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Is Hell Fair?

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Watch the sermon from October 12, 2014:

Well, is hell fair?

This issue is one of the toughest that we face in this life because the question is one of our judgment. But that should not be the case.

Three issues lie beneath this question: God’s character, God’s judgment and what we are judged for.

Dr. Lincoln said in his sermon,

No one goes to hell because of what they have not heard and do not know. People go to hell (are punished eternally) according to what they have heard, do know and what they do with that knowledge.

Let's consider Dr. Lincoln's points from Sunday: 

> God sees sin in a way that we do not: He sees its universal destructiveness. 
> God hates sin - Romans 1:18
> God offers the opportunity of truth - Romans 1:19
> God offers understandable truth through... - Romans 1-2

Nature (1:20)
Natural Law (1:32)
Patience (2:4)
Conscience (2:15)

Given these truths, let's examine what the Bible says about God's character, His judgment and what we are judged for.

God's Character

 Exodus 34:6–7 (NASB95) 

"Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;   who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” 

Deuteronomy 7:9–11 (NASB95) 

“Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face. “Therefore, you shall keep the commandment and the statutes and the judgments which I am commanding you today, to do them. 

John 5:24 (NASB95) 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."

God's Judgments: Righteous, Fair and Impartial

Genesis 18:25 (NASB95)

“Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”

Psalm 96:13 (NASB95)

Before the Lord, for He is coming, For He is coming to judge the earth.  He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness.

Psalm 98:9 (NASB95)

Before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity.

Ecclesiastes 11:9 (NASB95)

Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things.

Romans 2:6–10 (NASB95)

...who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

2 Thessalonians 1:6–9 (NASB95)

For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power...

God Judges Us According to Our Deeds

Psalm 62:12 (NASB95)

And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work.

Proverbs 24:12 (NASB95)

If you say, “See, we did not know this,” Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?  And does He not know it who keeps your soul?  And will He not render to man according to his work?

Matthew 16:27 (NASB95)

“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. 

Romans 2:6 (NASB95) (see also Romans 14:12)

...who will render to each person according to his deeds:

1 Corinthians 3:13 (NASB95)

...each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (NASB95)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Ephesians 6:8 (NASB95)

knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

Colossians 3:25 (NASB95)

For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

Revelation 20:12 (NASB95)

And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

Revelation 22:12 (NASB95)

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work."



T.R.O.T.: 4 Steps to Relying on the Bible

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You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

 2 Timothy 3:14–16, NASB

This past Sunday (October 5), Dr. Lincoln tackled the tough question "Is the Bible reliable?" (listen to the sermon).

Approaching this question from a Christian’s perspective, the question becomes: “Is the Bible reliable for producing new life and accomplishing God’s mission?”  The answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!"

Taking Dr. Lincoln’s 4 actions steps from his sermon this past week, let’s look briefly at the 2 Timothy passage above.

The Bible: T.R.O.T.

  1. Trust It (v. 16)
  2. Read it (v.15)
  3. Obey it (v.14)
  4. Tell it (v. 17)

Trust the Bible – God’s word is able to do what it is supposed to do.  Verse 16 explains that God has given us his word for the express purpose of instruction, admonition, correction and training in righteousness.  As God’s children we have been declared righteous (Romans 5:1), but we are also to be righteous (1 Thessalonians 4:7) through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 1:16-17).

Are you trusting God's Word to develop the character of Christ in you? 

Read the Bible – Read the Bible to know it. Study of God's Word is a lifelong pursuit, but knowledge and understanding come over time as we mature in Christ and mine His Word as we would search for treasure. 

Are you reading the Bible daily, seeking to deepen your knowledge and understanding over time?

Download a daily Bible reading guide that will take you through the entire Bible in a year. This Connection Guide includes Dr. Lincoln's tips for connecting to God through the Bible, prayer and worship.

Obey the Bible – The purpose of knowing the Bible is to obey it (Psalm 119:11, Matthew 28:20).   As we trust God in faith, respond to Him in love and grow in our knowledge of His will, we will obey him and do so continually. Becoming convinced of the goodness of God’s Word is paramount to continuing in it. 

Do you read the Bible with the intention of obeying God's principles and commands for effective life in His kingdom?

Tell the Bible – Included in the “good work” spoken of in verse 17 is the Great Commission (Matthew 29:18-20). Through the previous 3 steps, God equips us for the work of His kingdom. He makes us adequate (mature, complete) for the purposes of the Great Commission: making disciples who will go and do likewise. 

Are you sharing God's Word by telling others about faith in Jesus or by encouraging other believers with Truth?

Posted by Robert Nicholes with