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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Do We Need A Savior?

"I'm a good person, aren't I? Why would I need Jesus? I try to live a good life and have helped others, so why do I need a savior? I've given money to charities and I take care of my family so I will go to heaven won't I? As long as I don't kill someone or do other terrible things, I'm OK. Why do I need Jesus? Everybody goes to heaven if they are good, don't they?"

Some people do actually ask these questions; they think this way. They have been told daily, by the media they watch, (TV, movies, music, etc), that everyone goes to heaven if they are good people. I've actually heard people say things like, "I'm no serial killer and I've tried to live right so surely I'm going to heaven? A good God wouldn't send good people to hell. If He's a God of love then he won't send people to hell."

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is a sermon written by British Colonial Christian theologian Jonathan Edwards, preached to his own congregation in Northampton, MA and again on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, CT. It is Edwards' most famous written work. It was representative of the Great Awakening revival. The Great Awakening, called by historians the First Great Awakening, was an evangelical revival movement that swept Protestant Europe and British America, and especially the American colonies between 1730-1750. Powerful preaching such as Edward's gave listeners a sense of deep personal revelation of their need of salvation by Jesus Christ. I think we could use a little of this revelation today.

First, there is a hell.  See this post to learn the background of satan.

Deuteronomy 32:20-22 (King James Version - KJV) And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. (21) They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. (22) For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

Lets look at these verses again in different translations:
Deuteronomy 32:20-22 (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible - LITV) And He said, I will hide My face from them; I will see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, sons in whom is no faithfulness. (21) They made Me jealous with a not-a-god; they made Me angry by their vanities; and I shall make them jealous by a not-a-people; by a foolish nation I shall make them angry. (22) For a fire has been kindled in My anger, and it burns to the lowest Sheol, and consumes the earth and its produce; and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.

Deuteronomy 32:20-22 (Modern King James Version - MKJV) And He said, I will hide My face from them; I will see what their end shall be. For they are a very perverse generation, sons in whom is no faithfulness. (21) They have moved Me to jealousy with a no-god. They have provoked Me to anger with their vanities. And I will move them to jealousy with a no-people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. (22) For a fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with its increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

Let's look at more scriptures that assure us that there is a HELL:
Numbers 16:31-34 (MKJV) And it happened, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. (32) And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who were for Korah, and all their goods. (33) They and all that they had went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed upon them. And they perished from among the congregation. (34) And all Israel around them fled at their cry. For they said, Lest the earth swallow us up.

Hell - before 900 AD; derived from the Saxon helan, to cover; Middle English, Old English hel (l); cognate with Old High German hell (i) a (German Hölle), Old Norse hel, Gothic halja; akin to Old English helan to cover, hide, and to hull - the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death; the abode of evil and condemned spirits; Gehenna or Tartarus; the abode of the dead; Sheol or Hades.

Sheol - the invisible world of departed souls; the Abode of the Dead; Sheol is also translated as “pit,” “lowest pit,” “Sheol,” and “grave” in some versions. Sheol is described as deep (Job 11:8), dark (Job 10:21, Job 10:22), with bars (Job 17:16). The dead “go down” to it (Numbers 16:30, Numbers 16:33; Ezekiel 31:15, Ezekiel 31:16, Ezekiel 31:17). Sheol, occurring in the Old Testament sixty-five times.

Hades - the realm or state of the dead; the unseen world; ; abode of the dead; often used for hell. It is a prison (1 Peter 3:19), with gates and bars and locks (Matthew 16:18; Revelation 1:18), and it is downward (Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15).

The righteous and the wicked are separated. The blessed dead are in that part of Hades called paradise (Luke 23:43). They are also said to be in Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22). Matthew 8:11-12 (LITV) But I say to you that many will come from east and west, and will recline with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven, (12) but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of the teeth.

Gehenna - “the valley of the sons of Hinnom”), a deep, narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, where the idolatrous Jews offered their children in sacrifice to Molech (2 Chroncles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 19:2-6). This valley afterwards became the common receptacle for all the refuse of the city. Here the dead bodies of animals and of criminals, and all kinds of filth, were cast and consumed by fire kept always burning. It thus in process of time became the image of the place of everlasting destruction.

