The Message we Preach

What is the Gospel?

Hell is Reasonable Justice

Justice is a novel concept nowadays and that's probably why we see little of it in our lives. The key of winning a lawsuit often times have nothing to do with whether one has a case but whether one can afford an expensive lawyer. Jail or "Correctional Facilities" are more about reforming the criminal back into the society instead of punishment for the crime. The idea of justice is by and large lost and any adherence to the classic Biblical understanding of justice is considered cruel and barbaric by much of the western world. Even Christians, living and breathing the political correct air of this world, would deny the Biblical claim of God's final justice. After all, aren't we living in the age of grace and God has revealed Himself as an all forgiving, all loving, father figure in the sky in the New Testament? The angry, avenging God - isn't that the Old Testament God before Jesus came and mellowed Him out a bit?

"Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness." -1 John 3:4

"But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." -Revelation 21:8

A Judge's Gavel
Are you ready for your court room appearence?

The Bible does not present sin as mere mistakes that can be corrected. Sin, in the most straight forward explanation presented by John the Apostle, is the breaking of the Law of God. Even with our whitewashed understanding of justice, we still hold to the simple axiom: "You do the crime, you do the time." We might say that it's not wrong unless we get caught, but that's just a feeble attempt at appeasing our God-given conscience that accuses us when we do wrong. Besides, on the day of Judgment we won't have attorneys presenting our case, we don't have one, none of us do. The all powerful, all knowing God of the universe will call our every secret deed and idle thought into account; we will be without excuse on that great and fearful day. The verdict is already made for all sinners, we are guilty of violating the Holy Law of God, and God being good, just and righteous, can not turn a blind eye to sin.

An earthly judge that lets guilty criminals walk out of the court without proper punishment is not immediately thought of as being kind, but rather unjust and corrupt. How unthinkable it is, to try to apply that to God; the one who calls himself righteous and holy, to let sinners into heaven without dealing with their sin. Grace and Forgiveness aside for the moment, God MUST punish sinners, if He is to be called right and good.

It's not about Wholeness, it's About Holiness.

"For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure." -Romans 7:11-13

The Law then is not given to us as a way to heaven. Unholy men are incapable of keeping the Holy Law, and the end result is not spiritual enlightenment but spiritual death. Instead, the Law was given to us so that we might realize just how sinful, sin really is.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee, and Pharisees understood the law as merely external. While it was a heavy burden to keep all the minute details of the external rules, at least, to their human thinking, it was now possible to please God through the Law. Jesus, on the other hand, in the famous Sermon on the Mount found in the book of Matthew 5-7, elevated the Law of God to it's true internalized conclusion. That breaking of God's Law does not start with an outward act, but all sin starts from within. This is what He taught his disciples, when He said that it's not what enters a man that makes someone unclean, but what comes out of us which shows the sinfulness of our hearts. This is crucial; the Bible's default position for all men and women is one of death in sin and in need of salvation. No one loves God or is capable of loving God apart from Christ. Men or women today may have a "spiritual" hunger, but do not mistaken the affinity towards the things of God for a love for God. All of us, born in sin, are by our very nature, selfish and self serving; we might "bow our knees" to a god, only if it serves our own selfish purposes. This most certainly, is not the way a man humbles himself before God, and is born again, being made a new creature in Christ by the very Spirit of God.

We are not good people just needing God to make us better; we are not just a little banged up and in need of a touch up. Christianity is not a self-help project in search of personal wholeness. The claim of Christ is no less than this: The God who will hold you accountable on judgment day, is all together Holy, and you better be holy as well, or there will literally be: "hell to pay". It's all about Holiness.

Part 5: First Things First

Part 7: Mission Impossible