Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hell? NO!

Last Sunday, the “Sink Clips” series on tough questions continued as Craig talked about Hell. If you want to hear the message for yourself, you can go to the church website: www.missionoflife.com

Many common questions regarding Hell were addressed; including why there is a Hell and why God would “send” us to Hell. Well, first of all, Hell was not created for US and God does NOT “send” us there! Hell was created for Satan and his demons (Matthew 25:41). We were never intended to spend our eternity there. The only reason that some of us do is because we CHOOSE to!

I know that many will say that no one “chooses” to. After all, if Hell is so terrible (and eternally permanent!) why would ANYONE “choose” it? Well, if we are going to address this issue, we have to understand the concept of free-will. God created us with a free-will because He didn’t want to force a relationship with us. Regardless of if we love Him or not, He’s always going to love us and want to be with us. However, He’s not going to “make us” choose to be with Him. Either you want to be with Him or you don’t. And, you can’t sit on the fence. Not to decide IS to decide!!! To illustrate this example, think about any given relationship you have had in your life. In order to HAVE a relationship with that person, you had to CHOOSE to do so. No one “made” you engage in a relationship with that person - and if they tried, that likely caused problems. No one wants to be forced to be with someone that they don’t want to be with. That causes resistance and rebellion as well as a lack of genuine reciprocal feelings. The relationship is no good if it’s “robotic.” That’s why God gave us the ability to choose because God is love and wants us to choose to be with Him out of genuine love and desire for Him like He has for us. He doesn’t want a bunch of “robots” who are forced to be with Him.

It’s still amazing to me that He would be so remarkable to give us the choice; knowing full well that we would rebel and many of us would break His heart by saying “no” to Him. As soon as Adam sinned, that fellowship with God was compromised and broken. Because God is perfect, just, and holy, sin and injustice cannot be in His presence. The only way that we can stand before Him and have fellowship with Him is through Jesus Christ. He is the only spotless and blameless man, and the only one that could have paid the penalty for our sins so that we have that covering; that filter of grace that exempts us from the wrath and judgment of God. All we have to do is believe and accept it. If we don’t, we have no redemption and therefore, we have to pay for our sins ourselves because justice demands that sin be paid for. God cannot act against His own nature. He simply cannot accept anyone that hasn’t accepted Jesus’ payment for our sins. Jesus is the ONLY way. There is no back door, and there is no way we can “earn” our way in or cover our own sin debt. It’s insurmountable! God can’t look at us and say, “Ok. You weren’t that bad. I think I can let you squeak by.” Sin is all the same to Him. We may judge sin and offenses as more or less than another, but sin is sin and we are ALL guilty of it! ALL SIN equals separation from God and the only way to restore fellowship is through payment for that sin. No one is “good enough” to get to heaven. Only Jesus can make us “good enough” because HE is MORE than “good enough”!!

So, what is your choice? If you are not choosing Him, you are choosing a life without Him (both now, and in the life to come). Either you accept Jesus’ payment for your debt, or you pay for your debt yourself. If you choose Him now, that is an eternal “yes” for later. But, if you reject Him now, you are rejecting Him later as well. When it comes to the question of Hell, just say “NO”!

Craig told us all to come down to the dimly lit smoking “pit” that they had made to symbolize Hell. He told us to take a stone from it to remind us to help rescue others from it. In Jude 1:21-23, the Word says: “ Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

I know that there is so much more I could talk about. This blog merely scratches the surface of all the endless questions. If you need more answers about Hell, there is a book that I saw recently entitled “Hell” by Bill Wiese. I haven’t read it, but it looks very informative. Also, if you would like to talk about any questions you have, I am here for you. I will do my best to answer them. If I don’t have an answer, I have pastors and friends that I can ask. Though, of course, no one has ALL the answers; only God does. Ask Him; He knows!

Grace and peace to all of you!! I’m hoping and praying that all of us will work together to help “rescue” others who are headed down the wrong path. May we all be diligent about pulling people out of that pit and I pray that they will be willing to be pulled out!! If you need a hand to pull you out, give me a holler!! God bless you all!!

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