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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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Is God Cruel In Punishment?

 Question Text : “Is God cruel? I was   shocked when Iread deuteronomy 28:15-68 full of curses”.

Answer Text :  Your  question of God being cruel is a against the Bible revelation which presents God as love (1Jn.4:8).   Sinners get punished because they work against the operating principles of God and God is helpless.  Now read on.

If  God is love how are we to understand God punishing people for their sins?  You must remember that God operates this universe using fixed laws which can NEVER be changed as long as this earth lasts (Psa.148:6).  There are physical laws like the law of gravity. Can you imagine jumping from a high flat with out getting hurt?  No one can break the law of gravity and can imagine that he would escape with out getting hurt.  Scientists have discovered several of the physical laws and we use them for our benefit. 

Now, God uses spiritual laws as well.  And God has given in writing all the spiritual laws by which we need to abide by (Psa.147:19). One of the unchanging laws of God is “what a man sows, so he reaps”.  And God has given us the freedom to choose life or death. Any one who breaks any of God’s written laws is bound to get hurt.  God can not be blamed for the hurt as He has clearly told us what is what in His Word.  He has given us the freedom to choose life or death. 

Read what the Bible says about it.  “Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God. You will reap exactly what you plant. If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death; if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life” (Gal 6:7-8 GNB).  That is why Ezekiel would ask, “why should Israel die” (Eze.18:31). 

In Dt.28 God is telling us clearly what will the result of obeying His laws or disobeying them.  We can choose what we want in life.  God is helpless if we choose to disobey Him.  We will surely get hurt now and later our sin and our disobedience will tak e us to a place from where God has withdrawn His presence and the Bible calls in hell.  This happens because God does NOT want to force any one to choose Him or to choose goodness only.  If that was the case, we would have been like robots.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2009 in Bible Questions

 

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God’s Love And Hell

 

Question Text:  hey I am 15 years old from Lebanon and I am called Michel Youssef and I have a simple question that I can not understand it. Everybody said that god loves us , but everybody says that if we do a lot of sin we will burn in hell , if he loves us why should he hurt us ?

Answer Text:  My dear son Michel, I am so proud to meet a fifteen year old with such thought provoking question. I am sure you are going to turn out to be a great person in future. And with God you will be able to achieve things beyond any man’s imagination.

 In your  question you said that everybody says God loves us but everybody says that if we do a lot of sin we will burn in hell. Ok. Son, please remember everybody does not say this. This is what that Bible tells us about God and you do not have to do a LOT of sins to burn in hell according to the Bible! And you asked if God loves us why should He hurt us. Indeed, it is an excellent question. I will explain it from two angles.

The first thing to remember is that God has ordained this world to be ruled by laws which do not change (Ps.148:6). Now we all know about the law of gravity. The universe is guided by this law of gravity. As human beings living upon the face of the earth, we simply have to abide by this law. For example, none of us could ever imagine to jump down from a three storied building without getting hurt. Can we? Just as there are physical laws under operation, God guides humanity by moral and spiritual laws which also do not change. Anyone breaking any of these would hurt himself without a doubt. While scientists have been able to discover some of the physical laws of this universe, we are so glad that God has revealed through His people Israel the spiritual laws by which He operates this world of humanity (Ps.147:19). When someone breaks any of the moral or spiritual laws of God, that person is bound to get hurt without a doubt. Since God has revealed it to us, the full responsibility is given to us. That is why the prophet Ezekiel would say, “why should you die, o house of Israel?” (Eze.18:31).

So now if someone gets hurt by breaking the command of God, can we blame God for the same? Now the question of hell is a real problem. But let us look at it this way. A person who says, “I do not want to obey the command of God” is, in fact, saying that he does not want this God. Am I right? If a person goes on to say that he does not want God and His ways in his life till the end of his life, at the time of his death God will accept his final “no” to Him and allow him to go to a place from where God has withdrawn His presence. That is what is called hell. Hell is the place prepared for Satan and his angels (Mt.25:41). God does NOT want any one to go there (1Tim.2:4). But if someone does not want God and His ways for himself, God will finally allow him to go there with tears in His eyes (Eze.33:11).

