June 08, 2020 – Monday
Hebrews 10:32-34 NIV REVISTED
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.
33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.
34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
Last Friday, June 5th, when I commented on the verses I wrote the following
Too often nowadays all Christians want to do is talk about Grace – a particularly wonderful subject – without any mention at all of hell or how undeserving we are of grace. Bible study is great and as you know from a few recent posts I love Bible studies. However, any study without an awareness of how none of deserved grace and that grace saved us from an eternity in hell.
I received a question from two readers, both former school teachers about the last sentence However, any study without an awareness of how none of deserved grace and that grace saved us from an eternity in hell. They asked that I complete the thought of the sentence. At first I didn’t understand as a sentence is supposed to be a complete thought and I thought I had express a complete thought. But to check I went to find a current definition of a sentence and found the following at the freedictionaryonline.com A sentence, whether short or long, must express a complete idea; and a complete sentence must consist of at least one independent clause—that is, a subject and predicate that make a complete thought. Independent clauses are so called because they make sense when they stand on their own.
Then I got it when I looked at the sentence by itself and saw what was missing. The problem was I knew what I was saying or rather thinking, but I did a poor job of putting it down in type. So here it is again with what I saw in my mind making it a complete sentence with much greater clarity: However, any Bible study without providing an awareness of how none of us deserve or deserved grace and that it is grace alone that saved us from an eternity in hell is not telling the full story.
Having completed the thought of that sentence, I would like to expand upon it. Hell is such a terrible place that is becomes terrible to contemplate. Nonetheless, without grace we are all condemned to hell for we all sin. All too often the idea of hell as real is ridiculed much as the idea of God, Jesus, and grace are ridiculed. But hell is real. Let me repeat that, hell is real. Further, without accepting the gift of grace we end up in hell. There is no in between, something else to choose. There is only grace and hell. There is no purgatory. There is no reincarnation. There is this life and then there is judgment.
A further point of clarification, every single Bible study does not need to bring up grace and hell. An individual Bible study or chapter of the Bible might be providing the context, history, geographic, culture, etc. which will eventually come to the topics of grace and hell. Know that hell is mentioned 167 times in the Bible via different names – Gehenna, Hades, the pit, abyss, or everlasting punishment.
Is it true everyone was going to hell except for those who have accepted the free gift of grace? It is if you believe your Bible and while many verses address this, John 3:18 is the most succinct Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
I often make a big deal at church about praying for our enemies as Jesus directed as well as for our loved ones who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I don’t know how we can sit around, having accepted the free gift of grace, without praying for others, enemies and loved ones alike. Sometimes we forget we have no righteousness of our own and that we are no different from except we have accepted that free undeserved gift of grace. Let tears fall from your eyes and let your heart burn with sorrow for those you love and those who are enemies who refuse that same free gift condemning themselves to hell. Then maybe one day your eyes will shed tears of joy as your heart rejoices when a loved one or an enemy finally accepts Jesus.