Wayne Grudem Sermon: Guard your heart (video) August 2013

Photo credit marshill.com

Commentary on Wayne Grudem’s sermon from the Christian Post.

„Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life,” Grudem began by reading the verse, and explained that it talks about protecting, guarding, caring for your heart.

Biblical reference to the heart „includes all of your deepest moral and spiritual convictions, along with your feelings and emotions, especially your deepest moral and spiritual convictions in relationship to God,” said Grudem, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, on Aug. 25.

In this verse, „God is saying basically that the inward spiritual and moral life that you have will determine the course of your life and ministry, whether it will be a life that knows God’s favor and blessing or not,” added Grudem, the author of Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine.

Grudem shared three things in his sermon: what it is to keep your heart, why you should keep your heart, and how you keep your heart.

The Hebrew text for „with all vigilance” means, „more than all vigilance, more than all guarding, more than all protecting, keep your heart – more than your job, your health, everything,” he explained.

„Have we been making the condition of our hearts more important than any other concern?” he asked.

Grudem then expanded on the words, „keep it.” „If you are to keep something, it implies that there’s a goodness to it, that there’s a goodness that is to be protected and guarded.”

At the same time, the Bible also says in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful, he acknowledged. But „that’s not the whole truth.”

Several New Testament verses speak in a positive way about the condition of our hearts. „If we’ve been born again and trusted in Jesus as our Savior, there’s a goodness to them that has to be protected.”

Grudem quoted Romans 5:5, „God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Our hearts aren’t perfect, but there is a goodness in them still by Jesus’ work within us that needs to be protected and guarded, he explained. Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news

Photo credit wednesdayelegy.blogspot.com

VIDEO by Mars Hill Church Videos Published on Aug 27, 2013

Pastor Dr Wayne Grudem Sermon „Guard Your Heart”. Series Title: „Best Sermons Ever”. Copyright Mars Hill Church Seattle  AUGUST 2013. Message starts at the 3:00 minute mark:

God is the sovereign ruler over everything that happens both good and bad – Bruce Ware

Photo credit sweetepistles.hubpages.com

It is so clear, God has control over what happens, over these nations of the world and the choices that people make, so that His will is accomplished. This is one of the areas that Christian people struggle with most deeply, when they come to these difficult teachings of Scripture. And I understand that because I struggled with them for many, many years and I understand your struggle as well. What ultimately brought me to accept this is  simply the conviction: This is the teaching of the Bible. And if I think I know better, good grief, what does that say about me? So, are you willing to accept God on the basis of what God says about Himself?

Isaiah 45:6b-7
I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.

So, indeed, God has complete control over everything good. Oh my, we love that teaching. It is true and it is glorious. James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Indeed, God does control every good thing that happens.

But, this text and many other texts in the Bible also indicate He has equal control over everything bad that takes place. Indeed, He is the one ultimately who has the say so, as it were, of whether these bad things happen, and to whom, and in what manner, and the like. God is the one who ordains not only the good, but the bad as well.

There are a couple of things we have to bear in mind here. Even though God exercises complete control over both good and evil, God is good, and in no respect is He evil. My goodness, how important it is for us to affirm that. God is not yin-yang, as the god of Shintuism is. God is not light and darkness. God is good and not evil. 1 John 1:5 –  This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. God is light, not darkness, God is good, not evil. Which brings me to my second point: Because God is good, He is light, then His control of evil would be for what purpose? For good purposes, that He will bring about only through the evil things that take place.

The supreme example of this in the Bible is the cross of Christ. It is so clear. Think for example to a statement by Peter in Acts 2:23 – this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God,you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. Question: How would you answer the question- How did Jesus get put on that cross? How did this happen? What’s the biblical answer to that question. Well, it’s complex, isn’t it? Don’t you have to say two things, not just one. You have to say, „God put Him there.” Delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Right? Was Jesus there on the cross because God put Him there? Absolutely. This was the Father’s design, to send His Son, by whom we would be redeemed of our sin. This was the design of the Father, that His Son would be crucified for our sin.

