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Wednesday, May 18, 2011 | Comments (66)

Nearly fifty years ago, the British agnostic Bertrand Russell penned these words: “There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment” (Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian).

Philosopher John Hick echoed those sentiments when he called hell “a perversion of the Christian gospel.” He believed the doctrine of hell attributed to God “an unappeasable vindictiveness and insatiable cruelty.”

We expect statements like that from fallen, unregenerate minds. But what do we do when we hear similar things from prominent, professing evangelical writers? “How can Christians possibly project a deity of such cruelty and vindictiveness whose ways include inflicting everlasting torture upon his creatures, however sinful they may have been? Surely a God who would do such a thing is more nearly like Satan than like God . . .” (Clark H. Pinnock, “The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent”).

It’s become popular today for professing evangelicals to join the ranks of Pinnock, atheists, and agnostics in protesting the doctrine of hell. They are preaching sermons, writing articles, and publishing books, and some are wandering into the comment threads of Christian blogs. Here’s a small sampling from Grace To You’s blog in our recent series on hell:

  • “What kind of God torments people for all eternity?”
  • “. . . Satan loves the false doctrine of eternal torment”
  • “[eternal torment is] cruel and unusual punishment”
  • “[eternal torment] makes God out to be a cruel tyrant,” “absolutely cruel and malevolent”
  • “How can you in your right minds even consider this to be justice?”

If the doctrine of hell as eternal, conscious torment hadn’t been the position of the Christian church for two millennia, it might be easy to think we’re seriously out of step—a bunch of mindless minions who worship a monster-god! But when you examine the biblical evidence, without an agenda, you’ll find we sound a lot like Jesus and the apostles.

So, how could someone who claims to be faithful to Scripture ridicule the idea of eternal punishment? What is at the heart of their rejection of a never-ending hell? It’s simple, really—they minimize the seriousness of human sin and guilt, and they distort the perfection of divine justice. That’s the crime of Protestant Liberalism and every false religion.

Minimizing the Sinfulness of Sin

To one degree or another, we’re all guilty of minimizing sin. I remember the first time I read the account of Lot’s wife. God turned her into a pillar of salt as she was leaving Sodom. Her crime? A backward glance (Genesis 19:26). Reading that story as an unbeliever provoked me to ask the question: “Was that really an offense worthy of death—turning your neck to take one final look at your home?” As I explored more of the Bible, other accounts of God’s judgment appeared equally capricious and severe to me.

  • Nadab and Abihu deviated from the priestly procedures. God consumed them with fire (Leviticus 10:1-2).
  • One man gathered wood on the Sabbath. God commanded Moses to stone him (Numbers 15:35).
  • Achan took a few forbidden items from the spoils of Jericho. God commanded Joshua to stone and then burn Achan along with his entire family (Joshua 7:24-25).
  • Uzzah kept the ark of God from falling into the mud by reaching out his hand and taking hold of it. God immediately struck him dead (2 Samuel 6:6-7).
  • Ananias and Sapphira lied to the apostles. God killed them both in front of the entire church. (Acts 5:1-10).

We often struggle to understand how something seemingly so trivial could enact such a severe judgment. Our flesh wants to cry out in protest, “That’s not fair!” But responses like that reveal our failure to grasp the depth of sin. We see only actions—a devoted father gathering firewood to keep his family warm; a zealous Israelite anxious to keep the Ark of God off the ground—but God sees things differently, more clearly, than we do. He sees our sin as insurrection, rebellion against His holiness (Exodus 31:14; Numbers 4:15). What’s more, He sees the hidden motives and intentions at the core of our actions (Matthew 5:28; Hebrews 4:12).

One of the most basic tenets of justice is that the punishment must fit the crime. So, if the ultimate punishment for those who die without Christ is hell, then what is the crime? What do men do to merit the eternal sentence of hell? Put plainly, they sin.

You may think that’s a small thing, but the way John MacArthur explains sin, it puts it in its proper perspective. Essentially, sin is “an act of treason against the Sovereign lawgiver and judge of the universe.” The Bible describes our sin as “rebellion,” “ungodliness,” “lawlessness,” “wickedness,” and an “abomination” (Leviticus 26:27; Isaiah 32:6; 1 John 3:4; Ezekiel 18:27; Proverbs 15:9). Sinners then, are traitors, refusing to love, thank, serve, and obey the God who gave them life, breath, and every good thing.

Sinners spurn God’s love, despise His sovereignty, mock His justice, and view His commands with contempt. They are thieves and murderers, stealing God’s glory and assaulting His holiness. In fact, as Martin Luther once remarked, if sinners had their way, they would dethrone and murder God, which is exactly what they did at Calvary (Acts 2:23). Viewed through the lens of Scripture, sin appears exceedingly sinful (Romans 7:13).

I find it ironic that those who protest the idea of eternal, conscious torment deride the doctrine with words like, “cruel,” “morally revolting,” “monstrous,” and “repugnant.” Why don’t they employ the same terms of outrage to describe sin? Simple: they fail to see as God sees. God finds our sin “cruel,” “morally revolting,” “monstrous,” and “repugnant,” and He’s absolutely right. If we can’t see our sin as God sees it, it stands to reason that we don’t see the just judgment of hell like He sees it either. We’re just going to have to trust Him.

Divine Justice

People who reject the doctrine of eternal hell also stumble over the justice of God. It seems unjust of God to cast someone into a lake of eternal fire for thirty years of sin. Is sin really that bad?

Yes, it is. In fact, you readily accept that there are escalating levels in the seriousness of offenses. For example, if you punch your neighbor, he may punch you back, slash your tires, or even report you to the police. If you assault your boss, he’ll fire you. If you strike a policeman, you’re in danger of getting tased, pepper-sprayed (or worse), and you’re definitely going to jail. Take it up a notch: if you even attempt to assault the President of the United States, you’re going to prison for a long, long time. And if you try those shenanigans with any other head of state, you’ll probably be executed.

