Thursday, February 17, 2022



“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.

Hello Friends:

     Last week was the second installment of the seven-post series “Steps to God”. I shared the post, “Help, I Need Somebody”. It was about the realization that we can’t come to God using our own power and will. And for the veil over our hearts to be removed we need three identified sources outside ourselves. These sources are the three persons of the Trinity: God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The Bible shows that each person in the Trinity is very close to us, and just waiting for us to call out, “Help, I need somebody, not just anybody”.
     The third step to God I've identified is a rather difficult realization. Most people look forward to wages that they have coming to them at the end of a hard day, week, month, and year of work. But this third post is about “Unwanted Wages”. Wages that most of us would rather not think about.
     So, let’s look at wages a little bit. First, what I will call “wanted wages”:
  • In John 3:14 John the Baptist told a group of soldiers, “Don’t take money from anyone by force or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.” They were earning their wages by doing their job of protecting citizens, and likely arresting bad citizens. At least that's what they were supposed to be doing.
  • Jesus said in Luke 10:7 about his disciples who he was sending into various towns, “Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they offer, for the worker is worthy of his wages.” This means that a person doing his or her job of spreading the gospel should be paid accordingly.
  • Paul reiterated Jesus’ wage theme in 1 Timothy 5:18, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain, and the worker is worthy of his wages.”
     Now let’s look at “unwanted wages”. The examples where the term wages that are "unwanted" are much fewer in the Bible than “wanted wages”:
  • Solomon wrote in Proverbs 10:16, “The reward of the righteous is life; the wages of the wicked is punishment.”
  • Paul wrote in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death . . . “ We might say, “I haven’t been wicked” . . . or “I haven’t sinned.”
     Let’s look at what the Bible says:
  • “Wicked” people or “wickedness" is mentioned 353 times in the Bible.
  • The Psalms alone mentions them 99 times.
  • Proverbs mentions them 84 times.
     The writers of these books state repeatedly the dire consequences of wickedness, and the wonderful blessings of righteousness.
     Again, most of us don’t think of ourselves as wicked or sinful. The Bible disagrees. We are all born wicked and sinful, and we need help to overcome it.
     Paul wrote in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” He's saying, that according to God’s standard, we have all sinned and need a Savior to save us from our sins.
     Still not convinced. John wrote in 1 John 1:8, “If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
     You might still say, “So, I have sinned a little bit, but I’m not as wicked as that guy over there.” Paul’s words in Romans 6:23 are clear; everyone that sins have “the wages of death” awaiting them, no matter the degree of sinfulness.
     Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 about Satan giving the antichrist authority to perform “every wicked deception”. Paul makes it clear that all people not accepting “the love of the truth” to “be saved”, are controlled by Satan and his wickedness. What then are the “wages of sin”, which Paul described as “death” in Romans 6:23.
     Some theologians, prominent Bible teachers, and even one so-called friend of mine minimized the fact that death consists of eternal torment in hell. They say, “What we have on earth is what we get.” I was repeatedly told not to focus on the importance of salvation of the lost to avoid an eternal death in hell . . . but only to focus on the wonderful life we will all have here on earth and in heaven when we come to Jesus. I agree that coming to Jesus is a wonderful life compared to the loneliness and despair I felt without Him. But the Bible's very clear about what the wages of sin are.
     The prominent teacher, Tim Mackie, of the popular “Bible Project” website emphatically states there IS no literal hell, and that every person will end up in heaven at one time or another once they finally see the error of their ways. Mr. Mackie has a very large following who are being deceived as we speak.
     After all, pain and suffering comes with physical death, doesn't it. So, it's logical to assume that pain and suffering will accompany a spiritual death.
     Not being a Bible scholar, but only a layman I researched a literal hell as mentioned in the Bible. The numbers alone will make you think twice about a literal hell.
  • The terms “hell”, “hellfire”, “hades”, and “sheol” are mentioned 54 times in the Bible.
  • 31 times in the Old Testament. 
  • 23 times in the New Testament. 
  • 11 times directly by Jesus.
     Jesus also mentions in Matthew and Luke seven times that sinful people against him will be thrown into:
  1. “Outer darkness” (3 times) . . . where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
  2. A “blazing furnace” (2 times) . . . where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. 
  3. A “place” (2 times) . . . where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
     My question is: “What other place would there be where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth except in a literal hell?”
     The term “Lake of fire” is mentioned 4 times in Revelation 19 and 20:
  1. Revelation 19:20 says of the beast and false prophet, “Both of them were thrown into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur."
  2. Revelation 20:10 says, “The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” 
  3. Revelation 20:14 says, “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.”
  4. Revelation 20:15 lastly says, “And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
     So, it’s very, very sad, but true according to the Bible. The “unwanted wages” each of us will receive if we don’t invite Jesus to save us from our sins is an eternal death in hell. BUT there’s good news coming! My post next week is about God making us “An Offer We Can’t Refuse!”.

See you next time,

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