“Do You Believe in Hell?– Part 1 of 5”

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When the apostle Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthian church, from a mixed heart of Christian love and ministerial grief (Hebrews 13:17), he sought to address their many aberrant issues. Chief amongst them was their sinful tendency, to become enamored with the wisdom of men, above the wisdom of God. 

To correct this malady, he defined for them: True Wisdom, which is Jesus Christ (1:30); Who are the Truly Wise Men, God’s Faithful Ministers (2:1-5); and what is the correct message of True Wisdom, The Cross of Jesus Christ (1:18-25). In (1 Corinthians 1:18) we read why churches must also make sure that their heads are screwed on right about this same divisive matter (“For the Word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing”). Sadly, many churchgoers today are too often more concerned with their minister (His demeanor, physical appearance, and pseudo-eloquence, “Our pastor is such a pulpiteer” [2 Timothy 4:1-5]), rather than with the Scriptural clarity and sobriety of his message. This is especially shocking when you consider, each day, how men-women-and-children are perishing eternally, because they have foolishly rejected God’s all-wise message of the cross. Do you really believe, as you peruse this article, that men, women, and children, each day, are perishing eternally in the fire of Hell? Do you actually live your life as if you truly believe in this frightening Biblical doctrine and place? Just think for a moment, about all of your many deceased, living, and spiritually-lost relatives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Do you realize, the Bible teaches, some of them are already experiencing this shocking place of eternal punishment, as others are about to enter into it, where they will weep and gnash their teeth in the outer darkness of Hell forever (Matthew 25:30)? Do you really understand that, right now, they are or soon shall be, tormented in unending flames (Luke 16:23-24)? Our Lord taught this without apology (Matthew 25:46)! Dear friend, have you ever considered that the word perish, in the Bible, actually means to be spiritually lost, ruined, or destroyed forevermore by God in Hell? Please don’t forget the words of Jesus, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction ...” (Matthew 7:13), nor those of Paul, about all who reject the gospel, “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, ...” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). But also, remember John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” O may we constantly call people to give their lives to Christ and flee from Hell’s flames (Jude 23)! Pastor Erwin Lutzer is very helpful here as we ponder this awesome doctrine, “Admittedly, hell is an unpleasant topic. Unbelievers disbelieve in it; most Christians ignore it. Even the staunchly Biblical diehards are often silent out of embarrassment. Hell, more than any other doctrine ... seems to be out of step with our time.” Dear reader, this kind of thinking and living regarding the reality of eternity, begins with our heart preparation today, to encounter the living God tomorrow morning; in both our public Worship, through the praises and prayers of His people; and through the reading and preaching of His Holy inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! Soli Deo Gloria!

 

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