Jesus Christ Is Lord

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Posts Tagged ‘lake of fire’

When We All Get To Heaven

Posted by Job on October 12, 2014

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Charles Spurgeon Sermon – Heaven and Hell

Posted by Job on February 1, 2012

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1 Corinthians 15:22 In Adam All Die But In Christ All Live

Posted by Job on April 1, 2011

1 Corinthians 15:22

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Pass over from death in Adam to eternal life in Jesus Christ today.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

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How Can A Loving God Send People To Hell? Answering Requires Knowing What Love Is

Posted by Job on March 12, 2011

Many people reject the doctrine of eternal damnation, opting instead for universalism and annihilationism, using the logic: “how can a loving God act in an unloving manner?” To answer this question, we have to deal with love itself. To that end, notes from a sermon on love preached by Stanley Jordan are below.

Key verse: 1 John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Once we come to know Jesus Christ, He desires for us to live a live full of love.
Real love is promoting the good of someone or something for its own sake.
Love is not desire, because we can desire something without even wishing it well.
Desire is the essence of lust.
In our fallen world, love constantly falls prey to lust.
However, love is the deepest essence of God.
It is impossible for God not to love.
Pride is thinking all your desires should be met.
Lust and pride lead to a world of fear.
Jesus Christ came to show us the ultimate love and to take away fear so we can live lives full of love.
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is the climax of love on earth.

Based on those sermon notes, we can plainly see that love is not a transaction. It is not conditional. It is not “give and take”, it is not “I’ll scratch your back, you’ll scratch mine. Legitimate Christianity is based on an unconditional love for God. See the book of Job. Much of modern Christianity, such as the prosperity/Word of Faith doctrines, is based on the transactional model, where love is where you do things that someone else want in order to get something that you want in return. For many Christians, that is what salvation is: a transaction. I “give Jesus Christ my heart” and obey to live according to certain religious, moral and ethical rules, and in return God gives me heaven! That is not salvation, and it is not love. Contrast that with Paul’s amazing statement in Romans 9:3, when he stated that his love for his Jewish people was so much that he wished that he could trade his own salvation in return for that of the Jewish people! Paul was willing to spend eternity in the lake of fire so that Israel could be saved! Needless to say, you haven’t heard very many sermons preached on Romans 9:3 have you? Let me give the pastor who preaches from Romans 9:3 some advice … pass the offering plate before the sermon! But let it be said that the person who wrote Romans 9:3 understood true love, because he received love and the revelation of the meaning of love from Jesus Christ and from the Holy Spirit.

So, what we understand as love today is actually a corrupt perversion of the concept. Now I am not a fan of the Buddhist Tina Turner, but she was absolutely 100% right in “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” The way that the fallen world portrays love, it is just a secondary emotion. Fallen, worldly carnal love is just a manifestation of human desire; a personal attraction towards the things that make you feel good. It is not noble or praiseworthy, because it often comes without any concept of sacrifice, commitment or responsibility.

A woman can fall in love with a man, pledge herself to marry him, and then leave him standing at the altar while she runs off with the best man because she loves him too! And that man ten years later can walk out on that woman and the four small children that they have had together for another woman – or in these wicked times, another man! – that he has allegedly fallen in love with. And that jilted woman can use her feelings of anger and rejection over this event as an excuse to abuse her children, and when the state comes to take her children away to save them from the abuse, she will protest by claiming that she wants and deserves to keep her children because they are hers and she loves them! This is the result of seeing love as giving and getting in order to meet your emotional needs and desires. It is precisely this fallen notion of love that causes so many parents to spoil, neglect, deprive, become co-dependent on, or otherwise abuse their children. In the church, we absolutely positively cannot continue to take the fallen, carnal love that is mostly based on temporal feelings and fleshly desires for the pure, eternal love that is part of God by way of His attribute and character.

Now this is hard to do because human culture exalts fallen, carnal love. Look at love songs, and it does not matter the genre of the music. Most of them are simply about pleasure, desire and emotion. And it is not just contemporary culture either. Take classic literature: look at Romeo and Juliet. It’s about two “lovers” committing suicide! Much of the so-called love literature throughout the ages has been about adultery and other illicit romances! (For those who bash Hollywood, contemporary movies and TV shows are actually more moral than classic literature.) Fairy tales? Most of it is desire and infatuation. A prince wants to marry a woman that he has never seen before merely because she is beautiful, and it was “a dream” for a woman merely because she got to be a princess and live in a castle.

The love depicted in entertainment and literature often more resembles the selfish, irrational passion-driven behavior of false gods of Greek, Roman, Norse or eastern mythology than the God of the Bible who sent His only begotten Son to save sinners. Despite what man-centered thinking and theology, this was not only a huge sacrifice, but a one way sacrifice. Tell me the way, shape or fashion that sending Jesus Christ to die on a cross was to the advantage or benefit to God the Father? How did God the Father gain from that transaction? Realize that where all false religions – Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, modern Judaism, Islam, Catholicism, Scientology, the mythology systems, you name it – are transaction based (based on trading and transacting between the worshiper and the object of worship) legitimate Christianity is the only one based on what the sovereign God did with no expectation of any gain or advantage for or to Himself, and demands that its adherents follow after God’s example (see 1 Peter 1:16) by also acting righteously not because we expect to be rewarded, but because our love for God causes us to.

