Sin infects the entire person, from eyes to feet. Not only does sin contaminate every human being, it contaminates the being of every human. . . Sin is a fatal disease. Sin has sentenced us to a slow, painful death. Sin does to a life what shears do to a flower. A cut at the step separates a flower from the source of life. Initially the flower is attractive, still colorful and strong. But watch that flower over a period of time, and the leaves will wilt and the petals will drop.
Archives For Hamartiology
Life and pain are synonymous. You cannot have one without the other. Pain is a fact of life in this fallen world, and we cannot escape it. In fact, the goal in life is not to get away from the pain of it, but to endure through it, in fact, to triumph over it, while learning the lessons only pain can teach us.
If there is one difficult thing to talk about it our culture today, it’s the topic of hell. No one wants to hear about “right and wrong” or moral absolutes. And when a God-fearing pastor that wants to share the biblical view of hell people refuse to listen. Instead, they say he “only focuses on punishment” and he’s “unloving.”
I once was facilitating a small group that was doing a verse-by-verse study of the book of Revelation. It was difficult for one lady because she did not believe in the idea of a literal hell. I am not sure if she thought everyone goes to heaven regardless of their faith or if people just get “destroyed,” but she did not believe there is “hell” that people go to. Yet, she did not really have a solid biblical reason that she didn’t believe in hell, she just did not like the idea of people going to a place to “suffer for eternity.” And let me tell you, doing a verse-by-verse study of the book of Revelation is difficult if you don’t believe in hell.
With that said, let’s take a look at the home of those who reject Christ: hell.
The Home of Those Who Reject Christ
When I was thirteen or fourteen years old we lived on the La Contenta Golf Course in Valley Springs, California. I loved it because I loved golf and I could walk to the golf course and play anytime that I wanted. At that time I was being home-schooled which meant I could do my schoolwork in the morning, then go golf all afternoon.
One day in the kitchen of our home my mom gave me the news: we were moving from the “city” house on the golf course out to the country area about fifteen minutes away. I couldn’t believe it! How could we move? How was I going to golf? I did not want to move and told me mom that I didn’t want to move. But, her response was, “Dad and I have already decided to move and we are moving.” I didn’t have a say in the matter.
Photo Credit: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872)
I’m sure that you’ve had if not one but many examples were you were merely a bystander to a situation or circumstance and didn’t have a say in the matter. When it comes to the sin nature that we as humans have, we don’t have a choice in the matter. We are sinners by nature, and we even sin by choice as well. As the theologian John Walvoord once said, “The testimony of the Scriptures is clear that men are sinners by imputation, by nature, and by choice.” 1 Let’s look at the human nature.
I. THE HUMAN CONDITION Continue Reading…
- John Walvoord, “Is Moral Progress Possible?” an article in Bibliotheca Sacra in 1944, republished in BibSac 175 (July-September 2018), p. 261 ↩
While a kid I was a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was one of my favorite movies and toys. As powerful and amazing as these adult-sized turtles were, there was always one thing that could prevent them from protecting themselves or others. If they happened to fall on their backs, there was no way for them to get up. The sometimes quipped, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” rings true for a turtle that falls on his back. He truly can’t get up.
Within the topic of sin, every single person is figuratively a turtle: I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. We are sinners 1 headed for hell and we can’t do nothing about it without Christ’s intervention. Let’s look at how all of humanity is fallen, lost, and dead.
Photo Credit: The Bible Revival
Fallen, Lost, and Dead
I. MAN’S LOSTNESS
The fact that man is lost can be seen in man’s mind, his heart, death, and Satan.
A. The Mind
The apostle Paul discusses how man’s mind is lost in his letter to the believers in Ephesus,
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, (Eph 4:17–18a, NASB, emphasis added)
The “Gentiles” that Paul is talking about here are those that live in whatever way they want. They have no set of religious values that they follow and attempt to use to live a Godly lifestyle. In essence, they are confused. Their minds are full of darkness. Continue Reading…
- “Every sinner is totally destitute of that love to God which is the fundamental requirement of the low (Deut. 6:4f; Matt. 22:37); that he is supremely given to a preference of himself to God (2 Tim. 3:2-4); that he has an aversion to God which on occasion becomes active enmity to him (Rom. 8:7)); that his every faculty is disordered and corrupted (Eph. 4:18); that he has not thought, feeling, or deed of which God can fully approve (Rom. 7:18); and that he has entered upon a line of constant progress in depravity from which he can in no wise turn away in his own strength (Rom. 7:18). Depravity has infected the whole man-mind, emotions, and will.” (Henry Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, pp. 191-192) ↩
I think we’ve all had an event in our lives that shaped us forever. That one event that happened at a specific point in time in the past that has effected every part of our lives since then. Every day we do things and think thoughts that remind us of that event.
