One of the most amazing wonders of our world is The Van Allen belt… like a Guardian Angel the Earths Magnetic field shields us from Deadly rays and particles jettisoned from the Sun. Without this Providential defense no life would be possible on Earth.
It is one of the many amazing Phenomena that Atheists simply take for granted as being a ‘happy coincidence’… just like life itself.
It is a coincidence of preposterous odds!
Atheism relies upon litereally thousands of such rediculous wagers.
It is not possible to convince such blind and hard hearted fools that there is a God.
No Proof is sufficient.
One can only marvel at their fanaticism, and be disgusted by their claims of rationality and science!
‘Lake of Fire’… What a brilliant description for a Star.
What better description of a ‘bottomless pit’ is there than being suspended in the centre of a star… unable to ‘fall’ anywhere?
Oh and I wonder if there are enough stars in the universe to accommodate all the lost souls that have ever been born, and all the Fallen angels… one star per Damned soul?… I’m thinking there are plenty!
Can there be any reasonable doubt of the fact that God Almighty has made Countless Lakes of fire and bottomless pits?
Hell is real people!
That is why God sent Christ!
He takes the judgement of Sin very seriously!
“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28vs 28
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3vs19.
“God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” Rom 5vs 8
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”
Footnote: I am not saying the “Sun is the biblical lake of fire!”… im saying its ‘a type’…an interesting ‘Parallel in nature’. Tim Wikiriwhi.
We humans know instinctively that needless suffering is bad. When we have a sick or injured animal, we have it put down, because we do not want to see them suffer. We feel grieved when we hear of people dying slowly of cancer, and are upset by images of starving people on television. We know that the boy who pulls the wings off flies is cruel—recognising that even flies should not have to suffer needlessly.
If we, as seriously flawed humans, know that we must alleviate suffering, how much more will God, who is all-good and all-perfect, prevent the suffering of His creatures? If we shoot a horse with a broken leg, or put a wounded cat to sleep, how could God tolerate the eternal torment of humans?
We know that a person dying of cancer should be given pain relief—to withhold morphine would be inhuman. Suffering in this situation may only continue for weeks or months—but even this would be intolerable for us. How could God, then, withhold “pain relief” for those in hell, whose suffering does not last for months, but for trillions and trillions of years, and on into eternity?
We may, conceivably, tolerate the eternal suffering of what me might call “truly wicked men” like Hitler and Pol Pot—but Evangelicals imagine that all those who have not made a personal, conscious decision to “accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour” will be thrown into hell forever. This means that otherwise moral people, who are non-Christians, will be eternally tortured.
If I were to burn my daughter with cigarettes or poke out my son’s eyes with a pencil, I would be arrested and sent to prison. Even the most irreligious of people would find my behaviour to be obscene. Yet this is precisely what many Evangelicals believe about God, who is portrayed as One who inflicts torture on a truly massive scale—eternally afflicting His children. If, as a defence, I said that I burned my daughter and blinded my son because I was holy, and my righteousness demanded that I punish sin, people would be repulsed. An act of brutality would not be a manifestation of righteousness, but of unrighteousness—not of holiness, but of terrible evil. Yet Christians say that hell exists because God is holy, and His righteousness demands that He must punish sin.
While I certainly believe God to be both righteous and holy, if hell is an eternal torment of all non-Christians, then God would be neither. He would not deserve our worship but our scorn.
The theory of annihilationism has certain implications, especially for evangelism. Interestingly, the response of many Christians when they hear an annihilationist position is: “What is the point of being a Christian then?” The prospect of an eternal torment in hell is a motivating force for many people to remain believers—if no such punishment exists, surely we are free to eat, drink and be merry, for the worst that will happen is that we cease to be!
But the question must be, what are we saved from and what are we saved to? Jesus offers life, in all its fullness and abundance. We cannot say that if there is no endless torture for unbelievers that “there is no point” in believing. We are believers not because we want to avoid hell, but because we want to have unending fellowship with God, and because we desire the life He offers us. The fact that unbelievers miss out on his fellowship and life is not a reason for us to turn to “wine, women and song”!
Our desire should be to present this offer of eternal bliss to others, so that they too may know God and have fellowship with Him. Evangelism should not be to save people from the torment of hell, but to save people to life. Too often our presentation of the Gospel has been negative—hell has been a big stick with which God will (eternally!) hit people who do not accept Him. Our evangelism is therefore undermined by an inherent contradiction: on the one hand, God loves you; on the other, if you do not believe that He loves you He will torture you forever!
