Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Problem With Denying Hell.

The other day I heard a story about a man who went to a church and the minister at that church said that God wanted to save him, well any nonbeliever, he truly did, but he couldn´t without that person´s help. To this the nonbeliever said "if your God cannot save me then he surly cannot condemn me to hell" and walked out of the church. Ironically his theology was far better than that of the ministers´. Why you might ask, because frankly if your god needs any help in saving you, if he alone cannot hold you to him then he can in no way keep you from him either. Yet the same must also be true, if your god cannot condemn you then he can in no way save you, I say this because if your god lacks the justice to destroy the wicked then he also lacks the power to save those who are wicked. This means that if the god you serve requires anything of you before their grace is sufficient then in essence they as god are not a requirement to true salvation.

Now many people will say that this is simply circular logic and in a way it would seem to be, yet the point must be made if your god cannot condemn you to hell, that is if it takes something of your own doing, if it is outside of his power to save you without your help, then he not only has no power to condemn you but he also has no right to if he wishes to remain a just god. If your god lacks the power to save you entirely and as such lacks the power to condemn you to hell why would you follow such a god. There is no power in him, and he is no greater than you or I. If such a god existed as God the supreme ruler of the universe then it would only seem fair that one day he may be overthrown by one who has the power to truly save. This means to follow a god who cannot save completely and apart from mans own actions is to follow an impotent god, or that is one with no power to condemn you either. This means to turn away from such a god will have no implications simply because he does not have the power to save you nor does he have the power to condemn you in a way that would remove you completely from salvation or exaltation.

Frankly there are many out there who say that there is no hell, many of these people even claim to be Christian. Do you know that 90% of what we know of hell in the Bible comes from the lips of Jesus Christ? Therefore to say there is no hell is, simply put, to call Jesus a liar! Yes the God who is love talks more about hell than everyone else in the Bible combined. What is more he uses the word eternal, the same word He uses to describe the eternal Heaven. Some might ask why Jesus spent so much time talking about hell when it is found very seldom elsewhere. Simply put because man can only withstand but a glimpse of a Holy God´s Love, he surly cannot withstand more than that of a Holy God´s Hate. Thus Jesus who is God in the flesh spoke more of hell than the rest of the Biblical writers combined. Again I reiterate that if there is no hell then Christ is a liar and if that is the case then he was not a perfect sacrifice. Following the chain of events if He was not the perfect sacrifice then surly he cannot save us from our sins! If Jesus lied then either God is no longer a just God or we are all going to hell!

Now you see this makes it very interesting either Christ bore all the wrath of God for all of those whom will ever be saved from the first to the last or he bore none of it. Why can I say this? I can say this because if he bore only some portion of our sins then indeed we are all going to hell for eternity since even one sin can sentence us to hell for eternity, for it is written to commit one is the same and breaking them all (James 2:10). Therefore if he only bore the wrath of God in terms that all men might become savable then no man is going to be saved because it takes the works of men, which are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) before a Holy and Just God. As such there truly is no forgiveness of sin because there is no shedding of blood, which is a requirement for the forgiveness of sins. This is why it is an act of God that you are saved, if you are saved. And from what are you saved? Not your sins. No you are not saved from your sins, sin never did anything to you, sin cannot ever do anything to you, sin isn´t even a being of any kind. Sin simply put is sin, it is like a rock sitting on the ground, it cannot hurt you unless acted upon by an outside force. No my friends, if you are saved, you are not saved from sin, you are saved from the wrath of a Holy God who hates sin and in fact hates sinners. Those of the world and friends to the world are an enemy of God and God is an enemy of them (James 4:4). God is powerful enough to thrust his enemies into hell (Revelation 21:8).

I hate when people say well hell won´t be so bad because my friends and family will be there so if I´m going to hell then were all going together. My dear friends, you have no concept of what hell is, it´s not some martini bar where the devil runs around and pokes you every once in a while with his little pitchfork. No beloved, no, hell is far more terrifying than that. When you stand before God and his common grace is stripped from you and you become a monster that makes Hitler, Stalin, and Ben Laden all look like little choir boys, your friends, your family, everyone you ever loved and everyone who ever loved you will sit there and cheer as God thrust you into hell because God has rid the world of something so abominable as you. Then if your friends and family do follow you in, remember how they cheered as you were being thrown past the gates of hell, will also be so evil to you that you will want nothing to do with them and they nothing to do with you. You will be outside of love, and never know it again. Hell is said to be a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28) so while your friends may be there, it is sort of hard to call them a friend when they are chewing on your arm!

This eternal lake of fire will cause suffering, oh will it cause suffering, and those among you who have been cutters before might know this better than others but often times emotional suffering can be drown out by physical suffering but I tell you this there will be no refuge in the pain of that lake of fire though you may seek to find it none will come for you. No the emotional pain will tare at you from within as the lake of fire burns you from without and this is the outer darkness that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30 and Luke 13:28 where all the weeping and gnashing of teeth will not end your suffering. Scared, if not you should be, this is the wrath of a Holy God.

But you say "God is Love he would never condemn anyone to hell." Yes, God is Love, yet we have twisted what love means in such a way then tried to make God fit into our false version of it when what we should have done is take God and see how Love fits into Him. Yet because God is love I submit to you that he must hate, and if he is Holy he must hate that which is Unholy. Unregenerate sinners are completely and totally filthy, unholy to the core and as such God hates them.

My beloved friends there is hope there is hope indeed. "He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD." Proverbs 17:15 and "He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand." Isaiah 53:9b-10 You see Christ who justifies the wicked became an abomination in the sight of God the Father, and took the wrath of God for all that would be saved. This is the cup that Christ is asking the Father to allow pass in the garden (Matthew 26:39,42, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:41-44, John 18:11); the cup of God´s Holy Wrath, which Christ drank for all who would be saved. You see Christ was not trembling because of the whips and nails of the Romans, He did not fear the things man could do to Him. He trembled and sweat blood in the garden not because of a fear of man, no, for if that were true then Peter would be greater than Christ because he was singing praises to God as he was crucified. My friends Christ was trembling because the full wrath of God was about to be placed upon Him and He who had never been outside of the perfect loving relationship with His Father and was about to be crushed by Him. As such if you are saved, truly saved, God loves you because Christ justified you and makes you Holy. He can never pour out His wrath on those whom are saved in the slightest degree because He sees His Son in their place.

Now many might ask how one person could do this, could justify and sanctify a multitude. Quite frankly it is because Jesus is worth more than the entire world put together! His worth is Infinite; He was the infinitely perfect sacrifice. His perfect sacrifice was and is a total and complete substitution for all who believe, not because He was simply a perfect man, no but because He being God Himself bore the wrath of God and is worth more than all of creation combined. As such the justice of God´s wrath was satisfied for all those who believed, believe, and who will ever believe. It is this that gives God, that is the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the power to save and condemn because He is Just and Holy and His wrath has been completely satisfied in His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ for all that would be saved, yet wo unto you that do not repent for the hell spoken of previously awaits you, and if you have a fear of God in you, repent and believe, continually. Believe that He alone can save you from your sinful nature, and He alone can save you from His mighty wrath that you may know the everlasting joy and love those who truly know Him so often speak of. It is by His love and mercy that you are even given this chance, do not squander it.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. - The Apostle Paul