So far in this series, we have discussed how to deliver the gospel, what to convey in that delivery, and have handled some of the objections that those we would evangelize to, may toss our way. Let’s press forward in ways to handle three other concerns of those whom we would lead to salvation, as we bring this series to a close:
4. ‘I believe that when you’re dead, that’s it.’
‘The question of whether there is life after death has been pondered since the beginning of humankind. Fortunately, God has richly revealed the true nature of His eternal disposition of the dead. The first thing to get a hold of, is that everyone is resurrected:’
…the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Eccl. 12:7 CSB
Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake (resurrect), these to everlasting life, but some to disgrace and everlasting contempt (abhorrence). Dn. 12:2 AMP
“…for a time is coming when all those who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and they will come out – those who did good things [will come out] to a resurrection of [new] life, but those who did evil things [will come out] to a resurrection of judgment [that is, to be sentenced].” Jn. 5:28, 29. AMP
‘As we can see, there are only two paths for God’s eternal disposition of resurrected humankind – heaven or hell. The good news is, that you have complete control over which way God renders His sentence.
You can ignore God’s directions for how to live your life, which is living in a form of disobedience (i.e. to commit unrepentant sin). Consequently, as you’ve just seen, you will live out an eternity in God’s contempt, sentenced to exist in His absence, in hell, without love nor any chance of redemption through Christ. Not a good place to be:’
‘Then He will also say to those on the left hand, “Depart from Me you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”’ Mt. 25:41 NKJV
“…to be cast into hell fire – ‘Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’” Mk. 9:47, 48. NKJV
‘There is no way to dress up the final destination of the devil and his followers. And be certain of this, you are either following God or chasing after Satan. There is no in-between.
So, you could instead make the choice to walk in God’s instruction, most importantly the part about accepting His Son, Jesus Christ as your Savior, so that all the times that you have slipped up, are slipping up, and the times that you will slip up, will not incur the penalty of being eternally marooned as a tormented soul:’
“…through His name everyone who believes in Him [whoever trusts in and relies on Him, accepting Him as Savior and Messiah] receives forgiveness of sins.” Acts 10:43 AMP
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life…” Jn. 3:36 ESV
‘Eternal ‘life’ is a heavenly life. Yes, there is a heaven:’
…the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed… Dn. 2:44 NKJV
‘The ‘kingdom of heaven’ is the same as the ‘kingdom of God’ – a kingdom only open to those who accept Christ. It is a spiritual / inner kingdom on this earth where God’s children dedicate themselves to forward that same kingdom, by filling its ranks.
Yet, it is also a kingdom that we aspire to spend eternity in, in its final manifestation:’
For the outward form of this world [its present social and material nature] is passing away. 1 Cor. 7:31 AMP
…the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. Eccl. 7:1 NASB
For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off. Pr. 23:18 NKJV
‘Jesus Himself prepares a place in heaven for every child of God:’
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” Jn. 14:2 NASB
‘At the end of time, there will be great havoc and wars; yet God will separate His children, (those cleansed by the salvation blood of Christ), from the lawless, and deliver them from the final destruction of earth into His blessed presence. And they shall be transformed:’
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. Is. 35:5, 6. NKJV
‘Wrapped with new immortal, indestructible bodies:’
It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. 1 Cor. 15:42 – 44. NASB
‘We will be living LARGE in our heavenly home forever:’
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth…the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people…And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rv. 21:1 – 4. NKJV
5. ‘Why does a good God allow such injustice, cruelty and suffering?’
‘God did not plan for a world with these conditions. The world He created was a paradise:’
And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power]; and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing…” Gn. 1:28 AMP
The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food… Gn. 2:8 NASB
‘Everything was gifted to Adam and Eve. God also gifted them (and us) with free will. He did that so that they might love Him, because conscripted love is not love. Unfortunately, they used that free will to choose to rebel against God’s authority. Because of Adam’s sin, (the taint of which is carried through all generations), we all die – as God had told them would happen if they made that choice. Thus, the problem is not God, (He’s just being true to His word), it is humankind.
