Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

A Love That Transforms

1 Dec
Being in love changes everything.  For instance, a young lady was reading a large book for her university’s English literature course.  She found the whole thing very boring and could barely stay focused when reading it.  But then she met a striking young professor on campus, and they quickly fell in love.  Soon after, she realized her beloved was the author of the book she had struggled with.  That night she stayed up and devoured the entire book exclaiming, “This is the best book I have ever read!” What changed her perspective? Love did. Likewise, many today find Scripture boring, oppressive, and unappealing.  But that all changes when you fall in love with the author.  See how in this heart-warming Study Guide!
Jesus is the author of Scripture.

Jesus is the author of Scripture.

1. Who is the author of Scripture?

“The prophets have enquired and searched diligently, … Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:10, 11.

Answer:   The God of the Bible (even the Old Testament) is virtually always Jesus Christ.  Jesus created the world (John 1:1-3, 14 Colossians 1:13-17), wrote the Ten Commandments (Nehemiah 9:6, 13), was the God of the Israelites (1 Corinthians 10:1-4), and guided the writings of the prophets (1 Peter 1:10, 11).
So, Jesus Christ is the author of Scripture.

Jesus loves the people of earth with an everlasting love.

Jesus loves the people of earth with an everlasting love.

2. What is Jesus’ attitude toward the people of earth?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

Answer:   Jesus loves us all with an indescribable, unfailing love that passes understanding.

Jesus died for us all, even though none of us deserved it.

Jesus died for us all, even though none of us deserved it.

3. Why should we love Jesus?

“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.  “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.

Answer:   We should love Him because He loved us enough to die for us–while we were yet His enemies.

4. In what respects are a successful marriage and the Christian life similar?

“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” 1 John 3:22.

Answer:   In a good marriage certain things are imperative, such as faithfulness to one’s spouse.  Other things may not seem major, but if they please a spouse they are necessary.  If they displease, they should be discontinued.  So it is with the Christian life.  The commands of Jesus are imperative.  But in Scripture Jesus has also outlined for us principles of conduct that please Him.  As in a good marriage, a Christian finds it sheer joy to do the things that make Jesus, the One he loves, happy.  He also avoids things that displease Him.

Doing the things that please Jesus brings a person great joy and abundant living.

Doing the things that please Jesus brings a person great joy and abundant living.

5. What does Jesus say are the results of doing the things that please Him?

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; … These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:10, 11.

Answer:   The devil claims that to follow Christian principles is drab, dull, demeaning, and legalistic.  But Jesus says it brings fullness of joy (John 15:10, 11) and a more abundant life (John 10:10).  Believing the devil’s lies brings heartache and deprives people of life that is “really living.”

Jesus' Bible principles for Christian living protect us from Satan's danger zones.

Jesus’ Bible principles for Christian living protect us from Satan’s danger zones.

6. Why does Jesus give us specific principles for Christian living?

Answer:   Because they:
A. Are for our own good always (Deuteronomy 6:24).  As good parents teach good principles to their children, so Jesus teaches good principles to His children.
B. Set for us a safeguard from sin (Psalms 119:11).  Jesus’ principles protect us from entering the danger zones of Satan and sin.
C. Show us how to follow in Christ’s footsteps (1 Peter 2:21).
D. Bring us true happiness (John 13:17).
E. Give us an opportunity to express our love for Him (John 15:10).
F. Help us be the right example to others (1 Corinthians 10:31-33; Matthew 5:16).

When I love the things of the world, I become God's enemy.

When I love the things of the world, I become God’s enemy.

7. According to Jesus, how should Christians relate to the evil of the world and to worldliness?

Answer:   His commands and counsel are clear and specific:
A. Don’t love the world or the things of the world.  The things of the world that are not of God are: (1) the lust of the flesh, (2) the lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life (1 John 2:16).  All sin falls into one or more of these three categories.  Satan uses these three avenues to lure us into love of the world.  When I begin to love the world, I become an enemy of God (1 John 2:15, 16 James 4:4).
B. I must keep myself unspotted from the world (James 1:27).

A Christian must firmly resist the things of the world, or he will be led astray by Satan.

A Christian must firmly resist the things of the world, or he will be led astray by Satan.

