Archive for the ‘Hell’ Category

Those who follow Twitter know there is a little troll who spams the IFB #oldpaths hashtag trying to unsuccessfully convert KJVO fundamental Baptists to Calvinism. “Wee Calvin” or Colin Maxwell (Wee, I assume, because of his small theology). He follows IFB members comments on this popular IFB hashtag, and then expounds on them on his blog, adding his own twist and fantasy to the tweeted material.

He’s targeted us a few times, but never responds after we take the time to thoroughly sink his paddle boat. He’s obnoxious, rude, foul-mouthed, and so we treat his responses to the IFB with the same courtesy minus some of the rhetoric (Prov 26:4-5, Titus 1:9-12).

Wee Calvin chose to pick on “L. Ivey” (Twitter.com/liveyneckwear) who quoted his opinion that Matthew 25:41 debunks Calvinism since hell was initially created for the devil and his angels, then the obvious conclusion is that God could not have intended to predetermine anyone to hell. Although this is not a new argument against Calvinism, it is still a goodie, because it’s true. But, Wee Calvin made an effort to defend Calvinism and did probably one of the most eisegetical hack jobs to Scripture I’ve ever seen.

Matthew 25:41 (KJV) reads:

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

And for additional analysis, we are going to throw in Isaiah 5:14:

 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

I guess we could also cite Genesis chapter 1 to show that hell was NOT one of the things created in God’s six days of creation. Since Lucifer did not fall until AFTER creation, then hell being prepared for Lucifer and his angels could not have existed BEFORE creation.

Wee Calvin first attempts to state the “old argument”, and then offers his first rebuttal,

Well, to state the pretty obvious, it does not say that Hell was prepared only for the Devil and his rebellious angels.That is the gist of the old argument, but it is not what the Saviour said.

Seriously? Now just think of how much grammatical sense it would make for Jesus to have said, “depart ye into everlasting fire prepared ONLY for the devil and his angels”? Of course it doesn’t say “only” because Jesus is speaking of a PRESENT warning based on a place that was prepared for Satan. Wee Calvin’s argument is IRRELEVANT. That text does not HAVE to include the word “only” in order to convey that hell was initially created ONLY for Satan and his angels.

The reason that hell was created for ONLY the devil and his angels is obvious: because Lucifer and the angels were CREATED BEFORE HUMANS and BEFORE HUMAN SIN. There was no need to include humanity in hell because Lucifer fell before Adam did. Hence, hell was prepared for Satan, but not for any of humanity. The only reason that Calvinists need to this to not be true is because Calvinism would have to claim that God DID create hell for humans in order to prove that He intended on sending the majority of His creation to hell by a predestinated eternal decree of reprobation. If the Calvinist can’t show in Scripture that God did not INTEND on including humans in hell PRIOR TO THE FALL OF ADAM, then that alone destroys the entire concept of Calvinist preterition.

Point 2 of Wee Calvin’s horrific response goes:

If such were the case i.e. that the everlasting fire of Hell was prepared only for the Devil and the angels, then does God deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13) when He bids the wicked above to depart as curséd to that dread place? Is God indeed a man that He should repent i.e. change His mind, after all? (1 Samuel 15:29)

What on earth does this have to do with whether or not hell was or wasn’t created for ONLY the devil and his angels? It’s based on a question-begging fallacy and circular reasoning, i.e., it must not be true because my warped theology says it isn’t true, and therefore God can not deny Himself and therefore it’s not true.

Furthermore, Wee Calvin has a disturbed view of God’s repentance, because Scripture is FULL of examples where God in fact DOES change a course of action that HE SAID HE WOULD DO, and the story of Jonah is a PERFECT example of this no matter how much Calvinists would like to change the narrative around to fit their awful presuppositions.

 8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, THAT HE SAID THAT HE WOULD DO unto them; and he did it not.” Jonah 3:8-10

Now this passage ALONE should settle the debate as to whether or not the Bible contains counter-factual conditionals. As Brother Ruckman says, the Bible isn’t hard to understand IT’S HARD FOR PEOPLE TO BELIEVE. Notice that “repent” in vs 8-9 show God TURNING AWAY from something He SAID HE WOULD DO. So Jonah himself answers Wee’s hypothetical unbiblical NONSENSE and shoots #2 down in 3 verses.

