This is part one of a two part series on hell.

It is not enough that we each have our own set of Christian beliefs that we faithfully hold to. For many religions have faithful followers; many of which that would shame the half-hearted “Christian” who professes to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. Even if one was faithful to their favorite religious creed, faithfulness cannot deliver from sin or offer an assurance of eternal life.
Yet so many people boldly declare they are free simply because they have a belief system, a religion of choice, and their favorite translation or particular version of holy oracles or religious book which they cling to above all others. Many going about their daily lives with absolutely no clue that they are deceived and dead in their trespasses and sins; having only a form of godliness while they deny the true power of God which truly sets men free and transforms them.

John 8:31-36 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, “If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed;  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  They answered him, “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you then, ‘You shall be made free?'”  Jesus answered them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.  And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever.  If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”

If one is off a little in their foundation of their theology, then they will be considerably more off as they continue to build upon the principles they have embraced for their faith. As a building contractor I learned a long time ago that if I start off out of square, unlevel or out of plumb, the more I build off my starting reference point the further off I get. It is the same with the tenants of faith in Christendom.

Part of the devil’s plan was to saturate Christendom with theologies that are “mostly” true. I have a saying I use often with my kids, “The best lie is the one with the most truth in it.” Reason being, that if you want to deceive someone, let’s say someone with a little understanding and knowledge of God’s word, you will need to bait them with certain truths and plausible theories in their own popular Christian lingo.

They will then recognize some of those aspects of the truth they are acquainted with and will be more likely to embrace it, since it appealed to their logic and familiarity. However, because of their weakness of scriptural knowledge and understanding they can be tricked into embracing a carefully forged lie simply because they saw logic in it and will therefore often embrace a whole theology without thoroughly proving it. This is because most people have a pride that causes them to trust in their own ability to recognize truth without having to prove it.

Never forget, the primary utility in the Christian armor whereby believers will “be able to withstand in the evil day” is “having your loins girt about with truth.” The Apostle Paul did not casually recommend that we “Prove some things.” No, he charged us to “Prove ALL things.” The worst posture one can take is “I don’t care” or “It doesn’t matter to me.” Furthermore it is certain, that what one believes, he will inadvertently turn around and teach to another as the truth.

In these latter times as the Spirit warned there have been innumerous attempts of the adversary to render God’s word into a dull and soft sword which will neither cut nor pierce to the hearts of men, a word so soft it bends around the consciences of men as it is laid to them to convict them of their sins. Sins they now say? Why how can there be sin when truth is but a concept merely relative to the time and place in which you live.  One may have thought something to have been sin back then, because men believed it to be so, but not now. For the things we do now are for our own good profit, for the good of the environment and the good of all mankind.

Today, a new breed of leaders are in the churches, arrogantly behaving as enlighten ones; boasting of an emergent church with a Gospel for ALL men. The good news today is that all men will be saved; hell was but an allegory, or merely a temporary place and time of inconvenience, where unenlightened men will learn that their beliefs, or selfish and bad deeds, were contrary to the good of the planet and their fellowman. After they have been corrected through their re-education in hell, they too will then welcomed into heaven with everyone else.

This is not a gospel at all, it is perversion. It is a neglect of the will of God being done on earth as it is in heaven. It is a rejection of His Kingdom and righteousness as blinded self-righteous hypocrites boast themselves to be teachers and instructors of the things of God while they neither know Him nor are known of Him. Wicked men, perverse, heady, high minded, boasters who have cast the sure words of prophecy behind them as they minister a false comfort to a world of lost religious sinners by declaring there will be no reckoning, for God will save all men.

A large part of their argument is rooted in the same erroneous perspective recently expressed by Rob Bell in defense of his new book. I know this is old news to some, but it is the topic God has placed on my heart to address. Apparently Bell’s book was prompted from circumstances around an art show (?) his church hosted. The theme of the art show was “peace in a broken world.” It seems there was an exhibit in the show with a quotation from Mohandas Gandhi. During the show someone attached a note next to the Gandhi quotation saying, “Reality check: He’s in hell.”

The comment struck a nerve in Rob Bell, to which he says he thought about it and said to himself, “Really?  Gandhi’s in hell? He is? We have confirmation of this? Somebody knows this? Without a doubt? And that somebody decided to take on the responsibility of letting the rest of us know?”  From there came the inspiration for Bell’s controversial new book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.

Now I haven’t read Bell’s book, nor do I intend to. That alone I am sure will justify to some their dismissal of anything I have to say here, but fact is I am not addressing Rod Bell per se’ rather, I am addressing this emerging doctrine of universalism which he is now openly promoting that rejects an eternal hell. Time Magazine quotes Rob Bell as stating, “I have long wondered if there is a massive shift coming in what it means to be a Christian. Something new is in the air.” Those very words brought straight way to my mind the verse from Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. 11 There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.

