The Hottest Places in Eternity #12

Friday, October 5, 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!

Individuals in leadership will be held more accountable before Almighty God (cf. Matthew 23:14): “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”

Satan initiated and tirelessly led creation’s rebellion against the Creator God; therefore, he will receive the hottest cell in eternity. Fallen angels, the Devil’s spiritual emissaries, have also practiced evil for 6,000 years—more damage than people. These will be severely tormented. The Antichrist, the False Prophet, and Judas Iscariot are those most consumed by Satan’s policy of evil; they too will be tortured beyond imagination.

Israel’s kings, priests, and false prophets will all be severely punished. They willfully perverted God’s people and His Bible for thousands of years. All other religious leaders (popes, priests, preachers, cardinals), political leaders (kings, queens, princes, presidents, prime ministers, dictators) and educational leaders (teachers, professors, especially educators at seminaries and Bible colleges) will suffer abounding flames. Their temperature will be dependent upon how many they led astray.

Husbands and fathers will face more intense eternal judgment than wives and mothers. It is God’s design that men (not women!) be spiritual leaders in the marriage, the family, and the local assembly (Ephesians 5:23; Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 2:11-15). Indeed, Almighty God will hold men overwhelmingly responsible for broken homes, corrupt local churches, and wicked civilization overall.

All other lost people—from women to young people, right down to the youngest person who died after having deliberately rejected God’s Word to them, and up to the oldest senior citizen who perished after having intentionally refused God’s Word to them—all will be eternally tormented but less severely than the other classes.

Dear friends, Hell and the Lake of fire are most serious matters. Thankfully, in Christ Jesus, we can escape sin’s eternal penalty….

Doctrine Divides #3

Friday, September 14, 2018

But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles (Acts 14:4 KJV).

Have you ever heard the expression, “Doctrine divides?” Indeed, it does!

The attitude and actions of unbelieving Israel throughout the 30-year Acts period are summarized in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16: “…the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets [Stephen in Acts chapter 7; James in chapter 12], and have persecuted us [Paul, Silvanus/Silas, and Timotheus/Timothy]; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”

Our ecumenical friends would do well to note today’s Scripture. Believers in Jesus Christ decided to follow His Apostles and keep separate from unbelieving Jews (apostates). Compromise was simply not an option: they had a legitimate reason for division. God’s enemies, although having some appearance of truth, were forcefully teaching false doctrine. It was certainly not the time for Christians to say, “All religions are the same. Some will believe in Jesus Christ and some will not. We are all children of God, so we need to try to get along with everyone. There is no need to cause trouble by splitting.”

Brethren, if we are preaching and teaching sound Bible doctrine (God’s Word rightly divided), we should not expect Satan to just sit by idly. Our Adversary will use whatever and whomever he can to corrupt us (so we change the doctrine) and—if he cannot get us to modify the doctrine—ultimately silence us (intimidation of various degrees). In the case of Paul, he utilized unbelieving Jews, unbelieving Gentiles, and even (!) fellow Christians. Satan had these “competitors” in place to obstruct God’s work through Paul and his ministry companions. Such rivals are working even today! Let us remember to side with God’s Apostle to us, Paul, even if that means leaving all others.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate….” (2 Corinthians 6:17). “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself [from apostasy—verse 1], and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:16).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did Acts 7:60 predict the Dispensation of Grace?

They Took My Religion!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company? And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee? (Judges 18:23,24 KJV).

Why, oh why, is Micah so distraught?!

Judges chapters 17 and 18 show Baal worship, pagan-idol religion, slowly infiltrating Israel. Micah’s mother gives much silver to a founder (metal worker) to make silver idols, which idols Micah takes. “[Micah] had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim [household idols], and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest” (17:5). Eventually, he ordains a young, nomadic, apostate Levite to be his priest.

As chapter 18 opens, the roaming Danites (a tribe of Israel) arrive at Micah’s house. They recognize the Levite, ultimately learning he leads Micah’s vain religious system. These Danites leave but later return, armed with weapons. They take Micah’s “aids to worship” by force! Verses 17,18: “And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war. And these went into Micah’s house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?”

The Danites convince the Levite to come and be their priest. Idolatry, once confined to one man and his mother, is now adopted by a whole tribe of Israel!! Micah and his acquaintances cry out in today’s Scripture. The Danites have robbed them of their religion—now, they have nothing! Such is the case when one’s religion consists of simply material “stuff.” It can be stolen, destroyed, smashed, burned, lost forever. How much better, dear friends, to know that if we have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, no one can ever take Him from us!

Satisfied in Superstition #6

Thursday, August 23, 2018

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:22,23 KJV).