God does not plan anything evil:’
“It is impossible for God to do wrong, and for the Almighty to act unjustly.” Job 34:10 CSB
‘All we had to do was follow God’s instructions:’
“If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations. Lv. 25:18 NLT
‘Why? Because God loves us:’
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Pt. 5:7 NLT
‘God’s hands are tied when we turn our backs on Him, because God will not violate our free will. Therefore, we are left to experience what we bring upon ourselves.
Yet God is loving and merciful as well. He sent Adam and Eve out of the Garden, having atoned for their sins (with respect to its immediate effects upon them), onto a new path for redemption.
However, within ten generations later, humankind rebelled against God again, this time on a global scale. Again, God would not violate their free will to wantonly violate His commands. He left them to their own designs, which ultimately resulted in a sentence of death.
There was only one family of eight people that was following God, led by Noah; which was fortunate for us, because again we behold God’s mercy, when He uses them to give humans a do-over by repopulating the earth from their seed. (Gn. Ch.6 – 10.)
Many generations later, in spite of many human-induced bumps along the way, God preserved His people, creating a seed-bed that would bless all generations all over the world. (Gn. 22:17, 18). He sent them a mighty prophet, Moses, who would lead His children into the Promised Land. Moses spoke for God, who gave him the Ten Commandments to teach the people. Thus, there could be no further confusion regarding how they were to live their lives, nor any excuse for being in violation of them.
Once again, the people rebelled. (Ex. Ch. 32; Dt. 9:24.) Subsequently, an entire generation was denied access to the Promised Land; but God’s mercy never wanes. Their children were given admission.
They too rebelled, over and over. God sent them more prophets to try to turn them back to His ways, and to inform them of the price to pay, if they didn’t. They propped up human kings, trying to usurp His authority. The people practiced pagan rites, including the killing of their own children. For these things, God gave them over to their circumstances – allowing them to be conquered and enslaved. Yet, after a time, He brought His people home.
Still, the rebellion never ceased. The people favored the voice of Satan, (the author of their rebellion), over their Creator. (By the way, the devil was not created to be evil; he chose to be that way). People don’t realize that the enemy hates them:’
And the great dragon was thrown down, the age-old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, he who continually deceives and seduces the entire inhabited world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Rv. 12:9 AMP
…the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving to prevent them from seeing the illuminating light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Cor. 4:3, 4. AMP
‘God has never wavered in His purpose: to wipe out evil and restore the earth to the paradise it was before the wayward people corrupted it, and to fill it with those who love Him for eternity:’
“Now judgment is upon this world [the sentence is being passed]. Now the rule of this world (Satan) will be cast out.” Jn. 12:31 AMP
“…the God of the heavens will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed…” Dn. 2:44 CSB
“…for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure…” Is. 46:9, 10. NASB
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them…” Rv. 21:3 NASB
‘Even now, with the majority of the world still resisting God, denying Him and defying His commandments, He sent a final doorway, an entrance into heaven – His Son, Jesus Christ. Our part is to confess our sinful state, repent to the best of our ability, accept Jesus in our heart, and make Him Lord over our lives. Then, and only then, will our slates be wiped clean:’
“I am the [only] Way [to God’ and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Jn. 14:6 AMP
‘So, is God an unfair God? Hardly…’
The righteous will inherit the land, and dwell in it forever. Ps. 37:29 NKJV
…according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Pt. 3:13 NKJV
6. ‘Christians don’t act any better than non-believers.’
‘Many times, that is unfortunately the case. We all must battle our sin nature, and often, everyone will lose some of those skirmishes:’
…for there is no one who does not sin… 1 Kn. 8:46 CSB
‘Yet, a Christian is acutely aware when they sin, through the conviction of Christ, who mercifully leads them back to Him for confession and repentance. Christ went to the cross so that we might receive His forgiveness for our sins, and be given the grace to avoid an eternity of condemnation:’
We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 1 Jn. 5:18 AMP
‘It’s a matter of living in God’s grace, doing the best that we can, and Christ will make up the difference.
The important thing to realize, is not to throw that first stone, because we all have to answer to God for our own behavior:’
So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore… Rm. 14:12 NKJV
This to my dear readers: I hope that you feel better-equipped to share the gospel. What a privilege it is, to contribute to the human soul, through serving the living, loving God…
Goodnight and God bless.