Perhaps part of the reason for Rob Bell’s success is revealed even in the name of his own church, Mars Hill Bible Church. We have scripture attesting to those who were open to hear any and all new theologies on spirituality and mysticism –

Acts 17:21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)  22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.

It was because the Athenians did not have the “sure word of prophecy” that their understanding was un-lightened; being in the darkness of their ignorance they worshiped things of their own imagination, mingled with doctrines of devils. I am sure there was a seemingly logical reason why Rob Bell selected the name “Mars Hill” for his church, but when hearing the word that’s preached coming out of it, the name seems most appropriate to me.

When we get to what happens when we die, we don’t have any video footage,” says Bell. “So let’s at least be honest that we are speculating, because we are.” He is quick to note, though, that his own speculation, while unconventional, is not unprecedented. “At the center of the Christian tradition since the first church,” Bell writes, “have been a number who insist that history is not tragic, hell is not forever, and love, in the end, wins and all will be reconciled to God.”

While the absolute correctness of one’s understanding regarding hell may not be the criteria for one’s salvation, Such correctness and understanding is critical to one’s growth and maturity as all the doctrines in Christianity firmly rest on the righteous judgment of God.

Hebrews 4:1-3 Therefore, a promise being left to enter into His rest, let us fear lest any of you should seem to come short of it. For also the gospel was preached to us, as well as to them. But the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter into the rest, as He said, “I have sworn in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest;” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

It is one thing for a young believer in Christ to be working his way through the foundational principles of the doctrines of Christ, while God patiently winks at his ignorance. It is another thing altogether to be presenting one’s self as a guide, a master or teacher of these erroneous doctrines, and to be defiling God’s temple (whose temple you are) with such wood hay and stubble theologies. They will have the greater judgment.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which you are. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool so that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written, “He takes the wise in their own craftiness.” 20 And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” 21 Therefore let no one glory in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether it is Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

It is true, contentment with godliness is great gain, but contentment with immaturity and ignorance is the height of folly . . . However, like the people of the world, there are some “believers” who do not wish to grow up or accept responsibility, and actually resent believers who do. Then there are these end time false teachers whose personal revelation is the center of their ministry, and not the inspired holy scriptures. To call such “Christian leaders,” would be adding slander to Jesus’ name, for it is a most improper nomenclature for them, since the title implies the ones who indeed follow Jesus Christ’s example by continuing in God’s word.

This is the state of much of Christianity today and such is why we need to cry out and warn people hell is real, and it is eternal. The reason people fail to understand it is because they have little or no understanding or grasp of the holiness of God. However, it is impossible even for the Spirit of Truth to lead someone when they are comfortable with staying where they are and satisfied with what they have. All because they simply do not understand sin and judgment.

I have explained it this way to my kids; let’s say I was invited over to someone’s house for barbecue, and while eating I was sitting in an inexpensive PVC lawn chair. While sitting there after I finished eating I took out my pocket knife and I carved my initials into the arm of the chair. The owner sees me and comes over upset and asks, “What are you doing!?!” I tell him to relax, it’s no big deal, but he still upset, getting angrier. Finally I tell him, “Don’t worry, good grief! I’ll buy you another cheap $10 chair, just get over it.”

When it was time to leave, I got into the friend’s car I came with and on the way home I take out my pocket knife and again cut my initials, this time into his car seat. My friend totally freaks out, but hey, all I did was the same thing, I simply carved my initials.

Now let’s say somehow I managed to get into the Oval Office at the White House and I carved my initials into the president’s chair, now I am in big trouble . . . but still, all I done is carved my initials in a seat. See a little difference here?

Now think for a minute about King David when he attempted to hide his sin with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. He literally gave Uriah his own execution orders to carry back to general Joab telling him to “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire you from him, that he may be smitten, and die.”

Now mind you, it wasn’t just Uriah who died there, for other “men of the city [who] went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.” Many men died that day because of Davis’s attempt to hide his sin. However, David had only compounded his sins, heaping many on top of the one.

Had David not excused himself from his obligation to go and led his men when “the time when kings go forth to battle,” he would have it would not have only led him away from unseen temptation, it would have delivered him from evil as well. But David trusted in his righteousness and somehow justified his staying at home. Simply put, David was in the wrong place when he looked upon another man’s wife and lusted. Then David allowed that lust to conceive and sin revived.

James 1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin. And sin, when it is fully formed, brings forth death.