We need to stop mistaking love for desire, for where the former leads us to Godliness, the latter leads us to be more like Satan. Carnal desire leads to pride, and pride is what precipitated the fall of not only Satan, but of Adam. Adam’s fall was due to the lust of the eyes (desire for what one sees), lust of the flesh (desire to fill one’s wants or appetites) and the pride of life. Adam’s fall happened because he traded Godly love for carnal love. As a result, carnal love is primarily what those who are in Adam know for themselves and desire for themselves.

Where perfect love, Godly love, casts out all fear (1 John 4:18), carnal love can only result in fear. The reason is that where perfect love causes one to deny himself and seek that which is not to his own benefit, carnal love is obsessed with getting what you want, holding onto it, and getting still more. The fear comes from the dread of being denied what you want, losing what you have, and also even the thought that getting what you want may not even make you happy. One only need to peruse the despair of Solomon in Ecclesiastes, which was the result of his trading Godly love for carnal affections, to see this dread and fear.

So, when the issue is applied to eternal damnation in the lake of fire, we must remember 3 things.

1.God does love humans, but He does not only love humans! It is narcissist for us to believe that our considerations must come first, or that our treatment must outweigh all. This is not a surprise, because fallen, want and desire based “love”, the second hand emotion, is inherently narcissistic because it values meeting one’s own desires above all. The truth is that in addition to loving humans, God by His own character is also required to love holiness, justice, righteousness and order. These are God’s attributes – part of God – and yes God does love God (see John 3:35, which says God the Father loves God the Son). For God to put His love for humans first would make humanity into a god that Jehovah must serve! And further, as humanity is limited in power, knowledge and morality and therefore sinful, the love required to put humanity first would have to be an imperfect love, a love that is more akin to the fallen carnal love common to humanity that is clearly distinct from and inferior to perfect divine love. By possessing and acting according to such a love, God would be in contradiction with Himself, contain imperfection and unrighteousness – or sin – within Himself, and not be God at all. Therefore, God must balance His love for humanity with His love for such things as holiness, justice and righteousness, and with His love for God. This is done by mercifully saving some humans from the punishment that they deserve by grace through the actions of Jesus Christ, and giving the rest of humanity the punishment that sin requires.

2.Why must the punishment be eternal? This is because in order to be a just punishment, it must be in proportion to the offense. God is eternal, not temporal. Sin is an offense against an eternal Deity, and thus has eternal consequences. The eternal consequences of sin were such that it required the death of God’s eternal Son on the cross! So, in order for the punishment to fit the crime, the eternal consequences of sin require an eternal punishment. Annihilationism rejects the eternal consequences of sin, and in effects treats the consequences of sin to be temporal. Yet, annihilationism inconsistently accepts the payment of sin by Jesus Christ to be eternal and not temporal! For annihilationism to be consistent, there cannot be an eternal reward for those that Jesus Christ redeemed. Or at the very least, the death of Jesus Christ was a payment that vastly exceeded the nature of the crime! If sin were temporal and not eternal, why would not the sacrifice of a temporal being that is not charged with sin, such as a bull or goat, adequately deal with it?

3.Be not deceived: God does love those who are going to hell! Claiming otherwise is treating love as a transaction, where God’s love is determined merely by the treatment that He metes out, and in the context of how we perceive it – how we want to be treated and think that we should be treated – in particular. It is only fallen, carnal love based on fulfilling our desires and seeking our own interests for our own sakes that makes it difficult to fathom how God can love someone that He sends to the lake of fire. Instead, of viewing love as a transaction as the world does, Christians should strive to see love as an attribute inherent to God’s nature. Love is God, love is part of God, love is defined by God, and it does not and cannot exist in the absence of God. Love is not this independent attribute that is part of creation (a naturalist view), nor is it this impersonal energy or force (like the karma and similar in eastern religions). We would like to define love on these terms because it suits our own agendas. And this notion of love according to our own desires is what allows us to declare God unloving and unrighteous because He does not conform to it. We either do this out of hand (in the case of atheists) or we reject Biblical truths and doctrines that transgress our view of love while accepting only those that fit our self-styled and self-serving ethics and morality (far more common than atheism, but just as dangerous).

So, true perfect love is part of God. It is given to humanity in part as a gift of the Holy Spirit through common grace, and man due to his fallen nature misunderstands, corrupts and to a degree rejects even this part (see Romans 1:18-32). But it is given to Christians in a more full and perfect measure as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. However, a great many Christians, particularly those who are spiritually immature, do not reach their potential in fully understanding or comprehending this fruit, as this pure perfect love is acted against by our flesh (our fallen nature) and is even denied by some less than ideal Christian doctrines and practices. But the duty of the Christian is to better know God so that we may better know and understand His love. This can be achieved by A. loving God ourselves through the keeping of His commandments (see Titus 1:16) and seeking a better, fuller revelation of God through B. studying and meditating on the Bible, C. through legitimate worship and praise that is with reverence and Godly fear, and D. by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, which we are more open and receptive through by our faithfully and diligently pursuing A., B., and C. Where a human cannot understand how God can love those that He sends to hell (or more accurately the lake of fire), God’s ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). We cannot understand God’s ways in full, but our duty is to become closer to God and more like God, to submit ourselves to being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ, so that our knowledge of God and His ways, though partial, is greater and more accurate.

