Website owner: James Miller
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 Christian. 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 fire. 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 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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