Tartarus - It is used only once in the Bible: 2 Peter 2:4 (LITV) "For if God did not spare sinning angels, but delivered them to chains of darkness, thrust down into Tartarus, having been kept to judgment;" we must look outside the Bible for the meaning of it's usage. Greek, it was a sunless abyss, below Hades, in which Zeus imprisoned the Titans in Greek mythology. It was a place in Hades for the punishment of the wicked.

1 Samuel 2:6 (MKJV) Jehovah kills and makes alive. He brings down to Sheol, and brings up.

Psalm 9:17 (MKJV) The wicked shall be turned into hell, all the nations that forget God.

Psalm 86:12-13 (MKJV) I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore. (13) For great is Your mercy toward me; and You have delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

Isaiah 5:14 (King James Version - KJV) Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

Isaiah 28:14-15 (MKJV) Therefore hear the Word of Jehovah, scornful men who rule this people in Jerusalem. (15) Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and we have made a vision with hell; when the overwhelming rod shall pass through, it shall not come to us; for we have made lies our refuge, and we have hidden ourselves under falsehood,

Ezekiel 31:16 (MKJV) I made the nations shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with those who go down in the Pit. And all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the lower parts of the earth.

Matthew 5:21-22 (MKJV) You have heard that it was said to the ancients, "You shall not kill" --and, "Whoever shall kill shall be liable to the judgment." (22) But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be liable to the judgment. And whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be liable to the sanhedrin; but whoever shall say, Fool! shall be liable to be thrown into the fire of hell.

Matthew 10:28 (MKJV) And do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Luke_12: (5MKJV) But I will warn you of whom you shall fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear Him.

Revelation 1:18 (MKJV) and the Living One, and I became dead, and behold, I am alive for ever and ever, Amen. And I have the keys of hell and of death.

If we believe the Bible is God's Word then we must believe there is a place called Hell. Hell is that awful place where all who are unfit are cast down; a prey to the ever gnawing "worm" of conscience from within and the "unquenchable fire" of torments from without. Matthew Henry's Commentary: "A sinner's own conscience are the worm that dieth not; which will cleave to the damned soul as the worms do to the dead body, and prey upon it, and never leave it till it is quite devoured." I.e. an eternity of "what if's", regrets and frustrated wishes. "Why didn't I accept the plan of salvation that was freely offered by Jesus Christ?" Reliving, over and over again, the chances you had. The realization that your own choices resulted in this terrible eternity. Seeing your sins for what they really were with no justifications, no excuses, no denial, no cover ups.

Isaiah 66:24 (MKJV) And they shall go forth, and look upon the dead bodies of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Mark 9:42-50 (MKJV) And whoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in Me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck and he were cast into the sea. (43) And if your hand offends you, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than to have two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched (44) where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched. (45) And if your foot offends you, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life lame than to have two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched (46) where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched. (47) And if your eye offends you, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes to be cast into hell fire (48) where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched. (49) For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. (50) Salt is good; but if the salt becomes saltless, with what will you season? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 Easy To Read Version - ERV) He will come with burning fire to punish those who don't know God--those who refuse to accept the Good News about our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) They will be punished with a destruction that never ends. They will not be allowed to be with the Lord but will be kept away from his great power.

I believe in hell. I believe the Word of God teaches there is a place of eternal punishment for those who refuse Jesus Christ. I don't believe God wants to send people to hell! In fact, God did everything to provide a way of escape for us. He gave His only begotten Son to rescue us!

John 3:16 (MKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

No matter how good you are, you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Because of Adam and Eve, we have the seed of sin from birth. We are polluted with sin. We are born with an evil human nature. And we begin acting on that evil human nature as soon as we can. We are selfish, greedy, mean, etc. We cannot be sinless because we are human. There are NO sinless human beings. We have evil thoughts, bad motivations, selfish desires, bullying and manipulative ways to get what we want. We are all helpless to save ourselves and guilty of sin. God is holy, perfection, beautiful. No sin can be in His Presence. Therefore, by right, we should not be able to be in His Presence because we are sinners. But for Jesus, we all deserve eternal Hell and separation from Jehovah God!

