Hell: The Horror of Eternal Punishment (Part 1)

One cannot help but notice that the bulk of teaching on the doctrine of Hell comes from the very lips of the Lord Jesus Christ. In-fact, He taught on Hell more than He spoke about Heaven1. This then reveals the seriousness of this important subject. The Old Testament makes reference to the punishment of the wicked ( and ) and there are a number of references in the rest of the New Testament (; ; ; ; ; ; ; ) that do the same. Hell is a topic that ought to create a sense of sensitivity and sorrow to any listener. It is not an easy topic to talk about because of the horror related to it. Nonetheless, it is in the word of God and must be addressed.

The Reality of Hell
Hell is real. Despite the modern usage of hell as a reference to a state or condition of difficulty and discomfort – the Scriptures teach that it is a real place created by God for the purpose of punishing those outside of Christ (). Our Lord described it as follows: a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (), a fiery furnace (), outer darkness (Matt.22:13), unquenchable fire () and everlasting punishment (). Hell is certainly a horrible, terrifying and real place.

Continue reading Hell: The Horror of Eternal Punishment (Part 1)

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Does God Instruct us to Love and Hate?

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”

The question is whether God instructs us to love and hate. Or in other words, can we express ‘love’ whilst also expressing ‘hatred’? This depends on the context in which we ask the question. If we are all in heaven where there is no sin, then clearly hate doesn’t even come onto the scene. However we are not in heaven. We are living in a sin-crippled world. Therefore Continue reading Does God Instruct us to Love and Hate?

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

How to Resist Temptation

“If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

Temptation… we all experience it. It’s not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was tempted more than anyone, yet was without sin. It’s only when we give in to temptation that we allow sin to consume us and lead us away from God. How can we stand up against this daily onslaught? How can we resist the Devil and his schemes to lure us away from God?

As Christians we must remember one thing… no one forces us to sin. It’s a choice we make.

We Can’t Say – “The Devil Made Me Do It!”

The devil can only suggest something, offer an alternative pathway, knock on the door. It’s our choice if we let him in or follow him. Continue reading How to Resist Temptation

12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

10 Reasons Why Believing in the Sovereignty of God Matters

What we mean by the sovereignty of God is captured in paragraph 3.2 of The Bethlehem Baptist Church Elder Affirmation of Faith. The dozens of biblical passages used to support this paragraph are found in the online version.
3.2 We believe that God upholds and governs all things—from galaxies to subatomic particles, from the forces of nature to the movements of nations, and from the public plans of politicians to the secret acts of solitary persons—all in accord with His eternal, all-wise purposes to glorify Himself, yet in such a way that He never sins, nor ever condemns a person unjustly; but that His ordaining and governing all things is compatible with the moral accountability of all persons created in His image.
Why does it matter whether we believe this? Ten reasons.
1. The good news of God’s substituting his Son for us on the cross depends on it.
“Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” ( -28)
2. The perseverance of the saints in the fear of God depends on it.
“I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.” ()
3. Progress in holiness now, and the final perfecting of the saints in the end, depends on it.
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” ()
“But you have come to Mount Zion . . . and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.” ()
4. The assurance of God’s final triumph over all natural and supernatural evil depends on it.
“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’” ( -10)
5. The comfort that there is a wise and loving purpose in all our calamities and losses, and that God will work all things together for our good, depends on it.
“Though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. . . . Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?” ()
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” ()
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” ()
6. The hope that God will give life to the spiritually dead depends on it.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” ()
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” ()
7. Well-grounded expectation of answered prayer depends on it.
“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” ()
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. . . . For the promise is for . . . everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” ()
8. Boldness in the face of seeming hopeless defeat depends on it.
“Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.” ()
“Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him.” ()
9. Seeing and savoring the revelation of the fullness of God’s glory depends on it.
“But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ . . . What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power . . . [acted] in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy?” ()
10. Praise that matches the fullness of God’s power, wisdom, and grace depends on it.
“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. . . . We will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.” ()
“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.” ()
The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is an anchor for the troubled soul, a hope for the praying heart, a stability for fragile faith, a confidence in pursuing the lost, a guarantee of Christ’s atonement, a high mystery to keep us humble, and a solid ground for all praise. And oh so much more. O Lord, turn this truth for the triumph of your saving and sanctifying grace.
Confident and comforted with you,
Pastor John

Used with permission: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

What we mean by the sovereignty of God is captured in paragraph 3.2 of The Bethlehem Baptist Church Elder Affirmation of Faith. Bible2

“We believe that God upholds and governs all things—from galaxies to subatomic particles, from the forces of nature to the movements of nations, and from the public plans of politicians to the secret acts of solitary persons—all in accord with His eternal, all-wise purposes to glorify Himself, yet in such a way that He never sins, nor ever condemns a person unjustly; but that His ordaining and governing all things is compatible with the moral accountability of all persons created in His image.”

Why does it matter whether we believe this? Ten reasons. Continue reading 10 Reasons Why Believing in the Sovereignty of God Matters

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,

40 I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,

32 but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33 for he does not willingly afflict
or grieve the children of men.

34 To crush underfoot
all the prisoners of the earth,
35 to deny a man justice
in the presence of the Most High,
36 to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
the Lord does not approve.

37 Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

12 Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.”

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him.

20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—

Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.

Psalm 115:18

18 But we will bless the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.
Praise the Lord!

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.