Showing posts from May, 2011

Kick the Dog

A few weeks ago I shared this story in our church.   In our church this genre has come to be known affectionately as the “Kiley story.”   Kiley is my second born daughter.   God has given her to us to not only make us laugh, but to keep us humble. My wife has only three requests on Mother’s Day; Kentucky Fried Chicken, a chick flick, and an empty house.   Our firstborn child, Morgan, is the family sweetheart.   Her spiritual gift is serving.   Her gift, coupled with her heart, means that she enjoys doing things for others that make them feel good.   So Morgan added to our annual Mother’s Day ritual one new component, a picnic. With several boxes of steaming chicken in hand we headed to a local park that Morgan hand picked in honor of her mother.   The setting was pristine; a bridge, a small creek, green grass, and chicken.   Coming straight from church we were still wearing our Baptist threads.   Shannon had on a new dress and was looking beautiful as usual.   Morgan had made a ½ chang

Why People Go to Hell

I know that it seems as if I have travelled a long distance to make a fairly short trip.   My wife calls this going around your knee to get to your elbow, or is it going around your elbow to get to your knee?   I can never remember.   But I think that the peripheral issues raised over the last several posts are pertinent to answering the question of, why do people go to Hell? If you put together the data, a clear answer begins to emerge: 1.       Hell was created in response to the rebellion of Satan and the demons (see:   Why was Hell created ?) 2.       The fact that people go to Hell affirms the integrity of God’s Word and His character in that He is loving, merciful, and just (see: What if no one goes to Hell ?) 3.       God extends grace toward mankind, not desiring for anyone to go to Hell, yet many people will indeed go to Hell (see: The heart of God for Hell .) In short people go to Hell because they rebel against God, reject His mercy, and ignore His grace.   Simply stated, pe

Verse List on Parenting

On Sunday I used a string of verses related to parenting.  Many of you asked for the list.  Sorry I didn't print it.  This is a VERY SMALL sample of what the Bible offers on parenting.  Hopefully this list will give you a place to start. 1.                   Love your children (1 Cor. 13:1-8) 2.                   Discipline your children in love (Prov. 3:11-12; 13:24; 19:18; 22:15) 3.                   Teach your children the Bible (Eph. 6:4) 4.                   Encourage your children (1 Thess. 2:11-12) 5.                   Teach honor and respect (Exo. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-3) The Bible is profitable and powerful as the central source for parenting – 2 Tim. 3:16-17 The Bible speaks to the concerns of parents, such as: 1.                   Choice of friends (1 Cor. 15:33; Prov. 16:28) 2.                   Truth and honesty (Lev. 19:11) 3.                   Attitude (Phil. 2:14; Prov. 18:13)

The Heart of God for Hell

In the previous post I touched on the idea that the universalist position (that no one or almost no one goes to Hell and if they do, they will not stay long) argues that if Hell exists or that if anyone experiences it eternally, then the love and character of God are diminished.   I argued that if Hell does not exist and if no one goes there, then it does far more damage to the character and love of God because the Bible is essentially a fraud and God is a liar.   Biblically, the existence of Hell does not tarnish the character of God, but rather affirms His love, mercy, and justice. If one argues that the existence of Hell makes God seem too vindictive and harsh he must ignore the spirit of Scripture.   The Scripture argues that even though Hell exists, it is not the heart of God for anyone to go there.   Here are several texts that affirm that though Hell exists, the heart of God remains loving: Psalm 86:15 (ESV) But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and ab

What if No One Goes to Hell?

We are continuing to answer the question, why do people go to Hell?   Yet what if we took a moment and asked another question on the way toward an answer?   What if no one goes to Hell?    In a previous post ( Four Views of Hell ) I touched on the idea of universalism, that Hell may or may not exist, and if it does, no one, or almost no one, goes to Hell.   A modification of universalism is that people may go to Hell, but no one stays there.   The selling point on this idea is that it makes God more loving and forgiving by eliminating any sense of penalty or harsh judgment.   A truly loving God would never condemn His creatures to eternal torment.   To do so would be unjust.   In the end all will be redeemed and be blessed.   So what if universalism is correct and we held that if Hell exists at all, then no one goes there, or even that if people go there no one stays? 1.       The narrative of Scripture crumbles into meaninglessness.   Universalists claim that Hell is incompatible wit

Why Was Hell Created?

We are in the midst of answering the question, Why do people go to Hell  (which began with the post Is Ghandi in Hell )?   Like most questions, this is one that engenders many others such as, Why was Hell created?   If we can shed some light on why God created Hell we can perhaps begin to understand its purpose.   It may be surprising then, to know that the Bible reveals to us that Hell was not created as a place for the eternal punishment of people.   In a series parables explaining the nature of the Kingdom and the judgment, Jesus describes Hell as, “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).”   What can we glean from this? 1.     We know that God is the creator of all things (Gen. 1:1) and certainly we can ascribe the creation of Hell to Him.   2.    Yet Gen. 1:1 gives us no reason to assume that Hell was included in the original creation.   Thus we can say that, in its original state of “very good (Gen. 1:31)” there was no provision made for the punishm

The Spirit After the Storm

Keith Rice and I with a family in Smithfield On Saturday I spent a few hours helping clean up from the storm at a member’s house and another couple of hours checking on other situations in which we might be able to help in the coming week. It was not until Monday that I was able to join with the Birmingham Baptist Association and enter into some of the most devastated areas of our city. There is no string of adjectives I can use that would adequately describe the scene, nor are there any words I could use that you have not already heard over and over again. All I can do is share my pictures, which, again, are not much different than any you have already seen. Nevertheless, I will submit my entry to the ever growing online album. I would like to share my thoughts about involvement and how we continue to minister going forward: 1. The Body of Christ is awesome. In times like these you realize how significant the gospel is and how the Holy Spirit truly unites His people. The dep