Website owner:  James Miller

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Sin is serious business. The punishment for it is real. Hell is real.

   Can we not consider the severity of the punishment prescribed 
   for some wrong action as indicative of how serious the action 
   is regarded to be?  If there is no punishment prescribed for 
   some action, that action is not regarded as very serious.  If, 
   on the other hand, the punishment for an action is death, the 
   person who set that punishment must be very serious in his 
   desire that people not do that particular thing.  In our 
   society there is no punishment prescribed for adultery.  In the 
   Old Testament the punishment that God prescribed for adultery 
   was death.  What does this suggest about how serious God takes 
   the conduct called adultery?

   The Bible speaks of hell, a place of punishment for wrongdoers, 
   in many places.  How is hell described?  It is described as 
   a lake of fire, a place of torment.  How long does the punishment 
   of hell continue?  The Bible is clear on that.  In numerous 
   places the punishment is said to last eternally i.e. for ever 
   and ever.  Can you imagine that?  To be punished, to be 
   tormented, for ever and ever?  How serious must God regard some 
   conduct if he has prescribed a punishment as severe as that for 
   the conduct?  I don't really believe that any person who really 
   believed that he would be punished in some horrible hell for 
   ever and ever would ever commit adultery.  The reason so many 
   people commit adultery is that they don't believe there is a 
   hell.  They don't believe they will be punished for their 
   conduct.  They may not even believe there is a God.  The 
   teachings of the Bible about hell just have no credibility with 
   them.  They don't take them seriously.  They believe only those 
   things in the Bible that they wish to believe and ignore the rest.  
   They twist the Bible and interpret it as they wish.  They quote 
   Jesus on things that he said that they agree with, but you 
   don't hear them quoting him on the things he said about hell.  
   They say, "God is good.  A good God would not make a hell.  
   Thus there can be no hell."  They believe what they want to 
   believe.  They don't take the God of the Bible seriously.  They 
   don't really take Jesus seriously either, for if they did they 
   would believe there was a hell.  They have their own ideas and 
   believe as they wish to believe.  If the Bible confirms what 
   they believe, that is great.  And they are not willing to 
   believe that they will burn for ever and ever in hell for such 
   conduct as fornication, adultery and homosexuality, even though 
   the Bible clearly says that that is the punishment for that 
   kind of conduct.  They just simply don't take the teachings of 
   Christianity seriously.  It would be accurate to say that they 
   have no fear of the God of the Bible.  They don't take him 
   seriously.  They have no fear of him or his warnings.  If they 
   did they simply would not live in the way they do.  What I have 
   just said is not just true of the nonreligious.  It is also 
   true of the vast majority of those who regard themselves as 
   Christians.  Even large numbers of those who regard themselves 
   as Christians are committing fornication, adultery, etc. big 
   time.  They are not taking the Bible seriously.  They have no 
   fear of God.  Otherwise they wouldn't do it.  They are not 
   obeying God, as he requires.  They are only fooling themselves.  
   They are not Christians.  Christians obey God and do as he 
   says.  Calling yourself a Christian doesn't make you a 

   People are attuned to the crowd.  They are not attuned to the 
   Bible.  They are attuned to what others around them are doing.  
   If everyone else is doing it, it must be OK.  People are sheep.  
   They follow the crowd.  In our society modern liberalism has 
   questioned and challenged the reliability and trustworthiness of 
   the Bible on every point.  It is the great antagonist of the 
   Bible.  In an environment in which the validity of the Bible is 
   everywhere questioned people find it easy to live as they wish, 
   do whatever they wish.  The concept of an eternal hell is 
   outdated.  They don't take the idea seriously.  They take as 
   Christianity only those teachings of Christianity that they 
   like.  Hell?  They don't want to hear about it.  Punishment for 
   conduct such as fornication, adultery or homosexuality?  They 
   don't want to hear about it.  They live in a society where sin 
   and wickedness is glamorized and romanticized.  They love the 
   freedom.  They love the permissive outlooks.  Constraints on 
   behavior?  They don't want to hear about it.  Punishment for 
   immoral behavior?  They don't want to hear about it.  They will 
   do whatever they wish.  They will not be restrained.

   People listen to what they like to hear, believe what they want 
   to believe, and quickly dismiss what they don't wish to believe.   

   What did Jesus have to say about hell?  He spoke about it in a 
   number of places.  Let us quote him in one place:

   If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it 
   from you.  It is better to enter into life lame or maimed, 
   rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the 
   everlasting fire.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it 
   out and cast it from you.  It is better to enter into life with 
   one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell 
                                                 Matt 18:8-9

   What do you think of this statement?  Do you think he meant it 
   literally?  Think about it.  Hell. The torment of hell fire for 
   ever and ever and ever.  It doesn't sound good.  Would you give 
   up an eye to avoid that?  

   Jesus said, "And I say to you my friends, do not fear those who 
   kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But 
   I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who after he has 
   killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!"

                                               Luke 12:4-5

   Nov 2010 

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