Tag Archives: Hell

Hdr-Preach-Penal-Substitution

Preach Penal Substitution

I didn’t grow up in a Christian family or in church and I still managed to ask Jesus in my heart three times by the age of 15. As a kid, it was kind of like fire insurance, something to tag on in case Hell was real. As a teenager, it was because I was invited to church and the preacher told me I had a God shaped hole in my heart only He could fill, and that resonated with me. Tears running down my face I raised my hand to accept Jesus. Christian kids from school smiled and got teary and gave me hugs. I went home with a One Minute Daily Devotional and felt pretty certain that now I was headed for Heaven.

Soon after, I went to the local Christian book store. I found a Teen Study Bible and bought the only poster available that didn’t look like it was for pansies. It was black with scrawled writing and a bloody cross, and I thought it looked pretty hardcore. Not only that but it had some pretty profound words- words that truly did speak to me and testify to my soul as being true: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matthew 16:24-25).” Continue reading

The Terror of the Lord

Isaiah 2:19 “And people shall enter the caves of the rocks And the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord, And from the splendor of His majesty, when He rises to terrify the earth.”

 We often hear the fear of God taught as “reverential awe,” and for Christians I think I understand why. The redeemed no longer fear judgement because we abide in God and His perfect love has cast out all fear of punishment (1John 4:16-18). But the same cannot be said of all those who are without Christ, for all who have not called on His name have the wrath of God abiding on them (John 3:36). To tell an unbeliever that the definition of fearing God is to stand in awe is a weakened and partial truth.

Continue reading

A Soul Satisfying Endeavour

Evangelism doesn’t always make me feel happy- but it usually does. There have been times when the seemingly impenetrable condition of someone’s heart has left me deeply grieved. The most vulgar individual I ever met was a Pastor’s daughter. I turned around after witnessing to her and immediately burst into tears, feeling shocked, mortified, and spiritually drained. But most often, my experiences haven’t been too difficult. Continue reading

The Rich Man

He cradled the back of his head in his hands, propped up his feet and said “I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.”

His investments had multiplied, assets increased, and businesses all profitably ran themselves. But what should he do with all this wealth? His children were well taken care of… there were grandchildren coming soon, he hoped. “I will secure a future for myself, my children, and my children’s children. I will say to my soul ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’”    Continue reading

Hell and the Heart of God

We have discussed that God is not hesitant, nor will He regret the need to punish. John 3:36 says that “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”  One will go to eternal life, and one will bare an eternal wrath. There is no end to the punishment in Hell.  Sins done on earth cannot be made right again. The day of repentance has passed; the hope of gaining salvation by works has proven futile. God’s anger cannot be removed from sinners; their condemnation is sealed and set in stone. In the dark world they condemned themselves by loving evil and refusing light. The pain of Hell will be in knowing one’s own worthlessness and foolishness, while hating a God whom they can never escape from. God’s anger will forever burn against them, and all they will experience is infuriation, loathing, and misery. Continue reading

The Love and Anger Of God Part 2

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*Warning: It is quite likely, as with many of my articles, that if this is the only one you read you will have a skewed idea of how I feel and think.  If offended, strange though as it seems, I’d request you to continue reading as I post.

How Angry Is God?

And Why Has This Attribute Nearly Disappeared?

As stated in the introduction the Bible makes it clear that “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day (Psalm 7:11 ESV).”  Psalm 5:5-6 states the seldom quoted and intensely controversial words: “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evil doers.  You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.”

It seems to me these verses are not controversial based on any type of inconsistency or rarity in the word of God.  Simply consider the way that Jesus Christ is coming back: “…with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Thessalonians 1:7-8).”  Or consider the future cries of those on whom this day of Judgement comes, as they call out to the mountains and rocks saying: “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand (Revelations 6:16)?”

I witnessed to a man the other day who was quite certain that the Old Testament God was a God of wrath, and the New Testament God was a God of love.  The guilt of this erroneous belief falls on the multitudes of professing believers who portray Christianity this way.  They speak as if God was and maybe is a God of justice and wrath, but Jesus was all love and mercy.  But who is coming back with a sword in his mouth (Rev 19:15)?  Who is coming in the clouds to inflict vengeance?  And did they not cry out “hide us from…the wrath of the Lamb?”  We know from scripture that the precious Lamb of God, who was slain, is none other than Jesus Christ.

