The State of the Damned in Hell

Thomas Boston (1676 – 1732) Photo via wikipedia

Puritan Thomas Boston –

The State of the Damned in Hell

Thomas Watson

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VIDEO by Christian Praise and Worship in Songs, Sermons, and

What kind of Christians wind up in hell? A testimony from an evangelist who says he saw hell

In 1982, I had an accident in which I died.   As death came over me, I felt everything become dark.   I found myself walking through a dark tunnel, and some kind of being was taking me.   While we walked in this cold and dark tunnel, I began to hear horrific screams and moans, and an intense fear was growing inside of me.   I knew that, although my body was already dead, I was somehow still alive in this place.

I saw large snakes moving all around, and all the people were crying out for water.   Soon we arrived at an open plateau, which had many chambers and divisions, each contained different people inside.   I began to cry out with terror, begging God for mercy.   „Lord, remember my life! Have mercy!” Sheer terror was gripping my soul, and my whole life was passing before my eyes.   As we approached some door, I shouted again, „Have mercy on me my Lord; have mercy on me! I beg you to help me! Help me Lord!!”

Suddenly there was a silence, and I heard a loud voice say, Stop!”The voice shook all of Hell, and the being that was taking me by the hand, released me.   I am not the God of adulterers, I am not the God of fornicators, I am not the God of liars.   Why do you call me Lord, if I am not a God of those who boast? (Luke 6:46)

You can read the transcript for this video at – http://choothomas.org/christians_that_wound_up_in_hell/index.htm

David Platt – The Urgency of Eternity

David Platt, India 2011- Photo David Platt (Instagram)

David Platt India

TEXT2 Thessalonians 1:8-9;  in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his mightPhilippians 3:20;  20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

The Urgency of Eternity…

Knowing this Gospel Thread…

  • Our eternal destiny hinges on our response to Jesus.
  • Hell is a dreadful reality for those who turn from Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)
  1. A place of continual rebellion.
  2. A place of final separation.
  3. A place of eternal duration.

Heaven is a glorious reality for those who trust in Jesus. (Philippians3:20)

  • A place of full reconciliation.
  • A place of complete restoration.
  • A place of ultimate reunion.

Will you turn from Jesus or will you trust in Jesus? (John 3:16)

  • Will you turn from Jesus?
  1. Live without Christ now.
  2. Die without Christ forever.
  • Will you trust in Jesus?
  1. Die with Christ now.
  2. Live with Christ forever.

Weaving this Gospel Thread…

  • Minimize your conversations about temporal things.
  • Maximize your conversations about eternal things.

Talking about hell…

  • Speak about God’s character with humble confidence.
  • Speak about God’s judgment with healthy fear.
  • Speak about God’s wrath with honest compassion.

Talking about heaven…

  • Talk like this world is not your hope.
  • Live like this world is not your home.
  • Talk about your anticipation of being with God.
  • Talk about your realization that dying is gain.
  • CALLing people to turn and trust…

Clarify the Gospel.

  • Ask…
  1. If they have any questions.
  2. If they have ever turned from their sin and themselves and trusted in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
  3. If they would like to turn from their sin and themselves and trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord now.
  • Let the Holy Spirit work.
  1. Invite them to call out to God to save them.
  2. Be willing to let them be alone with God.
  • Lead them as a new follower of Christ.
  1. We don’t want to manufacture decisions.
  2. We do want to make disciples.

The Church at Brook Hills…
• Do we realize people’s condition?
• Do we possess the heart of Christ?
• Do we want our lives to count?

C. S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters (6) Escaping the Wiles of the Devil (last video)

Taken from the C.S. Lewis Study Program ‘The Screwtape Letters’ a six-part video study guide of one of the most popular and profound works of C.S. Lewis. By Dr. Jerry Root – noted C.S. Lewis scholar and faculty member at Wheaton College. CSLewisInstitute

The Screwtape Letters is a satirical Christian apologetic novel written in epistolary style by C. S. Lewis, first published in book form in February 1942. The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior Demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter. The uncle’s mentorship pertains to the nephew’s responsibility for securing the damnation of a British man known only as „the Patient”. The Screwtape Letters comprises thirty-one letters written by a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, a younger and less experienced demon, who is charged with lewis holy trinity churchguiding a man toward „Our Father Below” (Devil / Satan) and away from „the Enemy” (God). (Read more, including the plot of the book at Wikipedia)

Here are the six parts Dr. Root covers in 4 separate videos (which I will posts as soon as they each become available):

  1. Background
  2. Doctrine of Hell
  3. Three major themes that run through these letters
  4. Antidote to Screwtape’s wiles and what Lewis might say about how we might protect ourselves against various forms of temptation.

The Screwtape Letters Part 1 – The Background

The Screwtape Letters Part 2 – C. S. Lewis’s Concept of Hell

The Screwtape Letters Part 3 – Pride throughout the letters

The Screwtape Letters Part 4 – The Rationalization of Evil, Akrasia, or „The Lust of Deceit”

The Screwtape Letters Part 5 – The Lust of the Flesh

the-love-of-god-

Last Part 6 – Escaping the Wiles of the Devil

Dr. Root, C.S. Lewis scholar at Wheaton College, Illinois, in his last lecture gives some antidotes to Screwtape’s wiles and ways to avoid temptations and see more victory from the writing of C.S. Lewis in the Screwtape Letters. If you want to escape the wiles of the evil one, take the love that He has given you, and let that be the canvas on which you will paint the struggles of growing in courage and temperance and justice.

Screwtape’s overtures must be detected and overcome. How can this be done? Any study of C S Lewis’s Screwtape Letters must end with a word of hope and some positive advice, as to how we can become less and less susceptible to the wiles of the evil one. In Mere Christianity, C S Lewis said he thought pride was the great sin. And, certainly pride is one area, one thread on which several of the Screwtape Letters are held together. When Lewis says ‘pride is a great sin’ though, I would tend to take issue with him, unless he means by ‘great sin’, like the apex of a pyramid is the greatest point of a pyramid, I’m comfortable with what he’s claimed. Lewis wasn’t the only one who said pride was the greatest sin. Augustine, in his commentary on Psalm 19 says the same thing. And, many christians throughout time.

But, let me see if I can make a case. If, again, they mean pride is at the apex of a pyramid, it’s at the end of a process. We know that the apex of the pyramid is being supported by things far more substantive beneath the apex. But, let me explain what we discover as we go to the parts that are the more substantive of the pyramid, where something like pride would be the apex. I am not talking, too, of pride as pride in a job well done. I’m talking about that form of pride that manifests itself as a kind of pretense- making myself look better than I am. Deluding myself into thinking I am  better than I am, or wanting other people to buy into the delusion.

Could it not be that maybe pride is preceded by insecurity and fear. If you knew me as I am, you might reject me. So I try to make myself better than I am. If this is true, then the Bible is explicit about what would be beneath – fear and insecurity. 1 John 4:18 „perfect love casts out fear”. Now, you and I have never been loved perfectly by another human being before. Well meaning people have done the best they can, but we’ve still picked up mixed messages. So, consequently, if perfect love casts out fear, a corollary might be that imperfect love breeds anxiety. And, each of us, by the methods we picked up from others, have been at some level saddled with the burden of anxiety. Furthermore, it gets worst before it gets better. You and I have never loved anybody perfectly either. So people in our world, who have looked to us for love. Though we’ve done the best we know how, we’ve still saddled them with some burden of anxiety.

