A child molester rapes, tortures, slowly kills a young precious female toddler, and casually burns her mutilated body. You see the news, and the tears and anguish of the family. Your heart cries for justice. Justice.
The perpetrator is caught, convicted and sent to prison for life, isolated from the general prison population for his ‘safety.’ The prosecution had DNA evidence but the jury thought it too ‘harsh’ to convict for the death penalty.
So, does your heart cry out for justice for the little girl in a case like this?
Then one day you read that the molester somehow was isolated in the prison during a work detail, and viciously murdered by a group of inmates for this crime. Did you secretly feel satisfaction when the molester was murdered? Did it feel ‘right?’
Whether it’s this sad soul, or Osama Bin Laden, there’s something in human beings made in the image of God that yearns for the rightness of things as they should be. Heaven on earth, so to speak.
So, then, is there a hell? And if so, what does God say about it, if anything? Why did He create it? What can the ‘bad’ people expect?
God’s Mind and His Word – High or Low?
It’s vital to set a firm foundation before we pursue the idea of hell. Don’t skip this part. Stay with me, please, for a minute or two.
People in God’s churches say things all the time about God and His kingdom that have no basis in truth. But how would you know? It might sound good. You may have learned it, as I often did, in a church meeting by folks that were convincing.
In the end, we have only one Truth as a guide. The Word of God, Jesus, His preserved written scriptures, and the voice of the Holy Spirit and His teachers to interpret and apply in our day and age. In this, the mind of God is known, and we can live fruitfully in holiness day by day. That is His way through the ions of recorded time.
So, now. Big question for you.
Do you have a high view of the Holy Scriptures? In other words, does your heart yearn with fire to know Him and His mind, individually and corporately? Are you in this literate culture in full pursuit of His Word?
Or…do you have a low view of the Holy Scriptures? In other words, are you getting your ‘truth’ from a single source like a ‘head buffalo senior pastor,’ or TV program, or a Joyce Meyer’s type, or other para-church ministry big wig type? Or a small group ‘leader’ which is the a head buffalo in his-her own right? Are you in the Word for yourself at all? How do you know they’re not mostly wrong and leading directly against God’s commands?
Is there any intense prayer to God from you asking for daily protection from all the error and false teachers that Jesus, Paul, and the apostles warned us about? Or do you think that God owes it to you to be nice and just watch over you without any concerted effort on your part?
If a low view, you, dear one, are subject to all manner of error, heresy, winds of doctrines and fads, even the doctrines of demons. Yes, demons. You. God will not eventually protect you if your desire is not keen and constant. His holiness is more important to Him that your eternal soul. You’ll never hear that, most likely, in your church or small group. This can lead you to be disapproved with the Lord…and lost forever.
They teach it’s all about us. A humanistic gospel. ‘Taint so. It’s all about Him, and His goodness to share His love with those who obey. His Word confirms this over and over.
Finding Truth – Purpose, Principle, Practice?
OK. You’ve decided once and for all to either 1) abandon your low view of His Word, and/or 2) continue until you die to uphold and obey His holy Word forevermore even if the leaders are dead wrong.
How do you find true truth from God, to make your opinions, then to act? Let’s consider using a model we use here at Walk Worthy. Only 3 simple words to remember. Purpose, principle, practice.
Purpose – what is God’s eternal purpose in order to please Him?
Principle – what are God’s rules, His commands, for His creation to follow?
Practice – what are the daily holy actions based on His principles that fulfill His purpose?
Some error is clearly refuted by Scripture, i.e. love your enemy, don’t kill him. Some error must be reasoned through since the Bible is silent, i.e. keep your body and mind clear, therefore don’t smoke marijuana.
An example is given right below, then we’ll move right into the question of hell.
A young teen I know well was gloating that we should kill our enemies like Osama Bin Laden. He was firm and rigid that he was right. Of course, he had absolutely no Scripture support for his ‘truth’ except what he had learned from his church’s head buffalo teaching, our western patriot culture, and family prejudice, etc. He refused to look at the Word with me or answer all the Bible passages from Jesus refuting his current opinion.
He then froze and looked at me. Why? I had looked him straight in the eye and told him it was OK to smoke marijuana, right? It didn’t say it was wrong in the Bible, and just ignored speaking to this practice.
He was befuddled. Why? He has never been taught to think and reason wisely Biblically. He, like most of us, are untrained and undiscipled properly. He had just opened the file cabinets of his mind and dumped out untested opinions he had stored over the years as fact from Jesus.
Let’s unpack the 3 step model using the practice of smoking marijuana. Is it wrong to do so? And if so, why?
Purpose of God – the populating, maturing, and completing of the kingdom of God: Jesus’ first words to us as Lord were repent (of worldly actions) for the kingdom of God is at hand; 2nd request in the disciple’s prayer was Thy kingdom come, not Thy church come or Thy relationships come! Marijuana smoking is popular with unsaved souls.
