Is Hell Really Eternal?

16 10 2013

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 7

 

Question: Does this verse teach that hell is not eternal? After all the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha are not burning today.

Answer: The answer to that is no this verse does not teach that hell is temporary. The context spoken here is not the physical cities but the people in those cities. For example it says they gave themselves over to fornication and strange flesh. Does that mean the city streets and buildings did those things? No of course not the people of the city did.

The people of the city did those things and they are today suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. So this verse actually proves the eternality of hell. Look at what we see in 2 Peter 2:6, “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.” This passage is clearly talking about the physical city while the other is clearly talking about the people. Both are correct the people are suffering eternal fire and the city itself was turned to ashes.

The eternality of hell is clearly established in the Scriptures just by the words eternal and everlasting. The Bible says we will have eternal life in Heaven the Bible also uses the term everlasting life. If hell is temporary then life in Heaven must also be temporary. The Scriptures in several places make the eternal state of hell very clear to us.

The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:10-11)

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:46)

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:43-44)

And 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.” (Revelation 20:10)

 

 





Concerning Atheism

15 10 2013

When I speak to professing atheists I am always amazed at the amount of faith they need in order to maintain their religion. I say religion because there is no evidence at all for things that atheism holds to and there is too much evidence against their beliefs that I must conclude it takes leaps of blind faith to be an atheist.

Let me start by saying there is no such thing as an atheist. If you profess to be one then I’m sorry but it’s quite impossible to be an atheist. If you’re reading this and you call yourself an atheist then ask and answer a few questions within yourself. Do you know everything? By this I mean do you possess all possible knowledge in the universe?

The answer you have to give of course is no. The next question is simply has there ever been a time that you didn’t know something and then one day you discovered that knowledge? The answer there must of course be yes. Next question is simply, is it possible and I mean logically possible that in all of the knowledge in the universe that you do not yet possess that there is ample evidence for God?

The answer if you’re honest will of course be yes it is possible. This means one of two things either you’re not an atheist but an agnostic because an agnostic admits there may be proof somewhere of God but they have not found it so they are not sure if God exists. The other option is to admit that your atheism is a belief or religion and that you have faith that God does not exist but there is no proof that He does not.

Another problem with atheism is that it violates reason and logic. That’s right it violates reason and logic. The atheist has to look at the world around them and conclude that everything we see came from nothing. Even if you go back to the big bang where matter supposedly exploded how do you account for the matter?

It is illogical to assume something came from nothing or that nothing can create anything. The only explanation I hear from atheists is that they don’t know where everything came from but that goes back to my last point if you don’t know then there is a possibility of God in that bit of knowledge you lack.

There is also the question of order. How can chaos create order? Well the logical answer is that it cannot. Therefore all of the evolutionary theories of origin or unreasonable and illogical and can only be accepted by faith. Where did the laws of nature come from? Laws cannot organize and write themselves and if they happened by mere chance why are they absolute. Absolute and random cannot coexist.

The order in seasons, day and night, birth in females only, birth to our own kind, the extremely complex workings of the human body none of this could have happened by random chance and without a Creator it is impossible to explain.

Most atheists would consider themselves scientific and yet the very definition of science is something that can be recreated in a lab. The problem is evolution cannot be recreated in a lab nor can their many theories of origin. There is nothing scientific about evolution. Even evolutionists don’t believe in evolution.

Most of the save the whales people are supposed evolutionists and yet evolution teaches the survival of the fittest. It is completely contrary to evolution to save a species from extinction in fact by the logic of evolution to save a weak species would be to corrupt nature not assist it.

Where do morals come from to an atheist? This is one I have never had an atheist answer because if they say they are learned by parents or society then can one really be punished for murder when that was taught to be okay or accepted by society? Can we really call slavery wrong or evil? It was after all accepted and encouraged by society.

Even atheists have to admit the presence of a moral law they just deny the lawgiver which is illogical. Why does Christianity make atheists so angry? I know Santa Claus does not exist and therefore seeing him at Christmas time does not make me angry. I know there is no tooth fairy so I have no anger towards those who teach their kids that one exists.