Ultimately, these things are not for the world’s consumption. The fallen mind is going to go after fallen things. The duty of the Christian is not to get fallen man to accept Christian doctrines, or to declare them to be “acceptable” or “reasonable.” The Bible tells us that the fallen world is going to find these things foolishness and contemptible, and ill-treat Christians as a result. Indeed, this has happened ever since wicked Cain slew righteous Abel, and will happen until Jesus Christ returns to save His church from the same world that rejected and slew Him on a cross. (And yes, many of the same people who claim that a loving God would never send people to hell also claim that a loving God would never send His Son to die on the cross as payment for the sins of others … even some so-called Christians refer to this as “cosmic child abuse”, as they too see love as a transaction and not as a Divine attribute within the Divine and therefore defined by the Divine).

The idea that “love is defined by God” may seem to be nothing more than an invalid debate tactic on the part of a Christian caught in an unresolvable trap or conundrum created by his own doctrines and interpretation of scripture. But the fact that “love is defined by God” is one that is consistent with God’s own revelation of Himself through His Name in the Bible. The Name of Himself that God revealed to Moses: “I AM THAT I AM”. That Name reveals God’s self-existence, and self-existence inherently means self-definition. And being the only self-existing entity, God’s self-definition is the only valid definition. And by virtue of being Creator, God is free to impose His self-definition on His creation, to demand that His creation acknowledge and respond to it, and to judge and punish His creation for their refusal or otherwise failure to do so. Make no mistake, “I AM THAT I AM” means “love is a Divine attribute that is defined by God”, and this means that humans must accept, respect and honor God’s self-definition of His actions as loving and make the appropriate response. And the only acceptable response that a sinner is capable of making is submitting to the loving act of God as represented by Jesus Christ on the cross, and acknowledging its meaning.

If you have not yet done so, do not delay. Respond to the love of God today by:

Following The Three Step Salvation Plan!

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Did Jesus Christ Suffer More On The Cross Than Will Sinners In Hell?

Posted by Job on March 10, 2011

That is a pretty aggressive theological stance by rapper Shai Linne: that the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross exceeded the suffering that any sinner will endure in hell. Now the time that Jesus Christ spent on the cross was three hours while the sinner’s punishment will be eternal, however considering the timeless nature of eternity itself (that there should be time no longer, Revelation 10:6), I am not certain of the difference. What is your opinion?

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How Willingly Do People Go to Hell?

Posted by Job on October 29, 2009

How Willingly Do People Go to Hell?

Does Anyone Standing by the Lake of Fire Jump In? By John Piper

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Hell Is For Those Who Fail To Fulfill The Purpose For Which They Were Created

Posted by Job on August 24, 2009

Who are we? Humans. Curious: the name Adam, given to the one who originated our race, literally means “man”, “humanity” or “mankind.” Who created us? God. What does this mean? As our creator, God is our sole owner and master and has all rights implied and assumed. Has God given up or transferred His rights to and over us to anyone, including man himself? According to the authoritative and infallible revelation of God to mankind, the Bible, the answer is no. According to this same Bible, why did God create mankind? The answer: for His pleasure. So what is the duty, the purpose of man? To give God pleasure. How do we give God’s pleasure? By loving Him. How do we love God? Through our worship, service, and obedience. Are there other ways to love God other than through the worship, service and obedience in the manner commanded in the Bible? No. Is serving God’s pleasure an option? No, it is mandatory. So, who tends to our pleasure and why? God does graciously through His love, and our pleasure should be a function of and come as a direct result of our pleasing God.

So, what of the person who for whatever reason – i.e. deciding to live for our own pleasure or the pleasure of someone other than God – fails to fulfill his purpose? To answer that with a question: if we exist for the sole purpose of pleasing God, and we fail to please God, then why should we exist? If we fail to love God and give Him the glory, our existence becomes purposeless, useless, vanity, a colossal waste. Even more so, it becomes an offense, a stench, and a crime because by refusing to serve God we serve another, preferring one who did not create us to the One who did. So, the person who was created for God’s pleasure not only fails to provide God this pleasure, but actually causes God grief, pain and offense instead.

So, what will God do with things that are both completely useless and exceptionally offensive, even odious? Why, the same thing that you would do to soiled diapers. So when God rids Himself from the useless, stinking pile of refuse by casting it into eternal flame, can He really be blamed for doing so? Of course not. Those who fail to fulfill the purpose for which they are created receive no less than what they deserve and are without excuse. If you have not already, follow The Three Step Salvation Plan.

