Is there a Hell?

A Biblical Perspective

Short Answer

Take note God has two sides – one mercy, the other justice. The two go hand in hand; one cannot have one without the other. A just God exercises justice, impartially and fairly, a merciful God offers grace. One cannot have mercy without justice; they are mutual.

Grace provides salvation to all who are judged; and all have been judged. The Bible is adamant that sin must be dealt with by death; “the wages of sin is death”. God provided a substitute person to bear the punishment for our sin who is the Lord Jesus Christ. This Jesus was crucified for our sin, dying instead of you. Believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God will save you.

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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

A just God exercises justice – those that reject the Son of God reject God. Those that reject God are punished by being placed into hell. Thus hell is a real place; and at the end of your life you will either be send to hell (only believing in the Lord Jesus Christ will save you) or you will go to heaven, to be with God.

Yes there is a hell!

Yes there is a hell. Quoting George Macleod “If hell is not proven, I deny the truth of God in toto; and therefore I am finished, and thus I am prepared to impeach the prophets, and apostles as liars, and Jesus Christ as the biggest impostor that ever trod God’s earth!” This I cannot do! Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is proven; the prophets and apostles are proven true to their word and thus Hell is proven, being a real place for real people.

The soul of every person – that includes yours – will be judged by the just and righteous God. If found wanting which means having any guilt of sin in you, the soul will be cast into hell – this is the final death or true death. This death will separate you for ever from God and every other human for that matter. Initially an unsaved soul is placed in Sheol also called Hades (in Greek) and from there you will be judged and after which cast into hell. You cannot be found wanting if your sins have been paid for – this only the Lord Jesus Christ can do, as it requires one who is perfect to do so.

What is Hell?

The Hebrews took the idea of Hell from the awful place called the Hinnom Valley (in Greek called Gehenna), a deep gorge towards the south of Jerusalem. Into this valley the waste and sewage was placed, which was constantly on fire, smouldering and emitting putrid smoke. The stench and smoke was simply too awful to describe. Vultures and other birds foraged amongst the muck and filth. The place was considered cursed (Jeremiah 7:31, 19:2-6) due the sacrificing of children by fire in the valley, and along with the later use as a sewage and waste depot the Hinnom Valley provided a grim picture of hell.

Yes there is a place called hell (also called the accursed place). It was prepared for Satan and his angels who attempted to usurp God (Matthew 25:41). Jesus described it as a fiery furnace (Matthew 13:50) and John saw a vision of hell as a lake of fire and brimstone (burning sulphurous substances). The devil (called Satan) because he deceived Adam and Eve (and millions of others) will be tormented for ever in hell.

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:10

People were call upon to believe God, but when they refused, God in his righteousness declared hell would also be used for those that reject Him. Those who are currently in Hades and those in the future that reject God and not believe in Him will also be cast into hell.

He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21:7-8

The Universalists cannot have this, but they lie. One cannot reject God, and have Him accept the rejecter; the two are mutually exclusive. Those that accept God will enter into His presence in Heaven, those that reject God will be cast into Hell.

You say a just loving God will not do so. You are wrong because your logic is wrong. Love must be exercised with justice - reject God and you cannot love Him. A loving God must therefore exercise justice – the rejecter must be rejected. What God is, is patient. He longs for your acceptance of Him. You have had all your life to date to change your mind (which is what ‘repent’ means) and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. God always gives adequate time – because God is both merciful and just.  He has extended His hand of mercy through the Lord Jesus Christ – accept him or be thrown into hell! Reject God and He must, being a just and holy God, reject you. The sexual immoral, the liar, the thief, the hypocrite, backbiter or blasphemer can all be saved if they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; else they will be judged and be cast into hell.

If there is no hell there is no heaven!

