Archive for March, 2009

A common thought and pronouncement in our culture is, “That’s not fair.”  But we don’t really want fair ultimately because then we would all be in a world of hurt.  And that world is called hell.  What we want is privilege. Privilege is offered to all who will accept it by admitting they have done wrong and trusting the Savior to rescue them from fairness, that is, hell.  Without hell there would be no need for a Savior.


          So why not choose to believe that there is no hell and no Savior?  There are several problems with that decision.  First of all, if there is no hell it is not fair or logical.  If there is no hell then God is not just because everyone who does bad things no matter how heinous gets away with it.  If you execute them they either go to heaven or cease to be.  This lack of belief in hell is one of the reasons I believe there is an ongoing occurrence of mass murders followed by suicides.  If someone kills a dozen people and then kills himself he thinks he has avoided all punishment while expressing his deep anger and controlling his own destiny.  We need to teach people about hell so they will have a vague sense of the torture that awaits those who neglect the Savior for control of their own destiny.  God says, “He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” (Exodus 34:7) and “The soul that sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). 


          So how about having a Savior?  Is that fair?  Is that just?  An evil person does a horrendous crime to another individual or to a whole nation and later believes that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  How can God be just to let this monster off the hook?  He is just because Jesus took the punishment on the cross by being “marred more than any man” (Isaiah 52:14) and by being “sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 6:21).  On the other hand, why should someone who told a “little white lie” be committed to hell?  It is because “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (James 2:10).  So, if you want fairness you cannot eliminate hell and if you want privilege you cannot eliminate the Savior.


          Secondly, you cannot arbitrarily refuse the existence of hell and believe in God because God’s Word says it exists.  Jesus speaks of hell frequently in His great sermon as when He says that anyone who speaks to his brother “’you fool’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell” (Matthew 5:22).  Later in Matthew 10:28 Jesus warns us, “Do not fear those unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  You may object that you do not believe the Bible or do not accept all parts of it.  Then you are creating your own god.  How do you know this god exists and what is your basis of authority for this belief?  My authority is the Bible.


          Maurice Rawlings, an initially skeptical emergency room doctor, corroborates the evidence for hell in his book, “To Hell and Back”, by chronicling a number of near death experiences of those claiming to have been in hell.  Why do the popular accounts record “warm lights” but never include these horror stories?  Dr. Rawlings notes, “If the interview is delayed just a little bit…only the positive experiences will be found.  The negative experiences have long since been relegated to the painless portions of the memory, the victim apparently unable to coexist with this painful memory.” (p.33)  His most striking story is about a man whose treadmill test was shortened.  Several times he collapsed and was revived by Dr. Rawlings applying CPR.  He says, “I would reach over and start him up again.  But this time he was screaming the words, ‘Don’t stop! I’m in hell! I’m in hell!’  Hallucinations, I thought…But he was saying the opposite: ‘For God’s sake, don’t stop!  Don’t you understand?  Every time you let go I’m back in hell!’  When he asked me to pray for him, I felt downright insulted.  In fact, I told him to shut up…” (p.36-37).  After the patient’s pleading and the nurse’s “expectant look” he makes up a prayer, “Jesus Christ is the Son of God…keep me out of hell, and if I live, I’m on the hook. I’m yours.” (p.37)  Dr. Rawlings reports, “A religious conversion experience took place…He was no longer the wild-eyed, screaming, combative lunatic who had been fighting me for his life.  He was relaxed and calm and cooperative.  It frightened me.”  He confides that besides converting the patient “this miserable prayer of mine had opened the road to my own salvation.” (p.37)


          You can have fair if you like but I prefer the privilege of rescue from hell through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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To say that snow is uncommon in my little town would be an understatement.  And when it does come it tends to fade quicklyWe had three inches last night and cold enough to retain it half a day today.  I am so thankful for its beauty and God’s creativity!


Spring delayed                  Not bad sledding           Would you like icing on that?


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Overflows from the Heart

"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…" Matthew 15:18


Pointing to the One who made, saved, and sustains