Cruelty In The Bible?
the fact that non-Christians go to hell cruel?
THE CLAIMED CRUELTY:
he promised to send non-Christians to eternal torture
(e.g., Revelation 21:8).
Once again the humanists have worded their
accusation in a way designed to speak to your emotions. However, we'll take a
rational, logical look at what is being said, and see if it is reasonable. Revelation
21:8 is one of my favorite verses because it plainly makes clear who is heading
for the lake of fire:
But for the
cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and
sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns
with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. - Revelation
Who is speaking?
He who sits on the throne said... - Revelation 21:5
is God speaking... the one who sits on the throne.
Let's define some of
the terms used in this verse, so we can be sure we all understand what is being
Cowardly - False believers. They are
revealed when the fall away from the faith when their faith is tested, challenged
or opposed. They "shrink back to destruction." (Hebrews 10:39)
- Those who are not trusting in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
- People caught up in wickedness and evil.
Murders - Read
Matthew 5:21-24 to get a deeper understanding of murder. It not only includes
taking someone's life, it includes hatred and anger. Jesus said that if you are
unjustly angry with someone, then you have murdered them in your heart.
persons - Those who have disobeyed God. (For example, broken the Ten
Sorcerers - We think sorcery is not a problem
today. Unfortunately the occult is alive and strong today. But, there is more
to this word. The Greek word used here is "pharmakos." This is the word
we get our word "pharmacy" from, and it refers to mind-altering drugs.
Sorcery, witchcraft, and drugs are all related, and those whose lives are characterized
by these things are not saved.
Idolaters - Those who have
something in their lives that is more important than God.
- How many lies have you told?
People whose lives are characterized
by any of the above are not saved and their eternal destination is the lake of
fire. So, yes, all non-Christians, as well as MANY people who call themselves
Christian (see Matthew 7:21-23), will experience eternal torture in the lake of
In reading Revelation 21:8 above I hope you noticed that everyone
is in at least one, and probably several of the categories that are listed. So
the question is, "How do I not end up in the lake that burns with fire and
brimstone, which is the second death?"
There are only two ways:
Not be on the list. In other words, never do anything that puts you on
the list. For example, never tell a lie... not even a white lie. Never disobey
God in any way. (Obey all of the Ten Commandments perfectly, at all times.) Live
your life such that God is always first in your thoughts, words and deeds.
If you are on the list (and everyone is), you have disobeyed God and
have earned the just and right punishment, eternity in the lake of fire. Your
only other option is to get someone else to take your punishment in your place.
is no living person who can do this. Everyone else must pay the penalty they've
earned. Since the punishment is infinite, they are not able to take on a second
infinite punishment. They ONLY person who can do this is God... and He did.
is God. When He died on the cross He willingly took on Himself the sins of everyone...
past, present, and future, who believes in Him. And He took their punishment for
those sins on Himself. Those who believe in Him are called Christians... and truly
are Christians (as opposed to being false converts). The door is open to everyone...
Jesus paid the penalty for sin for ANYONE who believes in Him as their Savior.
Jesus is not exclusive in any way... but if you do not take His offer... there
is no other option... you are heading for the eternal lake of fire and brimstone
which is the second death.
Conclusion: It is your choice.
As a result of your sin you've earned the lake of fire. God has given you the
option to "opt out" through the only possible way... trusting that Jesus
Christ literally took you sins on Himself and died in your place. There is nothing
cruel, evil or immoral here, just love.
Next example, the humanists write:
Besides the unfairness and heartlessness contained
in many well-known Christian teachings, the Bible has other violent tales that
are opposed to civilized standards of morality. Among the most shocking Bible
passages are those that portray God as ordering or approving the extermination
of various people, including children and the elderly. Here are examples:
At I Samuel 15:3, the prophet Samuel gives King Saul
this commandment from the Lord: Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy
all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and
suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
I've already answered
similar accusations. But, we'll look at each example, one-by-one. Click
here for the first one, 1 Samuel 15:3