Take Time to be Holy in 2014
by Jerry Curry
A God of Love and Eternal Hell: Do These Two Go Together?
by Tenson Mangwinyana
Take Time to be Holy in 2014
Well how did we do in 2013? Did we end the year closer to God through prayer? Did we end the year more knowledgeable of the Bible through our diligent studies? Did we end the year closer to our brethren due to the time we spent together? Many are the things we intended to accomplish in 2013, but never got around to it. As we move into 2014, let’s challenge ourselves again to “take time to be holy.” “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Take time to be holy by speaking oft with thy Lord in prayer. Jesus arose early in the morning before sunrise to pray. (Mark 1:35) Daniel, under the threat of the lions’ den, turned towards Jerusalem and prayed three times a day. (Daniel 6:10) “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Take time to be holy by abiding with Him always. May we pay close attention to our thoughts, words and actions and “Walk in the light as He is in the light.” (1 John 1:7) Be imitators of Enoch of whom the Word testifies that he “walked with God.” (Genesis 5:24)
Take time to be holy by feeding on His Word. May we “hunger and thirst after righteousness” as we heed the encouragement of Paul. “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” (1 Timothy 4:13)
Take time to be holy by making friends of God’s children. We are exhorted in 1 Peter 4:9 to “use hospitality one toward another.” Let’s resolve to spend time with one another as “in honor we prefer one another.” (Romans 12:13)
Finally, let us place our lives, cares and concerns into the hands of God.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalms 23)
- Jerry Curry
A God of Love and Eternal Hell
DO THESE TWO GO TOGETHER?
- On page 17 of his book WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN, a man called Bertrand Russell said “There is one very serious defect to my mind about Christ’s character, and that is, he believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is deeply normal can believe in hell.”
- Many people would ask: Is God really a GOOD God? Why would he create humans knowing some would choose to go to hell?
- How can we reconcile God’s goodness with eternal punishment?
First we must remember David’s words to God --- “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all” – 1 Chronicles 29:11 – God is GREAT !
- DOES THE BIBLE PRESENT GOD AS A LOVING GOD?
Yes! ---- “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” – John 3:16; See also I John 4:8, 1 John 3:16. Surely God is a God of love !!!
- DOES THE BIBLE PRESENT GOD AS ONE WHO WOULD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?
Yes! ---- “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… And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" Matthew 25:41, 46; See also Revelation 21:8.
- DOES GOD WANT PEOPLE TO GO TO AN ETERNAL HELL?
No! ---- “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” – 1 Timothy 2:3-4; See also 2 Peter 3:9, Ezekiel 33:11
- Is God a GOD OF LOVE and A GOD OF JUSTICE ??
YES !!! ---- “For I proclaim the name of the Lord: Ascribe greatness to our God. 4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He” – Deuteronomy 32:3-4; See also Psalm 89:14. God ensures that everyone receives FAIR punishment for his/her sin! HE IS JUST.
After all, why not HELL when there is nothing good that comes from sin even in this earthly life? --- “and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.
God has HELL and will SEND people there. – Matthew 25:41
- When the Scriptures are carefully EXAMINED, the teaching of eternal hell is NOT contrary to His character because He is BOTH a God of love and of justice – 1 John 4:8 and Psalm 89:14.
- Divine JUSTICE demands a demonstration of EQUITABLE PUNISHMENT to those who choose to DISOBEY Him ---- Luke 12:47-48.
- A misunderstanding of what the bible discusses about LOVE, JUSTICE and HUMAN FREE-WILL will cause many people, including Bertrand Russell, to think that God WOULD NEVER create a place of eternal punishment.