But, is that the only answer you give? How did Christ get there on that cross? You also have to say, „Wicked men put Him there.” Delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to the cross by the hands of Godless men and put Him to death. So you realize that the answer to that question involves two answers: God did it, men did it, wicked men did it. Now, get this further. God, in doing that is praiseworthy, men who did this are blameworthy, are Godless men, wicked men and they are culpable for what they did.

One more thing I’d like you to see. You’ve got this dual agency here: God did it, men did it. The next question is this: Is one of those 2 agencies ultimate? Does one have priority over the other? Yes, indeed.  delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God,you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. Clearly, God’s agency is ultimate, so that they carried out what He designed they do, and yet, they bear full responsibility for the evil that they committed. That’s one example of many examples in the Bible, where you realize God exerts control over evil that takes place, but our confidence is this. Because God is the one who controls it… Let me stop there. What if He weren’t the one who controlled it? What are the other options that we have? Satan, demons, evil people, forces of nature that are outside the control of God? Honestly, if that’s the case, stay home, stay in your bed and hope for the best, because, wow, what a scary world this would be if God is not the one in control of the evil that takes place. But, because He is in control and He is good, His ways are right, He is just in all that He does, we can have strength of confidence and hope that God’s purposes will not fail. Even though we read the paper, even though we see horrible things happening, we know God is in control and His purposes will be fulfilled in the end.

VIDEO byMars Hill Church  Watch the full sermon here: http://jesus.to/1cTmYRw Check out the full Best Sermon Ever series here:http://marshill.com/bestsermonever

God is exclusively God, incomparably God, and through that deserves ultimate glory because he is the sovereign ruler over everything that happens in heaven and earth, including sovereign ruler over good and evil. Because God is good, he is light, then his control of evil would be for what purpose? For good purposes, that he will bring about only through the evil things that take place. The supreme example of this in the Bible is the cross of Christ.

This clip is excerpted from the sermon „The Incomparable Glory of God,” the second part of our sermon series Best Sermon Ever. It was preached by Dr. Bruce Ware out of Isaiah 40–45 at Mars Hill Downtown Bellevue and released on August 18.

God is the glorious Redeemer of his chosen people – Bruce Ware

My friends. I know that this is something that is highly objectionable in the culture in which we live. It’s an offense, out there in the culture to proclaim Jesus as the only way to be saved, but it’s true. And because it’s true, we cannot shy away from it. Goodness, their destinies are at stake, and our fidelity to God and Christ is at stake, in whether or not we are faithful to the Gospel message that Jesus is Savior of all who believe in Him.

Photo credit www.kammyskorner.com

God is exclusively God and incomparably God, and therefore deserves the highest glory because he is the glorious Redeemer of his chosen people. I want you to pause here with me and realize that this second point didn’t have to be in the Bible. Here’s what I mean by that: God created us, we’re dependent upon Him, we owe Him our allegiance, we owe Him our worship, we owe Him the adoration that He alone deserves. Because He is Creator, we owe that to Him. But, what did we do as His creatures? We rebelled against Him and went our own way. We committed tyranny against the Most High. And so, we brought upon ourselves the just condemnation of our Creator God, and He could have said, „That’s it!” and consigned us all to an eternity away from Him. Oh, yes,He could have. (Photo on right http://www.sbts.edu)

But, I am here to tell you something amazing, and that is that this Creator God, who looks down upon us now as sinners deserving judgment, designed a plan by which He could redeem us, save us from our sin, and bring us back to Himself, so that we could, with him, then again experience the fulness of joy we will only know because we are with the one who has it all. What did God do to accomplish this? Look with me at Isaiah again, chapter 52 and chapter 53. We’ll begin in Isaiah 52:7-10 and then read on in ch. 53:4-6.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice, together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people; he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Now, how did He bring about this saving work? Isaiah 53:4-6-

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

This is astonishing, amazing! That this God who is the Creator, who did not need the world that He created, now looks at this world that He created with its human population, sinful- all sinned against Him, turned away from Him, and in His compassion, devises a means by which we may be freed from our sin and brought back to Him. You see, that has to happen. Do you understand why that is the case? Because God is holy, and as the holy God that He is, He cannot have in His presence those who are sinful. And yet, He looks at us and we’re all in our sin. And He cannot have us with Him until sin is dealt with.