On to point #3, Wee Calvin argues that:

Since God turns and will continue to turn the wicked into Hell (Psalm 9:17) then He has always purposed to do so. There was never a time in the mind of God when His hatred did not burn against sin and His justice demand that the perpetrators (if chronically unrepentant) of it be banished forever from His presence. (emphasis added).

Notice the highlighted part: God was ALWAYS purposed to do so??  SCRIPTURE??? Zero. None. Notta. Zilch. Nolo Contendere. NOWHERE does the Bible state anything near what Wee just claimed. IT IS PURELY A FICTIONAL SUPPOSITION BASED ON PHILOSOPHICAL SPECULATION. 

There are a number of other problems with this speculation as well:

*How can Wee Calvin claim “there was never a TIME…when God” when God exists OUTSIDE OF TIME? In order for Wee Calvin’s argument to even BEGIN to have substance, it would require that God’s emotions be bound to future events before time was even created.

*This is the equivalent of confirming dialectical materialism which maintains a premise of matter being eternally existent. In order for sin to be a reality in the mind of God for Him to be eternally angry about it, sin would have to coexist with God. Now the Calvinist will typically dress up a straw man and label it Open Theism by accusing anyone who would raise such an argument that God must not know the future if this isn’t possible, but notice the Calvinist does so without addressing the argument of dialectical materialism, and forces God to be bound by what He knows. In other words, God is not free to create, the future has a mind of its own that binds God to act according to His perfect knowledge of future events, and therefore the future is actually equal with God (the concept behind much Yin & Yang [Shintoism], or panentheism). So while Open Theism deprives God of being omniscient, Calvinism deprives God of being omnipotent.

*What perpetrators? In Wee Calvin’s rush to sound convincing, he claimed that God’s justice demands eternal punishment against “chronically unrepentent..perpetrators”. Where did these “perpetrators” come from in eternity? Are there some eternal perpetrators that God is mad at that we don’t know about? Maybe these eternal perpetrators are the ones who caused the devil to fall. WHO KNOWS. With Wee Calvin’s speculation, the sky is definitely NOT the limit.

Wee Calvin adds that:

This being the case, we read of ungodly men who were before of old ordained to this condemnation (Jude 4) and verses of a similar nature. Since God always determined to cast the wicked into Hell, then He determined that there would always be a Hell for wicked sinners to be cast into. One logically follows the other.

Jude 4 reads:

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

One problem that Calvinists have is always interpreting “ordained” as “determined”. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. A pastor can be ordained for a certain ministry doesn’t mean he was DETERMINED to do so. See Titus 1:5, Acts 16:4, Gal 3:19, Eph 2:10 (Ephesians 2:10 is especially critical, an argument we have raised called the “Calvinist Uniformity Conundrum”. If ordained always meant determined, then how can believers ever backslide EVEN FOR A MOMENT if their works were determined? Unless God determines that believer’s sin, Eph 2:10 is VERY problematic for Reformed Theology).

But several things to note about Jude 4:

1) It doesn’t say these men were condemned from eternity, but “before OF OLD”. That means, the judgment was something proposed IN TIME, NOT eternity.

2) It was the CONDEMNATION that was ordained, not the particular group of men. In other words, the CONSEQUENCE for rejecting Christ is what is ordained.

3) Three above is further supported by the fact that the ordained destruction WAS IN RESPONSE to those who “turned the grace of God” into something evil. For God to have eternally reprobated these men would require the ABSENCE of any reason for doing so. Thus, God can not eternally reprobate men while Jude claims that their condemnation WAS BECAUSE OF their reaction to the grace of God IN TIME. Notice moreoever in verse 7 how that those of Sodom and Gomorrah GAVE THEMSELVES OVER to their own lusts and sinfulness.