If there be no hell there is no heaven. If no heaven we are mere robots; clumps of chemicals that undergo various reactions then fade away at death. If this were true, it would make this conversation pointless – illogical. Clumps of chemicals cannot ask questions! Indeed it is illogical that clumps of chemicals have any semblance of cognitive discernment. The Bible says if this was true, we would be men and women ‘most miserable’ (1 Corinthians 15:19). But people are much more than mere clumps of chemicals – we have a spirit and soul, giving as a conscience, allowing us all to reason; ask questions and seek answers; set out logical arguments and prove or disprove them. It causes us to experience guilt when we do wrong. Furthermore, the spirit allows people to have an intimate relationship with God. Bags of chemicals such as dogs, have no spirit or soul, and therefore cannot do any of these things. Humans have souls and that soul is the very you. On death your soul either passes to heaven or to Hades, where upon judgement by God, is cast into Hell as punishment.

And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:30-31

 

David L Simon (13 March 2017)
Questions\Is there a Hell?


Updated: 13 Mar 2017

 

Peace of God

My Dear -,
You complain that you have not "settled peace," and that thus you are making but little progress with the truth, or in the knowledge of the Lord. The complaint, I am sorry to know, is by no means uncommon; but it springs from an imperfect knowledge of the gospel, and from confounding two different things. I hope therefore, with the Lord's blessing, to be able to help you, if you will carefully consider what I am about to write.

Your case reminds me exactly of another that recently came before me. "Have you peace with God?" I inquired. The answer returned was, "Not always." In both cases the confusion is between the peace made, and the enjoyment of the peace. That is, when you are happy in the Lord you say, "Now I have peace"; but when from failure or trial you are depressed and gloomy, you think that your peace is gone. To meet this state of mind, I shall ask you to consider attentively, what are the foundations of peace with God. It is an immense gain to the soul when it is clearly perceived that these lie not within, but without; for then it will also be seen that our experiences have nothing whatever to do with the question. Turn then with me to Romans 5:1. There we read, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"; and if we examine the connection of this scripture, we shall at once learn the source of the peace of which it speaks. The connection is this. After the apostle has explained the way in which Abraham was justified before God, he proceeds: "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God" (Rom. 4:23-25; Rom. 5:1).

It is very clear from this scripture that the sole foundation of peace with God lies in the work of Christ. In fact, the foundation having thus been laid, God declares that everyone who believes His testimony concerning it, believes that He in grace has come in, and made full provision for the sinner's salvation, believes thus in God, is justified, and being justified has — enters upon the possession of — the peace which has been made by the death of Christ. But it will be observed that it is said that Christ was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification (Rom. 4:25). That is, the resurrection of Christ is the abiding proof of the completion of His work, the evidence that the sins for which He died, and under which He went down into death, are gone for ever — the witness therefore that every claim that God had upon us has been fully met and satisfied. For if He was delivered for our offences, and He has left the grave, been raised out of death, the "offences" under which He went down into death must be gone, or He would still be a prisoner in the tomb. Hence the resurrection of Christ is the distinct and emphatic expression of God's satisfaction with the atonement which was made on the cross.

It is thus abundantly evident, as before said, that the alone foundation of peace with God lies in the death of Christ. This is repeated again and again in Scripture. Thus we are said to be "justified by His blood" (Rom. 5:9); and again, "having made peace through the blood of His cross" (Col. 1:20). It is therefore Christ who makes peace with God, and He has made it by His sacrificial death — the death that vindicated every claim God had upon the sinner, met every one of His righteous requirements from man, glorified Him in every attribute of His character; so that God now can beseech the sinner to be reconciled to Him (2 Cor. 5:20).

Having explained this much, it follows that the one important question for the soul is, Do I believe God's testimony concerning His Son, and concerning the work He has accomplished? If there is any difficulty in answering this question, then no further progress can at present be made. A very simple test, however, will help to elicit the truth. On what do you rest for acceptance before God? Is it on yourself, your own doings, or your own merits or deservings? If so, you cannot be resting on the work of Christ. But if you own that by nature you are hopelessly undone and lost, and confess that you have no hope apart from Christ and what He has done, then you can humbly say, "By the grace of God I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ."

