The Lake Of Fire
God Is love!
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son and whosoever believes in Him will not PERISH but have EVERLASTING LIFE".... John 3:16.
This particular Bible verse does not just explain the importance of God's Love in our lives and our salvation, but also clearly tells us the consequences if we do not acknowledge this Love given to us.
From previous episodes of this series, we understood God's Image and how He created us in His own Image (which is perfection/holiness but a Consuming Fire). But Man fell and lost this Image, even though we are alike with Him (God). This singular reason prompted Him (God) to begin our redemption process, hence the birth of Jesus, His death (to wash away our sins), His Life here on Earth (to teach us the christian way of living, which is pleasing to God) and finally sending the Holy spirit (to guide us even as we live a new Life of redemption in accordance to what Jesus Christ has taught us). If after doing all these, we know and still refuse to acknowledge this wonderful Agape shown to us, don't we mock God? Before we continue, let's take a practical Human illustration
A School Proprietress
A Practical Example!
A woman who owns a school which is the most reputable high school in the entire continent of Europe in terms of academics, general training and moral conduct of students, has a Son in it. Her son is the best in academics and as well in conduct. Everyone admires him, loves him so much and wishes to be like him. Even his seniors adopt him as their role model and this son of hers seems to be perfect.
Also in the same school is another boy who is so rude, cruel, notorious and possesses any attribute associated with a very bad person. This bad boy supposed to have been expelled from the school a long time ago, but because of the immense Love the school proprietress has for Him, she spares him anytime he is condemned to expulsion. Funny enough, he is in the same class with her son.
One day, during exams, the boy was caught cheating in the examination Hall which is a serious offense in the institution carrying the only consequence- Expulsion! But because this woman loves him so much and she needs to give him more time with the hope he adjusts, she covers up his crime by tagging it on her son and thereby expelling her own son. She does not just stop there, she ensured this notorious boy was awarded the grades her son would have acquired, which happens to be parallel 'As'. After doing all these, she takes her time to explain how much she loves him and emphasizes on how she hopes he will change.
But instead of changing, the boy grows wings, thinking the love he enjoys from his proprietress is just too enormous for him to ever get expelled. He continues in his notorious acts, raping a girl in his class, cheating in examination hall once more and fighting with other students. What would the proprietress do?
Put yourself in her shoes, what would you do? This is just a human illustration of Agape which is still not enough representation of how Much God loves us.
God is Love
God's Love reciprocated
If we understand what God has done to and for us and acknowledge how much He loves us, our understanding should make us naturally love Him back with ease. Loving God shouldn't be a burden, because any principle or law or rules he set for us is for our own good. People complain of the conservativeness of Christianity and the question is, how is been a Christian restrictive? Why should Christianity make you seem primitive? Is it the laws?
Thou shall not Kill is one of the laws, in human terms should we? What about stealing? In fact, do unto others what you want them to do unto you, consider the laws and see for yourself if they are not perfect guidance for us to live at peace with each other. So what is it? Most contemporary youths of today always point at one direction: Sex, claiming it should not be a sin if two mutually consenting Adults decide to engage in it.... This is a topic for another episode of this series.
1 John 5:3 stated very clearly that his commandments are not grievous. They are there based on our own very human nature to guide us and make us interact in love as we are all in the same likeness.
Mark 12: 28-34: "One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.There is no commandment greater than these.”Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions."
So, we can see that the commandments are meant to propagate love which is absolutely the best. If you love your brother, you will not steal from Him, nor sleep with his wife, nor kill him and many more. The commandments and Christianity as a whole preach only one thing: LOVE!
Can We Mock God?
God created us in His own Image and likeness and He loved us and Commanded us to dominate the earth which we very much do right now. But one thing we should know is: In as much as He has done a lot to make us re-connect to Him, We are still His creation! He can do without us, He does not need us, but rather we are the ones who need Him. God will not collapse if we do not love Him. He will not seize to exist if we do not acknowledge His existence, He will not shrink, if we refuse to praise Him. He is independent of us-His creation.
And this is the more reason why His love for us is so unique, significant and so beyond any form of human psychology, because losing His Image entails not deserving His communion or Love. But just as we have read the example of the proprietress, God still did everything He could to love us and draw us back to Him. He is the potter and we are the clay, hence He can do anything He wishes to the Pots which are not functioning well.