An event like that occurred in the third chapter of the book of Genesis. The event which I’m describing is the “Fall“ 1 in which Adam and Eve ate fruit from a tree that God told them not to eat from. And as a result, they negatively effected their lives and our lives forever. 2 Let’s take a look at the Fall.
I. THE FALL 3
The third chapter of Genesis contains what many people call “The Fall.”
- The word “Fall” does not occur in the Bible, but that is the term which is often used to refer to the events of Genesis 3 ↩
- Former President of Dallas Theological Seminary once said, “The one sin of Adam has plunged the whole race into sin without exception.” (John Walvoord, “Is More Progress Possible” in Bibliotheca Sacra, July-September 2018, p, 262) ↩
- I have always found outlines a helpful way to summarize passage of Scripture. Another way to outline Genesis 3 is: The Conversation (Gen 3:1-5); The Casualty (Gen 3:6-7); The Con (Gen 3:8-13); The Curse (Gen 3:14-19); The Consequences (Gen 3:20-24). ↩
I have worked hard during the last year and a half to provide a verse-by-verse teaching through the book of Revelation. There are a few sections of the book that I skipped which I hope to teach on in the future. Throughout a study in the book of Revelation the topic of “hell” comes up a lot. Here I wanted to provide a short summary of what the Bible says about hell and the different views about hell.
Photo Credit: Viktor Vasnetsov (1848-1926)
I. A BIBLICAL DESCRIPTION OF HELL
Hell is a place of eternal conscious punishment. Worms which will “never die” devour people and the fire that devours people will “never go out” (Isa 66:22-24; Mark 9:48). At the end times many bodies will rise up to “everlasting life” or to shame and “everlasting disgrace” (Dan 12:2-3). Hell is also described as an “eternal fire” (Matt 18:6-9; 25:4; Jude 7). The smoke of this fire that torments unbelievers in hell will rise “forever and ever” (Rev 14:9-11). Continue Reading…
A. Review of Past Lessons
B. Text of Rev 20:11-15
11Then I saw a great white throne with someone sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence. No place was found for the earth and sky. 12Then I saw the dead—the great and the small—they were standing before the throne. The books were opened, then another book was opened which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged from what had been written in the books according to their deeds. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it. Death and Hades also gave up the dead that were in them. Every person was judged according to his deeds. 14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire—this is the second death—which is the lake of fire. 15If someone’s name is not found written in the Book of Life, he is thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:11-15) 1
Photo Credit: “The Last Judgment” (Stefan Lochner, 1400-1451)
C. General Remarks about Rev 20:11-15
“The account in these few verses, in spite of their brevity, is one of the most impressive descriptions of the Last Judgment ever written.” Metzger, Breaking the Code, 97
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II. THE GREAT WHITE THRONE (20:11)
Καὶ εἶδον θρόνον μέγαν λευκὸν καὶ τὸν καθήμενον ἐπʼ αὐτόν, οὗ ἀπὸ °τοῦ προσώπου ἔφυγεν ἡ γῆ καὶ ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ τόπος οὐχ εὑρέθη αὐτοῖς.
Then I saw a great white throne with someone sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence. No place was found for the earth and sky. (Rev 20:11) 2
A. Who Sits on the Throne
The one sitting on the throne is the Father and probably also Jesus. In the New Testament the Father is described as providing the last judgment (Matt 6:4; 10:32-33; 18:35; Mark 8:38; Rom 14:10; also see Dan 7:9, 10, 22), but Jesus has been given authority to judge (Matt 7:22-23; 25:31-46; John 5:22, 30; 2 Cor 5:10). Continue Reading…
Today’s blog post is a brief explanation of the doctrines of anthropology and harmatology. This brief survey is based on the the Evangelical Free Church of America’s statement of faith which reads:
The Human Condition. Article #3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
Photo Credit: “The Holy Scriptures in Picture and Story” by William Foster
I. ADAM AND EVE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27); therefore they were like God and represented God (Pss 8:3-8). The presence of God’s image is show by the facts that humans have
- a mind/will/personality,
- the capacity to rule (Gen 1:26, 28; 2:19; Pss 8; Gen 22:5),
- spiritual/moral qualities (Gen 2:16-17; 3:22; Lev 11:45-46; Matt 5:48; Luke 3:38),
- capacity for relationships (Gen 1:26; 2:20-23; 3:8),
- personal social distinction, and
- an image that will be improved and made perfect (Col 3:10; Eph 2:14; 1 Cor 15:49; 1 John 3:2).