Supposing now that you can adopt this language, then I can tell you that you have "settled" peace with God, that nothing can ever deprive you of it — no change, no variety of experience; for it is your immutable, inalienable possession. The Scripture says, "Therefore being justified by faith" (and you say you do believe), "we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Every believer — and the moment he believes — is justified, acquitted of all charge of guilt, and made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21); and being justified, he has peace — not peace in himself, be it observed, but peace through our Lord Jesus Christ; that is, the peace which now belongs to him is the peace with God which Christ has made by His atoning sacrifice. And since it is the peace which He has made, being thus outside of ourselves, it can never be altered, and can never fluctuate; it is as stable and as durable as the throne of God; for, as we have seen, it is a peace which Christ has made through the cross; and what He has thus done can never be undone, and therefore it is an everlasting peace. And this abiding, settled, everlasting peace is the portion of every believer.

What you mean, then, when you complain that you have not settled peace, is simply that you do not enjoy settled peace, that your experience fluctuates. It may be, therefore, as well to inquire how the believer is to enjoy constant peace in his soul. The answer is very simple. It is by faith. If I believe God's testimony that peace is mine on faith in the Lord Jesus, I shall enter immediately on its enjoyment. This may be simplified by an illustration.

Suppose that news is brought to you that by the will of a deceased relative you have become the owner of a large estate. The effect on your mind will depend entirely upon the fact whether or not you believe what you have heard. If you doubt the truth of the news, there will be no answering response to it; but if, on the other hand, it is duly attested, and you implicitly receive it, you will at once say, "The property is mine." So is it also in regard to peace with God. If you believe God's testimony that peace has been made by the blood of Christ, no depression of feeling, no conviction of unworthiness, no circumstances whatever, will be able to disturb your security upon this point, because you will see that it depends entirely upon what another has done. What is thus needed for the enjoyment of. settled peace is unwavering repose upon the word of God.

The cause of so much uncertainty on this subject springs mainly from looking within instead of looking without to Christ — looking within to discover something that will give confidence that there is a real work of grace begun in the soul, instead of looking without to perceive that the only foundation on which a soul can rest before God is the precious blood of Christ. The consequence is that, perceiving the corruption, the evil of the flesh, the soul begins to doubt whether after all it has not been deceived. Satan thus entangling the soul, plies it with doubts and fears, in the hope of producing distrust of God, if not utter despair. The effectual means of foiling his assaults in this direction is to appeal to the written word. In answer to all his evil suggestions we should reply, as our blessed Lord did when He was tempted, "It is written," and then we should soon find that nothing could disturb our enjoyment of that peace with God which has been made by the precious blood of Christ, and which became ours as soon as we believed.

This foundation question settled, now freed from self-occupation, you will have leisure of mind and soul for meditation upon the truth as revealed in the Scriptures. "As a new-born babe, you will desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2) ; and, moreover, if you study the word in the presence of the Lord, you will be guided by it into ever closer intimacy of communion with Himself, and as you trace out His infinite perfections and glories that are unfolded to us and apprehended by the Spirit of God, your affections will be drawn forth in ever increasing fervency, and your heart, now satisfied, will overflow in adoration at His feet, and thus your complaint will be changed into a song of praise.

Believe me, dear -,
Yours affectionately in Christ, E. D.

Edward Dennett (1831-1914) Twelve Letters to Young Believers
Updated: 19 Feb 2017

 

The Seven Dispensations of God's Governance

Importance

One cannot possibly understand the Bible without having an understanding of the Dispensations of God. The apostasy of the modern church in part comes from failure to understand the governance of God in the current economy leading to an ineffective (and dangerous) gospel which does not lead to salvation, along with misleading Christians in relation to the doctrine of end times (eschatology). It is vitally important to always place every verse of the Bible in its appropriate context to enable an exegesis that renders the passages as the author intended. As stated above, the gospel has been perverted so much it has become words of no-effect because men do under understand the Age of Grace, in which we are in!

Definition

A dispensation is a period of time during which God administers the affairs of His realm in a particular manner. Therefore, the definition incorporates both time and method so that during each period of time (hundreds and sometimes thousands of years) God administers the world in a particular way, and different from the previous. Thus God's will is implemented in specific and unique ways during history in order to fulfil His good purpose.

There are seven dispensations from the time of Adam until the second coming of the Messiah who reigns during the Millennium Kingdom. These are given various names although the periods are all the same. A very brief summary of each is provided below.

