Rev 14:10                                                      Hell                                                     9/15/2013     

Š        What Is Hell? (1Pet 4:13, Rom 9:22, Matt 25:31-34,41, 1Thes 4:17, 2Cor 5:8, Ecc 7:20, Eph 2:8)

 

 

Š            For Whom Was Hell Made (Matt 25:41, Heb 1:14, Mal 3:1, Rom 4:25, Tit 3:5)

 

 

Š            Sin and Evil (Gen 3:1,17-18)

 

 

#1.      The Wages of Sin is Death (Eph 2:1-3, Gen 2:17, Rom 9:21)

 

 

 

Š      The Root Sin (Acts 17:26, Rom 5:12, 3:23, Phil 1:29)

 

 

 

#2.      Three Kinds of Death (Acts 2:27, Matt 7:13-14, Rev 20:15,21:8

 

 

 

Š      Both a Condition and a Place (Acts 2:27, Matt 25:41, Rev 20:15,21:8)

 

 

 

#3.      The Full Wrath of God (Rev 14:9-11, Gal 1:6-9, Rom 3:18)

 

 

 

#4.      Is There a Way of Escape? (Rom 5:15-17, Gen 15:16)

 

 

Š      In the Presence of the Lamb (Rev 14:10, 22:3-4)

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 25:31 (2X).

Š      What Is Hell? (1Pet 4:13, Rom 9:22, Matt 25:31-34,41, 1Thes 4:17, 2Cor 5:8, Ecc 7:20, Eph 2:8)

Last week's sermon was titled "What Is Sin?" The present sermon is titled "Hell”, or “The Penalty For Sin". You can see how we arrived at this point of the beautiful structure that God is building before our eyes? What is ultimately the penalty for sin? It is Hell! It is the process of dying which lasts for an eternity in the Lake of Fire. Was the concept of Hell also an element of God's plan He had before the foundation of the world? Absolutely Yes! And it was in God's plan to save a certain number of people from going to Hell, because they were to become the Bride of Christ. They are called the Elect of God. God planned everything for the lives of His Elect. All God's plans are now executed in minute detail, in order that, "when his glory shall be revealed, we may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1Pet 4:13). God's plan for this creation also included a number of people whom God did not plan to save. These are the Reprobate. Was God aware that the Reprobate would come into existence? Did they come to life by themselves? Was God surprised to find them living on this earth? Absolutely not! God is never surprised. God created them. Did they reprobate themselves? Did they condemn themselves without God's intervention? O No! God says that He made "the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction" (Rom 9:22). So, what is the purpose of their existence? Who shall afflict the Elect of God? God's plan is that the Elect endure sufferings at the hand of the Reprobate, just like the Lord Jesus had to endure sufferings at the hand of the Reprobate. This is what the Reprobate enjoy doing. And on the Last Day God will cast the reprobate into Hell. What is Hell? Let us read that in Matt 25.

Matt 25:31, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:      Literally verse 34 the Lord Jesus says:

Matt 25:34, “Come, The blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom having been prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”

What was that? Has the kingdom of God in the New Heaven and the New Earth already been prepared for us from the foundation of the world? That is indeed true, but that kingdom is still empty. And what about Hell? Literally we read in Matt 25:41,

Matt 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left (hand), Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, having been prepared for the devil and his messengers:”

Here also, Hell has already been prepared from the foundation of the world, but presently it is still empty. Why is it still empty? Many churches teach that when the wicked die their soul will immediately be cast into Hell. That cannot be true; that is only wishful thinking.  Think it through now. When the Last Day has arrived all the wicked will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Does this mean that all the wicked will be dragged out of Hell to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, then will be passed the judgment, and then they will be cast into Hell again? In Hell, out of Hell, and in Hell again. That is idiotic. And what about the elect, after the rapture? When the Bible says in 1Thes 4:17, “And so shall we ever be with the Lord”, does this mean that after the rapture, when the Last Day has arrived, the saints will be dragged out of Heaven to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and then the judgment will be passed, and then they will be sent to Heaven again? That is idiotic, for this contradicts the words of God in 1Thes 4:17, “And so shall we ever be with the Lord”. No! This kind of scenario breaks all the rules of the righteous judgment of Christ. If Christ is a righteous judge He will not cast anyone into Hell unless they have first been arraigned before the judgment seat of Christ, and be sentenced for the crimes they have committed. Then they will be cast into Hell. But those who go to heaven are there already, for we read in 2Cor 5:8 about the destiny of the saints, “to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord”. And so, we see that there is a contrast between Heaven and Hell. Why is there a contrast? It is because Hell is the reward for works; the works of men; whereas Heaven is not a reward for the works of men. God says in Ecc 7:20,