Principle of God – obey the laws of the land if they don’t conflict with God’s law; don’t cause others to stumble into sin; His body is the temple of God where the Spirit dwells; love God with your mind by keeping it free of substances that inhibit this. Marijuana smoking is against the law of the land, can cause others to disobey the government, the body is God’s temple and must be clear for service, our minds must be clear to think and act rightly and holy.
Practice of God – therefore, it is terrible sin to smoke marijuana. Period.
Now about hell.
Here’s an opinion about hell and the afterlife we were informed of recently and asked to comment upon by a dear brother. It goes like this:
“After you die, you go to a holding place. After the 1000 year reign, Jesus returns and you get a second chance to accept Jesus even if obeyed the anti-Christ. I guess I’ll go with this.”
OK now. To the Word of God first…then to the 3 step model.
Remember – is our view of holy scripture high…or low?
Paradise is immediate, being with Jesus Himself, and doesn’t sound at all like a ‘holding place.’
And (Jesus) said to (the thief on the cross), “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43
The martyrs killed during The Great Tribulation cry out for revenge from under the altar of God. No holding place, for they’re in full view of the throne of God. And the revenge of God will be upon those following the anti-Christ and those leaders. Revenge from God Himself is a holy thing to beg and beseech in the Spirit:
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. Revelation 6:9-11
Human beings only get one chance to live a holy life in order to prepare for their judgment with God. Getting any sort of second chance is a silent concept it appears. In this case, there can be no argument from silence since the other evidence is so blatantly obvious:
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done (in life on earth), whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear (terror) of the Lord, we persuade men (to prepare to meet God by living holy on earth)… 2 Corinthians 5:10-11
If we take the mark of the beast to serve the anti-Christ at any time, we’re toast. Absolutely lost and cursed. The mark is permanent and irrevocable.
…”If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. Rev. 14.9-12
Silence on any sort of second chance after death. Evidence of any sort to support this opinion is missing.
And about hell (or later the lake of fire, the final place of torment) and it’s warnings and terrors? Again to the Word of God for a sample:
And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever…Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:10,14-15
So, does the devil and his minions deserve hell, and do you believe God will put them there? Sure you do.
Well, who else gets put there? Anybody else?
Human beings..cursed by Jesus at the judgment. We can’t have one (the accursed devil) without the other (accursed humans who insult the Spirit of grace). Are you willing to say the devil will go free and maybe even be ‘saved?’ Does a character like him deserve hell? Does he get a second chance? Does hell exist? Is it eternal, forever?
Jesus, the Lord, Master, Creator, Savior of the whole earth, declares:
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…” Matthew 25:41
Still not convinced? Our Master speaks again:
“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life (in eternal heaven) crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.” Matthew 18:8
“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (into the eternal fire). Luke 13:3
Eternal is that: eternal. Unending. Unceasing. It’s just as God planned it before the foundation of the world. For the devil and his angels. Not humans created in His image.
But ‘Hallowed be Your Name.’ So, His holiness demands justice. It must. It does.
Remember the child molester and murderer of the little girl? How about those culprits who flew the jets into New York buildings? Do they just get let off the hook? Is God a pansy?
…just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 1:7
And finally, the apostle Paul gives us a clear clue to what befalls those who pollute the gospel of the kingdom, which includes this awful place called hell. Not a pretty picture, and he proclaims this warning twice, a Hebrew rhetorical emphasis:
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! Galatians 1:6-9
Again, the curse of God. Ugly. Is this your God, beloved? Does your theology, your opinion, allow for this God who curses people? God is good, but He is holy.
Lastly, the 3 step model concerning hell.
Purpose of God – the creation, populating, maturing, and completion of the kingdom of God, and all stumbling blocks must be cleared out to hell and then the lake of fire to allow for perfection in the presence of the Father and His King.
Principle of God – God is holy, holy, holy, and perfectly just in all His ways, therefore only holy creatures covered by the blood of Jesus and perseveringly obedient to the end by grace will enter this glorious kingdom; God is furiously wrathful towards all those who spit on His Son’s sacrifice and life, and insult the Spirit of grace, for perfect justice is always served by the Perfect One.
Practice of God – the Almighty must curse unrepentant and disobedient creatures by casting and tormenting them forever in His presence, in a place only designed for the devil and his rebellious angels.
Brother Greg Gilbert shows us here why we need hell to complete the gospel of the kingdom.
There’s plenty of evidence for those who are open to be persuaded, beloved. But there’s never enough for those not willing.
Let him who has ears to hear, hear.
Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.
Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
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Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.
Marc White, Director, Walk Worthy Ministries, www.WalkWorthy.org