1. The Dispensation of Innocence – Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:28 – 3:8).

Man's responsibility was to obey God and not eat of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

Man was tested by this command, which he failed for which he was judged and cast out of the garden. He could therefore not eat of the tree of life nor any more of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Thus this dispensation ceased when Adam sinned.

2. The Age of Conscience or the Age of Self-Determination - From Eden to Noah's Flood (Genesis 3:9 – 8:14)

Man's responsibly was to obey God set out in the Adamic Covenant (Genesis 3) which mainly had to deal with physical death – the toil to produce fruit and subjection of women to their husbands. Part of the obedience was to believe God would send the Messiah to redeem them from the prince of this world, Satan who had lied to them.

Man was tested by his conscience due to knowledge (gained when Adam took of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil). If he failed he was to provide a suitable sacrifice to God – here we see Abel succeeded and Cain failed (Hebrew 11:4). God ceased the dispensation due to the immense evil found upon the earth, vowing to kill all people, except one family - Noah.

3. The Dispensation of Civil Government - From the Flood to the Tower of Babel (Genesis 8:15 - 11:32)

Man's responsibly was to obey God set out in the Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9) which mainly concerned replenishing and filling the earth after the flood. The Covenant provided for the consumption of meat (up to this time only vegetable were consumed), and the establishment of civil governments. The rainbow is the sign of the Noahic Covenant.

Man failed this covenant by using the building of the Tower of Babel as its power to prevent people from moving out and populating the earth. Furthermore, empires were built under one man (Nimrod) rather than separated kingdoms as God has ordained.

4. The Dispensation of Promise or Patriarchal Rule - From Abram to the Exodus (Genesis 12:1 – Exodus 18:27)

Man's responsibility was to obey God set in the Abrahamic Covenant, and although it started well with Abraham leaving his native country and setting out for Canaan.

Man's failure appear to be their desire not to take procession of the Land of Canaan God had promised them. Indeed during this period, the various patriarchs left the land including Abraham who went down to Egypt, and thus the tribe of Israel ended in Egypt, enslaved.

5. The Dispensation of Law - From the Exodus to Christ (Exodus 19:1 – Acts 1:26)

Man's responsibility was to obey God set out in the Mosaic Law. This lengthy dispensation covers the Old Testament period of the children of Israel, from the Exodus until their consent to the death of their Messiah.

Man failed to keep the law, replaced God with idols, and latter created their own form of the law (pharisaic law) and rejecting their own Messiah, who came to save them.

6. The Dispensation of Grace (The Church Age) - from Pentecost to the Second Coming of Christ (Acts 2:1 – Revelation 19:21)

Man's responsibility is (note the tense) to obey God set out in the New Covenant. This is to accept the gift (Romans 5:15) of the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ the Messiah – which is grace, obtained through faith in Yeshua (Jesus Christ) the Messiah.

Man fails in this dispensation by rejecting the gift of salvation (the gospel) which leads to death, along with failure to teach the New Covenant truths, leads to an ineffective and apostate Church. Only few will be saved from this dispensation.

7. The Dispensation of the Kingdom or Millennium - from the Second Coming of Christ to the New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 20:1-10)

Man's responsibility will be to obey God as set out in the New Covenant (salvation will be through faith) plus the ordinances of the Millennial Kingdom.

Men will fail to accept the Messiah and they will be caste into Hell with Satan at the end of the period.

David L Simon (4 Feb 2017)
\Doctrine\The seven dispensations of God's governance

David L Simon
Updated: 05 Feb 2017

 

The therefore in Ephesians 4

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called Ephesians 4:1

The following observations are made on the first verse in chapter 4 of Ephesians, aided by the sermon of Alastair Begg on the same topic. [1]

  1. Chapter four marks a new division in the Letter to the Ephesians. As noted by Alistair Begg there is only one command in the first three chapters, and this is not a strong imperative[2]. However, chapter 4 brings forth a number of strong imperatives – it is the practical section of the letter; instructions for every believer in Christ.
  2. Arno Gaebelein points out that the Epistle to the Ephesians is about our walk being worthy as a Christian: "This marks the beginning of the second part of the epistle. It is obvious then, to walk worthy as a Christian, one has to know the calling wherewith God has called us. This calling, as we have seen, is revealed in the first three chapters." [3] Indeed Paul uses the illustration of walking six times – with the first linking our salvation through grace with the ‘good works’ God has prepared ‘beforehand’ (alluding to the practical aspect of predestination) for each believer.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained [prepared beforehand] that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

