Don’t Ignore God. There is a Hell!

By Dr. Mark Creech – June 23, 2019

There is a matter that somewhat afflicts my spirit every day. It is the observation that so many of the people with whom I associate hardly ever give God a thought. When it comes to the way they live, God is not a part of the equation. Not only do they never think of him, (unless thrown into some trouble from which their abilities can’t rescue them) but they don’t fear him.

There is a final destination for people like this: hell.

Samuel Gordon once wrote:

“Philosophically there must be a hell. That is the name for the place where God is not; for the place where they will gather together who insist on leaving God out. God out! There can be no worse hell than that!”

 

The beloved Christian writer, Max Lucado, summarized the greatest horror of hell. He wrote:

“God isn’t there.”

Certainly, hell is the just deserts of those who owe God for every good thing in life but want nothing to do with him or his ways.

Hell is real. It’s not simply a state of being, the Bible describes it as a place of consciousness (Lk. 16:23, 24), a place of eternal torment (Lk. 16:23, 28), a place of darkness, (Mt. 8:12), a place of eternal separation from loved ones who believed (Lk. 13:28), a place without the slightest hope of relief or release (Mt. 25:46, Heb. 6:2), and a place of regret and torturous memory (Lk. 16:27, 28).

A few months ago, I spoke with a woman who told me her husband had a realistic and terrifying dream about crossing a river in a valley. She said he wept for a half hour afterward. In the dream, there were demon spirits that blinded and transformed people into wicked beings themselves, who consequently blinded others, all of whom were enslaved forever.

I felt the dream had spiritual significance and explained that it matched much of what the Bible says about dreams with divine messages, the devil, demonic influences, spiritual blindness, sin, and judgment. I urged both of them to act on the dream’s biblical message and be sure of a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. However, I don’t think either of them has decided anything on the matter.

Their situation reminded me of a story from the Eighteenth Century about a resident from Glasgow, Scotland, whose name was Archibald Boyle.

Boyle was a leading member of an organization called “The Hell Club.” The club was well-known in its day for its immoral excesses.

One night after much debauchery at their annual meeting, Boyle dreamed that he was riding home on his black horse, when an unknown figure appeared from nowhere, seized the reins from him, shouting:

“You must go with me.”

In an attempt to wrest back the reins, the horse reared, and Boyle fell, down, down, with ever-increasing velocity. He looked and next to him was the fearful attendant who had commandeered his horse away from him. Boyle cried out:

“Where are you taking me?”

To which the unrelenting entity replied:

“To hell.”

When they reached hell’s floor, Boyle said he immediately heard echoes from the groans and yelling of frantic revelry. He entered through a grand archway, where he saw hell’s inhabitants chasing the same sinful pleasures they had pursued in life, but were now like phantoms.

Boyle soon perceived he was surrounded by people he had known on earth. There was a woman, an acquaintance, who was absorbed in a card game of gambling. When he saw this, he relaxed and said:

“If this is hell, what a devilish pleasant place it must be.”

When he proceeded to ask the woman if she might provide a tour of hell’s pleasures, she shrieked:

“THERE IS NO REST IN HELL!!!”

The woman then unclasped the vest of her expensive robe and displayed to Boyle’s shuddering gaze a coil of living snakes, writhing, darting, and stinging her bosom – the very seat of her emotions and affections.

Others whom he knew in hell also revealed similar pangs of the soul, but worse still, he witnessed a hopeless agony of regret in everyone. They laughed, sang and spoke irreverently, just as they had on earth, but they could never rest from it – not the slightest moment of reprieve was granted. They could never do right. They could never change and experience the sweetness and the blessedness of a godly life. They could never know the tenderness of God’s grace and mercy. They could never know forgiveness nor give it. They were forever bound to each sinful way to which they had tenaciously held onto in life. Except in hell, their libertinism had turned into bitter chains of constant anguish.

“These are the pleasures of hell,” an earthly voice mockingly boomed.

Terrified at what he was seeing, Boyle begged his companion:

“Please take me from this place. By the living God whose name I have so often outraged, I beg you, let me go!”

His guide replied:

“Go then; but, in a year and a day, we meet to part no more.”

Despite his resolution to never again attend the Hell Club, Boyle was drawn back. His friends intensely pressed him, and though his conscience weighed heavily on him, he feared their sneers more than he feared God.

At the next annual meeting of Hell Club, which Boyle attended, every nerve in his body seemed to thrash him at the first sentence of the president’s opening address:

“My friends, this is leap year; therefore it is a year and a day since our last meeting.”

