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Category Archives: heaven and hell

Mercy of God and Hell!

Question Text:  Here is a question that has been asked to me and I haven`t had an answer, so maybe you can help me. The Bible says repeatedly that `his mercy endures forever`. Does this just apply to those who put their trust in him or everyone? If it is for everyone, then what about the people in hell?`

Answer Text:  Webster defines mercy as “that benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being. The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty. Num 14”.

Following is a part of a Bible Dictionary definition of the word mercy. “Mercy is an essential character of God and it is associated with forgiveness (Exo_34:7; Num_14:18; 1Ti_1:13, 1Ti_1:16); with His forbearance (Psa_145:8, “Yahweh is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great lovingkindness”; compare Roman Psa_2:4; Psa_11:1-7 :32); and with His covenant (1Ki_8:23; Neh_1:5), with His justice (Psa_101:1), with His faithfulness (Psa_89:24), with His truth (Psa_108:4); mercy and truth are united in Pro_3:3; Pro_14:22, etc. (in Psa_85:10 we have “Mercy and truth are met together”)”.

Many Bible scholars think it is best to translate the Hebrew word “chesed” as “covenant love” rather than “mercy” as it is usually done. The Bible is very clear that hell is not prepared for man (Mt.25:41). But those who reject God’s love and His forgiveness reach there as there is no other place for them to go. Till man’s last breath on this earth, the Lord is waiting for him to come to Him. God will accept the final “no” of man with tears as He is rejected by him. That is why through Ezekiel God would say, “”Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? “(Eze 33:11).

 God is helpless when some one rejects His love and forgiveness. That is why He would say, “why should my people die?” Read the last few verses of Eze.18.

People go to hell because God does NOT want to force any one to accept Him and His ways. Thus hell is the negative result of the mercy and love of God. Let us never be guilty of rejecting the love of an all loving God. It hurts Him more than it hurts the one who rejects Him. I hope this understanding of the mercy of God helps. God bless!

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Destined To Hell?!

Question Text: I am a fairly new Christian and struggle with predestination. Can I ask for Jesus to be lord of my life, read his word, desire to know truth, God, and apply what I learn to my life? I trust God’s word is truth, even though I don’t` understand all of it. Will I stand before him to hear him say, “I did not choose you ` and be gone to hell’ . I do not want to go to hell. I deserve it but I want to be with God. I have been praying for people in my life that are family and crossed my path for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to lead them to repentance and saving faith. Should I not do this because God chose those he knew would be His and he loses none of them? I am so disturbed over this. Please help!

Answer Text: I was so moved as I read your question. Your sincere desire to be in heaven and be in presence of the Lord for ever after you leave this world WILL NEVER EVER be denied by the Lord by any means as the Bible NEVER teaches that God has chosen certain people to go to hell. God loved the whole world (Jn.3:16). Christ died for sins of the whole world (1Jn.2:2). That surely includes you and me with out a question. Praise be to His Holy Name!

But the doctrine of divine election is a subject which is CLEARLY taught in the Bible. You can not read the Bible and miss that subject. If any one denies divine election, that person is guilty of denying a clear teaching of the Word of God.

While positive election is clearly taught in the Bible, the Bible NEVER teaches that God has elected some people TO GO TO HELL. In fact hell is NOT prepared for man. HELL IS PREPARED FOR SATAN AND HIS ANGELS (Mt. 25:41). The Bible clearly teaches that God is NOT willing that any should perish (1Tim.2:4; 2Pet.3:9). So if some one goes to hell, it is happening against God`s perfect will. That is why when Jesus, our Lord, taught His disciples to pray, He asked them to pray, `thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven` (Mt.6:10).

Then you are absolutely right about the role of grace even for accepting Christ as savior. Jesus clearly says `unless the Father draws, no one can come to me` (Jn.6:44). From these verses it is clear that when we pray for the salvation of our loved ones and friends, God gives them the grace to accept Christ even as we pray. Because we are clearly taught in the Bible that if we pray in the will of God, God will surely listen to us (1Jn.5:14).

So from now on please make your prayers for the conversion of your friends more intense and more specific and soon you will find the Lord touching them. There is one prayer to which God will never say “no” for an answer. It is when we pray for the salvation of others. Surely there will be struggle as Satan will not easily give up on certain people. But if we strive in prayer as we are taught in Rom.15:30-32, surely answer is bound to come.

