May 2018 Issue of Christian Worker (Sin and Salvation: Part 1)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • What is Sin? (Daniel F. Cates)
  • The Christian’s View of Sin (Cody Westbrook)
  • The Types of Sin (Steven Akin)
  • The Effects of Sin (Todd Clippard)
  • Helping a Brother, Lost in Sin (Rob Whitacre)
  • Helping a Child, Lost in Sin (Carl McCann)
  • Hell: The Eternal Consequence of Sin (Ronnie Scherffius)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2018 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#avoiding-sin, #christian-worker, #consequences-of-sin, #dealing-with-a-sinning-brother-or-sister-in-christ, #hell, #parenting-difficulties, #refrain-from-sin, #sin

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1-19-2016 What Is “As Hot As Hell?”

Nothing on earth is “as hot as hell.” Listening to songs, conversations, TV shows, and other entertainment venues, one may think the earth is burning up, because so many things are described this way: sexual lust, a winning ball team, war zones, clothes fashion, working conditions, etc.! Hell is for lost souls. Jesus said, “fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28 NKJV), because “the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48 NKJV). The “vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7 NKJV) is for those, Jesus said, who choose the wide and broad “way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (Matthew 7:13 NKJV). Since “Hell” is for eternity after this life: (1) nothing on earth is “as hot as Hell;” (2) Jesus used the same term, “eternal” to describe “punishment” and “life” in Matthew 25:46; (3) it is profanity to refer to “Hell” so casually.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#eternal, #fire, #hell

Worst use of Romans 6:23 I’ve ever heard

Go ahead and sit a spell with me, this may take a minute or two.

Ever heard of the TV show “Ask a Pastor”? Neither had I until the other day. I caught an episode coming on a religiously natured channel and decided to watch it for curiosity sake. The premise of the show was rather simple: call a phone-number to ask a host and a panel of five “pastors” a Bible question and they would try to give an answer from the scriptures.

Although I’m not too fond of the show’s title (due to the confusion that most of the religious world has with the word pastor and preacher), I must admit that I liked the general basis for the show: Bible question? Get a Bible answer. Sounds fair enough to me.

But what I was curious about was the level of “ecumenical understanding” the show was going to have. The reason I say this is because the panelists, with the exception of one, were from evangelical churches with names that I had never heard of. So that left me wondering about what would happen if a question was asked that crossed the doctrinal wires of the panelists? Would there be disagreement? Would there be an attempted rebuttal? How balanced would they be in their approach to the scriptures? Surprisingly enough to me, it didn’t take long for me to see how this would play out. Continue reading

#hell, #rightly-dividing-the-word-of-god, #seventh-day-adventist-beliefs, #sin, #spiritual-death, #tv

A Loving God and an Eternal Hell–Video: (Part 6)

This video, along with the rest of the series, can be found by visiting this link.

#apologetics-press, #atheism, #hell, #judgment-of-god, #video

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1-28-2015           “Raising Hell?”

According to many songs and party people, having a lot of fun is “raising Hell.” According to Jesus: first, this is profanity, because Hell cannot be “raised,” it is for damned souls for Eternity, a.k.a. “the condemnation of hell” (Matthew 23:33); secondly, it should not be “raised” for it is described as “torments” without a drop of water for relief (Luke 16:23-24); and third, a maimed body in life is better than the next life in “hell fire” (Mark 9:42-48). Since “Hell” cannot nor should not be “raised,” and is eternal torment: how much “fun” is it to say that? To “raise Hell” in life only lowers someone’s soul into it forever! Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#hell, #profanity

What an atheist did answer, then me (8)

QUESTION: What happens when we die?

ATHEIST: All bodily functions cease, and eventually our bodies decompose. (Ecclesiastes 3:19-21).

CHRISTIAN: From a purely naturalistic perspective this would be true, but there is more to man that just the material substance. There is the mind, and the mind is not material. From where did it originate? An atheist has no answer, but a theist does (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The passage used (3:19-21) is strictly from a physical perspective, but the wise preacher of Ecclesiastes knew there was more than the physical/material. In this there is wisdom.

QUESTION: What if your wrong? And there is a Heaven? And there is a HELL!

ATHEIST: If I am wrong, then I will go to Hell. Under such a circumstance, our choices are limited: 1) Be eternally tortured. 2) Be terrorized into submission in hopes of being allowed to spend eternity with the very being who created this scenario which lead to being so terrorized in the first place. I find neither scenario appealing. (NOTE: The concept of Hell being an old Pagan myth; and the concept of Heaven being “pie in the sky” hopes of defying nature and thereby somehow reconnecting with dearly departed loved ones; neither concept renders itself either a realistic cause for concern or a viable source of consolation).