My dear son Michel, I humbly request you that you will never say “no” to God and to His commands. He will not accept your ‘no’ till your last breath. But once you leave this world without accepting God’s ways, you would have chosen for yourself a place where God is not present and it is hell and it burns with fire and brimstone (Rev.21:8). Since none of us knows when death will come to us, it is best for us to come to Him NOW and accept Him in our lives now before it is too late.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2009 in Bible Questions

 

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My Email Exchanges With An Atheist Guru

Here is my email exchanges with an atheist guru who claims to have a best-seller on the subject.  To conceal his identity I’ll call him Tom in this reproduction.  My name is Mathew Paul.

Tom, I read your de-conversion story a few weeks back with tears in my eyes.  I was not able to get rid of you from my mind and therefore I am sending you this response for your kind reaction.

You said you had a marvelous conversion from drugs and sex etc. to Christ and that your whole life was changed over-night.   I am sure that you are not back to your pre-conversion days after your de-conversion now as no sensible person would ever want to be there.

What do you think now as to how that change took place in your life without the power of God?
If you had not experienced that transformation then in your life, what do you think would have been your position a few years later?  Do you really think you would have survived to this day?  Tell us some thing about your chums who were with you then who were not changed as you were.  Do you know any thing about them at all? 
 
One of the reasons you said for leaving Christianity was that you had received more information now.  Tom, Do you really think that the present information that you have received is the perfect information?
 
What would you think of some of my experiences in prayer, like raising a concrete building of 700 sft. within thirty days without money in hand nor approaching any man for the same either by way of loan or even by sending out ‘information for prayer’?
 
Tom, I hope you will spare a minute and respond to my mail.
 
Thanking you and
praying for you
MP
Tom’s response to my mail.
Thanks for writing Matthew.
 
What do you think now as to how that change took place in your life without the power of God?
 
The power of faith, which is internal to a person. If one truly believes in something, anything, it motivates him and gives him incredible strength.
 
If you had not experienced that transformation then in your life, what do you think would have been your position a few years later?  Do you really think you would have survived to this day?
 
I cannot say. I don’t know. Anything was possible.
 
Tell us some thing about your chums who were with you then who were not changed as you were.  Do you know any thing about them at all? 
 
A couple of them are dead. I don’t know about any of the rest of them. I completely lost track since I went into the ministry.
 
One of the reasons you said for leaving Christianity was that you had received more information now.  Tom, Do you really think that the present information that you have received is the perfect information?
 
Perfect? What’s that? No one has absolute knowledge, not even you. But, I think what I learned was and is true.
 
What would you think of some of my experiences in prayer, like raising a concrete building of 700 sft. within thirty days without money in hand nor approaching any man for the same either by way of loan or even by sending out ‘information for prayer’?
 
I don’t know the details nor do I need to. But I’m sure a bone fide miracle never took place, and that’s all I need to say.
 
Tom, I hope you will spare a minute and respond to my mail.
 
Thanking you and praying for you
 
Go ahead. Thank you. But remember, don’t count the hits when a prayer request is answered, nor discount the misses when a request is not granted. Make it a testable prayer. Pray specifically such that we will both know if your prayer is answered. Don’t offer a nebulous prayer which reveals you truly do not believe, like “help him,” or “convict him,” or “turn his life around before he dies.” None of those prayers can be known to have been granted before we both die, since you might die before me. Be specific. If you want me to return to the faith then give a date when this is supposed to happen. This is not the same as demanding God to do something on your timetable at all, no more than it is when you ask for it not to rain on a given day.
 
I’ve decided to write about this on my blog. I’ll not reveal your name.
 
Cheers,

Tom,
 

My response.

Thanks for your reply.

 Here is my response to your comments.  I’d love to hear from you as you have become some one very dear to my heart and I do wish to have some friendly exchanges with you, if you please.
 
Tom, you said, “The power of faith, which is internal to a person. If one truly believes in something, anything, it motivates him and gives him incredible strength.”
Do you think that if you had believed in ‘Humpty-Dumpty’ you would have been saved from that gutter that you were in?  Do you really think so?  You are a knowledgeable person.  Have you come across one person in your entire life who had an over-night transformation like you had, but that person did not believe in Jesus, but in ‘something, anything’?  Oh Yes, I know many who were helped by rehabilitation centres etc.   It takes weeks if not months for some recovery.  There is nothing dramatic there at all.

