Monday, 7 August 2017

Hell

There are two descriptions of hell in the Bible. One is of a burning fire. Jesus often used the word GEHENNA to describe hell. Gehenna was the refuse dump outside Jerusalem that was always on fire. Jesus said hell was a place of worms, maggots, fire, and trouble. From that we get the image of a lake of fire and the concept of perpetual burning. The evil ones there are full of remorse and torment (see Mark 9:43-48).
Jesus also said that hell would be "outer darkness." He said that some in His day "will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:12, see also Matthew 22:13). Here the image is one of terrible loneliness. There will be separation from God and man. Those who are consigned to hell will be put out into the inky blackness of eternity, with nobody to turn to, nobody to talk to, and they will be constantly alone. They will suffer the remorse of knowing they had the opportunity to come into heaven with God but turned it down.
The Bible speaks of a lake of fire reserved for the devil and his angels (see Matthew 25:41). Human beings were never intended to go into hell. But the ones who choose to reject God will one day follow Satan right into hell.
There will be no exit from hell, no way out, no second chance. That is why it is so important in this life to receive the pardon that God extends to all men through the cross of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Eternity

Eternal life in heaven is received through knowledge of God, the Father, and is contained in His Son, Jesus Christ. We obtain this gift of life through salvation which God offers to all by the death and resurrection of His Son. When Jesus was massacred, beaten, humiliated, and crucified, the penalty for our sins was fully paid and we were given the opportunity to be reconciled to God. We receive this privilege by simply believing; God extends life to us when we have faith in what His Son, Jesus accomplished on the cross. 

This life begins at the moment we believe. We are immediately transformed into new creations and a new existence, now lived in fellowship with God, begins. This is the origin of the Christian's eternal life; we now have the presence of God with us at all times to guide us and direct us and help us to live according to the new standards and principles found in His Word. 

But what will eternal life be like? Although this life begins in the present and is blessed by God, we are still living on the earth and subject to earthly hardships, sorrows and disappointments. We take refuge in the presence of God while the promises in His Word comfort and sustain us. But this life that we have obtained is everlasting. It will extend beyond the boundaries of this earthly existence, indeed beyond time and the grave. So while we may suffer adversity here and now as foreigners in a strange country, we have hope of a better day. 

Yes, Christians suffer as foreigners in a strange land because our new existence is lived in contrast to those around us who continue to live in darkness without the life of Christ. The apostle Paul fully understood this, for he writes in his letter to the Corinthians, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable" (1 Corinthians 15:19). 

But our hope is not only in this life; we look forward to the time when we will live unencumbered by our mortal bodies and life's untoward circumstances. Eternal life in its ultimate fulfillment will be lived in the joyous presence of the living God, forever. We will be transformed into beings that are immortal and incorruptible; no longer need we fear sickness, pain or death. Even greater than this is the expectation of being like the Son, an unimaginable concept, but yet the truth offered to us in God's Word. "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). 

Eternal life for the believer is the glorious, endless experience of our inheritance that we share with Jesus Christ, for we are "joint heirs" with Christ. We shall live for all eternity to reign as kings and priests, finally worthy to behold the face of the God. And, as the Apostle John concluded, "Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure" (1 John 3:3
). 

Hell

There are two descriptions of hell in the Bible. One is of a burning fire. Jesus often used the word GEHENNA to describe hell. Gehenna was...