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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rolling the Dice on Eternity

I have struggled to understand why anyone would gamble with eternity. People hear the gospel and tell me that they are willing to take their chances that I am wrong. They believe a myriad of things which will get them another chance or obtain the grace of God some other way.  Some believe they will have another appeal or that they will be given another chance to prove their worthiness of heaven. They do not understand the finality of this life. They do not realize that they will not make a decision of faith at the last moment. Yes, it is possible but it is a small percentage.

They believe many things which keep them from seeing the truth. That should not be a surprise. After all, a math problem will have only one correct answer but can have an infinity of incorrect ones. Lies can be fashioned to the individual. The truth is merely the truth no matter who hears it.

Thus, we can have preachers saying that no one will go to hell if they are good people. We have social media groups absolving each other's wrongdoings so that sin is no longer sin. Some will use reasoning powers to deduce that God will give another opportunity or that the interpreters of the Bible have been wrong for centuries. The same lie will not be believed by everyone but custom-made lies can convince one at a time.

Our world lives under the principle which states: It must be true if enough people are saying it is true. The majority of the world says that Jesus isn't the way to salvation. The majority is saying to live life without regard to the existence of a holy God. The majority says that everyone will make it to heaven somehow. They don't even try to explain what happens to the Hitlers and Ben Ladens. They know evil exists but they don't want to believe in an eternity for evil.

The Apostle Paul understood that he there were forces working against him as he preached the gospel. That should be evident to every person who shares the gospel today. The world has been speaking a language that has been naturally understood. It points toward heaven on earth without considering another heaven.

People who do not know Christ aren't really rolling the dice. They aren't considering the possibility that they could be wrong. The stakes are too high to roll the dice. They believe they are right. They do so because they have been blinded.

So, I love people that do not love the Lord because I believe that is what Jesus does. I believe that their eyes can be opened but I don't believe it is because I will make a more convincing argument. The gospel is plain. Jesus came to pay the price of sin so that those who believe in Him will have peace with God. Peace is necessary for the entrance into heaven. This is too plain to put it in fancy words which will distort the meaning. It is the truth and it must remain such.

And I pray for people because I know that they will never be able to see the truth unless there is someone fighting for them in spiritual places. The battle is not intellectual but spiritual. No one is ever argued into heaven. They must believe as an act of obedience rather than coercion. They must be able to see the truth. They must have the scales removed from their spirits so that they can see.

Yet, I also hope for I see God bringing people to Himself.

A young lady came to me Sunday after church and told me she had given her heart to Christ. She wanted to follow in baptism. Her friends were around her. They had brought her to church. They had loved her and prayed for her. And she received the gospel because of it.

I'm not rolling the dice on eternity either. I wholeheartedly believe that God is bringing people to Himself. It isn't chance. It is His love.


2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (ESV)
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 

2 comments:

high-expressions.blogspot.com said...

In that verse 3 of the 2 Cor 4:3-4 text Ps Prentis quoted at the end, it clearly said SOME people are perishing. It means some with not perish but have eternal life, go to Heaven, and some will perish, go to Hell. Those who would NOT receive the Gospel go to the latter. 

I, and we should, go by the Bible, the Word, it says we need to receive the Gospel and so, we must; it does NOT say, God is love and so, a loving God cannot, but let everyone live - have eternal life in Heaven. Many people, including some church leaders said that they have faith that it is so. That is NO faith; that is their own belief! Faith is a belief in a truth of the Word or God, with conviction. In other words, faith must be based on the words of God. People can have 1000 and 1 beliefs, but none is faith in nature, unless it is based on the counsel of the Word.

Then, there is the common and serious error of interpreting scripture out of context.  The context is not just the context of the immediate or specific text one is looking at, it is ALSO the context of the overall counsel of the Word or Scripture.  Yes, God is love, and there are many scriptures explaining how great the love of God is, yet God is NOT just love, God is Holiness or holy. Many things and events of Bible can be explained by God is love, but not all things or events.  God is love alone cannot explain the almost complete annihilation of mankind in The Flood. The talk of going to Hell, in Scripture, is not compatible with God is love, unless God is holy, is brought into the picture. God's love is tampered by holiness, if not subjugated by His holiness. And so, God's love for men is love unto righteousness ('ahab love). And that is why you and I cannot do anything we like; and that is why Scripture has it that God chastises those He love. God cannot love you and I unrighteously, and it is NOT, it means no difference, whatever we do.  In other words, we can cannot adopt such attitudes as "God loves me-what, and so, I can do anything I like, including being evil or wicked". 

