Here Comes the Judge, Part 1

The Trial of the Ages.

Please allow me to set the stage here.  We are about to witness a major trial and we are in the Court House. Can you see the Jury in your mind and the two attorneys about to argue the case?

We are in the courthouse of Law.

We have a trial in progress.

We need to introduce the Court Reporter.  It’s the Apostle Paul.  He comes with good credentials.

Paul declared the righteousness of God in these passages and it’s really what the book of Romans is all about.

  1. God is Righteous!
  2. God demands Righteousness!
  3. God provides Righteousness!

There must be a basis of righteousness in order for sin to be forgiven. If a judge wants to totally dismiss the charges against a guilty person he can but that’s not righteous.  So God can’t simply tell you, “You are forgiven.”  Not without that righteous basis. FOR GOD IS RIGHTEOUS!

For your sins to be forgiven there must be that Righteous Basis. And where is that basis found?  It is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

The sinner was sentenced to death (SINFUL MAN) and God established that righteous basis because Jesus Christ became the substitute.  He took your sin upon Himself and He died in your place.  It’s trading the righteous for the unrighteous. You are forgiven! He took your place!  He died for you!

The righteousness of God is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH. As it is written,

“THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” Verse 17.

And then we also see the WRATH OF GOD… which we will look at during the trial.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18)

Let’s look quick at the very first verse in the book of Romans:

“Paul, a bond slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.” (Romans 1:1)

So he was a servant… a bondslave… Paul was not his own person after being called. WE ARE NOT OUR OWN PERSON- WE BELONG TO CHRIST- HE PURCHASED US.  We are debtors to everyone unsaved once we become a Saint and become separated unto the gospel.

He was called apostle.  He was DECLARED! HE WAS SENT FORTH! In order to be an Apostle you must have seen the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul saw Jesus at least 7 times that we know of.  And God called him directly. Keep in mind this is now 25 years after Paul first came to Christ.  And he said, “Who art thou, Lord, that I may serve thee?” 25 years later he is still saying I am a bondslave!  I am an Apostle. He made his calling and his election sure. We should do the same… whatever it is that God calls us to do we should do. Nothing more nothing less. Whether it’s to be a greeter or bass guitar player or a preacher.  Whatever it is just do it.

My birth was no accident— Your birth was no accident— God desires to work the good works through his servants. (Bondslaves) He separated us unto the Gospel to do for Him…

Do you know the will of God for your life?  I want you to know that 90% of determining the will of God is being willing to DO-IT.  So just do it.

Separated unto the Gospel of God. – We are first separated from our mother’s womb and then separated from sin and the world to Christ as Paul is explaining.

Paul let us know in the written word the Gospel is not new and it’s still not new. (IF IT’S NEW IT AINT TRUE)

Paul presented the message of the Gospel right up front as he began to share the court record. Christ is the center of the Gospel message and Paul introduces Christ in a threefold way.

  1. He is the REVEALED ONE, the one “Promised Afore” (v.2), for the Gospel of God has its roots deep into the Old Testament.
  2. He is the REIGNING ONE, He is “Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (v.3) The New Testament opens and closes with Jesus referred to as the “Son of David.”
  3. He is the RESURRECTED ONE, the one “Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (v.4)

It is all about Christ’s DeityJesus was 100 % God, 100% Man, 100% of the time.   And Paul is making that clear.

Paul had complete confidence in the Gospel because of its sufficiency and its supremacy.  He wrote, “It is the power of God unto salvation.”

John Phillips in his commentary on Romans wrote, “The world does not need a better system of education, more social reform or new ideas in religion.  IT NEEDS THE GOSPEL! The Gospel message grips the mind, it stabs the conscience, it warms the heart, it saves the soul, and it sanctifies the life.  It can make drunken (or drugged) men sober, crooked men straight and profligate women pure. It is a message sufficient to transform the life of any who believe.”

“IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION “TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVETH.”  Could anything be any simpler than that?  It is simple, trust in God’s Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, as your personal savior from sin. Simple as that!

The Just shall live by Faith.

The Gospel MUST be received by FAITH.

Habakkuk 2:4- The Just shall live by Faith.

Romans 1:17- The Just shall live by Faith.

Galations 3:11- The Just shall live by Faith.

Hebrews 10:38- The Just shall live by Faith.

THE COURT RECORD

Lets look at the COURT RECORD– First 3 Chapters of Romans.

If you look around, it’s even likely here within our group, there are two kinds of people throughout the world.

  • People that have been delivered from the Wrath of God because they have sought God’s righteousness.
  • Everyone else, whom the wrath of God abides upon.

