Tag Archives: saved
Why in the world would someone believe in hell? And what exactly does it mean to “believe” in hell? These are a couple of the questions we want to answer in this ten-part series of posts. We’ve looked at REASON #1 — I got saved out of a fear of hell. We’ve also thought about REASON #2 – Hell makes sense. We’ve also considered REASON #3 — How does the doctrine of hell relate to the doctrine of God? We also touched on REASON #4 – How does the doctrine of eternal lostness relate to the doctrine of Man? We’ve also thought about REASON #5 – How does hell relate to the doctrine of Sin?
Let’s look at REASON #6 this morning — How does the doctrine of eternal hell relate to the doctrine of SALVATION (Soteriology)? There is so much that can be said here. From what has Christ saved us? Why did He have to die? How bad a condition were we in that only the death of the Lord Jesus could rescue us?
The following Scriptures come to mind when thinking about the nature of our salvation and escape from eternal hell:
I Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God
We read in 2 Corinthians 8:9 – “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
In Romans 9:22 Paul writes, “What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?”
The writer to the Hebrews asks, “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” (2:3)
And we have the dividing of all humanity into the “sheep” and the “goats” in Matthew 25. There Jesus says, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.… 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (vv. 41 & 46)
The overall view of the atonement (the work of Christ on the cross) that is most supported by the Scriptures is called the vicarious/penal view. “Vicarious” means He took our place. “Penal” means He bore our judgment.
I’ve written a short booklet entitled Saved! Rescued from God, by God, and for God. I will send the pdf of my Saved! Rescued by God, from God, and for God to all who ask. Just provide your email in the comment section below — or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The gospel ain’t true unless somebody around here can get damned!”, said the old farmer after a revival meeting.
The evangelist Billy Sunday declared, “If there is no Hell, a good many preachers are obtaining money under false pretenses!”
Why in the world would someone believe in hell? And what exactly does it mean to “believe” in hell? These are a couple of the questions we want to answer in this ten-part series of posts.
REASON #1 – “This is my story — and I’m stickin’ to it!” AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL
When I was around fourteen years of age, a man in our church took his turn serving as the leader of the young people. He was a serious man who didn’t have time for humor — or our foolishness. I remember one Friday night his showing us a film about hell and closing the youth meeting by asking us, “If you were to die tonight, would you go to heaven . . . or hell?”
As I recall that event, for me it was life- and eternity- changing! I remember dropping to my knees beside my bed when I got home and trusting Christ as my Savior. I hadn’t been a particularly evil teenager, but I knew that if God were half as holy as I suspected and the gospel were true, I was not going to go to heaven when I died. I knew that. And I got saved.
Trusting Christ out of a fear of God’s judgment — is a great reason to get saved! There is eternal judgment awaiting all who die outside of Christ. And no one who comes to faith out of such a rational and overwhelming fear should be ashamed of such an entrance into the family of God.
Scripture tells us “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day, “If you do not believe I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins!” (my paraphrase of John 8:24).
My conversion was over fifty years ago — and there has been a lot of theological and biblical study that I’ve pursued over the years. I’ve had the privilege of teaching hundreds of Bible college and seminary students in my career and I’m more convinced than ever of hell’s reality and our need to warn others not to go there.
Many mock the very idea of hell (especially the creator of “The Simpsons”). There are many more reasons to “believe” in hell (which we will pursue in subsequent posts), but this one is my first. I got saved out of a fear of God’s judgment and His eternal wrath. And I’m surprised more people today don’t get saved for the same reason.
Friends: Have I got a deal for you! My book, Saved! Rescued from God, by God, and for God, will be sent to you IF you sent $7 to my PayPal account: email@example.com. Go to Paypal.com, click on “Pay or Send Money,” and that’s it! I’ll be notified via email that you have paid for the book and I’ll send it to you. You are also welcome to send me your shipping address (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
I believe you will enjoy this short book!
1 The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
3 Our God comes
and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him,
and around him a tempest rages.
4 He summons the heavens above,
and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me this consecrated people,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
for he is a God of justice.[a][b]
7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak;
I will testify against you, Israel:
I am God, your God.
8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
16 But to the wicked person, God says:
“What right have you to recite my laws
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 You hate my instruction
and cast my words behind you.
18 When you see a thief, you join with him;
you throw in your lot with adulterers.
19 You use your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue to deceit.
20 You sit and testify against your brother
and slander your own mother’s son.
21 When you did these things and I kept silent,
you thought I was exactly[c] like you.
But I now arraign you
and set my accusations before you.
22 “Consider this, you who forget God,
or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you:
23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,
and to the blameless[d] I will show my salvation.”
I’ve been studying Mark 10 recently which says:
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
There is so much in this passage of Scripture. Let’s notice what happens here.
I. A Young Man’s Urgent Question (v. 17)
If you had the opportunity to literally and personally ask Jesus a question, what would that question be? Some might ask Him, “Why am I going through this trial? Why me? Why now?” Others might ask, “How can I achieve maximum happiness in this life right now?” Others might not ask a question at all, but point an accusing finger at Jesus and declare, “”How can you possibly allow such evil in Your world?”
This young man’s question (we are told that he is a young ruler in the parallel accounts, Mt. 19 and Lk. 18) was urgent! He “ran up to [Jesus] and fell on his knees before him . . .” He obviously thought his question extremely important. He cast aside all customs of dignity for Eastern royalty to ask his question of Jesus. Eastern rulers did not normally run — for anything. His falling on his knees indicated respect and honor as he prostrated himself before Rabbi Jesus.
The very way we sometimes word questions says much about our assumptions — and ourselves. This man’s question was: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He obviously thought Jesus could teach him what he needed to know, and that His answer would be good. His question was about the next life — and how he could prepare himself for it.
But what a great question! The parallel account in Matthew 19 has him asking, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” (v. 16). This man was really into goodness, wasn’t he?
There is, of course, a difference between asking how might I inherit eternal life and what good thing must I do to get eternal life. I believe that there are ultimately no real contradictions between the gospels, so it may be that Mark picks up on the inheriting part of his question while Matthew focuses on the doing part of his query.
Before we read further in our passage, how might you or I respond to both parts of that question, if we were Jesus? To the inheriting part, we might say, “Well, someone has to die for you to inherit anything — and that’s why I came — to die for sinners.” That answer, of course, would be true, but it isn’t how Jesus responds. To the doing part of his question, we might say, “There is nothing that you can do to get eternal life! You can’t earn it. You can’t buy it! It is given as a gift!” And that would be a true, biblical answer as well.
How Jesus really answers this man’s question will be discussed in our next installment. (to be continued)