There’s only one person who knows you utterly and loves you completely, and that’s God. His love is non contingent, it’s not based any kind of performance on our part. When we fail, He loves us and forgives us. When He’s picked us up by His grace, His love nurtures us. His love is not increased by our performance, nor is it diminished by our failure. This is overwhelming. God knows us and loves us completely. That doesn’t mean He’s not disappointed at our failure. But His love is such that He remains with us. He’ll never leave us or forsake us.

Therefore, it would appear that the greatest sin, at the base of the pyramid is to reject the love of God, to be unwilling to accept the love of God in our lives.

Antidote – The love of God. 

Security in the love of God is a preventative, making us less susceptible to Screwtape’s temptation and offerings. Lewis writes an essay: First and Second Things. You put first things first, you get second things thrown in. You put second things first, you lose out on first and second things. For, who can eat, and who can enjoy life without Him? Screwtape provides false notions of the self and of the world. When we define ourselves by these falsehoods, we become susceptible by the things he suggests will fulfill us. We look for artificialities, rather than something substantive in God. God loves you. He knows you and He loves you. And, nothing will keep you safe from the evils of the wicked one more than the realization of God’s love for you and your loving response to Him. Trusting that He has your best welfare at stake, so you don’t start looking for it in other places. I think we need to define ourselves by how He sees us and He loves us. We are always having a great love story told to us, by the great lover of our souls, and we live most of our lives out of cognition. There are brief moments when we get it. He loves us and we’re overwhelmed. And then, we fall out of cognition as quickly as we fell into cognition.

In the heart of God, He offers us the best He can offer us- His love. And we, instead, vector off towards artificialities. The love of God keeps us secure. If you neglect God’s love, you will begin to drift away from Him and drift towards those artificialities that we use as a substitute for God. And once Screwtape could move towards these idols, these artificialities, he’ll start to have His way with us. We, withdrawing into ourselves  and becoming self-referential, we also look on others in a utilitarian way, which compounds our sense of isolation. We also increase our own sensitivities, becoming more easily hurt by the actions of others around us, while becoming less sensitive to the hurt others around us may be enduring because of us. Photo below via www.pastormattrichard.com

Growing in Virtue

There is something we can do in order to grow in grace as well

Growing in Virtue 2 Peter 1:1-11 and Lewis also writes about virtue in Mere Christianity. Virtue is an integrated hole. Virtue is a means to the good life. Virtue had facets, but they were all interdependent. – These things grow in response to our love for God. These are the offerings of our love back to God, in loving response. All these are habits, too, by the way.

  1. Courage is the habitual ability to suffer pain and hardship. It’s endurance, fortitude, it’s staying power. Courage is the ability to say „Yes” to right action, even in the teeth of pain. Our own moral development will not progress if we don’t have this endurance. When the temptation comes we endure. When we run the risk of vectoring we need to endure in our loving response to God. We need to lather up again in God’s love for us, that we might triumph over some of these other things. 
  2. Temperance, on the other hand is the habitual ability to resist the enticement of immediate pleasure, in order to gain the more remote good. If courage is the ability to say „yes” in the right action even in the teeth of pain, temperance is the ability to say „no” to wrong action even in the jaws of pleasure. And we can do that most readily, when we’re most satisfied in our relationship with God. If you find yourself caving in because you’re intemperate, let the red light go on the dashboard of your life- God loves you, He forgives you… when the red light goes on, go to Him in your intemperance and receive from Him His grace, that you might reinsert yourself in the world. Temperance is a mark of maturity. When my children were little, they weren’t born temperate. When they were little, they would have been willing to sell their souls for sweets. They were easy marks for Screwtape whenever he came. If you want to escape the wiles of the evil one, take the love that He has given you, and let that be the canvas on which you will paint the struggles of growing in courage and temperance and justice.
  3. Justice is the habit of being law abiding and concerned with the common good and general welfare of ones society. Justice recognizes that my own moral development is interlinked with my responsibility to you. Justice seeks to secure and protect natural rights, to be fair and render to others their due. If I am engages in self-referential ways that treat you in a utilitarian way, my own character is diminished, and as a human being I am not enjoying life to the fullest. Justice testifies to the fact that character and development is connected to one’s responsibility to another. One’s moral development is linked to practicing fairness and showing genuine concern  for the welfare of others.
  4. Wisdom. Lastly, wisdom is the habit  being careful about decisions one makes. It seeks counsel and advice. Wisdom is the perspective of the scaffold, it’s the perspective of God’s word, it’s the perspective of friends who bring to us insight that we wouldn’t have, if we were operating individually, or self-referentially. We need this wisdom.

The thing that keeps us moving in the realm of virtue and spiritual maturity is when it’s all built on the foundation of God’s love. God’s love is the antidote to the wiles of the evil one. Three weeks before C S Lewis died, an American girl wrote him a letter, and she had read the Narnian chronicles, and Lewis was on his deathbed, virtually. Nobody would have faulted him if he wouldn’t have wrote this girl back. But, he writes her a letter, this great christian leader, not struggle free in his life, but a struggler who learned the art of living through his struggles. He learned about the grace of God and the love of God. And Lewis writes this girl, as he’s on the threshold of eternity, to an 11 year old American girl on the threshold of her earthly experience, and he says to her, „If you continue to love Jesus, nothing much will go wrong with you. And I pray you may always do so.” It’s still great advice.

C. S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters (5) The Sins of the Flesh

Taken from the C.S. Lewis Study Program ‘The Screwtape Letters’ a six-part video study guide of one of the most popular and profound works of C.S. Lewis. By Dr. Jerry Root – noted C.S. Lewis scholar and faculty member at Wheaton College. CSLewisInstitute

The Screwtape Letters is a satirical Christian apologetic novel written in epistolary style by C. S. Lewis, first published in book form in February 1942. The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior Demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter. The uncle’s mentorship pertains to the nephew’s responsibility for securing the damnation of a British man known only as „the Patient”. The Screwtape Letters comprises thirty-one letters written by a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, a younger and less experienced demon, who is charged with lewis holy trinity churchguiding a man toward „Our Father Below” (Devil / Satan) and away from „the Enemy” (God). (Read more, including the plot of the book at Wikipedia)

Here are the six parts Dr. Root covers in 4 separate videos (which I will posts as soon as they each become available):

  1. Background
  2. Doctrine of Hell
  3. Three major themes that run through these letters
  4. Antidote to Screwtape’s wiles and what Lewis might say about how we might protect ourselves against various forms of temptation.