So, if after doing all He did to reconnect us back to Him and we refuse to reconnect, that becomes mockery of His love to the highest order. And when we mock God and especially His love, would we go unpunished? If we do not go unpunished, what is then the essence of all He did for us to reconnect back to Him. All His efforts will be in vain and what exactly this situation is, is: God just wasted His time in trying to reconnect us back to Him.
Remember one of the episodes explained to us how God is a consuming fire as one component of His Image. He has done everything for us and we dare refuse to acknowledge His love or reconnect? We will pay for it and just like the porter and the clay, He will break down the pots which are not functioning well. Even as mere humans who do not create but only manufacture, what would we do, if we manufacture cars and a very few out of a large number of the manufactured products persistently have problems? We will condemn these few either for the re-structuring of new products or for mere dumping (since they are useless). This is the case with we humans and objects we Manufacture (not even create). Hence the doctrine of Hell.
The Doctrine Of Hell- The Lake Of Fire!
Many Christians today argue and believe God is so loving not to condemn what He has created in His own Image and likeness into the lake of fire. In the first place God is not wicked to create a place like that for people He created in His own Image and likeness. After the rebellion of Lucifer (Now Satan), God eternally condemned Him and hence the existence of Hell. But also this same Lucifer successfully instigated the fall of man and for this reason, Man is destined to die eternally too. But God in His infinite Love has redeemed us... Now who's court is the Ball in? God or Man?
If Man refuses to reconnect to God and goes unpunished, then God's efforts become totally useless. And it is for this reason that even in some of His promises of Love, the Bible has stated times without number the repercussion of those who do not believe or acknowledge God's Love. And that is the function of the Lake of Fire! Here are some Biblical passages which clearly states this:
Luke 13: 3: "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. ... Not at all! And you
will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. ..."
John 10: 28: "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. ... I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. .."
John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ."
Luke 21: 16-19: "You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life." Can we take note of the usage of the words 'death' and 'perish' here? There have been lots of theological arguments to the usage of the word 'perish' in the Bible as just mere physical death, or going to 'hades' which means the grave. But from this verse, we can see that death is actually the physical one, where the body dies, but perishing now is the second death, which involves the Soul.
Psalm 1: 6: "For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. ."
Psalm 73:27: "Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. ... Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. .."
Jonah 3: 9: "Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from
his fierce anger so that we will not perish ..."
John 5: 24: "I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life."
John 5: 28-29: "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned."
The question now is, when the evil rise, how would they be condemned?
Revelation 19: 20: "But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur."
Revelation 20:10-15: "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
Revelation 21:8: "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Aren't these verses so clear for us already? So, what is the fuss about the non-existence of Hell?
Most arguments claim there is nothing like the lake of fire, but rather those who do evil will be in Hades which means the grave. second to the last Biblical passage, it has stated so clearly and categorically that even death and Hades will be thrown into the LAKE OF FIRE!
Some arguments or theological thoughts claim this is a transformation process of these evil people.. Claiming, the lake of fire here is a transformation process to make them clean and acceptable. So the question is? How does death and Hades need transformation? What are they transformed into and for what purpose are they transformed? Some Christian denominations in fact claim this lake of fire is a process by which the evil souls will disappear forever, but the first few passages of the Bible stated here, has made it clear that this condemnation is EVERLASTING or FOREVER! Finally, some of the Biblical passages quoted here have defined the lake of fire as the SECOND DEATH, this is very clear.
So far so good, all these theories are not in accordance to the scripture and the doctrine of Hell has been made perfectly clear in the Bible. If by violating God's Love in my Life, I will simply just disappear or stay un-punish, then what the heck! It means I will do what I want to do, after all, I still do not have anything to lose if I go extinct and completely non-existent, instead of enjoying in Heaven.
What about those who have not heard the Gospel of Christ?
Yes, as of the publication of this Hub, W.H.O recent statistics places the global population to be 7 Billion and of course Billions of people should have transited to the after life prior to this statistic. There are other religions, especially religions from Asia, the Budhists, Hindu, and many others. In Africa, we have more of the traditional believers. what then is the fate of these people? Are they also condemned?