Romans 3:22-24 (ERV) God makes people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. He does this for all who believe in Christ. Everyone is the same. (23) All have sinned and are not good enough to share God's divine greatness. (24) They are made right with God by his grace. This is a free gift. They are made right with God by being made free from sin through Jesus Christ.

Romans 2:1-11 (CEV) Some of you accuse others of doing wrong. But there is no excuse for what you do. When you judge others, you condemn yourselves, because you are guilty of doing the very same things. (2) We know that God is right to judge everyone who behaves in this way. (3) Do you really think God won't punish you, when you behave exactly like the people you accuse? (4) You surely don't think much of God's wonderful goodness or of his patience and willingness to put up with you. Don't you know that the reason God is good to you is because he wants you to turn to him? (5) But you are stubborn and refuse to turn to God. So you are making things even worse for yourselves on that day when he will show how angry he is and will judge the world with fairness. (6) God will reward each of us for what we have done. (7) He will give eternal life to everyone who has patiently done what is good in the hope of receiving glory, honor, and life that lasts forever. (8) But he will show how angry and furious he can be with every selfish person who rejects the truth and wants to do evil. (9) All who are wicked will be punished with trouble and suffering. It doesn't matter if they are Jews or Gentiles. (10) But all who do right will be rewarded with glory, honor, and peace, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. (11) God doesn't have any favorites!

Romans 7:18 (New Living Translation - NLT) And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can't.

Galatians 3:22 (CEV) But the Scriptures say that sin controls everyone, so that God's promises will be for anyone who has faith in Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:5-10 (ERV) We heard the true teaching from God. Now we tell it to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness. (6) So if we say that we share in life with God, but we continue living in darkness, we are liars, who don't follow the truth. (7) We should live in the light, where God is. If we live in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood sacrifice of Jesus, God's Son, washes away every sin and makes us clean. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) But if we confess our sins, God will forgive us. We can trust God to do this. He always does what is right. He will make us clean from all the wrong things we have done. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we are saying that God is a liar and that we don't accept his true teaching.

We are equally guilty of sin and one sin is all it takes to condemn us. So never say you are sinless or you are a good person who doesn't need a Savior. You may live a fairly good life based on the values that our current society follows but that doesn't mean you are flawless and perfect. For instance, God says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery". But according to American values now, people commit adultery (sex outside of a married couple) and fornication (sex with unmarried partners) all the time and it's so prevalent that we have accepted it as normal. Virgins are made fun of and ostracized. But even if you remained a virgin until you got married, have you ever had sinful thoughts of sex? Of course you have! Let's see what Jesus had to say,

Matthew 5:27-28 (MKJV) You have heard that it was said to the ancients, "You shall not commit adultery." (28) But I say to you that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So we are guilty! We need a Savior! God and God alone is pure, holy, righteous, without sin, the source of all love and light, goodness and mercy. There is none like Him! To be with Him, we must also be pure and holy and none of us are. So we need a Savior! Jesus Christ was the perfect God and the perfect man, without sin. He paid the price for us and took our punishment upon His shoulders so we could be adopted as God's children and be His evermore!

Galatians 1:4 (CEV) Christ obeyed God our Father and gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins to rescue us from this evil world.

Ephesians 1:7 (CEV) Christ sacrificed his life's blood to set us free, which means that our sins are now forgiven. Christ did this because God was so kind to us. God has great wisdom and understanding

Ephesians 2:1-4 (CEV) In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. (2) You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn't obey God. (3) Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else. (4) But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God's wonderful kindness is what saves you.

1 Peter 2:24 (CEV) Christ carried the burden of our sins. He was nailed to the cross, so that we would stop sinning and start living right. By his cuts and bruises you are healed.

1 John 4:9-10 (CEV) God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. (10) Real love isn't our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven.

