The image of "hellfire" has stirred dark imaginations and scared people for centuries. What if it could be proven that what many churches have taught for centuries is one of the greatest misrepresentations of God that the world has ever seen?
For most of us it’s simple. God is good, Satan is evil. They fight and God wins. God destroys Satan and all evil with him. It is simple and reassuring until we think a little more deeply about it. Where did evil actually come from? If God created all things then He must have created evil – why would he do that? If God wins the battle between good and evil and then destroys evil, would He be destroying one of His creations? If God truly is stronger than evil then we need to ask if God is even paying attention because one look around our world and it is obvious that evil is handily winning. So, are God and evil really a compatible pair – opposites that need each other to exist? Could God ever truly destroy evil or is the ultimate destiny of our world and our universe to be subject to both?
Are there consequences to the way we live from God's standpoint? Take the example of King David in the Old Testament. He had some whopper sins and yet he was described as a "man after God's own heart" and God loved and blessed him. How does that work with us today?
Good and Evil. Throughout history there has always been a battle between the two and for many who hold a religion as sacred, this battle has its leaders. As Christians, we embrace God Almighty as the unequivocal Creator and Leader of all that is good and righteous, and we see Satan as the captain of all the dark forces that stand against God. So, just who is Satan? Is he a real being, and if so, how did he get to be so evil? If God created all that is good, then how could God have created Satan, the father of darkness? Does Satan come from someplace else? Did God make a mistake?
We believe in God. He is the Almighty Creator. But if you look around, what do you see? Watch the news and you will not only get depressed but probably scared as well. Here in our country several Christians were gunned down while at a Bible study. A local sheriff was murdered while putting gas in his car, and a nine-year old girl was killed by a stray bullet in her home while doing her homework. In the Middle East people are slaughtered by the hundreds and thousands because of their religion or sexual orientation. So, what is wrong with this picture? Where is God’s almighty power? Is He even paying attention?
Several weeks ago we began to talk about the destiny of sinners as described in the Bible. In Part I of our series, we looked at the biblical phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth” - who it applied to and when. We found out that it really has nothing at all to do with any kind of eternal punishment. In Part II, we look at an even more pointed biblical phrase – “Hellfire.” Where does it come from, how is it used and is it referring to eternal torment and torture? Stay with us!
Satan. The Devil. The Adversary. These are but a few of the names that describe that powerful spiritual being who fell from heaven and opposes God. Many people don’t believe he exists. Still others look at the Bible and point out how Satan is such an infrequent player in the Old Testament and a dominate player the New Testament. They use this observation as proof of the evolution of the idea of Satan. So, is he real or just a convenient fabrication of Christianity to keep people in line? If he is real, what kind of influence does he have? Should we be afraid?
Hate is an immensely strong emotion. It can ruin relationships, perpetuate untruths, create rage and feed the fire of war. It is because of hate that much of the good in this world is not recognized, and it is because of hate that many in this world are truly unhappy. Did God create hate? Yes, He did! So, if God created hate, when is it a godly time for us to hate? Stay tuned!
Ours is a day of openness, availability and communication – sort of. We can stay in touch with friends and family on a moment by moment basis, follow news as it happens and even tap into the spirit world pretty much at will. Wait a minute…what? Tapping into the spirit world – is that something good or could it be horribly evil, even though it might look good? Stay with us as we look into a dimension beyond our own to find out what is really happening out there…
It happened just a few short weeks ago, but by now we are almost de-sensitized to the horror. In many ways we can feel like it’s just another story of a senseless killer randomly taking lives. But it’s not – what it is, is a chronicle of a world filled with inequity and evil, in which those who are innocent suffer and die and there are no real answers as to how to stop it. Is there someone to blame? Is it parenting? Is it education? Is it religion? Is it atheism? Is it freedom? Is it guns? Is it easy access to violence? Is it God? How do we begin to put these tragedies into some perspective? Stay with us – there IS an answer!