Clearly, we live by an established principle—the seriousness of a crime is measured not only by its inherent nature, but also by the one offended. Furthermore, we readily accept the escalation of punishment, based on the status and position of the one offended. If that makes sense on a human level, why are we tempted to ignore the status and position of God? If we live by that principle on a horizontal level, why not on a vertical level?

Our sins have offended an infinitely glorious and holy Being, and punishment must correspond to that offense. God will by no means acquit the wicked (Exodus 34:6-7). He will give the unbeliever exactly what he deserves. Isaiah said “Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him, for what he deserves will be done to him” (Isaiah 3:11). God warned the children of Israel: “If you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins” (Leviticus 26:27-28).

The righteous Judge of all the earth will one day rise up and call every creature into account (Genesis 18:25; Hebrews 9:27; 1 Peter 4:5). He will open the books and mete out a just sentence for every sinful thought, word, and deed (Romans 2:5; Revelation 20:13).

We’ve all assaulted God (Romans 3:23), and we all deserve hell. Reject Christ, and hell is exactly what you’ll get. God will rise up in judgment and cast all unbelievers into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14), and all creation will praise His justice. To accuse God of injustice for sentencing sinners to hell is the height of arrogance and audacity.

Yes, God’s judgment is unbearable, but it is never unjust (Genesis 4:13). And that is why “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

Tommy Clayton
Content Developer and Broadcast Editor


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#1  Posted by Virgil McGriff  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Amen. And to your list of "trivial" acts leading to extreme punishments we could add the fact that the entire human race was plunged into sin because our original parents simply ate a piece of fruit. Thank you, Mr. Clayton for reminding us of God's perspective of sin. Praise God for 2 Corinthians 5:21.

#2  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Do we understand holiness? Only light, without any darkness?

Whatever you did to one of mine, you did to me?

Woe to us, if we do not repent. Not loving God is like the butterfly effect, with enermeous consequenses. God is holy.

#3  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Good post.

Same lovely, good, wrathful, forgiving, all-powerful, sinless, holy, merciful, enduring, faithful, Savior God in O.T. and N.T.

#4  Posted by Micah Marchewitz  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Thanks you Tommy and to GTY for these posts!

#5  Posted by brandon foster  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Are'nt we all in fact, guilty of the murder of an infinite God? The Father had to send the Son to die for us because of our sin, and the only way to be justified is through the unity we have with him in his resurrection.Rom 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

#6  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Kudos Tommy!

I've been thinking about God: His character, His attributes, His being,... How can I know Him better? What has been coming to my mind is that sometimes we understand something better by understanding its opposite.

White vs. Black

Tall vs. Short

Loud vs. Soft

God is Truth, satan is a liar

God is Light, satan is dark

God is Holy, satan is evil

God is Love, satan is hate

God is Right, satan is wrong,

God is Just, satan is unjust,... etc.

So when I think about trying to understand hell: absolute eternal horror,... I starting thinking how heaven will be exactly the eternal opposite! Glorious! Peaceful! Joyous! Fulfilled! Perfect! ... & in His presence!

I cannot fully understand the mind of God; I'm merely human & simply a created being, & I don't understand why our God would create such a place except for the very reasons Tommy mentioned: SIN separates us from God & ALL that He is! Which includes Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Holiness, Perfection,... And I see hell as being the very opposite.

#7  Posted by Scott Graeff  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 8:31 PM

One of the objections I’ve heard regarding Hell, and I’ll admit, I’ve wondered it myself a time or two, is why, if God foreknew the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, did He allow it to happen in the first place knowing there would be those who would reject Him; i.e. those who would spend eternity in Hell. Where is the fairness in that?

At times, I can hear the voice of Jesus speaking to Peter, “What is that to thee, followest thou me.’ Or God asking Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” It is true that God’s grace is sufficient, and for His own reasons, He chose not to reveal all things.

Yet the lingering question remains: Why?

Here is where I think we tend to go wrong. We seem, or want, to think that Heaven is a place where men are knocking at the door, trying to get in, and God, who is capricious, is sitting there deciding who gets in and who goes to Hell. But it isn’t like that. Instead, men are running from God as fast as they possibly can. Why? Because men love sin.

We need to remember the story in Genesis. We are already condemned and well on our way to Hell. We are at odds with a holy, righteous God. Yet in His mercy, He chose to provide a Savior. For believers, we are those who heard the call of God and stopped running from Him. God’s grace is a gift. Hell is what is deserved.

The real question isn’t why does God let people go to Hell? Or how can God eternally punish sinners? Or even why did He allow the fall to happen in the first place? The real question is why isn’t every one going to Hell? After all, it is what each one of us deserves. When we ask how God can let people go to Hell, we forget it isn’t God who rejected man; it is man who rejected God.

Hell is a sobering subject indeed. I don’t know that people are saved because they are scared of Hell. I believe they are saved because of the gift of God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit as the Gospel is preached. There is forgiveness of sins, that is the Good News. Or you can reject God's gift, and go where you deserve to go.

Hell needn't be a stumbling block if it is kept in its proper perspective. The Gospel is a wonderful thing. Focus on it and the work of Jesus Christ.

#8  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 9:26 PM

I want to say we live in a culture....but really I don't know for sure how many generations this has been going on...but we are so tuned into the punishment phase of anything more than we are the criminal act. We think it's being righteous to first make sure the criminal has his rights protected and the victim secondly. We have the audacity to treat God the same way. We want to make sure He is giving the sinner all his rights. I think about what Kenneth Copeland believes and teaches....that we are all little gods.It repulses me to even type that. But we are legends in our own minds and gods too, I guess. I think 2 Timothy 3:1-17 addresses how man will be very well.

