Tag Archives: hell

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

The Power of Faith

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“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11)

When God grants the gift of faith to enable us at the point of salvation (Ephesians 2:8), it isn’t a static power that merely resides in our minds but is rather an empowerment that is expected to grow into a dynamic and demonstrable “divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

Faith preserves and protects us.

Jesus insists, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). These words are precise. Once faith is exercised, an eternal transaction takes place wherein a person is passed from spiritual death to eternal life. This is an absolute change and eliminates the possibility of hell (John 10:28-29).

Faith is power for effective prayer.

The “mustard seed” promise in Matthew 17:20 does not refer to size or amount but to quality. The Greek comparative hoce translated “as” in that passage refers to the same kind of faith as the mustard seed. Just so, the promise of Matthew 7:7 (if you ask and seek, you will find) depends on our confidence (faith) in the heavenly Father.

Faith is the shield against the Enemy.

God’s armor in Ephesians 6:10-18 lists “the shield of faith” that provides an ability “to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” That shield is defensive in the sense that it only provides protection when we use it to block the darts. The active use comes when we “resist the devil” (James 4:7) as we remain “stedfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9). HMM III

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