Why is there rampant spiritual ignorance today?

God intended the Abrahamic Covenant to bless all nations (Gentiles) through Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). However, Israel disallowed God’s Word, thus declining to be His messengers to Gentiles. Jesus Christ saved and directly commissioned Paul to preach to all in Satan’s lie program (unsaved Jews and unsaved Gentiles—Hell-bound idolaters!).

Paul and Barnabas preached in Acts chapter 14: “[15] Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities [idols] unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: [16] Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.” Escape Satan’s darkness by trusting Christ!

Also, Paul announced: “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (verses 29,30—the context of today’s Scripture). Think properly! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and forsake this pagan nonsense! “Turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). Sadly, many “intellectual” Athenians were satisfied in their superstitious silliness (Acts 17:32).

Yet, Paul had converts from heathenism: “And you hath he [Father God] quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1,2).

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What if I was never thanked?

Satisfied in Superstition #5

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:22,23 KJV).

Why is there rampant spiritual ignorance today?

Romans chapter 1 describes the nations (Gentiles) whom the God of the Bible renounced at the Tower of Babel. They refused to think about Him and His Word so He gave them up and over to their desired empty, worthless, satanic views. However, this is also true concerning individuals. People convince themselves not to think properly about the Creator God and spiritual matters. They willfully (key word!) reject the information He has freely offered them.

God caused Israel to fall nationally in early Acts when she ignored the Holy Spirit’s testimony of Jesus Christ. With their deliberate stoning of His prophet Stephen in chapter 7, He set them aside (albeit temporarily). They thereafter became like all the Gentiles—enjoying Satan’s lie program, his dark and evil world system (2 Corinthians 4:4). God could have righteously destroyed them all in wrath, but instead He poured out grace and mercy in chapter 9 to Saul of Tarsus (the leader of Israel’s rebellion against God). “Even so have these [Israel] also now not believed, that through your [Gentiles’/nations’] mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all” (Romans 11:31,32).

Saul of Tarsus became the Apostle Paul. The crucified, buried, risen, and ascended Lord Jesus Christ told him on the day of his salvation unto eternal life: “Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts 26:17,18). The Lord removed Saul from spiritual darkness, Satan’s “power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13) so he could preach to others how they too could be delivered through Christ Jesus. Paul did that in today’s Scripture….

Satisfied in Superstition #4

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:22,23 KJV).

Why is there rampant spiritual ignorance today?

The world’s “mess”—madness, mayhem, wickedness, injustice, religious confusion, spiritual darkness—should not surprise us. Moreover, it is not accidental that Satan and sin reign among us! God has let mankind exercise free will (volition). Romans chapter 1 outlines man’s threefold declension from his natural knowledge of God to his tenacious abandonment of said knowledge. Blame us—not God—for sin!

“[19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. [20] 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: [21] 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. [22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

“[24] Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: [25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. [26] For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections…. [28] And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;…. [32] Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

It was these people, the nations, to whom the Apostle Paul ministered in today’s Scripture….

Knowledge Not of God

Monday, July 30, 2018

Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land (Hosea 4:1 KJV).

While this is Israel 700 years before Christ, it could be said of the Church the Body of Christ 2,000 years after Christ.

One modern “Christian” author is a descendant of a popular “feel-good” minister from many years ago. Perusing through his new 200-page book, I counted 26 verses quoted overall! It was, on average, one verse every seven or eight pages. The verses he did use were quite basic. You would think that a seminary graduate—with two advanced Bible degrees—would be more knowledgeable in Scripture!!

Alas, most seminaries do not educate people using just the Bible. They focus on human wisdom (philosophy), denominational tradition, church history, linguistics (Hebrew and Greek studies), and systematic theology. There is no solid footing or grounding in the Scriptures. Oftentimes, they are taught to make their own Bible translations, which are usually radical departures from the standard English Bible (King James Bible).

In today’s Scripture, God laments the pitiful condition of His people (Israel). He has given them revelation—the Scriptures, prophets, angelic visitations, visions, dreams, and so on—and yet they still are so willfully ignorant of His Word and will for them. Verse 6 goes on to say, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”

Ancient Israel knew plenty of religion (Judaism and heathenism), a lot of history, and plenty of entertainment, but they had no “knowledge of God.” Talk to the average church member, or even preacher, today. They know all about their denominational system, experiences, and theological speculations, but they have not a clue about Pauline doctrine (God’s current dealings with man). No matter what the dispensation, the Devil always distracts God’s people using erroneous teaching and thinking, especially bad Bible doctrine (non-dispensational Bible study) but also no Bible at all. Do not be distracted from valuable knowledge!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you shed light on Galatians 3:20?