Wednesday, July 22, 2020

What is hell like? [Everyone should know]

Many people do not want to talk about hell. Some people ignore it as folklore as if it will go away. But the reality is that hell is as real as heaven. The Bible describes hell as an eternal place of torment, “prepared for the devil and his angels.” It describes hell as a place where the fire will never be quenched. John the Baptist declares, “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12).  Isaiah gives a similar description of hell. “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” (Isaiah 66:24). Jeremiah writes, circumcise your hearts, “…lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds” (Jeremiah 4:4).

Jesus describes it as a place “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48). What does it mean that “their worm does not die?” I believe these worms are maggots that usually feed on dead tissue (some on live tissue). When describing the fate of the King of Babylon (Antichrist), Isaiah writes, “Your might and power were buried with you.  The sound of the harp in your palace has ceased.  Now maggots are your sheet, and worms your blanket”  (Isaiah 14:11).

Jesus also taught about hell as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. He will answer those who rejected His salvation saying, “...I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:27-28). The hell is also a place of torment. Jesus described the agony of the rich man, “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame’ ( Luke 16:24).

This torment in hell is not for an hour, not for a day, not for a year, not for a hundred years, but forever and ever. It is a place of no return. Some people take comfort in an imaginary purgatory. The Bible does not mention such a temporary place. Abraham said to the rich man, “...besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us” (Luke 16:26).

The body is merely the physical house in which we live. The apostle Paul calls it a tent. At death, we move out of this tent. The real you is the spirit inside this tent. The important thing is what happens to the spirit after it has left the body. Where is it going? The lake of fire was made for the Devil and his angels. You choose your final destination.

In Summary, the hell is a place of torment where the spirit of a person infested with maggots,  surrounded by unquenchable fire, desiring to cool his tongue with a drop of water and will be weeping and gnashing his teeth without any hope in isolation.  You must make the decision in this life where you will spend eternity after your death. You do not get a second chance after death.

If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, you may ask how can I get saved.  The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved...” (Acts 16:31). In fact, no one knows what happens tomorrow. The Bible says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10).

Dear friend, if you do not believe in the existence of hell, you are calling Jesus Christ a liar. Just for the sake of reasoning, look at the implications; if you do not believe in hell, and if hell is real, you will go there. Think again! This article is by no means to scare anybody. With a great burden in my heart for souls, I am writing this to warn of the danger.  If you are a saved person, will you share this message with someone who does not know Jesus as their personal savior or does not believe in hell?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 Click here to read my previous article on “How can a loving God send someone to hell?”

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

How can a loving God send someone to hell?

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom (of heaven)  prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34).  "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).

Here we see two groups of people and two places. The first group of people (on his right) is righteous, who put their trust in the Lord Jesus's righteousness. This group becomes righteous through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, repented of their sins,  and accepted the gift of salvation.  The first place described is that the kingdom of heaven, prepared for this group on his right.  These are the people who prayed for God's will be done in their lives. God granted their request.

 The second group of people is unrighteous, who put their trust in their own righteousness and their good deeds—this righteousness amount to nothing. In fact, the Bible says, "... all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags..."  (Isaiah 64:6). The second place mentioned in the above passage is the eternal fire--hell  (I will attempt to describe hell in a separate article, for now, it is outside the scope of this discussion). This place is not prepared for the people, the Bible says, it is prepared for "the devil and his angels." God's desire is NOT to send any people there. He " longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Romans 5:8-9).

If someone asks, how can a loving God send someone to hell? The question is not truthful. God has not prepared hell for the people; it is prepared for "the devil and his angels." Furthermore, God wants everyone to come to repentance so they will not perish. God is not sending them to hell. The second group of people is willfully choosing to spend eternity away from God. The second group of people does not want to do anything with the savior. They rejected the free gift of salvation. God is not going to make them love Him. They chose to be away from God. God is ultimately going to say to them, "thy will be done."  Because they disobeyed the heavenly call, they became the children of the devil. "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do" (John 8:44). And thus, they are going to the eternal fire prepared for "the devil and his angels."

Please do not distort God's character when you ask the question, " how can a loving God send someone to hell?"

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

How can a Holy God be Jealous?

How can a Holy God be jealous?

A few days ago, a young man asked me how God can be jealous when jealousy is sinful?

Let me explain with a hypothetical situation. Suppose you met a beautiful girl and you both loved each other and got married.  After a while, if your wife is flirting with a friend of yours, will you be jealous?  Is it wrong for you to be jealous? It is not wrong for you to be jealous, because she belongs to you and you only, and you belong only to her. It would help if you were jealous so that you can help her and correct the situation in any way possible. Instead, if you are not jealous, you are harming your marriage and your family. Jealously is not always a bad thing as righteous anger is not bad.

 Although jealousy and envy are interchangeably used in our modern English language, they mean different things.  Sinful jealousy (or envy) is coveting something that does not belong to you. Here is an example of sinful jealousy about King Saul. "So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye  (to watch with jealousy) on David (1 Samuel 18:9, HCSB). Another example of sinful jealousy about Rachel. "Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die!" (Genesis 30:1)

 The right kind of jealousy is appropriate when someone takes what is rightly belongs to you. God created us in His image. We are His children and His prized possession. We need to understand that there is only one God and no rival or equal. Even the so-called opponent, satan, is a created being nothing to be compared to God. Apostle Paul writes, "...we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one" (1 Corinthians 8:4). But when God's people who were created in His image turn to idols, which are not gods, God should be jealous. 

 Apostle Paul was also jealous of the church at Corinth, but he expressed it as "godly jealously."  "For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!" (2 Corinthians 11:2-4). This jealousy is the same kind that God revealed in the Scriptures. God's jealously is love in action.

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Friday, July 10, 2020

Are you worshiping an Idol?

Buckingham Palace
Imagine, if you are invited to the Buckingham Palace by an exclusive invite from the queen. When the special day arrived, you dressed up in your best attire and brought a special expensive gift for the queen. The butler welcomes you into the palace. You are delighted to meet the butler as he is very helpful in the new place. You started talking to the butler for a long time, and you liked him. But then, the butler announced to you that her majesty would be anticipating him any moment. You tell the butler I am not interested in meeting the queen as we are having a good time looking around the palace and having a pleasant conversation. You say to the butler I will give you the gift I brought for the queen and in a short while I will take leave. After reading this, you are thinking; I would never do such a thing. It is a great honor to be the guest of the queen.

As a Christian, if you believe truly that Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of Lords, you would consider spending time with Him a great honor. You will take delight in the Lord. "Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass (Psalms 37:4-5)." The great King of kings said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28)."

Unfortunately, we are busy with our little world. We are busy with the things that will perish. The things you can touch and feel. Jesus said, "Don't collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don't break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21). For some, it may be their job, car, house, boat, bank account, stock market, games, and even ministry. These things can become an idol when we worship them more than the King, who provided these. You may say I am not worshiping any of these. The word worship means that you are evaluating the worth of a person or a thing. If you value anybody or anything more than our Lord and Savior Jesus, you are not worshiping Jesus. You may say, I worship Jesus also, I consider him of some value to me. Jesus said, "No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money (Matthew 6:24)" Some are devoted to building their "own" ministry or church and forgot to worship Jesus in a real sense.

How is your prayer life? How much you love God and His Word? "If you love Me, you will keep My commands" (John 14:15) You cannot keep His commands if you do not spend time with Him. You may have to make some hard decisions to remove your "idols" in your life, even if it cost you much. "Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned (John (15:4-6)" As we see the day approaching, let us cling to our Lord and Savior more and more.