CHRISTIAN: An atheist chooses to look upon the options as to only two, and he then chooses to value those options according to his own subjective standard. Yet, his standard is arbitrary, and not objective or transcendent. Thus, no reason to accept what he says about it; it can be summarily dismissed. The third option is to change one’s thinking in accordance with the evidence, but many atheists don’t do that since naturalism is a dogma that has to be held onto at all cost. Recently read an article where naturalism has to accept supernaturalism at the outset (see earlier reply). Interesting!

#atheism, #eternity, #heaven, #hell, #punishment

Learning to please God: Eternal rewards (#13)

The death of a saint is precious in the Lord’s sight. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalms 116:15) The death of an unsaved person is a sorrow and grief to God. “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) Continue reading

#charles-box, #eternity, #heaven, #hell, #rewards

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(#99) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:24-Going Up, Or Going Down?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:24: “The way of life winds upward for the wise, That he may turn away from hell below.”

“Upward” signifies away from the earth, and “below” describes the same, away from the earth, not down to its core! Many, it seems, wrongly think “Hell” is inside the earth. The “everlasting fire” is “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41), but is in the opposite direction from Heaven where God is. Since “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), then for those who follow the Devil, God has “reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 13).

Regarding a human death, which is the separation of the spirit from the body, Solomon said: “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Solomon dealt with the difference between the death of a human and that of an animal by asking: “Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?” (Ecclesiastes 3:21). Physical bodies return to dust, but spirits have a different direction. Of those spirits who return to God, Jesus Christ stated the difference: “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. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom” (Luke 16:22-23).

Christians, like the Apostle Paul, should “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). Jesus Christ said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Are you going up, or going down?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #body, #death, #down, #dust, #heaven, #hell, #obedience, #proverbs, #salvation, #spirit, #upward

The Goodness of God and Eternal Punishment By Wayne Jackson

The late Bertrand Russell, a renowned British agnostic, wrote a small publication titled, Why I Am Not A Christian. One of the reasons he cited for his unbelief was that Jesus Christ taught that there is an eternal hell for the wicked.

Russell could not harmonize Christ’s doctrine about hell with the biblical position of a just and benevolent God; hence, he rejected the teaching of Jesus and inclined toward the belief that there is no God. Russell, who lived a life of reckless abandon, echoed the sentiments of Cain: “My punishment is greater than I can bear.” On that basis, he became a determined opponent of true religion.

The problem of reconciling eternal retribution with the goodness of God also has had a significant impact on the religious world. Many religions, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and the World Wide Church of God (Armstrongism), have rejected the doctrine of the eternal punishment of the wicked. Even the churches of Christ have had their advocates of this erroneous viewpoint (see Fudge, Smith).

Ad Hominem Arguments

An ad hominem argument (meaning, “to the man”) is the type of reasoning that focuses on an opponent’s inconsistency. Let us, at the outset of this discussion, utilize this form of argument in response to the “no hell” theory.

First, a major premise of the “no eternal punishment” dogma is the notion that such is at variance with true justice. The argument might be framed like this. The Bible speaks of a just and good God; it also teaches the doctrine of eternal hell. These two positions are mutually exclusive. Therefore, the Scriptures are inconsistent and cannot be true.

We insist, however, that those who thus argue are under obligation to defend their use of the terms “just” and “good.” By whose standard are these character traits to be measured? Critics of the Bible must not be allowed to become “theological dictionaries unto themselves.” Their reasoning is based solely upon their own ideas of how goodness and justice should be expressed.

If it is true that the Scriptures teach that God has appointed eternal punishment for impenitently evil people, and if it likewise is correct that the Bible affirms the justice and goodness of Jehovah, then it must follow that eternal punishment is not inconsistent with the nature of God. It is at odds only with some men’s perception of goodness and justice.

Second, no one (skeptic or otherwise) is ready to concede that evildoers are unworthy of any type of punishment. It is recognized that no society could survive in such an atmosphere. Should the rapist, the robber, and the murderer be told: “Admittedly, you have done wrong, but we (society) will not punish you for your crimes. This would be unjust”? Is there anyone who argues that there should be no consequences resulting from criminal conduct? Surely not! It is conceded, therefore, that punishment is not inconsistent with true justice.

