Monday, May 7, 2007

I finished last night an eight-week course that I entitled Basic Bible Introduction with my youth group at church. As I was concluding last night with eschatology (that is, the end times), I got to the part on heaven and hell and thought to myself, "If we as Christians really understood the TORMENTS of hell, we would (1) act much different and (2) we would evangelize a lot more."

So, I would like to post just a few quotes that I included in my class syllabus and gave to the youth. The first two are from Jonathan Edwards and the last one is a quote from Dr. Robert Peterson:

“Natural men are held in the hand of God over the pit of hell; they have
deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully provoked, his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering the executions of the fierceness of his wrath in hell, and they have done nothing in the least to appease or abate that anger, neither is God in the least bound by any promise to hold ‘em up one moment; the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them…thus [the sinner] has nothing to take hold of, all that preserves them every moment is the mere arbitrary will, and uncovenanted unobliged forbearance of an incensed God” (
Edwards, A Jonathan Edwards Reader, 95)

And...

“The God who holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider,
or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked; his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times so abominable in his eyes as the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince: and yet ‘tis nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment: ‘tis to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night, that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep: and there is no other reason to be given why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up: there is no other reason to be given why you han’t gone to hell since you have sat here in the house of God” (
Edwards, A Reader, 98).

Finally, Dr. Peterson notes...

“How does our urgency to warn the lost of the danger of hell compare to
the policemen’s efforts to spare the motorists from accident and possible death? May God stir us to be faithful to him and to our fellow human beings who need to know him who died to redeem sinners from hell. To God Alone be the glory!” (
Peterson, Hell on Trial, 242).

Here are a few biblical verses to support this:

Revelation 20:14-15 14 And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.
This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and
murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Revelation 14:10 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is
mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

May we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ be those that are so aggressive in evangelism that everything else in life is secondary; sharing the gospel of hope, of salvation, of life, of peace, of eternity with God must be our primary goal in life. Remember, we cannot understand the glory of heaven until we understand the absolute and horrific torments of eternal hell. May God alone be glorified.

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