However, from an annihilationist perspective, we may present the love and mercy of God to others, and His offer of eternal life, in a way that does not do violence to the character and nature of God.
The idea of annihilation seems to fit more with what we know of God, as revealed in the Bible: the God who is loving and merciful, and whose holiness compels Him to destroy the evil which He cannot co-exist with. The theory of annihilationism also fits better with what we know of the Jewish context in which Jesus spoke. At the same time, annihilationism remains just a theory (although the traditional view is also just a theory).
Which view most accurately represents what the destiny of the unrepentant will be revealed in due course. In the meantime, we should, at the very least, recognise that annihilationism is, increasingly, a valid evangelical option. In the words of John Stott, annihilationism should “be accepted as a legitimate, biblically sound alternative to [the doctrine of] eternal conscious torment” (Stott 319-32).
The title of this post has been lodged in my head since 1983. It’s the start of the lyrics to the Pink Floyd song The Hero’s Return. The question is essentially the same as one(s) which my co-blogger Tim raised in a comment on another thread.
I would like to know with what urgency do you go about preaching the Gospel of Grace? Is the Gospel the most important truth to you as a Christian? or is being a Christ[ian] merely like being a member of the ‘Rightest’ philosophy/book club?
What[‘s] more….according to your teaching of annihilation… the atheists are right. ie when you die…you die! *That is what they expect* thus what you call Gods judgement is nothing more than what the atheists already expect. Ie it equates to *no judgement* at all.
Me I expect to be judged by the very words of the King James Bible.
For me I can barely sleep at night with concern for the Importance of evangelizing the lost for Christ.
Question: Would you Die for the sake of the Gospel?
According to Wikipedia, the Gospel
is the message of Jesus, the Christ or Messiah—God’s ruler promised by the Scriptures—specifically, the coming Kingdom of God, his death on the cross and resurrection to restore people’s relationship with God, the descent of the Holy Spirit on believers as the helper, the resulting promise and hope of being saved for any who believe and follow Jesus, and through this, a healing of the brokenness of the entire created universe.
But the Gospel is not just a message, it’s a call to action. For me, what’s most important in the Gospel are not its truths but its imperatives.
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (NIV)
There’s a war going on between the forces of good and the forces of evil. (Hadn’t you heard?) Life is the battleground. To become a Christian is to enlist and become a soldier in God’s army.
The first commandment is a call to pledge your allegiance to God.
The second commandment is the battle plan. The details are sometimes a bit sketchy. Which is why it helps to pray
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done … (KJV)
Tim is right that atheists expect to die. After decades of atheism I’ve grown used to the idea of personal annihilation. The hope and promise of eternal life played no part in my conversion to Christianity. Partly for this reason, saving souls seems somehow of secondary significance to me. Of course, an army needs recruits, but it also needs specialists. Some will specialise in recruitment, but we all have different callings.
That’s what I think it’s all about. I’ll add that my views on the matter are subject to change. Of course, the question which is the title of this post wasn’t addressed to me, it was addressed to Jesus. He has the answers (here, here, here and here), and we should defer to Him accordingly.
Would I die for the sake of the Gospel? It’s a bit late to ask that now, I already enlisted!
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Reed Robinson is joining Tim and me as co-blogger here at Eternal Vigilance. Welcome, Reed!
It also gives me great pleasure to post … And Justice For All, the title track from Metallica’s 1988 album of the same name. The title of the album is taken from the United States Pledge of Allegiance.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
I don’t know whether or not taking the Pledge of Allegiance counts as swearing, but please don’t swear (and please don’t mention the Black album, either, it’s an abomination – unless you’re talking about the Black album by Christian artist Prince).
Matt 5:33-37 Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Jam 5:12 Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.
To be a Member of Parliament you have to make the following Oath of Allegiance…
I, …, swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.
It’s possible to refuse to take the oath and make an affirmation instead but an affirmation and an oath are effectively the same thing.
Every person shall be entitled as of right to make his affirmation, instead of taking an oath, in all places and for all purposes where an oath is required by law, and every such affirmation shall be of the same force and effect as an oath.
I would consider myself compromised by such an oath. I should not and would not give my allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors by oath or by its equivalent.
What about you, if the opportunity arose and you were elected as a Member of Parliament would you, should you take the Oath of Allegiance?
December 23, 1776
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God. …
Great American. War of Independence.