Posts Tagged ‘hell’

working-out-loud

The last installment of this 3-part series involves the story of the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. When these last 3 posts are woven together, they give us a true understanding of what our role as faithful Christians is to be while we wait for Christ’s return. In this parable, you see the characters are working diligently and with initiative while waiting for their master’s return. That is our job too as we move through our own lives…we must be working all the time WHILE we wait. Let me explain further…

On a quick side note, one sharp difference though is that we are not called to drop out of our lives and plant ourselves on top of a hill top and wait for Christ’s return…no. We are told to be careful prudent planners with an eye for the future. Remember what Christ said in Luke 14:

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish’ (Luke 14:28-30 NIV)

The Parable of the Talents is the one that commends faithful work while the master is away as well prudent planning. The rich master travels far away and gives each of the 3 men a portion of his wealth to manage while he is away. Two of them proceed to take the initiative and double their masters money while the third one buries his portion.

When the master returns, he rewards the first two with great opportunity. He says to them both, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

But the third guy, who had just one talent to take care of, was a different story altogether. As mentioned, he did not invest his talent but rather decided his best course of action was to hide it and return it to his master when the time was right. As the master said in his anger, “Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest!” But, he didn’t even do that.

While the master was away, two out of the 3 men immediately set to work, without being told, by trading and investing their masters talents. They worked hard while he was away and I would imagine, stressed somewhat at times as the market swayed back and forth, always striving to improve their situation. They did not rest but continued working faithfully until their masters return.

The third guy had a different mindset. He decided to do what HE wanted to do while the master was away. Maybe he convinced himself that by burying the money, he was avoiding financial risk? Whatever the case was, he simply was evading his duty. The money the master gave him would never make any profit.

Finally, I think the hardest part for me to grasp about this story was this third guy’s lack of responsibility and his complacency on his requirement of giving an account for the money he represented while the master was away. He just didn’t care or thought that day would never come? I am not sure. But what is worse was his attempt to blame the master for his own poor management when he was called to give an account. He was caught in his pattern of doing absolutely nothing and ultimately, he would pay a very stiff price.

Jesus tells us in this parable that the third guy is cast into the imagery of Hell:

“And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30 NIV)

I say imagery because this same language is used in other parts of the Bible to represent Hell and the torture that it there…and will be for those unfortunate souls who will enter there.

Guys, this is a very simple story but yet represents a very clear picture of what we are supposed to be doing while we wait for Christ’s return. I urge you to NOT become complacent and forget that Christ is even coming back. I understand the importance of what you are doing or may be doing in the future, weddings, grand children, vacations etc. but all of that pales in comparison to eternity…your eternity.

We all have one job while we are here and that is to stay faithful to Him until He returns. That job requires effort and focus on your part. You cannot do this while on autopilot…it will not work.

Guys, I encourage you to plug into your local church or men’s group and refocus on your top priorities while we all wait…I assure you that this positive decision will be the best one you ever make in your life…

 

Until next time guys…

 

I am Not a theologian and never will be and for that reason I get frustrated when I don’t know answers to certain questions raised about God. The title of this blog post is, ”Why would a good God send people to hell’? I have heard that question brought up to me many times before and for years it has frustrated me to no end. I mean really? How could God allow that to happen? Good people in hell makes no sense. But then as time has passed, I have begun to understand more about who our God is, which in turn has clarified some answers.

When you ask questions using the word “why” you need to go back to the original source and determine what you don’t understand…How could God allow good people to go to hell? To me, we need to begin with God and who HE is to try to answer this question. There must be reasons why He acts and behaves as He does rather than just what I see here on Earth. What I’ve discovered is there are reasons which cause God to be who He is…I’ve just never investigated them before…

Let’s start with Holy. I never really understood this word but yet when applied to God, our creator, all the reasons are completely clarified. Here is what I mean; God is completely Holy and good and it is His character that decides what is right and wrong. That perfect character He puts forth is what dictates our world and how we are to behave. In other words, that is how inherently we know that killing is bad and helping our neighbor is good. It is in our DNA. Yet why is there so much killing in this world? The answer is simple… Satan is alive and well and he seeks to devour all that he can:

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Satan is working just as hard to distract you as God is trying to get your attention.

Moreover…God is a very Holy being and He is bound by that holiness to react in a certain manner…that means He HATES sin… He hates to see it, smell it or even be around it (read Mark 9:42-47). But yet you and I reek with it? We are born into it and without the saving salvation of Jesus Christ, stink to the outskirts of heaven of it…Have I made my point?

Lets summarize quickly at this point:

1. We learned God is Holy

2. Holy means God must behave according to His perfect character.

3. Holy means God can’t be around sin.

Now, for those of you who did not know, God did solve the problem of sin for us by sending His blameless son Jesus, to take our place as a sacrifice for our sin committed.

So try to understand things this way, because God is holy, He MUST judge everyone according to His perfect character and because He is perfect, His judgements are fair and right.

Lets keep going. As mentioned previously, Jesus came to this earth to solve the sin sacrifice issue but He is also the most loving person who ever lived, but yet it is He who teaches us the most about the reality of hell. Why? because Jesus knows hell is a very real thing and He doesn’t want us to suffer the inevitable consequences of our rebellion against God. What is that rebellion you ask? Rebellion is having sin in your life and NOT doing anything about it…living in sin is rebellion against God…why? Because God is holy…

Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

Heaven and hell are actually defined by a relationship. Heaven is enjoying the amazing gifts of a Father and more importantly, being with Him. Hell is the absence of His blessings; love, communion, presence, beauty etc.

Simply put; Heaven is being with our holy God and Hell is being apart from Him.

Think about that for a moment. The closest thing to Heaven on earth is to have a relationship with Him and to feel the His presence in our lives.

Hell on earth is simply the opposite of everything GOD.

So now that we understand a little more about the God we serve I must make this statement to you and ask this question;

If we truly understood how absolutely holy God is, we shouldn’t be asking the question why would a good God send people to hell…the real question should be…

How can God allow anyone into Heaven?

Bottom line…going to heaven or hell is a choice WE get to make while here upon this earth. God doesn’t send good people to hell…they get to make that decision for themselves…

Until next time guys…