I do NOT have a theological degree or any formal theological qualification, but I study the Word diligently and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as far as I can, and I am open to re-visits of the scriptures, over and over again, and so, also open to adjust any misalignments of my understanding when it is called for; but it is sad to see so many preachers and their followers missing out on the guideline of interpreting scriptures with the context of the overall counsel of the Scripture. 

Now, I have not gone through a theological degree course, but I have been through the university and has a honors degree in another field, and so, I know the inadvertent cramming  of much, with lack of detailed study, in that couple of years of any course of study.  There is no shortcut, the overall counsel of the Word cannot be had without spending time on the study of the Word and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. 

Now, I do not have "a face to keep", for I am NOT the pastor of a church.  I don't have the hang-up of losing face when I realize I am wrong about an interpretation or understanding of a scripture text or doctrine or even theology. I suspect some of perversion of doctrines or even the core theology of the faith by big-name preachers and church leaders have to do with the unwillingness to admit a mistake in interpretation, and they succumb to covering up a lie with another lie, and so, after some time, they find themselves perpetuating lies upon lies to keep the entire facade going. When this happens, the evil ones have the field days, so to speak. When we repeatedly give in, we may end up being used as vessels of the devil; but most of course, almost all do not realize it or vehemently deny it.

Cont. On next page

high-expressions.blogspot.com said...

Cont. From above

Ps Prentis touched on making faith decision at the last moment; well, yes, many want to "enjoy life some more", to use the words of one of my varsity friends, before they would commit, but be careful, two persons are watching you, they are God and Satan (and His minions). The question is, do you know for sure when you will die? Yah, we may be young and strong or healthy now, but are we saying it is not possible we can die the next moment? An accident can happen; a tree can fall on us, and we die, for example. A one in a million chance, you may say, but I have had the misfortune of leaving for work, many year back, walking in open air, and got shitted on, by a bird flying by (I had to walk back into the house to change my clothes)! Are you sure you can time your salvation just before your death?!

On the argument of majority must be right, it, of course, is not always right. Scripture warns it.  The wide road and gate lead to .............................Hell, and many would go that way.  Few(er) would go to Heaven by the ............. narrow road and gate.  Also, please, don't apply without godly wisdom, the "go by the majority", in doing God's work or deciding on matters pertaining to the faith. 

For example, it is bad to decide not to do ministry in church services when it is evident that the Holy Spirit wants to minister to people, just because ministering to a few, is wasting the majority's time.  People often forget ultimately souls are won, personally, individually, one by one.  Ps Prentis quoted the example of some friends brought a person to church, and that person gave her life over to Jesus.   Scripture said the company in Heaven rejoices at the salvation of one. Should not the entire congregation spare some time to "entertain" ministry and salvation?

Indeed, the war is a spiritual one, firstly, Scripture said that we are NOT fighting against flesh and blood, but principalities or spiritual forces. And even in Jesus' time, He said some were hearing but they did not hear, and some were seeing but they did not see.  It was they were hardened of hearing, spiritually, and blinded spiritually; Satan was at work and still at work.  Scripture in John 10:10 said of Satan this way: He comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  Elsewhere, Scripture also said that the evil one is like a roaring lion looking to devour whom he can devour. Now, without help, the fallen men cannot fight and expect to win over the evil spirits.  Satan and his minions not only want to steal from you (steal your peace, joy, the fullness of what God has available for you), he wants kill you, and that is not all, he wants to destroy you. 

Have you wondered why "destroy" is put last, why not "steal, destroy and kill"? It is because physical death is not the end, destruction after life is the end; and that destruction is referring to our perishing, as in 2 Cor 4:3 verse, above. It is the banishment to ever suffering in Hell. Satan knows where he will eventually go, and he wants to sabotage God's plan to reconcile men back to Himself, and his aim is to get as many people as he possibly can, to be counted with him, for those who are counted with him will go, also, to where he goes, eventually - Hell.  No, Satan is NOT in Hell yet, but he will go to Hell, that is what Scripture tells us.  If you are NOT YET a believer, you are already counted with Satan, and I already said where you will go. Jesus said He did NOT come to condemn, but those who would NOT believe, stand condemned or are already condemned. Today, you can be freed from being damned to Hell by receiving the gift of salvation given in Christ Jesus.  If you are a non-believer and are reading this, and want this gift of life, talk to your Christian friend, or email us (for my email address, you can get by hopping over to www.high-expressions.blogspot.com).

Anthony Chia, high.expressions