The Terrors of Hell – Part 2

KnockatTheDoor

This morning I was on my way home from Starbucks and heard a man on the radio discussing Jesus standing at the door of our hearts and He wanted us to let Him in.  To this man’s credit, it was being used as a poor method of evangelism, and it was said, “Did you notice there is no handle on the outside of the door, the handle is on the inside and you must open it up.”

Friends that is NOT biblically accurate, nor is it good evangelism!

The path to salvation is to understand you are DEAD in your sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1); you are without hope and headed toward hell.  The wide road of modern day evangelism has a poor effeminate Jesus sitting around with His head in His hands, just gently hoping you will make a decision for Him.

Today we are going to look at what awaits those that do not turn from their sin, fall to their face and beg for mercy and repentance.  This may seem cruel or harsh to some, but this is biblical and repeating a prayer and incantation of a method is not only inaccurate, it is damning.

Some may read this today and mock the idea of hell and just as in the days of the Puritans preaching on hell was unpopular.  It’s unpopular, because man loves the darkness and he desires to live in blissful ignorance, rather than face the reality of his eternal soul.  Let’s look at some teaching about hell from the Puritans.  All quotations come from A Puritan Theology (2012 – Beeke & Jones)

Is There a Hell?

[John] Bunyan call attention to Luke 16:23, “And in hell [the rich man] lift up his eyes, being in torments.” From this phrase he concludes that “there is a hell for souls to be tormented in when this life is ended…after he was dead and buried.”

He denies that Christ uses the word figuratively to represent the grave or some concept of torment “in this life.”  He then warns those who make a “mock” of preachers who tell them of hell that they will “find such an hell after this life is ended, that thou wilt not get out of again for ever and ever.” [1]

This is not something to be mocked, as so many do.  We all must consider this reality if there is hope for salvation, and Believers must continue to live in holiness, to make their call and election sure (1 Peter 1:10).

Why Must There Be a Hell?

First, “because of the filthy nature of sin,” as sin against an infinite God, necessitating proportionate punishment in the world to come.  Second, because Christ did not satisfy the justice of God for the wicked, who must therefore bear the wrath of God themselves in hell.  Third, the terrors of conscience that afflict the wicked in their dying days “demonstrate that there is a time of torments to be endured.”[2]

When you consider the price the Lord Jesus Christ paid on the cross, that He endured the wrath of God and drank it down fully, you must realize there is a cost to sin.  No matter what you think of your sin, or how small you believe your sin might be, God views it as vile and nasty, and His justice demands payment.  The “good news” is only for those that understand this statement.  The question today is “do I understand?”

What is Hell?

This place in which “the bodies and souls of wicked men are tormented” can be described by the following characteristics from Scripture: unquenchable fire, never extinguished (Luke 3:17); a furnace of fire (Matt, 13:42), recalling Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace (Dan. 3:21-22), where only the godly were not affected; a lake of fire (Rev. 19:20),  with an abundance of torments as the plentiful waters of a lake; eternal fire (Jude 7), with everlasting torment; outer darkness (Matt. 22:13), where we are “deprived of the light of God’s countenance”; the blackness of forever (Jude 13), as a place of terror that ought to cause men to tremble now; chains of darkness (2 Peter 2:4), referring to its binding nature and the impossibility of escape; the damnation of hell (Matt. 23:33), from which none will escape; this place of torment (Luke 16:28), a “dreadful expression” for what takes place there; the wrath to come (1 Thess. 1:10), as the wrath of God expressed there; prison (1 Peter 3:19), referring to the way the pre-incarnate Christ, through the ministry of Noah, preached to men who are now imprisoned in hell; Tophet (Isa 30:33), referring to the fire of the god Molech, into which children were cast as sacrifices and from which shrieking and howling were heard; the bottomless pit (Rev. 9:1), “out of which you shall never come”, the second death (Rev 2:11); destruction (Matt. 7:13); everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46); and corruption (Gal. 6:8), as the reaped for “sowing to the flesh.”[3]

hell

I have literally been squirming in my seat as I quote this writing and consider the Scripture that has been referenced.  This doctrine is forever and “Hell has No Exits” (Leonard Ravenhill).  If you are a non-believer please consider this today.   Hell is not a place where you will play cards with your friends.  Hell is devoid of “anything” you can ever take pleasure in.

The torment will never end.  It will go on forever and ever and ever…  Does that scare you, because it should?  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).

I beg with you today if you are a Believer to consider who in your family or your friends doesn’t understand this?  You might be their only hope.  Tell them today about this terrifying doctrine.  Urge them to repent and be reconciled to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

Part 3 we will discuss “Is God is Just in Damning Men Eternally?”

 

Kevin


[1] John Bunyan, The Miscellaneous Works of John Bunyan, ed. Roger Sharrock (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976-94), 1:246-47, 261, 266, 267.

[2] Love, Heaven’s Glory, Hell’s Terror (1671), 226-227

[3] Love, Heaven’s Glory, Hell’s Terror (1671), 230-34.

Cease from sin

cease-from-sin2

Last week I spoke about the topic of legalism and I made the assertion that most people will call you a legalist if you call sin, “sin”.  How do we balance grace with works?  John MacArthur says there are only two religions in the world.  There is the religion of human accomplishment and there is Christianity.  You can lump every false religion into the first category.  This religion of human accomplishment says you must do this to make yourself worthy of heaven.  You must do something to appease your “god”.

True Christianity says God came in human flesh and did the doing.  He lived a perfect, sinless life so sinful man could be reconciled to God.  There is nothing you can do to earn God’s redemption without the work of Christ.

