Sunday, February 14, 2010

HELL - Part 1 - Why is there a Here-After?

Part 1 - HELL
Why is there a Here-After?
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


INTRODUCTION

Is there a literal place called hell, and will it be an eternal place of punishment?

         There has been much debate over the years about what “hell” is and what it is not.  I have heard it all when it comes to hell;
o   I believe in heaven, but there is no hell.  Everyone goes to heaven.
o   There is no heaven or hell.
o   There is a hell, but it’s just the absence of God, so it’s like earth.
o   There is a hell, but it isn’t eternal, it destroys everything thrown in it.
o   There is a hell and a purgatory, but you can be prayed out of there.

This confusion about hell is mans own fault, but not necessarily the fault of those who believe these things about hell.

Some have relied too heavily on poorly translated versions of scripture.

Some have ignored more ancient manuscripts which have been proven to be authentic and more accurate than more recent ones which are copies of copies to the 14th power.

Some rely on false doctrines taught by priests who refuse to read the scriptures for themselves as opposed to memorizing the Latin Vulgate.

But for some, it is their fault.  Ignorant of the word because they either refuse to read it, or refuse to become educated in the doctrines of Christ Jesus.

EXAMPLE - I once knew a man who thought Doctrine had no place in the church.

As we discover what the scriptures say about hell, let us remember that doctrine is discovered through reading the entirety of scripture, which will always be measured against itself.

This will always give us a rightly divided word and an understanding of a true doctrine we can trust.



We will look at the following in this new series;

         Why there is a here-after
         What is Sheol
         Understanding torment and paradise
         Purgatory, the Abyss and Tartarus.


I.                   IN THE BEGINNING
a.      God created us in His image
                                                              i.      Genesis 1:25-27  25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

1.      God made creatures after their own kind.
a.      This is why evolution is false.  Animals are only capable of off-springing their own kind.  i.e. a cat will always give birth to a cat, and a dog will always give birth to a dog.

2.      God said “Let us make man in our likeness...”
a.      This shows us that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, although only 1, refers to Himself as us and our.
b.      We were created in the image of God, with the ability to contain a soul/spirit.  Animals were not given this honor by God.  We were created in God’s image to exist for the rest of eternity.
c.       To rule over them simply means that we are “above” them, and of course we are, because we were made in the image of God Himself!

3.      God created male and female.
a.      Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. 

b.     God wanted a perfect paradise for us to dwell in

                                                              i.      God created everything in the first six days.
1.      Some say these days are not literal days, but millions of years.
a.      This is because they lack faith and belief in the word of God and try to reconcile the Bible to science.
b.      Science needs to be reconciled to the word of God, not the other way around.

2.      Genesis 1:3And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”
a.      He said...and there was, then the sun set, and rose...the first day.
                                                                                                                                      i.      How long does it take for the sun to set and rise?
1.      24 hours.
                                                                                                                                   ii.      And this was the first day.
b.      If the first day is the sun setting and rising, is the next five days of creation (which are also referred to as days) going to be different than the first?
                                                                                                                                      i.      No.

                                                           ii.      When God was finished the phrase is mentioned, “It was good.”
1.      God’s creation was perfect.
2.      And it was for us.

c.       God has wanted relationship with us from the beginning
                                                              i.      We read in Genesis that God walked with Adam, and gave Adam the Word.
                                                           ii.      God wanted nothing more than to love us, and us to love Him.


II.                TO LOVE AND BE LOVED
a.      Love is an action
                                                              i.      John 14:15"If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

b.     The tree provided a means for us to be righteous and show our love
                                                              i.      For us to love God, He has to love us first.
                                                           ii.      He gives His word so that we have the option to “obey”
                                                         iii.      When we obey, we show our love to God.
                                                         iv.      Without the Word, there is nothing to “obey”
                                                            v.      Without anything to obey, we cannot show our love to God.

c.       Sin separated us from relationship, but not love
                                                              i.      Disobedience caused a wall between us and God.

d.     God’s love is at work today
                                                              i.      Through the sacrificial death of Christ to pay for our sin, and rebuild the relationship between us and God.


III.             A GOD OF HIS WORD
a.      He created us to be everlasting
                                                              i.      So He could love us for eternity, and we could love Him for eternity.

b.      God will not break His word
                                                              i.      If He created to be forever, then we must be forever.

c.       His love has provided a way back to Him
                                                              i.      Through Jesus Christ

d.     For those who refuse His love, they too must spend the rest of eternity somewhere.


CONCLUSION

In the beginning was perfection.

We were created in the image of God, with the ability to have a spirit/soul and live for eternity.

The tree was placed and the Word of God was given so that man would have a way to love God.

We can reconcile with God today through Jesus Christ.

And we can show God our love, by obeying His word once again.


The question is not whether or not you will live forever, but “where” will you live out the rest of eternity?

The choice to love God is yours.