hell and lake of fire

Love Commended, Love Rejected

Monday, February 6, 2017

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8 KJV).

Friend, one of life’s greatest disappointments and injuries occurs when you offer someone your love and they trample it underfoot. They did not deserve your love; you did not deserve their hate. Likewise, we do not deserve God’s love, yet we enjoy it; He does not deserve our hate, and yet He receives it.

“Haters of God” (Romans 1:30) gripe about how He was so cruel and bloodthirsty in the Old Testament. What stares them in the face is the groundwork, the predictions, of the cross of Christ, found in those ancient writings. As they mumble and grumble in total ignorance, they ignore the love that God commended toward them at Calvary. To “commend” means, “to offer/present as worthy of acceptance or praise” (similar to “recommend”). Howbeit, they will neither accept nor praise that love that motivated Christ Jesus to die for our sins! Since they reject Father God’s truth and His love proclaimed therein, He will give them exactly what they prefer.

Second Thessalonians chapter 2 pronounces their impending doom, the coming of Satan’s emissary, Antichrist, the extreme depths of human wickedness: “[10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: [12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Once they are consumed in Jesus Christ’s fiery Second Coming, and swiftly ushered alive into the everlasting fires of hell, they will know that it is not God who is “unloving.” No, they were unloving in that they “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” from such a hateful place!

My friend, hate God no longer. Come to Him by faith in His Son, and His Son alone!

Something Not Worth Losing

Sunday, February 5, 2017

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 KJV).

Super Bowl Sunday comes annually in the United States. Teams fuel the intense passions in the athletic world by vying for a corruptible trophy. Howbeit, the competition in today’s Scripture is spiritual, is worldwide, never has a halftime, and involves the eternal souls of men!

The human soul is most zealous about religion, politics, and sports. These areas are most personal, so they generate many heated debates and conflicts. However, believe it or not, there are worse outcomes than losing a church member, losing an election, and losing a game. Losing your eternal soul is the greatest of all losses!

In the context of today’s Scripture, Jesus Christ told His Jewish disciples to “take up [their] cross, and follow [him]” (verse 24). “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (verse 25). They should not fear losing their earthly lives for His sake. What is most important is that they not lose their souls!

Jesus Christ declared there is more to life than this physical world and its temporal possessions. There is a spiritual world—an afterlife—to consider. In today’s Scripture, He asks them, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Does it make sense to emphasize this temporary world and its corruptible goods, to the point of ignoring your eternal soul, and wind up losing it in hellfire forever and ever?

Dear reader, there is more to you than just your physical body. Your inner man—your soul, your spiritual body—is everlasting. To ignore Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for your sins, is to remain dead in those sins, resulting in you spending eternity suffering God’s wrath in the lake of fire literally as a nameless, hopeless, disfigured creature.

Your soul is not worth losing! Trust Christ as your personal Saviour today!

A Life That Will Please

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 KJV).

Today’s Scripture tells us who alone can live a life pleasing in God’s sight!

Everyone does “good” deeds. Yet, doing “good” is not necessarily good. For instance, people often do “good” just to receive praise/reward, make up for their wrongs, feel good, et cetera. Furthermore, despite our “good” deeds, we have plenty more bad ones! Pride, lying, evil thoughts, being a false witness, and being contentious are some of the things the LORD hates (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Mankind cannot even keep 10 simple rules from God. However, religion continues to urge us to keep seven sacraments, utter various prayers, give assorted offerings and “tithes,” attend numerous feasts and festivals, and perform sundry other tasks to “hopefully” please God and avoid hellfire. Whether we attempt to keep a church’s laws, our laws, or God’s laws, our flesh is far too weak to ever measure up. Just look at what God’s religion did to Israel—how much worse some man-made religion does to us!

As Saul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul was a Pharisee, a religious leader of Israel. He was a nitpicker concerning Law-keeping, and yet, after his soul salvation, he admitted that all of his religion was “but dung” compared to Jesus Christ’s righteousness (Philippians 3:3-11). Even for the Christian, to live a perfect life is impossible (read of Paul’s miserable existence in Romans chapter 7). Paul had to forsake his vain religion and learn today’s Scripture: the Christian life is NOT the performance of the Christian, but the Lord Jesus Christ living and working in the Christian, as the Christian walks in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to him or her!

If we trust a Saviour who will save—the Lord Jesus Christ—and trust a Book that will teach—the King James Bible—we can redeem the year for the great God and our Saviour, “who loved [us], and gave himself for [us]!” 🙂

For What Saith the Scriptures?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3 KJV).

Today, our Bible Q&A website, “For What Saith the Scriptures?,” celebrates its third anniversary!

