06 June 2010

Jesus Teaches about Kingdom Value

Matthew 13:44-50

What does the King, our Father, want?  People who love Him unreservedly.  What is He willing to do to get it?  What price is He willing to pay?  Do we know how much each of us is loved?  Do we trust that this is true?  According to Jesus, our answer to the last question is everything.

 Do you wish God would speak to you?  He has.  He has given you his recorded history of his active participation with men over the millenia.  What is He willing to do to communicate exactly who He is and what He wants from the people He created.  He sent part of Himself, His only begotten Son, from the glories of heaven to where we are in order to live among us and teach among us.  He was willing to watch His Son be judged by the violent rebellion of mankind in order for healing and forgiveness between He and His people to begin.  He still speaks to us through His Spirit as He gives it freely to all those who believe and trust that His ways are true and are the only way to real life.  What more do you want from the creator of heaven and earth?

It really is an all or nothing proposition, for Him AND for us.  Hell is a four letter word.  Always has been..."You will not surely die..."  Some have argued that whenever, in the many times, Jesus refers to a place of eternal punishment, he is speaking metaphorically.  In other words, they say Jesus doesn't mean a literal Hell, a place where there is literally eternal fire.

Of course Jesus is being figurative.  But even if Jesus is trying to communicate a spiritual reality to spiritually ignorant beings, are we sure we should be comforted by this?  "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.Fire?  Weeping?  Gnashing of teeth?  Even if this isn't how it literally is, is this a reality we want to live in?  Darkness?  Futility?  Pain?  Suffering?  Despair?  Hate?  Violence?

Fact of the matter is death sucks.  Death was never God's intention for us and he has paid whatever price he could to rescue us from death.

What does the King, our Father, want?  People who love Him unreservedly.  What is He willing to do to get it?  What price is He willing to pay?  Do we know how much each of us is loved?  Do we trust that this is true?  According to Jesus, our answer to the last question is everything.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like you're on the right track.

    But there are way too many people who use just the mere possibility of Hell as a weapon to control others and use them for their own selfish agenda.

    So wouldn't you like to KNOW FOR SURE there is no Hell? If so, that's good because Jesus actually made it very clear that God has no intention of ever hurting anyone, not for a second, much less for eternity!

    I've actually written an entire book on this topic--Hell? No! Why You Can Be Certain There's No Such Place As Hell, (for anyone interested, you can get a free ecopy of Did Jesus Believe in Hell?, one of the most compelling chapters in my book at www.thereisnohell.com), but if I may, let me share just one of the many points I make in it to explain why.

    If one is willing to look, there's substantial evidence contained in the gospels to show that Jesus opposed the idea of Hell. For example, in Luke 9:51-56, is a story about his great disappointment with his disciples when they actually suggested imploring God to rain FIRE on a village just because they had rejected him. His response: "You don't know what spirit is inspiring this kind of talk!" Presumably, it was NOT the Holy Spirit. He went on, trying to explain how he had come to save, heal and relieve suffering, not be the CAUSE of it.

    So it only stands to reason that this same Jesus, who was appalled at the very idea of burning a few people, for a few horrific minutes until they were dead, could never, ever burn billions of people for an eternity!

    True, there are a few statements that made their way into the copies of copies of copies of the gospel texts which place “Hell” on Jesus’ lips, but these adulterations came along many decades after his death, most likely due to the Church filling up with Greeks who imported their belief in Hades with them when they converted.

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  2. Hi Rick,

    I understand your concerns and certainly many people have abused the doctrine of hell as you attest. But, just because a doctrine is abused by man doesn't mean that doctrine doesn't have a proper use as directed by the Holy Spirit.

    I hope you will be able to answer these questions for me:

    In Matthew 11, when Jesus pronounces woes upon Korazin and Bethsaida and talks about what will happen to them on "the day of judgment", what is Jesus referring to?

    Isn't it presumptuous of a just and good God to forgive those who think they have done nothing to forgive or to save those who don't think they need saving?

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