  1. We therefore are urged by Paul to walk, that is, to undertake these good works, not to gain salvation, but because of the love Christ has for each one of us. Thus a believer must set his or her life’s trajectory in a manner that is acceptable to the Lord (Eph. 5:10).
  2. The first division is doctrinal, the second division is practical. This is the way it ought be; the order is important and the association is paramount – they both belong together. In the first we learn the reality of the truth – what it means to be ‘in Christ’, in the second we learn the practical, how we are to ‘live for Christ’.
  3. From the very first verse of the letter Paul speaks of being in Christ – the faithful and therefore those that are saved through faith are in Christ. This is a fundamental doctrinal statement. In Christ we have been blessed (1:3) and as such we have been adopted as his sons (1:5). The great doctrinal statements of predestination are also found in the first half of Ephesians. We also find the great truths of salvation – it is, as it always was, through faith that we have salvation. This chapter contrasts "in Christ" with "in flesh".

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh… were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Ephesians 2:11a, 12[4]

  1. Chapter 4 commences the instructions of how we are to have our minds settled – we no long need to be ‘tossed to and fro’, unsure of the truth, being deceived with lies and other deceitful doctrines. But rather, the truth has been reveal – our all and all (Eph. 1:23) is in Christ. Our means to do battle is found in Chapter 6 where the whole armour of God is explained, and thus we can deal with the spiritual battles that long to derail our abilities to do the good works God has set forth for each child of His.

That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, Ephesians 4:14

  1. Thus part two of the letter is to Christians, and Christians only. The works of chapters 4-6 cannot be used to gain salvation. Grace is undeserved favour – it is a gift as chapter 2 explains. Nor can our works be to validate or merit our salvation – the work of salvation is valid and sound, but the sole work of Christ; the Holy Spirit testifies to this. The commands of chapters 4-6 cannot be used to gain salvation or even maintain our state of salvation. That is, even if one keeps the commands of chapters 4-6 that person remains dead in their trespasses.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses…

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:4, 8-9

  1. When Paul gets to chapter 4 he says, to paraphrase; "now I have provided you with the reality of the truth, that Christ died for our sins, and we are saved through faith and in doing so we are now the adopted son or daughter of Christ, we must therefore walk worthy of this new position." We can liken this to a prince who needs to act in a manner that does not bring disrepute to the King or Queen, or an employee who needs to behave in a manner that upholds the values and principles of the organisation they work.
  2. Thus the 'therefore' joins to two parts of the letter together – doctrine without action is dead. We are in Christ, therefore we must act, behave, conduct ourselves, speak and respond – that is walk having the privilege of being a child of Christ.

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. Ephesians 5:1

[1] Alistair Begg 1 January 2017 Therefore…, Truth for Life, https://www.truthforlife.org/resources/sermon/therefore/  (accessed 22 January 2017)

[2] Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands Ephesians 2:11

[3] Gaebelein A.C. (1970 revised 1985) Gaebelein´s Concise Commentary of the Whole Bible, Loizeaux Bros , USA , pp 997

[4] Be careful – don’t misinterpret this verse which vast numbers have. A Gentile saved is still a Gentile, albeit an adopted son of God. That person does not usurp the Jew – a Christian is in Christ; in reality he or she is neither Jew of Gentile (Rom 2:10, Rom 10:12, Gal 3:28, Col 3:11), but rather a saint of Christ. See how Paul calls the Christians whom he writes in Rome “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:7”. The Church is not Israel!