8. What urgent warning does God give us regarding the world?

Answer:   Jesus warns Christians, “Be not conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2.  Phillips translation puts it:  “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.”*  The devil is not neutral.  He presses every Christian constantly.  Through Jesus (Philippians 4:13), I must firmly resist the devil’s suggestions, and he will flee from me (James 4:7).  The minute I permit the “squeezing” of any other factor to influence my conduct, I imperceptibly begin slipping into apostasy.  Christian behavior is not to be decided by the feelings and conduct of the majority, but by Jesus’ words from Scripture.
*Reprinted with the permission of Macmillan Publishing Company from The New Testament in Modern English, Revised Edition by J. B. Phillips, (C) 1958, 1959, 1960, 1972 by J. B. Phillips.  The New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips.  Reprinted by permission of Harper-Collins Publishers Limited.

We must carefully guard our thoughts, because thoughts become actions.

We must carefully guard our thoughts, because thoughts become actions.

9. Why do we need to guard our thoughts?

“As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7.

Answer:   We must guard our thoughts, because thoughts dictate behavior.  God wants to help us bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5.  But Satan desperately wants to bring “the world” into our thoughts.  He can do this only through our five senses–especially sight and hearing.  He presses his sights and sounds upon us all and, unless we consistently refuse to look at or listen to what he offers, he will direct us into the broad way that leads to destruction.  The Bible is clear.  We do become like the things we repeatedly see and hear (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Christians must avoid any music that erodes the desire for godly living.

Christians must avoid any music that erodes the desire for godly living.

10. What are some principles for Christian living?

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8.

Answer:   Christians must separate themselves from all things that are not true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.  They will avoid:
A. Dishonesty of every kind – cheating, lying, stealing, being unfair, intent to deceive, slander, and betrayal.
B. Impurity of every kind.  This includes fornication, adultery, incest, homosexuality, perversion of all types, pornography, profanity, filthy conversation, off-color jokes, social dancing, degenerate songs or music, and most of what is shown on television and in movie theaters.
C. Places where we would never invite Jesus to accompany us, such as nightclubs, taverns, gambling casinos, racetracks, etc.
Let’s take a few minutes to enlarge upon the dangers of popular music, dancing, television, videos, and the theater.
Music and Song Many types of secular music (rap, country, pop, rock, heavy metal, adult contemporary, and dance music) have been largely captured by Satan. The lyrics often glorify vice and destroy a desire for spiritual matters.  Researchers have discovered some interesting things regarding the power of music:
(1) It enters the brain through the emotions, thus bypassing reasoning powers.
(2) It affects every function of the body.
(3) It can alter pulse, breath rates, and reflexes without the person realizing it.
(4) Syncopated dance rhythms alter moods and create a mild hypnosis in the listener.
Even without lyrics, the music itself has power to debase a person’s feelings, desires, and thoughts.  Secular rock musicians openly admit this.  Rolling Stones leader Mick Jagger said: “You can feel the adrenalin going through your body. It’s sort of sexual.”1 John Oates of Hall and Oates stated that “Rock ‘n’ Roll is 99% sex.”2 Would such music please Jesus?  Converted pagans from overseas tell us that our modern secular band music is the same kind they used in witchcraft and devil worship!
Ask yourself:  “If Jesus came to visit me, what music would I feel comfortable asking Him to listen to with me?”  Any music you are not sure of should be abandoned.  (For an in-depth analysis of decadent, secular music, we recommend Notes on Music by Carol and Louis Torres, which can be purchased from Amazing Facts.)  When we fall in love with Jesus, He changes our musical desires.  “He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” Psalms 40:3.  God has provided for His people plenty of good music that inspires, refreshes, elevates, and strengthens the Christian experience.  Those who accept the devil’s degrading music as a substitute are missing one of life’s choicest blessings.
Dancing Dancing inevitably leads away from Jesus and spirituality.  When the Israelites danced around the golden calf, they forgot God (Exodus 32:17-25).  When the daughter of wicked Herodias danced before King Herod, John the Baptist was beheaded (Matthew 14:2-12).  Notice these shocking statistics:  A Catholic priest in New York said that three-fourths of the girls who have confessed adultery to him put the blame on dancing.  Other priests have said that three-fourths is too low they estimate nine-tenths. Remember, if Christ can participate in an activity with you, you are safe.  If not, stay away from it.
TV, Videos, and the Theater Do the things you watch on television and videos or in the theater appeal to your lower or to your higher nature?  Do they lead you into a greater love for Jesus, or for the world?  Do they glorify Jesus, or satanic vices?  In our day even secularists and non-Christians are speaking out against many of the TV and film productions.  Satan has captured the eyes and ears of billions and, as a result, is rapidly turning the world into a cesspool of immorality, crime, terror, and hopelessness.  One study said that without TV “there would be 10,000 fewer murders per year in the United States, 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer assaults.”3  Jesus, who loves you, asks you to take your eyes off Satan’s thought-controllers and put them on Him.  He says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” Isaiah 45:22.
1 Newsweek, “Mick Jagger and the Future of Rock”, Jan. 4, 1971, p. 47.
2Circus magazine, Jan. 31, 1976, p. 39.
3Newsweek, “Violence, Reel to Reel”, Dec. 11, 1995, p. 47.