There is no other way to be saved except through Jesus Christ. You can't deny Jesus and expect to go to Heaven. He is the only way. If your religion doesn't teach Jesus Christ, and Him only, as the way to salvation, then it's wrong and you need to get out of it!

John 3:18 (CEV) No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son.

John 10:9-11 (CEV) I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture. (10) A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest. (11) I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep.

John 14:6 (CEV) "I am the way, the truth, and the life!" Jesus answered. "Without me, no one can go to the Father.

With the certainty of hell and the knowledge we all are guilty and deserve eternal damnation we should be afraid. Why aren't we? Why aren't people afraid of hell? Because they've been taught it doesn't exist!

Or some may accept the idea of hell but think they are predestined to go there and there is no help for them. Some think they have committed sins that God cannot forgive. They may think they are too damaged to be forgiven. There is no unpardonable sin except the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior and Master! You may have done things that are only nightmares to most of us, but you can still be forgiven and saved if you believe in Jesus and ask His forgiveness. There is no limit to His Love and His power of forgiveness. You can begin a new life, where the Holy Spirit can change you from the inside out. You don't have to live in torment or eternal damnation! You cannot change yourself, but God can change you. It may take a lifetime but the Holy Spirit will work diligently in your life and, as you yield yourself to His Work, it can be done. No matter how good or bad you are, you are a work in progress with the Holy Spirit as the teacher and guide.

Is it fair to compare a "good person" with a "bad person" and see they can both have the same eternal end? Good and bad to hell, or good and bad to Heaven? You must see the only ones that go to Heaven are those saved through Jesus Christ. Because it is based on HIS WORK, not our good deeds. Because our good deeds are never truly good.

Isaiah 64:6 (CEV) We are unfit to worship you; each of our good deeds is merely a filthy rag. We dry up like leaves; our sins are storm winds sweeping us away.

Psalm 51:5 (MKJV) Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Ephesians 2:1-4 (CEV) In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. (2) You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn't obey God. (3) Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else. (4) But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God's wonderful kindness is what saves you.

God is sovereign. He is a supreme ruler, the ultimate monarch possessing all power. There is none like Him. He alone holds all wisdom and knowledge. He knows the beginning from the end. He knows what's coming and what's been. It is Him and Him alone who knows who His Children are. I cannot look at another person and say, "He will never be saved" or "He doesn't deserve to be saved." And it is not up to us to punish or withhold forgiveness in order to punish someone. God has provided salvation for everyone and it is a free gift to all. But there are those who will refuse that gift with their dying breath. They will go to hell no matter how good or bad they were. Then there are those who will go to Heaven for eternity because they accepted salvation through Jesus. It doesn't matter how bad or how good they were. It depends on if they have truly and sincerely chosen Jesus Christ as their Savior and asked for forgiveness.

Matthew 20:1-16 (CEV) As Jesus was telling what the kingdom of heaven would be like, he said: Early one morning a man went out to hire some workers for his vineyard. (2) After he had agreed to pay them the usual amount for a day's work, he sent them off to his vineyard. (3) About nine that morning, the man saw some other people standing in the market with nothing to do. (4) He said he would pay them what was fair, if they would work in his vineyard. (5) So they went. At noon and again about three in the afternoon he returned to the market. And each time he made the same agreement with others who were loafing around with nothing to do. (6) Finally, about five in the afternoon the man went back and found some others standing there. He asked them, "Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?" (7) "Because no one has hired us," they answered. Then he told them to go work in his vineyard. (8) That evening the owner of the vineyard told the man in charge of the workers to call them in and give them their money. He also told the man to begin with the ones who were hired last. (9) When the workers arrived, the ones who had been hired at five in the afternoon were given a full day's pay. (10) The workers who had been hired first thought they would be given more than the others. But when they were given the same, (11) they began complaining to the owner of the vineyard. (12) They said, "The ones who were hired last worked for only one hour. But you paid them the same that you did us. And we worked in the hot sun all day long!" (13) The owner answered one of them, "Friend, I didn't cheat you. I paid you exactly what we agreed on. (14) Take your money now and go! What business is it of yours if I want to pay them the same that I paid you? (15) Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Why should you be jealous, if I want to be generous?" (16) Jesus then said, "So it is. Everyone who is now first will be last, and everyone who is last will be first."

