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Does the Bible Actually Teach that People Will Be Tormented for Eternity?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
March 23, 2020 1:00 am

Does the Bible Actually Teach that People Will Be Tormented for Eternity?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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March 23, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 406 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Key questions answered in today's show:

1.  Why do so many churches teach that hell is a place of eternal torment when it says in the New Testament that only believers will put on immortality and in the Old Testament it teaches that the wicked will be destroyed and the New testament it teaches that death is the punishment for sin, for example in  John 3:16. Johns very clear about the symbolism of the lake of fire being the second death. I don’t understand why so many mainstream churches teach this place of eternal torment. It doesn’t make any sense when people say God is a God of justice. This is very serious to me because it seems like blaspheme against God to say that he is wicked and like Satan and to go against Scripture.

2. I have friends who have struggled to find a church because they did not feel like there was genuine community in most churches. In your opinion what is Biblical community?

3. I’m the only Christian in my family and I’m always getting into arguments because my family thinks I’m crazy and can’t understand why I have “given up on reason and embraced religion.” I would like to be able to tell them that I haven’t abandoned reason but when I try, they ask me to prove the Bible is true. Can you help me out in this area?

4. When was the blessed mother filled with the Holy Spirit? I read in the Bible that when they took Jesus to Jerusalem to celebrate the was 12 years old. They left and thought he was with them and he wasn’t. They went back to find him and when they did, he told her didn’t you know I would be about my father’s business. At this point it seems to me that she wasn’t filled with the Holy Spirit. I believe she was filled with the Holy Spirit in  Acts 1  where all the apostles and Mary was there also and filled with the Holy Spirit.

 Resources

Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian in Community  by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Why Should I Believe that Jesus Rose from the Dead?  by Dr. Michael Horton

The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between  by Gregory Koukl

Request  our latest  special offers  here  or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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This is core Christianity, where answering your questions about the Christian life Monday through Friday. Your hosts are author and seminary professor Dr. Michael Horton and Pastor atrial Sanchez call right now with your question. At 1833. The core that's 1-833-843-2673 and now here's atrial Sanchez hello and welcome back to corporate entity will we are answering your questions about the faith with Prof. Michael Horton I am Pastor atrial Sanchez is hell a real place more and more today people are asking that question. There been several books published in the last several years Mike right there asked this question actually try to argue that Noel is not real them. The church is been wrong on the question of how all this time we got a call here from Cindy wants to know about this word thinking about how let's listen in her call home all all wall holes teach home. All all wrong model for this moral model on holiday only the physical to believers all also because the Old Testament all the FORMAL and the wicked will be destroyed and following staff. If the punishment for sin will not perish but have everlasting life. The church take torment of contacting John very clearly explains the symbolism of the lake of fire. He fed the lake of fire is the second that and all you know my question is why I don't understand why so many mainstream churches teach this place of eternal torment when it's clearly not in Scripture thinking I Cindy, thank you for that honest question you. Noel is one of the most difficult topics for us to ever talk about and to think about simply because as Christians we have family members who don't know the Lord and the view. Technically, that your defending here is called annihilation is him and that is that the last judgment.

The dead in Christ will be raised and glorified, and the unbelievers will be annihilated.

That would be the second death.

The problem with that is you and you say it's not in Scripture actually is in a lot of places and no one speaks of eternal punishment more clearly and more profusely than Jesus. For example, in Matthew 13 Jesus explains the parable of the weeds. So this is his explanation of it.

This isn't a parable itself is him explaining the parable of the weeds. You have the wheat which is gathered into God's barn and in the weeds that are burned up.

And Jesus said, and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father. He who has ears led him here so this is a place where Jesus says elsewhere were the worm never dies. This is a place of ongoing punishment. Again, Jesus speaks more visibly of hell as a real place of real place of torment in Matthew 312.

