HELL IS REAL

After Ricky Gervais delivered a truth bomb to the Hollywood elites at the Golden Globe Awards, the Left told him how offended they were. His response was classic. He said, “Just because you are offended doesn’t mean you are right.”

Many Christians do not believe in Hell simply because the idea offends them. However, once again, that doesn’t mean you are right. No matter how much the subject terrifies you—no matter how intensely you reject the thought of Hell, or struggle with the concept, it is not a valid argument to say, “I don’t believe in Hell because the idea stings.”

It is also not a winning argument to say that a God of love would never create a Hell. All you are doing by saying that is making God in your own image. Jesus is the most loving Person Who ever lived, and He spoke of Hell as being real, as recorded in the New Testament, in 15 places. The word “hell” appears 23 times in the KJV.

Neither is it valid to reject eternal punishment by saying it is a myth made up by parents to scare their children into becoming Christians. If a truth is abused by men, that does not make it untrue.

The worst traitor is the preacher who denies the fact of Hell simply to gain wider acceptance. Paul felt that the reality of Hell should intensify our message to the world. He wrote, “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” (2 Corinthians 5:11).

We know that the Holy Spirit is aware of Hell, because Jesus said in John 16:8: “And when He (the Spirit of Truth) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…”

The Holy Spirit has prompted me to write to you about Hell because of Rob Bell, a former mega-church pastor who has gained traction because of Oprah Winfrey and CNN. He claims to be a Christian who doesn’t believe in Hell. And, of course, his church is in California.

In my opinion, Rob Bell is not teaching this out of a pure conscience, but to be accepted by the Oprah crowd and those who welcome a watered down Gospel. Furthermore, Rob Bell is not content to disbelieve in Hell, he also wants you and every other born again believer to stop believing in Hell.

He uses a crafty term to get us to reinterpret the Bible. He wrote in his bestselling book, deceptively titled “Love Wins,” that we should not take the Bible literally but “literately.” In other words, he is of a higher intelligence than you and me and can therefore educate us on the proper way to interpret the Bible.

This tendency by the Left and certain evangelical ministers to claim a higher I.Q. than you and me is becoming both common and tedious. You’ll remember Mark Galli, the radical editor of Christianity Today Magazine, spoke about Christians who support Trump. He said Trump supporters didn’t finish college and don’t have jobs. This gave him instant acceptance by CNN and all the other Leftist news outlets.

Look at the verses where Jesus talks clearly and undeniably about Hell:

  • Mat 5:22: “whoever says, ‘You fool!’ Shall be liable to the hell of fire”
  • Mat 8:11-12: He said that the Jews (sons of the kingdom) “will be thrown into outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth”
  • Mat 13:40: regarding the wheat and the tares: “the angels will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth”
  • Mat 18:8-9 speaks of being thrown into the eternal fire
  • Mark 9:44 and 48 calls Hell “unquenchable fire”
  • Mat 22:13: in the parable of the wedding feast, the man who lacks the proper garment is “cast into the outer darkness, there men will weep and gnash their teeth”
  • Mat 25:30: the man who buried the talent in the ground is also cast there
  • Mat 25:41: “Depart from Me you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels”
  • Luke 16:22-24: in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus describes Hell: 22 “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hell, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 Then 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’”

Now that Hell is out of the bag we have to face it. Every preacher must decide where they stand. You either believe Jesus or you believe Rob Bell. Let me explain. C. S. Lewis heard famous philosophers say that Jesus was a great moral teacher, but that He was not the Son of God. Lewis blew that argument to smithereens by explaining that Jesus said He is the Son of God, and if He isn’t the Son of God He was lying. And if He is a liar, He is not a great moral teacher.  Likewise if there is no hell then Jesus is a liar and not the savior of the world.

But if you were to ask me the most terrifying proof verse of Hell I would say it is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” How can we calculate what it cost God the Father to save us? It was the highest price ever paid for anything. Sometimes the only way to understand the true horror of something is by seeing the extreme measures to which someone is willing to go in order to redeem people from it. 

The question when you stand before God will not be, “How can You do this to me?” It will be, “How could you reject so great a salvation again and again, knowing what it cost the Father to give His only Son to die on the cross to save you?”

Hell is real and, thank God, Heaven is too. The way to be saved from Hell is not mysterious. It begins with believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth, as plainly stated in Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

The old time preachers are right after all! There is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun.  If you have never said a salvation prayer, please, pray:

Lord Jesus, I see You on the cross dying for me. By dying on the cross, You proved Your love for me. By rising from the dead three days later, You proved You have the power to set me free. Thank you for saving me from spending all eternity in Hell. I surrender my will to You. I repent of all my sins. Forgive me and cleanse me. Come and live in my heart. From this day forward, I will make You Lord of my life, and I will follow You for the rest of my life, until the day You call me to Heaven.  Amen

Affluenza among Christian leaders

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Affluenza among Christian leaders

By Mario Murillo 

 Something crazy is happening to high profile Christian leaders.  They are saying and doing things that are bizarre and in some cases tragic. I will not name names because I am praying for them to repent.  There will be a time when I will name names .  The mission of this missive is not to embarrass any leader or to make myself look holier than them…and it is most certainly not an attack on God’s promises to prosper us.

