Sinners in Hell

Sinners in Hell – Ron Graham – www.straitandnarrowministry.com

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36. Have you ever thought about what allows a person to live eternally with God, and why some will spend eternity in Hell? There is a very simple answer. It almost seems too simple. Any Christian should know the answer to this, but with all of the false teaching around many people get confused. Do you think a person will spend eternity in Hell because they sin? No, there won’t be one single person in Hell because they were sinners here on earth. A person will be in Hell because of their rejection of the remedy that God provided to take away their sin. Jesus Christ paid the price and gave us a free gift. If you do not accept that gift then you have made your choice. All human beings, both Christians and non-Christians, are sinners and whether or not you want to admit it that’s just the simple truth. Yep, we’re all a bunch of sinners. The only reason some of us avoid Hell is because we have said yes to God’s remedy. There is no other way.

Jesus the Christ is God’s only remedy which will fully deflect our punishment. His only begotten Son paid the price for all of our sins past, present, and future. “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Hebrews 10:11-12. The “Man” referred to in this passage is, of course, Jesus Christ. Since Jesus is the full payment for the sin of this world there is no other sacrifice available for forgiveness of sins. If you sin, or should I say when you sin, there is nothing you can do to make that right. You cannot do any works that will take that sin away. You cannot deny yourself food, you cannot say pre-written prayers, you cannot ascend a flight of stairs on your knees, nor can you go to a mere human to be absolved from your sin. There is nothing you can do to take that sin away. There is no other sacrifice than Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection that takes sin away. A person does not go to Hell because of sin. Rejection of Jesus Christ is the reason for multitudes spending eternity in Hell.

Why reject the truth? Why reject something God made so easy to accept? Stubborn pride, self-will, believing lies instead of truth, and thinking that you are a good person who doesn’t need a Saviour are just a few excuses. So many want to complicate what Jesus did, but the truth is, accepting His sacrifice is easy for us, but what Jesus accomplished on that cross was far from easy for Him. “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39. Too often we focus on only one aspect of Jesus’ character. Either we see Him as just a man and forget that He was also fully God, or we see Him as God and forget that He became human “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” John 1:14. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His arrest, He knew what He was about to face. Not only would He suffer pain and humiliation by the hands of His human tormentors, but He would be standing in our place. This means He bore our sins and for the first time He would be separated from God the Father. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. The pain would pass, but the separation from God the Father was what He asked God to let pass from Him. Because we live sinful lives and every day we need to ask forgiveness we get used to this feeling of separation. We cannot possibly imagine how forsaken Christ felt as He hung on that cross, separated from God the Father, when He became sin in our stead.

There is no other sacrifice for sin. Jesus asked that God the Father would allow the cup to pass from Him if there was another way. But the cup did not pass from Him. There is no animal sacrifice that can take sin away, nor can praying while counting beads, or fasting, or anything that we try to do instead of accepting Christ’s free gift. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. That makes it very clear. There is no other way of salvation but through our faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. Those who reject Jesus will remain unforgiven. When they die they will be sinners in Hell. At that point there is no turning back.

In the verse from Matthew 26:39 above we can hear the anguish of Jesus. He knew what was coming and His human nature wanted the company and support of His closest friends. He had asked Peter, James, and John to be with Him. “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.” Matthew 26:38. Although it was Christ’s passion to die for His creation, He knew what He was facing. He wanted the support of His friends. We get an even clearer understanding of His agony from Luke “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:44. There was nothing easy about what He was about to face. Accepting His free gift of salvation may seem easy for us, but for Jesus there was nothing easy concerning what was involved in what He accomplished on that cross. It wasn’t the nails that held Him there; it was only His love for His creation that held Him on that cross until death.

We all sin, but those who have accepted Christ as their Saviour are forgiven. John wrote to fellow Christians “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. This is not a license to sin. Paul makes it clear that our faith in Christ should make us not want to sin “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1-2. Our desire needs to be to remove sin from our life. Christians do sin but when we ask forgiveness He is faithful and just for forgive us our sins. But we should hate sin in all its forms – thoughts, words, and deeds – and take no pleasure in it. As we draw nearer to Jesus, our desire for sin will diminish.