The Screwtape Letters Part 1 – The Background

The Screwtape Letters Part 2 – C. S. Lewis’s Concept of Hell

The Screwtape Letters Part 3 – Pride throughout the letters

The Screwtape Letters Part 4 – The Rationalization of Evil, Akrasia, or „The Lust of Deceit”

Part 5 –  The Sins of the Flesh

Screwtape, when he writes, especially about the sins of the flesh, and fleshly desire, he writes this in Letter 19, and it’s his key concept to the desires of the flesh. He writes: Separate your patient’s sexuality from all that might humanize him. To humanize the desire is not to deny the desire, but to allow love and justice to guide and direct it. That place where we begin to respect  the humanity of the other person, not be self-referential and utilitarian, using other people for our own ends. Screwtape writes in Letter 7: Once you’ve made the world an end of faith and means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. So we see that Screwtape seeks to hold the patient in a state of confusion over real pleasure. And, artificiality, or the corruption of pleasure.

In letter 9, we are informed that the devil cannot produce pleasures. Screwtape says, „All we can do is to encourage humans to take pleasures which our enemy has produced at times, or in ways, or in degrees He has forbidden. Hence, we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure, to that which is least natural, least redolent of its maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula. Screwtape tells Wormwood, „Exploit the troth. Undulation – we have these up and down periods in our life. He says, „Exploit the troth, exploit the down time.” In other words, help your patient move towards pleasure, that is a kind of anesthetizing behavior.

All of us are wounded. Not necessarily all of us are broken. Brokenness is an awareness of our wound, and how it affects us at some level. And, our tendency, because of our woundedness, rather than bringing it to Jesus, to begin the process of healing us, we will gravitate towards anesthetizing behaviors. These behaviors are things like drug addiction, alcohol addictions, eating disorders, sexual addiction, workaholism. Usually, these anesthetizing behaviors get us by, they don’t get us better. And, usually, as time comes, we pick up some convictions along the way, and the anesthetizing behaviors that got us by from our youth, these anesthetizing behaviors begin to operate in contrast to our convictions.

Romans 7 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Who will set me free form these things? Paul says Christ will. Why is it that we keep going back to these things, even though they are contrary to our convictions? I would like to suggest to you that: Our wounds are deeper than our convictions. And, if we’re not finding the grace of God healing us in the places of our life, especially in the troth period, we become particularly susceptible to the sins of the flesh, and Screwtape has his way on us. (10:22)

What is the antidote to lust? It’s reality. To see another person as she or he really is. That is why Screwtape says, „Separate his sexuality from all that might humanize it. Separate it from reality. Separate it from virtue, as a means to pleasure, and lead them towards vice and unrestrained expression that doesn’t take into account the humanity of another person.” In Letter 13 Screwtape warns Wormwood not to allow his patient to experience real pleasure. The characteristic of pains and pleasure, he writes, is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. He writes, „How could you have failed to see that a real pleasure  is the last thing you ought to have him meet?” Because a real pleasure would see things as they are, not as he would have them be. In an experiment in criticism, Lewis said: In coming to understand anything, we must accept the facts as they are, not as they are for us.

In Letter 17, he talks about the glutton of delicacy, and we talked about that under pride. But, Lewis finishes his discussion of the gluttony of delicacy by talking about this woman, who talks about- „All I want” state of mind. I want it like this, I want it like that”. She has in her mind what she wants. He says at the end of that particular statement: She doesn’t mind what she eats herself, but does like to have things nice for her boy. In fact, of course, her greed has been one of the chief  sources of the boy’s domestic discomfort for many years. She thinks she’s doing right by the boy, but she’s projecting on the boy what she wants the boy to be like, rather than being concerned to let the boy be what he ought to be. (18:00)

In Letter 20 we see Screwtape say this to Wormwood, „The goal is to produce in every age, a general misdirection of what may be called sexual taste.. (Here, sexual taste is the abuse of another person for my own ends, but, it’s an abuse of another person in a particular way). This they do, by working through the small circle of popular artists, dressmakers, actresses, and advertisers, who determine the fashionable type. As a result, we are more and more directing the desires of men towards something that does not exist, making the role of the ‘I’ in sexuality more and more important. At the same time, making it’s demands more and more impossible.

The use of undulation is a seedbed for temptation. In Letter #8, Screwtape invites Wormwood to exploit troth times. In Letter 25, we see this: There’s the horror of the same old thing. The lust then for novelty. You can’t get a person, then, to be satisfied in their present state, they have to lust for something that’s beyond what’s in their own pasture, or their own world. The God who is immutable created the immutability of time. He even entered it himself. He gives His creatures a love of permanence, as well as a love of change or variety. God seeks to gratify both of these loves via the rhythms of life. To overindulge one side of the permanence-variety struggle is to neglect the other, to play to eternity, while failing at temporal responsibility. This is gnostic. So to, to play to time, while failing at the eternal responsibility, this is damnable. The antidote to the excesses of change is permanence. Permanence is to discover the light in the particular.

Screwtape seeks to exaggerate the pleasures of either, to make an end of it. He seeks to destroy balance, and the struggle to bring about balance. And this results in diminished pleasure and increased desire. So, the pleasure of novelty is subject to the law of diminishing returns. This leads to the susceptibility to fashion or vogues, and so on. Screwtape’s goal is mainly to produce that nonsense in the intellect, which reinforces corruption in the will. Screwtape tells Wormwood, „We want cattle who can finally become food, but God wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. Screwtape will try to make man in his image, where as God will remake us in the image of His Son. All choice moves us one way or another, towards a miserific vision, or the beatific vision.

C. S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters (4) The Rationalization of Evil, Akrasia, or „The Lust of Deceit”

Taken from the C.S. Lewis Study Program ‘The Screwtape Letters’ a six-part video study guide of one of the most popular and profound works of C.S. Lewis. By Dr. Jerry Root – noted C.S. Lewis scholar and faculty member at Wheaton College. CSLewisInstitute

The Screwtape Letters is a satirical Christian apologetic novel written in epistolary style by C. S. Lewis, first published in book form in February 1942. The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior Demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter. The uncle’s mentorship pertains to the nephew’s responsibility for securing the damnation of a British man known only as „the Patient”. The Screwtape Letters comprises thirty-one letters written by a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, a younger and less experienced demon, who is charged with lewis holy trinity churchguiding a man toward „Our Father Below” (Devil / Satan) and away from „the Enemy” (God). (Read more, including the plot of the book at Wikipedia)

Here are the six parts Dr. Root covers in 4 separate videos (which I will posts as soon as they each become available):

  1. Background
  2. Doctrine of Hell
  3. Three major themes that run through these letters
  4. Antidote to Screwtape’s wiles and what Lewis might say about how we might protect ourselves against various forms of temptation.

The Screwtape Letters Part 1 – The Background

The Screwtape Letters Part 2 – C. S. Lewis’s Concept of Hell

The Screwtape Letters Part 3 – Pride throughout the letters

Part 4 – The Rationalization of Evil

Akrasia, or „The Lust of Deceit”

We are almost predatory about self deception and Screwtape advises his nephew, Wormwood to help people in that regard, to be self deceived. The word Akrasia means to make excuses and rationalize bad acts. It self justifies. Remember that even when Christ was dying on the cross for our sins, there were those at the foot of the cross who said, „If you’re the Son of God, come down from the cross and save yourself.” We understand the ‘save yourself’ mentality. But, Jesus didn’t come to save himself, He came to save lost humanity. And, Job’s self referential experience, and we’re tender towards Job because he’s suffering, and any time we suffer, we wanna give people in the moment of their crisis a wide swath of understanding and patience. But, Job, even in his hurting moments, God says to him: Gird up your loins like a man, Job, and I will ask you and you will instruct me. It’s a very ridiculous juxtaposition of God as the student and Job as the teacher. And then He says to him, „Will you really annul mu judgments, that you may be justified?”

