Monday, September 29, 2014

Fire & Brimstone – Part 2

Who is this Judge to which we all must give an account of our life? 
John 3:34-36For He whom God has sent (Jesus) speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.Matthew 28:18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” John 5:21-22For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.”

I always though it to be ironic that the unbeliever dies and goes to stand in front of the “Great White Throne” in heaven to tell Judge Jesus why they did not believe in Him. Jesus Himself warned of the punishment that would come to the disobedient who refused to repent and believe in Him as Savior and Lord. Mark 9:47-48If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’”  Ephesians 2:1 says that we were all dead in our trespasses and sins. Life is only ours when Jesus Christ is ours. Unrepentant unbelievers never passed out of death into life (John 5:14) by believing on Jesus Christ; they never possessed Jesus Christ, in whom alone there is life. In John 14:6 Jesus said He was the way, the truth and the life, so those who never received Jesus are twice dead – physically and spiritually. They never experienced life. How horribly sad, how eternally tragic.

Revelation 20:10-15And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

So what happens to us when we die? It is obvious in God’s Word that the soul of any person – saved or lost – does not cease to exist. Jesus admonished us all in Mark 9 to do whatever is necessary to stop sinning – the eye from which we sense and take into our heart and thought or the hand by which we do the action. Sin has an insatiable appetite that cannot be satisfied and there’s hell to pay; contentment comes from God alone. If a man or woman did not believe in Jesus Christ, confess Him before others as Lord and Savior, and live a life that bore the fruit of faith, it’s a delusion to claim that individual went to “a better place”. In Matthew 25:31-46, in Jesus’ metaphoric account of the separation of the sheep and the goats and their consequent destiny, our Lord makes it clear that the lake of fire and brimstone was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels (the demons). Yet, those human beings who choose to believe in the father of lies, rather than obeying the Son of God, will share in Satan’s fate.  Matthew 25:46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” But, there is a way to salvation. 

When someone says: “I have some good news and some bad news”, we always say: “Give me the bad news first.” This week’s study of eternal truth was on the bad news of hell’s fire and brimstone, but the bad news makes the good news to come truly good news. In the next small group bible lesson, we study the good news of heaven. Stay tuned for this one.

In Christ, Brian

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