Third, let us take our reasoning a step further. Is it the case that genuine justice can be served even when an evil man’s punishment is extended beyond the time involved in the commission of his crime? Do we, for example, in our criminal justice system, ask the murderer, “Sir, how long did it take you to kill your wife?”—then assign his incarceration accordingly? Would justice be maintained by such an approach?

Here, then, is the point. True justice, combined with genuine goodness, allows the possibility that a wrongdoer may be required to suffer a penalty that is considerably longer than the duration of his evil. The real issue, therefore, is not punishment per se, or even protracted punishment; rather, it is eternal punishment. The skeptic (or religious materialist) simply wants to tell God how long the penalty is to be! Remember, however, in a system of true justice, the offender is not allowed to set his own sentence.

Eternal Punishment and a Just God

Since no one has ever returned from the dead to discuss his or her personal experiences, this issue is not one that can be settled by human speculation; rather, it must be decided by divine revelation. When the relevant biblical data is assembled, it will be seen, even from man’s jaundiced viewpoint, that the fact of eternal punishment is not inconsistent with the character of a righteous God. Our case will be set forth in a series of interrelated propositions. Continue reading

#ad-hominem, #christian-courier, #eternal-punishment, #god, #goodness-of-god, #hell, #jesus, #nature-of-the-body, #nature-of-the-soul, #punishment, #redemption, #religion, #salvation, #sin, #the-cross, #the-resurrection, #theology, #wayne-jackson

Answering Jehovah’s False “Witnesses” on What Happens to Us When We Die?

I found a pamphlet in my door the other day left by a neighboring religious group in my county. I’ve had a few conversations with them in the past, and I suppose I will do so again in the future if the opportunity arises, but this time I wasn’t home so the “paper work” got left behind.

The pamphlet addresses several spiritually natured questions inside. The title is actually labeled “Would You Like to Know the Truth?” So that at least lets me know what they intend for me to learn from its pages, and on the front page they do reference the right source for finding the truth (the word of God, the Bible – John 17:17) so I’ll give them that much – but one thing that the pamphlet does not give is the truth concerning the answers to the questions that it addresses.

For example, one question that it asks and answers is “What Happens to Us When We Die?” Here’s the excerpt from the pamphlet that deals with that issue:

WHY THE QUESTION ARISES: Most of the world’s religions teach that something inside a person continues living after death. Some hold that the dead can harm the living or that God punishes the wicked by condemning them to eternal torment in a fiery hell.

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES: At death, humans cease to exist. “The dead . . . are conscious of nothing at all,” states Ecclesiastes 9:5. Since the dead cannot know, feel, or experience anything, they cannot harm-or help-the living. – Psalm 146:3,4.

see also Genesis 3:19 and Ecclesiastes 9:6,10

There is one statement/sentiment in this quote that I take no issue with. Although I strongly believe in life after death, I don’t believe in “ghosts” in the way most of the world believes in them so with I’ll agree with them on that topic for the most part. Although I do wonder how they deal with Acts 19:13-16. But anyways, that’s where the no issue and the big issues begin and end.

Here’s what I want you to get from the point that the pamphlet was trying to make. When a person has to lean heavily on the book of Ecclesiastes to support their doctrine concerning life after death and the condition of the soul that should be an indicator. I’m not putting down the inspiration of Ecclesiastes at all. I’m just saying that Christianity is a religion that is based upon a certain individual who died and then rose from the dead to die no more! You would think that this person’s point of view and teaching on the subject would carry a little more weight in this pamphlet. And I suppose it would if it weren’t for the fact that the words of Jesus would be too much weight for their answer to support.

Jesus himself drew a clear line in the sand when he boldly said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28 – NKJV) Sounds like this one verse knocks out both claims: 1) something does in deed live on after death, and 2) there is a place of punishment for the wicked called hell.

But now you may be quick to point out that the pamphlet never denied that we will eventually live again after death, or that the pamphlet didn’t deny the existence of Hell, it only addressed the duration of it. Fair enough point, so let’s keep listening to what Jesus said concerning those two issues.

Continue reading

#bible-questions, #christianity, #death, #doctrine, #eternity, #false-doctine, #false-witness, #god, #hell, #jehovahs-witnesses, #life-after-death, #religion

Hell is not the Devil’s Domain

Many people in the world (both religious and secular alike) misunderstand what the Bible teaches concerning the one called Satan and the place called Hell. Many are under the impression that the Devil sits upon some throne ruling over the place of punishment. What they fail to realize is that this place of punishment will be taking its toll upon the Devil too. Hell isn’t a place prepared by the Devil – it’s prepared for the Devil!

