The Hottest Places in Eternity #7

Sunday, September 30, 2018

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city (Mark 6:11 KJV).

Are there degrees of punishment in Hell and the Lake of Fire? Indeed!

The Great White Throne Judgment will be more bearable for the evil citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah than for the audience of Christ’s earthly ministry. More divine revelation was given to the latter, and yet the latter behaved far worse than the former!! This applies across the Bible timeline, even to our present-day. We have a completed Bible, all 66 Books, and yet human society is more anti-God and anti-Scripture than ever. Can you hear God’s rebuke? “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for those in prior dispensations in the day of judgment, than for you living in the Dispensation of Grace!!”

Christ Jesus warned in John 12:48: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” Every Bible ignored, every Gospel tract rejected, and every missionary rebuffed, will surely be mentioned in the Day of Judgment. These opportunities were intentionally missed. What a frightful prospect! God’s Word to any one group will condemn them to eternal judgment if not believed. The more divine revelation given, the harder the unbelieving heart grows. Two classic cases are Pharaoh with the 10 plagues (Exodus chapters 7–12) and Israel in the wilderness wanderings (Hebrews 3:7-19).

At the Great White Throne Judgment, the books opened are the Bible and the record of the deeds of the lost: “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). Jesus Christ will take applicable Bible verses, and indict each and every unsaved soul on the basis of that spiritual light rejected….

Bible Q&A #540: “Does the Bible support British Israelism?

The Hottest Places in Eternity #6

Saturday, September 29, 2018

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city (Mark 6:11 KJV).

Are there degrees of punishment in Hell and the Lake of Fire? Indeed!

The Lord Jesus uttered harsh words in Matthew chapter 11: “[21] Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. [22] But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. [23] And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. [22] But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. [24] But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.”

Matthew 10:15: “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city [where Christ’s Apostles preached].” Christ said in Luke chapter 10: “[12] But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. [13] Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. [14] But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. [15] And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. [16] He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”

Yea, to whom much is given, much will be required….

The Hottest Places in Eternity #5

Friday, September 28, 2018

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city (Mark 6:11 KJV).

Are there degrees of punishment in Hell and the Lake of Fire? Indeed!

Dear friends, no one “accidentally” goes to Hell. Only after a long (!) process of deliberately rejecting divine revelation—creation, conscience, and Bible—does a soul wake up in hellfire. The living, loving God of creation issued every possible warning… all was refused. His justice must enforce His righteousness. Sin will be punished in full!

From the time He created and placed man on Earth, the God of the Bible has constantly extended a message for man’s faith and obedience. While the written Bible was not always available, there was God’s spoken Word, which leaves “pre-Bible man” also without excuse. Sodom and Gomorrah, since they are so early on the Bible timeline, had very limited revelation from God (no Bible, but God’s spoken Word nonetheless).

The destruction of wicked Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the most striking events of divine judgment in the Old Testament. Genesis 19:24,25: “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” The Bible refers to this outstanding incident numerous times (cf. today’s Scripture, Deuteronomy 29:23, Isaiah 1:9, Amos 4:11, Zephaniah 2:9, Luke 17:29, 2 Peter 2:6, et cetera).

Jude 7 remarks, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” God utilized fire and brimstone (sulfur) to destroy these two sinful cities. Yet, there is far worse eternal judgment. Notice today’s Scripture, a record of Christ’s earthly ministry. Jesus Christ sent out His 12 Apostles to preach in His name. Whoever would reject these men will have a harsher experience before Him than Sodom and Gomorrah will have….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “When did Paul know about Israel’s fall?

The Hottest Places in Eternity #4

Thursday, September 27, 2018

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city (Mark 6:11 KJV).

Are there degrees of punishment in Hell and the Lake of Fire? Indeed!

According to the Bible, at least two factors determine the degree of eternal judgment each damned soul experiences. Firstly, every lost soul will be accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ as to how much divine revelation he or she had. This naturally includes how much revelation was rejected and actively contradicted.