The bad alternative to repentance is this akrasia, this rationalization. It’s a bad alternative to repentance and the obedience that follows on the heels of repentance. Obedience is the opener of eyes. We might say, akrasia is the closer of eyes. It keeps us from seeing reality. Obedience allows me to live in the benefits of omniscience. I’m a pea brain, I don’t know very much. But, every time God, in His omniscience, calls me to obedience, I can live beyond my own capacities. If I obey Him, I receive the benefits of omniscience. Furthermore, obedience is the splint that God places on a broken life in order that it might mend. But, disobedience and akrasia, in willful blindness, keeps me in that broken state.

We get the concept for akrasia from Aristotle’s ethics. Aristotle wrote: vice is unconscious of itself. It’s a statement that Lewis himself footnotes in the abolition of man, from Aristotle’s ethics. Lewis is very much aware of this concept of self deception. Lewis writes from the preface of Paradise Lost- Continued disobedience to conscience makes conscience blind. Then, of course, Paul in Romans 1:18 – „We suppress the truth in our unrighteousness.” Screwtape urges Wormwood to engage in a corrupted form of rhetoric, to keep his patient blind. (8:25) So we see first:

The rhetoric of Rationalized Behavior:

  • The Unknowing Falsification of Reality
  • Intentional & Dishonest
  • Devoid of Principle or Legitimate Ends
  • Self-referentialism

Photo from http://www.swordofthespirit.net

Screwtape tells Wormwood: Jargon, not reason is your best ally in keeping your patient from church. In his Oxford History of English Literature, Lewis said of the Renaissance humanists, in their reaction to the medieval literature, he said, „They jeer, but they do not refute.” You can call a person a name, you can be dismissive of that other person, but, never engage them rationally to see if your ideas hold muster against the challenges that must come. Screwtape says, „By the very act of arguing you awake the patient’s reason. And once it is awake, who can foresee the result?” Reason is an ally to faith, it’s not an ally to self justification. Real criticism is going to do 2 positive things to my faith. (1) It’s gonna cause me to prune those accoutrements that have surrounded my faith, that are false. Maybe I picked them um blindly from my subculture. I entered into something like a group think, that can sometime occur in religious communities. (2) Or, the challenge can help me to understand my faith more robustly, as I see that my faith position stands up to the challenge, even as I engage in seeing how I can answer the particular questions that are brought up in the moment. Screwtape wants us to avoid that kind of thinking, because that kind of thinking, again, either prunes the falsehood or strengthens the truth and helps us see its vitality.

Truth is not reality, truth is what I think about reality when I think accurately about it. In Letter 1, Screwtape wants to keep those he seeks to destroy in a state of moral blindness. Screwtape writes: Give to him, your patient, a grand general idea that he knows it all, and that everything he has happened to pick up in casual talk and reading is a result of modern investigation. And so, then the person moves towards informal fallacies and logic, and we don’t even realize we’re blinding ourselves in these processes. In Letter 2 Screwtape talks about this rationalized behavior in more detail. He writes to Wormwood: All the habits of the patient, both mental and bodily are still in our favor. Because those habits, especially if they are bad will tend towards the rationalization of the habit. If you move the person again towards reason, then they apply the reason to the habits and they try to adjust the scoliosis of their life to the plum line of reality, and they start to change and get better. Screwtape writes: Keep everything hazy in his mind now, and you will have all eternity wherein to amuse yourself by producing in him the peculiar kind of clarity which hell affords. Screwtape also advises Wormwood to notice hypocrisy in others also, while remaining blind to his own hypocrisies.

Lewis and Tolkien, both often quote this passage from Plato’s laws, where Plato says: An abuse does not nullify a proper use. A lot of time we point to abuse and we think the problem is solved. But, the abuse is usually the anomaly, the misuse of a particular thing. If we judge any segment of society by its worst example, nobody could stand. But, we find then, that we’re moving towards Screwtape’s inculcation of hypocrisy and delusion, when we begin to dismiss an entire class because we’re projecting the bad example on the whole.

In Letter 3, this rationalized behavior moves towards blame. Screwtape advises Wormwood to redirect his patient’s thinking towards unrealities. He says, „You must bring him, your patient to a condition to practice self examination for an hour, without discovering any of those facts about himself, which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him, or worked in the same office. Screwtape advises to keep his patient constantly irritated by things his mother does, without thought how irritating his own actions might be to others. At the end of the day, he has 2 visions of reality. The false vision of his mother, who is not as bad as the one he projects on her, and the false image of himself, which is not as good as the one he projects on himself. Wormwood is instructed to make that imaginary person daily less and less than the real mother. 24:37

There is another rhetoric Screwtape engages in. It’s- The Rhetoric of Rationalized Behavior: Intentional & Dishonest. In Letter 6, Lewis allows us to enter in this particular topic. He is engaged also in The Rhetoric of Rationalized Behavior: Devoid of Principle or Legitimate Ends. He basically creates an illusion of truth, we see this in Letter 23. We can have a kind of very religious illusion of truth. I believe that there are 2 kinds of people in this world. Goofy people who know they’re goofy, and goofy people who are dangerous. Lewis has Screwtape say, „Get your patient on a quest for the historical Jesus, which is always a distraction from reality, because this historical Jesus they’re pursuing is a Jesus of their own construction. First, he says, each historical Jesus is unhistorical. Second, all such construction places their importance of the historical Jesus on some peculiar theory he was supposed to have promulgated, which thus destract men’s mind from who He really is and what He actually did. A third aim, Screwtape writes, is by these constructions to destroy the devotional life. Instead of the Creator adored by his creature, you have merely a leader claimed by a partisan, and finally a distinguished character approved by a judicious historian. Fourth, a religion of this kind is false to history in another sense, Screwtape writes. No nation and few individuals are really brought to the enemy’s camp by the historical study of the biography of Jesus. It is simply his biography. The earliest converts were converted by a single historical fact: The resurrection. And a single theological doctrine: The redemption operating on a sense of sin, which they already had.

And the Screwtape says: About the general connection between christianity and politics our position is more delicate. Certainly, we do not want christianity to flow over into their political life, for, the establishing of anything like a really just society would be a major disaster for Screwtape and his kind. On the other hand, we do want men to treat christianity as a means, just a means. In some senses, devoid of principle, and devoid of particular and righteous ends, preferably, of course as a means to their own advancement. But, failing that, even the means to anything, even to social justice. The thing at first is to get a man to value social justice as a thing the enemy demands, and then work on him to the stage at which he values christianity because it may produce social justice. C S Lewis said: When the means become autonomous from the principle and ends, they become evil. He even says: Even when love becomes a god, it becomes a demon. He’s not saying social justice is inappropriate. He’s saying that even social justice can become a distraction, if it leads away from centering on Jesus.