Tommy, I had to chuckle when you mentioned Lot and his wife. I, too, recall struggling with that....looking over your shoulder and you're a pillar of salt! It took some maturing on my part to realize that when God Almighty says (paraphrasing here), "Run! Run for your lives and whatever you do, don't look back!", He means, don't look back, don't do anything that might cause one nano second of hesitation on your part. Run to the light, don't look back at the dark.

Although scripture doesn't say so, I think Lot's wife was showing where her heart was...back at home, in the city, where her "things" were, her possessions (her god). Perhaps she had become worldly? She allowed herself to be taken in? Not sure. I only know that when God gives you a way out, when He comes to rescue you, better take Him up on it. Plus, she was warned. She had her instructions. She was not obedient and she did not fear God.

When my husband and I were quite young and had two tiny little girls...still in baby beds, we had a fire break out in the middle of the night in our upstairs apartment! Running down the hallway, he carrying our oldest on his hip while I carried the smaller on my hip. I yelled out loud, "Oh no. All our important papers are in the top dresser drawer!" He stopped in the hallway with child still on hip, went into the room, pulled out a rather long dresser drawer and tried to make his way out of the room....but he got stuck in the doorway. I didn't really mean for him to go get that stupid drawer. I was thinking out loud. When I saw him stuck, I yelled,"Drop the drawer!" And he did and we made it out OK. Point is, if he had been determined to carry that drawer out, he and my daughter probably would have been stuck in the fire. And for what? Some kind of material possession. God places a much higher value on our lives than some sticks of wood we call furniture.He has warned us and expects our obedience.

No, God is not a monster. How could He be when He saved a wretch like me?

#9  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 9:38 PM

#7 Scott, I so agree. Man has this relentless pursuit of a kitten running after a ball of yarn. I'd like to add, God doesn't owe us heaven. We've done nothing worthy of heaven and everything deserving of hell.

#10  Posted by Iggy Smith  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 9:49 PM

If a man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him. For you are far worse than he thinks you to be.

#11  Posted by Garrett Dulin  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 11:17 PM

To all,

Under Tommy's banner "Minimizing the Sinfulness of Sin" he pointed out the following:

Nadab and Abihu deviated from the priestly procedures. God consumed them with fire (Lev. 10:1-2).

One man gathered wood on the Sabbath. God commanded Moses to stone him (Num. 15:35).

Achan took a few forbidden items from the spoils of Jericho. God commanded Joshua to stone and then burn Achan along with his entire family (Josh. 7:24-25).

Uzzah kept the ark of God from falling into the mud by reaching out his hand and taking hold of it. God immediately struck him dead (2 Sam. 6:6-7).

Ananias and Sapphira lied to the apostles. God killed them both in front of the entire church. (Acts 5:1-10).

Notice the penalty for those infractions...death (Romans 6:23). God's innate punishment for sin, eternal and otherwise, is death. You sin, you die. It's not you sin and I torment you.

Bertrand Russell said, "Eteranl Torment is a defect in Christ's character.", I agree.

Some Christians believe that God is going to torment (torture) the lost in literal fire...repugnant. Other Christians (John MacArthur, GTY) believe, I think, that the fire in scripture is like a metaphor for torment (repugnant). Still other Christians, who don't think God will torment the lost (most preachers) just call it eternal separation (too vague to be repugnant).

Don't get me wrong, I believe in the sinfulness of sin. I readily understand that God will pour out his fierce wrath on all uncovered sin. Furthermore, God doesn't need to consult me on things that he wants to do. But is eternal torment, in fire and otherwise, just punishment? In my humble opinion it's cruel and unusual punishment and it makes God a monster.

Eternal torment has been orthodoxy for 2 millennia as Tommy pointed out. I think he brought this up because, surely, if extinction were the truth, someone would have noticed this in 2 thousand years. Humans love the traditions and "truths" they create and hate to let them go (not that I'm not human and traditionalists aren't smart :)). I will admit annihilationists have the burden of proof for bucking tradition.

In any event, I will debate, from scripture, one last time if the oppurtunity presents itself. The Truth can be known and it's in the bible.

Grace and Peace

#13  Posted by Timothy Daigneault  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 5:13 AM


I would read Tommy's post again, and also Roman's 1-3 and chapter 9 to better understand our sinfulness and God's righteousness. To call God a monster over a doctrine that is clear is very arrogant. At the same time although it is clear it is not easy to comprehend, but that's the beauty of it!

We need to be humbled and know that God is just and perfect, and he has revealed himself through the scripture. Using the argument of what seems right to man to judge God by all means is wrong.

Also I would like to warn you that diminishing God's justice can confuse the little ones in the faith, and become a stumbling block to them. I would advise reading this passage:

Matthew 18:6-11 (New American Standard Bible)

6but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Stumbling Blocks

7"Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!

8"If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.

9"If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.

10"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.

11["For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.]

#14  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 5:29 AM

#11 Garrett Dulin

The debate is over, I guess, and the conclusions presented. Hell is an eternal reality, and God will judge according to His perfect law, including eternal punishment, if people refuses to give God honor by repenting and receiving His free gift of grace.

But it saddens me to see you don't agree.

You would have to use the same terms on God on judgment that actually have happened as listed by Tommy. The only difference is the extent of time, the actions remains. Would you still use the word "repugnant" on Gods actions?

Hope you get it.

#15  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 6:09 AM

Did you say God is a monster?,Garrett. I believe we are the monsters for we all sin and fall short of the glory of God.

Why for we are rebels and pride lives in us. With Christ, we must do away those things and abide in the Lord's arms with repentive hearts and live according to him.