Ecc 7:20, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”

In other words, we sin all the time. Even a just man, a man who is righteous in the sight of God, will sin all the time, for that is the nature of man. But God, as a righteous judge, must punish all sin, even those sins that are committed by His elect people. And so, Hell is a reward for the works of men. God says in Rom 3:10, “There is NONE righteous, NO, NOT ONE.”

But Heaven is a free gift; a free gift of grace, a free gift by the favor of God upon all His elect,

Eph 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

And when will be the time that we inherit the favor of God? It is now already, in this time. And when will the wicked inherit the wrath of God? It is now, in this time. They will not receive any favors from God in this life, but they will be judged and be cast into Hell after they have been arraigned before the judgment seat of Christ and their sins have been read to them.

Š      For Whom Was Hell Made? (Matt 25:41, Heb 1:14, Mal 3:1, Rom 4:25, Tit 3:5)

Matt 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left (hand), Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, having been prepared for the devil and his messengers:”

Hell is made for the devil and his messengers. Who are the messengers of the devil? First of all, these are all the fallen angels who are now called demons. Wherever we read about angels in the Bible we can safely translate that word as “messengers”, for that is what it means. Demons are messengers of the devil. Secondly, unsaved people are also messengers of the devil, for the natural man comes into the world as a servant of the devil. All people are in fact messengers; they are either messengers of the devil, or they are messengers of Christ. The elect angels are messengers of Christ for they are sent to minister to those who will be heirs of salvation (Heb 1:14). Hell is also made for Christ as a place where He could atone for our sins. For that reason Christ is called “The Messenger of the Covenant” (Mal 3:1).

When people lend themselves to be willing messengers of the devil they are like the demons, who are also willing messengers of the devil. God has no love and no mercy for demons.

But the Bible declares that “God is love.” One of the basic attributes of God is that He is full of love. In fact, “God is the personification of love.” How then can God love if all of mankind has corrupted themselves to the status of demons? But God saw this coming before the foundation of the world, and thus God created a new group of mankind whom He could love, and whom He destined to become the Bride of Christ. This new group of mankind was given to Christ, and Christ is their federal head. This new group of people was chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. And because they were in Christ from before the foundation of the world, they were also in Christ when He was crucified, and when He died, and when He rose again from the grave, and when He ascended into Heaven. In His atonement Christ endured the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, and He completed the payment that He had to make. He suffered as if He went to Hell and came out the other end. Only because He was God the Son could He make a payment that lasted from Thursday night to Friday afternoon, and which was equivalent to an eternity in Hell. But Christ never went to a literal place called Hell. But since the chosen group of people was in Christ, they too were counted as if they had been in Hell when Christ physically suffered on behalf of them. When in AD 33 Christ rose from the grave and His atonement was complete, all our sins were in principle washed away, and thus God could write in Rom 4:25, “Who was delivered for (dia)(through) our offences, and was raised again for (dia)(through) our justification.” Thereafter when God the Holy Spirit has made us born from above, He will apply the atonement of Christ to our soul, and truly our sins will have been washed away, according to Tit 3:5.