Many people who reject Christ just don’t understand the eternal consequences of their choice. Hell is temporary, but the judgment on sin is eternal. You don’t just cease to exist when you die and the torment you will feel is eternal. In Luke chapter 16 we read of an incident that Jesus told of a rich man who died and found himself in Hell. Before the cross there were two sides to Hell (also known as Sheol). There was the place where the faithful went, commonly known as Abraham’s Bosom. After Christ’s resurrection the faithful went with Him to Heaven. There is also the torment side where those who are not faithful go. It still exists and will be emptied at the White Throne Judgment. “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Luke 16:23-24. That doesn’t sound like a place anyone would choose to be. But it gets worse. When the final judgment comes, the Great White Throne Judgment, each person who does not have their name written in the Book of Life will be judged according to their works. Uh oh, that doesn’t sound good. In fact, it is worse than we can imagine. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15. This punishment will be forever. This lake of fire is also the final destiny for the devil, the beast, and the false prophet “…and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:10b.

“But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Luke 12:5. Who is it that has the power to cast a person into hell? It is true that Satan and his minions try their best to keep humans from accepting Christ, but he has no power of judgment. Only God will judge and His judgment is completely fair. He has told us in no uncertain terms what sin is and the penalty of sin. He has had mercy on us and has shown perfect love when He stepped into His creation to die on that cross for our salvation. He only asks us to believe.

So, what can we do? Yes there are sinners in Hell, but their sin didn’t send them there. It was their choice to reject Christ’s sacrifice and it was that choice by which they condemned themselves to Hell. What about today on this earth? Everyone sins whether we have accepted Christ’s free gift or not. The difference is that Christians have accepted God’s free gift…the only way for sin to be forgiven. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. Only believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ can take sin away. Do you know someone who has not accepted this free gift? Today is when you need to talk with them. What about you? Do you have any doubts about your salvation? Will you be one of those unforgiven sinners in Hell who rejected Christ? Time is running out. Will the Rapture happen leaving you behind? Perhaps you will have an unexpected heart attack. If you or a loved one dies before accepting Christ, you will be one more sinner in Hell. Don’t let that happen. Commit yourself to Jesus and talk to your friends and family now…tomorrow may be too late.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

This commentary was started by Ron Graham before his death on March 14, 2013, and finished by his wife, Nathele Graham

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The Rich Man And Lazarus

The Rich Man And Lazarus – A Bible Study by Jack Kelley – http://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/the-rich-man-lazarus/

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus is found only in the gospel according to Luke (Luke 16:19-31) and is the clearest picture anywhere in Scripture of the afterlife. As such it is essential reading for anyone attempting to counter the plethora of books by believers and non-believers alike who claim to have visited heaven or hell and been sent back. It’s also an argument against the eastern notion of reincarnation.

The Book of Job, arguably the first book of the Bible to be written, was the earliest to mention life after death.

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;I myself will see him with my own eyes-I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27),

Later David, Isaiah, Daniel and others also wrote about the life that comes after death as a reward for righteousness. Daniel was the first to clarify that the unrighteous will also rise from the grave, and it’s from his explanation (Dan 12:2) that we’ve come to understand that everyone who is ever born lives forever. (Bodies are killed or wear out and expire but spirits, the repositories of life, are eternal.)

An angel explained to Daniel that while all who have died rise from the grave, for some the resurrection brings everlasting reward and for others it brings everlasting shame and contempt. This is clarified in Revelation 20:11-15 where we’re told that the unsaved dead will return from the grave for the purpose of being judged for their behavior while living. This is where we learn about about the 2nd death, actually a conscious state of eternal and solitary separation from God accompanied by never ending torment, as the outcome of this judgment. Christians think of this as “hell” but as we’ll learn from the Rich Man and Lazarus it’s really much worse. Let’s get started.

What’s The Story?