After the meeting, Boyle mounted his horse to ride home. The following morning, however, his horse was found quietly grazing by the roadside. Just a few yards in the distance lay the stiffened corpse of Archibald Boyle.

The Scriptures solemnly warn:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (I Cor. 6:9-11).

The list above is not meant to be an exhaustive catalog of people who will find themselves in hell one day. Revelation 21:8 includes something similar, adding:

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone” (Rev. 21:8).

I’ve included both of these texts because much of what’s listed is celebrated and lauded today, not repudiated as it should be. Don’t be fooled! Even though some churches have hailed these behaviors in recent years, the end for those who characteristically live this way is one of eternal damnation.

Still, let me make it abundantly clear. You don’t have to be grossly wicked to go to hell. All that’s necessary is to ignore God’s claim on your life. Don’t make him a part of the equation, rarely think of him, leave him out, don’t surrender control to him as the Lord, your God, don’t fear him, and to your surprise and dismay, although you thought of yourself as a pretty good person, at the end of life, you’ll find yourself in that terrible place.

There are two lives that you can live – life your way or life God’s way.

There are two leaders that you can follow – yourself or God. There are two decisions that you can make – to receive God’s salvation through Christ or to reject him.

Every person must make a choice. Even choosing not to make a choice is a choice made against God. There is no neutrality. Either we acknowledge God’s sovereignty over us, trust his means of redemption from the penalty and power of sin, which he provides in Jesus Christ and by his Holy Spirit, or we are eternally left to our own devices and land in hell.

Admittedly, as the Great Reformer, Martin Luther said, it’s very difficult to know and understand all of what hell is;

“Only this we know, there is such a sure and certain place.”

 

Original here

Advertisements

No, God Doesn’t Love Abortion, And If You Say So You’re Not A Real Pastor

The Atlantic’s headline writers must have envisioned people concluding abortion might not be so bad if a pastor thinks it’s moral. There is no other reason for the story. It’s certainly not newsworthy.

No, God Doesn’t Love Abortion, And If You Say So You’re Not A Real Pastor

May 31, 2019 By Glenn T. Stanton

The left has been on a frantic jag the last few weeks to get us all to remember just how wonderful and important abortion is. One of the most despicably desperate efforts was a recent New York Times editorial by a particularly infamous late-term abortionist explaining (and this is not a typo) “Pregnancy kills. Abortion saves lives.”

Pregnancy: Very bad. Abortion: Very good. But of course, 100 percent of everyone who has ever existed does so because a pregnancy did what it naturally does and an abortion didn’t. The craziness of this editorial is a dramatic demonstration of just how paralyzed with fear these folks are about losing their cherished right to be free of children.

The Atlantic recently published a less dramatic, but equally desperate, article entitled “A Pastor’s Case for the Morality of Abortion.” Three trigger words here are supposed to create a confused dissonance: Pastor. Morality. Abortion. A case for the morality of abortion by a pastor. We imagine The Atlantic’s headline writers envisioned so many of us concluding abortion might not be so bad if a pastor thinks it’s moral. There is no other reason for the story. It’s certainly not newsworthy.

This pastor, Jes Kast, is not well-known. She is extremely fringe and not particularly influential. She didn’t recently change her position on the issue through dramatic soul-searching. And she’s a United Church of Christ pastor, a denomination that never saw an abortion it couldn’t celebrate. She also describes herself as a femme queer lesbianwho wants us to “queer this sh-t” we call our lives.

She serves on Planned Parenthood’s national Clergy Advocacy Board and talks endlessly about the need to protect “reproductive rights,” as if she’s pro-fertility. She’s not. She’s a woman who’s proudly political even in her choice of lipstick.

Every day I put my lipstick on, it is a form of protest. When Hitler took over and the war was going on women who were fighting back against the Nazi infiltration would wear red lipstick. Hitler apparently hated it when women wore red lipstick. So for me, it’s an act of protest to put red lipstick on.

This is the person The Atlantic chose to make the moral case for abortion. On top of all this, she doesn’t even make a decent case, as if there is one, much less from a Christian perspective. But let’s give her the respect of taking seriously what she says.

Abortion For Any Reason Is Totally Moral

First, she is very clear that she is all-in on abortion. When asked if she perceives any instance under which abortion is immoral, she says definitively, “I don’t. I really don’t.” These are the words of a fanatic. That’s not an accusation, but a fact. She believes that snuffing out the life of a pre-born child is such an inherent good in and of itself that nothing should override it.

Not the abortion of a girl because a boy was desired, which happens by the millions around the world. How does a feminist square that? Not because one has a cruise coming up in six months. Not because the mother just wants to. These and any other reason are more weighty than the life of the child. That is pure fanaticism.

