Skip to comments.How Hell Glorifies God...
Posted on 04/25/2011 3:37:14 PM PDT by pastorbillrandles
Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors. ( Psalm 7:9-13)
The Judeo/Christian teaching of a God of Holy wrath has by and large been rejected by the new psychologized, humanistically influenced evangelical world. Decades of weakened teaching and preaching have had an effect for millions of confessing christians. The very idea of a place of fiery, eternal, punishment in hell is a turn off to the new evangelicals.
Rob Bell is the founder of Mars Hill church in Grandville, Michigan. He is also the author of a widely acclaimed book called Love Wins. Bell calls into question the doctrine of final and fixed judgment in hell for the billions who will not be saved. The following is from the preface of Bells book,
A staggering number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better . This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy that our world desperately needs to hear.
Note the loaded way Bell frames the issue, speaking of a select, few christians in order to appeal to the egalitarian impulses of his readers, as if the difference between heaven and hell is a matter of social status to those of us who believe in Gods righteous Judgment.
It is my purpose in this little essay to proclaim how the punishment of Hell glorifies the God of the Bible, and His Son, Jesus our Lord.
Modern ministers seeking to become relevant and identify with this unbelieving generation, are obviously ashamed of the traditional teaching of the church regarding the final punishment of evil. We shouldnt be though. Jesus certainly wasnt ashamed to warn people of an eternal hell.
Hell and the Lake of fire were created by God for a specific purpose, to punish the Devil and his fallen angels. God only does what pleases Himself, for Gods pleasure is the highest good. Therefore Hell itself is to the glory of God. Look with me at some of the ways Hell reveals Gods holy glory.
* Hell is a revelation of the utter hatefulness of sin - There is a sense in which the whole subject of Hell and punishment shows us our own heart. We stumble over the subject because we cant believe that sin is so evil that it merits hell.
The fall of man has the same effect on us, we reason, Whats the big deal, Eve eating a piece of fruit, sharing it with her husband, wanting to be like gods ?. And yet every tear of anguish, pain, shame, rage, fear, and humiliation that was ever shed, comes as a result of the man and the woman eating the fruit.
Eating fruit is that big a deal? No, but trusting God is. Being willing to remain as a worshipper under God, rather than aspiring to be a rival God in your own image, is a huge, infinite deal with eternal consequences.
Hell and the lake of fire are a revelation of the utter hatred God has for all that is evil, false, selfish, and unbelieving. God knows what sin is, an awful evil, incredibly damaging, and of enormous consequences. Sin is the evil of evils! It is worse than hell for it caused hell, and all suffering and separation came about as a result of it.
It is to Gods glory that He hates something so hateful. Would we want to live in a universe of a God who delighted in malignant evil? Who loved lust? Selfishness and covetousness? Such a world would be unbearable.
* Hell reveals the Righteousness of God I would hate to think of a world wherein both Hitler and his victims ended up in the same condition. We know better than that, and furthermore we know that this life isnt long enough or of sufficient breadth to fully satisfy Justice.
For example, Hitler shot himself in the head in a bunker, after slaughtering millions of millions of his own people, and plunging the world into the most devastating war to date. He wasnt even brought up on trial, he eluded all attempts to bring him to justice of any sort. Had he been brought to Nuremberg after the war, the worse that could have been done to this mass murderer, would be to hang him.
The doctrine of final judgment, and a fixed eternal state tells us that justice shall be eternally satisfied, there is a place where every last farthing will be demanded, all accounts will be put into order.
* Hell reveals the infinite worth of God - As we said earlier, people cant believe that sin is really as evil as it is, therefore they cant understand the severity of Hell.
In the same way, people dont really believe that God is as glorious, exalted, majestic and high as He is. If they could see God they would instantly realize why there must be a hell, for they would know that to sin against such an infinitely good, Holy and beautiful being could only merit such a punishment. All sins are against God himself.