Here’s a summary of the story. A rich man lived in the lap of luxury, while a beggar (Lazarus) languished outside his gate hoping for scraps from his table. In due time they both died. Angels carried Lazarus to “Abraham’s side (bosom)” a popular Jewish term in that day for the abode of the dead. The part reserved for believers was also called Paradise. Jesus promised one of the men being crucified with Him that they would meet there before the end of the day (Luke 23:43). The Hebrew name for this place is Sheol, while the Greeks called it Hades from which the English word Hell is derived. The rich man also went there upon dying, but while Lazarus was being comforted, the rich man was in constant torment. This tells us he was not a believer. Asking Abraham for relief, he was informed that while they were within sight and speaking distance of each other, they were actually in two different areas and there was no way to cross from one to the other. (Luke 16:19-26)

The rich man then asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to warn his brothers, still alive, to make sure they came to the place where Lazarus was instead of where he was, but Abraham refused, saying, “They have Moses and the Prophets (the Old Testament), let them listen to them.” “No”, said the rich man, “But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.” Abraham responded, “If they will not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:27-31)

What’s The Point?

And there’s the whole point of the story. Three points actually:

1) The only place to secure your eternal destiny is here on earth before you die (Hebr. 9:27). The rich man never asked for a 2nd chance for himself, only that his brothers be warned while they were still living so they could avoid sharing his fate. Having experienced the alternative, there’s no way he would have turned down an opportunity to join Abraham and Lazarus if one existed for him. Abraham made it clear that it was impossible to cross from either area to the other.

2) The Bible contains all the facts you need to make an informed decision about eternity and is the Lord’s chosen method for bringing His children to Salvation.

3) When folks aren’t convinced by Scripture, even someone coming back from the dead will fail to persuade them, a fact the Lord Himself proved all too convincingly a short time later.

Grace Through Faith

Before the cross, those who had died in faith of a coming Redeemer as the Scriptures taught them went to a temporary place of comfort to rest until in the fullness of time the Redeemer’s shed blood finally erased the penalty for their sins. This is the place called Abraham’s bosom in the passage.

When Jesus came to Sheol after His death on the cross, he commended them for their faith (1 Ptr. 4:6) and took them to Heaven (Matt 27:52-53, Ephes. 4:8)). His crucifixion had removed the final obstacle to their entry into God’s presence. All who have died in faith since the cross go straight into the Lord’s presence (2 Cor 5:7-8) where they await reunion with their resurrection bodies (1 Thes. 4:16-17).

The unsaved dead will continue to languish with the rich man until the end of the Millennium when they too are raised, judged, and then banished to a place of eternal torment, but this time in utter separation and darkness (Revelation 20:15).

Many in the liberal church, in cults, the New Age and in the Eastern religions speak of another chance to reconcile with God following physical death. Some even claim we’ll be reincarnated in a series of lives through which we can work our way toward perfection, eventually earning our place with God or even becoming a god. The Bible speaks of no such things, teaching instead that “man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment” (Hebr. 9:27). The Lord’s own words in the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus confirm this.

Trick Or Treat?

What a great trick of our enemy, persuading supposedly learned theologians to teach their biblically ignorant followers to ignore the clear admonitions of Scripture and seek an alternate way, only to discover after it’s too late that they were misled. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. (Matt 7:13-14). In the context of these 2 verses all are seeking the path to salvation, but only a few find it. Most choose the complex over the simple, the wide over the small, the broad over the narrow.

Here’s the simple, small and narrow truth. God, Who created us, requires us to live by His law. Sin is the violation of God’s law and the penalty is death. Because you can’t avoid sinning you can’t avoid the penalty, but because He loves you so much Jesus offered to die in your place. God agreed to this and has issued you a full pardon. You need only believe He did this for you to be forgiven of all your sins, past present and future and receive your pardon. When you do your eternal destiny changes from torment to paradise, from separation to union, from death to life. But remember, you only have this life in which to do this, and you have no way of knowing how soon your life will end. If you haven’t already accepted His pardon, better do it now while you can.

Is Satan, the Devil Real?

Is Satan, the Devil Real? – Pastor Mike Taylor – http://www.churchofgod-usa.org/1/post/2013/08/is-satan-the-devil-real.html

Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

The bible speaks of a powerful angelic being that was called, in the beginning, Lucifer. The bible describes him as a most beautiful and powerful being that God had ever created. He was covered with the most precious of stones and his brightness was called “son of the morning.”

Ezekiel 28:12-13 “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre,(Satan) and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.”