To be quite honest the only reason they would be angry is that deep in their hearts they know He exists. They know that their worldview cannot explain origins, order, moral or natural laws, or anything else.  This makes them angry because they want to love their sins. They know if there is a lawgiver then there will be a time to give account for themselves.

We are told they deny the knowledge of God in order love their law breaking, “ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold(suppress) the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:18-22)

Denying the existence of God will not make Him unexist. IT will not keep us from giving account one day to Jesus Christ, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

Don’t be a fool, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 14:1) The fact is there is a Creator who has revealed Himself to mankind not only in nature, not only in the Bible but in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)

Not only has God revealed Himself to us but His laws as well in the ten commandments. He has also condemned us all as lawbreakers, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Romans 3:19) He as a holy, just and righteous being has every right to condemn all of humanity to endless torment in hell for violating His laws but instead of doing this He Himself paid the penalty of our crimes, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Having punished Jesus for our sins on the cross God can now pardon us and still be just. In return for having paid the penalty of sin for humanity God simply calls on us to repent of our sins which means to change our mind about our sin. To see it as something that condemns us before God and to put our faith in Jesus Christ. This means to claim for ourselves the payment He made on the cross.

We are told to, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31) To believe on Him means more than just believe that He was historically real, or that He was indeed God in the flesh. To believe on Him means trust that what He did on the cross was for you and to trust in that alone for salvation.

God has promised if we do that He will give us a new heart with new desires and we will never perish. The promise is for you and your children if only you will receive it, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Won’t you trust Him today?





Why Judgement?

14 07 2011

One question many ask is “if we are saved by faith why are we judged by our works at the judgment?” The first thing about the judgment that we need to consider is the fact that not all judgment is the same, and each must be considered in their own context. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone with no mixture of our good works. Salvation is 100% Jesus and none of us, this is the clear teaching of Scripture. To say that our good works are mixed with Christ’s suffering to bring about complete salvation is utter satanic blasphemy. So what about the judgments? Well let’s look at the 3 judgments individually.

1. The Judgement Seat of Christ- 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

The christian life is often pictured as a race or in comparison with the Greek olympic games. The Greek word used for the judgement of the christian is “Bema” In the ancient olympic games the contestant would stand before the “Bema seat” to be judged as to whether he played by the rules, and won. Paul alludes to this in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Paul said that while the heathen run to obtain a corruptible earthly crown, we believers run the race of the christian life for an eternal heavenly crown. The word “castaway” is also related to the games in that it doesn’t mean we can finally lose our salvation but rather it means to be disqualified. This means that we can someday lose the crown or reward we strove so hard to obtain. Back in 1 Corinthians 3 Paul says in verse 11, that Christ is the foundation which means our salvation comes from Him alone. Our works are found in verse 12. Good works are seen as gold, silver and precious stones. Our bad or empty works are seen as wood hay and stubble.

In verse 13 we see that God will try our works by fire. Fire is a purifier, and our works will be tested by what we did, and why we did it. He will not simply test our actions but our heart in those actions. In verse 14 we see that any works that stand the test will recieve a reward, but in verse 15 we see that empty or bad works will be burned up and recieve no reward. We notice in verse 15 that those whose works are destroyed will themselves still be saved but oh the shame on that day when before all believers of all time to be called before the judgement seat and to see that your life accounted for nothing. I do want to point out that in this judgement NO unbelievers are present. I see this not as an oversight of the writer but because they will not be in this “Bema” judgement.

2. The Great White Throne Judgement- Revelation 20:11-15

This judgement takes place after the final rebellion of Satan and his followers. We see Christ seated on His throne as the Judge of all the earth. In verse 12 we see the “dead.” This speaks not of physical death for there will undoubtedly be some at the final judgement who were alive at the end of time. The dead is is almost universally accepted as the spiritual dead. In the last judgement I pointed out that no unbelievers are present and in this judgement we see that NO believers are present. The dead are having their moment before the Judge. Think about it…billions of lost souls given a momentary reprieve from the torments of hell only to be cast into a worse prison. Why judge them by their works if they are saved by grace? Let’s answer that question.