Reread his winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather his wheat in the barn but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. And then you have the parable of the wedding banquet in that passage, Jesus says this is Matthew 22 so the servants went out into the streets and gathered everyone they could both evil and good to invite to the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guest he spotted a man who was not dressed in the wedding clothes friend. He asked how did you get here without wedding clothes but the man was speechless and so the king said tie him and bind him and cast him into outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. The point here is that we have to be closed in Christ's righteousness to be at the wedding banquet. We can't come in our own supposed rags of righteousness. We have to be have them stripped off and be covered in another's righteousness the righteousness of Christ. Why is hell. Then forever well because we were created to live forever. God has every right actually to cast all of us into hell. The amazing thing is his mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. And that's why John says even in the passage quoted John 316. He says who will never perish but have everlasting life.

All those who believe.

For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.

And Jesus goes on to say later in that chapter that he who does not believe is condemned already for not having believed in the name of the son of God, so condemnation begins now we get out of that condemnation through justification being declared righteous been clothed in that wedding garment of Christ's righteousness and live forever in righteousness and blessing in God's eternal kingdom, as were glorified and raised bodily but everyone will be raised bodily some to eternal life, some to death and that's why Paul says to the Thessalonians in second Thessalonians chapter 1 beginning at verse five that Christ will return from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his might throw the book of Revelation to you.

Have Jesus triumph, the triumph of the Lamb and hell described as a lake of fire, fire and brimstone. This is vivid language.

We don't know exactly everything there is to know about hell. We do know enough that it's a place of terror is a place of a terrible place. That's why we praise the Lord will work in the hearts and lives of the people around us to bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ before that day of final judgment. This is the day of salvation. Whoever will let them come and find rest and shelter from the coming judgment in Jesus Christ. Cindy, thank you for your question. We have a Facebook message from John who asked. I have friends who have struggled to find a church because they did not feel like there was genuine community and most churches in your opinion, what is biblical community. John is a pastor. This is something I've I've thought about quite a bit in the first thing I would want to say to you is we have to understand the source of biblical community because you can get biblical community if you're trying to get the wrong way is not something that we can manufacture here on earth. By having the right programs. It's something that's created by the preached word of the gospel, we believe, I believe that when Christ is proclaimed when he's placarded before mankind like Paul said he did in Galatians chapter 3 that Jesus being lifted up draws all kinds of people to himself. It's the message of Jesus is the message of the gospel. Christ crucified for the forgiveness of your sins that creates the Christian community and so often in Scripture that's one of things we see one of the amazing things about the word of God is that it creates a people abiding the same way God spoke in Genesis and said, let there be light made all things from nothing. When the gospel goes out the word of the gospel. It's the body of Christ that is being made, being created and being sustained. That's what we have to be under the preaching of the word, the faithful preaching of the gospel every single week because the same word that creates the body sustains the body of Christ.

And so the first and we have to understand we talk about biblical communities where does it come from it. It's a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that God makes through the preaching creates through the preaching of the gospel and what does that community look like might give it to real practical things that I think come out of biblical community formed by the gospel.

One isn't an affinity group and I think this is so important because so often today in a week when we think about church is really easy for our churches to become affinity groups united to the church of everybody was young now likes a particular kind of music or everybody who's older and complaining about the young people are church of all Hispanics or all-black or all-white when the gospel is creating the church the message of the gospel is able to create a diverse community because were all sinners.

That's what unites us.

I just love them you use this example, over and over again because I think it's a such a wonderful one but Jesus when he calls his initial disciples right. He's got a tax collector and is valid to people on the opposite ends of the spectrum, who would never hang out together you would invite them both your birthday party because it could end up in the fistfight and yet Jesus looks at both of them two very different people different ends of the political spectrum.

We might say. He says I want people to follow me yearning to be you not unity one family or work for me, serve me through my broken body through my shed blood so that the community that Christ is creating is a diverse community of People from all different backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic backgrounds, but that's what the gospel is able to create is one of the things it really highlights the beauty and the power of the gospel. I love it. Here's the other thing it's not the community of the pious, but of sinners.

Now let me explain that there's this great little book written by guy named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was martyred by the Nazis's book of life together. He talks about the church as a community of sinners made what he said that ultimately things just really biblically say look, we the church are brought together by the word of the gospel, and we don't have to pretend you so often you go to churches today. It feels like all everybody you know got a fake smile on and where were trying to put on our best front for everyone else and we have to be something that were not, and it just feels so artificial. I think a lot of people have experienced that in churches, whereas we have the ability to do as Christians under the gospel is to be honest about the fact that were broken that were sinners.