All will have the testimony of creation to condemn them. Romans 1:18-21: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (“I did not know there was a God” will not be a valid excuse!)

Furthermore, all will have the witness of conscience to doom them. Romans 2:13-15: “(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; )….” (“I did not know right from wrong” will not be an effective defense either!)

As today’s Scripture says, all damned souls will also have the testimony of Scripture to punish them. The more they heard God’s Word, the worse their eternity….

The Hottest Places in Eternity #3

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city (Mark 6:11 KJV).

Are there degrees of punishment in Hell and the Lake of Fire? Indeed!

Luke 16:19-31 describes a most horrible place. Nevertheless, damned souls face an even worse fate. Hell is a temporary jailhouse, a spiritual place where unsaved souls suffer until the Great White Throne Judgment. They are already guilty sinners, condemned to bear forever the wrath of an offended, righteous God. Now, they await their sentencing—the Lake of Fire, the universe’s maximum-security prison!

After our Dispensation of Grace terminates with the Rapture, Israel’s seven-year Tribulation runs its course, Jesus Christ returns to Earth at His Second Coming, and He reigns for 1,000 years. Revelation 20:11-15 picks up the Bible timeline thereafter.

“[11] And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. [12] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. [13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. [14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [15] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Notice verse 13. “Death” is all lost people who have not yet physically died. “Hell” is all the unsaved of the ages who have physically died (they will be bodily resurrected—see verses 5-6). These two classes will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ to give an account for their deeds, after which He throws them into the Lake of Fire….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “‘Thou shalt not kill?’ or ‘Thou shalt not murder?’

The Hottest Places in Eternity #2

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city (Mark 6:11 KJV).

Are there degrees of punishment in Hell and the Lake of Fire? Indeed!

Luke chapter 16 is the Lord Jesus describing Hell’s miseries: “[19] There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: [20] And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, [21] And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

“[22] And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; [23] And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. [24] And 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. [25] But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. [26] And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

“[27] Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: [28] For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. [29] Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. [30] And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. [31] And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

What a horrible place….

The Hottest Places in Eternity #1

Monday, September 24, 2018

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city (Mark 6:11 KJV).

Are there degrees of punishment in Hell and the Lake of Fire? Indeed!

Eternal judgment is undoubtedly the least popular Bible topic. Yet, dear friends, we must not pretend the Scriptures are silent on the subject. There is a most (!) terrible (!), everlasting (!) doom (!) awaiting those who leave this world without knowing Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. As pleasant as Heaven is, is how dreadful Hell is. In abject agony, the souls of the hopelessly damned (even now!) let out their bloodcurdling screams, “Water! Water! We just want one drop of water! Tell our relatives and friends not to come here! This is a horrific place! What indescribable torment! Water! Water! One drop of water! Water! Water!” Throughout the endless ages to come, those chilling shrieks are heard loud and clear….

One frequent objection to the Bible doctrine of Hell and the Lake of Fire is that Almighty God simply cannot be fair in punishing everyone in the same place since some people lived worse than others. For instance, it is commonly asked, “How can a little, sweet grandmother wind up in the same place of torment as cruel dictators Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin?” Rather than God judging man (as it should be), man sits in judgment of God. Still, God already anticipated such complaints, and therefore provided answers in Scripture!

There are certainly degrees of eternal punishment. While it will all be “hot,” “flames,” “torment,” some temperatures will be much greater than others. Some damned souls arrive at a “warm” oven: here, it is “slightly uncomfortable” (comparatively speaking, of course). Other souls wake up in a scorching furnace: think of a sea of molten rock oozing from Earth’s interior or an enormous forest fire raging out of control. Whatever balminess, such suffering is totally unknown to us!

What factors determine the temperature of eternal judgment for a particular soul? The Bible says there are at least two issues that we must consider in this regard….

Words Precious

Sunday, September 23, 2018

He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD (Psalm 147:19,20 KJV).

