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Hell Is the Default Destination

Posted by Pastor J.D. on March 20, 2017
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Most people assume that as long as they don’t mess things up in their time here on earth, they’ll go to heaven when they die. But Scripture says the opposite. God created us for heaven, but the rebellion of the human race, in which we are all participating, has destined us for hell.

Hell, not heaven, is our default destination.

Notice the breadth of who is described as going to hell in Revelation 21:8: “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (ESV).

Included in that list are the ones you’d expect: murderers, sorcerers, etc. The “really bad” guys. But it also includes a lot of people who could be found in the church, like:

  • The cowardly – those who would never stand for Jesus in front of their friends
  • The faithless – those who went to church but never really trusted God enough to obey him with their relationships or their money
  • Idolaters – those who wouldn’t put God first in their lives
  • Liars -those who came to church but whose submission to God was not sincere

Hell is an eternal place of torment, and all of us—no matter where we fall in that list—are deserving of its agony. That reality makes me think of the words of Charles Spurgeon: “These are such weighty things, such that when I dwell upon them, I feel far more inclined to sit down and weep than to stand up and speak to you.”

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This weekend’s message covered a lot of ground, but we recognize that it also has the potential to lead to some confusion. The following resources (most of which I mentioned during the message) should help fill out what I couldn’t get to in my “brief” 40 minutes of preaching.

Christian Marriage, Gender Roles, and Abuse

  • Follow Up Resources for a Sermon on Headship and Submission, Brad Hambrick. Our Pastor of Counseling links to some of his excellent Gospel-Centered Marriage material here, showing how Christian marriage is more than gender roles. He also shares a bunch of helpful material to address different aspects of how to respond to abusive relationships.

Parenting

Work

  • Work as Worship, RightNow Media. (Note: You’ll need a RightNow log-in to access this material. If you haven’t logged in already, ask your small group leader or campus pastor.)
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God Chose Us Anyway

Posted by Pastor J.D. on March 16, 2017
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When Jesus began his ministry, he fulfilled all the requirements for rabbis who possessed what the Jews called semikhah, which translates as “authority.” He knew the Torah so well that he had instructed the teachers of the law in the temple by age 12. The people who heard him speak were amazed at his authority, and he even performed miracles.

So, of course, when Jesus called Peter and Andrew to follow him (Matthew 4:18-22), they got up and left their nets behind. Jesus, who was just oozing with semikhah, chose two fishermen to follow him and become like him, to know what he knew, to do what he did, and to be filled with his power. Fishermen didn’t usually—as in, ever—get called up to the big leagues like that.

Can you relate to Peter and Andrew? Do you ever feel too ordinary or unprepared to follow the Son of God? There are two things to notice in this passage about what it means to be Jesus’ disciple that will help us see why Jesus called us, even when, like Jesus’ first disciples, we lack potential or personal power.

1. God doesn’t choose the best. He chooses the willing.

When Jesus called his disciples, he didn’t choose religious experts or great scholars. He chose a bunch of fishermen, an IRS agent, and a former terrorist. It wasn’t a promising crew. But Jesus chose them anyway.

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