But, here’s the next problem. If He gives to us the task of getting rid of our own sin, it will never happen. There are no works we could do. There’s no amount of church going, or deeds that we can do that would rid us of the sin of our lives, that would qualify us to be in the presence of God. So what did God do? In His mercy He sent His Son, no less than His own Son to come and take on our human form and then bear our sin in His body, on the cross. That He might pay for that sin, and that we by faith, and faith alone, might be brought back to Him with sins forgiven, restored in fellowship to Him and enter into newness of life that will never ever end. What an incredible thing this God has done in giving His Son!

And, look at the ways in which it is expressed in Isaiah 53:4 „Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” but now, the second part of the verse- if you were there on that day, when Jesus was hung on the cross between two thieves at Ghetsemane, what would it look like to you when you’d see this beaten, bloodied man crucified on this cross? What would it look like to you? Isaiah 53:4b „yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” Here’s what it would look like: It would look like He is getting what He deserves. He is smitten of God and He is being judged of His own sin.

That’s what it looks like, but here’s the truth my friends. Verse 5 „But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; Do you see it? On the cross, He was not getting what He deserved, He was getting what we deserved. And He bore the sin of our lives, and the penalty of that sin, so that by faith we could be forgiven and be brought into newness of life and the fellowship of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit forever. It’s an amazing work that God has done for us in Christ. And, no other work of salvation is possible. That is, this is the only way to be saved. It is through what Christ has done for us.

My friends. I know that this is something that is highly objectionable in the culture in which we live. It’s an offense, out there in the culture to proclaim Jesus as the only way to be saved, but it’s true. And because it’s true, we cannot shy away from it. Goodness, their destinies are at stake, and our fidelity to God and Christ is at stake, in whether or not we are faithful to the Gospel message that Jesus is Savior of all who believe in Him. By the way, ask yourself this question: How many Saviors does a sinful world need? You just need one that works. Guess what? We’ve got one that works. And Jesus is that one Savior, whose death on the cross paid the penalty of the sins of the world, that anyone who believes might be brought into relationship with Him. So indeed, God as Redeemer of His people took upon Himself the cost of our salvation in His son and paid the penalty for it.

„The Incomparable Glory of God,”

God is exclusively God and incomparably God, and therefore deserves the highest glory because he is the glorious Redeemer of his chosen people. Creator God, who looks now upon us as sinners deserving judgment, designed a plan by which he could redeem us, save us from our sin, and bring us back to himself so that we could be with him. What an incredible thing this God has done in giving his Son.

This clip is excerpted from the sermon „The Incomparable Glory of God,” the second part of our sermon series Best Sermon Ever. It was preached by Dr. Bruce Ware out of Isaiah 40–45 at Mars Hill Downtown Bellevue and released on August 18.

VIDEO byMars Hill Church  Watch the full sermon here: http://jesus.to/1cTmYRw Check out the full Best Sermon Ever series here:http://marshill.com/bestsermonever

God deserves ultimate glory because he is the Creator – Bruce Ware (Essential Reading)

glory of GodPhoto credit unknown

God is exclusively God and incomparably God who deserves ultimate glory because he is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. God, as Creator, is independent of all that he has made, whereas we, his creatures, are dependent upon him for everything, and therefore we cannot take credit for anything we have.

Bruce Ware at Mars Hill Church Seattle last week:

Isaiah 46:5 To whom would you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me that we would be alike?

Isaiah 46:9-10 „Remember the former things long past, for I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, „My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.”

My, isn’t it clear that the God of the Bible wants us to know He alone is God and there is no one that is like Him. He alone is deserving of ultimate praise and honor and glory. Now, why is that the case? Why should we be a people who want with all of our hearts, to give to God the glory that alone belongs to Him? And there are many answers in the Bible, but, I picked 3 that I think are very central reasons for understanding the greatness of the glory of God, the exclusivity of His glory, that far surpasses any glory that we would give to anything else or anyone else. Three reasons in particular the Bible upholds.


God is exclusively God and incomparably God who deserves ultimate glory because:

1. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth

Isaiah 40:21-26

21Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
23 who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
25 To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.

