A Just & Loving God: No Condemnation

This is the final part of my series of A Just & Loving God. First we reconciled a just, yet loving God. Then we looked at why Jesus had to die on the cross. Then we took at look at the question “is Hell real?” and the natural response of who goes to Hell and who goes to Heaven. Now, we are going one step further as to why the true Christian goes to Heaven, and not Hell. Read more

A Just & Loving God: Who Goes To Heaven & Hell?

We have seen how God reconciles being perfectly just and perfectly loving,  by setting down the rules and punishments, and abiding by them, and providing a way for mercy in the rules. We have seen why Jesus had to die on the cross for our Sins, instead of God just letting us do whatever we want and going to Heaven anyway. We have also seen whether or not a literal place such as Hell exists But then the question must arise, “Who goes to Heaven, and who goes to Hell?”

Matthew 7:13-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Read more

A Just & Loving God: Is Hell Real?

Matthew 25:31-46 New King James Version (NKJV)

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Background

Jesus is in Jerusalem speaking to the masses. (I would have made the passage in red, but today I don’t have access to my computer and I’m writing this whole thing on my phone. That is why I have missed the past two days of devotions) He has been preaching to the multitudes the truth and winning disciples. This passage is the last of the things He preaches in Jerusalem before the Pharisees plot to kill Him. He is speaking of the Judgement Day. He has been speaking of the Tribulation and the Endtimes. Here He clearly lays out that some will be cast into Hell.

Hell Exists

The first thing we should look at is whether or not Hell actually exists. There is an abundance of scriptural evidence for the existence of Hell. Revelation 21:8 says Read more

A Just & Loving God: Why Did Jesus Have to Die on the Cross?

John 19:28-34 New King James Version (NKJV)

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

Background

Jesus has spent 3 years teaching, preaching, healing and forgiving. The Jews didn’t like what He was saying and doing, so they conspired to have him killed. They had Him arrested and beaten, then convinced the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, to crucify Him, though Pilate himself found no fault in Jesus. After being whipped 39 times with a cat-of-nine-tails, which would have nearly killed Him already, Christ was forced to march a few miles carrying His own cross while angry crowds Read more

A Just & Loving God: Reconciling Love and Justice

In church, our pastor has been doing a series called Christianity 101. It lays down some of the basic understandings of Christianity. You can watch or listen to the past four sermons here, or you can listen to them in our iTunes Podcast. I’ll be doing my own series for a few days here as well, that also parallels what he has preached. God seemed to work this perfectly for me, because I had it only my mind all weekend, already, and when I did my daily reading, (I’m doing a “read the Bible in a year” plan) the following passage was on my list to read, and it fits perfectly with what I wanted to talk about today anyway.

Romans 3:21-31 New King James Version (NKJV)

21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Background

Paul has been writing to the Church at Rome about the Justification of the Believer through faith, not by works or circumcision. Many people wrongly put the focus on Read more