If the Bible is not unclear nor does it make rare reference to the hatred, wrath, anger, justice, and like qualities of God, then why have these qualities been shunned among professing believers and the general public?  Well, a culture that promotes only listening and believing those things which make you feel good about yourself, does not jive very well with a God who exposes your sin, unworthiness, shame, and guilt.  It especially does not sit right with them that the outcome of what they consider a life well lived could be for God to send them to Hell.  That spot may be reserved for murderers or rapists, but certainly not for them.

“How can God be angry with us when we are all basically good people?” some might say.  Or even “God isn’t angry at us, because He loves everyone just the way they are.”  Though these statements might sound nice, they are far from Biblical.  People everywhere are making a god in their own image, a god who does not exist.

About three years ago I read through the book of Revelations and was profoundly impacted that these were real events that were coming upon real people.  The words of this book produced in me an unwavering conviction that men and woman everywhere must be warned about the coming Judgement of God.  It caused me to “note…the kindness and severity of God (Romans 11:22).”  It seems fitting for me to share a poem I wrote after finishing the book of Revelations.

Judgment Day

In his eyes are flames of fire,
The wicked wail and I admire
Christ who’s coming with a sword
Handing out the due reward.

To few he grants eternal life
Those dressed in white, His bride, His wife.
Those beloved and chosen ones
Who share God’s treasure, His own Son.

But tribulation and distress
For those who cherish wickedness
Wrath and fury coming near
For although warned, they would not hear.

God who is gracious sent them plagues
To turn them from their wicked ways
But although scorched and crushed and shamed
They refused to repent and cursed God’s name.

They beg of mountains “fall on us, hide us from his face!”
But there’s no pardon for their sin, they receive no grace.
They seek to die but death escapes them
‘Till naked they stand so that Christ may condemn them.

Hark! He’s coming in the clouds
Tune your ears to hear the trumpet sound
The earth is ripe and His sickle swings
He gathers the elect underneath His wings,
And casts away into the winepress of wrath
All evildoers who walk the broad path.

Glory be unto the Lord, He will have His way!
He is coming soon and won’t delay
His Great and Glorious Judgment Day.

Fear and tremble all the earth
Dear Christian warn them with weeping
For us who have the second birth
Let not Christ come to find us sleeping.

To summarize this and answer the question “how angry is God?” let me say this:  He is angry enough that Jesus warned “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Hell (Matthew 10:28).”

Part 8: How Can You Refuse Him Now?

I hope you have come to see that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father, and is infinitely worthy of our love, our praise, and our lives.  Reflecting on His love and worth one day I wrote:

“Who has loved me more than Jesus, when He bore my sin away?  As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed my transgressions from me.  Oh what a Saviour!  Mighty Redeemer is He!  He took my shame and bore God’s wrath to set this captive free.

And now what friend do I have like Jesus, who at sun down watches over my sleep?  He keeps account of my tossings; He puts my tears in His bottle, are they not all written down?  Who knows my frame like the Lord does?  He remembers that I am but dust.  He does not keep His anger forever, or treat me as my sins deserve.  What rest I have in Jesus!  He who keeps me in the palm of His hand will never leave me or forsake me.  If I am faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

I love You so my Jesus, who hears my every prayer, who treats me with compassion, who covers me with care.  Even in the darkness His word is a lamp unto my feet and I know that He is working out His perfect will for me.

Who gives hope for the future like Jesus?  The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.  The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.  Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, but blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.

Jesus Christ, my friend and Lord, I know that He is coming swiftly.  Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay.  He who has overcome death is coming; He who destroys the power of sin is coming, and He who has loved me from the foundations of the world- He is coming.” 

Psalm 73:4 “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.”

Have you seen how wonderful He is?  Has His mercy towards you astounded your heart?  Have you yet forsaken your sin and your life so that you could find new life in Him?  If not, you must come to Him while you still have today.  If you put off Jesus Christ you risk being lost entirely.  Hearts that leave Him behind again and again, although warned and enlightened grow increasingly hard.  Jesus Christ must be sought out as a treasure, and once found be most precious to you!

The following warning in Hebrews is for people who have come to understand the gospel message, and have even taken outward steps towards following Christ, but in the end have chosen to turn away from Him.  Don’t let this be you.

