Last night in our Bible study class we were discussing how the Word of God is changing us. One class member stated that she is struggling with how a good and loving God (as she knows Him to be) punishes His wayward children so severely. Hell is real.
…and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 ESV)
“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. (Matthew 25:41 ESV)
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. (2 Peter 2:4-11 ESV)
These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. (2 Peter 2:17 ESV)
Oh it is so very real. I dare you to google scriptures that describe hell and the lake of fire. God is just. He is also love. He created hell for the devil and the fallen angels, not man. It is man who chooses to enter such a place by his denial and rejection of the salvation that God has provided through His son Jesus Christ. God calls us. He rescues and restores us to a right relationship with Him even though we don’t deserve it. What great love that saves our souls from eternal torment. To say that He is unjust or unloving due to the choices of man to reject Him is twisted thinking.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:14-18 ESV)
Beloved, time is short. The world needs to hear about the good news that Jesus Christ offers even the worst of us salvation. No one is worthy. Only Jesus. Without him, we are choosing to spend eternity in hell. It is just that simple. We need to tell everyone who will hear about the great love of God for them. Because it is only love that will overcome hatred, bigotry, and wickedness.
Jesus has commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations teaching them to obey all that He has commanded us to do. It isn’t about you! It is about Jesus. We who love Him should be compelled to obey Him.
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17 ESV)
Overcoming the World
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (1 John 5:1-4 ESV)
His commandments are not burdensome. Don’t make it harder than it is. Go and tell what Jesus has done in your life to whomever will listen. Honestly, often times I tell it even to those who don’t want to listen – they need to hear it too! None of us is promised tomorrow. Today may be your last day, or theirs. Jesus came to save us. He has work for us to do today. God is love. The victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Be encouraged. Press on.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)