Ezekiel 28:14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. v. 15, You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.”

v.16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Lucifer was one of the main cherubs and was a powerful member of the Ark Angels, Gabriel and Michel being the other two mentioned in the Bible. He was an angel with great authority and possibly the most powerful of the three that served in the Temple of God. It was, until Lucifer became consumed with his own beauty and pride entered into his heart. Lucifer was as we are agents of free moral choice. Lucifer was the ruler of this earth, before our creation. His world was the one we now live on. What this earth was like before creation of Genesis 1, is not known, but the fossil records show that there was a world in times before our time, that was much different that what we experience now.

The bible speaks of a war breaking out in heaven as Lucifer convinced 1/3 of the heavenly host under his charge to rebel against God the Father, the Ancient of days with a deception that God wasn’t fair, or we deserve better, or some other lie that we can only theorize, but many angels followed him in war. Revelation speaks of this war:

12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12:12-13 “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. (Jesus Christ)

Unfortunately, Lucifer now renamed Satan the Devil, has been cast down to earth, his former abode and it is the same home that we reside in. Some people don’t believe he really does exist and it is one of Satan’s master strokes of deception, that he doesn’t exist. Some blame him for everything, or the “devil made me do it” as Flip Wilson used to say as “Geraldine’, or in the other extreme, they totally ignore him as any consequence in their lives. The bible gives ample proof that he is more than an adversary for the typical human being that is outside the protection of God the Father, through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit as protectors. Satan is a destroyer of men’s souls.

It appears that the more carnally educated a person is, the less Satan is regarded as real, and vice versa, the less educated a person is, the more the devil is blamed for everything. In reality, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. Satan is called our “adversary.” Who is this angel that the masses fail to recognize as their adversary and the corrupter of their souls?

RULER OF THIS PRESENT AGE

I’m going to lay a foundation from the scriptures so that we will understand more of what we are dealing with.

Revelation 12:3-4, 9 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars [notice stars] of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. . . So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan [there he is identified], who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Stars are used in this passage and is a word used for angels. This was a major battle in heaven and the rebelling angels lost it and were cast out of heaven.

II Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment…..

Here we continue on our explanation of what has occurred on this earth long before us. Another step is clarified in regard to the positions that the angels (or demons, if we want to call them that) are holding at this time. There is some debate over the word used in Greek here that Peter describes as “chains”, but might be interpreted as a pit, or silo which we know is a long cylinder dug in the ground in ancient time, or above the ground to store grain in modern times, but is used here to denote a place of darkness, restraint, or prison. The word “Hell” here in the English versions comes from the Greek ‘tataroo’ and it means “a place of restraint.”

Jude 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.

So, this horde of demon angels who has as their chief commander, Lucifer, Satan the Devil leading them , but many of them were cast into a pit called Tarturos which was a place lower than Hades or the grave, and chained until judgment is brought upon them. How many demonic spirits does Satan have to do his bidding? The Bible speaks of thousands upon thousands administering to Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand standing before Him in a vision given to Daniel chapter 7 of the throne room of God. Of the 1/3 of all angelic host that fell to the earth, it would be millions of demonic forces that attack mankind daily to tempt them to do evil, or come against them physically or spiritually. God gave each of these angels led by Lucifer dominion over this earth, and the responsibility to tend to the earth, as their domain, but they left it and rebelled, so God chained them to the earth in utter darkness, meaning no light of the Word of God, or the Father’s presence that brought them life. They were totally and forever separated from the love of God because of their rejection of His authority and His righteousness.

Jesus said Satan was a murderer and the father of lies….John 8:44

….He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

In summary up to this point, it’s clear how all of this fits together now, especially with those verses that we saw in Peter and in Jude; how clear it becomes when putting this together with Revelation 12, that what occurred was that God assigned the angels to the earth, that they were under their commander, Lucifer, who was the sum total of all that God could create by fiat and cram into a created being; that he was perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him. We see a picture of a being of awesome beauty, of awesome power, of tremendous intelligence, also though a creature of free moral agency.

We are not given a full description of what Satan looked like as Lucifer, if he was human looking, or what his shape was, but he was a created being of incredible beauty and brightness. But what was totally perfect, evolved by his own mind and actions into something totally perverse, totally wicked, and committed to destroying God’s creation of mankind, as they were given the promise of being the Son’s of God and entering into God’s Family.