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The Substitutionary Atonement Disproves Annihilationism

Posted by Job on August 22, 2009

Concerning the final fate of those who die unreconciled to Jesus Christ and as a result whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life and suffer judgment, punishment, the lake of fire, the second death, the historic position based on the plain readings of scripture has been burning eternally in the lake of fire. However, this doctrine has been under attack at least since the time of Origen, who proposed that punishment in the lake of fire would be temporary and rehabilitative, and after the period of rehabilitation everyone – humans and demons – will be forgiven. A more recent doctrinal trend rejects Origen’s universalism (and his rehabilitative punishment idea, in which the roots of the Roman Catholic purgatory doctrine can be found) in favor of annhiliationaism, the idea that rather than burning for an eternity, human souls will simply be consumed.

Now of course, this ignores that the Bible explicitly states that both wicked and saints will be resurrected from the dead, and at that time both wicked and saints will receive bodies that are eternal and indestructible, and that their torment would last forever. However, the annihilationist view rejects those in favor of various scriptures cited out of context to support the idea that the wicked will simply be instantly consumed, and that the references to eternal punishment mean that the wicked will cease to exist forever.

First, we have to consider the motivations for adopting this doctrine. Its adherents plainly state that it is because an eternity in the lake of fire is too cruel a punishment and therefore unjustifiable. Of course, this is a direct attack against and outright denial of God’s sovereignty, not far removed from the universalist position that a loving God would not condemn anyone. Further, this doctrine appears to be gaining traction when those consider the plight of people who were never exposed to the gospel. Free will-Wesleyan-Arminian-“Biblicist” annihilationists take the position that God cannot impose so severe a punishment on those who by their time and place of birth never had the opportunity to be saved through the exercise of their free will decision for Jesus Christ. (The extreme position of this view is taken by Clark Pinnock, who states that it is unfair for God to so severely punish even those who use their free moral agency to REJECT Jesus Christ, because that would place God at fault for giving us free will and the opportunity to reject Him in the first place.)

Reformed-Calvinist annihilationists have problems with the opposite end of the soteriology question: they cannot reconcile eternal punishment with a God who elects and predestines people to avoid it. Again, God’s sovereignty is in view here. Stating that God does not have the right to deal with His creation in any way that He chooses so long as His dealings are consistent with His nature is tantamount to suggesting that God had no right to undertake and accomplish creation in the first place. Amazingly, both the free will and predestinarian annihilationists have no problem with God punishing demons, evil spirits, forever. If it the issue truly is how a loving God is obligated to behave towards His creation, fallen angels should be the first issue of concern, as no redemption plan exists for them. Instead, it is only God’s prerogative with humans that drives doctrines that attack His sovereignty, which shows that humanism – a manifestation of the pride of life – is what is truly behind them, not the honest pursuit of theology, doctrines or theodicy. So, these folks start with the perspective of humanistic philosophy, wrap it in scriptures, and come up with a pious and spiritual sounding but ultimately false theology

However, it is rather simple to oppose this humanistic philosophy masquerading as theology with, well, theistic philosophy. Where humanistic philosophy that leads to the position adopted by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Church of England (annihilationism), starting with the Person of Jesus Christ leads to a philosophically different viewpoint. Go right to the cross, and consider the doctrine of substitutionary atonement (which incidentally Roman Catholics reject). Substitutionary atonement is the Biblical truth that Jesus Christ died on the cross in our place, Himself taking the punishment of death for sin that God’s righteousness demands (Ezekiel 18) in our stead.

This is the rub: Jesus Christ was and is no mere man. Instead, He is the Word of God, the eternal second Person of the Holy Trinity! Meanwhile, humans are not eternal. We will exist forever FORWARD into eternity either in heaven or the lake of fire. But as creatures (created beings) we have no part in eternity PAST. Instead, we have a definite, finite point of origin. So, when Jesus Christ took the sins of the elect, the church on the cross and died, it was the ETERNAL Son of God dying. Metaphysically, cosmically, the punishment was ETERNAL, and Jesus Christ took an ETERNAL punishment in our place because God is ETERNAL.

And this is fitting the nature of sin. Sin is a crime against a holy ETERNAL God that has ETERNAL consequences. Paying those eternal consequences for a crime that offends an eternal God requires an eternal punishment, an eternal payment. Being eternal, Jesus Christ satisfied the consequences of this eternal punishment with His own death. So, the eternal punishment of sins, to be meted out to those who will exist forever, is paid. But for those who do not participate in the atoning redemption given by the eternal Son of God’s work still have to pay themselves.

Suggesting otherwise ignores the eternal consequences of sin and its affront to the holiness of God. So, in addition to being an attack against God’s sovereignty, annihilationism denies His holiness.