Here is a list of things said and done recently that prove something has gone very bad.

-“God has told me…when our Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl, a time of major revival, awakening, moves of God are going to break out in America,” – Famous Pastor.  Well…now that they lost 24-10 is national revival impossible?  My real issue here is connecting football to revival.  Whether is was done in 1980 or in 2016 makes no difference…they are totally unrelated.

-“I need to get my wife her own jet.  Sometimes she wants to leave meetings before I do.”- Another famous pastor.

-I walked into a restaurant where the entire worship team of a famous revival church was bellied up to the bar sucking down cocktails.  This church also is fine with their women leaders dressing scantily: “we were now reaching a global culture and this look helps us relate.”   The alcohol is part of their new found revelation of grace.

-A very famous Spirit-filled female pastor stands with her husband and tells their congregation that Christian couples should watch porn together to strengthen their marriage.

-The daily broadcast of one preacher and his guest explaining how they needed private jets since they can’t communicate to God in commercial jets and it protects the anointing of God on their life. And one says: “because in this doped filled world … and you get in a long tube with a bunch of demons…it”s deadly”. And the other one chimes in …”and it works on your heart, it really does”.

-Silent night was given a cringe-worthy (well, you just had to see it) makeover by a global Church.  When the video went viral…a mainstream Christian magazine gave an equally cringe-worthy defense “they were showing how King Herod would do silent night…they did it the right way later in the show.”

-The most popular gospel artist of today suddenly leaves the church after making millions off of Christians… The former “Jesus Freak” is advocating that Jesus is as fake as the tooth fairy… Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. What? Yes! It’s true, as he admits “The concept of religion as we know it is a lie”.

These are all cases of affluenza and they have all happened in the space of a few months. 

Affluenza came on the scene recently when Ethan Anthony Couch’s attorneys used it as a defense for murder.  Ethan–a teenager, was guilty of four counts of intoxication manslaughter, for recklessly driving drunk on June 15, 2013, in Burleson, Texas. He was illegally driving on a restricted license and speeding, lost control, plowed into a group of people. Four people were killed in the collision; two passengers in Couch’s truck suffered serious bodily injury and a total of nine people were injured.

The formal definition of affluenza is:  the unhealthy and unwelcome psychological and social effects of affluence regarded especially as a widespread societal problem: such as: feelings of guilt, lack of motivation, and social isolation experienced by wealthy people  Anastasia Toufexis Editor in Chief of Psychology Today coined the term “Affluenza” in 1988.

Affluenza strikes a Christian leader who has too much time, wealth, technology at their disposal. It warps common sense and herds them into foolishness and in its worst form…self-destruction.   Here is what it looks like

Affluenza makes them blurt out heresy:   The sheer volume of material they must produce along with the continual need to hold people’s attention is a breeding ground for heresy.

One affluenzed leader diminished the Bible:  “Why do we trust in a book that the early Christians did not have more than in the Spirit that they did have?”  I promise you he doesn’t really believe this—in the heat of the moment and in the need to dazzle his audience—he just blurted it out.  Problem is it made into a book that is widely circulated and influences young fertile minds.

Affluenza makes sustaining popularity a priority over telling the truth.  Just as the newly rich athlete is insecure about his money and behaves in an irrational manner so these leaders suddenly display unstable pulpit and mood swings.   They say and do the things they think will keep their business afloat.

Affluenza puts them in a bubble.  They are detached from reality and have no clue of how they look and sound.  They are often surrounded by people who will not confront their aberrant behavior.

Affluenza gives them strange priorities and urgencies.  Think about it…we are about to lose our country.  America has sunk into unprecedented debauchery.  Many Christians face financial crisis.  2015 saw more persecution of Christians worldwide that any year in the modern era.   Does any of this subject enter their pulpits?  Do they see who what they say may hurt and confuse?  Does it move them to break before God?

Both for Ethan Couch and preachers, affluenza is not an excuse—it is an onerous moral failure.  For vessels called of God it is both inexcusable and disastrous.

Listen carefully: The consequence of a sin is amplified by the time, place and circumstances in which it is committed.    Probably the most compelling example of this in the Bible is 2 Kings: 5.   After Naaman was healed of leprosy he offered riches to Elisha the prophet.  The prophet refused his gifts.  Verse 20 says, “Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”  He indeed went and got the riches and hid them.

Verse 25 says, “When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”  “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.  26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.”