A safe guideline for TV viewing is to ask,

A safe guideline for TV viewing is to ask, “Would I feel comfortable inviting Jesus to watch the program with me?”

11. What clear-cut list does Jesus give us that we could use as a guide for watching television?

“Anyone can see the kind of behaviour that belongs to the lower nature: fornication, impurity, and indecency idolatry and sorcery quarrels, a contentious temper, envy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, party intrigues, and jealousies drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who behave in such ways will never inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21, NEB.*

Answer:   Scripture is too clear to misunderstand.  If a family should ban all TV programs that exhibit or condone any of the above sins, there would be very little to watch.  If Jesus came to visit you, what TV shows would you feel comfortable asking Him to view with you?  All other shows are probably unfit for Christian viewing.
*(C) The Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press, 1961, 1970.  Used by permission.

My choice of TV programs and, in fact, all of my conduct must be guided by the words of Scripture, and not by my own feelings.

My choice of TV programs and, in fact, all of my conduct must be guided by the words of Scripture, and not by my own feelings.

12. In this day of determined, independent thinking, many feel totally capable of making spiritual decisions without input from anyone, including Jesus.  What does Jesus say about such people?

Answer:   Listen to Jesus’ unequivocal statements:  “Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.” Deuteronomy 12:8. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 16:25.  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15. “He that trusteth in his own heart [mind] is a fool.” Proverbs 28:26.

13. What solemn warnings does Jesus give us about the example and influence of our lives?

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6.  Let “no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” Romans 14:13.  “None of us liveth to himself.” Romans 14:7.

Answer:   We all expect leaders, people of influence, famed athletes, and other widely known figures to set a good example and use their influence wisely–to pay a so-called “debt to society”.  But in today’s world, we are often disillusioned at the repugnant and irresponsible actions of prominent individuals.  Jesus clearly states in Romans 1:14 that Christians, who represent Him and His kingdom, do indeed owe something to others.  And He solemnly warns that Christians who disregard their influence and example, and thereby lead people astray, will not enter His kingdom.

God asks His people to put ornaments and jewelry aside.

God asks His people to put ornaments and jewelry aside.

