THE COMEBACK OF HELL (1)

A Bible teacher in the Northwest asks for comment regarding the statement of Jerry Walls of Asbury Seminary, who wrote: 'We cannot be moral without God, and we cannot have God without hell. Hell needs to make a comeback' (Christianity Today 6/16/97, "Can We Be Good Without Hell?"). * * * I say "Bravo!" to Professor Walls for reminding us that we are creatures accountable to our Creator, that … [Read more...]

INVITATION TO PENTECOST

Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2010. Today much of the Christian Church remembers and celebrates Pentecost, the day when Jesus began to baptize in the Holy Spirit as predicted by his prophetic forerunner John the Baptist. A cross-section of the population were listening when John made that promise, and he addressed it to them all (Luke 3:10-16). This baptism in the Holy Spirit was not limited to Jesus' … [Read more...]

CAN THE SOUL TRULY DIE?

A North Carolina brother observes, "I've often heard speakers refer to hell as a place where the soul lives forever, enduring punishment of fire. Could you comment on this?" * * * The notion that every human being has a soul which, unlike the body, is immortal and cannot die, is a remnant of ancient pagan Greek philosophy. The idea crept into Christian thinking in the second and third centuries, … [Read more...]

gnashing of teeth

I earlier stated a conviction that God will finally destroy the unrepentant both body and soul in hell (Matt. 10:28) in the "second death" (Rev. 21:8). Jesus warns of this "eternal punishment" (Matt. 25:46), which Paul explains to be "eternal destruction" (2 Thes. 1:9). A kind gracEmail reader asks how this explanation fits those passages which refer to "gnashing of teeth." * * * For about 18 … [Read more...]

ETERNAL PUNISHMENT

A gracEmail reader notes that Jesus speaks of "eternal fire" and "eternal punishment" (Matt. 18:8; 25:30) and asks how that squares with my suggestion that the wicked will be totally destroyed in hell, never to be seen again. * * * "Eternal" fire is fire which belongs to the Age to Come. It is also eternal in the sense that its effects will be everlasting. Sodom and Gomorrah, which were "reduced … [Read more...]

THE POINT OF HELL

There is considerable discussion these days about the nature of hell. Indeed, I have done my share to stir this discussion and also to participate in it. But there also are practical questions we all need to ask, whatever we think hell will be like. What is the point of hell anyway? Whom does Jesus warn about it? What evils elicit his mention of it? Does Jesus, like many preachers and professing … [Read more...]

THE COMEBACK OF HELL (2)

A Bible teacher in the Northwest asks for comment regarding the statement of Jerry Walls of Asbury Seminary, who wrote: "We cannot be moral without God, and we cannot have God without hell. Hell needs to make a comeback" (Christianity Today 6/16/97, "Can We Be Good Without Hell?). * * * Many conscientious Christians, dedicated to evangelism and deeply committed to the authority of Scripture, … [Read more...]

The Christmas story we wish was not there

Part 1 Christmas is beautiful. Christmas is ugly. Christmas is happy. Christmas is sad. Families rejoin, celebrate, exchange gifts. Families disintegrate into individuals without families, sad and alone. Christmas means babies all dressed in reds and whites. Christmas means babies left on doorsteps, hospital driveways, even in dumpsters. Christmas involves plenty--of food, fun, and fellowship. … [Read more...]

Christmas Prophecy Fulfilled

This Christmas I am impressed anew that we are seeing biblical prophecy fulfilled before our eyes. Not the kind of prophetic fulfillment about which the sensationalists talk and write best-seller books for the gullible masses -- about Middle Eastern conflict and geopolitics and world banks and bar codes at the supermarkets. No, something far more solid and biblical than any of that! God's word to … [Read more...]

the virgin birth and more- 2

Life was not easy for Mary after that visit from Gabriel, the angel who told her that she would conceive a child. Her, a virgin--conceive? Humanly impossible. "How can these things be?" she had asked, quite literally. Since that day, it seemed to Mary, everyone else in Galilee had asked the same question of her--but in another tone of voice. After a while, she had learned to accept the clucking … [Read more...]