Screwtape says, in Letter 26: Get your patient to believe this, not because it’s true, but for some other reason. This leads to the Rhetoric of Self Rationalized Behavior: Self-referentialism. While Lewis rightly acknowledged that all judgments rightly imply a standard, judgments are destined to go wrong when the standard is self-referential. And this is the thing we always want to avoid, this kind of rationalization.

David Platt – Secret Church – Heaven, Hell, and the end of the World – Good Friday March 29, 2013

Six hours of intense Bible teaching

Prayer for the persecuted church

David Platt itickets.com

photo via itickets.com

taught by David Platt

Via Radical.net – The next Secret Church will be held on Good Friday, March 29, from 6pm-midnight (CT) at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL.  Pastor and author, David Platt, will be teaching on the topic of „Heaven, Hell, and the End of the World”.  The gathering will be simulcast by LifeWay Christian Resources.  Simulcast registration is currently open.

For more information about Secret Church, visit our website at SecretChurch.org.

If you are interested in simulcasting Secret Church in your home or church, visit LifeWay.com/Secret Church. The simulcast is available to small groups, student and campus ministries, churches, or any other group who would like to participate. Click here for more info. if your church or school would like to register to simulcast- http://www.radical.net/secretchurch/gatherings/simulcast.html

Topic synopsis:

Heaven. Hell. The End of the World. For Christians and non-Christians alike, these topics provoke a variety of emotions and reactions: curiosity, confusion, joy, hope, fear, anticipation, or maybe even anger. Sadly, these critical topics are often embellished, fantasized, diluted, abused, or altogether avoided in our day. So what does the Bible say about these things? Is the Apocalypse upon us? Do we know what heaven will be like? What about hell? Is it literal? Is it eternal? How do we even begin to think about these mind-blowing realities?

During this Secret Church, we will explore God’s Word in search of answers to these questions and more. In the end, we will discover that despite of all the controversy surrounding heaven, hell, and the end of the world, several things are clear: Christ will come back, Satan will be defeated, all men will be judged, and the glory of God will cover the earth like the waters cover the sea. And by the end of the night, hopefully and humbly we will walk away with a cry on our lips and a testimony in our lives that echoes the final cry of the Scriptures: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

Secret-Church-Heaven-Hell-Video from Southview on Vimeo.

register to simulcast at

LIFEWAY.COM/SECRETCHURCH

Secret-Church-13-HD-Intro-Video from Southview on Vimeo.

C. S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters (3) Pride

Taken from the C.S. Lewis Study Program ‘The Screwtape Letters’ a six-part video study guide of one of the most popular and profound works of C.S. Lewis. By Dr. Jerry Root – noted C.S. Lewis scholar and faculty member at Wheaton College. CSLewisInstitute

The Screwtape Letters is a satirical Christian apologetic novel written in epistolary style by C. S. Lewis, first published in book form in February 1942. The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior Demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter. The uncle’s mentorship pertains to the nephew’s responsibility for securing the damnation of a British man known only as „the Patient”. The Screwtape Letters comprises thirty-one letters written by a senior demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, a younger and less experienced demon, who is charged with lewis holy trinity churchguiding a man toward „Our Father Below” (Devil / Satan) and away from „the Enemy” (God). (Read more, including the plot of the book at Wikipedia)

Here are the six parts Dr. Root covers in 4 separate videos (which I will posts as soon as they each become available):

  1. Background
  2. Doctrine of Hell
  3. Three major themes that run through these letters
  4. Antidote to Screwtape’s wiles and what Lewis might say about how we might protect ourselves against various forms of temptation.

The Screwtape Letters Part 1 – The Background

The Screwtape Letters Part 2 – C. S. Lewis’s Concept of Hell

Part 3 – The Screwtape Letters and Pride

One of the most dominant themes of the Screwtape Letters is Screwtape trying to woo his patient, through Wormwood, into this swollen sense of self into pride.

Dr. Root unpackages the 3 recurring themes that occur throughout the letters:

  1. Pride – a swollen sense of self and a diminished view of God. Pride, basically is man trying to play God of his own life. Every definition of sin in the Bible – gluttony, anger, greed, envy, sloth, lust-  has this (pride) as the definite concept embedded in what it means to sin. (Romans 3:23) God knows we have a diminished experience if we are estranged from him. He seeks to woo us back. Screwtape wants us to be as estranged as possible forever, if he would have his way. PRIDE is the complete anti-God state of mind. It is the essential vice leading to every other vice. Lewis concludes his chapter on pride with these words: If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can tell them the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. Screwtape seems to take good things and corrupt them with pride- even humility, even prayer, even the church. 
  2. The Rationalization of Evil (coming up in lecture 4)
  3. Temptations of the Flesh (coming up in lecture 5)

Lewis says all evil is a perversion of good. You can’t think of a bad banana, without thinking of a good banana that went bad. Evil compares to good like bread mold compares to bread. It feeds on the original thing. But, even man made in the image of the Creator can take bead mold  and make penicillin out of it; something good out of something bad. And so too, God can take the worst of evil events, as He demonstrated at Calvary and make of it divine penicillin, and the ultimate healing medicine  for the worst ailment of all- our sin and our pride. Pride is self centered and self exalting, and as such, estranges us from the real world where God and others can be met. It engages in projection of self and self interest onto the world around us and thereby becomes utilitarian. Pride results in actual attempts to alter reality. 

Each of us is intolerant of pride when we see it in others, of course. But, a false humility is manifested in our blindness to pride in our own lives, every time it raises its ugly head. Pride transforms prayer into idolatry. The subtle act of one creating their own god, can provide ample reasons for being disappointed at that god, and then projecting the disappointment on the christian God. I wonder sometimes if some of the rejection some of the people have, even some of the new atheism, if some of that rejection is a rejection of a god they made in their own image. We would say, in an informal fallacy it’s a straw man argument. In essence, in pride, things matter if, and only if, they matter to me. This sets me in conflict with the rest of the world. And, if it sets me in conflict with the rest of the world, it has to be rationalized.

 

D A Carson – What Scripture plainly says about hell

d a carsonJesus praises the faith of the centurion. A Roman, without all of the background of what we now call the Old Testament and Scripture. „Truly, I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But, the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside into the darkness, where there will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” Now, He says this, after having said, just a few verses earlier at the end of the sermon on the mount that He has the authority to determine who enters the consummated kingdom and who does not. He is the one that will say, „Depart from me, you workers of iniquity, I never knew you.” And He is the one who grants entrance. And now He says, „On the last day, there will be many people there who will exhibit the same faith this centurion exhibited,” even though this centurion is not an Israelite, he’s a gentile, part of the overlord party. But, he has this faith is Jesus that is so transparently submissive to the authority of God in this God man, that he understands that when God speaks, Jesus speaks. It’s the same faith of an Abraham, who heard the voice of God and went out, not knowing where he was going. And thus, in the consummated kingdom, such people will gather around Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They will be part of this consummated glory, where elsewhere it is described as resurrection existence in the new heaven and the new earth- the home of righteousness.