Paul indicated that those that are called and delivered from the wrath of God are to be called Saints. (v.7) This is not some special class of people within the church, but it describes all that have trusted Christ as their savior.  It means, “One set apart for God.”

You are either a Saint or a Sinner. More appropriate is to say a sinning saint or just a sinner for no one is righteous, no not one.  I am a Saint, but… I am also a sinner.

J Vernon McGee used to say, “There are two kinds of People in the world, The Saints and The Aints” 

During this trial God’s righteousness will be revealed, but then God’s Wrath will also be revealed.  Throughout the New Testament we see both God’s Righteousness and God’s Wrath.

God’s Righteousness was/is revealed to man by Nature, Human Conscience and by Human History. There is no excuse for being unaware of God.

God’s Wrath was/is revealed by His Word, the Natural World, and by The Cross.

Paul lets us know that the bad news of human sin comes before the good news of salvation.  “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (V. 18)

Paul said Gods wrath is revealed for three reasons: First it’s revealed because of human ungodliness, second because of human unrighteousness, and third because of human unbelief.

I think it important to give some clear definitions at this point:

Wrath of God: Please note God’s wrath is not due to Anger on His part, it is a reaction to unrighteousness. The wrath of God is His judgment regarding sin and is a standard that reveals His displeasure toward sin.

Ungodliness: Having the wrong attitude toward God and having spiritual failure.

Unrighteousness: The wrong conduct toward God and fellow man and moral failure.

Stay tuned for the “TRIAL OF THE AGES.”

 

Join me in the next post as we proceed on to the court record as the trial begins…

God bless you,

The Tubthumper

 

Hell Yes It’s Real, part 4

New Testament Doctrine of Hellcanstockphoto5818885

Three words are translated to “Hell” from the New Testament. Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna. Hades and Tartarus are Greek and the word Gehenna is the Greek form of the Hebrew words Gee and Hinnom which mean “the valley of Hinnom.”

Hades occurs eleven times and has a meaning of “grave” one time and “Hell” ten times. 2 Cor. 15: 55, ” O death, where is thy sting. O grave (hades) where is thy victory?” An example of a use where it takes the meaning of “Hell” is Rev. 6: 8, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was death, and Hell followed him.”

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus provides a good example of hades being used in the figurative sense of depravity, suffering and degradation. The word Tartarus was used only one time and was within the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Tartarus was the place of torment within Hades. It is the place where the rich man was located and was used figuratively. The word Gehanna shows up 12 times always being associated with “Hell”. It is found in the following scriptures: Matt. 5:22, 29, 30, 10:28, 18:9, 13:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5 and James 3:6. It is clear to see the word Gehanna, or Hell, within the New Testament represents anything repulsive, foul and evil with judgment of destruction.[1]

The majority of people today cannot quite grasp the Biblical teaching on the destiny of the lost. Someone you love could possibly end up in eternal punishment because of wickedness.  Now that is a thought and a place where even Christians with generally high views of Biblical inspiration cannot go.[2]

The bible teaches the existence of Heaven where we can end up in a state of joyous eternity and residing in the fellowship of God. It also teaches the presence of Hell which is presented as a state of anguished separation from God. Those decisions are made while you are in this life and once this life ends they become permanently fixed states.[3]

The very first description of Hell in revelation comes in Chapter 14 when John wrote about the final judgment. “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, 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: 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” (Rev. 14:9-11).  This is another very terrifying section of God’s word as it is referring to “God’s wrath” and “God’s anger” all mentioned within the context of “tormented with fire and brimstone” forever and ever.  It does not get any more frightful than this. John sends all a very forceful warning of “Do not oppose God!” He goes on in revelation describing the torment and the lake of fire.[4]

In Revelation 20 and 21 the “Lake of fire” is described as the place where all who choose to turn from Jesus will go as a final destiny.  In Rev. 20: 11-15 the words are clear that the lake of fire is for punishment.  John tells us there will be two different places for believers and unbelievers.  “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev. 22:14-15).   If these subjects have not dealt with their sins through the blood of Jesus in this life, “washed their robes”; their destiny will be chosen.  There will be no way to wash your robes when you are in the lake of fire.[5]

The doctrine of Hell is fully supported by the Bible and has been an accepted doctrine of the Christian church from the beginning. Many Scholars such as C.S. Lewis have come to the conclusion that scriptures also are supported by reason.