14. What are Jesus’ principles of conduct regarding clothing and jewelry?

Answer:   A.  Dress modestly.  See 1 Timothy 2:9.  Remember that the world is brought into our lives through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).  Immodest dress involves all three and is off-limits for a Christian.
B.  Lay ornaments and jewelry aside.  “Pride of life” is the big problem here.  Jesus’ followers should look different.  Their appearance witnesses and sends light to others (Matthew 5:16). Jewelry draws attention to and exalts self.  In the Bible, it is a symbol of backsliding and apostasy.  When Jacob and his family rededicated their lives to the Lord, they buried their jewelry in the earth (Genesis 35:1, 2, 4).  When the Israelites were about to enter the promised land, the Lord commanded them to remove their ornaments (Exodus 33:5, 6).  In Isaiah chapter 3, God clearly says that in wearing jewelry (bracelets, rings, earrings, etc. as listed in verses 19-23), His people were sinning (verse 9).
In Hosea 2:13, the Lord says that when Israel forsook Him, they began to wear jewelry.  In 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3:3, Paul and Peter both inform us that God’s people will not adorn themselves with gold, pearls, and costly array.  Please notice that Peter and Paul did speak of the ornaments God wants His people to wear:  “A meek and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4) and “good works” (1 Timothy 2:10).  Jesus sums it up by symbolizing His true church in Revelation 12:1 as a pure woman clothed with the sun (Jesus’ brightness and righteousness) and the apostate church as a harlot bedecked with gold, precious stones, and pearls (Revelation 17:3, 4).  God asks His people to separate from Babylon (Revelation 18:2-4) and all it stands for – including the jewels that draw attention to self – and instead clothe themselves with the righteousness of Jesus.  When we fall in love with Jesus, it is a sheer joy and pleasure to live His lifestyle.

Anything that lessens my love for spiritual things becomes an idol.

Anything that lessens my love for spiritual things becomes an idol.

15. How do conduct and obedience relate to salvation?

Answer:   Obedience and Christian conduct are the proof, or evidence, that I have been saved by Jesus Christ (James 2:20-26).  The fact of the matter is that unless one’s lifestyle changes after conversion, the conversion most likely was not genuine.  A converted person will find his greatest joy in discovering Jesus’ will in everything and in joyously following where He leads.
Beware of Idolatry The first epistle of John talks of Christian conduct.  At its close (1 John 5:21), Jesus warns us through His servant John to keep ourselves from idols.  The Master is referring to anything that interferes with or lessens my love for Him, such as music, fashion, possessions, adornment, evil forms of entertainment, etc.  The natural fruit, or result, of a true conversion is to follow Jesus happily and adopt His lifestyle.

People who have not fully given themselves to Jesus will never understand a Christian's lifestyle, and we should not expect them to.

People who have not fully given themselves to Jesus will never understand a Christian’s lifestyle, and we should not expect them to.

16. Should we expect everyone to look with favor upon the Christian lifestyle?

Answer:   No.  Jesus said that the things of God are foolishness to the natural man because they are not spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).  When Jesus refers to conduct, He is laying down principles for those who are seeking to be led by His Spirit.  His people will be grateful and will joyously follow His counsel.  Others may not understand or approve.

A person who rejects Jesus' lifestyle would be miserable in heaven.

A person who rejects Jesus’ lifestyle would be miserable in heaven.

17. How would a person who rejects Jesus’ standards for Christian conduct view heaven?

Answer:   Such a person would be miserable in heaven.  He would complain that there were no nightclubs, no liquor, no pornographic material, no prostitutes, no sensual music, no lewd books, no profanity, and no gambling.  Heaven would be “hell” for those who have not formed a true love relationship with Jesus.  This is why Christian standards make no sense to them (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

18. How can I adopt and follow these Bible guidelines without appearing pharisaical, judgmental, or legalistic?

Answer:   Everything we do should be with one thought in mind:  to express love and esteem for Jesus (1 John 3:22).  When Jesus is lifted up and shown to people (John 12:32), they will be drawn to Him.  Our one question should always be, “Will this honor Jesus?  Would I listen to this, sing this, do this, watch this, drink this, buy this, read this, say this, or go there if Jesus were here, in person, with me?”
Jesus is with you and me (Matthew 28:20), and He sees everything we do.  I must sense Jesus’ presence in every facet and activity of life.  When I consciously spend time with Him, I become like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18).  Then when people are with me, they will respond as they did to the disciples of old: “They marvelled and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13.  Christians who live like that will never become pharisaical, judgmental, or legalistic.
In Old Testament days, God’s people were in almost constant apostasy because they chose to live as their heathen neighbors rather than follow the distinctive lifestyle God outlined for them (Deuteronomy 31:16 Judges 2:17 1 Chronicles 5:25 Ezekiel 23:30).  It is true yet today.  No one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).  Those who cling to the world and its lifestyle will be slowly molded by Satan to adopt his feelings and desires and, thus, be programmed to be lost.  Those who follow Jesus’ principles for Christian conduct will be changed into His image and prepared for heaven.  There is no middle ground.

