Emmaus Bible College’s leadership conference “Iron Sharpens Iron” gives me the opportunity to present several workshops. We’ve been thinking about my first workshop entitled —
“Five Certainties in the Light of Tragic Events”
We’ve noticed the first certainty which is: Man is fallen and capable of great evil. The second certainty is that God is holy and will judge rightly. Third, we must teach that this life is brief– one must be ready to meet God! And the fourth certainty that we must keep in mind is that man is still made in the image of God and is capable of incredible acts of kindness and heroism.
There are many other certainties that we could discuss, but the fifth that occurs to us this morning is this: Heaven and hell are real! Hell is not God’s over-reaction to sin, but rather the application of His righteousness to human depravity. We agree with C.S. Lewis who said, “In reality, along with the power to forgive, we have lost the power to condemn.”
The Bible is quite clear that we are not to seek vengeance ourselves, but to leave room for the wrath of God (Rom. 12:19). I’ve studied the wrath of God — and it is a fascinating study. Those in Christ should rejoice that they have been “rescued from God’s wrath” (“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” I Thes. 1:10).
Jonathan Edwards’ sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” caused the people in that Connecticut church where he was a guest preacher to cling to their wooden pews, lest they fall into hell then and there. Our society, raised on Stephen King horror films, seems not to be frightened by anything. But — “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!”, says Hebrews 10:31 (KJV).
God allows some human evil to occur. As the late Paul Little once said, “If he were to stop all evil at midnight tonight, which of us would be left at 12:01?” We grieve with those who have lost loved ones in terrible, man-made tragedies. But we rejoice that God is holy and will wrap up history righteously! And these certainties we must preach!
May 26, 2018 at 11:12 pm
I heard a sermon on hell by David Jeremiah and he had a line that went something like this: where there is no car nviction about hell there is not compassion to tell the lost about Christ.
Dr. Larry Dixon
May 28, 2018 at 8:21 am
An excellent point, John. Thank you for sharing. Blessings. Larry