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Why Hell is Necessary by Tim Conway

Posted by Job on August 13, 2009

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Paul Washer: Your Eternity Will Either Be Heaven Or Hell

Posted by Job on June 4, 2008

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The Lie Of Universalism And The Reality Of Hell

Posted by Job on March 15, 2008

By Bill Keller. http://www.liveprayer.com/signup.cfm

(John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 10:8-13)

The reality of hell. Sunday afternoon I got home from the office, took a
nap, and got up around 3pm. It was one of those rare moments of “down
time,” when I was able to just kick back and relax for a few hours. I
turned on the television to see what was on, and almost immediately saw that
on one of the PBS stations, they were airing the Osmond Family’s 50th
Anniversary performance from Las Vegas. At age 50, I grew up with the
Osmond family and their music. They were always on different variety and
music TV programs in the 60s and 70s. Of course, you had the Donny and
Marie Show that aired in the 70s. Their music was always on the radio
during those years. They were a part of the culture I grew up in. So it
was a pleasant few hours watching all of the brothers along with Marie
performing, singing some of their many hit songs.

As I watched the 2-hour special, I remembered how in those turbulent years
of the late 60s and early to mid 70s, the Osmonds were different from most
of the musical greats of that era. It was a time of great rebellion in the
nation, the sexual revolution, open drug use, a time of defiance to all
authority, including Gods. So it was refreshing to see this wholesome
family who stayed clear of so many of the problems that most in the music
industry fell into during that time. I do distinctly remember watching the
Osmond’s on many of the Christmas specials like Andy Williams and Bob Hope.
They would sing some of the great Christmas carols and often mention “their
church.” At 10, 11, 12, even 15, I knew that “their church” was the Mormon
church, and deep down, even though I didn’t know what it was, I knew there
was something different about “their church,” and “their faith,” as they
called it.

It wouldn’t be until many years later during my time in seminary that I came
to know the truth about the false theology of the Osmond’s “church.” I
still loved their music, but I was hurt knowing that this family was
following a lie to hell. As I sat back and enjoyed the PBS special Sunday
afternoon, I couldn’t stop thinking that these wonderfully gifted
performers, this family that I had grown up with, would die and end up
forever in hell for following the lies of a murdering pedophile named Joseph
Smith. The fond memories of my childhood, the joy of hearing some of their
great songs again after many years, was all tempered with the reality that
Donny, Marie, Jimmy, and the rest of the brothers were all going to end up
in hell with their departed parents if they continued to follow the false
teachings of “their church.”

It was during this time of mixed feelings, that satan, THE LIAR, began to
speak to me. He said, ” Bill, surely the wonderful God you love and serve
would never send such a precious family to hell who has done so much good
for so many people around the world. God’s mercy and grace are endless, and
He will understand that these good people simply were born into a family
that believed the lies of Mormonism. Look at them. Have you ever seen a
more wonderful family. No God could send these wonderful people to a place
as horrible as hell !”

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever looked at your unsaved mom or dad,
husband or wife, son or daughter, someone in your family that you love and
care about, a dear friend, a neighbor, someone you work with or go to school
with, who you know is not saved and hear satan tell you that same lie? It
is a lie we want to believe. Nobody wants to think about the people they
love and care about spending eternity in hell. It is much easier to buy
into the lies of satan that God would never send the people you love and
care about to a place as horrible as hell to be punished for all eternity.

This is the lie of universalism that says all roads lead to God, that
because of God’s love and mercy, everyone will somehow make it to Heaven.
This is the same lie that sadly is preached from the pulpits of many of our
churches. You have the man who pastors the largest church in the world,
Joel Osteen, going on national TV and helping to spread this lie. If that
is true, then Jesus is a liar and the Bible is not true! If that is true
then Jesus’ death on the cross meant nothing and you don’t have to put your
faith in Jesus to be saved, but simply believe whatever you want to believe
and when you die you will make it to Heaven!

Someone is lying! It is either satan or Jesus! John 8:44 says that satan
is a liar, he is the father of lies, that when he speaks, he speaks his
native language, lying! Who are you gong to believe, satan the liar, or
Jesus, the One who died for your sins???

My friend, hell is a very real place. The fact is, God doesn’t send anyone
to hell. The only way a person ends up in hell is because they choose to go
there. The Truth is, there is only ONE PLAN of salvation, ONE WAY to be
saved, and that is by faith in Jesus Christ. There are not many roads that
lead to God, only one. You can’t believe whatever you want and get to
Heaven. The ONLY WAY to Heaven is by putting your faith in Jesus. You see,
we are all sinners, and it is our sin that separates us from a Holy God. A
person may look to us like they are a “good person,” but the Bible says that
there are NONE THAT ARE GOOD, NO NOT ONE!

That means no matter how good the Osmonds look, no matter how good Mitt
Romney and his family look, no matter how good those family members and
friends in your life look on the outside, the fact is they are all sinners.
The Bible proclaims that we have ALL sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
You see, God doesn’t look at the outside of a person, He sees their heart!
God sees a person’s sins. Is He a God of grace and mercy? Yes! He is also
a God of JUDGMENT! God loved us enough to make a way for our sins to be
forgiven, so that we didn’t have to suffer the eternal punishment we
deserve. By putting your faith in Jesus, the One who died for your sins,
you can have the assurance of being in Heaven when this brief journey thru
life is over.