In verse 12 we see books(plural) being opened, and we see another book(singular) which we are told is the Lamb’s book of life. We are told they are judged out of the books(plural) according to their works. Some think these books are the 66 books of the Bible. I tend to be in the camp that believes these are books that contain our works, everything every individual does is recorded, I believe this makes up the books spoken of here. We are told that death and hell deliver up all of the spiritual dead they contain. All are judged by their works. Is it for salvation? No, because all here are dead and on their way to hell.

I believe they are judged by their works to decide the degree of their punishment in the lake of fire. This is backed up by Paul’s statement in Romans 2:5-6, “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds.” The judgement at the great white throne is not to determine if they are going to hell, that is an established fact, the judgement is to determine the degree of their punishment based on their works and how much wrath is stored up for them.  We see in verse 15 “whosoever was not found written in the book of life.” This is why they are going to hell, they never rpented and trusted Christ for salvation. The believer is judged on his works to determine reward or loss, the heatthen to determine punishment but both are going to Heaven or Hell based on one fact…is their name in the book of life.

 

3. The Sheep and Goats Judgement. Matthew 25:31-46

This judgement is not to be confused with the judgement of the great white throne. The amillenialist who believes in one general judgement will say it is the same but context and description seem to say otherwise. First the description.

1. This judgement takes place on earth, the other in heaven.

2. This judgement is of living persons, the other is of dead persons.

3. This judgement has both sheep and goats, the other is just unbelievers.

4. This judgement mentions no book of life, the other finds that book as the basis for eternity.

We must also consider the context. Matthew 24 begins the “Olivet Discourse” which continues on through chapter 25. The topic of that discourse is the tribulation. Chapter 25 gives us a series of parables about the kingdon of heaven. I am a pre,illenialist so I am going to approach this from that point of view, outside of that viewpoint I can find no other way to interpret this judgement since it is so radically different from the others. I believe this is a judgement at the return of Christ to estabablish His kingdom on earth.

For a momoent let me venture into sheer conjecture because I cannot prove Scripturally my theory on this nor can anyone disprove it. The three spring  feasts of Israel pointed to Christ’s first coming and all three were fulfilled on the day of the feast…Christ died on Passover, rose from the dead on first fruits, and the Spirit came on Pentecost. The three fall feasts all point to His second coming and I don’t see a ned for Him to change His pattern so I expect them fulfilled on the feast. The rapture on the feast of trumpets, at which time every eye will see Him and those who pierced Him(the Jews) will mourn because of Him. I believe this will throw national Israel into revival, where they will repent and turn to the Messiah(Romans 11:25-27). This will be a time when believers are snatched away from the earth. As the heathen grow angry at Christ, theybegin to torment the only physical thing left that represents Jesus Christ….the Jews. This I believe will drive the battle of Armageddon but Jews everywhere will be hunted down. Ten days after trumpets is the Day of Atonement which represents Israels repentance. I believe this day could be the day of Armageddon when just as Jerusalem is to be destroyed Jesus returns with His saints to destroy the armies.

If all I suspect to be true is true then this judgement fits perfectly. He is judging those left after Armageddon based on how they treated the Jewish people(His brehtren) during this time and the tribulation time before it. Those who treated them well will be ushered into Christ’s kingdom of 1,000 years of righteous rule. Those who did not treat them well will be ushered into hell to await final judgement. Of course this judgement is not based on works alone for those who believe will do the good works and those who are unregenerate will not, so the basis of the judgement at it’s core is not good works but their heart is revealed in their works.

No matter which end timesview you take the point is clear, we go to heaven or hell based entirely on our relationship with Christ and whether or not we have repented and trusted Him alone for salvation. Those who trust in their works for salvation will in the end be damned, and those who belive but live only nominal lives may find there is only shame and regret waiting for them at judgement.





Rome’s Scriptural Defiance

20 05 2011

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:14-16

     There are many teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church that I disagree with. In this blog I want to deal with a few that I not only disagree with in principle but are the exact opposite of what Scripture says to do.

