Church

Hell: Introduction

This is the first of my series titled, “The Mexican Standoff”. For those wondering where I got the title and the purpose this series, please read this first

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

Charles Spurgeon once said “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”

There aren’t many subjects of Biblical doctrine that modern Christians will attempt to avoid more than the one of everlasting torment. No true child of God could speak on the horrors that await the unsaved without pain in their heart and tears in their eyes, however it cannot be avoided, it cannot be diluted…..it must not be distorted. (more…)

What time is it?

Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about the “Mexican Standoff” series, I have been quite ill over the past month and am just now starting to recover. Earlier today I was reading one of Paul Washers sermon transcripts and this quote really stuck with me…..

It is though with one hand God is holding back His justice against this world and with another hand He is pleading for men to come, but one day both hands will be dropped. You know that don’t you? ~ Paul Washer

I realised that for almost 2000 years this world has had the Gospel of Jesus Christ; from the apostles, missionaries, evangelists, preachers, teachers and every Christian man and woman who has proclaimed, defended and shared it with the lost throughout the world. Paul brought it to Spain, Peter brought it to Rome, Philip to Asia Minor, Wesley, Whitefield, Judson and Gardiner to the Americas. There are very few places left on Earth where God’s Word has not been heard and every day His people are risking their lives to reach them with the truth so that they may be saved. Thank God that even in the most hostile nations tens of thousands of people are still coming to faith in Christ Jesus.

True Christians can clearly see the wickedness of the world today, the increase and acceptance of sin, many being led into false teachings, the rise of false prophets…..we shouldn’t be surprised of course, we’ve had almost 2000 years notice. We are looking for the coming of the day of God and a day where all this wickedness ends but don’t forget on that day both hands will be dropped; the unsaved will be without excuse as Gods justice is unleashed.

Now more than ever it’s time to stand firm, never be deterred in doing the work God has given you, the world won’t like it, they’ll oppose you, mock you and even persecute you for they also know the time is short. Even as Christians our lives here are still like a vapour, gone in a moment, so please don’t waste an opportunity, we’ve had 2000 years already but our work isn’t done until the Lord calls us home.

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?…..
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. ~ Romans 10:14-17

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” ~ Mark 16:15

The Mexican Standoff

Anyone remember the scene in ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ where Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach are standing in the graveyard, ready to shoot each other in what has become known as a “Mexican Standoff”?

The premise is simple, three people who all think they are correct face off against each other, three opposing view points….. they can all be wrong but they can’t all be right. This idea has great parallels within Christianity, for two millennia men have debated, argued and even shed blood over their interpretation of Scripture, each believes they are correct and the others are wrong, with deep theological and passionate arguments Christians have generally taken one of many sides; are you a Calvinist? Maybe an Arminian? What about Universalism? Or maybe some mixture taking parts of two or all three?

Now I don’t expect to solve this problem or give some perfect answer, for there isn’t one despite what many sincere teachers and false heretics have claimed over the years; but I will lay out an objective view of three (or more) viewpoints on the following subjects: Hell, Atonement, The Rapture and maybe more as I begin to compile research over the coming weeks and months.

These topics are either avoided or taken to extremes without considering the other possibilities in light of Scripture, let’s be honest, there are many things in God’s Word which are absolutely clear but there are a few areas which have become open to interpretation.

Friends, this is not going to be an easy study, no doubt some of my preconceived notions may be challenged along the way. I ask that you pray, as I will be, that throughout it all the only voice I will be open to is Gods, the only teacher I will adhere to is the Holy Spirit and the only leader I will follow will be Christ.

God Bless and watch this space!

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Just Be Good…..

Now before I get any angry comments, I DO NOT AGREE with the message conveyed in the above picture which I came across when searching for Bible verse pictures to add to my Facebook page and yes I became very angry when I saw it too…..

Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone…” ~ Mark 10:18

When it comes to exposing false religions Buddhism is often overlooked due to its seeming neutrality when compared to Christianity, Islam, Roman Catholicism or even Atheism. The particular website where that picture came from, like those of all the false teachings/cults immediately lures the carnal man in with a promise of reward and a mix of truth and lies. Below is a list from that website of their “teachings” :

  • Emphasizes compassion, tolerance and moderation
  • Provides a clear path for spiritual and personal development
  • Has no room for blind faith or unthinking worship
  • Encourages questions and investigations into its own teachings
  • Says sincere followers of other faiths are also rewarded in the afterlife

Now to the natural man who considers himself to be good this seems like a perfect life; to be compassionate, tolerant and with a final reward of heaven for everyone regardless of their beliefs….. what’s bad about that?

However as Satan twisted God’s Word to try and tempt Jesus, he has continually mixed some truth in with the lies and twisted what looks good on the surface to actually be evil.

  • Scripture is very clear that no man is good (Psalm 14:1, Mark 10:18),
  • No man can enter the Kingdom of God by being good (John 3:3, Ephesians 2:8-9),
  • There is only one Way/Faith to heaven (John 3:7, John 14:6, John 10:9, 2 Corinthians 6:15),
  • We are to look and believe by faith in things unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18, 1 Timothy 1:17, 1 Peter 1:8, John 20:29)
  • There are MANY who will never enter the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Matthew 7:13-14, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:15)

There are even those who claim to be within the church of Jesus Christ and believe that union can be made with Roman Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and all will enter the kingdom of heaven. In reality these people are more Buddhist than Christian, believing in Belial rather than Christ. To state that any man is good and will enter heaven just by being so is an affront to Almighty God who sent His perfect Son to die in our place for our sins, to reject the gift of salvation which cost Him so much, to lift ourselves above Him ( just as Satan wanted to do), to worship the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25), to demand Christ as a Saviour but shun Him as Lord, all under the guise of “love”.

Peter described this very situation over 1900 years ago so to finish I’ll simply quote his writings under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit –

“False prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgement from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” ~ 2 Peter 2:1-3

Christ The Foundation

According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. – 1 Corinthians 3:10-17

All messages given from the pulpit should bring joy to the heart of God’s children, comfort to the broken, wisdom and knowledge to the disciple; it should show the way to the lost and challenge, convict or change the hearer in some way. But it must always contain nothing but the Truth of God’s Word; Christ must be at its foundation. I believe that no sermon should be “light-hearted” for we are dealing with very serious matters; life and death, love, salvation, redemption, eternity, heaven and hell must always rest upon Christ as the foundation.

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD,
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed. – Isaiah 28:16

(more…)