The same “decree” that God gives for life- whosoever believes in Him shall not perish- He also gives for death, that whosoever believes not shall suffer eternal punishment. The Calvinist must read their own twisted eisegesis into the text to come out with eternal reprobation because that’s NOT what Jude 4 says.

And finally, we will end with the most contradictory babbling you will ever see or hear among most Calvinists, and the greatest examples of philosophical flip-flopping of common sense and Scripture twisting extant.

First of all, the “kingdom” that is being discussed in Matthew 25:34 has absolutely NOTHING to do with any Gentile Christian believer or non believer during the Church Age. It is based on a judgment of men that occurs as a result of their obedience during the millennial reign of Christ when the sheep and the goats are separated AT THE END OF THE THOUSAND YEARS. Although we won’t go into the differences between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God here, it’s well worth the study.

Now notice that things that Jesus condemns those men of which He damns to eternal fire in Matthew 25: 42-45 because this is just as important as verse 41:

42  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Notice the list “FOR” which here means “BECAUSE OF”. Now here’s a hint: you can’t have a BECAUSE OF and an ETERNAL DECREE AT THE SAME TIME AGAINST THE SAME EVENT. “Because of” implies causation. Every single act mentioned by Christ is something that these men COULD HAVE done differently, BUT FOR or BECAUSE OF their action or inaction, they are condemned. They are condemned FOR WHAT THEY DID, NOT CONDEMNED FROM ETERNITY, and Christ spends 5 verses on this subject to prove that.

The sinner, as a fully responsible creature, should ever seek the Lord and rest not until he is found of Him, not having his own righteousness etc. The free gospel offer of salvation is addressed to the ‘whosoever will.’ Calvinist evangelists have always rejoiced in the preaching of it.

The sinner is hardly a responsible creature if his destiny as well as his punishment has already been determined. The Calvinist would say that he is free to choose out of the compatibilistic nature that God gave him, even though he can’t ever choose good because of it, nevertheless he is still held responsible. But the problem with even that view is that his judgment was determined before any of his choices were made, so that alone would serve to prove that the sinner is not responsible for his sin because he was damned to eternal fire before he even sinned. (See our article “Would God Have Reprobated Perfect Human Beings?)

According to Calvinism’s view of Total Depravity, the sinner has Total Inability to seek God, and for Wee Calvin to suggest otherwise is blatantly dishonest. In addition to the non elect sinner not ever having the ability to respond to the offer, it is certainly, moreover, not a “FREE gospel offer”. A free offer implies that it can actually be accepted by anyone. But if ONLY the elect can receive and respond to it, then how is it a “free offer” to “whosoever will”? IT ISN’T!! That’s how Calvinism maintains credibility by LYING to you about what they really believe.  Wee Calvin had just clarified his position by claiming that those headed for hell are going there because God determined it to be so. How then can anyone be DETERMINED to go to hell, and yet have the actual ability to FREELY respond to the gospel?  That is utter nonsense and is the most patent example of a logical contradiction if there ever existed one. These are two extremes that CAN NOT both be true at the same. The gospel can not possibly be addressed to whosoever will without any meaningful opportunity for those among the whosoever to respond to it FREELY. If you mean that “whosoever” is ONLY the elect, then be honest and say so, and stop appealing to “whosoevers” as if anybody can actually read your rubbish.

Now remember when we started, we cited Isaiah 5:14! This is very simple logic and Bible. If hell was initially created for BOTH the devil, and sinful human beings, IT WOULD HAVE A PREDETERMINED PARAMETER. Would God make a place knowing exactly how many people were going to occupy it ONLY TO HAVE TO GO TO HOME DEPOT FOR MORE BUILDING SUPPLIES TO EXPAND IT LATER?? “Hell hath ENLARGED HERSELF”. The fact that hell GETS BIGGER shows that it was not intended to hold more than it was initially designed to hold.

Hence, Calvinism is NOT safe as Wee Calvin claims, and yes, hell was created initially for ONLY the devil and his angels which proves Biblically and logically that man was never predetermined to burn in hell.