If Kast thinks the above are extremist examples, then she shouldn’t justify abortion by bringing up the rationale of the 12-year-old rape victim, which she does. It’s the reddest of herrings. Tragic as this would be, the extremely abortion-friendly Guttmacher Institute tells us that only 1 percent of women who get abortions do so because of rape and less than 0.5 percent do so because of incest.

But these make up perhaps 98 percent or so of the reasons folks give for why abortion should be legal. According to Guttmacher, 74 percent say they had their abortion because having a baby would dramatically change their lives or because they think they can’t afford a baby right now.

The Jesus Who Allows Whatever I Want

So what is Kast’s theological case?

Most anyone would agree she’s quite creative with scripture. In her rationale, she quotes Jesus saying, “I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly.” It’s a wonderful statement from the savior, but you should sit down for her commentary on how this makes abortion moral.

What Jesus means here, she explains, is that “God’s plan for our lives is to actually have a meaningful life with loving contentment and satisfaction.” She continues, “Because of that—because I value life, and I believe Jesus values life—I value the choices that give us the type of life we need.” Claiming that access to abortion is a part of why Jesus came and the abundant life he offers is abhorrent and blasphemous. Has she no shame?

But she’s not done; “When people talk about, ‘Our body is a temple of God, and holy,’ I see that as, I have the right to choices over my body, and the freedom to make the decisions that are right for me.” Apparently she thinks this is compelling. That is the fullness of her case for the morality of abortion. Basically, she is giving the precise rationale for abortion that prosperity preachers give for why God wants you rich.

The True Christian Story Starts in the Womb

What this pastor misses is that which is at the very center of Christianity—Christ Himself. She must know where His story starts.

The Christian story begins with God becoming fully human, not in the Christmas manger, but nine months earlier as a human zygote in the womb of a teenage girl who was not yet married. This is quite a dramatic introduction to Christianity, and it says everything about the morality of abortion for the Christian.

If God enters the world as the smallest of unborn human life, the smallest of unborn human life is very significant indeed. Christianity’s savior grew every day from that moment of his divine conception in Mary’s fallopian tubes, nestling and growing in her womb, never becoming anything more than what he was at that moment—fully God and fully man. Thus, Christianity has always taken an extremely high and unique view of the unborn, more so than any other religion or philosophy. This cannot be overstated.

Our pastor misses that this is precisely why the earliest official collection of Christian ethics and morality—found in the “Didache,” or “Teaching of the Apostles”—clearly states that no one “shall murder a child by abortion, nor kill them when born.” This is in the same list that prohibits adultery, fornication, stealing, murder, lying or speaking evil. (Chapter 2:2) Abortion is immoral.

The First Worshippers of Christ Understood This

Our pastor also fails to appreciate who the first recorded worshipers of Jesus were, and where this all took place. It happens in a very wonderful and intimate place—another woman’s womb. Early in her pregnancy, Mary, Jesus’s mother, goes to visit Elizabeth, her close family member who is also with child. The moment Mary walks through the door of Elizabeth’s home, something remarkable happens in utero.

The child growing inside of Elizabeth, none other than Jesus’s cousin, John the Baptist, leaps with joy at the arrival of his savior. Likewise, Elizabeth reveres the one who is in Mary’s womb. The first worshipers of Jesus are a pregnant woman and her unborn son. The womb and its natural bounty are very sacred and fundamental parts of the Christian tale.

Thus, no pastor can remain faithful to the belief system he has supposedly dedicated himself to serve, teach, and proclaim, yet dismiss the inestimable value of life in the womb from the moment of conception. A life exists there because God delighted in creating and sending that wholly unique life into the world as a gift and blessing. A life that bears God’s very image and likeness.

People who contend that ending life in the womb is moral have made themselves God, telling Him they reject His gift and know best. They have denied who Christ was and became. It is to dismiss the wonder of His own history and essence. Any pastor who teaches this has denied the center of his own faith.

This pastor says she follows “this guy named Jesus who said, above all … love your neighbor as yourself.” She believes protecting so-called “reproductive freedom” and “women’s health” does this. She refuses to appreciate that the unborn is the most vulnerable of neighbors that lives right under a mother’s heart.

There is no moral, Christian case for abortion. And there’s no space in Christianity for pastors, in direct violation of the Lord’s apostles , who teach that there is.

Glenn T. Stanton is a Federalist senior contributor who writes and speaks about family, gender, and art, is the director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family, and is the author of the brand new “The Myth of the Dying Church” (Worthy, 2019). He blogs at glenntstanton.com.

Photo keskieve / YouTube

Original here