September 23, 2015
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Pastor Tim Fisher at Crossroads Church in Northern Indiana is launching a fall series called “Unnecessary Censorship” and his creative team has come up with great graphics to promote the series as a major event for the year. He asked me to step in on November 1, 2015 and handle the topic of “Hell” since, in his words, “You wrote the book on it.” (“Hell No” published in 2002 or so). I had most recently revisited the concept last year when TCRG released a book on eternity. (“Unfolding Eternity” published in 2014). I was giving him the condensed version of my concept and Marceil told me to get the idea up here on my blog. Here it is: Since Revelation says–death, hell, and sin will all be cast into the “lake of fire” it gives us the picture that it will be some kind of bright swirling object (like a very miniature sun) just on the edge of our view all through eternity. I think the Lake of Fire will be a kindly and humble reminder of what God did for us and through us on planet earth during our life time. Here is where it sometimes gets “dicey”……those who didn’t trust Christ with the forgiveness of sin will be in the Lake of Fire. Will we realize we have a loved one there? We know that in Heaven there will be no sorrow, but the thought of someone we know and love spinning around through all of eternity in this inferno of purging brings a sense of panic. Yet, somehow in Heaven it will all make sense to us. Somehow in the glorified state of eternity we will understand that everyone has a free will. We will understand that it is NOT people that are sent to Hell forever but sin that is cast into the Lake of Fire. People hold ON TO their sin rather than trust Jesus with it. Because they have held ON TO their sin, they will be holding ON TO it all the way into the Lake of Fire. Further, we live in a world where we constantly fight with our own flesh over issues like–pride, self protection, self centeredness etc. In our glorified state there won’t be any conflict with the fleshly desire of our ego need. On earth we conflict with our individual identity. In Heaven there won’t be the individual identity, but rather a powerful corporate identity–like marriage: two become one flesh. In the case of Heaven, we will be married to Christ, the lamb of God, through all eternity. All the ego needs will give way to the desire to be “ONE WITH GOD”–which takes away the “need to know why” and replaces with the “Oh…I…get…it…now!” I truly don’t understand how I will be able to deal in eternity with the fact that people I know and love will end up in the Lake of Fire so it makes me strive toward fasting and prayer for people to come to Christ while they still can. BTW–it’s not going to be long now…so we must endeavor to pray and target people for Christ while we still can. I find it is not so much what I say that brings people to Christ, but the time I spend in praying for people to come to Christ through binding the enemy and loosing hearts to accepting the teachings of Christ into their lives.
September 3, 2015
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I thought it interesting in the news recently the Pope is making it easier to be forgiven of the transgression known as abortion. Interesting NOT in the idea of forgiveness of a sin, but interesting that one man asserting himself as the one who could make the forgiveness possible a newsworthy item. (Or interesting enough for me to mention it in a blog). It is the long held belief that Catholicism sees it’s priesthood idea as the “vicar of Christ.” The Pope, being the head of the priesthood, is the main guy among the main guys. The priest “stands in for God” and through the sacrament of the confessional, the priest can absolve people of their sins. I truly don’t want to take on a religious system over 2000 years old and built upon Jesus’ remark to Peter that “upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…” But from time to time we need to clear the mechanism and get back to the basics of faith. It IS NOT man who forgives us of our sins, IT IS God who does the forgiving–through the sacrifice of Christ’s death as our penalty for sin. “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing..” Jesus said as they were taking His life away. It is through Christ we can be forgiven of ANY sin. It does NOT matter what you have done you can be forgiven by God. The only condition is you have to come to God, admit your sin, ask forgiveness, and then leave it with Him. (Leaving your sin with Him is actually the hardest part). Because it is so hard to forgive ourselves after God forgives might be why it is easier for us to follow a religious system whereby humans are forgiving other humans of their sin. Easier…maybe…but in my opinion–very wrong. As far as abortion goes, it is a sin that people carry their entire lives. People who I know who have had abortions (even if they aren’t a follower of Christ) suffer from guilt and shame. Years after they know God has forgiven them and have confessed Christ’s forgiveness, still suffer deeply for what they have done. I would say to those people: CHRIST PAID A DEBT HE DID NOT OWE TO FREE US FROM THE PENALTY OF OUR SIN..AND OUR GUILT…AND OUR SHAME. Be forgiven, then be free. Walk in the freedom of Christ. Get the joy of God back inside. Most importantly–you don’t need man to be free, you need Christ! Much Love, Marc