Nothing! 

No prayer, no amount of sacrifice, you cannot be “good” enough to earn God’s favor; you can’t be part of a special group.  Jesus Christ went to the cross to drink the cup of God’s wrath to pay for the sins of those who would believe in Him that they could turn from their sin.

This IS the true gospel.

If you think you can do something to earn God’s forgiveness you are wrong.  If you think that being baptized or saying the sinner’s prayer or being part of a certain religious group will save you from the terrors and torture of hell, you need to stop and consider, carefully what you are counting on for salvation.

The gospel tells us we are dead in sins and trespasses, unable to save ourselves (Ephesians 2:1).  The gospel tells us we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).  The gospel tells us it is not of works so no one can boast (Ephesians 2:9).  Clearly, we can do nothing outside of God’s work.

1 Peter 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Here is the rub…  This is the difference between false conversion and true conversion.  Do you now cease from sin?  If you claim to be saved and claim to be a follower of Christ, you must cease from sin.

Disclaimer, you won’t do this to perfection.

However, if you are not striving against sin, you are not saved.  If your sin does not sicken you, you are not saved.  I hope this sounds harsh.  I would rather this be harsh and have you see your sin than live in a world of illusion and deception.

If you claim to be a Believer you will resist and fight against sin.  It will be a lifelong battle but you will grow or you must examine your life.

Believer, you are under grace, you are no longer under the law (Romans 5:1-2).  This is not a license to willfully live in sin.  Romans 6:1 What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Are you striving against sin in your life?  Hebrews 12:3-4 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.  You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

If this is a concept that is unfamiliar to you, I hope you will sit down and examine your life by the truth of God’s Word.  God has supplied the world with the gift of His Word and the glorious sacrifice of His Son that some will be saved.  If you are saved, you now have work to do.

Kevin

2013

Happy New Year!  Thank you for reading Uncommon Faith this past year.  God has taught me much through the writing of these blog posts and I’m hopeful you have enjoyed what I’ve had to say.  I’m grateful for this small platform to have an opportunity to share what God is doing in my life and what I hope He will do in the lives of others through the thoughts He has given me.

With that being said, I wanted to share something I desire to accomplish for the upcoming year.  Every day I wake up with new topics that I wish to discuss.  They always seem so rich and real in my life and I don’t have enough time to write about them all.  I’m grateful that God refocuses my mind to the things I believe He wants me to discuss.  Sometimes those are topical; sometimes they are a brief series or occasionally just random musings.

sure guide

Next week I’m going to begin a series on the book called A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine.  Consistent readers of this blog will notice I speak of Alleine and this book often.  My church family will know I speak of Alleine and this book often.  Why?  Because I believe it’s one of the most significant writings next to the Bible that exists today.  If you are ever going to read any Puritan writings I would recommend this along with John Bunyon’s The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Quoting from A Sure Guide to Heaven:

Countless editions of this book have been issued since it first saw the light in 1671.  Dr. Calamy wrote concerning it in 1702: ‘Multitudes will have cause for ever to be thankful for it.  No book in the English tongues (the Bible only excepted) can equal it for the number that hath been dispersed; there have been twenty thousand sold under the title of the “Call”, or “Alarm”, and fifty thousand of the same under the title of the “Sure Guide to Heaven”, thirty thousand of which were sold at one impression.’

Practically I want to write about this little book because many people will never pick it up despite urgings to do so, also I’ve personally seen two people come to saving faith this past year in response to Alleine’s writing.   I don’t say his writing saved them, but God used his words along with His Word to show these two their sin and the need for a remedy through Jesus Christ.  There are countless professions of just this same thing happening all over the world through this powerful book.

My desire is to post once a week about A Sure Guide to Heaven and then a more traditional post my other day.  For those newer to my blog, I typically post on Tuesday and Friday.  I can’t stress enough how beneficial this book can be to those in the church that are truly redeemed and those that are falsely converted.  Because of sin’s deceitfulness how can you test your faith?  What are the signs of true conversion and false conversion?  Alleine explores all these topics in such a wonderfully, powerful way.   The writing is a little difficult to read but is certainly worth the effort.

In an age of uncertainty when institutions regarded as “churches” preach a man focused theology there needs to be a call to look at the doctrines of regeneration and “true” biblical conversion.  These “churches” are in a wretched state and nothing short of God’s grace can save them and those that attend.  Without an understanding of the difficulty of salvation more will be lead to hell on that wide road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).  This flies in the face of the “easy to believe” methods of today.  I may be speaking to you today if your testimony includes any of the following.

“I accepted Christ…”

“I prayed the sinner’s prayer…”

“I walked the aisle and prayed at an altar call…”

“I made a decision and asked Jesus into my heart…”

Friends these are NOT biblical conversions, nowhere is this modeled in scripture.

I encourage you to read along with me as we explore what it really means to be “saved”.  You can find A Sure Guide to Heaven available online for free if you follow this link

A Sure Guide to Heaven

I would encourage you to print it out as I believe you will want to take lots of notes.  It is also available from many online book retailers for about $7.00 per copy.  You might want to have several copies on hand to give out to friends and those professing Christ.

As Paul calls us to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5)  and this is a wonderful place to start.  Nothing of value comes easy and I believe if you invest some time into something that is this important God will bless your efforts.

Perverse sinner, will you begin where you should end?  Is not the word before you?  What saith it? ‘Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.’  ‘If you mortify the deeds of the body you shall live.’  ‘Believe and be saved’ (Acts 3:19: Romans 8:13; Acts 16:31).  What can be plainer?  Page 30 A Sure Guide to Heaven

Kevin