When we read the biography of George Mueller of Bristol, we will come to know that he prayed for the conversion of a friend of his for 53 long years! But Mueller, who was a mighty man of prayer, could not see his friend’s conversion when Mueller was still alive. But the biographer of Mueller reports that the friend for whom Mueller was praying for 53 years accepted the Lord at the funeral service of Mueller! So be fervent in prayers for your friends and be sure that answer is bound to come sooner or later.

The question of the sovereignty of God and the freedom of man can not be easily solved by us. It is like the doctrine of Trinity. How could you explain that God is One yet there are three persons who have all the qualities of Godhead? The Bible calls it the mystery of God (Rev.10:6). What we have to do is to take the Bible verses at its face value and believe them and teach them as it is found there. If we emphasis one against the other we get in to all sorts of wrong teachings which are common among many Christians. May God bless you as you try to seek after Him whole heartedly. To His name be all glory. Amen.

 
 

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Will God Send Good People To Hell For Not Accepting Christ?

Question Text: How would you explain God sending some one like Gandhi to hell for not accepting Christ, when Jesus said you shall know them by their fruit?

Answer Text: You have posted an excellent question.   Good people in hell can be understood by the fact that they are dead in spirt and therefore lived a life separated from God here and will do so hereafter.

The Bible doctrine that no man is good stands unchallenged (Ps.14:3). Your statement that we can know them by their fruit was made by our Lord in the context of false teachers (Mt.7:20). Your assumption that Gandhi’s fruit was good is to a great extend agreeable though in his autobiography Gandhi confesses to have lied on occasions. Yet, he was known as the Mahathma which literally means a ‘great soul’.

Gandhi was indeed a great soul with out a doubt. But his spirit was dead and was separated from God. The Bible teaches that man is a tripartite being. Man has a body, soul and spirit (1The.5:3). The spirit in man is that part of man by which man could be in contact with God. When Adam committed sin, he became dead in spirit. Which means Adam lost His fellowship with God as he was separated from God by sin. In Adam all die (1Cor.15:22). This means all men are born in this world being separated from God. Unless a regeneration takes place every man born on earth is born and lives being separated from God. A natural man is lead by his soul element in him (1Cor.2:14). The original word for ‘natural man’ in 1Cor.2:14 is ‘psuchikos’ which means a ‘soulish (man)’. Until some one accepts Christ, he is lead by his soul and he remains separate from God.

When some one accepts Christ, a reversal takes place. A death takes place (2Cor.5:14) and a new life begins (Eph.2:1). He dies to self (soul) and he is made alive in spirit. Now a child of God is to be lead by the spirit (Rom.8:14). Tragically there are occasions when a child of God also is lead by the soul like ordinary men (1Cor.3:3). Thus they become carnal Christians. The important thing to note is that soul and spirit are identical twins and we really can not identify them or separate them and indeed, we would not have even known about these two different elements in man if the Word of God had not made it clear to us (Heb.4:12).

Gandhi being a ‘great soul’ produced fruit very similar to that of the fruit of the spirit as taught in Gal.5:22. But surely, it was the fruit of his soul and not of the spirit. His spirit being separated from God is not capable of producing the fruit of the spirit.

It is God’s desire that all men should be with Him in heaven (1Tim.2:4). God has done every thing possible for every man to be saved. Now it is man’s duty to make the choice whether to be found with God or with out Him. We know from the biographies of Gandhi that he was clearly exposed to the gospel of Christ. In fact Gandhi liked the Sermon on the Mount so dearly that he read it almost regularly.

Yet, Gandhi chose not to accept Christ as his Lord and savior and remained a soulish man and never became linked to God in a practical way in his spirit. God of love does NOT force any one to accept Him. If Gandhi does not want to be with God in heaven, God is helpless and God can not and will not take him to heaven.

To me, hell also is a sign of God’s loving nature, being unwilling to force any man in to His mould with out man’s clear permission and decision. So if there is any truth in the Bible, Gandhi can not be in heaven because he did not choose to be in link with God while here on earth through Christ who said no one can come to the Father but by me (Jn.14:6). It is not a question of God sending any one to hell, it is a question of people choosing to live with out God here and now which will be their fate all through eternity as well. I hope this clarifies your question.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2009 in Bible Questions, heaven and hell

 

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