19. I want to love Christ so much that to follow His principles for Christian living will be a joy and delight.

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Is The Devil In Charge Of Hell?

11 Nov
Well? Does God really keep the devil on His payroll – is he the chief superintendent of hell measuring out the punishment of the lost?  Nearly the entire world holds a very unbiblical view about hell, and you owe it to yourself to know what the Bible really says about it.  Don’t be fooled, because what you think about hell certainly affects what you think about God’s character! Take a few moments to get the amazing facts you need to know today!
The wicked will not be punished until after the judgment.

The wicked will not be punished until after the judgment.

1. How many lost souls are being punished in hell today?

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” 2 Peter 2:9.

Answer:   There is not one single soul in hellfire today. The Bible says that God reserves, or holds back, the wicked until the day of judgment to be punished.

Sinners will be cast into hellfire at the end of the world -- not when they die.

Sinners will be cast into hellfire at the end of the world — not when they die.

2. When will sinners be cast into hellfire?

“So shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and  them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire.” Matthew 13:40-42. “The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48.

Answer:   Sinners will be cast into hellfire at the great judgment day at the end of the world–not when they die. God would not punish a person in fire until his case was tried and decided in court at the end of the world. Nor would God burn a murderer who died 5,000 years ago 5,000 years longer than one who dies and deserves punishment for the same sin today.

All who have died, both good and evil, are in their graves awaiting the resurrection.

All who have died, both good and evil, are in their graves awaiting the resurrection.

3. Where are sinners (who have died) now?

“The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28, 29. “The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction.” “Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.” Job 21:30, 32.

Answer:   The Bible is specific. Both the wicked and the righteous who have died are in their graves “sleeping” until the resurrection day.

Jesus died to save us from our sins.  Those who do not accept His gift of salvation will receive death.

Jesus died to save us from our sins.  Those who do not accept His gift of salvation will receive death.

4. What is the end result of sin?

“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:15. “God … gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

Answer:   The wages (or punishment) for sin is death, not everlasting life in hellfire. The wicked “perish,” or receive “death.” The righteous receive “everlasting life.”

The wicked are not immortal.  The Bible says they will

The wicked are not immortal.  The Bible says they will “perish”, “burn up” and “be destroyed”.

5. What will happen to the wicked in hellfire?

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8.

Answer:   The wicked die the second death in hellfire. If the wicked lived forever being tortured in hell, they would be immortal. But this is impossible, because the Bible says God “only hath immortality.” 1 Timothy 6:16. When Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden, an angel was posted to guard the tree of life so that sinners would not eat of the tree and “live for ever.” Genesis 3:22-24. The teaching that sinners are immortal in hell originated with Satan and is completely untrue. God prevented this when sin entered this earth by guarding the tree of life.
Bible Clear – Wicked Obliterated The Bible says the wicked suffer “death” (Romans 6:23), will suffer “destruction” (Job 21:30), “shall perish” (Psalms 37:20), will “burn” up (Malachi 4:1), “shall be destroyed together” (Psalms 37:38), will “consume away” (Psalms 37:20), “shall be cut off” (Psalms 37:9), “shall be slain” (Psalms 62:3). God will “destroy” them (Psalms 145:20), and “fire shall devour them” (Psalms 21:9). Note that all of these references make it clear that the wicked die and are destroyed. They do not live forever in misery.

At the end of the world, fire will fall from heaven upon the wicked and devour them.

At the end of the world, fire will fall from heaven upon the wicked and devour them.

6. When and how will hellfire be kindled?

“So shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man … shall cast them into a furnace of fire.” Matthew 13:40-42. “They went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Revelation 20:9. “The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.” Proverbs 11:31.

Answer:   At the end of the world, God Himself will kindle hellfire. As the holy city comes down from God out of heaven (Revelation 21:2), the wicked attempt to capture it. At that time, God will rain down fire from heaven upon the earth, and it will devour the wicked. This fire is Bible hellfire.

Hell will be the entire world on fire.  It will be 25,000 miles in circumference--its heat so great that everything on earth will be

Hell will be the entire world on fire.  It will be 25,000 miles in circumference–its heat so great that everything on earth will be “burned up”.

