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Why does Apologetics Matter?
Transcript of Why does Apologetics Matter?
Developing the Problem
Heaven and Hell
Jesus seems to teach about both of these on a number of occasions. As we think about apologetics and evangelism we must consider the implications of our eternal state.
THE WHAT? (HAPPENED)
OUR TRUE MOTIVE
READ MATTHEW 13.44
The Weight of Eternity: If someone told you that you were going to live billions and billions of years after you die, how would that change your perspective on life? (II Corinthians 4.18)
Biblical Teaching About Hell:
Hell will last as long as God does. (Ps. 90.1-2)
Because God is holy he cannot tolerate evil and it will need to be separated from him for all eternity.
Hell will last as long as Heaven does
1) Heaven is described as “everlasting” (the greek word aionion)
2) Hell is described as “aionion” (the word is used in the same context as heaven). Therefore, if this word is used to infer that Heaven is eternal, then hell is also eternal. However, if hell is temporary, then hell is temporary. (Matthew 25.41; II Thes. 1.9; Rev. 20.10).
“While the word forever can mean a long time in some contexts, in this context it is used of heaven as well as hell (Matthew 25). Sometimes the emphatic form of ‘forever and forever’ is used. This phrase is used to describe heaven and God himself (Rev. 14.11; 20.10). And God cannot be temporal; he is eternal.
It is impossible to get out of hell. Luke 16.26 speaks about the great gulf fixed between heaven and hell.
What is Annihilationsim: Grudem Writes, “It has previously been denied by the Seventh Day Adventist Church and by various individuals throughout church history. Those who deny eternal conscious punishment often advocate “annihilationism,” a teaching that, after the wicked have suffered the penalty of God’s wrath for a time, God will “annihilate” them so that they no longer exist. Many who believe in annihilationism also hold to the reality of final judgment and punishment for sin, but they argue that after sinners have suffered for a certain period of time, bearing the wrath of God against their sin, they will finally cease to exist. The punishment will therefore be “conscious” but it will not be “eternal.”
the biblical references to the destruction of the wicked, which, some say, implies that they will no longer exist after they are destroyed (Phil. 3:19; 1 Thess. 5:3; 2 Thess. 1:9; 2 Peter 3:7; et al.);
“Hell is a place of eternal conscious punishment for the wicked” (Grudem, p. 1016).
Apologetic Problems with Hell
Discussion Question: If you were a skeptic, what would you think about the teaching of Hell?
“Hell has been called cruel, inhuman, and barbarous. Bertrand Russell said anyone who threatens people with eternal punishment, as Jesus did, is inhumane (Russell, 593-94). Unbelievers in general have questioned both the existence and justice of hell.”
A DESCRIPTION OF THE KINGDOM ("LIKE")
TREASURE HIDDEN IN A FIELD
A MAN FOUND THE TREASURE
COVERED IT UP
GOES AND SELLS ALL HE HAS TO BUY THE FIELD
COMPARISON: THE TREASURE WAS WORTH MORE THAN THE MONEY
WHY DOES THE GUY DO IT?
WHY DOES HE SELL ALL HE HAS TO GET THE FIELD?
"WITH GREAT JOY."
DEFINITION: WHAT IS AN IDOL?
EXAMPLES: WHAT CAN BE AN IDOL?
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE AN IDOL?
THE TREASURE IS JESUS:
THOMAS CHALMERS - "THE ONLY WAY TO BREAK THE HOLD OF A BEAUTIFUL OBJECT ON THE SOUL IS TO SHOW IT AN OBJECT THAT IS MORE BEAUTIFUL."
THIS EXPLAINS WHY ALUMNI 'FALL OFF THE WAGON'
KELLER CHAPTER 10
The Bible Teaches that There is a Hell
• John 20.11-15
• II Thessalonians 1.8-9: “But he will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out form the presence of the Lord and form the majesty of his power.”
God’s Justice Demands a Hell
1) Justice demands punishment.
2) God is completely holy (Isaiah 6)
3) God does not show favoritism (Romans 2.11)
4) What would you think of a judge who just let murders off because they were sorry?
“The heinousness of any crime must be gauged according to the worth or dignity of the person it is committed against” (Davidson, p. 50). Thus, a murder of a president or pope is deemed more heinous than that of a terrorist or Mafia boss. Sin against an infinite God is an infinite sin worthy of infinite punishment. (Geisler, Encyclopedia of Apologetics, p. 313).
God’s Love Demands a Hell
1) God is love (I John 4.16)
2) Only one option would be coercive. Being coercive would not be loving. God cannot force people to love him. (Forced love is not true love it is a hostage situation.) (II Corinthians 9.7)
God’s Sovereignty Demands a Hell
• Unless there is a hell there is not final victory over evil. There must be an ultimate separation , or else good will not triumph over evil (I Cor. 15.24-28; Rev. 20-22)
The Cross of Christ implies Hell
At the center of Christianity is the cross (I Cor. 1.17-18; 15.3) Without it there is no salvation (Rom 4.25; 3.21-26)
Jesus endured tremendous suffering on the cross.
Why would he do this unless there is a hell?
“Christ’s death is robbed of its eternal significance unless there is an eternal separation form God from which people need to be delivered” (Geisler, Dictionary of Apologetics, p. 312)
• Matthew 10.28: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
• Matthew 13.40: “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.”
• Matthew 25: The Sheep and the Goats
• Luke 16: The Story of Lazarus and the Rich Man
Jesus Taught the Existence of Hell
“Love demands freedom. It always has, and it always will. We are free to resist, reject, and rebel against God's ways for us. We can have all the hell we want.”
Not your Grandmother's Faith: Bell seeks to dismiss traditional Christianity. "Old is mold and new is true."
Deyoung Comments - "Bell reminisces about the scary picture in her house of a floating cross-bridge to heaven. He likens it to a joint project from Thomas Kinkade and Dante or like Dungeons and Dragons, Billy Graham, and a barbecue pit rolled into one (22–23). He and his sister were freaked out. This story of leaving earth to go to heaven by means of faith in Christ is not the story he wants to promote anymore....Bell allows that traditionalists can believe their story of heaven and hell, but “it isn’t a very good story” (110). Traditional Christians have inferior news to share because in their story so many people end up in hell."
Historical Problems: Bell believes that he is not saying anything new.. He argues that “at the center of the Christian tradition since the first church has been the insistence that history is not tragic, hell is not forever, and love, in the end, wins” (109). While universalism has been around for a long time it has been unequivocally rejected by the church.
Exegetical Gymnastics: Bell misinterprets several texts and ignores others (John 14.6)
Christological Issues: If universalism is true, then why did Jesus die?
Deyoung points out: "According to Bell, salvation is realizing you’re already saved. We are all forgiven. We are all loved, equally and fully by God who has made peace with everyone. That work is done. Now we are invited to believe that story and live in it (172–73)."
What will Heaven be like?
The Residence of God (wedding dress metaphor)
Physical (not ethereal; resurrected bodies? ex: the mind)
New (new elements - all that we do with water)
Worship (broadened view of worship; work - what vocations won't exist)