Hebrews 6:4-6 “For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then fall away, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”

When Christ comes back there will only be two types of people, those who are saved and those who are not.  Those who are children of God and those who are enemies.  Those who go away into everlasting punishment and those who enter into the rest of their Maker.  There is a terrible day coming for many.  Jesus said “Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels (Mark 8:38).”  I cannot think of anything more devastating than standing before Jesus Christ, no longer veiled but in His full Glory, and upon His face as He looks at you is open shame.  Oh Lord, spare men from such a fate.

But there is a glorious day and eternity for whoever would confess Jesus as Lord no matter the cost in this life.

1Thessalonians 4:17 “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

Revelations 21:3-4 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

What an awesome God, that He would reach down into the miry clay to scoop up us sinful creatures and bring us near to Him.  He takes a broken vessel and transforms it into a temple for His spirit and at last He will transform our lowly bodies into Heavenly bodies.  What an extravagant King, who would make His Kingdom an eternal home for little people like you and me.  He will not cast us away the one who trusts in Him, but one day will draw so near that He Himself will wipe away each tear and walk alongside us.

I end with these words from “How Can You Refuse Him Now?” by Hillsong.  I pray that no one who has taken the time to read this article would refuse to bow down to Jesus Christ.  Come to Christ today.

There’s a story old that has often be told

Of how our Saviour died

As they nailed His hands, He cried

“They don’t understand”

As the blood flowed from His side.

As He hung there on the tree

He prayed for you, He prayed for me

There was no one His pain to ease

Before He died He faintly cried

“Father forgive them please.”

How can you refuse Him now?

How can you refuse Him now?

How can you turn away from His side?

With tears in His eyes, on the cross where He died

How can you refuse Jesus now?

An Appeal to the Modern Mind: Confronting Objections And Delusions About The Christian God

Part 1: Combating Universalism and Relativistic Thinking

There are two belief systems on the up rise today that often go hand in hand, called Universalism and Relativism.  A Universalist typically believes that each person can find their own way to God that is right for them.  They would say that most religions are based on similar truths and values, and therefore each path leads a person to God.  It might be a different rendition of God, but as long as the religion assents to a “higher power” of some kind, it is all the same thing to the Universalist.  Exclusivists who would say that their religion is the “only way,” would likely be frowned upon by the Universalist who seeks to include everyone in their view of heaven.

Yet many who think this way are also Relativists, so it is not fitting that they should get very worked up about the exclusivist, since after all everyone’s truth is true for them.  But regardless, I have come across these people and have found they can be quite distraught by the Absolutist.  He is content with every kind of truth except for that which says that there is definite absolute truth, and that kind of discussion makes him feel unnerved.  So to be clear: Relativists absolutely believe that whatever you believe to be true is good and true for you and that there is absolutely no absolute truth.  What you believe is right for you, and what I believe is right for me.

Do you find yourself confused?  I sure do.  I cannot reason how to intelligibly write about a subject that defies basic logic.  I suppose I could argue against this from a philosophical perspective, and that would be good.  But instead, I am going to address this from scripture to explain to the reader why Christianity is indeed exclusive and to what extent.  Continue reading

I Serve An Emotional God and I Am His Emotional Follower

God is an emotional God.  His book is an emotional  book.  Yet it would seem to me that there are many professing followers of Jesus Christ who seem to lack emotional responses to Him, to His word, to each other, and to sin in themselves and in the world.  Yet, I have also known those who can jump up and down in a worship service, and weep and wail whenever it seems appropriate, yet they live in unrepentant sin and have little understanding about the God of the Bible.  Continue reading

My World (But Not My Home)

This is my world, but it is not my home.  As if constantly walking against the rushing tide, or a fearsome rage of wind, onward I press one step at a time.  Dare I not look back at all the crowds of people, who bustle about laughing, easily carried by the wind as if it was a thrill to be tossed to and fro;  They are enemies of the cross of Christ, with minds set on the things of my world, and little do they seem to know their perilous state. 

But may my eyes be fixed, steadfastly on the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Yes though it may be blurry in the distance, the rain beating wildly and gray in front of it and the devils pushing and prodding at all who walk this path; Yes, though it lies beyond a narrow gate and a restrictive road, may I fix my eyes securely on that prize! 

May I not look back, lest I be found not fit for the kingdom of God, and in so looking back prove that my desires are for this world and not for Heaven with my Lord! Continue reading