Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fire & Brimstone – Part 1

Revelation 21:7-8 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Our Friday night Small Group Bible Study started back up meeting this last week, and we picked up right where we left off in our study series of “Life, Death and Life after Death”. It seems appropriate that in the final two weeks of this six-week series that the doctrine of heaven and hell (the afterlife final destinations) be examined. This is such a deep and heavy subject, but our eternity must not be ignored, overlooked or taken lightly. My Christian mentor Bill Stiles always said that you cannot know and understand what you have been “saved to” until you know and understand what you have been “saved from”. The world may tend to think that not everybody is going to heaven, but per the Bible, the default is hell because of sin against God. This fact is made clear by the Apostle Paul in Romans 3:23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and why the Lord Jesus explains in John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  There is a hell and we need a Savior to change our home address.

Acts 17:24-31 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man (Jesus) whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

You hear people say, “Hey, don’t judge me!” but since our Creator God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness, everyone is rightfully going to have a “come to Jesus meeting” one day. Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” When we are judged, we want justice – unless of course we are guilty. Then we beg for mercy. Psalm 9:7-8But the Lord shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.” God is a “just” Judge to judge and provide perfect justice. Psalm 96:13 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with His truth.” 

We'll continue this post on this all-important issue tomorrow.

In Christ, Brian


Larri said...

Great post, Brian.
I've found most people are willing to talk about heaven, but they don't like talking about hell...even though it's written plainly in the Bible exactly what will come of us upon our earthly death. Though it's a somewhat 'scary' topic, we should be more open in discussing it.

PS...I love that you used 'come to Jesus meeting' in this post! It's one of my favorite phrases. ツ

Happy Sunday!

Brian Ray Todd said...

Larri, I have found that most people want to talk about pleasant things and evade unpleasant issues, with the exception of political issues. But there is the politics of the kingdom of God that must not be ignored due to their eternal ramifications. We all are on one road or another and it is a "life or death" matter (Matthew 7:12-14 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”)

Though, Sin, the Devil, Judgment Day and Hell are avoided like the Ebola plague in discussion, they are all real and affect everyone daily. If not dealt with by "Salvation of Jesus Christ" then we pay the wages of sin without forgiveness, because we are all guilty in the eyes of God and know it (everyone says "nobody's perfect"). But if we accept the free gift of the redeeming sacrificial substitution death of Jesus Christ (the Son of God) on that cross for our sins, then we are "saved", have "salvation" and justified (found not guilty) because Jesus took our place and bore our sins, so that we could have "life" anew as a child of God. But, people who don't this need to hear this "good news" gospel, and if they don't know and understand the "bad news" then how will they get the true "good news" of redemption, forgiveness and salvation and glorification? We don't dwell on Hell, but we don't ignore it or be ignorant of it, because it is real and sadly the road that many are on. We do not want any to pass from this life today to eternal agony, so we tell others of this impending doom in hope that they find salvation at the foot of the cross, repent of their sins, be transformed by the Holy Spirit with the regeneration of their spirit, find restoration of their relationship with Father Creator God and rejoice in their redemption by following of the Lord and their keeping their heart and eye of their future glorification - from Hell to Heaven. Hallelujah!