I love you and care about you so much. The fact is, we are each accountable
for our eternal souls. You, me, Donny Osmond, and each one in his family.
Sadly, the Osmond’s have CHOSEN to believe and follow the lies of the Mormon
cult. I have no doubt they have been told many times over the years that
their faith is in the ramblings of a conman named Joseph Smith, and that
they either believe the Jesus of the Bible or what Smith taught his
followers. Sadly, they have rejected the Truth for the lies of Smith and
are following those lies to the fires of hell. Pray for them, that they
might turn from the lies of the Mormon cult and embrace the real Truth found
in God’s Word alone. I pray that one day I might get a few minutes with
Donny and simply challenge him to think about who he believes, the words of
Jesus, or the ramblings of a conman that lived just a few hundred years ago.

I pray today that this message will challenge you to not buy into the lie of
satan that your unsaved family members and friends will somehow make it to
Heaven without Jesus. if they die without Jesus, they will be lost for all
eternity. Ultimately it is their choice, just like we each have to make
that choice in our life. However, know today that hell is a very real
place, and sadly, it is the eternal home for those who die rejecting the
Lord. I will pray with you today for those family members and friends in
your life who need to know Jesus, that they will open their hearts to His
love and truth, and accept Jesus as their personal Savior by faith.

One of the classic Osmond songs was “One Bad Apple.” The lyrics say. “One
bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl.” The fact is, one bad apple
like Joseph Smith, or L. Ron Hubbard, or Oprah, can lead many souls to the
everlasting fires of hell. Hell is a very real place, and sadly, it is
where those who make the choice to reject Jesus will end up.

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller bkeller@liveprayer.com

***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or
be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator.
To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to:
http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm

***I am excited to let you know that the Liveprayer Daily Devotional is now
available via AUDIO each day. Simply go to http://www.liveprayer.com/Audio.cfm
Also, you can now listen to the Daily Devotional by phone by calling 1-727-342-5673

Posted in Christianity, devotional, universalism | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Annihilationism And The Christian Metaphysic

Posted by Job on February 18, 2008

Not long after I began this site, a fellow objected to my brazen emphasis on two foundational Christian doctrines: the Holy Trinity and eternal suffering in the lake of fire for sinners that die without accepting the resurrection and Lordship of Jesus Christ. The man dismissed by being “hatefully intolerant and unnecessarily divisive” on the Trinity issue, and further insisted that the doctrine of eternal suffering in the lake of fire was of pagan in origin and made God appear both overly cruel to sinners and choosing to allow evil to exist for eternity rather than causing sinners and fallen angels to simply be consumed and cease to exist, hence annihiliationism.

Now my first impulse was to simply dismiss this fellow, sincere as he was, as someone with marginal views. Now I see how wrong I am. As for modalism, while the number of those that OFFICIALLY align themselves with this heretical doctrine through membership of varied oneness pentecostal denominations is small, 17 million, they exert influence on the rest of Christianity in a manner far greater than their numbers. Apart from them is also the increasing number of liberal and emergent Christians that really see no need for particulars concerning the Godhead because their doctrines do not require Trinity or for that matter even a truly divine Jesus Christ to begin with, for they have centered their beliefs around the false god of manhood anyway.

But it has recently come to my attention that annihiliationism is also gaining traction in evangelical circles, and among its adherents is evangelical giant John Stott. And just like evangelical Christianity did absolutely nothing regarding T. D. Jakes or the many other oneness preachers, it has refused to rise up and discredit Stott and the annihilationist preachers. Why? Because modern evangelicalism hates Christian fundamentalism worse than Christian heresy. Now is it possible to hold certain heretical or blasphemous views without being a heretic on his way to the lake of fire? I myself believe that to be the case, primarily because of my notion there are degrees of seriousness of doctrinal deviation, and also the hearer is only responsible for the portion of sound doctrine that he has been exposed to. But whatever the implications that a particular doctrine might have on the eternal salvation or damnation of its holder, certain views are still quite simply deviate from scripture, and those that preach them are not to be accepted or tolerated because of their standing or of some misguided desire not to be a Pharisee or cause of disunity, and that goes for John Stott and annihilationism, Billy Graham and universalism, or R. C. Sproul and infant baptism.

Now most of the justifications for this doctrine is typical man – centered doctrine, both the notion that God has no right to treat their exalted notion of mankind in such a way (don’t Christians read the Old Testament anymore?) and that having to publicly espouse the doctrine in the presence of those that reject it make them uncomfortable. But there is one legitimate issue that they have raised that I wish to deal with according to my limited ability to do so: the idea advanced by annihiliationists that the eternal punishment cannot be because eternal existence is a gift from God that will be granted only to those that make a decision for Jesus Christ. In other words, in the view of evangelical scholars like Clark Pinnock, Edward Fudge, John Sanders, Philip Hughes eternal existence is conditional. Some, but not all, evangelicals that hold this view are open theists, those who hold a doctrine that teaches that God changes His Will in response to man’s actions in history (consider it process theology – lite).