The very definition of evil, is to spurn, resist or ignore God, for He alone is the source of all that is good. You cannot spurn such a God with impunity! Hell shows us that God is so high, lifted up, so good, so beautiful, that to sin against Him is to hate goodness itself. It is the epitome of pride and impiety to refuse to worship such goodness and beauty!
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God (Psalm 9:17)
Where else could they Go? Heaven itself would be hell to the wicked for they hate God!
Part two tomorrow
This just goes to show how profoundly Christianity is.
This just goes to show how profoundly evil Christianity is.
Except they probably do for the most part, seeing as you didn't really refute the assertion that only a 'select few' will be saved, only the emotive way some people have phrased it....
Someone has pointed out that if God truly is love, there has to be a side of love called wrath and hatred.
How can that be?
It’s really obvious. Men have raped and killed babies. Or simply look at what Hitler did to the Jews. Or what the drug lords are doing in Mexico. Or what Islamists do to women or those they consider infidels. Men who murder their own wives or children for “honor”. I could go on for a long time, but His list of what is evil is clearly revealed in Scripture.
God hates that which hurts, damages, destroys or kills that which He loves; thus His wrath is required against all such things, and He promises that one day His wrath will be released against all that is evil. Justice requires this.
There is such a thing as evil - though our world today tries to deny its existence. But there is no real justice in this life - though God calls man to it.
There will be a judgment - ALL will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. ALL.
For those who confess their sins (are honest), and believe in His finished work, His wrath was already poured out on their sin - on the Son of God.
For those who reject His offer of free, undeserved grace, the judgment will be for rejecting His provision, His beloved Son - “God so loved....He gave....”
To reject that provision is to reject eternal life.
Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Amen and Amen!
Excellent, as is also what pastorbillrandell wrote.
From your link, Ch XI
Saint John of the Ladder says somewhere in his work that “before our fall the demons say to us that God is a friend of man; but after our fall, they say that He is inexorable.” This is the cunning lie of the devil: to convince us that any harm in our life has as its cause God s disposition; that it is God Who will forgive us or Who will punish us. Wishing to throw us into sin and then to make us lose any hope of freeing ourselves from it, they seek to present God as sometimes forgiving all sins, and sometimes as inexorable. Most Christians, even Orthodox Christians, have fallen into this pit. They consider God responsible for our being pardoned or our being punished. This, my brothers, is a terrible falsehood which makes most men lose eternal life, principally because in considering God s love, they convince themselves that God, in His love, will pardon them. God is always loving, He is always pardoning, He is always a friend of man. However, that which never pardons, that which never is a friend of man, is sin, and we never think of it as we ought to. Sin destroys our soul independently of the love of God, because sin is precisely the road which leads away from God, because sin erects a wall which separates us from God, because sin destroys our spiritual eyes and makes us unable to see God’s light. The demons want to make us always think of our salvation or our eternal spiritual death in juridical terms. They want us to think that either salvation or eternal death is a question of God’s decision. No, my brothers, we must awaken in order not to be lost. Our salvation or our eternal death is not a question of God s decision, but it is a question of our decision, it is a question of the decision of our free will which God respects absolutely. Let us not fool ourselves with confidence in God’s love. The danger does not come from God; it comes from our own self.
Did you read it all? What do you think?
That’s an excellent article.
Here’s another, if you haven’t already read:
Most of it, twice to get a idea of the main flow of things. And for the most part I agree with it. Humanity is so stupid and vain, and think they have it all figured out and are oh so very impressed with our accomplishments, and lets not forget about that really long river in Africa.
“Truly foolish, therefore, and lacking all understanding and mind is he who says there is no God. Alongside him no less in this madness is he who says that God is the cause of evils. I consider their sins to be of equal gravity because each one similarly denies the good; the former denies that He exists at all, while the latter defines Him as not being good; for if he is the cause of evils, He is clearly not good; so from both sides there is a denial of God.”
Yes. I actually read that not so long ago and will read again soon. I actually know the priest’s brother.
Thanks for posting.
Thank you for posting that link....