But I can produce thousands, if not millions, whose lives were dramatically changed by faith in Christ.  The Mizoes of NE India lived as head-hunters till the early 1950s. Nothing could change them for thousands of years.  But now go and see the transformation which the gospel has brought to their culture.  They are one of the finest groups of people in the entire region now.  In my late teens I lived near them for a whole year as a teacher.  And many more examples are there.  You know it all, don’t you, Tom?

You said, “Perfect? What’s that? No one has absolute knowledge, not even you. But, I think what I learned was and is true.”

I never claim to know every thing.  But you seem to do so.

Let me explain.  If you want to say that there is no piece of magnet in your coat-pocket, you must know whatever is in there, don’t you?  Likewise, if you want to say that there is no God in the universe, should you not know every thing that is there in the universe?  Otherwise how could you possibly tell it to be absolutely true?

Your arguments from philosophy etc. who could say that they are flawless?

At best you could say, “I don’t know if there is a god”.  Any thing more than that is presumptuous and indeed is foolish.  What do you think, Tom?

Oh, yea.  You could very well say, “I have no god in my life” or “I don’t believe in god”.  That is perfectly ok.  But I think you need not verbalize that as your life speaks loud enough.

 You said, “I don’t know the details nor do I need to. But I’m sure a bone fide miracle never took place, and that’s all I need to say.”

In saying that are you not closing your eyes to facts?  And yet you are claiming that prayer has no effect outside of the one who prays.  I throw an open challenge at you to look at my life and then say prayer is useless.  Would you have the courage to take it up, Tom?
You said, “If you want me to return to the faith then…”
 
Sorry, I have no intention to pray you back to faith at all.   All I am praying for you is that God would be gracious to you and give you happy and long life here on earth so that you could enjoy it to the maximum. I am sure God will grant you that.  After all, you closed your door for any thing which is there after you die.  My Bible tells me not to waste time praying for people who don’t want it (1Jn.3:16b).
God never forces His way into the life of any person (Rev.3:20). 
 
I subsist on prayers.  I see answers to prayers on a regular basis. People request me to pray for them.  I do see results beyond any man’s imagination.  By the way, I am not a Charismatic or a Pentecostal. I am a sober person with a post-graduate degree in Divinity and a research degree from a reputable secular university. 
Tom,  did you realize that all your fight against God is like a dog barking at the Sun!

Wish you all the very best this life could possibly offer.

Again praying for you
Mathew

Tom’s response.
It’s all a matter of perspective, and I think my perspective is much better than yours for these reasons:
 
(He then gave his link here.  Since I do not wish to reveal his identity, I have removed it from here.)
 
Tom, did you realize that all your fight against God is like a dog barking at the Sun!
 
Matthew, did you realize that all your fighting against Allah is like a dog barking at the Sun!
 
Wish you all the very best this life could possibly offer.
You too.
 Again praying for you.
 Thank you.   Tom.
My response

Thank you for sending me the link to your blog.  I promise to read it and I will come back with my comments later.
 
You also said,  “Matthew(by the way, I spell my name with one ‘t’), did you realize that all your fighting against Allah is like a dog barking at the Sun!”
 
Tom, I must tell you I do not engage myself with non-entities.  You could never ever get me talking about other ‘god/gods’ as they have no existence in my thoughts.  Could you possibly fight against some thing which really does not exist at all?  Oh, sorry, this is what you are doing with the God of the Bible.  I challenge you to engage yourself with Harry Potter instead, for to both of us HP is an imaginary person.
 
To me the greatest evidence for the existence of god is that man has been talking about god/s from time immemorial even until today.
 
Could you possibly name anything, something which does not exist and yet man has been talking about it from time immemorial non-stop even until this day?
 
Waiting to hear from you soon.
 
Have a good day.
Bye for now.
Mathew
(Four days later I wrote again.)
I was expecting a response from you for my mail dated Feb.21, where I requested you to give me the name of some thing, any thing which does not exist, as you say God does not, and yet man has been talking about it non-stop from time immemorial even until today as they have been talking about God.  I covet an answer from you, Tom, because I know that you are a great thinker, please.
 