#16  Posted by Matt Tocco  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 6:27 AM

It seems to me the question should not be about if eternal hell is true or not, but why we exist in the first place. I believe the Bible is true however I still don't understand why God wouldn't just make us non-existent again if we fail to live up to the standard. It's not like any of us asked of our own free will to be created in the first place.

We're asked to exercise our free will to love our Creator and to worship Him here on earth through Christ (because we're too sinful on our own) and then to live eternally in heaven to worship Him as well, or not and live in eternal torment. I'm having trouble understanding the "free will" in this.

We're told in the Bible to enjoy the beauty of God's creation but where is the free will in determining what is beautiful and what's not. While there may very well be variations in our thought process generally we can see some sunsets as beautiful or waves splashing on the shore. However, we were created to recognize those things as beautiful. We could have been created to see a hairless rat as the most beautiful thing God ever created. It wasn't a matter of choice.

If we don't have the choice of whether we exist or not, or choice in our hard wiring like what we deem as beautiful, why does God hold us accountable for other choices we make after the fact?

I believe the Bible, I believe in heaven and hell, and I do all I can to live according to God's will to the best of my ability, wisdom and knowledge, however I also admit it's difficult to understand why.

#18  Posted by Steven Xue  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 6:45 AM

Hey Tommy I read your article and I find it to be quite interesting. I take it you’re the one who writes these blogs and chooses when to close, am I right? I have to tell you that I wasn’t finished with your previous blog but that doesn’t matter, I’ve got a few things I want to discuss with you about this new topic of yours. First of all I want to say that I have a bit of admiration for you because you don’t hide the fact that God has done some extremely violent (if not cruel) things in the past. But while you don’t ignore God’s violent past, I don’t understand how you can defend God for his atrocious behaviour? I see you’re quite passionate on defending God’s actions and to be honest I used to be kind of in the same position as you. When I started reading the Old Testament many years ago I was really shocked by God’s behaviour and his questionable actions.

Throughout the Old Testament it is plain as day that God has done some extremely terrible, extremely questionable things throughout history and there is no denying that. As somebody who was a Christian for many years it was very hard on me when I found out that the God I loved and worshipped was in truth a very violent monster. That is something I had to come to grips with but it didn’t destroy my Christianity. It just made me question God’s actions. If you are a true Christian and if you truly believe in the Bible then you must also acknowledge that your God is not all kind and loving and perfect, and that he has done some very terrible things. And just like us he is jealous, and wrathful and vindictive and the Bible has clearly stated he is all these things.

On the argument of justice. What you’re essentially saying in your article is that because God is all powerful and sovereign, therefore he has every right to torment us simply because he rules over us. You also make the comment that “sinners” mock God’s justice and that they view God’s commands with contempt, and they deserve Hell for doing that. I can tell you I don’t mock God’s justice. I question his so called justice fervently because first of all I find it to be extremely capricious and malevolent. But secondly I condemn God’s actions because it goes against his commands (the very commands he set for us). Throughout the Bible God has lied, he has stolen and has committed murder on a large scale (he has also praised certain individuals for committing these transgressions).

There seems to be a double standard here because every time we human beings do these things, we are labelled as sinners and people deserving of Hell and yet God has done these things many times without being condemned. Worst of all if we condemn him we will be sent to Hell. Its interesting because in your previous blog somebody by the name of Richard told me to repent for judging God because I have no right to judge him. Well I'm not the only one who judges God, you people also judge God except you think he is a good guy while I completely disagree.

#19  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 6:53 AM

Garrett writes,

In any event, I will debate, from scripture, one last time if the oppurtunity presents itself. The Truth can be known and it's in the bible.

Garrett, remind us of your take on Luke 16, the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus. Was Jesus teaching error when he presented two individuals living consciously after death (I think you stated in a previous post that you believed in conditional immortality)? Why would Jesus present a parable to his hearers designed to draw out spiritual principles that is based upon heresy?

#20  Posted by Timothy Daigneault  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 6:58 AM


Do you believe in the doctrine of election? Whith out having an understanding of that, It's really hard to comprehend a lot of the bible.

I too struggled with questions like you have, but with study of the scripture and with guidance of Godly men like John MacArthur, I've been able to have a better understanding of election, and to be honest it has been quite humbling.

I would suggest JM's series "The doctrines of Grace" to help you out with that subject.

Also perhaps you can be humble by reading Romans 9:15-24


16So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who (AG)runs, but on (AH)God who has mercy.


18So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

19You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"

20On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?

21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

23And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,

24even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

-Grace to you

#21  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 7:18 AM


Thanks for your comment. I'll be in class for most of the day, but I'll respond when able.


#22  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 7:59 AM

I posted this earlier, but it didn't show up, maybe because links is disallowed.

I listened today to this sermon by John MacArthur, that takes our measuring stick, and breaks it to pieces.

We are worms judging God. If I should ever recommend just one sermon, this would be the one.

Title: Principles of God's Judgment, Part 2

search for:


Don't ask a blind to describe light. Sorry to say - even we are blind.

#24  Posted by Andy Bailey  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Steven, in post #18,

I want to take you back to the main thrust of this blog article. The reason why people think that God is cruel, violent, malevolent, and a tyrant is because they fail to understand their own wicked sinfulness!

To drive this point home, I want to take it to a personal level, though it might make you uncomfortable to think about.

How many of the ten commandments have you broken? All of them? Most of them? Have you ever told a lie? Have you stolen anything (regardless of the item's value)? Have you lusted after another person? Jesus said that you have committed adultery with them in your heart. Have you ever wished someone dead, or hated them? God sees you as a murderer!

How would you feel if every single one of your thoughts were revealed to the entire world? How would your friends and family feel if they knew EXACTLY what you thought about them all the time? Would you have any friends left? Would your family disown you?