And, meanwhile, many who have had the privilege of being part of that old covenant heritage, with all of its revelation and its sacrificial system, and its Godly prophets, and its wisdom literature, many who are absorbed into the kind of religiosity that really does not bow to the authority of Jesus, they will be cast out, we are told- where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is not popular today to talk about hell. Indeed, many Christians are trying to find ways of interpreting the Scripture in such a way that ‘hell becomes a little less embarrassing’: …maybe it doesn’t go on forever… maybe God’s love is so sweeping that somehow, eventually, everybody in hell will repent and hell will be emptied out.And God’s love will win.

Many, many voices like this are heard. It sounds so gentle, and so loving, but, it is very hard to square such notions with what Jesus Himself says. Most of the most startling metaphors for hell are first voiced in the Scripture by the Lord Jesus Himself. He is the one here, who speaks of outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Revelation 14 and Revelation 20 speak of hell as a place of ongoing terror. I think that one of the reasons why people will not face what Scripture plainly says is because we have talked ourselves into thinking that perhaps, that perhaps we should recognize that our sins can’t be eternal sins, or infinite sins. Our sins are finite, we’re finite people, who commit only finite sins, so, why should we be punished infinitely? And, if that’s the case, we must have some other explanation for infinite punishment. But, that presupposes that once we get to hell we all want to repent and we don’t want to sin anymore. But, I have ransacked Scripture and I cannot, for the life of me, find a single place anywhere in Scripture that suggests there’s a word of repentance in hell.

Even in the account of the rich man and Lazarus- he doesn’t want to be there. But, he lifts his eyes up, being in torment, the Scripture says, and somehow sees Abraham and Lazarus a far distance off. What do you think he will say? „Oh, Lazarus, did I get that one wrong? I am so sorry, would you forgive me please? I really did abuse you. I didn’t show any generosity, compassion. I left you ill and broken, and poor outside my gate, even though I was filthy rich. I really am very sorry. I do want to repent, I am so sorry.” Is that what he says?  No, what he says is, „Father Abraham,” playing the race card, „Father Abraham, why don’t you send Lazarus to dip his finger in some water, so that he can bring it to me?” Lazarus is still the ‘Joe’ boy, he’s still the menial. He doesn’t even address him. He’s gonna pull strings and get father Abraham… There’s not a hint of repentance anywhere. Hell is not filled with people who are deeply repentant and wanting to get out. It’s filled with broken rebels who still want to justify themselves and think of them selves as at the center of the universe for all of eternity- sinning and being punished, sinning and being punished, world without end. At the end of that conversation with Abraham, the rich man is actually contradicting Abraham, „No, father Abraham, your interpretation of things is wrong. Let me correct your theology.” This man, even in hell thinks he’s got a superior theology to Abraham in heaven. It’s unbelievable.

And, the person who is exclusively, finally responsible for making the decisions about who goes to heaven and who does not, and on what ground is Jesus Himself. The authority of Jesus is great comfort to the eyes of faith and a great terror to the merely religious.

Listen to other recent messages by Don Carson at the  Gospel Coalition:

  1. When The Bible Is Silent
  2. When the Bible Is Silent Q&A
  3. Lessons from French Canadian Revivals
  4. Lessons from the French Canadian Revival Q&A
  5. The Implications of Complementarianism
  6. The Implications of Complementarianism Q&A
  7. Our Exalted Identity in a Holy Church
  8. Teach Us to Pray
  9. Our Exalted Relationship with Each Other

David Platt – …son, you don’t ever have to worry about hell again…

a great video form Tyndale House at Tyndale House Publishers. For all of our no English speaking friends who use Google translate to read this blog, the transcript follows below the video. David Platt is a humble (though he possess many doctorates in theology) young pastor who boldly preaches the Gospel at the Church of Brook Hill in Alabama. Listen to David Platt sermons here-  David Platt Sermon Page.

Follow Me by David Platt – Tyndale House Publishers

David Platt:

david plattSo I’ve got this friend, I’ll call him ‘John’. John’s first exposure to the whole concept of hell was when he was watching a Tom & Jerry cartoon, when he was younger. And what was intended to be this humorous cartoon, all of a sudden turned into this nightmare, where Tom did something to Jerry and was thrown into hell, end result. And later, John was at his church and he was talking with an older man about what he had seen. And, the older man looked at John and said, „John, you don’t want to go to hell, do you?” John said, „No.” The man looked back at him and said, „Pray this prayer after me. Dear Jesus…” John kind of paused, there was some awkward silence and then he realized he was supposed to say exactly what the man had said. So, he said, „Dear Jesus….” and the man continued, „I know that I’m a sinner, and believe that Jesus died for my sins, I ask you to come into my heart and save me.” And then, when they were finished, the man looked at John and said, „Son, now you can know that you are saved from your sins, and you don’t ever have to worry about hell again.”

Is that true? Is this really what it means to become a disciple of Jesus? Is this really what it means to follow Him? You look back at the first disciples in the Bible, and when Jesus came up to them and said, „Follow me,” that was not an invitation to pray a prayer. That was a summons for these men to lose their lives. Somewhere, along the way, 2,000 years later, amid varying cultural ties and popular church trends, we have virtually missed that call. With good intentions, with sincere desire to reach as many people as possible for Jesus, we’ve taken challenging words from Christ and turned them into trite phrases in the church. And, in the process, we’ve drained the lifeblood out of Christianity, and replaced it with a watered down version of the Gospel that’s so palatable that it’s not even real anymore.

And the consequences are catastrophic. Scores of men, women, and children, culturally identify themselves as Christians, yet biblically they are not followers of Christ. Is that possible? Absolutely, it is. In fact, according to Jesus, it’s probable. He said, at the end of His most famous sermon, „Many will say to Me, on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in your name drive out demons, and perform many miracles?'” And, I will tell them, „I never knew you. Away from Me, you evil doers.”  Those are the most frightening words in all the Bible. And, as a Pastor, I stay awake some nights, haunted by the thoughts that many people, many people, who are sitting in church on Sunday will be shocked to stand before Jesus one day, and hear Him say to them, „I never knew you. Away from Me.” We desperately need to take a look at our lives and our churches, and ask the question, „Are we really biblically, personally, following Jesus? Eternity is dependent on how we answer that question.

A few sighs from hell by John Bunyan (online book)

 

or
T H E G R O A N S
O F
The Damned Soul
or
An exposition of those
W O R D S
in the Sixteenth of Luke,
Concerning the Rich Man and the Beggar
wherein is discovered
the lamentable state of the D A M N E D;
their cries, their desires in their distresses,
W I T H
the determination of G O D upon them.


A G O O D
warning word to sinners,
both old A N D young,
to take into considerationbetimes,
and to seek,
B Y F A I T H I NJ E S U S C H R I S T,
to avoid, lest they come into the same Place of Torment.
Also,
a brief discourse touching the profitableness
of the Scriptures for our instruction in the way of righteousness,
according to the tendency of the said parable.


By That Poor and Contemptible Servant of J E S U S C H R I S T,
J O H N
. B U N Y A N.

