Categories
hell

Hell of a problem

People tend to have a problem with the doctrine of hell because of three main reasons. 

 

1. I’m not Adolf Hitler  

We think that sin is not serious or offensive enough to warrant an eternal, conscious, state of suffering.  However, the Bible teaches that sin is horrendous and hugely offensive to God.  God cannot look upon sin. God hates sin. Sin is treason against our Creator and Sustainer. 

We think that, if any, only Adolf Hitler’s sin is worthy of hell.  But who are we to decide what sin is serious and what sin is not?

Revelation 21:8, speaking of the return of Christ and the great day of reckoning, says “the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practise magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.”  Hell is described in terms of fire and burning.  Whatever this might mean, hell will not be pleasant or good.  Yet, the Bible does not shy away for the truth about hell for is the fair, right, and deserved consequence of treasonous behaviour against God.  Sin is very serious.

 

2. He’s your Father, not your Old Man.

The second reason we tend to have a problem with hell is because we forget the holiness of God.  God is not your buddy or your boyfriend.  God is not to be trifled with or scorned.  God is our Creator and Judge. The angels shout around the throne, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, heaven and earth are full of his glory.” 

Yes, God is love and has revealed himself in Jesus; yes, we can now approach God with boldness and confidence because of Jesus’ sin-bearing death; but let us not forget the words in Hebrews 9,Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’.”

 

3.  Make tea, not love

Again you ask, How can a loving God send people to hell?  God is indeed loving.  God the Father sent God the Son into the world to secure the eternal salvation of all God’s people.  No-one forced or compelled God to do that.  Out of love God chose to do it.  But don’t make the mistake in thinking that God is only love; he is also just.  God must punish sin appropriately or it would be an affront to his own justice.  Hell is the fitting and right consequence for those who reject Jesus.

 

May that God grant us all a renewed appreciation for his holiness and a renewed insight into the ugliness of sin.

Categories
hell

What did Jesus teach about hell?

fire2Jesus believed in and warned people about a place called hell.  The word he used was “gehenna”, which is normally translated in our English Bibles as “hell”.

Gehenna

In Old Testament times the valley south-west of Jerusalem was called Ge Hinnom and it was the city’s rubbish dump.  It was a notorious valley that was previously used as a place of child-sacrifice to Molech* the detestable God of the Ammonites.  Molech’s image was believed to have been a hollow brazen figure, with the head of an ox, and outstretched human arms.   The figure was heated red hot by a fire from within and the babies placed in its arms to be slowly burned, while to prevent the parents from hearing the dying cries, the sacrificing priests beat drums.

Categories
Christian Worldview

Greatness according to Jesus

What is true greatness? 

Whitney Houston died this past weekend.  Her body was found in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills hotel.  The exact cause of death is still to be revealed.  At the Grammy awards ceremony she was remembered and praised as one of the all time greats of the modern music scene.  Whitney sold over 100 million albums and won a number of Grammies herself.  She also professed to have put her faith “in the Lord” and in an Oprah interview claimed to love someone “bigger than you or me.”

 

Categories
Satan

Satanic Intentions and failed exorcisms

How do we deal with Satan and evil in the world today?

Do we wear crosses as magical protection talismans to ward off demons? Should we create a spiritual force field around our cars by pasting on a fish symbol? Perhaps having a priest sprinkle our new home with holy water will do the trick?

Jesus in Mark 9 gives us the answer: Depend on God in faith by prayer.