Tuesday, July 06, 2010

“Isn’t talking about hell like using a scare tactic to get people into heaven?”

There are programs today that allow teenagers to experience prison with the intent of saying, “you don’t want to be here.” It is a legitimate scare tactic that helps deter unlawful behavior and not only keeps the peace between citizens, but keeps families together and allows one to enjoy a better life. You should be thankful for programs like this! Who knows the kinds of people you rub shoulders with in this world!

Consider public service announcements like this that were very common years ago:

Are you aware that the number one causes of car accidents are trees?

Did you know that the number one killer in the world is death?

Have you ever seen what happens to a person who did not wear a seat-belt? I have.

He did not go home that night and hasn’t been home since.

When announcements like this are made, nobody complains because of the reality of the situation.

Let’s be clear about one thing. The message of the gospel is not about relocation; that is, being saved from one place to go to another. The message of the gospel is about reconciliation to a person. Mankind has offended God by sin and God wants to save people not merely from the punishment of sin, but from its power as well as its presence. Jesus did not die on a cross to bring people to a place, but to satisfy justice.

Think of it this way: your next door neighbor breaks into your house, what happens? The law steps in and punishes the offender. What about you? You are the victim—how are you compensated? You aren’t; that is, unless you file a civil suit and gain restitution. Only then does the criminal feel the full weight of the punishment due. And what about the breach in relationship that existed between you and your neighbor—how is that repaired?

Man has broken God’s law, which is like saying we have broken into the judge’s house. He is the dispenser of law and justice and there is nobody to step in, but the judge himself—how can one cry for mercy and grace when the relationship is broken? He cannot let a criminal go unless justice is satisfied.

Eternity is about enjoying God forever, or experiencing His wrath forever—either way, a person will still get God. Those who repent will miss the hell that is all God’s wrath, will enjoy life as one free to do everything he or she should, and can look forward to the day of freedom from the presence of sin. Those who will not repent are condemned already and will receive the wages due them.

There are those who deny this truth who will one day meet it head-on.

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." (Romans 1:18)

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