When John talks about this in first John, he says, you know, the blood of Jesus Christ. We confess our sins, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us and we have fellowship with each other so we have fellowship with each other as sinners, we don't have to pretend we could be honest about the fact that were broken that were in need of God's grace is in that, since I think that the church biblical community is so refreshing because it's real To not community with with a bunch of pretenders it up and we know each other is broken sinners.

To be honest about that. We have to hide it.

Why because we have the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all of our sin and boy talk about the richness there. Yeah, this isn't the chess club or your group of fans of a particular musician. What unites us is a person all over fellowship.

My fellowship with you a drill goes through Jesus. I mean, I like hanging out with you. We know we could be friends asked if we were Christians. Christ makes us brothers and that's different there something that is really special about the relationship that we all have to each other, we wouldn't pick for our friends necessarily the people in our local church. There a lot of people there who we say you know what I gotta find a church people like me know the church is not the people you picked the people God picked for you to be your brothers and sisters, and he picked them as he picked you from all eternity to belong to Jesus. Amen to John that the church biblical community is created by the gospel. It's the community of not pious pretenders but of sinners who can be honest about that fact.

Work with people in need. We need God's mercy and is not affinity group is not just people who are just like me. It's a diverse group of people all around the table of our Lord Jesus, worshiping him such a beautiful picture.

It wasn't a core Christianity were answering your questions about the fate if you got a question give us a call. The numbers 1-833-843-2673. That's 1833 the core or send us an email at questions at core, Christianity.com. We have a great offer for you today Mike you ensure that you think they drill were excited to share a helpful resource encore crostini.com called seven things you need to know about heaven and it's free. When you sign up for weekly newsletter. One of the greatest topics a Christian can think about is living forever with Christ our Savior, but unfortunately there's a lot of confusion today about what heaven will be like. That's why we've created this resource so you can have a biblical view of heaven. So head over to core Christianity.com/offers to download seven things you need to know about heaven. That's right. You can also get hold that resource by calling us at 833-843-2673. That's 833. The core actually assess an email. I'm the only Christian in my family and I'm always getting into arguments because my family thinks I'm crazy and can understand why I've given up on reason and embraced religion. I would like to be able to tell them that I haven't abandoned reason, when I try. They asked me to prove the Bible is true. Can you help me out in this area. Ask them how they prove reason it's always hard to talk to family and sometimes it can feel like we don't get anywhere with the people closest to us, but God is able to break through.

Maybe even not for you but through others, and so you don't pray for those opportunities.

Now there is a wrong way to show the Bible is true and that's what I think a lot of people experience.

And that's the idea. You just have to accept it with blind faith. Just believe the Bible. If you believe the Bible, it will make sense well why the Bible, why not the Quran, or why any book at all. Are they written by human beings. Christianity is unique in that it bases everything on a historical event.

Not a good idea.

Not a good doctrine, not a good purpose or a good plan for our spiritual lives, but a historical fact, the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day.

As Paul says in first convince.

15 if that didn't happen, then it's not hasn't been good anyway. He says if we've only had hope in Christ in this life we are of all people. The most to be pitied know. He says if Christ is not raised, then you are still in your sins and your faith is futile.

Don't go on being a Christian. He says rather eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. That's pretty stark will and that means that we have to focus on the resurrection and like the apostle Paul defends the resurrection understand why we believe that Jesus rose on the third day in there's a lot of evidence for that go to core Christianity.com where we have a piece very simple piece there on why we believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ utmost importance that we know why we believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Now you work out from there.

If Jesus was raised from the dead, then he gets to tell us who he is and he told us that he's the eternal son of the father who has existed eternally with the father. He became human for us and for our salvation lived a perfect life in our place, died on the cross in our place bore our sins, was raised on the third day for our justification and he will return again to judge the living of the dead. This is Paul's argument in acts 17 in the philosophers circle there in Athens. From there, you have Jesus claims about the Old Testament being true and then his authorization of his apostles to speak in his name, which they did. That's called the New Testament.