As I promised you I read through your reasons for rejecting Christianity.  I must congratulate you for producing such a comprehensive case against the ‘faith once delivered to the saints’.  I must say that your thought pattern is great and that your arguments are succinct.  No wonder your book (sure, I didn’t read that) would become one of the best-sellers.  I must also tell you that I can never think of arguing against you from your stand-point. 
 
But I dare not leave you to the conclusions you reached by your arguments, simply because it lacks practical application in our daily living. Or you must prove it.  Any theory if it is not practical is of little value, isn’t it?   Being a very practical man, after my university studies, where my simpleton faith in the Bible was challenged to the core, I decided to experiment to see whether the faith in the God of the Bible was indeed practical or not.
 
So the first thing I did was to resign my job and was found without a regular source of income to sustain my family.  For three and a half years I was all alone with a family of two children then, with no salary, no job as a preacher or a social worker-which would let one be in constant contact with people- and without any known source of income from any estate or any thing of that sort.  In other words, if I went hungry no one in the entire world was responsible for me.  In fact people could blame me for my situation as I could have easily earned a good salary with my educational background.  But during those years I proved to my satisfaction that God was indeed very real in our lives.
 
Three and a half years later, my local worshipping group commended me to the service of the Lord following the pattern found in Acts 13:1-4.  From 1975 till this day I live without a regular salary, no bank balance, no business income or income from any estate.  Now we have five children and I want to testify to the fact that we never ever went hungry or we were found in need and were left with out any help.  We never approached any man for any financial help.  And we went to a remote jungle-tribe that our contact with the extended family and friends were practically nil.
 
By 1986 I had sufficient faith to believe in God to erect a concrete building without any contact with men for the finance of it.  I started with little money in hand, completed a 700 sft. of concrete structure including the roof within a matter of thirty calendar days; ended with no debt, and informed no man any where even for prayer about this project as I wanted to prove a point.  That building has a granite inscription which reads, “This building stands witnessing the fact that God of Elijah lives”.  For over six months I spent eight to ten hours every day in my prayer- closet praying, planning and interacting with God for the same. The purpose of the building was to house the poor children to educate them.
 
When the building was completed within 30 days, I was amazed to the core. I could not believe it myself.  I thought my life-purpose was indeed achieved as I proved once again without a speck of doubt that indeed God answers prayers today.  In 1991 I became semi-paralyzed and for the last sixteen years I am unable to walk even one step without crutches. And I had to leave my station for health reasons.  
 
Now I am almost confined to my bedroom.  The enormous amount of money for my treatment and for the education of all my children now five in number (the eldest was only 16 then), all were well taken care of as direct, tangible, undeniable, unbelievable answer to prayer day by day. No individual, no organization, no church can ever claim that they kept us going all these years without us going bankrupt. Oh, yes, I have been getting money from people known and unknown to me, from family and from friends, from believers and unbelievers; indeed often I never knew where my next meal would come from, but it always came right in time.  I just don’t know how our needs are taken care of.  But we are well cared for.
 
Tom, in the light of my experiences,  I wish you to prove to me that God never answered my prayers.  Tell me how I survived all these years.  Tell me how I educated my five children to earn a good living today.  Tell me how I met my huge medi-bills every now and then.  Tell me how I maintained an automobile all these years. (Mind you, I am almost confined to my room without any ministry for the last sixteen years and practically without much contact with the world out side.  No, No.  I would have published a dozen and a half articles in Christian magazines in the last 32 years.  Yes, I did go out once or twice a year to teach but it is far too expensive as I could never travel alone.  I worked as a volunteer for three years in a Bible College.  But health prevented me from continuing.  That was just about the touch I had with the world outside. I must also tell you that this email facility I have now only from Oct.07.)   Most of all, tell me how that building came up in just 30 days.  Would you be able to explain my life from your philosophy of life?
 
Your answer must not merely be an explanation of what happened in my life.   You or some one else must produce similar results for a whole life trusting in ‘Humpty-Dumpty’ or on ‘ anything or something’ as you said that it was the power of faith within you that did it. If that is so, do it for me that we may believe your theory.  If you can’t, I can give  you numerous people who like me simply subsisted by prayer all their life.  I took cue from reading the biography of George Mueller of Bristol and others like him.  I ask you to produce ONE single person who did it without God and the Bible, believing in ‘Humpty-Dumpty’ or  on anything, or on something.
 
