Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shake the Dust off your Feet

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth; it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgment than for that town. (Matthew 10: 14,15)

This article is being written in response to an article posted on entitled, “To Hell with Eternal Torment”; which also was written in response to another article posted on Hubpages entitled, “Do you approve of the Eternal Torment?” If you would like to read either, or both of these Hubs to know what I am giving reference to, go to and type in the title of each article. It will better help you to understand why I am responding with an article of my own.

Both writings argue whether or not Hell or Eternal Punishment exists, specifically as a place where God will punish unbelievers, and forever separate them from His love, and from all that we know to be good. The main arguments of each of these articles are the questions:

• Why would a loving God damn the people He created to eternal punishment in Hell?

• Why would God create people just for eternal punishment?

• How can people/Christians say they love God and wish that their fellow human beings be damned to hell?

In other words, they are accusing God of Speaking out of both sides of His mouth or contradicting His own teachings. They are accusing Christians of the same.

What we need to realize here is that these two writers are only reading certain sections of scripture and then taking God’s word out of context and making it seemingly mean something totally different than what He is saying.

There will be no love, light or happiness in Hell. People sent to hell will suffer eternally. Their bodies will never die, but will decay forever. Jesus warns; and if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. Everyone will be salted with fire
(Mark 9: 48,49).

It is not God’s wish that anyone would go to Hell and suffer eternal punishment. I urge you then first of all; that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone…This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1Timothy 2:1,3) Jesus also tells us in Matthew 28:19 to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

It is the duty of all Christians, out of love for Christ and for their fellowman, to tell those who don’t know Him, what He has done for them. We are also to pray for them. A person who claims to be a Christian and wishes anyone, believers and unbelievers alike, to be damned to hell is not a true follower of Christ.

When God created man, He created him perfect, in His own image. In Genesis 1: 27 we read; So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. We were created perfect and holy like God, but he also gave us a free will. He gave us a heart and soul and the ability to make our own choices. He didn’t create us as robots.

The devil was created perfect also as an angel. We know this because at the end of the sixth day of creation we read: God saw all that he had made and it was very good (Genesis 1:31). At some point after creation was complete the Devil turned away from God. Jesus tells us in John 8:44 He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language for he is a liar and the father of lies. In Matthew 25:41 Jesus refers to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

When God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden He told them they could eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which grew in the middle of the garden. He warned them that if they ate from it or even touched it they would die. The devil in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve to eat from the tree, telling her that she would not surely die but that her…eyes… would be...opened, and…she would…be like God knowing good and evil. He made her doubt God, telling her also that…the fruit of the tree was good for foodand desirable for gaining wisdom.(Genesis 3: 4-6)

God created us to live forever on the beautiful earth He had made. Man made the choice to sin against God, but because of God’s great love for the people He created, He sent His own Son to suffer the punishment all people deserve for their sin. Jesus is the perfect Son of God. He lived a sinless life and suffered and died on the cross taking our punishment upon Himself and giving us His Holiness. We are washed clean in His blood. He died for all people and all people are forgiven through Him. In order for us to benefit from that forgiveness we need to have a repentant heart.

Sin is an inherited disease. It has been passed down from generation to generation. Psalm 51:5 tells us Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. All people are conceived and born in sin. If you feel you are not a sinner, you are sadly mistaken. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1John :8,9)

It is very easy to avoid eternal punishment. We need only to look to the cross of Christ with a repentant heart. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16,17) Salvation is a free gift offered to all people by God’s Grace (undeserved love). We are born spiritually dead – As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1) Because of sin, we are not able to come to faith on our own. Through the Word (The Bible) and Baptism the Holy Spirit puts faith in our hearts. Our faith is also renewed and made stronger through the sacrament of Holy Communion.

In order for us to remain in the faith we must study the word at home and come to church each week to hear it and to be uplifted by the faith of our fellow Christians. Out of love for God and all He has done for us, we reach out in love to our fellowman. We tell the “Good News” to those who have not known or not yet experienced the joy of a personal relationship with God. Once the seed of faith begins to grow in our hearts, we find it a joy to serve God and others. We find it a joy to pick up the Bible and read and study His word. A friend of mine once stated: Faith is like a green plant. If we don’t feed it and water it with the Word regularly, it will wither up and die.

So you see, God did not create us for eternal punishment in hell, but hell is real and if you choose not to follow Christ, you will realize the reality of that the day you leave this world in death. At that point you no longer have a choice to believe or not to believe. Your “Time of Grace” will be over.

To the many people who choose to believe there is no hell, I advise; soften your stubborn hearts and listen to God. His Word is the truth. He does not want you in Hell. He wants you with Him in the mansions of Heaven which He has prepared for all believers.  There is no need to fear the devil or hell when you are a follower of Christ. 

You now have heard the truth. It’s up to you to use it for your benefit. If you choose not to believe, that is your choice, but please know that not I or any other sincere Christian wants you or any human being to be damned to hell and God does not want to see anyone there either.

I welcome all comments, but I will not change my view because it is the truth of God's word. Jesus Himself told His disciples If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. You are in my prayers!

By Kristeen – To God be the Glory!

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