Hell and destruction are NEVER FULL. Proverbs 27:20

 

 

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hellAfter scores of emails criticizing the doctrine of hell, I chose to address it today. The most common attempt to logically exclude the doctrine of hell by its critics is “would a loving God send someone to hell?”. The problem with that is they are asking the wrong question. The Bible says that those who have not placed their trust in Christ are condemned already. Condemned to what? We’ll answer that later, but the question should be, would a God of justice and holiness permit someone to reject His son who suffered and died and offered salvation freely not exact some type of punishment?

However, at the end of this article, I am going to show you that hell is not the sinners final destination. So even if hell were to be the “common grave” or a burning sector for trash (and those terms were used to describe as close as man could understand what hell is like, not the other way around) that would not affect the sinners final judgment, which is NOT HELL. It’s worse!

THERE IS A PENALTY FOR REJECTING CHRIST

Jesus said in Luke 13:3-5 “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”, and “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” John 3:17. Jesus also states that He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” John 3:36.

Man is appointed to die in life at least once, and after that is judgment. Heb 9:27.

Those who believe that because God is love ignore that He is also a “consuming fire”. Heb 12:29. If one were to read the Old Testament starting from Isaiah through Malachi, every prophetic book was about judgment. In the New Testament Jesus preached about hell thirteen times. (Matthew 5:22-30, Matthew 10:28,  Matthew 16:18, Matthew 11:23, Matthew 18:9, Mark 9:47, Matthew 23:15-33, Luke 16:23[and Jesus states also that He has the keys of hell and death in Rev 1:18]). In fact, Luke 16 is one of the most descriptive stories regarding hell in all the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses argue that this is a parable, but the story is not called a parable; any time Jesus was using hyperbole to make a point, He always identified the story as a parable, and the characters were  given specific names like “a certain woman”. The story in Luke is an actual event, it describes Abraham, Lazarus and the Rich Man, as well as other real places.

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. Luke 16:19-25.

…the bush is not burnt. Exodus 3:3

Like the burning bush that was not consumed when it was on fire where God spoke to Moses in Exodus 3:1-15, likewise the rich man was consumed by the fire, and only wanted a drop of water because he was tormented by the flame. Not only was he tormented by the flame, but he had his full memory of his opportunity while he was yet alive to choose Christ.

Those who see Jesus as a loving God who would never torment someone for rejecting Him are denying the multitude of Biblical evidence to the contrary. God can not look upon sin (Hab 1:13) and because He is a holy and righteous God, He can not allow sin to go unpunished, that is His nature. He is much a God of judgment as He is a God of love.

PAUL PREACHED HELL

Many have argued that while Jesus preached hell, Paul did not. I disagree:

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power”. 2 Thess 1:8-9.

Not only does Paul state that a flaming fire is how those who reject the gospel will be punished, but with “everlasting destruction”. At this point, cults like the Watchtower attempt to explain this as annihilation, that you are destroyed forever into oblivion. But that’s not everlasting destruction. God made man in His image, and with that means an eternal soul, and as we seen with the rich man, the soul that rejects Christ lives in constant eternal torment.

Paul also warns about the coming wrath of God numerous times (Rom 2:5,8, Rom 9:22, I Thess 1:10 [a good verse that proves the church will not go through the tribulation], 1 Thess 2:16 Rom 1:18 , and as we will see later, the wrath of God is not only carried out by judgments during the tribulation but is consummated by a sentence of eternal fire for those who reject Christ. Not only does God give men a chance in this time, but He even gives them an opportunity during the tribulation albeit under much worse conditions and not for those who heard the gospel in this time and rejected it, and yet men still refused to repent. Rev 9:20-21, Rev 16:9-11.

But praise God the believer is not appointed unto wrath! 1 Thess 5:9, Romans 5:9.

Jude also referred to eternal fire in Jude 9, and coming judgment on unbelievers. Jude 14-15.

THE LAKE OF FIRE IS THE ETERNAL DESTINY FOR THOSE WHO REJECT CHRIST

John writes in Revelation 20:15 “And death AND HELL were cast into the LAKE OF FIRE“. This one verse dispels all the non-sense that hell is merely the grave, because even hell itself is cast into the lake of fire.