Can you picture in your mind, what might have been the reaction that Satan took when he realized God’s plan to make Man in His own image? I’m only thinking out loud, as I have no idea what went through this angelic beings thought process, but it would explain why and how he felt that God was not fair, that God was putting these frail humans before Lucifer and his host of angelic beings. He was not satisfied with his station in the plan of God. He wanted more, more power, more authority, and rejected being submissive to any other power other than his. He wanted to be God.

What are we up against?

I think that it’s necessary for us to deal with the reality of one aspect of the situation. I don’t think that God wants us to hide from these things. Once you begin to see what is arrayed against us, you are going to know that it is by grace that we are saved. If we had to fight Satan and his demons without God being on our side, we would lose in the blink of an eye. It would be that one-sided.

We live in a physical realm, but there is a spiritual realm that we cannot see with the human eye. It is a war that is being fought all around us, and it is for the souls of men and the defeat of God’s perfect plan.

Satan is described as a roaring lion in 1st Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

A lion cares not for the prey, but to destroy the prey for food, to conquer it, to overpower the prey, to kill. So the analogy of Satan as a roaring lion gives you some idea of his intent. He cares not for you, he stalks you, he desires your destruction, and he desires to make God out a liar at your expense.

AN ARMY OF MINISTERING SPIRITS

In the book of Daniel, it gives you an idea of how powerful this force called Satan really is. Daniel had been praying for Israel for weeks, and the Messenger of the Lord came to him:

Daniel 10:10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.

10:11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

This King of Persia in interpreted to mean probably Satan himself fought against this Messenger, which was most likely Gabriel and it required Michael to come to his aid as the Messenger has “wrestled” with the angel for 3 weeks in a spiritual battle to keep him from answering Daniel’s prayer. Can we get an idea of the power that this being that withstood the Messenger of God?

There is really a great deal of encouragement that comes from this section in Daniel 10. You can understand why the Apostle Paul and also the psalmist said that the angels are ministering spirits. They are ministering to the heirs of salvation. My reader these ministering Spirits are our protectors. This happened without Daniel even knowing what was taking place to prevent an answer to his prayer. These Ministering Spirits stand between us and certain annihilation, as that is Satan’s plan, to destroy every human being that he can convince to reject God and His free offer of grace found in His only begotten Son. He wishes to destroy you physically and ultimately spiritually for all eternity. He wishes you to join him in sure destruction in a fire burning with brimstone and sulfur that was designed not for men, but the devil and his angels.

Mankind is fighting a huge army of demons that have been cast down to earth to do the bidding of their chief captain, Satan. But our army, the army of God, is much stronger than the army we fight for all who believe. When Elisha prayed for his companion to see what was with them was stronger than what was surrounding the camp, as his servant was scared to death:

II Kings 6:15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

6:16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

God struck this army with blindness and the army was defeated. So our army of 2/3 of the heavenly host are on guard to protect his chosen people, the elect, the children of God. But it is not enough just to believe that there is a God, you must do more.

WHAT MUST I DO?

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-and tremble!

The demons believe in a most powerful God, who is our Father, our Creator and they tremble at the very thought of Him.

They know God’s awesome power and they, unlike man, tremble! Maybe the better English word would be shudder before God! They recognize His power. They are terrified at the thought of God. They are thoroughly convicted that God is!

This verse goes a long way toward helping us to understand that saving faith is not the intellectual acceptance of a theological proposition, that is, that God is, but rather a belief that expresses itself outwardly in a changed life.

Do you understand what I said? The demons believe. They tremble in fear, but they will not obey God. We, too, can believe that God is. We give intellectual assent to a theological proposition. “Yes I believe that God is.” But we may not even shudder and most assuredly, most of mankind will not submit.

Satan is most assuredly very real. To deny his existence is to put yourself most vulnerable to his evil ways, his temptations, and the wiles within his power to destroy each and every one of you. His most distinct focus and deception is for you to deny he lives for if he doesn’t exist, then you erroneously believe neither does God. So why would you need the One, when the other doesn’t exist? But the bible proves that he does exist and is called the prince and power of the air, or god of this world, but God has made a way to defeat him:

Ephesians,

2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2:2 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:

2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

To fight the good fight with must have the right armor, we MUST believe in the only begotten Son of God, in whom is the only Hope of defeating this most powerful adversary, Satan the devil. Don’t ever under-estimate his power.