Š      Sin and Evil (Gen 3:1,17-18)

As long as we are on the topic of contrasts, let us also consider Sin and Evil. There is much confusion about Sin and Evil. They are both introduced in Gen 3. God is not the author of sin. God only prepared the stage, and man fell into sin. We read in Gen 3:1,

Gen 3:1, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Here we see how sin came into the world. Sin originated in the realm of angels who rebelled against God and who left their first assignment to minister to those of mankind who shall be heirs of salvation. Instead of serving mankind they served themselves by tempting the woman and then the man into sin. This was how sin was introduced among mankind. God did not coerce Eve to sin, but sin was a voluntary act of the woman and then of the man to sin against the law of God. Did God know that the man and the woman would do this? Yes He knew. Could God have stopped this temptation at any moment? Yes He could. God did not stop it, but that does not make God the author of sin. God knew the outcome of this temptation, and God used it into His plan to save the elect of mankind through the crucifixion of Christ. By allowing the angel Lucifer into the Garden of Eden God already knew the outcome of this spiritual battle. We must remember that God is a righteous Judge. He assigned the blame only to those who were guilty. First He cursed the serpent, referring to the devil, and then He cursed the woman, and then He cursed the man. And so here we see that sin was introduced to mankind by the voluntary act of the first man and his wife. Anyone who blames God for creating sin is falsely accusing God, and it is a grievous sin.

Sin is Evil, but not all Evil is sin. Move a few verses down to Gen 3:17, and there we see how evil was generated. Indeed God created evil. We read in Gen 3:17-18,

Gen 3:17, “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;  18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;”

God cursed the ground (this earth) “For thy sake”. Paraphrased we would say that this earth became cursed so that we would long for a New Heaven and a New Earth where only righteousness dwells. That is why God cursed the ground “For thy sake.” And then God said in Gen 3:18, “Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” Metaphorically God spoke of irritating nuisances like thorns and thistles, and greater disasters that man will reap on account of all our sins. For example, failures in harvest time because of the literal thorns and thistles, but also tornados, and hurricanes, and draughts, and floods, and earthquakes, and tsunamis, and hail, and thunders, and lightnings, and so on, shall God generate. These are all implied in the curse of “thorns and thistles.” All these are evils, but these evils are not sins. God is bringing these on, because He cursed the ground.

God's righteousness demands that every sin must be paid with a penalty. What is that penalty?

#1.      The Wages of Sin is Death (Eph 2:1-3, Gen 2:17, Rom 9:21)

Man is a two component being: body and soul. And so, when we consider the subject of dying we need to ask ourselves: Are we speaking of death of the body or death of the soul? A spirit cannot die. And so, physical death of the soul is non-existent, but spiritual death of the soul is very real. God declares in Eph 2:1-3 that we were dead in trespasses and sins. In other words, our soul was dead to God because of trespasses and sins. This is how we came into the world: dead in our soul.

Death is not natural and normal. Death is very unnatural. Death is the manifestation of the wrath of God. Death is the execution of a sentence. Death is punishment for sin. When God said to Adam in Gen 2:17, "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Lit: dying thou shalt die)" that was a promise which God was going to fulfill on the same day that Adam ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore, when Adam ate from that tree he died instantly, according to the promise of God. That day he died not in his body, but he died in his soul. And this is how Adam and Eve brought their posterity into the world: spiritually dead, which means unable to do anything of value to God. But man remained a rational, moral creature. If he lost also his intellect and his will, he could not be a sinner, and be held accountable for his sins. But of all his excellent gifts, which he had received from God in the Garden of Eden, he retained only small remnants thereof. But these remnants of intellect and morality are sufficient to leave man without excuse. Therefore all men are conceived in sin, and are by nature children of wrath, incapable of doing anything good to save themselves from the wrath of God. They are prone to evil, in bondage to sin, and without the regenerating grace of God the Holy Spirit they are neither able, nor willing to return to God.

It might appear then as if the descendants of Adam were the innocent victims of his transgression. He sinned, and they all suffer and came into the world with a corrupt nature, without the precious gifts such as knowledge of God, righteousness and holiness, which God originally gave to Adam. Must the children suffer for the sins of the parents? And how can we be held accountable for actual sins and transgressions if we are born with a nature that is incapable of staying away from sin? If I am born with a corrupt nature, I certainly cannot help it that I never had an opportunity to do anything good in the eyes of God. I am an innocent victim of circumstances who is to be pitied, rather than come under the judgment of God and be condemned. Why does God condemn me? But that is not true. Please turn to Rom 9:21. When God created mankind, He did not make a multitude of individuals, like He did with the angels, but God created one organism, the root of which and the bearer of whose nature was Adam. God said in Rom 9:21, "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" God made the whole human race out of the same lump, which is Adam. Adam was the ROOT of the human race. This brings us to:

Š      The Root Sin (2X) (Acts 17:26, Rom 5:12, 3:23, Phil 1:29)

God created mankind as one organism. That is why God said in Acts 17:26,

Ac 17:26  And (He) hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Please turn to Rom 5:12. God made of one blood all nations on the earth. Adam, the bearer of this one blood and the bearer of this human nature, sinned and corrupted himself, and thereby corrupted the entire human race. This is exactly what the Scriptures teach us. We read in Rom 5:12,

Ro 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Moreover, God created the human race not only as an organism, with Adam as the root and the first father, but also as a legal corporation, with Adam as the legal representative head. Therefore there is communal responsibility; and there is communal guilt and suffering in human life. We cannot say that we do not want Adam to be our legal representative, because Rom 5 teaches us this important principle: If we do not submit ourselves to this representative principle, that Adam is our representative in the flesh, then Christ cannot be our legal representative in the spirit, and we end up without a Savior. The representative principle is an integral part of God's plan of salvation. Through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so we are all born "dead in trespasses and sins". In fact, all have departed from the living God. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Since Adam is the ROOT of the human race, we must realize that Adam's sin was the ROOT SIN, and that this root sin must develop until its fruit is ripe and the full measure of iniquity is filled by our entire human race. Then sin will be revealed in its true character as rebellion against God; and God will be revealed in His righteous judgment over all that do and love sin. Presently we can see this rebellion develop in false gospels that incorporate signs and wonders and dreams and visions and speaking in tongues, and these false gospels are taking the world by storm. We also see that, through the forces of the homosexual community, there is a movement to change the Bible so that it will not be gender specific, and homosexuality will no longer be condemned. For example, this week Canada is set to vote on a bill that would criminalize public expression against homosexual behavior. Bill #C-250 would add sexual orientation as a protected category in Canada's genocide and hate-crimes legislation. If this bill passes, the KJ Bible will be deemed "hate literature" under the criminal code. We can see that it is only a matter of time before such legislation will be passed in this country, and then our radio broadcasts will be against the Law of the land. But we should have peace with all these developments, because God is working everything out according to His plan, and the root sin must develop until its fruit is ripe and the full measure of iniquity is filled up by the human race. To the development of the fullness of this ripened fruit of sin, all the ungodly work together in harmony with all their gifts, their talents, their money, their time, and all the lawyers they can drum up. We should rejoice in all this, because it indicates that Christ is coming soon. "And blessed are they to whom it is given by grace" in the cause of Christ "not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake".

Adam committed the ROOT sin, which was punishable with death. However, there are:

#2.      Three Kinds of Death (Acts 2:27, Matt 7:13-14, Rev 20:15,21:8)

Please turn to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 2:27 (2X).

When the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, He endured the wrath of God in our place, which means He endured the equivalent of Hell in our place. We read in Acts 2:27,

Ac 2:27  “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (= Hades), neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”

Most certainly this is a condition of suffering, because the Lord Jesus Christ did not remove Himself into a place called Hell, but He endured in His Soul, or in His Spirit, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. His sacrifice was sufficient to atone for the sins of all His Elect, and was accepted by God as a satisfactory substitution for us spending an eternity in Hell. It could only satisfy the justness, or the righteousness of God if it was indeed equivalent to what we would have to pay for our sins. If Christ would only have suffered in His body, it could not be the equivalent of what we would have to pay for our sins. Our sins are, or were, in our souls and our sufferings in Hell would have to be endured in our bodies, because they were the originators of those sins, and to be endured in our souls, because there is where the guilt for our sins is stored. So how can Christ's sufferings be substituting for ours? They can only be a valid substitution if Christ suffered in His body and also in His Soul. The KJV translators understood this very well, and that is why they translated Acts 2:27 this way. It is correct the way it is written in the KJV.