To further make this point, Pinnock for example ultimately denies the reality of the existence of the created spirit – man as described by Numbers 27:16, Job 32:8, Job 34:14, Proverbs 18:14, Ecclesiastes 3:21 to claim for all intents and purposes that man only has a body, and that to support the hellenistic belief of eternal punishment Christian tradition rejected the biblical doctrine of the resurrection of the body in favor of a focus on man’s eternal spirit. It is not so much that Pinnock or other such people deny the existence of the spirit man, but rather they view that the physical human existence as the ultimate reality – this is humanist evangelical Christianity after all, a fact of which they are very proud! – and as a result the spirit man would obviously share the same fate as the natural body.

I suppose that in a different era, we might have had to give this notion some serious consideration. But thanks to the discoveries of one Albert Einstein, we no longer have to. Not that Einstein was much of an innovator, as he merely proved with his theory of relativity what the Bible already said: that time was part of creation along with space. Three – dimensional space and time are not separate entities, but rather creation consists of four – dimensional space – time. And my King James Version says in Revelation 10:6 that on the day of the Lord, time will cease to exist along with the rest of the cosmos, the created order of space, matter, and TIME. “And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.” Please note what the next verse says for reference:
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”

Now this is very destructive to many open theists because their doctrines make God a function and servant of time in some respects. (More accurately, this theology views God as not so much dependent on time but rather in bondage to the free will decisions of man made in time.) But the truth is that God will do away with time when He ends creation, because time is part of that creation. Before creation there was no time, and after creation there will be no time. And that is the problem with the anniliationist view: they see evil spirits – which includes the spirits of men – as needing to be sustained by God for eternity, which in their view is time running forever, a view that comes from math (and physics) class of eternity consisting of infinite time, with that infinity being able to exist in three ways: from yesterday to infinity (negative infinity), from tomorrow to infinity (positive infinity), and from today to infinity in both directions (total infinity).

But math class does not describe the spiritual realm that God inhabits, only the natural realm. In truth, it does not even accurately describe the natural realm, for astrophysics does not regard negative infinity of time – space but rather it having a definite beginning (the Big Bang!) that confirms the creation of both in Genesis 1 (and John 1), and as just stated Revelation depicts the ending of space – time (as do the Old Testament prophets and Jesus Christ also).

Though spirits may appear in the time – space limitations of creation for a time as do angels in their appearances, as did God in Old Testament theophanies, and Jesus Christ in the incarnation, the true abode for spirits is the spiritual realm where time is nonexistent. That is eternity, that is forever, that is the final state. Each human has a spirit man that will have a final existence, a final status, in the spirit realm where time will not exist. Cessation of existence will not be a factor, because cessation requires TIME which is part of CREATION. Instead, spirits of men – in addition to angels whether fallen or not – will simply exist. The only question is where this existence will be. Those that rebelled against God within the time – space of creation will exist in the lake of fire. Those that obeyed God during the time – space of creation will exist with Him.

Despite the scriptures that the annihilationists use out of context (literary context, the context of the audience to whom the scriptures were first given, and the context of the totality of scripture) that they use to build their case, rest assured that their motivation in applying them is borne of a prior conviction that man is too important and precious for God to treat – and in their opinion mistreat! – in such a fashion. “God cannot do this to me because He has no right to!” is the mindset that motivates this doctrine, and that is primarily why it must be rejected.

Please note that some of the more radical exponents of this doctrine, which does not appear to include Stott, state that the reason why eternal punishment cannot exist is because of the implications of free will. God cannot compel us to serve or love Him, but can only accept our decisions to do so arising from ourselves. Now while in their estimation God can and should bestow limitless blessings on those that accept Him, by that same estimation God simply has no right to make the punishment of those that freely choose to reject Him particularly onerous. Their belief: “it is my choice out of my free will, God, and your only choice is to accept my free will, give me a punishment that I decide to be appropriate, and go on about your business and leave the matter be!” I cannot help but considering it to be the “it is my body, my choice, and my life!” humanistic philosophy of the pro – abortion movement applied to Christian theology. At the very minimum, the very same lying evil spirits are at the root of it, seducing the desperately wicked deceitful hearts of man (Jeremiah 17:9)that harbor imaginations and high things that exalt themselves against God (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The final insult is that annihilationism advocates promote their position as the solution to the problem that evangelical pastors are increasingly uncomfortable about the topic of the lake of fire and now rarely mention it, and as a result the doctrine may soon vanish from mainstream respectable Christianity. They propose their view as a way to make divine punishment acceptable enough to the world that evangelical pastors will again start preaching it, and thereby save the doctrine of divine punishment from extinction, making them the TRUE defenders of the orthodox notions of the sovereignty and holiness of God (at least with regards to how those notions relate to the inherent great value of man and his free will). Both the trends of Christian pastors refusing to tread on the topic because of their own cowardice before worldly opinion and the willingness to embrace heretical doctrines to please this same world that rejected and murdered God on the cross is evidence that the great apostasy, the great falling away, is indeed nigh upon us. Sadly, the oneness annihilationist (Laymond was his screen name) was not someone with marginal views, but rather represented one that was on the cutting edge. Instead, the biblical view is the one that is fast becoming marginal.