How would your wife (I don't know if you are married or not, but let's say you are) feel if she knew what you were thinking every time an attractive woman walked by and you lusted after her? Would you still be married? Would you still be alive?

God knows your deepest, darkest, wicked sinful thoughts. God is showing mercy by not casting us forever into hell the very minute we sin against Him. He has given you years of life on this earth even after your first rebellion against Him, He's giving you a chance to repent and turn to Him. God is actually very merciful and kind.

God is just because He knows EVERYTHING. He will judge not only your actions, but also every one of your words, and every one of your thoughts and motives.

Sin is rebellion and treachery against God. When you finally start to get a sense of how God views sin, you realize just how merciful He has been. He sent His own Son to His death as a payment for your sin, so that you wouldn't have to go to hell.

How could you reject a God who, despite your sinfulness, loved you enough to provide a way for your sin to be paid for? People will spend an eternity in Hell for rejecting God and His sacrifice, and God will be completely just and fair in casting them there.

#25  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 9:14 AM


Let me quote a scripture to you.

A rich man came up to Jesus calling him good teacher. Jesus said why you call me good teacher, only God is good. Jesus is right and he is Lord God... The rich man did'nt know and went on to say what do I need to do to have eternal life. Jesus mention the Law to him. The

rich man said I did all of it. Big mistake. Jesus said if you will

follow me, you must give up your material things. The rich man went

away sad for he was rich. Jesus says it's better to take up the

cross to follow Jesus, than to deny him. Did you know when one recieves Jesus as Savior. God is your loving, compassionate Father!!!

Good post, Andy.

#26  Posted by Philip Vance  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 9:17 AM

#11 Garrett

You wrote "Notice the penalty for those infractions...death (Romans 6:23). God's innate punishment for sin, eternal and otherwise, is death. You sin, you die. It's not you sin and I torment you."

Your defining "death" as ceast to exist which is want you want to see. This is not how the scripture would have us see it.

See Matthew 8:29 "what do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted (demons). Have you come here to torture us BEFORE the appointed time?"

If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe but yourself - Augustine

#27  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Maybe my post did not come through.

Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.”

So since man ought to take evil seriously and try his level best to fight and contain the wickedness of it for the betterment of society, why then do we blame God, who takes evil even more seriously? This is part of our depravity, also. Even in the hopeful containment of evil by men, which is a good thing, it has a tendency to go awry, because fallen man thinks he is the FINAL authority on how to deal with it. Man, in His own autonomous nature, wants to be the one to control/punish evil, but deny God His right to do so. That’s just how prideful and wicked sinful man truly is. And if you ask sinful men what punishment they deserve for their evil deeds (since THEY believe they should have control over the containment/punishment of evil), they will come up with annihilation each and every time. I guess being your own God gets you the desired results you want.

Also, Rudi, I wanted to comment on the last thread. I am so sorry to hear about your Father. I truly, truly am. God bless you.

#28  Posted by Trent Whalin  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 9:45 AM

All I can say is thank you for the post, and I am praying for those who do not understand God's holiness.

#29  Posted by Adrian Medina  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Bertrand Russell said, and someone here might agree, that Jesus Christ (the son of the living God!) has a defect in His moral character. How in the world can a true christian even consider agreeing with that statement?

Jesus Christ has no defects. If you don't believe this then you don't believe the Bible.

#30  Posted by Adrian Medina  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 11:37 AM


Bertrand Russell said, and you agree, that Jesus Christ has a defect in His moral character. You say the truth can be known and it's in the bible. How can a true christian possibly agree with Russell's statement? Jesus Christ (the son of the living God) has no defects.

If you don't believe this then you don't believe the bible.

#31  Posted by Benjamin Booker  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Thanks again Tommy, great post. Really straight forward, not hard to understand, clearly taught out of the Scriptures.

Despite this, the fundamental errors continue. Why still opposition to the Bible’s clear teaching?

Here is one of John Calvin’s outlines from his institutes (“impiety”=sinful irreverence and “superstition”=sinful false notions):

“Chapter 4.

The Knowledge of God Stifled Or Corrupted, Ignorantly Or Maliciously.


1. The knowledge of God suppressed by ignorance, many falling away into superstition. Such persons, however, inexcusable, because their error is accompanied with pride and stubbornness.

2. Stubbornness the companion of impiety.

3. No pretext can justify superstition. This proved, first, from reason; and, secondly, from Scripture.

4. The wicked never willingly come into the presence of God. Hence their hypocrisy. Hence, too, their sense of Deity leads to no good result.” —Institutes of the Christian Religion

#11 Garrett Dulin

“Bertrand Russell said, "Eteranl Torment is a defect in Christ's character.", I agree.” ~ Garrett Dulin

Noted. That is a very revealing statement Garret. Have you confessed “Jesus as Lord” Romans 10:9 (NASB95). Siding with a Christ rejecter like Bertrand Russell if Christ does not fit your mold really brings a lot of serious questions. Maybe there is another Jesus I don’t know about that is not the Jesus in Scripture, one that you and Bertrand Russell could inform us of, maybe one that is less “repugnant” to you? The defect is not hatred and judgement of sin, but an inderference to sin that falls short of how seriously God takes sin.

“Russell claimed that beginning at age 15, he spent considerable time thinking about the validity of Christian religious dogma, and by 18 had decided to discard the last of it.” ~Wiki

Garret, who are you following after? Christ or Bertrand Russell? Seriously though, you might want to examine yourself along the lines of 2 Corinthians 13:5. The Lord impresses on me to seek His mercy when the Lord has given me the conviction that I have rebellious thoughts. Siding with Bertrand Russell over Jesus seems like it would qualify as a rebellious thought of the highest order don’t you think?