Romans 10:9 that if thou mayest confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and mayest believe in thy heart that God did raise him out of the dead, thou shalt be saved,

10:10 for with the heart doth `one’ believe to righteousness, and with the mouth is confession made to salvation;

If you realize that Satan is a real power in this earth, then how can we fight such a powerful force that shows its evidence all around our world today, in wars, famine, suffering, and men doing unspeakable things to one another? I spoke of armor, what armor?

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

If you have not believed in the the Way, the Truth, and the Life, then you are already defeated. Satan has you exactly where he wants you. You can believe there is a power called Satan, or you can ignore him, because to him, it doesn’t matter, as long as you don’t believe in his ultimate defeat, Jesus the Messiah.

If you have believed, then live a life that testifies to that fact. Embrace the Lord Jesus Christ and let Him be your protector, your shield, you buckler, your high tower, and the only true God in your life. With His grace and mercy along with multiple millions of Ministering Spirits, he can defeat the wiles of the devil that only wish to destroy you, because my friend, Satan is indeed, very real.

This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for God’s salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, to be a part of your life. If I can help you in any way, pray with you, counsel you, or just lend an empathetic ear to your cares, then drop me a line to realteam1999@sbcglobal.net ,

God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus Feet.

Hell is for Real, My Friend!

Hell is for Real, My Friend! – By Mike Taylor – http://www.churchofgod-usa.org/1/post/2013/07/hell-is-for-real-my-friend.html

Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I got into a discussion with a friend of mine who seems to be confused about the doctrine of sinners and their destination of an ever burning hell. In talking with this person, I was aware that he didn’t believe a loving God would ever send any one to an eternal torment known to us as hell, or Gehenna. Is he right? Is a loving God unwilling to send anyone to a terrible place called in the bible in 53 different passages, hell or a place burning with fire and brimstone? Is the concept of a eternal hell a figment of some minister’s imagination or a denomination’s attempt to force people to the altar for fear of being cast into hellfire?

First, let me quote a minister that doesn’t believe in an eternal hell and that God is a God of Love,

“For centuries, many ministers have been preaching “hellfire and brimstone” sermons and promoting a religion of fear by teaching that the unsaved face an eternity of torture. The common teaching is that incorrigibly wicked people will be tormented forever in some fiery, macabre manner in a terrifying place called hell. This horrible fate usually conjures up in people’s minds visions of an ever-burning hellfire where sinners are continually roasted on spits, and a devil with horns and a tail runs around sticking his captives with a pitchfork.”

It is hard to convince some folks that God is not only a God of love, but also the God of judgment. He is a God of justice, a God of consuming fire, and a God who will not allow sin into His presence. Are we talking about the same God?. Do you mean the same God that told the Israelites when they entered Canaan to not spare man, woman, or child from the sword, but to slay them all? Do you mean that God? If it’s the same God of the Bible, what did He say about it?

When Jesus spoke of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus being separated by a huge gulf and the rich man being in torment, was He just telling a story? Was He stretching the truth, just to make a point? Let’s look at the passage. This is Jesus speaking. Luke chapter 16:

16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Since our Lord was sinless and only told what is true, it would make sense that He would not tell a falsehood, just to make a point. Jesus spoke of things spiritual that were being played out in the natural realm. Do we think that He was just joking and He didn’t mean it as He spoke it, and exactly as we take it?

Some denomination and well-meaning Christians believe that hell is a synonym of the grave. They go to great lengths to prove that Hades, the grave, and hell are all the same thing. Then why does so many Old Testament and New Testament writers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit make so much about the wages of sin and the eternal destruction of the soul in hell? Let’s take a journey to look at some of the scriptures that point to the fallacy of not believing that the penalty for not having Jesus Christ cover your sins with His own shed blood is an eternal home in hell’s unquenchable fire.

King David spoke of it in Psalms 9:16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

If you punish your child, you will not save him from the grave. We all will die, but what is spoken of here is delivering yourself from something beyond the grave. We call is Hell!

Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

5:15 And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: Isaiah spoke of a place where man will be brought down and will be humbled. We all die, so it’s not speaking of only the grave, but something beyond the grave.