“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3:1,2).

Ephesians 2:11-12 tells us: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:….”

In “time past,” the nation Israel had a special privilege. She had been given the words of the living and true God. Romans 9:4,5: “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”

Moses said to Israel in Deuteronomy 4:6-8: “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”

Israel, however, did not keep herself doctrinally pure. She threw aside the words of God in order to pick up the traditions of men. May we Gentiles learn from her mistake, and not repeat it! “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13). “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Translated Judgment #7

Saturday, September 22, 2018

In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe (1 Corinthians 14:21,22 KJV).

While it is commonly overlooked, today’s Scripture describes God’s righteous judgment on a certain group of unbelievers. Who are they? What is God’s message to them? Who is delivering that message?

First Corinthians chapter 14 outlines the six rules that regulated the gift of tongues (which gift the Corinthians were abusing). When the Holy Spirit was involved, these six principles were always in place. Any deviation, even slightly, meant that the experience was artificial and satanic. Someone was striving in his or her flesh to mimic or counterfeit God’s work.

Primarily, tongues served as a sign to the nation Israel (today’s Scripture). Secondly, twoor maximum, three—individuals were to speak in tongues during one meeting (verse 27). Thirdly, the speakers had to take turns, and not talk over each other (verse 27). Fourthly, the tongue had to be translated or the speaker was to remain silent (verses 27,28). Fifthly, only men spoke in tongues (verses 34,35). Lastly, there was to be decency, order, self-control (verse 40). These six rules describe the only type of speaking in tongues the Holy Spirit has ever (!) endorsed!

It was particularly important that tongues be translated. This interpretation allowed unsaved Jews to not only hear a foreign language (recognizing God’s judgment on their nation), but also learn God’s Word in their own native tongue (whatever it happened to be). An intelligible message, as opposed to gibberish, afforded them an opportunity to be convicted of their sin and converted to faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Now that that Acts transitional period is over, God dealing with Israel has passed, so the spiritual gifts have ceased (1 Corinthians 8:8-13). We have a completed Bible, total revelation from God, and thus temporary spiritual gifts and fragmentary revelation are unnecessary (2 Timothy 3:16,17; cf. Colossians 1:25-27).

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “Did Saul of Tarsus ever meet Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry?” and Did Paul just hear Jesus’ voice, or did he see Him, too?

Translated Judgment #6

Friday, September 21, 2018

In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe (1 Corinthians 14:21,22 KJV).

While it is commonly overlooked, today’s Scripture describes God’s righteous judgment on a certain group of unbelievers. Who are they? What is God’s message to them? Who is delivering that message?

Here are two simple Bible verses that will revolutionize the way you view God’s Word. “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:22). “Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). Signs are Israel’s national heritage (see Psalm 74:9). When we come to today’s Scripture, we thus see that one of these “signs” is the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues: “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not….” The unbelievers during the Acts period were the nation Israel (Acts 9:23,24; Acts 13:45-48; Acts 17:5,13; Acts 18:6,12; et cetera).

In Isaiah’s day, Israel hearing foreign languages meant that her LORD God’s judgment had fallen on her for her unbelief and disobedience. Similarly, Israel hearing the gift of tongues working amongst Paul’s Gentile converts signified to Israel that her God was now operating in the world without her. It was a drastic change in program. God had taken the spiritual gifts—what had belonged to Israel—and given them over to the Gentiles. The gift of tongues operated amongst Paul’s Gentile converts so as to provoke to salvation in Christ the unsaved Jews scattered around the world.

The gift of tongues was not meant to be entertainment (as the Corinthians were using it—see 1 Corinthians chapter 14), but rather a clear testimony to Israel. It was important that the Corinthians correct their abuses of this most special spiritual gift. Today’s Body of Christ would do well to take heed to these verses, and address and fix their misunderstandings and misuses of spiritual gifts….

Bible Q&A #535: “Who are the ‘Grecians’ in the Bible?