In the last part of Matthew 25 it says, “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:44-46).  Think about what the Bible is always talking about.  Believe on Christ and be saved.  Believe and have everlasting life.  Be saved from what? It is important to connect with this fundamental issue.  If you believe and have a saving faith in Christ you are then saved from that awful and terrible place in outer darkness.  You will be saved from the wrath of God.  No one wants to experience the wrath of a just God visited upon who ever has been hostile toward Him. You should be seeing the reality of Hell in all this. The most frightful thing anyone could ever experience is the judgment of a holy God.[6]

Tony Evans wrote, “The Bible is clear that at the moment of death, our souls pass immediately into conscious existence in eternity, either in heaven or in hell.  A lot of people think there’s some kind of second chance after death.  God’s Word says nothing about an intermediate state of purgatory after death in which we have a second chance to get our act together, have our sins dealt with and then make it to heaven.”[7]

As mentioned before, this life is no trial run.  It is the only shot we have.  So let us all get our act together so as not to end up in that horrible place called Hell.  Yes, it is for real.

Come back for the next post as we look at what Jesus said about Hell.

  Click here to jump to the next post. Jump to part 1, part 2, part 3, Conclusion.

Have a Godly day,

“The Tubthumper”

 



[1] Velarde, Is Hell Real?

[2] David Horton and Ryan Horton, eds., The Portable Seminary (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2006), 166.

[3] Ibid., 194.

[4] Evans, Tony Evans Speaks Out on Heaven and Hell, 15.

[5] Chan and Sprinkle, Erasing Hell, 33.

[6] Sproul, Unseen Realities, 65.

[7] Evans, Tony Evans Speaks Out on Heaven and Hell, 8.

Finders Keepers, part 6

eternal-security-of-the-believerWe have been reviewing the evidence and the reasons a believer in Christ remains saved for eternity.  Sealed until the day of redemption. On your own you can review these three verses, Psalm 40:23, Isaiah 42:10 and Revelation 21:1-2.  What you will see is that all these verses have one thing in common.  All these passages have the concept of “new”“Behold I make all things new.”

The sixth new thing a believer has is a new knowledge in Christ. To back this up let us turn to the most comforting verse in the Bible. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”, Romans 8:28. Please remember this verse does not say that all things will be good.  What it says is that God will work all things together for good.   Even the wrath of man and our own stupidity, sins and mistakes will be used by Him and He will work it together for good. Praise God!  In the fullness of time He will work things for His own Glory.  God allows things to come into our lives for reason.  He has a plan.  His plan allows things into our lives for His glory and also to our good.  This only applies to those that love God.  To those that belong to Him. For those that love God there is the new knowledge of a happy ending. If you love God and you are saved you know what the end is and you know it is a time of joy. The last chapter in the book reveals “The Bridegroom gets the Bride!”

The last new thing you have as a believer is a new goal. Your new goal is to be conformed to the image of Christ.  “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:29-32) Your predestination is to be conformed.  The believer is predestined to be ‘like Christ’. To be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

To carry this one step further we can look at our job in the great commission.  Our job then (after salvation and maturity in the word) is to disciple others.  It is to help in the conformation and help as many people as we can to be more like Jesus. We can get to work right away.

The believer is predestined and there are 5 steps leading to the goal of conformation.

1) You were already known. God knows the believer even before birth. “He did foreknow” the believer. (Romans 8:29) David laments that God knew him before he was born, “O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there…” (Psalm 139).  He knew John the Baptist, the babe leaped in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth.  Jeremiah said, “Thou knew thee while in the womb”.

2) “He…did predestinate” the believer. (Romans 8:29)

3) “He… called” the believer. (Romans 8:30) Actually if this isn’t the strongest verse pointing to once saved, always saved I don’t know which would be. So it deserves repeating now, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30) If, in the mind of God we are already glorified in Heaven; how then could we ever lose our salvation here on earth?  That would be the $Trillion dollar question of the day. You were called, you were justified and you were glorified. AMEN!

4) “He…justified” the believer. (Romans 8:30)

5) “He…glorified” the believer. (Romans 8:30) This sounds like it is in the past-tense but it really is not. You and I are not glorified yet because you still have a sinful nature but you will be glorified. God wants it in past-tense because He already glorified us in heaven. Given this, how then can you ever lose this guarantee? You cannot.

You have an absolute guarantee of this goal.  It is iron-clad and it is God that justifieth.  The same judge that once condemned us now justifies us. God places you, the believer under His protection.  “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34) You see, He paid for us at Calvary.  He also provided for us with the empty tomb with the resurrection and He prays for us at God’s right hand. (Intercession)

So then? Who or what could possible separate you from the love of Jesus Christ if you are truly a believer and know for a fact you are sure in your salvation? No-one, nothing, notta!  Let us turn to Romans 8:35-36, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Shall tribulation (outward pressure) separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall distress (inward pressure) separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall persecution separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall famine separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall nakedness separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall peril separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall sword separate us from Christ? NO!

Let us look at the answer Paul gave in verses 37-39 of Romans 8, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  He has confirmed for us that in matters relating to God for those of us that believe and love Christ there is NO SEPARATION.

