Monday, July 27, 2020

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord..?

Imagine you are planning to build a building. The taller you want the building, the deeper and stronger you want to make the foundation. You want to use the right materials in the right proportions to form the foundation.  Otherwise, you know, whatever you build on it will not be able to sustain it. Lately, California, Japan, and other places where the risk of earthquakes are high, the buildings are designed to move less and withstand in case of an earthquake. The foundation is critical to hold the building in case of an earthquake, hurricane, or other disasters.

Our faith in Jesus Christ is like a foundation. You need your faith to be strong to withstand all that the enemy throws at you in your life. This reminds me of the beautiful hymn, "How firm a foundation..."

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,

Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!

What more can He say than to you He hath said,

To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?


Obedience to the Word of God is like a firm foundation.  Jesus said, "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it" (Matthew 7:24-27).

If you are a person who hears God's Word and does not act upon it, you are building your house on the sand.  When life's calamities come upon you, is your foundation going to withstand?  I do not know what kind of storms you are facing, financial hardship, loss of a job, sickness, etc. In stressful situations, cling to the cross of Christ where there is hope.

 The apostle Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ is the sure foundation. "For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.  If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward (1 Corinthians 3:11-14).

In summary, the firm foundation, a foundation that can withstand,  is Jesus Christ and obedience to His Word.

 Let me close with another favorite hymn:

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.       

             On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

  All other ground is sinking sand.

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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?

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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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