If you get nothing else from this message get this:  Against the backdrop of America’s doom…is this the time for silly prophecies?  Is this the time for fictional doctrines, prescribing porn, drunkenness and flaunting obscene lifestyles?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Read the Bible

How to read the Bible

How to Read the Bible

By Donald Grey Barnhouse

Our certainty rests upon the Word of God and upon some of its statements about how

we are to read its pages. An illustration is, perhaps, the best way to come to the heart of

the method. Some years ago I entered the playroom of our home one evening, and found

my two boys at work on a large picture puzzle which had been given one of the members

of the family at Christmas. It was a finely made puzzle, on three-ply wood, beautifully

cut, and among its hundreds of pieces a score or more were designed in the shape of

common things. The little sister, three years old, too young to match the intricately cut

edges of the pieces, had been allowed to pick out those pieces which resembled articles

she knew and arrange them in rows at the edge of the table. She was eager to show me

what she had done. Here was a piece in the shape of a clover leaf; here was an apple, a

wheelbarrow, the letter S, the figure four, an umbrella, a violin and a bird. To her mind

those and the other shaped pieces were the most important things in the puzzle.

To see them, and to identify something that was in her world, made it all very interesting.

To her older brothers, however, the shape of individual pieces was merely incidental.

They knew that the violin would become part of a cloud, that the umbrella would be lost in

the pattern of a lady’s dress, and that the other figures would melt into flower garden and

trees.

Each Verse Has Its Place

This illustration is almost perfect for the student of the Word of God. The unfortunate

person who takes some text by itself and attempts to build a doctrine on it will be in utter

confusion before he has gone very far. Only with this wrong type of Bible reading can

anyone ever come to the absurd conclusion so often expressed, “You can prove anything

by the Bible.”

When, however, the shape of the individual verse is fitted into the whole divine plan

of the revelation of God, the full-rounded, eternal purpose begins to be seen; and the

whole of the Word of God becomes something so stupendous, so eternal, so mightily

divine, that every rising doubt is checked immediately. There comes, then, a knowledge

of the finality of God’s revelation which becomes as much a part of the believer as his

breathing, or his sense of being alive. Any other possibility cannot be entertained even

for a moment. The believer knows that the Bible is the Word of God, even more surely

than he knows that he is alive.

holding Bible up

If we are going to understand the Word of God, we

must have a spiritual attitude toward it. The Lord said

that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of

God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know

them, because they arespiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14).

God refuses to reveal Himself to just any casual passer

-by.  The Lord indicated this when He said in the Sermon

on the Mount:“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,

neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they

trample them under their feet, and turn again and

rend you” (Matthew 7:6).

This same thought must have been in His mind when He prayed, saying, “I thank thee,

O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, be because thou hast hid these things from the wise and

prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy

sight” (Matthew 11:25, 26). The fact that one must have a spiritual attitude that comes

from spiritual life in order to understand the deep things of the Word of God is also the

true meaning of the great verse which we quote in paraphrase: “For whosoever hath [new

life in Christ], to him shall be given [knowledge of the divine plan and revelation], and he

shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not [the new life in Christ], from him

shall be taken away even that [common sense and deep learning that might make him one

of the world’s leaders of the world’s thinking] he hath” (Matthew 13:12).

puzzle

Putting the Puzzle Together

The proper method of Bible study, then, is analogous to the putting together of the

puzzle. For any given doctrinal subject, read the entire volume, selecting every verse that

bears on the truth under study. Put all of these passages together, and the synthesis of

the result is the true Bible doctrine on the question with which you are concerned. A

verse from Moses, and one from Ezekiel, and one from Paul, put side by side, each

illuminating the others, fit into the perfect pattern of the whole design and give the

whole light which God has been pleased to reveal on that particular theme. Taken one

by one, the verses may be no more than mere shapes, meaningless as far as the

over-all purpose of the inspired revelation is concerned. This is why the Lord says that

one of the first principles of Bible study is that no Scripture is of “private interpretation” (II Peter 1:20).

The exegesis of the Greek shows that this verse should not be interpreted to restrict the

right of the private individual to read and understand the Bible for himself.

The Lord says that the anointing by the Spirit renders us capable of understanding, so

that we do not need to have any one teach us (I John 2:27). The existence of teachers by

divine order and arrangement is like the original institution of divorce, not because it was

God’s first choice, but because of the hardness of the hearts of men (Matthew 19:8).

The responsibility for reading and knowing the Word and will of God is upon

every individual, who must find out for himself, conclude what he believes and be

ready to give an answer for the hope that is within him, knowing that he will be

answerable to the Lord for the content of his faith, and that he will not be permitted

to present the excuse that he believed what some church or group of clergy interpreted

for him.

Editior’s note:  Donald Grey Barnhouse Th.D (March 28, 1895 – November 5, 1960), was an American Christian preacher, pastor, theologian, radio pioneer, and writer. He was pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1927 to his death in 1960. As a pioneer in radio broadcasting, his program, The Bible Study Hour, continues today and is now known as Dr. Barnhouse & the Bible.

Two features of the ministry of the late Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse made his witness
unique: his tremendous insight into Scripture, and his remarkable ability to bring the
truths he gleaned from his study to the Christian layman in such a way as to make the
Bible come alive. Those who have heard Dr. Barnhouse teach, and those who have read
his writings, can testify that this is true.