Tag Archives: heaven

When Nations Forget God

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“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17)

The subject of hell is widely ignored today, even by evangelical teachers and pastors. Heaven is commonly mentioned at funerals, of course, since almost everyone attending a funeral wants to think that the deceased has gone there (assuming there turns out to be such a place). Hell is rarely acknowledged as even a possibility, on the other hand, even for mobsters or other criminals.

Nevertheless, hell is real and it is going to be more fully populated than heaven. The Lord Jesus said (and He should know!), “Broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: . . . narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

But just who are the “wicked” that will be turned into hell? According to the Bible, “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10), and “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). By the principle of Hebrew poetic parallelism, our text would indicate that “the wicked” are those who “forget God,” where the connotation of “forget” is “become oblivious to.”

Can whole nations become oblivious to the true God of creation—and do business and legislate and conduct all their affairs just as though God no longer existed? If so, those nations (or at least those citizens of those nations who practice such wickedness) are in mortal danger. “Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross” (Psalm 119:119).

But “Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6) and “blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12). We who trust Christ therefore surely need to work and pray earnestly for our nation, and its people, that they return to genuine love of God and His Word. HMM

Our God, the Only God

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“And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.” (2 Kings 19:15)

Good King Hezekiah was in what seemed a hopeless situation. The mighty armies of the Assyrian empire had been sweeping through the surrounding countries in an orgy of destruction and plunder, and now were at the gates of Jerusalem, demanding its surrender. Grossly outnumbered, the choice seemed either to capitulate or die!

But there was one other choice — Hezekiah could pray! The blasphemous Rabshakeh gloated that none of the gods of the other nations had been able to save them from the Assyrians . . . but that was beside the point. These other gods were mere personifications of natural processes, possibly energized by evil spirits, but all of these had been created in the first place by Hezekiah’s God:

“For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens” (Psalm 96:5). And that was true of Assyria’s gods as well. All ancient pagan religions were evolutionary religions, rejecting the concept of true creation and a true Creator God.

Hezekiah knew the true God who had made heaven and Earth, and he could pray in reliance on His word. God could dispatch and empower just one of His mighty angels in answer to Hezekiah’s believing prayer, and thus destroy the great Assyrian host in a single night:

“And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: . . . So Sennacherib king of Assyria, departed” (2 Kings 19:35-36).

This God — maker of heaven and Earth — is still on His throne and can still hear and answer the prayers of those who call on His name. HMM

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