1. Repetitous prayers: Roman catholocism relies heavily on printed prayers. Prayers to Mary, to saints, to God, and to angels. They seldom pray words of their own from their own hearts. The rosary is the most common, as well as what they call an “Our Father” prayer. This prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

     They call this “The Lord’s Prayer.” No place does Scripture refer to it in this manner. Most christians acknowledge it for what it is, a model prayer. The context in which it was given was the request by the disciples to be taught how to pray(Luke 11:1). Jesus even told them just before He taught them how to pray, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them…”(Matthew 6:7-8a) Their prayers are printed and they repeat them over and over sometimes as many as 20 or 30 times. This is in direct defiance of the commands of Christ.

     One of the catholic prayers reads as follows, “HAIL, HOLY QUEEN,Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!” Not only are they praying to a person and not to God even though we are told to pray to God(Matthew 6:9) but they also point out that they are crying to Mary, not to God. All through Scripture God’s children prayed to Him, He heard and answered their petitions. Why would that change now? Jesus said anything we ask the Father in His name He would do it.(John 14:13) He never instructed us to pray to anyone but Himself.

Why would we need to seek pity from someone besides Christ? Scripture declares, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16) It tells us that because Christ understands and can sympathize with our needs we are to come boldly before the throne, we don’t have to sheepishly seek help and pity from another. Rome has degraded Christ and exalted Mary.

     They call Mary their “advocate” Scripture says the opposite, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”(1 John 2:1) They also pray that she would show Jesus to them. It is absurd to think we need her to do such a thing. Jesus declared He would draw all men unto Himself( John 12:32). Paul declares in Acts 17:27, that He was not far from each one of us.

2. Earthly Father’s: They commonly refer to a priest as “father” meaning spiritual father. The Bishop of Rome is known as the “Holy Father.” These practices are in direct violation of the command of Jesus in Matthew 23:9, “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” The catholic will claim that this is not to be taken literally, but then should Christ’s command to “abstain from fornication”(1 Corinthians 6:18) not be taken literally? How about the command to “love one another as I have loved you?”(John 13:34).

3. Worship of idols: I know, I know the catholic would refute this by saying that they don’t worship the things they bow down to. God told the children of Israel, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.”(Exodus 20:4-5a) In this passage He tells them not to make graven images, especially noting not to make images of things in heaven, and then He goes on to skip worship and forbids them from even bowing down to them. Bowing and worship are always closely related in the Scriptures. The two always go together, it is hard to seperate them and say I am worshipping God while bowing to saint Peter.

4. Continuous Sacrifice: Papal salvation is incomplete, it cannot offer an assurance of salvation. Rome offers a works based salvation which offers it’s followers only the hope of being good enough for heaven but never knowing for sure if their good deeds out weigh their bad ones. The mass is nothing more than the continual offering of Jesus for sins, it is the re-sacrifice of Christ. The Council of Trent declared, “the victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of the priests, who then offered himself on the cross.” Every time a priest stands at Rome’s altars he is denying the finished work of Christ. Jesus declared on the cross, “It is finished.” This statement is untrue if the mass is necessary and if the mass in not necessary then it is blasphemous because it claims a continual sacrifice is needed.

     What does Scripture say about the sacrifice of Christ? “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in ONCE into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”(Hebrews 9:12) “Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:25-26) “So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28) “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE for all.”(Hebrews 10:10) “But this man, after he had offered ONE sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.”(10:12) “For by ONE offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (10:14) “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”(10:18) “For Christ also hath ONCE suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.”(1 Peter 3:18a)

     If God throughout history forbid the making of idols, the bowing down to idols, and prayers to anyone but Himself why would that suddenly change in this New Covenant? The answer is it would not. These practices are just as pagan as they were back in days of old. If Jesus told His disciples not to pray in repetition why would that change now? The answer is it would not. These practices are just as disobedient now as they were then. If God would not share His glory with another back then why would He do it now with Mary, if Paul claimed Christ alone was mediator between God and men why would that change now? I’m sure you guessed my conclusion…it has not changed. Roman catholocism is Old Testament paganism under new names. Heathenism was slowly introduced into the church until it swallowed up all but a remnant. Rome “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH,” and her teachings are an abomination.

Written By: Rick Garland








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