7. How big and how hot will hellfire be?

“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.” 2 Peter 3:10.

Answer:   Hellfire will be just as big as this earth because it will be the earth on fire. This fire will be so hot as to melt the earth and burn up all “the works that are therein.” The atmospheric heavens will explode and “pass away with a great noise.”

Jesus will insist upon just treatment for the wicked.  Their degree of punishment will be fair and according to their works, as He promised.

Jesus will insist upon just treatment for the wicked.  Their degree of punishment will be fair and according to their works, as He promised.

8. How long will the wicked suffer in the fire?

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as  his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. “And then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27. “That servant, which knew his lord’s will, and … neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.” Luke 12:47, 48.

Answer:   The Bible does not tell how long the wicked will be punished before receiving death in the fire. God does specifically state, however, that all will be punished according to their deeds. This means some will receive greater punishment than others, based upon their works.

God will recreate a new world where no trace of the former evils of this world will be seen.

God will recreate a new world where no trace of the former evils of this world will be seen.

9. Will the fire eventually go out?

“Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.” Isaiah 47:14. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:1, 4.

Answer:   Yes, indeed, the Bible specifically teaches that hellfire will go out and that there will not be left “a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.” The Bible also teaches that in God’s new kingdom all “former things” will be passed away. Hell, being one of the former things, is included, so we have God’s promise that it will be abolished.
Is God a Torturer? If God tortured His enemies in a fiery horror chamber throughout eternity, He would be more vicious and heartless than men have ever been in the worst of war atrocities. An eternal hell of torment would be hell for God also, who loves even the vilest sinner.

The fires will burn until only ashes are left.  Even the bones will be completely gone.

The fires will burn until only ashes are left.  Even the bones will be completely gone.

10. What will be left when the fire goes out?

“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:1, 3.

Answer:   Notice the verse does not say the wicked will burn like asbestos, as many today believe, but rather like stubble, which will be burned up. The little word “up” denotes completion. Nothing but ashes will be left when the fire goes out. In Psalms 37:10, 20, the Bible says the wicked will go up in smoke and be completely destroyed.

The fire from heaven will fall upon the wicked and destroy them, both body and soul.

The fire from heaven will fall upon the wicked and destroy them, both body and soul.

11. Will the wicked enter hell in bodily form and be destroyed both soul and body?

“It is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:30. “Rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20.

Answer:   Yes. Real, live people enter hell in bodily form and are destroyed both soul and body. The fire from God out of heaven will fall upon real people and blot them out of existence.

The devil will be completely destroyed by fire.

The devil will be completely destroyed by fire.

12. Will the devil be in charge of hellfire?

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:10. “I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. … And never shall thou be any more.” Ezekiel 28:18, 19.

Answer:   Absolutely not! The devil will be cast into the fire, and it will turn him into ashes.

13. Does the word “hell” as used in the Bible always refer to a place of burning or punishment?

Answer:   No, the word “hell” is used 54 times in the Bible, and in only 12 cases does it refer to “a place of burning.”
The word “hell” is translated from several different words with various meanings, as indicated below:

IN THE OLD TESTAMENT 31 times from “Sheol,” which means the grave.”
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 10 times from “Hades,” which means “the grave.” 12 times from “Gehenna,” which means “the place of burning.” 1 time from “Tartarus,” which means “a place of darkness.” 54 TIMES TOTAL

Note: The Greek word “Gehenna” (mentioned above) is a transliteration of the Hebrew “Ge-Hinnom,” which means the “Valley of Hinnom.” This valley, which lies immediately south and west of Jerusalem, was a place where dead animals, garbage, and other refuse were dumped. Fire burned constantly, as it does at modern sanitation dump sites. The Bible uses “Gehenna” or the “Valley of Hinnom” as a symbol of the fire that will destroy the lost at the end of time. The fire of Gehenna was not unending. Otherwise it would be still burning southwest of Jerusalem today.  Neither will the fire of hell be unending.

Destroying sin, sinners, and Satan is the only way to make the universe safe for eternity.

Destroying sin, sinners, and Satan is the only way to make the universe safe for eternity.

14. What is God’s real purpose in hellfire?

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15. “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be.” “The enemies of the Lord … shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.” Psalms 37:10, 20.