View this document on Scribd

The Modernist Preacher – Entering Hell By Oscar C. Eliason, c1960

Read another poem and Eliason’s life story in a previous post here

The Modernist Preacher-Entering Hell

by Oscar C. Eliason

He was an ordained minister, but modern in his views.
He preached his twisted doctrines to people in the pews.
He would not hurt their feelings, whate’er the cost would be,
But for their smiles and friendship and compliments sought he.
His church was filled with wicked souls that should be saved from sin,
But never once he showed the way or tried a soul to win.
He preached about the lovely birds that twitter in the trees,
The babl’ing of the running brooks, the murm’ring of the seas.

He quoted fancy poetry that tickled list’ning ears
When sorrow came to some, he tried to laugh away their tears.
His smooth and slipp’ry sermons made the people slide to hell.
The harm he did by preaching goes beyond what we can tell.
He took our Holy Bible, and preached it full of holes,
The Virgin Birth, said he can’t be believed by honest souls,
The miracles of Jesus and the resurrection tale
For educated ones like us, today, cannot avail.
We’re living in an age, said he, when wisdom rules and reigns,
When man’s intelligence is great and superstition wanes.

He said, we’re all God’s children who live upon this earth,
No message of salvation, no need of second birth.
His coat was bought with money that he had wrongly gained,
For through his twisted sermons his wealth he had obtained.
He was just like the Roman soldiers that watched at Jesus’ grave,
For money in abundance, to them, the people gave;
It all was theirs by telling what was a sinful lie –
A resurrected Savior, they, too, were to deny.

The day at last had come for the minister to die,
When to his congregation, he had to say good-bye.
His form lay cold and lifeless, his ministry was past,
His tongue with all its poison was hushed and stilled at last.
His funeral was grand; he was lauded to the skies-
They preached him into heaven where there are no good-byes.
Upon the lonely hill, underneath the shady trees,
His form was laid to rest in the whisp’ring of the breeze.

A tombstone was erected with words: „He is at rest,
He’s gone to heaven’s glories to live among the blest.”
His body now is lifeless, but Ah! His soul lives on,
He failed to enter in where they thought that he had gone.
The letters on the tombstone or that sermon some had heard,
Could not decide his destiny, ‘twas not the final word.
He still had God to deal with, the one who knows the heart;
While others entered heaven, he heard the word, „Depart.”

He pauses for a moment upon the brink of hell;
He stares into a depth where he evermore will dwell.
He hears the cries and groanings of souls he had misled,
He recognizes faces among the screaming dead.
He sees departed deacons which he had highly praised.
Their fingers pointing at him as they their voices raised:
„You stood behind the pulpit, and lived in awful sin,
We took you for a saint, but a liar you have been.”
Accusing cries! He hears them, „Ah! You have been to blame,
You led us into darkness when you were seeking fame.”

„You preached your deadly doctrine, we thought you knew the way.
We fed you and we clothed you, we even raised your pay.
You’ve robbed us of a home where no tear-drops ever flow,
Where days are always fair and the heav’nly breezes blow.
Where living streams are flowing, and saints and Angels sing,
Where every one is happy, and Hallelujahs ring.
We’re in this place of torment, from which no soul returns;
We hear the cry of lost ones, we feel the sizzling burns;
Give us a drop of water, we’re tortured in this flame;
You failed to preach salvation to us through Jesus’ Name.”

The preacher turns in horror, he tries to leave the scene,
He knows the awful future for every soul unclean,
But there he meets the devil, whom he has served so well,
He feels the demon powers as they drag him into hell.
Throughout eternal ages, his groans, too, must be heard-
He, too, must suffer torment-he failed to heed God’s Word.
He feels God’s wrath upon him, he hears the hot flames roar,
His doctrine now is different, he ridicules no more.

By Oscar C. Eliason, c1960

These church kids ask some tough questions

photo http://christiehobson.com/blog/ a fantastic Orange County, CA photographer

via www.churchleaders.com A creative video featuring questions from kids curious about spiritual matters. Are we ready to answer these questions?

  • Did He make our parents? Will I get to see God in heaven? Does God really speak to us from the sky? What do you want from us? Does God really love us with all His heart when we make mistakes? Why does God love people when they do bad? Why is God so awesome? 
  • Why don’t people believe in God, mostly they only believe in Jesus? How did Jesus die? Why did Jesus pray to Himself when He was on the cross? Did God really get born on Christmas? When will Jesus come back to earth?
  • Why do people kill other people? Why does God make people who steal? Why did God make guns? Why does God let kids bully other kids? Why did white people treat slaves as property?
  • Can you see people in heaven that died, when you want to?  Will we have friends in heaven? How big is heaven? Will there be animals and pets in heaven ? Can you forget about your parents when they are dead? How did our parents get us here? Is there food in heaven? Why did my dog Max die?
  • Are we supposed to love Satan? Why isn’t Satan dead? Do we still have Satan fighting right now?
  • Why did God make hell? What happens to people in hell? What do people do when they go to hell? How small is hell?
  • Do angels sin? Why don’t people praise angels? Why do people worship statues?
  • When were bibles invented?
  • What do you do if you are Christian and your mom and dad are not and they don’t let you do anything Christian? Why me? Why won’t people tell me the truth? Where will you lead me next?

Uploaded by  on Mar 24, 2011 Some questions posed by kids at church. As you watch this, keep in mind that the children asking these questions range in age from Kindergarten to 6th grade… The stars represent other kids who echo or ‘like’ that question. Song is „When the Rain Comes” by Third Day.

Video of the week – FEW Christians will be saved! (Ravenhill,Piper,Washer) Scroll down for newer articles

photo http://www.lifeguardministries.com

This video almost sounds like the „lone” voice in the wilderness of our generation:

FEW WILL BE SAVED. Really? Says who? A (prone to sin) preacher? An obscure prophet in the Bible ( does the Old Testament really apply to us today)? I am being ironic, here.

It was actually Jesus who said:

„Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. Matthew 7:21

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:14

So, if you don’t believe it, you don’t believe Jesus, and why do you think you are still a Christian then, if you don’t even believe what Jesus (the founder of Christianity) has to say?

See the transcript from this sermon compilation below the video. It is worth reading it, as reading makes an indelible impression on the memory. See especially the words of John Piper and Leonard Ravenhill.

Lots of people in that day say „Lord,Lord”.

He says „I never knew you!”

Leonard Ravenhill-

What I wanna tell you tonight…I believe the same thing is happening in our churches every Sunday night.People are choking and we are trying to pour the words of life into them, it pours over them- so damned and lost- they can’t take it! They listen to the same preacher year after year, who says the same thing in the same way. He hasn’t shed a tear since he left his mother’s womb. He went to the seminary and he got a big fat head and a shrunken soul. So there’s no hope. This generation will fill hell quicker than any other generation, we are so corrupt, UNLESS in His mercy, God FILLS us.

CLICK below (the word „More” to read the rest of the transcript and to watch 2 more short videos by Paul Washer titled – What is Salvation (in 2 minutes) and Come to Christ. He is mighty to save.

Mai mult

Rob Bell vs. Adrian Warnock Video Debate – Heaven & Hell with Justin Brierly

from http://www.premier.org.uk/unbelievable

Rob Bell defends his book ‘Love wins’. Hosted by Justin Brierly -the Unbelievable radio program. For more theological debate visit http://www.premier.org.uk/unbelievable or get the MP3 podcast http://ondemand.premier.org.uk/unbelievable/AudioFeed.aspx or Via Itunes.