I would go so far now as to say that anyone wanting to argue they can lose their salvation once they have it are in fact arguing against the words of Paul the Apostle.  I won’t do that.

We are more than conquerors!  Through Him that loves us.

I may have adequately made my point by now; however, I may come back in the next post with more. Watch for a possible 7th post continuing this process of adding evidence for “once saved, always saved.

Believe and live,

The Tubthumper

Use these links to jump to any previous posts on this series:

Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5

 

 

 

Life is but a vapor…

Part 1 of a 3 part series…

This post is about life and death and both are very important.  Have you thought about what happens when your body finally ends up at room temperature?   It will be sooner than you want.

This post is about Hell.

IT WAS JUST AN ORDINARY DAY!

It was just an ordinary day several years ago when my friend Steve and his wife were leaving for a normal Sunday at church.  Steve, along with his wife and two children were driving to church as usual on a normal Sunday morning.  They reached an intersection the exact time as another vehicle hurdled through at nearly 100 mph.  The impact was sudden, powerful and caused the end to an entire family in an instant.  The suspect that was fleeing the police in a high speed chase was virtually unharmed in the crash.  The funeral was difficult with Steve in one casket along with his tiny son and his wife in the other casket with her young daughter.  Four people were taken away in the blink of an eye on an ordinary Sunday morning.  Memorable to say the least!

It was just an ordinary day last year when my friend Aaron (coincidentally in the same family as Steve) went out to prepare firewood to heat his home.  When he didn’t come in for supper his wife went out and found him next to the woodpile.  He had suffered a heart attack.  In the blink of an eye he was gone.

I know, I know, it will never happen to you right?  Well, think again…  It was just an ordinary  bright sunny beautiful  day on September 11 when two planes suddenly crashed into the world trade center killing many thousands.  When they left home that morning they had no idea they would never return home again.  If today is your ordinary day which turns into your last, are you ready?

Hell is what we need to talk about.  Heaven is where we all want to end up.  But most will not.    A loved husband will end up in Hell while his wife goes to Heaven.  Beloved wives will end up in Hell and the husband in Heaven.  Children of parents will go to Hell and the parent to Heaven.  Brother will go to Heaven and sister to Hell. Sister is going to Heaven and brother to Hell.  Think about this!  Mother goes  to Heaven and Father to hell and vise verse.  Some of our loved ones are already in Hell.  This should cause tears to be shed…  Can we let this happen without trying to have us all together in Glory?  God Forbid!

You can find the path to Heaven later after my explanation of Hell.  The path to heaven is narrow and not easy.

The path to Hell is wide and almost like a greased downhill slide. Take heed and please make a wise choice.

Why am I posting on the subject of Hell?  It’s because no one is doing it anymore.  Most clergy and churches nowadays won’t touch the subject because it doesn’t make people feel good.  Most Christians don’t talk about it much either.  Modern church not talking about hell is something I have a hard time understanding due to this one fact.  The Bible has much, much more in its pages about hades and hell than it has about heaven.  That alone should make you think twice about the subject.  Please understand that you and I are no different.  With the things I address on this post we are the same.  We were all born as mortals in sin.  (Romans 3:23-For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God )

No need to post about heaven just yet because heaven is all good and positive with people.  It is Hell that needs to be explained.  Most people have no idea.

LET ME EXPLAIN HELL:

(Matthew 3;11- I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire) (Romans 2:8- But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath) (2 Thessalonians 1:8- In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ)

It is a place of wrath!  God will inflict vengeance on they that do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Hell is not a place I would send my worst enemy.  And that is the truth. Yes, there is a heaven and there definitely is a hell.  For it is written.  And this is of grave importance. (No pun intended.)

Most people don’t want this to be true.  They suppress the truth.  They do not want to answer for what they have done.  No excuse.  God says there is no excuse.

It’s important to examine your life, death, heaven and hell.  How do you live and what happens when you die?

If you are reading this we know you were born so there is life.  You likely have a birth certificate.  I have some stark news for you if you haven’t heard it yet.  You will die.   All that’s left to be determined is when your date of death is stamped on the death certificate.   It may be today or it may hopefully be another but most don’t expect it when it happens.  And for many, when it does, it’s too late.

Nothing on earth is more sobering than a talk about hell.  As real as the hope of heaven is, so too is the reality of hell.  There will be a moment one day in the future that the only thing about you that will matter is your relationship with God.  Your occupation, your good character, your status, sex, or race will mean nothing apart from your standing before God.  What will that moment be like for you?  Are you just hoping that everything will work out or are you confident in what is ahead for you?

“The Tubthumper”

Part 2 is up…Click here and follow…