• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Does The Thought Of Eternity Make You Tremble?

“Time was when the doctrine of hell caused men to tremble, but it no longer does so, for the doctrine of hell has been relegated to the rubbish heap by the Modernists. They think they are wiser than the Lord Jesus.

They do not believe in hell any more; indeed, most are more concerned with the dangers of nuclear war than the dangers of hell. I tell you that the danger of hell is far more real, far more certain, infinitely more terrible, and for some far more imminent than the danger of nuclear war.” (A. W. Rainsbury)

I believe that the Scriptures teach us that hell is a real place where there is eternal conscious punishment of the wicked (Matthew 25:30, 25:41, 25:46, Mark 9:43, 9:48, Luke 16:33-24, 16:28, Revelation 14:9-11, 20:10).  Today’s culture, which basically believes in “salvation by death,” finds it difficult to seriously believe in the doctrine of hell.  Yet, one day we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  All of our words and deeds will be made public on that day.  How do you think it will make you feel when you see family and friends on that Day of Judgment – knowing that the very thoughts of your heart will be revealed?  Should we not think more seriously about our eternal relationship with God?

“All wicked men’s pains and contrivance which they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked men, do not secure them from hell one moment. Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. They hear indeed that there are but few saved, and that the greater part of men that have died heretofore are gone to hell; but each one imagines that he lays out matters better for his own escape than others have done. He does not intend to come to that place of torment; he says within himself, that he intends to take effectual care, and to order matters so for himself as not to fail.

But the foolish children of men miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in confidence in their own strength and wisdom; they trust to nothing but a shadow.” (“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards)

Paul writes to the Romans: “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’  But they have not all obeyed the gospel.  For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?’  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:13-17, ESV)

Saving faith comes through hearing the Gospel message by the preaching of Jesus Christ as our only hope of salvation.  One must believe in and call on the name of Jesus to be saved.  Though we may desire a kinder, gentler theology, our feelings are an unreliable guide to truth and must not be our supreme authority in determining whether hell is real or what it is like.  We must depend on what God’s Word says.  All the wicked will share the same fate as Satan and his demons.  Which eternal path is yours?  Choose wisely.

Muslims Call For Polygamous Marriage In Australia

The Australian Federal Government has rightly rejected calls from two Muslim leaders to recognize polygamous marriage.  The President of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, Keysar Trad, says women should be allowed to enter into a polygamous marriage if they choose to.  His view is supported by Sheikh Khalil Chami from the Islamic Welfare Centre in Sydney.

Attorney-General Robert McLelland says the practice is against the law.  “There is absolutely no way that the Government will be recognizing polygamist relationships,” he said.  “They are unlawful and they will remain as such.”

In America, the recent court decision that redefines marriage to include gay couples in California – if not overturned – will further create legal opportunities for the advocates of polygamy here.  We have recently witnessed the problems this lifestyle creates among the members of the Fundamentalist Mormon Cult in Texas.  There are currently Muslims in the US living in polygamous relationships outside the law as well.  The ACLU has already declared its willingness to defend polygamous marriage in court.  This is why we need national legislation defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

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