For Rob Bell see http://www.robbell.com/

For Adrian Warnock see http://adrianwarnock.com/

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Rob Bell vs. Adrian Warnock – Unbelievable Radio Program UK
– Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Charles Spurgeon Sermons – Such Likeness Between Men and Swine!

…the joys of sin are so short and so unsatisfactory that they can never be thought of as a fitting inducement for a rational being to lose his immortal soul..

(VIA) Youtube: Uploaded by on Jul 27, 2011 Charles Spurgeon Sermons playlist: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=CDB844A9113F938C

Videourile Vodpod nu mai sunt disponibile.

Charles Spurgeon Sermons – Such Likeness Betwee…, posted with vodpod

William Lane Craig on Rob Bell and Hell (July 5, 2011)

Uploaded by on Jul 5, 2011

http://reasonablefaith.org – Dr – Dr. William Lane Craig deals with the doctrine of hell in light of Rob Bell’s new book „Love Wins”. Dr. Craig also deals with common misunderstandings of hell.

Related:

Can a Loving God Send People to Hell? (William Lane Craig vs Ray Bradley):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-EP6LVhYOc

Is One True Religion Possible?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynLFH7hVbm4

Videourile Vodpod nu mai sunt disponibile.

William Lane Craig on Tob Bell and Hell (July 2…, posted with vodpod

Is Hell Really Endless? Travis Allen

Is Hell Really Endless?. by Travis Allen, Director of Internet Ministry at Grace to You Church.

One view of hell that seems to be making a strong resurgence today among evangelicals is Annihilationism. There are slight variations, but it essentially teaches God will eventually snuff every unbeliever out of existence. Some Annihilationists make room for divine wrath, but they don’t allow it to extend beyond the lake of fire. In other words, they won’t allow God the full force of His judgment, which is eternal, conscious torment. For them, the lake of fire is what completely consumes and finally destroys sinners. Whether they see death as the end, or whether they see hell’s torments as limited in duration, the result is the same—a denial of the endlessness of hell.

“Wait a minute,” you protest, “what about all the biblical references to eternal flames and everlasting punishment? Doesn’t Matthew 25:46 say the wicked will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life?” Good question. For no good exegetical reason, some Annihilationists have understood the word “eternal” to refer, not to a duration of time, but to the quality of God’s judgment. It’s eternal in quality, even though it has an end. Other Annihilationists say “eternal” refers to the effect of divine judgment. That is to say, God’s judgment results in death—as in extinction, annihilation—which is a state of non-being that lasts eternally.

If you’re having a hard time bending your mind around that, you’re not alone. It’s hard to conceive of a sinner experiencing an eternal quality of judgment without it lasting forever. Matthew 25:46 clearly teaches that the duration of punishment and life are alike, both eternal. John MacArthur has said,

Punishment in hell is defined by the word aionios, which is the word eternal or everlasting. There are people who would like to redefine that word aionios and say, „Well, it doesn’t really mean forever.” But if you do that with hell, you’ve just done it with heaven, because the same word is used to describe both. If there is not an everlasting hell, then there is not an everlasting heaven. And I’ll go one beyond that. The same word is used to describe God. And so if there is not an everlasting hell, then there is not an everlasting heaven, nor is there an everlasting God. It is clear that God is eternal; and, therefore, that heaven is eternal, and so is hell. (John MacArthur, “A Testimony of One Surprised to Be in Hell, Part 2”)

Augustine put it simply more than 1,500 years ago: “To say that life eternal shall be endless, [but that] punishment eternal shall come to an end is the height of absurdity.”

To say passages like Matthew 25:46 refer to eternality as a quality of judgment but say nothing about the duration, especially without exegetical support, is simply to beg the question. The meaning of “eternal” in that passage is clear—it’s everlasting.

Annihilationists sometimes explain “eternal” in the sense of an eternal effect. They say words like destruction and death refer to some kind of disintegration or consumption. God doesn’t torment the wicked for all eternity, He simply ends their existence, and the effect of that singular act of judgment lasts forever. As we noted above, they will allow God to be wrathful, but only for a time. To say divine punishment is everlasting is going way too far; it’s a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Eventually, they believe God will snuff the wicked out of existence, and that condition of non-existence lasts forever.

Apart from the metaphysical problem (How can something that no longer exists be said to last forever?), there’s a very serious problem with the “cessation of existence” view—it fails to account for a Lawgiver who is infinite and eternal by nature. The severity of an offense is measured, not merely by the nature of the act itself, but also in relation to the one offended. For example, if one man punches another man on a street corner, he may suffer some consequences—charges of disturbing the peace, assault, or battery. But to punch the President of the United States ups the ante; when the Secret Service finishes with him, he’ll be doing some serious prison time.

It’s like that with offenses committed against a holy God. Since an offense against a finite lawgiver is finite, the punishment to satisfy the offense is also finite. That’s the principle behind Exodus 21, an eye for an eye (vv. 23-25). But an offense against an infinite, eternal Lawgiver is not finite; it’s infinite and eternal. It is up to the Judge to determine the severity of the infraction itself—i.e., telling a “white” lie versus committing homicide—but the nature of the infraction is measured against the nature of God who is holy and eternal. Likewise, God, who is perfect in righteousness, determines the justice an infraction demands. According to His Word, the punishment for an offense against a holy God is everlasting torment in hell.

On a human level, it’s understandable when people recoil from the Bible’s teaching about eternal torment. It’s an absolutely horrible, terrifying doctrine. It’s impossible for us to conceive of a crime so severe—even the crimes of notorious people like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and Osama bin Laden—as to merit the everlasting, excruciating agony described in the Bible. But that shows just how little we understand the sinfulness of sin on the one hand, and the holiness of God on the other.

God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts—we cannot fully comprehend Him (Isa. 55:8-9). In an uncomfortably poignant and penetrating way, the doctrine of eternal hell confronts our loyalty, reveals our true authority, and demands that we set aside what seems reasonable to us and trust in the righteous judgment of a holy God. When we embrace the hard doctrines of the Bible, it becomes one of the most significant evidences of true, God-given faith.

The biblical doctrine of an eternal hell gives us yet another reason to praise God for the gospel. It took an eternal person to satisfy an eternal penalty against sin, which disqualified the entire human race, except one Person—Jesus Christ. He is the Son of man and the eternal Son of God. When Jesus laid down His life, His sacrifice satisfied every requirement of divine justice. For those who trust in Jesus Christ as their Substitute, His death has satisfied the eternal wrath of an eternal, righteous God. He bore our punishment in His body, absorbing God’s eternal wrath. But for those who do not embrace Christ, they are left to themselves—they bear the guilt of their offenses against an eternal God, and they will suffer for it eternally, never able to satisfy His eternal wrath.

I hope the doctrine of eternal torment sobers you. May it fill you with praise to God for saving you from eternal punishment, for giving you eternal life instead. May it humble you when you realize you’re not getting what you deserve. And may it ignite in you a passion to proclaim the gospel to those poor souls who are unaware of the terror that awaits them outside the mercy of God.

(VIA) The Grace to You Blog.

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