Isaiah when he spoke of the final destination of Lucifer because of his sin against God, he wrote these words:

14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

14:17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

Understand that hell and the Lake of Fire was designed for Lucifer and his demon angels that fell because of rebellion. It was never designed for mankind that was made in the image of God. Satan had to attempt to thwart God’s judgment on himself. If he could get man to fall, then it possibly could thwart God’s perfect creation and maybe judgment on Lucifer himself. But God knew that to redeem what had been stolen by Satan, a perfect sacrifice had to be slain, and Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world. So God sent His only Son into the world to redeem mankind, as the kinsman redeemer. But it would cost Him His life, because sinful man is worthy of death. So Jesus paid the penalty for all who believe on His name and follow His example.

Satan wants you to disbelieve in a place called hell. Satan wants to deceive you, and blind you to this Biblical truth. Satan knows it is his final destination and he will not go down without taking anyone and everyone he can, with him. He has tried for many thousands of years to thwart the judgment of God and make Him somehow, a liar and to make void his sentencing to a devil’s hell.

Jesus spoke of it further in Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be indanger of hell fire.

If you search your concordance for the word hell, verses before this one in your bible, does give you a feeling that hell in some scriptures, not all, depicts the grave and some point to beyond the grave, but this is where the Lord of Creation identifies what hell means. There is no fire in the grave, but of a place beyond the grave where the wicked and the sinner may end up. Hence it spoke of it plainly in Lazarus and the rich man Through the gospels, and I won’t quote each and everyone of them for the sake of brevity, Jesus makes an analogy of removing the sinful and offending part from you so that you will not be cast into hell. If it be the grave, then all parts of the departed end in the grave. Jesus speaks of something more.

Then there is the time when Jesus in His righteous anger railed against the Jewish authorities for the iniquity in dealing with the people: In Matthew again,

23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

How much more plain can Jesus be? Did He not give enough clues to the final destination of all who are not redeemed by His own shed blood?

The kicker for me is found in Revelation chapter 14, that speaks of the reward of those who take the mark of the beast.

14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Now tell me reader, if this hell fire is a parable, and hell is only the grave and there is not eternal torment for the sinner and the wicked, then why is the smoke of the torment rising before the Lamb and His holy angels, forever, and ever, and ever…sounds like eternity to me and proof that there is a final fiery judgment on sinful mankind!!

When I pointed this simple fact found in your bible out to my friend, he had not an explanation. No quick comeback and no answer to the Words of our Lord, written by John the Apostle. I fear for people who don’t believe the simple words of your bible. One denomination actually believes that “all will be saved after the Great White Throne judgment.”. This scenario believes that all will stand before the Ancient of Days, and be judged, but sentence will not be carried out until they have a “full chance” at believing in the name of Jesus Christ and finding forgiveness. Now I can’t speak for God, as God is sovereign, all powerful and all merciful. All that have not had a chance at hearing, God can do what He wills with them, but to all who have heard the gospel and think they have a “second chance” at redemption play the Russian roulette of the fool.

Paul makes a point in Hebrews that we should take seriously this side of eternityl

Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

You who are reading this, I don’t mean to scare you to the altar because you fear an ever burning fire called Hell !! But I wish to convey the harsh reality that all who are not found with their name written in the Book of Life at the Great White Throne judgment will receive their just reward, and it’s all because of their own will, not Gods. I propose Holy Spirit conviction come upon you, and you make a plea for changing your life and repenting of your former life and living for God for the rest of it. Don’t come to the Lord for the wrong reason. Fear is the beginning of wisdom, but a true repentant and humble heart is what God desires.

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

But Jesus stands in the gap. He has paid he ultimate price for your sins, His life and shed all of His blood to wash you perfectly clean and make you acceptable before God the Father in Heaven.

In the closing verses of the final book of our bible, Jesus makes this final plea:

22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Jesus makes an open invitation to all who will come and sit at His feet and believe in the only Begotten Son of the Father, Jesus the Christ (Messiah). He wishes for all to be joined unto Him and live forever, but He will not usurp your own will. He will not force you. He said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open unto me, I will come unto him and sup with him, and he with Me. “Revelation 3:20. He desires that all come to repentance and to accept His free offer of grace. All you have to do, is believe in the One whom God has sent. Then become a new creature in Jesus Christ and follow the Lord in baptism as a first sign of obedience. Then live unto obedience the things He wrote in His Word.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

The Lord is coming soon, as a thief in the night…meaning suddenly and without warning. He wishes you to be with Him and not suffer what is coming. Chances are you will be counted with the sinner, as salvation will be hard to obtain, and be easily lost because of tribulation and the demonic forces working overtime for the destruction of your soul. Don’t give Satan a chance to take you with him. Make that decision for Jesus Christ right now, while there is still time. But time is growing short. Because my friend, Hell if for real!!