So here I stand.  I say that the God of the Bible is true and is alive.  He can be trusted and must be trusted.  Or prove it otherwise not merely by your arguments, but by your life.  OK. Otherwise agree that your theory is just a theory which is not practical.
 
Waiting to hear from you.
 
In His Matchless Service
Mathew
 
You might read more stories from my life in my blog-site if you need.
 
Thanking you
 
And bye.
Mathew
Tom’s response
I ask you to produce ONE single person who did it without God and the Bible, believing in ‘Humpty-Dumpty’ or on anything, or on something.
 
I don’t know your full circumstances, but I dare say that your story is a self-fulfilled and group fulfilled answer prayer.
 
Show me that you can duplicate these same circumstances in a world where there are no other Christians who feel compelled to prove to themselves and to people like me that Christianity is true, and who are not bound by divine command to financially help their ministers preach the gospel and in times of need and you may have a case.
 
Ingersol tells a story where two traveling salve salesmen who are trying to show theirs is better. So one guy cuts off the tail of a dog and applies his salve to the stump on the dog and it causes a new tail to grow out. The other guy puts his salve on the amputeed tail and it causes a dog to grow out of it. He says he wanted a good miracle like that. Me too
Tom.

My response.
Thank you for the response.
 
You explain my experiences as self-fulfillment and group fulfillment. You said, “I don’t know your full circumstances, but I dare say that your story is a self-fulfilled and group fulfilled answer prayer.”    I think, You are daring too much, Tom.
 
You also said,
 
“Show me that you can duplicate these same circumstances in a world where there are no other Christians who feel compelled to prove to themselves and to people like me that Christianity is true, and who are not bound by divine command to financially help their ministers preach the gospel and in times of need and you may have a case”
 
 
Tom, why do close your eyes to naked facts?  I told you very clearly that I wanted to prove whether God indeed answered prayers without human interference or not. I, therefore, on purpose did not disclose that I was on this project to ANY man ANY where in the entire world.  My physical situation suited me so well for this as I lived in a place far away from all modern conveniences.  Believe me, I didn’t even have a telephone connection as it was not available in our village.
 
That particular month, April 1986 to be precise, I spent more that ten to fifteen times our average expenditure.  If money was flowing in that way, surely I would have become a millionaire in one or two years!  But the flow of money just stopped as I completed the building.  It was two months later that I opened the building at which time came the first ever announcement about the building.
 
You call it group fulfillment.  Yes, indeed. That is amazing too.  Truly amazing!  Because God moved several people’s hearts that month all over to come forward and donate funds for a cause that they never knew about.  God was behind it all.  Not any man, as no one regulated funds for that building.
 
You quoted Innersole in your mail.  Fantastic illustration, indeed!
 
In all your mails you did not answer my three questions.
 
1.  Produce ONE person other than you who had an over-night transformation from the gutter by trusting self, or some thing, anything, like you had.  (I can not categorize you in that group because you said in your de-conversion story that you had trusted in JESUS and that you were transformed over-night.  Now if you say that it was in yourself that you trusted and not in Jesus, I must tell you that you are simply lying.)  But I can show you millions around the world who could testify that Jesus changed them over-night.
 
2. Tell me the name of SOME THING, ANY THING which does not exist other than God, as you say God does not, yet man every where has been talking about it non-stop from time immemorial till today.
 
3.  Show me ONE other individual who produced similar results as I have produced for a whole life time trusting in some thing, any thing other than the God of the Bible, specially at the construction of the building that I talked about. I can show you numerous people like myself all around the world who subsisted by prayer. (See my link: www.mathewpaul.org/exciting! and read my post ‘Maruthy Omni’ to read about  how I got the car which I run now. Could any one produce similar results by trusting in ‘any thing or some thing’ or trusting in self?)
 
I hope you will give me answers to these questions. 
 
If as you say there is no God, I do not lose any thing at all as you yourself agreed that I am a self-fulfilled person.  If not… who can imagine what?!!
 
Thanking you and hoping to hear from you soon.
 
In His matchless service an unprofitable servant,
Mathew
 (I am still waiting for answers from him.)

 

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