Tag Archives: Judgment

Hell, Fire, and Damnation?

Preaching

Have you ever heard of “hell, fire, and damnation preaching”? Or, maybe it should be spelled hell-fire and damnation.” I don’t know. Either way, the meaning is pretty much the same: it’s hardcore, old-fashioned, pulpit-whacking, snot-slinging, hankey-waving, chandelier-swinging preaching that unleashes the fear of righteous judgment. Haaaymen!

Well, that’s really not my style, for the most part. Believe me, I can do my fair share of pulpit banging, but I’m not the type to jump across the stage like the legendary evangelist Billy Sunday. I’m more like the picture of me in the sidebar of this blog; I usually keep both feet on the ground … usually.

That being said, what most people expect out of a Baptist preacher like me when preaching on the subject of Hell is the yelling, spitting, and pulpit banging associated with “hell, fire, and damnation,” not a heartfelt plea with a reasoned argument.

On the other hand, when pleading for the souls of those facing eternal damnation, shouldn’t a man have a right to get emotional?

Jesus Believed

Today (Sunday, 02/02/2020), I preached a sermon on Hell. The title of the sermon was “If Jesus Believed In Hell, So Should We.”

Many people refuse to accept Christianity because of the doctrine of hell. Just the thought of a place of eternal judgment has led some to walk away from the faith, even to judge God as immoral or evil. The thought of a literal Hell was so repugnant to Charles Darwin that he wrote the following:

“Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories.

But I was very unwilling to give up my belief… Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished.

And this is a damnable doctrine.”― Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82

Then there was Bertrand Russell, the philosopher who could not accept Christianity, believe it or not, because of Jesus!

“There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment. Christ certainly as depicted in the Gospels did believe in everlasting punishment, and one does find repeatedly a vindictive fury against those people who would not listen to His preaching…” – Bertrand Russell, Why I am not a Christian, 1927

Yes, Jesus DID believe in a literal place where the condemned spend an eternity in torment. Shocking, isn’t it?

So Should We

So, it only stands to reason that if Jesus – the Author and Finisher of our faith, the Word of God made flesh, the Way, the Truth, and the Life – believed and taught that there was a place called Hell, we should believe Him. Are you with me?

Therefore, even though I was in pain and taking meds for a broken and infected molar, and even though my tongue was hurting because I had severely bitten it on the same broken tooth, with all the passion and energy I could muster – but without jumping over anything – I preached what Jesus preached.

Hell is real, and you don’t want to go there.

Click on the picture for a link to the sermon.

Feel free to share your thoughts. 

 

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Filed under Christianity, Future, Life/Death, Preaching, Theology

Jesus Paid It All and You Really Don’t Want to Pay Your Own Way (Part Three)

Welcome to another installment of “Wally Wednesdays”! 


A guest post by Wally Fry

jesus saves

Off to Jail!

Last time we talked about God as a judge. What if we tried some of the things in an earthly courtroom we try with God?

“Judge, it wasn’t really a big robbery. I didn’t even use a gun! And I only got a little bit of money anyway.”

The law says the penalty for armed robbery is imprisonment, no exceptions. “Off to jail!” says the judge. God likewise does not care about the size of our sin. God is perfect and Holy, remember? A small sin makes us just as guilty as a big on in they eyes of a perfect God. James 2:10 teaches us that a man can keep the whole law and yet offends in one point is still guilty of violation the entire law.

“Judge, I may have committed that robbery, but I never killed anybody!”

The law says the penalty for armed robbery is imprisonment, no exceptions. “Off to jail!” says the judge. God is not going to look at all the things we could have done, but did not do. Once again, a violation of the law is a violation of the law.

“Judge, I may have committed that robbery, but did you know I have been working down at the food kitchen helping the homeless for years? What about all the money I gave to charity?”

The law says the penalty for armed robbery is imprisonment, no exceptions. “Off to jail!” says the judge. No matter how many good things we may do, they do not make up for our violation of God’s law. We cannot cover our penalty due by doing anything good.

“Judge, look what THAT guy has done!”

The law says the penalty for armed robbery is imprisonment, no exceptions. “Off to jail!” says the judge. God is not comparing us to each other to decide our innocence of guilt. He only compares us the the standard of His perfection and Holiness. It only matters what we have done, not what anyone else has done.

“Judge, I’m really, really sorry for committing the armed robbery.”

The law says the penalty for armed robbery is imprisonment, no exceptions. “Off to jail!” says the judge. The idea that we could tell a judge we are sorry and expect to be released is really absurd. The law says what the penalty is, and the penalty must be paid. Why would God be any different?

Coming up next Wednesday…part 4 (the conclusion)

 

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Filed under salvation

Kindled But a Little

This morning I left home early to retrieve my daughter from the college where she attends and resides. On the ride up to Bryan College, and then on the way back with her in the van, I listened to a sermon delivered years ago by Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones. Taken from Psalm chapter 2,  the title was “Why Do the Heathen Rage?”

One particular point that the great old preacher stressed was that God has allowed many things to happen to men and nations, all because they have spurned His guidance. The heathen of the world, those that want nothing to do with God, conspire with each other, plan together, and do all they can do to live without God’s Law.

They raise their unified voices in harmonious rebellion as they cry out, “Let us break free from the restraints of this imaginary “lawgiver” and cast them utterly aside!”

Yet, God laughs.

And then He lets them see how life works with no restraints, no laws, no God.

When His anger is kindled but just a little, He takes away His providential hand and lets man destroy himself. Is this not what we see even today? Men destroying themselves because they refuse to live by God’s most simple commands?

But even yet, we have only seen God’s wrath kindled but a little, and men “perish from the way.”

OH! What it will be like when God pours out His wrath upon men? How will they that mock Him stand? They won’t.

Oh, if they could only get a glimpse of the mighty terror of the Creator!

Then, on the way back home this morning, as the sun was rising over a cold, cloudy Chattanooga, I saw light break through the gray and stream upon the city below.

From one small, blazingly-bright spot emanated white beams. At this sight I said to Katie, “You know, that sort of looks like an eye, but instead of a black pupil, the pupil is light, and the streams of light make up the iris.”

Then I thought of the descriptions of the returning Christ as spoken of in the Book of Revelation. Fire. Righteousness.

I drove home as fast as I could and started drawing this picture. It’s the best I could do. And then I began to write what you are reading.

IMG_4052

And this was but one eye.

And it was only the sun in the sky, not the Son.

And on Him was the wrath of God poured out for me! OH, the GRACE OF GOD that He would love me! “What is man that Thou are mindful of him?”

And then once more I contemplated the text Dr. Lloyd-Jones read…

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish [from] the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed [are] all they that put their trust in him. – Psalm 2:12

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Those that are wise fear Him. Those that fear Him love Him. Those that love Him rest in His mercy and grace.

And all this made me shudder as tears came into my own eyes.

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Filed under current events, Faith, General Observations, God, worship