On 16 July 2016 a faction of the army in Turkey tried to take control of the government in a coup. Soldiers, tanks and F16 Jet Fighters invaded Istanbul. 280 people were killed, but ultimately the coup failed. TIME magazine called it: Turkey’s long night of the soul.
The good news was that the night came to an end, warring stopped, day dawned, hostilities ceased, and the fierce anger stopped.
In contrast, the Bible teaches of future time of God’s judgment, wrath and anger on sin that will not cease.
The Bible teaches of hell for those who have rebelled against their Creator and rejected his Word. The Bible says that because rebelling against God is an infinitely offensive sin it is worthy of infinite punishment.
The Bible does not just speak of hell, it speaks of an eternal hell. Hell does not end, the wrath of God does not end and his fierce anger does not stop.
Hell is a controversial subject in our day and age of acceptance and tolerance. But it is a reality that the Bible, including Jesus himself, referred to many, many times. Jesus said,
“Do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do…but fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” (Luke 12:4-5)
Jesus said that we should not fear those who can only kill the body like ISIS terrorists. Jesus said it is God whom we should fear.
Jesus was much more hardcore than most people think. Jesus wasn’t an effeminate hippie; he was God’s King who announced God’s salvation and God’s judgment. Jesus came to proclaim salvation to God’s people and judgment to God’s enemies.
The Bible teaches the return of Christ and the Great Day of God’s judgment, when we will all stand before Almighty God to give account of every thought, word and deed.
Listen to how 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 describes Christians:
For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
There is a coming day of wrath; a time of God’s fierce anger against sin. Christians are those people who have turned to God in faith, are waiting for Jesus and are delivered from the wrath to come.
God’s holiness demands judgment and God’s love provides a way of escape. You cannot escape from God, but you can escape in God.
A Christian is not someone who tries to be good, but someone who trusts in Jesus and is therefore rescued from the wrath to come.
You might have 500 friends on Facebook, but if God is not your friend, you must face the wrath of God and an eternal hell. Unlike Turkey’s long night of the soul, the terrible, fierce anger of God will not end. (Matthew 18:8, Matthew 25:41, Jude 1:7 etc.)
Why do we as a church partner with missionaries and church planters?
Why do we as a church encourage short-term mission trips?
Why are we run evangelistic outreaches in our neighbourhood?
Why are we hosting a REfresh missions conference at the end of August?
Because we believe in the reality of an eternal hell.