Interesting outcome of a GTY search “Bertrand Russell”:

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Romans 1:22-23 (NASB95)

Scripture declares man's totally depraved mind. No matter how subtle or overt it manifests itself.

Problem #1, Man is prideful, self centered, sinful, and in utter rebellion. Rom 3:10-20

Problem #2, Man when confronted with the general or special revelation of God rejects Him. Rom 1

Problem #3, They rational their rejection and with a reprorobate mind they fashion their own religion/philosophy/Christ. Rom 1

#32  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 11:53 AM

By the way, I was thinking about Jesus speaking to the Pharisees. They came to to conclusion, that He was of the devil.

At this point, God can't do no more for you. It is the sin that cannot be forgiven. I would step hard on the brakes, and do some serious thinking here, before concluding in your hearts!

#33  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 12:41 PM


For the sake of clarity, I wasn’t defending God’s actions. He doesn’t need me to defend His actions. God’s not on trial here.

Let’s talk about you.

As a sinner, you are a thief, Steven. That’s a serious crime—certainly you’d agree if you’re the victim. What do thieves deserve? They deserve to be punished. How severe should the punishment be? That depends on the value of the item stolen and the authority of the one from whom it was taken. What should be clear to you—and to all who protest the severity of hell—is that to ask the thief what kind of punishment he deems appropriate is madness. But yet here you are, a glory thief, accusing God of injustice, claiming His punishment is atrocious.

Frankly, you don’t have the right to weigh in on that discussion. In court, when the gavel hits the desk, it’s all over. Once the prosecuting attorney establishes guilt, the criminal has nothing more to say. He certainly won’t be consulted to determine the severity of his sentence. The judge makes that decision independently.

What sentence do glory thieves deserve? Let’s ask the One you stole from—the righteous judge—what He thinks is a just sentence. God says those who steal His glory deserve hell.

You disagree. But there’s no appellate court here, Steven. Your thoughts on God’s punishment are—to state it bluntly—irrelevant. The evidence is in, the jury is out, the verdict is guilt, and the sentence is hell. What I hear in your comments is a handcuffed criminal protesting the judge’s sentence as they escort him away.

Steven, a review of all your comments in this series demonstrates a low view of Scripture and consequently, a low view of God, a high view of self, a distorted sense of justice, a twisted understanding of human sin, and a gross misunderstanding of the gospel.

My advice to you is to repent of your sins and ask for God’s forgiveness. He’s a merciful judge, Steven. It’s hard to kick against the goads, friend. Come to Christ, and find rest for your soul (Mt. 11:28-29).

#34  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Why do some here reason that since God punished some that disobeyed Him and His law by instant death that he must do the same thing in hell? It's mentioned as if that is some sort of rule of thumb? Because God destroyed instantly does not mean hell cannot be eternal. It's like some are using those scriptures and stories about instant death to say that cancels out an eternal hell. Who says?

I think this blog reveals just how detached some are from sin...their own and that of others. Some here must think God's standard is too high, therefore, His punishment too severe. Without Christ, I have to agree. I cannot do what God requires on my own. I must have, I need the Holy Spirit. I need the Holy Spirit to take away any numbness I have toward the wickedness in this world. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

Actually, I think being liberal towards sin is quite self serving. If you are tolerant of extreme sins and you do half of what the other person does, then you can obviously consider yourself worthy of even more tolerance. It's a little mind game that sinners play. You judge yourself by the standards of other sinners. Now hold yourself to God's standard, then see how you do. See if you need a savior. Being tolerant of sin does not make you a good person.

Wonder where all these people that think God is unjust or maybe even a monster would be if this blog was about God's faithfulness and His love for the sinner? Might they be the same ones who think God is too tolerant? Probably.

And as far as the "tradition" comments go....those that believe they are the bold ones to break a two thousand year tradition,I take issue with that. I realize you think of yourselves as bold. But what I hear is nothing short of liberal thinking, interrupting scripture in a way to have it conform to the current culture. Is that just a coincidence that you have "broken" the mold at a time in our history that has never been more liberal? I don't think so. I think it's actually highly predictable.

#35  Posted by Gary Orlich  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Mr. Scott Graeff blog number 7

I hope that we can be saved because of are fear of hell, because if not then I know several people including myself who are in deep trouble.At age 59 I came up with a good dose of cancer, and after that great news I found myself walking around in a circle talking to myself.I had come close to dying before & got over it,but this time was different. I knew that I had been really bad for 59 yrs,& I thought I would have to live to 118 yrs. of age to get right with God.

I now know that isn't how it works, and what a relief sinc e I won't be living that Long.I know you know this, but fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.( Proverbs 1:7) also I'm happy to say I have been saved from the fear of death.( Hebrews 2:15) love all the brothers

Than you Lord Jesus

#36  Posted by Benjamin Booker  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 1:04 PM

#11 Garret

Also if you say that Christ has a moral and character defect that would make Him sinful.

Not only does this make you a heretic if you affirm such a notion, but you have no salvation because:

1) You either rejected Christ as Holy, rejected Christ as God, rejected God as Holy, or a all three or a number of false theologies of the Holy sinless God-Man that your sinful vain imaginations have wrought. And in so denying Him, He will deny you (2 Timothy 2:11-13)

2) God requires a sinless spotless sacrifice. No defects allowed. If you believe Christ has a defect then you have no forgivingness of sin, you have no resurrection, you have not the righteous of God imputed to you from Christ (because you believe he has a defect), you have no salvation (The Book of Hebrews).

3) What you do have is your sins, a future judgment (Hebrews 10:29-31), a place in hell with other betrayers (Acts 1:25), a false hope, a false Christ.

21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:21-26 (NASB95)

26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

Heb 7:26-28 (NASB95)

Did the God-Man really say?

46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Matt 25:46 (NASB95)

23 "In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw* Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.