And so it happened, David sinned bitterly against Bathsheba. But consider this, Bathsheba’s husband was such a man of integrity, he would not go home and lay with her while his brothers were in battle. What a contrast to the depths David had fallen.3

2 Samuel 11:11 And Uriah said to David, The ark and Israel and Judah abide in tents. And my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are camped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.

Do you think Bathsheba was a willing participant or one who was intimidated by a king? But then David adds insult to injury when he has her husband Uriah killed, but not only him but several fellow soldiers as well.” David’s sins keep adding up, because all these men were someone’s son, father or brother. David sins were multiplied because he sinned against all their families by having their family members killed to hide his sin. His sins were compounded over and over again.

But listen to David’s prayer after he repents when the Prophet Nathan confronted him –

Psalm 51:4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done evil in Your sight; that You might be justified when You speak, and be clear when You judge.

What? Did David forget about all his sins against everyone else? They were real, and certain to be numbered. But even though they may all be as the stars of the Milky Way, perhaps too innumerable to count, they are all still obligated to disappear in the presence of the Son. For all David’s sins go back to his failure to walk holy before an infinite and holy God. Sins against other men fade in light of God’s holiness, as David realizes his transgression was against God in every sense; it was as if he snuck into the heavenlies and carved his initials in the throne of God. If God is infinite, then the scales of righteous justice demand that the punishment for sins against Him be infinite as well.

We must never forget, we must be holy for God is holy, for He has commanded it of His people. We are to be perfecting holiness in the fear of God, for without holiness no man shall see God. To do so, we must discern the difference between something being holy simply because it is given to God; like an inanimate object being made holy when given to God.
However, we are not inanimate objects which cannot answer a call to be holy; we are quickened spirits who must be holy for God is holy. Our call to holiness is more than just receiving imputed holiness; we must have that holiness which comes only as is a fruit of righteousness

Romans 6:17 But thanks be to our God that you were the slaves of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 Then being made free from sin, you became the slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in the manner of men because of the weakness of your flesh; for as you have yielded your members as slaves to uncleanness, and to lawless act unto lawless act, even so now yield your members as slaves to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in those things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, being made free from sin, and having become slaves to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The gift of God begins with forgiveness but continues with letting the Holy Spirit lead us into all truth . . . if we will follow. Dear reader, God so desires to reveal His precious truths to us, truths which contain exceeding great and precious promises: whereby we can be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But that is only if we will continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Yes the Promise Land was given unto them, but they still had to go and take it in faith, or faithfulness to God. However, to those who are unbelieving, or would rather accept some other water down gospel, these too will fall short. They will not stand in the congregation of the righteous.

Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

We must purify ourselves to be holy; we must never forget what we have been called to . . . or who are sins really offend.

1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.  22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently:  23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever.

Hebrews 12:22 But you are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,  23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel.  25 See that you refuse not Him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven:  26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.  27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, where unto you are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Peace.

Comments
  1. Jeane says:

    Thank you for this article. I look at the people I see in the stores – my neighbors – some of my family members – and I shudder when in my mind I have a picture of their ultimate destination – hell. So many are so deceived. Why oh why do they not examine their hearts and the scriptures for actual truth. Why would anyone – anyone – take the word of anyone else – and not check it out for themselves – when their eternity – their very soul is at stake. Eternity – E-T-E-R-N-I-T-Y – – theirs — is at stake.

    So many of us have grown up in churches – in homes – by families that have been deceived for generations. One generation leads another down the path to an eternity in the hell hole. The MASSES are marching towards this hole.

    I once read an article where someone (name long ago forgotten) had a dream and he saw a road packed with people all marching along. The problem was that up ahead was this HUGE, GIGANTIC hole people were falling into (the abyss) and when they got to the edge, they tried to stop and turn around – but the masses behind them pushed them forward. Once they got that close – there was no help. The momentum threw them overboard. I see this mental picture often in my head. It causes me to cry out to the Savior about the sin in my own life – it causes me to try to talk to strangers about their salvation.

    This “new thing” New Age pastors are promoting talks about love love love – God’s love. It’s all about love. If people read their Bible, a great deal of it deals with the judgment of God. Over and over again in the Old Testament God reveals His judgment. There are TWO sides of God – love AND judgment. He has given us great mercy to seek Him in the world we now live in. But His mercy ends at death if you have not made the right choices while still here in the living.

    Please keep sounding the alarm. Those that have eyes to see and ears to hear KNOW that something is up – just around the bend. I believe for many their time to “seek Him” is just about up.