This is Pastor Mike Taylor wishing you well and God’s love in your life. If there is anything I can counsel you on from our bible, then drop me a line to realteam1999@sbcglobal.net . If you need prayer, or just a listening ear, I’m here waiting to assist you. God bless you, till we meet at Jesus feet.

A Fearful World

A Fearful World – By Grant Phillips – http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips186.html

We are living in very unsettling times.

· Wars and rumors of wars are a constant.

· Financial collapse of the world monetary system looms ahead.

· We, the USA, are approaching a 17 Trillion dollar debt, not reducing the budget, and spending like mad.

· Gas prices are going up and who knows where they will end.

· We will not tap into our own plentiful petroleum reserves, but remain dependent on those who hate us.

· Hatred toward true Christianity is growing.

· Satan is taking over the pulpits.

· The nation of Israel could be squished like a bug by the big boots all around them, except for the God of Israel.

· Taxes are going up.

· Health costs are going up.

· Unemployment is going up.

· Will we lose our job?

· Will we lose our house?

· How can I afford to live just with the basics?

· The federal government is taking more and more control of our lives.

· Murder, theft, adultery, homosexuality, debauchery and all else that God hates is growing at an alarming rate.

Briefly stated, we are in deep doo-doo. How can we get up in the morning and get through the day without being afraid of what may come next? It is as though we are on a 747 at 40,000 feet and the engines are gone. There is only one direction we are going now, and that is down.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

I honestly do not understand how anyone without Jesus Christ in their life can face this world without a soul-shaking, bone-rattling fear.

In the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible the term “fear not” occurs in 144 verses and 63 times exactly as quoted. It would seem to me that God does not want His children to have fear in their hearts.

The verse above says that perfect love casts out fear. It is certainly true that when the love of God is within us, the fear of the world diminishes.

Those my age are more fearful of what their children and grandchildren may experience than themselves. It’s only natural. This world doesn’t offer much, but it never did. Our only real hope of happy living is found in Jesus Christ. Unless you have it, you won’t understand it, but it’s true.

“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:17-18)

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

In these two verses we find first of all that the Apostle John “fell at his feet as dead” when he beheld Jesus in His glory. Then we hear Jesus telling us in Matthew’s gospel to “fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The word “destroy” in this verse denotes, “to devote or give over to eternal misery in hell.”

Our pity should go toward those who don’t know Jesus as Savior and have to face Him in judgment.

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:7)

“And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17)

I can’t begin to count the times I have heard someone use our Lord’s name as a curse word in a movie or TV episode. It seems to be the “in thing” today. If there is legitimacy in fear, it is with those who blaspheme His Holy name. We have nothing to fear who are under His saving grace, but woe to those who cast Him aside.

Jesus has given mankind many more opportunities than I ever would, and therefore that alone makes me glad He is in charge. But how much longer will His patience last until He decides it is time for judgment? How much more “in your face” behavior will He tolerate? Only He knows.

It is very obvious to those who are looking, that Satan’s time is running out. He is pulling out all the stops in preparation for his last stand, the Tribulation. This is a war he can’t lose, but he will. However in his bloated pride, I wonder if he actually thinks he may pull it off. He has much to lose and much to fear.

If you know Jesus as your Savior you have nothing to fear. If you do not, you can experience the peace that can only come from God by trusting in His Son to save you.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” (John 14:27-29)

Let us rejoice that Jesus has gone unto the Father, that He has sent His Spirit to live within us, and that He is coming soon. In Him we can be at peace.

This world is on a collision course of destiny. Pay day is coming. Judgment is just around the corner. The days ahead are going to get much more terrifying than we can imagine. It seems bad now, but judgment is just clearing his throat.

There is much to fear from what is coming. However, in Jesus, there is nothing to fear.

Grant Phillips

Email grantphillips@windstream.net

Pre-Rapture Commentary http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html