David L Simon
Updated: 22 Jan 2017

 

Salvation is Through Faith Only (Sola Fide)

Some Bible References for Consideration

Faith is to believe, to believe means:-

To trust, to have confidence in, to have reliance upon, to depend upon Jesus alone (God's promises) for one's eternal safe destiny of the soul.

pisteuō (ποιέω) "to believe," also "to be persuaded of," and hence, "to place confidence in, to trust," signifies, in this sense of the word, reliance upon, not mere credence. It is most frequent in the writings of the Apostle John, especially the Gospel. He does not use the noun (see below). For the Lord's first use of the verb, see John 1:50. Of the writers of the Gospels, Matthew uses the verb ten times, Mark ten, Luke nine, John ninety-nine. In Acts 5:14 the present participle of the verb is translated "believers." See COMMIT, INTRUST, TRUST.[1]

The Bible says at least 200 times that you can only be saved through faith, and faith alone

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram….And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness."
Genesis 15:1,6.

Note that salvation is open to everyone – it is to whoever believes

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. John 3:16

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." John 5:24

Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." John 6:28-29

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. John 6:47

And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; John 16:8-9

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31

And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:30-31

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Romans 1:16

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Faith provides no merit to the believer – it is non-meritorious

Everything we do is unclean and what we do does no please God

But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6

Our works, or the things we do cannot be credited as faith – a person earning a wage does not thank her or his employer for the 'gift' on payday.

"Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favour, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness." Romans 4:4-5

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Faith gives God all the credit thus giving Him all the glory

I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. Isaiah 42:8

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Romans 3:27.

See also Ephesians 2:8-9

If we boast we are giving glory to one's self: faith gives glory to God

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Faith provides an offense of the gospel – it wounds pride, because the sinner finds he or her cannot approach God on his or her own terms.

And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision [symbolism for working for salvation], why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. Galatians 5:11

What to believe

Believe that Jesus Is the Son of God, that is Jesus is diety

Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. John 8:24

Who is "He" – the I Am from Exodus 3:14, that is deity.

And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. John 8:23

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31

Believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again on the third day

For I delivered to you first of all [of first importance] that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

How not to believe

Believing is not merely an intellectual acceptance of a fact. It is trusting, accepting, having confidence in, and relying upon Jesus Christ. Note the following warning from James:

You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! James 2:19. See also Matthew 8:28,29 (The demons not only knew Jesus was the Son of God, but that their time was short), Acts 19:15.

Points for Evangelising[2]

You are a sinner before a holy God

Bible: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23

The penalty for your sin is death

Bible: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Genesis 2:17

Bible: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

But: God in His infinite love provided His Son Jesus Christ who died for you and paid your sin penalty

Bible: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

But: You can be saved from hell by depending upon Jesus Christ alone to save you by believing that Jesus if the Son of God.

Bible: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God Ephesians 2:8

But: God wants you to know with absolute certainty that you are saved and have eternal life

Bible: These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:13

Bible: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." John 5:24

Bible: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. John 6:47

[1] W. E. Vine (1940), Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Hendrickson, Nashville reprint, 411. (< http://www.menfak.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0000260 > (Accessed 5 March 2016)

David L Simon (5 March 2016)
\Doctrine\Salvation is through Faith only

David L Simon
Updated: 06 Mar 2016

 

Some thoughts on Preaching - it should only be from the Bible

Main Idea

Sermons should be:

  • About extracting truth from the Bible in order that it can be applied to people’s lives
  • Exegetical or expository preaching; where bible truth is presented accurately
  • About God, so people may know God
  • About the doctrine of God, for doctrine provides the truth of God, his Son, the Gospel and indeed, reality.

Preaching is not about

Experience; anyone can provide an experience, and the Devil can provide a well disguised even clever experience that mocks God, misleads Christians and prevents people receiving the gospel, being utterly false. Church apostasy arises because truth is substituted for experience.

Passion: The Prophets of Baal were extremely passionate – injuring themselves in their passion, yet failed. Elijah, in faith merely prays to the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and fire comes and consumes the entire alter and offering (1 Kings 18).

Behaviour, but about belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. To be sure, our behaviour will be modified by truth (Love you neighbours as our self), but the truth that sets the framework for behaviour is from Scripture. Behaviour is determined by believe; believe in evolution and one will allow abortion or sexual intercourse with anyone etc. Preaching must be about knowledge of God not activity.

