Luke J. Wilson | 10th April 2014 |
...there is only the Spiritual realm, ...and to which one either serves God in heaven or resides in hell awaiting Judgment.
Is it as simple as that?
This is an actual quote from someone during an online discussion on the subject, but this is not anything against who ever said it, but rather a response to the prevailing view behind it that people generally seem to adhere to.
The topic of Hell in itself is a rather large subject that is much more complex that you might initially think, and is a topic I intend to cover here soon as a series.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. A lot of Christians would say that hell is the 'final destination' of the dead who are not "in Christ". But if the dead already reside in hell then surely they have already been judged? If not, then why are they there? What use is the final judgement if God has already pre-decided what most people's fate is? That isn't judgement, that's a decision with no consideration.
Look at the definition of judgement in the Oxford dictionary:
The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.
Or in another definition: "The capacity to assess situations or circumstances and draw sound conclusions".
If its already been decided that the dead without Christ are going to hell, then they haven't been judged in the way the Scriptures portray - and definitely not with "considered decisions" about the "situations or circumstances" of the people involved.
So how does Scripture portray God's judgement on people? Let's look at the Great White Throne judgement:
Revelation 20:12-13And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done.
This judgement s...
Luke J. Wilson | 06th April 2014 |
A question most often asked by Christians and non-Christians alike is "why do bad things happen to 'good' people?" I say 'good' in quotations because, as Paul writes in Romans 3:10, "There is no one who is righteous, not even one".
In light of that this question is technically, fundamentally flawed, as it presupposes that some people are better or more worthy than others. We all do wrong one way or another, so at a base level and in comparison to a Holy God, no one is any more 'good' than another, which is Paul's argument I believe (but that's probably a whole other blog post for another day).
But that aside, taking the question as it is, and assuming that those who just go about their daily lives not doing anything particularly 'evil' or nasty are to be considered as good people, then why should they have horrible things happen? Why should people who maybe even worship God, and live as best they can in accordance with his commands, get cancer for example? Or suddenly lose a child or spouse? Or have to constantly worry how they will pay the bills month to month?
Isn't God good?
Doesn't he care?
Yes. Yes he is, and yes he does.
Often with these kinds of questions, people will point to Job. If you don't know the story of Job, basically in a nutshell, he was a good, God-fearing man and then Satan challenges God by saying, "stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face" and then lots of really bad things happened to him (like his house collapsing and killing his family etc.) - you can read about all the sudden calamities in Job 1.
But at the end of the first chapter describing all the bad things happening, verse 22 simply says, "In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing."
Though there is debate about whether Job is a historical account, or simply an allegorical story to try and give an answer to a similar question, I think the principle of the story is that despite the circumstances of life, we...