From our previous analysis, we said If you know of God's Love and how He has put in such great efforts to show His love and reconnect us back to Him and you still refuse to acknowledge or accept Him, you MOCK HIM and you will definitely not go unpunished. But if really you do not know, then your conscience is what would be used to judge you, because God Himself has placed the sense of good and evil in us and so, since they do not know His law and precepts, they will be judged outside the law (not knowing His law entails not mocking His Love). If they still perish, it will be strictly outside the law and based on their conscience. The next Bible passage summarizes this:
Romans 2: 16: "All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares"
The Love Of God
In conclusion, we can say, Hell is real, but should we now fear God because of the reality of Hell? No! The significance of the reality of Hell to a christian should be a place for those who do not acknowledge the love of God. If you are a christian and you acknowledge the Love of God, you then have absolutely nothing to do with the thoughts or reality of Hell. The Lake of fire does not concern you at all and when you have an established relationship with the most High, you should enjoy this relationship (as He intended from the beginning) and therefore everlasting Life is sure.
It is totally false doctrine to claim the lake of fire does not exist? God as a consuming fire will not spare us if we MOCK His Love and efforts to reconnecting us to Him. He has saved us once and for all, He will not be saving us again, because even after doing that, some of us will still Mock His Love again and again.
(c) 2013, Infobarrel
Dr. Funom Theophilus Makama
first published: 13th. February. 2013
Biblical Love Psychology
the paperback copy
Amazon Price: $12.45 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 20, 2013)
Biblical Love Psychology is the product of the understanding of the word of God from the Bible and as well the practical application of its Psychology; hence it is easily applicable and understandable irrespective of your belief. Lots of emphasis hits on Love itself, breaking it down into its stages, forms and levels and trying to differentiate these various stages of Love as distinct units. Take for instance, Love can be viewed in two categories, the horizontal (Man to man) and the vertical (God to man) and we will understand that The horizontal (Man to Man) exists with an initial step: THE ATTRACTION! But the vertical has no attraction in its initial phase because God loved us while we were yet sinners, doomed to die. This attraction could be blood (blood relations), romance (eros) or compatibility in likeness (Phileo-friendship).
This Book has explained explicitly the significance of the attraction, independent of Love (despite going hand in hand). It did not stop there, it is vivid in elaborating Love itself which is a deeper level and a soul to soul connect which is in by no means same as the initial step (the attraction). Despite all these wonderful revelations about Love, why do we have failed relationships today? Why are marriages not lasting up to 30 years as it used to be? Why do parents disown their children? Why are relationships so shallow, insignificant and treated like high-school courses where they come and go? A typical or an average young lady in her mid-20s should have experienced a minimum of 7 failed relationships in her life, is this supposed to be so? What about Love application to other phenomena such as material things, Money, Animals, what can we say about this? Despite the vertical kind of Love (God to man) being the AGAPE Love, does that mean man cannot exhibit this Agape? When a person adopts a child, this has definitely by-passed any form of attraction, because despite not being their blood (the attraction), the person adopts and loves this child, can we consider this Agape?
All these questions will be thoroughly answered and as well some doctrinal controversies such as: the doctrine of Hell (is it necessary since God loved us without any form of attraction?), the doctrine of the trinity, and the justification of disowning a child from the fact there is Hell, despite (God) showing us such immense love and many more issues.
So, as much as this basic psychological issue of Love is coming from the foundation of the Bible, it is applicable to everyone. I may not believe in Buddhism, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying any Buddhist Movie and even learn from it. There are lots of principles we can apply from this book into our love-relationships irrespective of our beliefs, so try to read it.
On a final note, we should be cautioned that this Book is not a relationship manual. This is far from it. This book is about Love and solely about Love, of which if we understand its basic principles can be applied to any form of relationships. Psychological tools like the Love graph, the perfect square formula are used to explicitly elaborate Love Psychology. Also, science is brought into the picture for us, to a large extent use critical thinking for the justification of the existence of God. If somewhere in our subconscious we believe in His existence, then we will appreciate the Agape Love better.
ENJOY READING BIBLICAL LOVE PSYCHOLOGY!