Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hell- Where most want to go, because they don't understand it

Last night, I awoke with a moment of clarity from the Lord. It was awful. This may sound odd, but He allowed me to grasp, in my mind, the permanence of Hell. It is a place where people will go FOREVER. An image, kind of like a short video, played before me of someone I know and care about, stuck down there, with no way to leave & not happy at all.
It is a terrible place, where once people are, they are there for ever, for eternity, they will NEVER leave. Yes, theologically, I know this to be true. I have read Jesus teaching on this for several years now, but it really never clicked before. Maybe it was too big of a thought for me to comprehend. Whatever the case, it came into perspective for me last night, thanks to God. I cannot explain the feeling of how terrible I felt, considering that people, people I care about, may be stuck down there for eternity, in conscious misery. All I can say is that it took God opening my mind to help me begin to understand this.

So a few thoughts from it:
1. Why did God create Hell? And is Hell populated now?
2. What is Hell like?
3. Why send people there?
4. Are people aware?
5. How do you keep from going there?

1. Why did God create Hell? God created Hell for Satan and his angelic army (possibly millions of evil spirits/demons) (Matthew 25:41), as a place of eternal punishment for their wickedness. Is Hell populated now? Hell is NOT populated now. It will not be until the Great White Throne Judgment of Jesus.

2. What is Hell like? Well, there are books on this. It is a place of great weeping, of misery, of pain and suffering (Matthew 8:12). It is a place of outer darkness (away from the Light)(Matthew 8:12). It is an eternal habitat (Mark 9:44-48). It is a place where those there are conscious (Revelation 20:10). It is called the Lake of Fire (don't know if that is literally fire or judgment) (Revelation 20:14-15). Contrary to popular belief, it is not run by Satan. It is a place where their is no relief, because God, who brings relief, has removed His hand of blessing from those there (Luke 16- is not even Hell yet-Hell is worse).

3. Why send people there? Because it is what most people want; life without God bothering them. God, in Romans 1-2 gives people over to what they want. His desire is that they would have eternal life & dwell with Him for eternity, through faith in Jesus. But if people don't want this, God will not make them choose this. It is up to each person to decide whether they want eternal life or Hell. It is their choice. (more on choice later)

4. Are people aware? Yes (Revelation 20:10, 14:9-11, Luke 16)

5. How do you keep from going there? You already know. And it has nothing to do with doing a bunch of works. That is animism. If you want to know for sure, read John 3:16-18, Ephesians 2:8-10, John 14:6 if you would like to see what God's word teaches. As I said in question #3, it is your choice. Hopefully you will choose wisely. Hopefully you won't be too stubborn or prideful to choose well.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why do people get angry at God?

Why do people get angry with God?

People get angry with God when they los

e perspective on God, which can be caused by something very painful happening to them. Sometimes life jolts us into losing proper focus, like a finger in a socket can throw off our balance.

People get angry with God when they are not actually angry with God, but angry over some self-formulated image of who God is or what God has promised. The blame goes up to their god, but their god does not even exist to hear, because their god does not exist. Sadly, many preachers (Joyce

Meyer, Joel Olsteen, etc) today give them this bad perspective of God.

People get angry with God when they are raised in God’s blessing. Where as, someone who is raised in suffering has learned a proper view of God, someone raised in privilege may crumble when that privilege is taken away. There is something deep inside a person of privilege where they cannot handle to ever do without the things that they want.

People get angry with God when they want nothing to do with God, and then a hard time enters into their life. The problem is that they have been so hardened to God, and to His character, and so full of their own, that they feel cheated.

People get angry with God when He thwarts or does not bend to their plan for their life. They are going along just fine, triking down the path of life, with goals, dreams, desires. When God steps in to help them, they want nothing more than for God to go back away. They do not understand that sometimes suffering is a blessing. They do not realize that God has been there all along, trying to get their attention in a kindly manner. And now, because of His love, He turns up the temperature of His passion for them....they find Him even less desirable.

People get angry with God, when God becomes nothing more than a mere invisible friend or buddy. They have become so familiar with God, that they forget that He is God. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

Is it wrong to get angry with God? Depends what angry means. For in our anger, we don't want to sin or become bitter.

Is it wrong to suffer and to struggle with God? No. It is just fine. But one must remember that when you are angry with God, you are missing clarity.

A good example of how to express anger at God is David's struggle in Psalm 13. David was a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Yet, he was a man after God's own heart.

Are all people saved through Jesus?

There are a couple of views that people have. First, that the blood of Jesus has paid for everyone's sin, therefore all people will eventually end up in Heaven. Second, that the blood of Jesus has been paid for everyone's sin, but only those who receive Jesus will receive eternal life.

Well, this morning, I was reading Romans 5:17 & thought this passage did a beautiful job laying it out. I want to share it with you.

"For if by the transgression of the one (Adam), death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ."

You could actually interpret this 2 different ways & make both views fit into this passage, on a surface reading. However, when you dig into the word, "receive" it paints a completely different picture.
"receive"- lambanontes- is a verb- to receive, to take. It is a PRESENT, ACTIVE, PARTICIPLE. The key question here is whether it is active or passive voice.
If it were passive, then this receiving would be put upon us.
If it were active, which it is, then the subject does the action of the verb. In other words, we have to receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness.

To summarize- you aren't going to get to heaven by just living out your day to day life & hoping you aren't as evil as Hitler. You need to receive, to take for yourself, the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness. You need to personally receive Jesus as YOUR savior-dying for your many sins, and YOUR lord.

Hopefully you will do this today.