Provocative title, I know. But I didn’t come up with it! Read on for details.
I just received a drive-by comment on an old post I wrote a couple of years ago that demands an immediate response. The post is titled ‘Does God Send People to Hell?’ In it I dispelled a popular myth in the modern church that God does not send people to hell. This denial of God’s responsibility in condemning sinners takes two equally heretical forms. First (and the issue primarily dealt with in the article) is that many people deny that God ‘sends’ anyone to hell, they simply go there by the free exercise of their will. The other false teaching is that there is no hell at all. The orthodox Christian teaching of eternal punishment is a misinterpretation of the text. Neither position holds weight under the full testimony of scripture. God executes his judgment on all unrepentant sinners; he sends them to a place of eternal misery. Apparently several readers disagree with my position, some vehemently. Here is the comment in full that I just received. Continue reading
Thursday morning I was shaken out of my mundane weekday routine by a surprising question from my teenage daughter on the way to school. It surprised me for a couple of reasons:
1. In the past my daughter has not been open to conversing about spiritual matters.
2. None of us are morning people. No one is usually talkative, much less thinking about deep theological issues at 7:30ish. I’m certain my children’s morning moods are genetically assigned by their dear old dad. I am not conversant or even pleasant company until around 10:00 most days.
So, imagine my surprise when my daughter blurts out of the blue, “Mom got mad at me the other day.”
I only offered a muffled “Mmmph” as a reply: an indication for her to continue the thought.
“I told mom I didn’t believe atheists would ‘go down there'”, she pointed her finger downward ominously. “She got really mad at me for saying that. What do you think?” Continue reading
“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 3:18
“Grow in grace”—not in one grace only, but in all grace. Grow in that root-grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have done. Let faith increase in fulness, constancy, simplicity. Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed. Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low, and know more of your own nothingness. As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward—having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus. May God the Holy Spirit enable you to “grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.” He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know Him is “life eternal,” and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. Whoever hath sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ doth satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted. If you know the love of Jesus—as the hart panteth for the water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of His love. If you do not desire to know Him better, then you love Him not, for love always cries, “Nearer, nearer.” Absence from Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven. Rest not then content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Seek to know more of Him in his divine nature, in His human relationship, in His finished work, in His death, in His resurrection, in His present glorious intercession, and in His future royal advent. Abide hard by the Cross, and search the mystery of His wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of His love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace.
I promised to deliver book reviews to my readers, so here’s my first venture.
After thirteen years as a Christian I have finally finished reading the bible cover-to-cover. I completed the book of Malachi last week, thus ending my long journey through the Old Testament. So what took me so long? In February, 1995 I picked up the holy scriptures for the first time with a burning heart. Within a few months I had read through the New Testament. I began reading the Old Testament starting with Genesis. I moved fairly quickly through it and Exodus too, but hit a brick wall in Leviticus. I just flat stopped reading the bible through at that point. I didn’t cease from studying the bible, just from reading it like a novel. I couldn’t get a firm grasp on Leviticus, nor did I see any profit in attempting to understand it. I moved on to topical studies until 2005. My regular readers will realize this is the time when I had my personal reformation of belief. A new fire and passion for God’s word blazed through my heart and the scriptures have consumed my thoughts ever since. I picked up where I left off in Leviticus and raced through the the remainder of the OT with great zeal. Now that I have finished this epic quest, I’m off to do it again! Continue reading