Answer:   God’s purpose is that hell will destroy the devil and all sin and sinners and make the world safe for eternity. One sinner, if left on this planet, would be a deadly virus forever threatening the universe. It is God’s plan to isolate sin and blot it out of existence for all time.
Eternal Hell Would Perpetuate Sin An eternal hell of torment would perpetuate sin and make its eradication impossible. An eternal hell of torment is not part of God’s great plan at all. Such a horrible theory is slander against the holy name of a loving God. The devil delights to see our loving Creator pictured as such a monstrous tyrant, and he alone can benefit from such teachings.
Eternal Hell a Man-made Theory The “eternal hell of torment” theory originated not from the Bible, but from misguided people who were (perhaps inadvertently) led of the devil. And, incidentally, no one will be in heaven because he feared hell. People are saved because they love and obey Christ.

Jesus will be deeply saddened when He must destroy those whom He died to save.

Jesus will be deeply saddened when He must destroy those whom He died to save.

15. Isn’t the work of destroying sinners foreign to God’s nature?

“As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Ezekiel 33:11. “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:56. “For the Lord shall rise up … that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.” Isaiah 28:21.

Answer:   Yes, the work of God has always been to save rather than destroy. The work of destroying the wicked in hellfire is so foreign to God’s nature that the Bible calls it His “strange act.” God’s great heart will ache at the destruction of the wicked. Oh, how diligently He works to save every soul! But if one spurns His love and clings to sin, God will have no choice but to destroy the sinner with his sin when He rids the universe of that horrible, malignant growth called “sin” in the fires of the last day.

After sinners are destroyed, God will create a fantastic new earth for His people, where they will live in peace, joy, and love forever.  Sin will never rise again.

After sinners are destroyed, God will create a fantastic new earth for His people, where they will live in peace, joy, and love forever.  Sin will never rise again.

16. What are God’s post-hell plans for the earth and His people?

“He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:9. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Isaiah 65:17. “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.” Revelation 21:3, 4.

Answer:   After hellfire goes out, God will create a new earth and restore it to His people with all the beauties and glories of Eden before sin entered. The horrors of sin and the past will be forgotten. Pain, death, tragedy, woe, tears, sickness, disappointment, sorrow, and all sin will be banished forever.
Sin Will Not Rise Again God promises that sin will never rise again. His people will be filled with perfect peace, love, joy, and contentment. Their lives of complete happiness will be far more glorious and thrilling than mere words could ever describe. The real tragedy of hell is in missing heaven. A person who fails to enter this magnificent kingdom has made the saddest choice of a lifetime.

Reflecting Jesus

22 Oct

By Ellen G White

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Eph. 4: 29.

I have a continual longing for Christ to be formed within, the hope of glory. I long to be beautified every day with the meekness and gentleness of Christ, growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. I must as an individual, through the grace given me of Jesus Christ, keep my own soul in health by keeping it as a divine channel through which His grace, His love, His patience, His meekness, shall flow to the world. This is my duty and no less the duty of every church member who claims to be a son or a daughter of God.

The Lord Jesus has made His church the depositary of sacred truth. He has left with her the work of carrying out His purposes and His plans to save the souls for whom He has manifested such interest, such unmeasured love. Like the sun in relation to our world, He rises amid the moral darkness– the Sun of Righteousness. He said of Himself, “I am the light of the world” (John 8: 12). He said to His followers, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matt. 5: 14). . . . By reflecting the image of Jesus Christ, by the beauty and holiness of their characters, by their continual self- denial and their separation from all idols, large or small, they reveal that they have learned in the school of Christ.

The Scripture says of Christ that grace was poured into His lips that He might “know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary” (Ps. 45: 2; Isa. 50: 4). And the Lord bids us, “Let your speech be alway with grace” (Col. 4: 6) “that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Eph. 4: 29).

In seeking to correct or reform others we should be careful of our words. They will be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. . . . All who would advocate the principles of truth need to receive the heavenly oil of love. Under all circumstances reproof should be spoken in love. Then our words will reform but not exasperate. Christ by His Holy Spirit will supply the force and the power. This is His work

From God’s Amazing Grace – Page 300

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