Christ.
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him…” – Hebrews 5:8-9 

We learn to obey God as we learn of His Word.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15

2. Receive Correction
As we read, study and understand God’s word we come to know what obedience to God’s word requires. The word teaches us what we are to obey.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Solomon had this to say with regards to receiving correction, “…despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” – Proverbs 3:11-12

3. Trust in God. We cannot trust in ourselves or we will fall. The prophet said, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” – Jeremiah 10:23.

Solomon said in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

When we hear and heed God’s word and we receive and apply His correction we demonstrate our trust in Him.

4. Draw Near to God. When we place our complete trust in God and submit ourselves to His Will, we draw ourselves near to Him and He to us.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded…” – James 4:7-8.

Learn more: Seven Simple Facts About the Judgment.

Unfortunately, Judah succumbed to the same fate as those other nations. Jeremiah, a contemporary of Zephaniah, showed that Israel had already completed the first two of the Prophet Zephaniah’s Four Easy Steps: How to Get to Hell.

“But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.” – Jeremiah 7:28

The Lord had previously commanded them to follow the Prophet Zephaniah’s Four Easy Steps: : How to Get to Heaven.

“But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” – Jeremiah 7:23

Will you not do as God commanded Israel and obey His voice, receive His correction, trust in and draw near to Him?

- Jack McNiel
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