    Like

  2. Richard says:

    Saul of Tarsus before he met God on the outskirts of Damascus, believed in his heart of hearts that he was doing God’s will by killing Christians. God chooses whom he will choose and hardens whom he will harden. Any salvation of a soul starts with God progresses with God and ends with God. All will be brought to repentance in God’s timing, and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father. I encourage you to read ****** ***** book, “*** ********* ** *** ******” (google it and you can read it free of charge). I appeal to you to prayerfully read this book, and I challenge you to prove to me any error that you find (using the scriptures as the final arbiter).

    Like

    • William E. Males says:

      Richard,

      Welcome to Gates of the City. I appreciate your passion and conviction even though I don’t share it with you.

      It is an easy challenge on your part for me to read another’s man book and then prove the error in it, when there is no labor or investment on your part. Even the thought of addressing a whole book of a man long dead and then systematically proving all the errors therein only wearies me… and for what or why? Because you disagree with me and think I should submit to a challenge to prove my own convictions and exhaust myself categorizing and proving another man’s possible error? It is neither a task I am inclined to undertake nor convinced would mean anything to you with so little invested in it. Even if I did, I am inclined to believe you will simply dismiss me with the same ease of your challenge here.

      I am however willing to engage you personally in a point counterpoint discussion that stays limited to our own comments and perspectives of scripture. Invest your time and if you prove reasonable I will openly engage you in an open and godly reasoning of scripture in search for establishing truth, however I will not allow myself to be ensnared in a carnal debate where one only wishes to prove themselves right, since from the very onset they are wrong in motive.

      If you wish to present a question for discussion, present your position with it for clarity and I will gladly consider a point, counter point open discourse with you. All you have to do it utilize the question options to the left.

      Peace,

      William

      Like

  3. Richard says:

    Hi William,

    We have a saying here in New Zealand, that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I have lead you to the water but if you choose not to partake, that is your decision. I doubt that we could have a fair discussion in any case, when you blank out parts of my first post. It is a shame that you don’t give the readers of your blog the same opportunity that I have given to you to decide for themselves by reading a good book on this subject.

    Regards

    Richard Brough

    Like

    • William E. Males says:

      Richard,

      We have the same saying here in the US, and that is all it is – a saying. However, your assumption we could not have a fair discussion is not just a saying, it is a judgment you are making. If you examine all my comments you will find that while many agree with me, there are some that don’t. Nonetheless I have let them be posted because they are their words expressing their convictions which they have supplied their claim of scriptural foundation.

      My exact words on one in particular are as follows –

      “I appreciate your comments and will allow the readers to prayerfully consider you words and to make their own conclusions and/or inquiries…

      …There are many things you have submitted that certainly requires acknowledgement as true, but from an eschatological perspective our persuasions are not in agreement. However, I have learned to keep my heart open to prayerful consideration of all the various truths God’s Holy Spirit has dispersed in parts to His people that through humble and open reasoning for His glory we might come to know and experience more fully the height, breadth and depth of His great love for us.”

      However, as you noted, this is in fact my blog and I have decided that it would be a place for open reasoning, but not a place for other’s to promote material I do not know and therefore cannot endorse. As you are well aware Christendom has been saturated with doctrines of devils, heresies and fables of foolish men’s own concoctions. All these are no more beneficial than the satanic bible itself, so why would I foolishly lend credence to what I can’t say amen to or openly discuss and refute?

      If the task of persuading others of your position is too much of an endeavor to undertake, that is fine. There are many things taxing my time already. May your endeavors lead you to the truth.

      William

      Like

  4. Richard says:

    Hi William

    I wasn’t asking you to lend credence to the book, or to endorse it. Rest assured, everyone will be brought to the unadulterated truth of the gospel in His good time.

    For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe

    Regards

    Richard Brough

    Like

  5. Jeane says:

    Every knee should bow:

    Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

    Romans 14:11 For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

    Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

    The scriptures are referring to the time of judgment – the second and last judgement – every knee should bow. Obviously there are many that would NEVER bow to Jesus Christ while here on earth. And the scriptures go on to point out that those that refuse to accept Jesus Christ here on earth while still in a living, breathing body, are already doomed to hell.

    Here are more:

    The scriptures are referring to Jesus here:

    Phl 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

    Phl 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;

    Phl 2:11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, To the glory of God the Father.

    Phl 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    Here is a verse from Hebrews that states:

    Hbr 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing [that is] not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

    Repeat: “But NOW we see not yet all things put under him.”

    All things will be put under his feet when Jesus Christ comes back to earth to sit on His throne in His Kingdom.

    Every man will bow their knee to Jesus – but those that reject Him won’t do it until after they are dead and are standing at the second judgment and doomed to hell.

    Why would anyone that truly knows the Lord pervert and twist scriptures in such a way that they would convince any man (much less many men) to believe there is no hell. It is a truly dangerous thing to do.

    Like

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