Jul 2, 2007

H-E-L-L is not just a swear word!

Recently, I was shocked, and even dismayed, when I found out many supposed Apostolics no longer preach on hell. They have grown afraid of offending the saints, when "the Love of God, is all people need to hear to be saved."

Although I do not disagree that God's love is immense and powerful, we are raising a generation that no longer understand there are bad implications if you do not serve God. It isn't just about the good.

I remember growing up on a church pew, and there were times I was afraid to go to sleep at night because I didn't want to go to hell. I remember hearing messages that were so intense that my the hair on the back of my neck actually stood up. We save we have evolved, and have taken the stance that God is love, but in fact we are neglecting part of the message. If we are to be true witnesses, we have to teach, and preach, the bad as well as the good. If we don't, we are raising a generation of easily swayed christians, who if they fall, think there is no consequence to the lack of repentance.

Now, understand, I know that hell is prepared for the devil and his angels, and that the fiery pit, according to some scholars is a different place. I know also that David in Psalms wrote that even if he descended into the pits of Sheol (hell) that God would be with him there. However, what he meant was in the deepest, hardest, fiery trial, God is there. If we die without God, I am sorry, but we are going to see the beauty of heaven. It isn't scripture.

The reason this subject came to mind recently, is I overheard someone mention hell at a local church, and a little Sunday School girl covered her mouth, and whispered, "He swore in church?"

Does anyone preach fire and brimstone anymore? I know of one preacher who said he could count the times in his ministry where he had preached on hell, and it was less than the fingers on his two hands. He had been a minister for more than 30 years by the way. Really? In thirty years, hell was only the message less than 10 times?

How do we profess to our children about serving God, and leave out the consequences for not serving him?

In life, we face consequences for bad behavior. If you steal, there is a punishment. If you murder, you will pay the price. If you lie in a court, it is called perjury, and there is a cost.

Yet, somehow we have led others to believe that serving God is wonderful, and if they don't follow his laws, and precepts, well they won't go to heaven, but the consequences don't seem to matter.


Now, for those of you who choose to preach predestination, I am sorry you are misguided. There would be no point in your ministry if predestiny was right.

For those of you who only preach about the love of Christ, let me say love can be wonderful, but at times love is not enough. There has to be a form of discipline. Don't believe it? Look at all the school violence, guns, and kids being killed, simply because someone didn't get their way. They never learned that the bible teaches the principles of discipline, and if you do not, the effect will be long reaching, and most always detrimental.

For those who only preach the blood of Christ, and his death on Calvary, was his suffering for nought? We have to accept his love, blood, and the power of his resurrection or we are lost without him.

Lost has a real meaning.

LOST: Defined:

Unable to find one's way: a lost child.
No longer in the possession, care, or control of someone or something: a lost pen.
No longer in existence; vanished or spent: lost youth.
No longer known or practiced: a lost art.
Beyond reach, communication, or influence: The expedition was lost to the world for two months.
Not used to one's benefit or advantage: a lost opportunity.
Having not been or unlikely to be won; unsuccessful: a lost battle; a lost cause.
Beyond recovery or redemption; fallen or destroyed: a lost soul.
Bewildered or confused: I'm lost, can I start over?

I highlighted the one definintion because it best illustrates what I am talking about.

The rich man called up out of hell, and wanted Lazurus to just dip his finger in water and quench his thirst but it was too late, he was beyond recovery.

Now, how can we let our children think that hell is just a swear word? How can we expect them to be moral upstanding citizens, if we do not define the limits with consequences?

The same is true with the ministry. We have to quit being preachers with itching ears, preaching what the people want to hear, and do as 'thus saith the Lord.' If we don't we are lying to them, to ourselves, and more than likely, God will not be pleased with us.

Not everything about serving God is going to be easy, or all sugar-coated. If you are looking for a sugar-coating on your Christianity, you are Lost. Even Jesus said he came to 'offend.'

Preaching truth means all truth, and it is time someone took it upon themselves to preach it. Otherwise, how can we say we are saving them from hell, if H-E-L-L is just another swear word?