Now we will focus on how long this punishment lasts as described from the book of Revelation.

“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, and they have NO REST, DAY NOR NIGHT who worship the beast and his image and whosever receiveth the mark of his name” Rev 14:11. If you had a chance to receive Christ and rejected Him before the chaos starts in the tribulation, you will worship the beast. 2 Thess 2:12, Rev 13:8, Rev 17:8.

The judgment of the whore. This is the judgement against an entire empire that ends up with its final empire as Rome (at a later time, I will give conclusive proof that the United States of America is an extension of the Roman Empire). This empire began with Nimrod in Genesis 11, and is described in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter 2 and then by John in Rev 13:2, and is called “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” in Rev 17:5. It is an empire made up on individuals so it is not just a judgment on a bunch of buildings and land. Her sins come before God in Rev 16:19, and Rev 18:5, and we see her judgment described as eternal in Rev 19:3: ” And her smoke rose up for ever and ever”. Now for there to be smoke there has to be fire, and for there to be a smoke and fire that rises up forever and ever, there has to be something to burn. Those individuals that were part of the whore of Babylon suffer an eternal torment in fire.

Now pay attention here because this is one of the strongest verses in the Bible that demonstrate how long God’s judgment lasts.

In Revelation 19, after Christ’s second coming to earth, the beast and the false prophet are cast alive into the lake of fire. Rev 19:20. Now in Revelation 20:1, Satan is bound for 1,000 years during the millennial reign of Christ. After the thousand years are finished, he is let loose for a season, but is then finally judged and notice this:

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Rev 20:10

Notice that is says when the devil is cast into the lake of fire, that he is cast where the beast and the false prophet ARE. Remember they had been cast there prior to the 1,000 year reign, so they were alive and conscious 1,000 years before the devil was finally cast there, and how long does this last? “and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever

CONCLUSION

I have often used the illustration that if I had a cure for AIDS or cancer, I would be cruel not to share it with others to heal them. How much more then should a believer not preach hell?  Fundamentalists are accused of manipulating people with fear by preaching hell, but this is not manipulation, this is an honest warning that there is an eternal consequence for rejecting Christ, and I think that it is cruel for those who tell others NOT to preach it. Do the churches including the independent Baptists have their issues? Yes they sure do, but what could possibly be worse than spending an eternity in a burning lake of fire? We fundamentalists don’t preach it because we are trying to gain numbers, we preach it because we have a heart for the lost. Even when I go soul winning, I always tell a potential convert that even if they do not join a church, MAKE SURE YOU ARE SAVED. I can’t count the number of times I have wept every time I have reviewed my memory verses going over Revelation 14:11. As much as I vehemently disagree with my critics, I don’t want to see ANY of them burning in eternal torment.

Jesus paid a great price to obtain our salvation, and those who crucify the Son of God afresh by despising His cross, the blood that He shed and expect God to let them into heaven on THEIR TERMS are in for a rude awakening because the devil and misguided apostates have told them “God would never send anyone to hell” and that is a bald-faced lie. If you end up in the lake of fire forever, it is not because God wanted you to go there. You have a chance to avoid it, and a choice to receive Christs gift of eternal life by coming to God knowing and acknowledging you do not deserve it, for you were born with sin (Psalm 58:3, Romans 5:12) and can not save yourself. “But God commended his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”. God is not willing that ANY should perish, but that all come to repentance. I Peter 3:9. God said in Ezekiel 18:32, “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”

Salvation is a free gift, it is not of your own effort or works. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast” Eph 2:8-9. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done” Titus 3:5. Since salvation is a free gift, why would anyone choose to reject Christ and attempt to explain away the consequences? “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” Rom 10:13. Do not let anyone corrupt your mind from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 11:3).

Will you call upon Him now? Will you come to God as the sinner you are and ask for His mercy and receive Him as your Saviour? I hope so, because not only does God love you, and sent Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16, Rom 9:5) to reconcile His creation back to Himself, but does not want this to be your fate:

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” Rev 20:15

J/A