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

March 7, 2018

Mark 11:25-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Background

In the eleventh chapter of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus has just cleansed the temple, calling it a “den of thieves” instead of a “house of prayer for all nations.” After this powerful event, they passed a fig tree that Christ had cursed before entering the temple and it had withered away. They were astonished. So Jesus replies simply, “Have faith in God.” He tells them that faith can move mountains and that we are to pray, believing that we will receive the things we pray for.

Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven

We are called to examine our hearts each day and each time we pray. If there is something holding us back from Him, it will affect our prayer life. 1 John 4:20 says, If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

Human nature makes the Christian fraught with contradictions like this. We bless God on Sunday, but Monday we issue curses to our brothers. We sing praises one day and listen to music about sex and drugs the next. We ask forgiveness from the LORD, against whom we have transgressed far more than any man has every transgressed against us, yet we won’t forgive the man.

For some of us, it’s easier to forgive, while others have a hard time. I am the type to assume someone didn’t mean to do wrong against me or others. It drives my wife mad because it can lead to me being “walked over” when I do that. She, however, is the opposite, especially when the one being wronged is me. That’s when the momma bear comes out. I can only imagine what she’ll be like when we actually have kids. But even with my ability to see the best in people, I still have trouble forgiving some people.

Pray For Your Enemies

“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you

Matthew 5:44

A few years ago I was teaching Music and Math at a Private Christian School. There were a lot of problems with forgiveness at the school in both the staff and the students. We did a study on forgiveness. We watched a video about it one day. I remember the speaker talking about “praying for his enemy.” He started with a typical, “okay, Lord, bless this guy,” and then he moved on.

His heart wasn’t in it. But he kept praying. He found eventually that he started actually praying, and his heart was softened. It wasn’t an immediate fix. It was a gradual softening. If we pray for our enemies, how can we continue to hate them?

We must also remember that this is true forgiveness when we are truly not sore or pained by their transgression. Because remember, anything that has ever been done to you was done tenfold to Christ, by you. So if He can forgive you of so much, why can’t you forgive them of so little.

Daily Challenge

I’m sure during this reading, you’ve had someone on your mind. Someone who has done you wrong. You may think they don’t deserve your forgiveness, or that you can’t forgive them. I want you to take a moment right now and pray for them. Start the prayer with a moment of asking the LORD to soften your heart. Then ask Him to help you. Then pray that your enemy know the LORD, if they don’t, and that the LORD blesses them and draws them to His forgiveness.