A question rarely asked in Christian circles, “What saith the scripture?” is found twice in the Bible—today’s Scripture, and Galatians 4:30, “Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”

God’s will for our lives is summed up in 1 Timothy 2:4, “[God our Saviour] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” There are two issues here—soul salvation from sins and everlasting hellfire, and soul salvation from false teaching unto sound Bible doctrine. Firstly, God wants everyone to become Christians by trusting in and relying exclusively on His Son Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork at Calvary as sufficient payment for their sins. Secondly, God wants Christians to trust in and rely on the grace doctrines found in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

Amazingly, both occurrences of “What saith the scripture?” have a special application to us—each instance correlates to one of the issues in 1 Timothy 2:4! The question “What saith the scripture?” in today’s Scripture uses the Bible to answer the question of soul salvation from sins and everlasting hellfire (faith instead of works, “all men to be saved;” 1 Timothy 2:4). The question “What saith the scripture?” in Galatians 4:30 uses the Bible to answer the question of soul salvation from false teaching unto sound Bible doctrine (grace instead of legalism, “come unto the knowledge of the truth;” 1 Timothy 2:4).

For these past three years, we desired you to have a clear understanding of how to have forgiveness of sins and justification unto eternal life, and for you to have a clear understanding of what God’s Word has to say about issues in your Christian life. We were honored to serve you in this additional capacity; thank you for the prayer and support this past year. As always, we welcome your Bible questions, and hope to serve you in that way for years to come! 🙂

Our 2nd-to-last Q&A for 2016: “Why did God want to kill Moses in Exodus 4:24?

P.S.—If FWSS has helped you in your personal Bible study these last three years, you may show your gratitude by donating to our PayPal account: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux. Or contact me at arcministries@gmail.com to learn how to give by “snail mail.” This past February, we were pleased to announce the launch of a print (booklet) version of FWSS. To purchase any of these 60 booklets, visit https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. New booklets are forthcoming next year!

In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 24, 2016

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

*Excerpted from our Thanksgiving 2012 Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see, “What are our spiritual blessings in Christ?

To Know Jesus Christ

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6 KJV).

Friend, may you come to know Jesus Christ as God wants you to know Him!

It is the most important question—“Who is Jesus Christ?” Many people, even here in the “Christian” United States, sometimes ask it. Amazingly, despite the myriads of websites, millions of books, and hundreds of radio and television broadcasts, all supposedly sharing Him with the world, people still wonder who He is. They had better find out… and quick! Their eternal destiny depends on what they believe about Him! Do they view Him as “just another way to God,” or as the Way” because He is the one mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5)? Do they consider Him “just another wonderful teacher,” or as the Truth” because He is the God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2)? Do they see Him as “just another religious leader,” or as the Life” because he is the “living God” (1 Timothy 3:15)?

Millions of people worldwide refuse to give the Lord Jesus Christ even one second of their time. They assume He will “go away” if they ignore Him. Sure, they do not have to think about Him in this life if they do not want to. He will gladly give them their preference. However, they will have a rude awakening after physical death! They will realize their folly once they meet Him in judgment! But, so be it!

Friend, I hope and pray you will ignore Jesus Christ no more. Someone, in love, needs to be frank with you: without Jesus Christ, a devil’s hell awaits you! God gave up His Son, and all I can do is give you the Gospel of the Grace of God. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day. You can either trust that, thereby becoming a member of the Church the Body of Christ, or you can remain dead in your trespasses and sins and wind up in hell. Come to Father God by simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, and be saved unto eternal life today!

NOTE: We will resume this special series of devotionals the day after Thanksgiving. Stay tuned!

Forsaken of God—For You!

Friday, November 18, 2016

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 KJV).

Jesus was forsaken of God, that you not be forsaken of God in everlasting hellfire!

These past several months, I have been ministering to a lady about a year old in Christ. (Perhaps you remember me writing about her several weeks back. When Mom and I visited her at home, she cried because she was so burdened that her son and daughter were still trapped in the cult she had escaped months earlier.) Just a few days ago, her son was nearly killed in an explosion. While he sustained major burns on his back and arms—about 20% of his body—he did in fact temporarily avoid a greater fire (hell!). He is certainly thinking about eternity right now, and so thankful to be alive. In the near future, I do hope he allows me to visit him so I can give him the Gospel.

Friends, let us face it. We are all going to die at some point, short of the Lord’s coming. Furthermore, we should never be under the impression that we have “all the time in the world” to get right with God. People die unexpectedly and enter hell every single day. Someone once estimated 100,000 people enter hell daily—about one death every 0.9 second. If that rate is accurate, by the time you finish reading this study, over 100 souls will have left our physical world and entered the flames that will never be quenched!! We can almost hear their bone-chilling wails, their incessant weeping, and the crackling of the flames around them—there is no hope here, no joy or friendship, no comfort. Yes, they remember. They remember us. How they plead with us not to join them in that place of torment!

Thankfully, Jesus Christ suffered such awful spiritual torment on Calvary’s cross. He bore our sin on His soul, pain beyond description, and died. We see just a hint of it in today’s Scripture. However, He resurrected so victoriously, to give us His life. Oh, may we trust Him as our personal Saviour now!