Posted in apostasy, Bible, blasphemy, Christianity, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical christian, heresy, humanism, prophecy, salvation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Why Predestination Is Fairer Than Free Will Arminianism

Posted by Job on February 16, 2008

Yet another attempt of mine to stab at a complex topic from my ignorance, but here goes. It is commonly asserted that the predestination position as regards to salvation must be rejected because it is unfair to condemn someone to such an unspeakable fate as eternity in the lake of fire without that person having a choice in the matter. In our modern humanistic western mindsets, we define fairness as universality and equality of opportunity where each person rises to whatever heights that he may as a function of his own individual merits. Not only have we dedicated immense resources to attempting to conform our world into some utopia where such a thing is possible, but we conform our entire thinking according to this mindset. This explains why such things as racial, class, gender, religious, tribal, national, sexual preference, etc. bigotry, racism, and discrimination were taken as a fact of life worthy of no real consideration just a few short ages ago but are now considered horrible offenses against the human race. Now we do acknowledge that this fairness and equality of opportunity can never be practically reached – nonliberal Christians especially so – but we nonetheless view merely striving for it as a self – rewarding endeavor containing an inherent noble virtue.

It is no surprise, then, that our notions of fairness would influence, and as such be imposed upon, our theology. For God to be righteous means that God has to be fair, and fairness means giving everyone equality of opportunity by virtue of making salvation a free will choice to accept Jesus Christ. As far as the people who have never heard the gospel? Well that is an allowance for the fact that the utopia of equality cannot be achieved in a world that fell into sin through Adam.

The truth is, however, that there is a real tension: the fairness only applies to people that hear the gospel. The people that hear the gospel and choose to accept or reject it are the only ones that receive the sort of fair and equal treatment that is mandated by such things as the 14th amendment or the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For people who never hear the message of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected, this standard of “fairness” and “equality” is as irrelevant as are the 14th amendment and the Civil Rights Act to anyone living in China or Sudan right now. Just as the great many western human rights activists could honestly care less about the inequality and unfairness experienced by people who live in those regimes, their theological counterparts truthfully must limit their notion of fairness to a single subset: the very tiny percentage of the population in human history that has ever been in a position to respond to an offer of covenant relationship with God through special revelation. So then, if the truth be known universalism (not the belief that everyone will be saved but rather that there is saving grace present in all religions) is the only thing that can satisfy this notion of equality and fairness.

So it leaves the real problem: how can making salvation conditional on one’s personal decision for Jesus Christ be fair in any sense when so many have never had the opportunity to meet the condition? In that respect, it is grotesquely, manifestly UNFAIR that I was born in modern America as opposed to, say, inland China in 42 AD. It is unfair not only to my ancient Chinese counterpart, but it is unfair to ME that I should have my own fate in my own hands while tainted with the effects of original sin.

God forbid that this should transpire regarding myself, but for the sake of exercise imagine if at some point in our mutual shared torment my ancient Chinese counterpart is sitting in the flame next to me. That fellow would turn to me and say “My fate is quite understandable, but what is your excuse?” My response would have to be “None save than the love of sin that I not only could not overpower by my own strength, but truthfully did not want to even if I could have.” What would be the only honest rejoinder that my companion in torment would be capable of making? “Ah well, then I have nothing to complain about, for had the choice been up to me I would done the same as you.”

And that would be perfectly true, because even the appearance of choice would have been but the cruelest of illusions. It would have been the pretense of an equal fair choice when in truth there would have been no choice at all, a “heads I win, tails you lose” situation. For what can overpower sin but the grace of God? And if original sin can be overcome by the mere choice of a sinner, then why is grace needed in the first place? Free will makes grace not only incidental and superfluous, but a hindrance to the execution of true justice in terms of both the individual sinner and cosmic terms, and unspeakably cruel not only to those that are never offered it, but those that are offered it but lack the strength to receive it by their own initiative.

There is more still. Aren’t some people just inherently stronger than others? More moral? More virtuous? The Bible certainly says so, even to the point of there being even places in the kingdom of heaven according to one’s righteousness. So if salvation is based on free will, cannot the person that failed to exercise it blame the God that created and foreknew him for “making him weak”? If it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven, then why, God, did you suffer me to be born into an extremely wealthy family? How, God, was that fair? Sure, I heard the gospel, but You said in and by Your own Word “blessed are the poor!” So then I did not have an equal fair chance to the slave person living in poverty and oppression that accepted Jesus Christ as her only hope and reason for living!

For those and many other reasons, it cannot be said that the free will position is more fair, more equal, more just, and again not only for the sakes of those that do not hear the gospel, but those who hear it but choose to live in their natural state of original sin and love of the world. Instead, it can only be fair if God Himself chooses whom He will save – and whom He will not – according to His own prerogative just as He exercised a similar sole prerogative through creation in the first place.

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, predestination, salvation, universalism | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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