It is not up to you to look to the salvation or eternal punishment of anyone else. It is up to you to secure your own salvation through Jesus Christ. If you have read this far, you have the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ. You have presented with truth. What choice will you make?

Sinners In The Hand of An Angry God by Jonathon Edwards ((1703-1758) was based on this scripture:

Deuteronomy 32:4-5 (CEV) The LORD is a mighty rock, and he never does wrong. God can always be trusted to bring justice. (5) But you lie and cheat and are unfaithful to him. You have disgraced yourselves and are no longer worthy to be his children... 15-18 Israel, you grew fat and rebelled against God, your Creator; you rejected the Mighty Rock, your only place of safety. (16) You made God jealous and angry by worshiping disgusting idols and foreign gods. (17) You offered sacrifices to demons, those useless gods that never helped you, new gods that your ancestors never worshiped. (18) You turned away from God, your Creator; you forgot the Mighty Rock, the source of your life... 34-35 But the LORD has written a list of their sins and locked it in his vault. (35) Soon our enemies will get what they deserve -- suddenly they will slip, and total disaster will quickly follow.

Deuteronomy 32:34-35 (KJV) Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? (35) To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
There is nothing that keeps wicked Men at any one Moment, out of Hell, but the meer Pleasure of GOD.

Here are some quotes directly from this famous sermon that sent people, weeping, to the altar:
There is no Want of Power in God to cast wicked Men into Hell at any Moment. Mens Hands can’t be strong when God rises up: The strongest have no Power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his Hands...

They deserve to be cast into Hell; so that divine Justice never stands in the Way, it makes no Objection against God’s using his Power at any Moment to destroy them...

They are already under a Sentence of Condemnation to Hell...

the Reason why they don’t go down to Hell at each Moment, is not because God, in whose Power they are, is not then very angry with them; as angry as he is with many of those miserable Creatures that he is now tormenting in Hell, and do there feel and bear the fierceness of his Wrath...

The Devil stands ready to fall upon them and seize them as his own, at what Moment God shall permit him...

All wicked Men’s Pains and Contrivance they use to escape Hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked Men, don’t secure 'em from Hell one Moment...

But the foolish Children of Men do miserably delude themselves in their own Schemes, and in their Confidence in their own Strength and Wisdom; they trust to nothing but a Shadow...

Your Wickedness makes you as it were heavy as Lead, and to tend downwards with great Weight and Pressure towards Hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend & plunge into the bottomless Gulf, and your healthy Constitution, and your own Care and Prudence, and best Contrivance, and all your Righteousness, would have no more Influence to uphold you and keep you out of Hell, than a Spider’s Web would have to stop a falling Rock...

You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn Rebel did his Prince: and yet ‘tis nothing but his Hand that holds you from falling into the Fire every Moment..

O Sinner! Consider the fearful Danger you are in: 'Tis a great Furnace of Wrath, a wide and bottomless Pit, full of the Fire of Wrath, that you are held over in the Hand of that God, whose Wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you as against many of the Damned in Hell: You hang by a slender Thread, with the Flames of divine Wrath flashing about it, and ready every Moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no Interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the Flames of Wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one Moment...

And now you have an extraordinary Opportunity, a Day wherein Christ has flung the Door of Mercy wide open, and stands in the Door calling and crying with a loud Voice to poor Sinners; a Day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the Kingdom of God; many are daily coming from the East, West, North and South; many that were very lately in the same miserable Condition that you are in, are in now an happy State, with their Hearts filled with Love to Him that has loved them and washed them for their Sins in his own Blood, and rejoycing in Hope of the Glory of God...

And let every one that is yet out of Christ, and hanging over the Pit of Hell, whether they be old Men and Women, or middle Aged, or young People, or little Children, now hearken to the loud Calls of God’s Word and Providence...

Therefore let every one that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the Wrath to come...

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