Luke 16:23 (NASB95)

28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

Luke 16:28 (NASB95)

Yes, He did. And if you believe that makes Him morally defective that would make you a spiritual defector.

You are treading on some very thin ice. You needs to repent and bring those sin fortresses into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:3-6 (NASB95).

I would recommend spending some repentant time in God's Word and in prayer

#39  Posted by Rick White  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Steven #18,

As I read through your post I kept thinking this guy thinks that he sets the standards of right and wrong, not God. In fact he actually is so arrogant that he feels he can even judge the actions of the Creator. The reason God can judge, kill, and punish in ways that is wrong for man is because He is omniscient. He knows everything. He is able to take everything into consideration in making His decisions. You don't have that ability. You don't seem to grasp the concept that sin is an act of rebellion against a holy God. His punishment is not capricious because God has always hated sin and has warned man from the beginning what the consequences of it are. He is not malevolent for punishing people for sin because he has provided a way to avoid the ultimate consequence of sin. He sent jesus to pay that price for us. How much more loving can He be? You obviously don't understand what it means when scripture says God is holy and you also don't understand how horrendous sin actually is. Again I think you would be wise to take some advice from the prophet Job. Job 40:1-9.

#40  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Those Americans do not understand English very well. They do not understand what I write in English!

You of course can see the humour in this, because I as a Dane not always can see the mistakes I make in my writings.

But we all makes the same mistake with the holiness of God. We are perhaps interpreting His character from our human understanding, instead of letting Him give us the right understanding.

#41  Posted by Sanford Doyle  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Garrett #11

You use the word DEBATE?

The character and nature of God is not up for a DEBATE. God IS holy,righteous,just,sovereign- that is NOT up for DEBATE.

The scriptures reveal the mind of Christ. When you hold the scriptures in your hands, you have in your hands the words of almighty God.

When your eyes behold the words of scripture, they should be joyfully teary-eyed with awe and wonder of the Holy Spirit inspired revelation of God manifested in Jesus Christ.

An eternal hell IS proof of God's justice AND mercy.

Biblical understanding, meditation, fellowship and communion with God should be your goal.

The only debate should be with your mind and your heart. You have head knowledge, but not heart knowledge. I pray for the heart of stone to replaced with a heart of flesh. I pray for a heart that will submit to God's truth and not a heart that wants to debate for the sake of debate.

#42  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Rudi, right on Brother! Amen and Amen!

#43  Posted by Michael Bogart  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 3:30 PM

May I just simply say that your "Is God a Monster?" Blog could not have been said any better! AMEN! I thank the Lord daily for ALL of the teachings from John and all of you at GTY and Grace Church! Thank you so much! Praise the Lord! May God continue to bless you and all of us. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart! We all are truly blessed. There is nothing better than God's Word, and the TRUTH He so graciously gives to us! Continue to Proclaim it from the mountain tops until our Lord returns! Maranatha!

#44  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

You say you read the bible. What bible you mean? Any bible other than God's Word is a fake. If your bible says God is a monster or a cruel

God. Why read it for it may be the false bible? There's some bibles

on this website would be useful for you, but it's your choice to make.

I am praying for you.

Also we can't read O.T. and say yea, God is evil. No way, God is not

evil, He is good.

I am on to the point, satan comes kills, steals, and destroys. God gives life and forgives those whom repents and comes to him. I choose Jesus Christ.

#45  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM

When standing before God, we only see our own sinfulness. THEN we can hear the Gospel.

#46  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Thank you, Rudi, for your post.

God is good!!!.

God bless.

#48  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Good posts, Dan. You have such a gift of encouragement! Thanks!

#51  Posted by Steven Xue  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Many of you have suggested that because we are not perfect therefore we deserve to be eternally punished. I for one reject that notion because being imperfect isn’t the same as being evil. All humans perform acts in their lifetimes that could be described as good, bad and every shade of gray in between. The truth is one action does not define an individual's entire character.

What most of you seem to agree on is because sin is against an infinite God, it demands an infinite punishment, regardless of the severity. Think about it like this: A country in which a person gets tortured for the rest of their life for a single lie or a thought-crime or failing to worship the ruler would be considered absolutely barbaric. A God who uses this sort of penal system is just as barbaric, yet you people twist this logic and sense of morality to assume that he is perfect and therefore so is his system. You may argue that he must punish us because he is so perfect and he can't stand one sin. But this makes no sense. A grownup is more civilized than a child, but this doesn't give them the reason to punish children more severely. If I had a math teacher who was a mathematical genius, that's no reason for them to give me stricter marks than an average teacher.

#52  Posted by Arturo Gomez III  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 6:54 PM

#11, I believe you have taken what Tommy has brought to the floor out of context. Torment is a reality amongst the unbelievers. In those passages, what they experienced was God's judgment. Tommy was simply explaining what he thought at the time of his unbelief. Was it worthy of death or not for them? And the answer is yes. Was it fair? Of course. Is it fair that we are still living to comment in this blog as vile sinners knowing at what price Christ suffered to redeem us? No! We should all be in torment. Think about it my friend. But thanks be to God for Jesus Christ.

Thank you #7 and #8

#55  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 7:57 PM


Since your very first comment in this series, you’ve expressed unbelief toward God’s Word. Your additional comments uncovered more layers of doubt, contempt, and mockery toward Scripture.

That being the case, there’s really no profit in continuing discussions here. The Grace To You blog is not a platform for parading unbelief.

I pray you take heed to the Scriptures many gracious commenters have shared with you—and turn to Christ in saving faith.

“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13).


#56  Posted by John Linak  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 7:31 AM

#6: Satan is not the opposite of God.

Satan is an enemy and certainly opposed to the Triune God, His Word, His works and His children. However, Satan is not the opposite of God. Satan is a created being; Jesus is the Creator.

