Archives for category: hell

                                          westboro Baptist church

The Westboro Baptist Church is in the news again.  This time their hate mongering is actually being used for good.  In their threat to picket the funeral of Robin Williams, they made another comedian really mad. The comedian parlayed his anger into a fundraising effort for St. Judes’s hospital and raised nearly $100,000 for the charity. Initially, he had offered to send the WBC to protest a real threat to Christianity-the group  ISIS .  When the State department discouraged this effort, he decided to host a crowd funding instead for the hospital.

I am amazed that the Westboro Baptist Church gets the funding it does to travel around the U. S. with their message of hate and repentance.  As a Christian, they have always been a source of embarrassment to me.  Embarrassment is too mild a term. They are revolting to me.  I am reluctant to even call them my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Yesterday I read one of the verses that WBC and other churches who preach the gospel of hate use as fuel for their fire.  As I read it, it made me question the salvation of these groups.

Galatians 5:19-21New Living Translation (NLT)

 

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that about half of the sins listed apply to WBC.

Maybe they don’t know Jesus the way that they say that they do.

Maybe they are some of the false prophets that Jesus warned about.

Matthew 7:15-23New International Version (NIV)

 

True and False Prophets

 

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

The Apostle Paul goes on to describe the fruits of the Holy Spirit of a true follower of Jesus Christ after delineating the fruits of sin.

Galatians 5:22-26New International Version (NIV)

 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

The result of living a life void of the fruits of the Spirit is an eternity separated from God.

Matt 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Maybe WBC will take their own advice and repent and become true followers of the one true God and live a life full of the fruits of the Spirit.  Then, maybe, they will truly be able to lead others to know Him as well.

walter white mask at comic con

Like most trends I am late in following the TV show “Breaking Bad”.  I am finally obsessed with it like a lot of America now that it is the fifth and final season of the show.  Like most trends, I prejudge them as being unchristian and therefore avoid them.  After all, how could I ever find any redeeming value in a show about a teacher turned meth dealer?

My interest began after attending Comic Con San Diego.  I was in Hall H as Bryan Cranston pulled off the Walter White mask he had been disguised in as he roamed the Expo.  Cranston was in Hall H promoting his new movie Godzilla.  Seeing him live and in personand experiencing the crowd’s wildreaction to him, made me curious.  There was a lot of hype about this final season in the media and on the social network sites.  I had to find out what all the fuss was about.

One hit of the show and I was hooked.  It is well-scripted and has amazing performances by the actors.  It is intelligent to the point that I can never guess what will happen next.  The drama is so high that I find myself holding my breath until the final scene of each episode.

The story is a record of how greed and power corrupts Walter White.  For me as a Christian, it is a record of how sin destroys.

In our amoral, mostly secular American culture, it is interesting that the audience loves this story.  This tells me that in spite of our movement away from traditional Biblical values as a country, there is a core value of right and wrong, good versus evil that we adhere to.  America wants justice for Walter White’s sins. Step by step, Walter White’s life unravels in spite of the $80 million he has accumulated as a dealer.  As of the last episode, he is now estranged from his family and on the run with the $10million  that was left for him after he tried to buy his brother-in-law’s life.  Money cannot save him now.

We see justice being served in Breaking Bad and in most TV Shows and movies.  Unfortunately, reality is not as just as fiction.  In life, most of the time the evil prosper.  Many are never brought to justice.  What justice was there for the 6million Jews that died in the Holocaust?  A handful of those responsible were tried and convicted and some of the perpetrators died in the process of the liberation. Is this enough for these atrocities?  Currently Christians are being murdered in Egypt and Syria because of their unwillingness to recant their faith and convert to Islam.  Where is their justice?  Osamah Bin Laden was murdered for masterminding the 911 plot and the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans.  Is this justice?

Many people hate the concept of hell. The Bible describes it as-” outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” Matt 8:12 and ” the fire that shall never be quenched” Mark 9:43.  For the evils perpetrated on mankind this is true justice for Satan, his angels and all those who have done his bidding.

I read a meme recently on facebook that says if “If Satan punishes evil doers isn’t he the good guy”.  According to the Bible Satan doesn’t do the punishing but those that follow him will meet God’s judgment and His punishment.

The Bible also says that even for those guilty of the most horrible evils there is redemption through faith in Christ.

Romans 5:8

New Living Translation (NLT)

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

For those of us who think we are not evil, we also need this redemption.

Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Through Christ there is reward for those who repent and recognize their need of Christ’s saving work.

Matthew 25:34

New Living Translation (NLT)

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.”

God’s justice is much more far-reaching than the justice portrayed in Breaking Bad.  The Walter Whites of this world have much more to fear than loss of freedom by being incarcerated, loss of money, and loss of relationships.

There is reward in this life and the next for those who follow God’s laws.

As CS Lewis said- The Blessed will say “We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven,” : and the Lost, “We were always in Hell.” And both will speak truly.