My, what an amazing passage that highlights the supremacy of God, and puts an emphasis here on God as Creator. There are 2 things I’d like us to see in relation to God as Creator, that helps us understand why He alone deserves ultimate praise and honor and glory.

  1. God, as Creator, is then independent  of everything that He has made, while we, the creatures are dependent upon Him for everything. God’s independent of everything He has made: It’s so very clear, because God is eternal and existed prior to the universe, that the universe is not necessary for God to be God. He was God, just fine- thank you- before the universe. So when He creates the universe, that does not indicate that somehow God receives something He needs , because He didn’t need the universe to be God prior. In fact, God is self existent, nothing brings him into existence. He is His own basis for existing eternally, and He is self sufficient. That doctrine affirms of God that God possesses within Himself, intrinsically  and eternally everything that is qualitatively good and He does so in infinite measure. Anything that you thing that is qualitatively good, any perfection, any attribute we might think of, that is a good thing, things like righteousness and holiness, wisdom and knowledge, power and goodness, these are possessed within God intrinsically. Nobody gives anything to God that He doesn’t already possess, because He is the possessor of everything that is good. And He possesses it eternally. So, then, when He creates the world, this is not then a world that He needs. He doesn’t need the world He made. But, rather is creating a world that displays  in physical, visible form certain aspects of His own character. It is His wisdom, His knowledge, His power, His beauty put on display in creation in a physical, visible form. This is why the heavens declare the glory, not of the heavens, cause they don’t account for why they are there, rather the heavens declare the glory of God. Why? Because it’s God’s wisdom, God’s beauty, God’s power manifest in the created order. So, God does not depend on the creation He has made. He existed as God, fully, prior to creation, is independent of that created order…
  2. It is also then true, the other side of the coin is this: That the creature, we included in that,  are dependent upon Him for everything. The way Paul puts it in Acts 17:25 „God is not served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He himself gives to all people life, and breath, and all things.” Well, my goodness, if He gives all things to us, how much are we dependent upon Him for? All things! For life and breath, I mean, every breath you have taken just while sitting here, everyone, no exception, is a gift of God to you. He grants us breath by which we live. He grants us everything that we have. THEREFORE, WE CANNOT TAKE CREDIT FOR ANYTHING WE HAVE!

I oftentimes think that we have really missed the mark here in our evangelical subculture, in helping us understand the basis for our humility before God when we point only to the cross of Christ. And of course, it is right to point to the cross of Christ, as a basis for our humility, I mean what can we do to get rid of our own sin? And the answer is nothing. Christ must do that for us and therefore we are humbled before Him, accepting the gift that we could not make happen on our own. And that’s altogether true, but more fundamental than God as a Redeemer is God as Creator, where our very life and every quality that we have is given to us by our Creator. So Paul will ask the question, for example, in 1 Corinthians 4:7 „What do you have that you’ve not received?” It’s a rhetorical question, but what would the answer be- ‘What do you have that you have not received? Nothing’. In other words, anything and everything we have is giftWe’ve received it, we haven’t earned it, we don’t have any right to it. It’s been given to us. And so, Paul goes on to say, „So if you’ve received it, why do you boast as if you’ve not received it?” Exactly! Right?

So, humility before God is very important, dependence upon Him, understanding  He is the one that is the source of every good thing that there is. Everything that is qualitatively good is in God and in nowhere else. No place else. No one else. So, God alone deserves ultimate glory.

God deserves ultimate glory because he is the Creator

This clip is excerpted from the sermon „The Incomparable Glory of God,” the second part of our sermon series Best Sermon Ever. It was preached by Dr. Bruce Ware out of Isaiah 40–45 at Mars Hill Downtown Bellevue and released on August 18. VIDEO by Mars Hill Church Watch the full sermon here: http://jesus.to/1cTmYRw Check out the full Best Sermon Ever series here: http://marshill.com/bestsermonever

Mark Driscoll interviews Matt Chandler

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington poses several questions to Matt Chandler, Pastor of the Village Church in the Dallas area in Texas and also the new president of ACTS29, an international church planting organization about his new book – The explicit Gospel and about the difficulty of preaching and leading a church.