If anything, Satan is opposite of Michael.

This difference is dangerously subtle. It may even seem like a nit-picking minor detail, but, in actuality, this is exactly what Satan's desire has been from the beginning: to be elevated to the status of God. (Isaiah 14:14)

Remember, Satan is on a leash. He is God's devil.

Just a thought....

#58  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Why do so many have trouble with the seriousness of sin? I've been thinking a lot about that. What has caused me in the past to trivialize my sin and that of others? Why would I ever become numb to any sin? What would ever EVER make me think the "culture" has the right approach to wrong doings? How would I get such a notion?

Then, I realized, it all begins with a single thought. Somewhere, somehow, I've allowed certain theories, ideas to infiltrate my mind. And in a single thought, it takes root. It takes root because I failed to guard my mind. The mind is so fragile. I've taken a the brain. Brain injuries are the most serious. A particularly hard blow to my head can shut me down.

I was thinking about how we struggle. Our minds are where we do battle....with others but mostly with those that are not flesh, with those that can't be seen. Christian men are taught to "bounce" their eyes away immediately from a female dressed inappropriately to guard against lustful thoughts. But the enemy can shoot those firey darts at our brains without us seeing it coming. What do we do? How can we protect our minds. Then I thought about the armor of God. More specifically, in this case, "the helmet of salvation".

It is our hope. Put that helmet on! That is how we protect our minds. It is God's promises that protect our fragile minds. The enemy will whisper lies. We must bathe our minds in scripture in order to deflect those a boomerang. Let us never forget, this is war. And we must be armed with all God has provided. Review Ephesians 6:10-20 again.Says is so much better and more completely than I ever could.

"Finally,be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak."

Consider too,Hebrews 6:17-19. Thank you, Lord Jesus!

#60  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I like your comments too Dan. Where are you from?

#61  Posted by Rick White  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:44 AM

The analogy in comment #51 doesn't work. He left out the part that the Leader of the country has revealed that His Son, whose life is more precious than all the other lives in the kingdom, has agreed to take on the punishment for all of the other subjects of the kingdom. All they have to do is accept that payment for them and then worship and serve the Son as He so richly deserves. How can that possibly be construed as cruel or monstrous? Sounds like perfect love to me.

#62  Posted by John Melton  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#63  Posted by Adrian Medina  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Early in my faith I once heard John MacArthur say that the doctrine of Hell proves the Bible as God's truth in this world. Man by himself would not include it and send himself to eternal damnation. The arguments of unbelievers against God's standards keep proving this truth to me. It is a sad thing, God is a monster - to those who do not believe(Heb 10:31).

Do the judgments of God in the OT seem unfair to you? Keep reading. The incarnation of Christ is the greatest proof of God's love and regard for you and for me.

#64  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:15 PM


From Ohio, one of the 51 states in Usa. Near one of the 5 great lakes,

Lake Erie.

God bless.

#65  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:17 PM

As John MacArthur puts it, then we don't like the Truth. It's too hard, so man invent his own truth.

#66  Posted by Brandon Davison  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Let the word of God be spoken in truth with all clarity!

Nice article Brother Tommy!

#67  Posted by John Melton  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 1:43 PM

I would like to correct something significant in my post from #62. I do not believe JI Packer sides with annihilationsist arguments, but his writings were in response to Stott and Pinnock, who do. I apologize for misrepresenting Dr. Packer's views in my post and would like to correct myself.

#68  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 2:21 PM

#67 John Melton

You deleted your comments, because of your error. I think you should post it again revised, because you pointed out some very significant, I think. The ultimate source of authority.

#69  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 3:22 PM

#67 John Melton. I agree with Rudi. It was a very good post worthy of editing out your mistake and posting again.

#70  Posted by R.s. Tillotson  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Tommy, In response to #33, you wrote;"The verdict is in,the jury is out,the verdict is guilt, and the sentence is hell.What I hear in your comments is a handcuffed criminal protesting the judges sentence as thy escort him away." Very good word picture of the judgment to come.But the best part of that whole scenario is that after the verdict is read,that The Lord Jesus Christ steps forward and says that He took the punishment for my crime and that I'm free to go...Praise God!!!I know that all true born again believers will fully be able to see the Glory of God in Christ Jesus, and that if it was not for God calling us to Himself we would all be in the same place.

#71  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Thank you, R.S.

Very good ending to a grim word picture. I left the best part out.

#72  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 5:07 PM

A man stole bread or something and went before the judge. As he was standing by the judge. The judge said I will take your place and you

go free. Is that another good point too? Just wondering.

#73  Posted by Scott Graeff  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Mr. Gary Orlich #35

I’m not sure what you mean by being saved because of a fear of hell. Chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians clearly spells out the Gospel, but I don’t read you must fear hell to be saved; rather you must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

You are correct that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, and, praise God, you are saved and no longer have the fear of death. I can further understand that a fear of your mortality may have driven you to God, it may even have been a fear of dying and going to Hell, but I would disagree that it was a fear of hell that actually saved you.

I believe the Lord uses various motivations to humble a man and bring him to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I am equally sure if every believer on this blog gave his/her personal testimony, no two would be alike.

I hope that clarifies where I was coming from.

#74  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Friday, May 20, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Right, we need to be careful to not compare God to satan. satan is a fallen angel, nothing like God. I agree.

#76  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 9:13 AM


You're right Dan. We need comparison. Without the better half of the message, the Gospel, it's only very, very, very bad news.

#77  Posted by Trent Whalin  |  Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 9:49 AM

@ #73

I do agree but remember it says to fear the God who can destroy both your body and your soul in hell....

#78  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 10:21 AM

#33 Tommy

You said it so true: "God’s not on trial here"

We are.

#79  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Comment deleted by user.