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:41)

#bible-knowledge, #devil, #hell, #punishment, #satan

Why does hell exist?

Note: We do not know the author, Heath Rogers, personally, but since this article was just published in the Iuka MS church bulletin, we believe him to be a faithful brother. We’re always interested in reading about the person of God.

Some find the Bible’s teaching of hell to be inconsistent with their understanding of God. In their minds, they can not reconcile the idea of an all-loving, all-powerful God casting people into a lake of fire to burn for all of eternity. This difficulty has led some to pervert or deny the Bible’s teaching on hell and has led others to deny the existence of God. While it may be a difficult idea for our minds to grasp, there are reasons that an eternal hell exists.

Those who struggle with the idea of God sending men to eternal torment have an unbalanced and unbiblical view of God. While God is a God of love (1Jo 4:7-8), he is also capable of anger, wrath and punishment.

  • “There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy” (Ja 4:12).
  • “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God” (Rm 11:22).

It is within God’s character to both reward and punish. Paul said that God

“will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness – indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil” (Rm 2:6-9).

God is being consistent with his nature when he grants both eternal rewards and eternal punishment. Heaven is the final outworking of God’s love, while hell is the final outworking of his righteousness.

From the very beginning, God said that sin would be punished. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:17). God is a God of love, but he is also righteous and holy. God’s holiness will not allow him to ignore sin. He responds to sin with wrath and punishment.

Hell was created as a place of punishment for sin. “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Mt 25:41).

All sin is rebellion against God. Those who follow the devil in rebellion against God will suffer the same fate. Sin has a wage (Rm 6:23). Those who sin are deserving of punishment. However, those who have rejected the sacrifice of God’s Son are even more deserving of this punishment.

“Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? … It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hb 10:29, 31).

God is holy. God’s holiness cannot allow sin to come into his presence. Thus, one of the consequences of sin is that it separates man from God (Isa 59:1-2). If one dies while in this alienated condition, he will spend eternity separated from God in hell.

Speaking of heaven, John said, “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Rv 21:27).

Those who are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire (Rv 20:15), which is an eternal separation from God.

Hell is real, but no one has to be sent to that place of eternal torment. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, God has made a way for us to be forgiven, thus escaping the eternal punishment for our sins. If we will obey the gospel, heaven can be our eternal home.

#character-of-god, #god, #hell, #nature-of-god

Never ashamed to trust

Once a little boy remembered how his mother would draw him to her knee and spoke solemnly of the importance of trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

The young man would say, “Well, mama, I would like to do it, but the boys will all laugh at me.”

His Mother would say, “Henry, remember, they may laugh you into hell, but they can never laugh you out of it!”

The laughter and ridicule of this world may move many to places of discomfort, but there is joy when Christians can know the comfort of trusting the precious Christ!

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#hell, #persecution, #suffering

This is Just A Minute According to Gallup…

This is Just-A-Minute. According to Gallup 70% of Americans believe in hell, but only 6% of them believe they might go there, while 79% have no fear. I fear we preachers may be at fault. We have so mightily preached “God is love” and “God is merciful and forgiving”, that no one considers that God is also just and demanding. As swine wallow in the mire, we seek the sludge of sin; as vile vermin feed on rotting carrion, we gorge on filthy abominations. And it is done with no fear! There is neither fear of God, eternity, hell or punishment. So convincing have we preachers been that God’s grace is undeserved, that man has decided to continue in sin that grace may abound! But the Holy Spirit declares: “God forbid!” The Day of Judgment is at hand! The only deterrent that delays its arrival is God’s longsuffering and it nears its end. Only in Jesus is there hope.

#heen, #hell, #just-a-minute, #poll

This is Just A Minute A preacher once…

This is Just-A-Minute. A preacher once declared, “I quit believing in hell when I realized that there is no one so evil as to send there!” It seems to me there are plenty of others who have quit believing in hell as well. But such a notion is born of an ignorance of who God is. God is holy, infinitely holy. The cherubim about his throne constantly repeat, “holy, holy, holy.” To be holy means to be away from and separate from all sin. But man is full of sin, full of desires and acts of sin with sinful guilt like great mountains, heaped one on another, piled so high the top cannot be seen and still it grows. There is pride and arrogance, contempt and enmity, quarreling and strife, obstinacy and incorrigibleness, perverseness and corruption, cursing and blasphemy; sins of every variety and every degree. Is there no one who cries and sighs? Only in Jesus is there hope.

#hell, #holy, #just-a-minute