Here’s a quote from Matt Chandler that is an accurate description of someone who „assumes” the Gospel:

„People in the heartland are very informed about what the Bible teaches on holiness and what a Christian’s life should look like, but without a love for Jesus and an understanding of his justifying and adopting work on the cross, [they] lack the ability to joyfully pursue God’s commanded holiness.

So they find themselves in a state of self-righteousness because they compare their strengths to other people’s weaknesses and feel better about themselves….  then they get so discouraged trying to be good enough for God that they eventually bail on the church and Jesus because they think they tried him, but never really did.

You can read the entire interview here at http://pastormark.tv/2012/05/22/a-q-a-with-matt-chandler-about-his-new-book

Mark Driscoll’s message at Liberty University (April 20,2012)

Published on Apr 20, 2012 by 

On April 20, 2012 at Convocation, North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students, Pastor Mark Driscoll spoke to Liberty University students from Luke 15:11–32, the parable of the prodigal son, on the topic of „The Rebellious and the Religious.” His premise was that sin and religion are equally contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He closed by challenging students to make the most of their time while studying at Liberty.
„Do not waste these years on rebellion. Do not waste these years on religion. Get to know Jesus, He loves you very much,” he said.

Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., and is one of the world’s most quoted pastors. He was named one of the „25 Most Influential Pastors of the Past 25 Years” by „Preaching” magazine and his sermons are consistently No. 1 on iTunes each week for Religion & Spirituality, with millions of downloads each year. He is also the author of 15 books.

Mark Driscoll – Porn Again Christian – read book online

This booklet was originally published at Mars Hill Church and is now being offered as a freely distributable online eBook and downloadable as a PDF which Mars Hill encourages everyone to distribute.

The Prodigal Son – Mark Driscoll at New Saint Andrews College – The Grace Agenda (via) Canon Wired

Hans Sebald Beham engraving of the parable of ...

Mark Driscoll preaching on the Parable of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15:11-32.

  •  God’s first plan is always humility, his second plan is humiliation. If you don’t have the first one, you get the second one… God opposes the proud, but honors the humble.
  • Sin is not just breaking the law-it’s breaking the Father’s heart
  • Repentance is much beter than getting caught; some of you are waiting until you get caught
  • Most sinners don’t feel that God, the Father loves them and runs towards them (as in the Prodigal son parable)but He does and He has compassion for the son. Lesson here is: When you sin run to the Father
  • Second part of the story is about the son who stayed home- the religious son. The religious son gets indignant, judgmental and dishonors the Father also, by refusing to honor the father’s request to join them at the banquet. He is lecturing his father; he did not love his fathe; he, like his rebellious brother is using his father and he becomes angr at the father’s grace. The religious person says about others who get radically saved and says:”They don’t deserve it, they didn’t earn it!” That’s right, that’s grace! Don’t be jealous of the grace that God gives to others.
  • Does the religious son repent? No. Religious people often don’t understand that they need to repent of their religiousness (their self righteousness, their pride for their works). When they see sinners they not only get angry, but they get indignant thinking others don’t deserve God’s grace. 
  • You can be moral and lost. You can be religious but completely blind to the grace of the Father.
  • The Father is kind. He is pursuing the rebellious and the religious son to enjoy the fruit of repentance.

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Mark Driscoll at New Saint Andrews College – Th…, posted with vodpod

Gene Cook Jr. – an address to the Bellevue, Washington atheists

Gene Cook, Jr. (of unchainedradio.com) tells atheists four things they cannot account for: Morals, Uniformity of Nature, Concepts Laws Universal, Human Dignity. Mr. Cook addresses the following Bellevue area atheist organizations:

  • The Lynwood Draft Al Gore Meetup
  • The Seattle Skeptics Meetup
  • The Seattle Humanism Meetup
  • The Eastside Atheist/Agnostic Meetup
  • The Seattle Atheist/Agnostic Meetup
  • The Eastside Brights Meetup

This city/area is where Pastor Mark Driscoll pastors the Mars Hill Church campuses and often refers to it as the most unchurched area in the United States.