So you have his authority for the Old Testament and the New Testament. It's not based on blind faith. It's based on evidence with that nucleus of the evidence for the resurrection that then fans out into all of the other things that Jesus, the resurrected one lends his authority to their all kinds of other arguments that you can use. Christians have never, I mean the majority of Christians have never said just believe.

Forget about reason the greatest thinkers in the history of the world.

Christians have been right at the top of that list because they realize that the Christian faith liberates our reason. The problem is not our reason. The problem is that our whole person, including our thinking is in bondage to sin once we are freed to see the world the way it really is our reason is unleashed to go wherever we can go with it. Christianity is not the enemy of reason, the people have this sort of thing where you have take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle and put religion on the side of feeling and reason on the side of fact will. That's not the case at all. That's not how the New Testament presents it so either it's true that Jesus rose from the dead and Jesus is who he said he was and so rationally. The only conclusion is to bow the knee or Jesus is not who he said he was, and you should abandon religion completely release this religion, that's perfectly logical that's perfectly rational and anyone who does not investigate the rational claims for our belief in Jesus Christ and his revelation of God the father hasn't really come to the place where they have a right to say Christianity is unreasonable. How would they know has one thing that should I really appreciate about the Christian faith is were allowed to ask questions into digging out invites us to his micro thing there with the resurrection. One helpful book that you can read and maybe even give to your family members. It's it's very accessible is Greg Koegel's book the story of reality. He talks about some of the rationale behind why this story of the Christian faith makes way more sense than maybe a secular, atheistic view of the world and so that's a really helpful resource.

The one other text. I would bring into the discussion is were talking about the fact that Jesus really rose from the dead, that there's all this evidence that he's the one that affirmed the teaching of the Old Testament will even in the Old Testament in places like Isaiah chapter 46 verses nine and 10, God says I'm God there's no other and here's how you'll know when it's I the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, things that are not yet done and I like ask my friends were atheist or don't believe in, in the power and inspiration of the Bible hate how could the Scriptures do that.

How can they so clearly prophesy foretell the coming of the Messiah's under the very later yeah yeah baby born in Bethlehem, he would be born of a virgin, he would suffer and die for the sins of his people have is a 53 how do you account for all of the prophecies that are so specific fulfilled in one person you thought you could turn the tables right there and and asked that that question we know those text written prior to the writing of the New Testament and when we have the manuscript evidence and so there really is so much reason for us to embrace believe these truths, but as was we often say to it that will work of the Holy Spirit. So you can't see these things unless the spirit of God as it works even want to pray and you can one share this information and encourage your family members with those words.

I think "go to core Christianity.com and you'll find more resources that you can use to to sort of pass on to your family members like that was really good stuff. We go to our next call Greg Garrity. Mother filled with the Holy Spirit. Palacio filled the Holy Spirit and axolotl where I was all the apostles. Larry was there also filled with college.

Thank you for that question we can save the spirit of God is working in her life from a very young age, and my mind goes to that passage in Luke chapter 1 where she's having a discussion with the angel Gabriel and the angel Gabriel tells her that she's going to give birth she's can have a son. The angel answered her. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you there for the child to be born will be called holy, the son of God is so obviously the Holy Spirit is working in her and threw her at the conception of Jesus and this is pretty pretty remarkable. I think one of the things were meant to see there is this is that the new tabernacle it's coming. Jesus the son of God is tabernacle, and among us there. We have the spirit of God clearly working in Mary. Now you bring up the day of Pentecost in the book of acts in acts chapters 1 and two. I'm with you I think that there is there something significant and different that's happening there. So even the spirit of God is working in Mary in these earlier points the spirit of God fills Mary along with the rest of the church on the day of Pentecost in a unique way that's different from the things that happened prior to this is that the promise of the new covenant. This is the fulfillment of Joel chapter 2 when Joel said that God said to the prophet Jonah departments my spirit on all flesh that appears that was happening on the day of Pentecost. And so I think at that point we could say that Mary was there. Pentecost baptized in the Holy Spirit invite everybody else like everybody else what remarkable thing that each of us like Mary are filled with the Holy Spirit not in the sense of Luke chapter 1, obviously, but in the sense of the day of Pentecost. We all have that same through even baptized into Christ by the spirit. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us@corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together


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