Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Hell? Yes, me and tobie.

The other night I watched a news program that had advertised an interview about the demise of Hell. It seems that a new book by some Evangelical Superstar has created a bit of a hubbub, and the Catholic newsman wanted to clarify the issue. I watched as he sparred with a very liberal minister whose reasoning went something like this: “God is a loving God, therefore anything that looks unkind to me must not be true.” He said that the idea of a God who would consign anyone to an eternal torment is simply unacceptable. In fact, he opined, “that makes God a monster." The newsman rightly argued the more traditional approach. God is a just God and must make a difference between the righteous and the unrighteous or He is no God at all. In fact, he made this remarkable statement: If there is no Hell, that undermines all of Judeo-Christian society.” Not bad for a TV news guy.

The truth is, I am not too wild about Hell, myself. It seems a little extreme. But then, I am not God. I do know God, and I know He is perfectly just in everything. That means there will be a payday for all of us. For those who choose Him in this life, there will be a day of reckoning at The Judgment Seat of Christ. That is not a Heaven or Hell decision, but an accounting of what we did with His grace while in the body. (2 Cor 5:9-10) For the one who has rejected God’s offer of fellowship, there is a day when he will stand before the throne of God and be judged according to his works. Those not written in the Book of Life are consigned to an eternal punishment. (Rev 20:12-15) The exact nature of the punishment is up for some interpretation and has had many a re-construing over the centuries. I know this: Torment is not good, and God will deal justly. The abolition of Hell causes several problems. If there is no Hell, then most of our evangelism is without point: “Hey, why worry. We’re all going to Heaven!” All the calls of the New Testament for a decision concerning Jesus, including our Great Commission, are meaningless. And, as previously noted, our Judeo-Christian society is without foundation. Sin really is a socio-genetic problem, not the manifestation of a hopelessly fallen nature. A man really doesn’t have to make choices for which he is individually and ultimately responsible. That, my friend, is unacceptable.

Scripture Reading: All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about His Son. And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. 1 John 5:10-12 NLT

Somebody Said: "If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for." Charles Spurgeon

We can debate the exact nature of Hell. We can prattle on about the plight of the unreached. But something in our hearts, as well as something in the Book, witnesses that there is an eternity to face, and that only there will justice ultimately be served. Without that notion we are indeed bugs adrift on a giant dirt clod speeding aimlessly toward nothing. Hell lends meaning to life. Thank God for Hell!

vls
www.fcftucson.org

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