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1st collector for ‪Four Things to Tell an Atheist (Gene Cook, Jr.)‬‏
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Mark Driscoll Workshop Audio Gospel Coalition 2011 – The Spirit-Filled Missional Ministry of Jesus (and The doctrine of the Holy Spirit)

Click on picture for audio

AUDIO – The Spirit-Filled Missional Ministry of Jesus

by Mark Driscoll (Pastor Mars Hill Seattle and Acts 29 organization founder)
In this session we will examine the work of the Holy Spirit in and around Jesus ministry in Luke’s gospel that includes empowering Jesus ministry of preaching, healing, and casting out demons. In so doing, we will work from the thesis that to be truly spirit filled and missional is to continue the ministry of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit as we see throughout the book of Acts which is Luke’s sequel.

AUDIO – Panel: Training the Next Generation of Pastors and Other Christian Leaders R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Mark Driscoll, David Helm, Don Carson (chair), Ligon Duncan

Albert Mohler, Jr. Mark Driscoll David Helm Don Carson Ligon Duncan

772 Water Baptisms at Seattle’s Qwest Field on Easter Sunday

According to Scott Thomas of ACTS29 Organization the unofficial number for the Easter Sunday service at Qwest field and home of the Seattle Seahawks Football Team,

Mars Hill Church Easter totals (unofficial): 18,696 in attendance and 772 baptisms.

To watch a 38 minute video of Pastor Mark Driscoll’s sermon from the service click here.

To download the MP4 video click here.

A short clip of baptism here.

A longer video of the service, including the baptism will be available sometime this week.

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Pastor Mark Driscoll- „I’m going to bury a lot of people. So for me, this (hell) is not just heartless academic speculation,”

You can read more from Driscoll (Piper,Chandler,Mahaney,Keller & others at Driscoll’s website http://theresurgence.com/authors.Below, an article featured on the Christianpost.


Without Jesus, You Go to Hell

In admittedly his most difficult sermon in 15 years of ministry, Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll made it abundantly clear that hell is real and is the destination for those who don’t trust in Jesus.

„Let me say it clearly, … plainly, … loudly: You are in danger. Without Jesus, you go to hell,” the Reformed pastor told thousands at Mars Hill Church this past weekend.

Driscoll was preaching from the sixteenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke – a New Testament book that he has been going over for the past year and a half with his church. But what made the sermon even more timely and that much more urgent was the recent debate on hell in light ofthe release of Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, by Grandville, Mich., pastor Rob Bell.

If I don’t tell you the truth… your blood is on my hands.

Bell, who has been accused of heresy and preaching universalism, has made media rounds during his book tour this month. In a visit to MSNBC, the popular author was pushed four times by host Martin Bashir on the question of eternal destiny after receiving unsatisfying answers – or rather, unclear ones.

„Is it irrelevant about how one responds to Christ in this life in terms of determining one’s eternal destiny?” asked Bashir, who also accused the author of amending the Gospel so that it’s palatable. Article continues below the video. Click on the ‘more’ link.

Click on image for video

It is terribly relevant and terribly important. Now, how exactly that works out and how exactly that works out in the future, we are now when you die firmly in the realm of speculation,” Bell replied.

„You have to be very careful that we don’t build whole doctrines and dogma about what is speculation.”

Without naming names, Driscoll, author of Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe, expressed profound concern over false teachings and messages that proclaim anything other than salvation through Jesus Christ.

„It greatly disturbs me when well-known pastors and preachers and authors get invited onto television … when the world is listening to them, the interviewer inquires of them ‘if you don’t believe in Jesus are you going to hell?’ and they squirm or they change the subject or they appeal to the emotions or they tell a story, they do anything but say ‘yes, if you don’t know Jesus you go to hell,'” the 40-year-old pastor said.

„Friends, this is the most serious of matters,” he told the congregation. „I’m not the judge but there are pastors that are going to hell. So be careful who you trust.”

For Driscoll, there is no ambiguity in Jesus’ teachings about heaven and hell.

Stressing throughout his sermon that his job is to tell the truth, Driscoll pointed to Jesus’ teachings on the hard-to-stomach issue of hell.