Activity, but knowledge and action. Busy churches are not necessarily, or even, holy yet alone pleasing to God. Business never equates to holiness.

"Jesus" but the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Yeshua the Messiah, and no other, the one who says;

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

Devotion, although useful, is not preaching. For devotion to occur one needs to know which Jesus one is speaking about – the Jesus of the Mormon, or New Age, or the Son of God. Devotion to God only comes from knowledge of God, thus requires the preaching of the Word of God.

Preaching is About the Study of the Bible

The only way to be set free is to know and practice the truth of the Bible. Liberation only comes from knowing divine truth, which is only found in the Bible.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

Paul states that we must daily renew our minds:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

Bible study is the first thing we should be doing!

But He answered and said, "It is written, 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 4:4

All revivals in the Old Testament took place only after the truth was revealed, and practiced. In the time of Nehemiah (who rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, making it a safe place to live) the law was read to all the people, and from this, they returned to God. Ezra used expository preaching in its fullest form to convey the content and meaning of the Law to the Children of Israel.

So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading. Nehemiah 8:8

Josiah, who became king of Judah, read the law, understood it, and put it into practice, leading to wide spread, but not complete, return to the Lord (wickedness was too ingrained, and too few leaders returned to the Lord. If leaders of churches do not read the Bible, the church will be lost).

Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him. 2 Kings 23:25

In the New Testament, those that were saved after Peter preached the gospel, read, learnt and practiced the doctrine of the apostles. (Acts 2:42). It is the Bible the child of God wants to go first, yet the wolves in our churches take them to every other place but the Holy Scriptures of God.

Paul admonishes Timothy to read the Bible publically, and furthermore, Timothy was ordered to exhort (or preach) the doctrines of God (1 Timothy 4:13). This only comes from teaching verse by verse, line by line the Bible. Indeed Paul command pastors 8 times to minister from the Word of God – the complete opposite to church Pastors in 2016, who only want to appease the ears of superstitious people.

Without knowledge of God, one cannot please him – for a wife cannot please her husband except she comes to know him.

God expects His word to be preached

As rain contributes to germination, growth and fruit of the land, so does the Bible preached to Christians and non-believers. It behoves preachers to use God’s word and thoughts rather than man’s to change the hearts of people.

"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void [empty], But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

Isaiah knows the power of the Scripture and can confidently state that anyone preaching God’s word, that word will not return empty [or void]. Jeremiah puts it this way: “Is not My [Yahweh’s] word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29). To change the hearts of men and women, the Bible is required – nothing else will work.

David L Simon
Updated: 04 Sep 2016

 

Contact the author

If you find a grammatical error, spelling error, broken hyperlink or some other error on these pages please contact me mentioning the page title and location.


Updated: 08 Jun 2015

 

Using this website

The weakness of any Christian website is the failure of the author to truly know the mind of God - his weakness due to sin (and there will be weaknesses) can always be revealed if checked against the Bible. Therefore, it is urged that anyone using this web site must check the information against the Holy Scriptures - for the test of any such information, by any person, is against the Canon. For this reason the Canon is called simply that - deriving its name from 'cane' meaning measuring stick. Even the early Christians checked what the Apostle Paul had spoken against Scripture in order to test its veracity. You need to do the same.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11 (NIV)

Furthermore, we must test all things:

Test [prove] all things; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:22


Updated: 11 Jan 2015

 

What's in the title of this website

The heading comes from John 3:16, perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible. It indicates that salvation is by faith and not by works. That is, one cannot ever achieve rightness before God by one's own effort. What one cannot forget is the rest of the text - John 3:16 does not stand alone:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light [Jesus Christ] is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.


Updated: 16 Apr 2011

 

Bibles used in this website

KJV = King James Version of the Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible original work copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
NKJV = New King James Version original work copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc

ESV = The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles

Others used

JND = New Translation by John Nelson Darby (1890)
Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (Literal, Textus Receptus, King James Version), Baker Books, Michigan, 1980
Strong's = Strong's Concordance, Hebrew and Greek Lexicon (either Riverside Book and Bible House, or an on-line version)


Updated: 16 Apr 2011