Jesus, he said, speaks of hell more than anyone in the entire Bible. Roughly 13 percent of his teachings and half of his parables are in reference to hell, judgment, or punishment, Driscoll noted.

„Some say Jesus is so loving, certainly Jesus doesn’t believe in hell. I would say the most loving person who has ever lived not only believes in hell but clearly, emphatically, repeatedly teaches on it, which must mean that our sin is more damnable than we can fathom if it requires the most loving person to speak in the most stark of terms,” he pointed out.

„The existence of hell, the instruction by Jesus of hell should reveal to us how sinful sin truly is and how rebellious we really are.”

From the get-go, Driscoll, who was raised a Catholic before converting at age 19, rejected as false several popular positions people hold about death and the afterlife, including naturalism (no soul), universalism (all or almost all go to heaven), belief in reincarnation (multiple, successive lives), annihilationism (suffer in hell a while but eventually cease to exist), and belief in purgatory (temporary punishment and ultimately going to heaven).

Making clear what Jesus made clear, the Seattle pastor known for his no-holds-barred attitude said everyone who doesn’t know Jesus will go to hell.

„Have you received Jesus? Have you trusted in Jesus? If not, you are in the path of the wrath of God. You are headed to the conscious eternal torments of hell,” he asserted.

Quoting Jesus, Driscoll underscored, „‘No one comes to the Father but by me.’ No one. No one. Buddhism, no. Hinduism, no. New Ageism, no. Mormonism, no. Jehovah’s Witnessism, no. Nice people, no. Good people, no. Generous people, no. Religious people, no.”

„There is no salvation apart from him (Jesus)!” he exclaimed.

Regarding a second chance after death, Driscoll stated plainly that there is no second chance.

„Your eternal destiny is sealed upon your death. This life is your only opportunity,” he preached.

„I’m going to bury a lot of people. So for me, this is not just heartless academic speculation,” he stressed. „It’s heartfelt pastoral affection.”

„I’m really worried about some of you,” he said as he became teary-eyed. “I love you. I can’t have your blood on my hands.”

While some try to elevate one attribute of God over another (such as love), Driscoll noted that while God is love the Bible speaks more of His holiness than anything else.

„God is love, and whatever God does is loving. God is also just. God is also holy,” he said. „Our God is also simultaneously, perfectly a God of wrath. Not just our God but the only God.

„God is holy. If we do not repent, we are in the path of His wrath.”

It is in love, however, that God sent Jesus „as our substitute, to go to the cross and give us eternal life,” Driscoll added.

Responding to questions about why God would create people if their future is hell, Driscoll stated, „People go to hell because they reject Jesus. We are in no way innocent.”

„This is not the world as God made it. This is the world as we have corrupted it,” he explained.

He continued, „What is astonishing is God would become a man to live in the world as we have destroyed it.”

The wrath of God was poured out on Jesus, he added, so that it may be diverted from us.

„That is the gift of salvation. That is the love of God.”

In one illustration, Driscoll stated, „It makes perfect sense to me that a convicted criminal goes to prison. Similarly, it makes perfect sense that a condemned sinner goes to hell.”

Hell, he noted, was made for the devil and his angels who rebelled against God. And just as prison was made to protect the rest of the public, hell was made to „protect us.”

„You need not go there. Trust in Jesus.”

Regarding what hell is like, the illustration in Luke reveals a place of torment with flames. It’s like being trapped in a burning building forever, Driscoll said.

Jesus also uses as illustration a place outside Jerusalem called Gehenna. There, children were murdered and sacrificed by fire to false demon gods.

It was a cursed place that became a garbage dump of the city where worms were always feasting and flames were always burning.

Near the end of his sermon, Driscoll pleaded with the congregation not to judge God.

„We have three-pound fallen brains. We have sinful dispositions. We have only been around for a few short years. We are not all knowing,” he pointed out.

„For us to sit on a throne even if it is an academic throne propped up by footnotes, asking the Creator of heaven and earth to pass before us that we might render a verdict regarding His holiness and justice is how all the trouble began in the first place.”

Driscoll urged the congregation and other listeners online to make a decision – eternal life or eternal death.

„You’re still alive so I’m pleading with you. Make your decision while you’re still alive.”

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