If Christ suffered the torments of Hell, and if Christ did all that to save us from the torments of Hell, is it then not logical that we should be very concerned about Hell. If God spared not His only begotten Son the sufferings of Hell, then why should we escape? We must have very legitimate reasons why we will escape the torments of Hell. The Lord Jesus gave us a very clear parable about Hell. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 7:13 (2X).  The Lord Jesus speaks here about “destruction”, which is a synonym for Hell, which is a place of “dying thou shalt die.” We read in,

Matt 7:13, “Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction (perdition), and many there be which go in thereat:  14  Because strait (narrow) is the gate, and narrow (troubled) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Paraphrased the Lord is saying: Strive to enter your life’s path through the unpopular narrow gate, not the wide gate where most people seek their comfort. The narrow gate leads through a way full of troubles, but it leads to eternal life with Christ. The wide gate seems easy, but it ends up in Hell. And so, what is the warning that the Lord Jesus puts forward here? The first thing He says is that the probability to be saved is much smaller than the probability to remain unsaved. And as we approach the end of time it gets even much smaller. And so, do not be overconfident that you are saved, for the majority of those who attend church have the wrong gospel, they are on the broad way, and thus they are guilty of idolatry. You want to remember that idolatry is the sin that God hates most. Examine yourselves, examine the accuracy of your gospel, for the majority of mankind hate to study their Bibles, and they end up in Hell because they are barking up the wrong tree. This is the theme I preach almost every week; how true is the gospel that you hold? For if you hold to the wrong gospel, it would also be the gospel that you bring to the unsaved heathen, with the result that you are guilty of their death in the Lake of fire. This is so important to sharpen your Gospel every week when you do your Bible studies. We need to be very sure on this. Pray that God will give us the understanding, for it is only by grace that we can get a hold of this. Pray that the love of God will fill our hearts so that it is His love for us and our love for Him that is the driving factor to search this out. Then we read about this condemnation in Rev 20:15 (2X),

Re 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Who are those people whose names were not found in the Book of Life? All those who were not chosen to salvation from before the foundation of the world will be cast into the Lake of Fire, because NONE of them wanted to come to the Lord Jesus while they were still on this earth. NONE! They had no interest in knowing Christ. And then God defines the second Death. God says in Rev 21:8 (2X),

Re 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The wages of sin is death, but the penalty that God refers to is really the Second Death. It is:

#3.      The Full Wrath of God (Rev 14:9-11, Gal 1:6-9, Rom 3:18)

Please turn to Rev 14:9 (2X). The scene is that of the end of the world. The beast and the false prophet have been deceiving all the non-elect of mankind. Only a small remnant of people has remained faithful to the God of the Bible. Then the announcement from heaven sounds: "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication". And then we hear the Judgment from God upon all those who are still unsaved:

Re 14:9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,  10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

The Full Wrath of God is an awful penalty to pay. Do people know these words are in the Bible? Yes they do, but they choose to ignore it. These things about the second Death and the Lake of Fire are not hidden somewhere. They have been known for many centuries, because the Bible has been the best-selling Book of all times. But of a truth God says, "There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Rom 3:18). Especially in our generation there are many, many churches where the teachers and the preachers claim, "There is no Hell". Why do they want to preach that way if God did not say that? It is because they are building themselves church empires, so they preach a feel-good-gospel. They make people feel good when they hear such a non-threatening sermon. So, when they take away the awful concept of "Predestination" they make the congregation feel good. And when they take away Romans chapter 9, they make the congregation feel good. And when they tell them, "Beginning today you can be saved forever; all you have to do is come forward and accept the Lord Jesus into your heart", they make the congregation feel good. It is impossible to explain all that goes on in the churches today; it is horrible. But like I said last week: The single greatest cause of Divine Judgment is the sin of idolatry. And any religion that makes man great and Christ small is utter idolatry. This means that all free-will religions are utter idolatry. I know that I am stepping on toes here. But if your son or your daughter or your sister or brother is attending a free-will church, you have the obligation to let them know that they are practicing idolatry. Thank God for FREE grace. God puts the gift of salvation in you; God does not offer it to you. God is the one who made us accepted in the Beloved. Come out of Babylon, and bring your children with you. Those children are sinners. In order to be saved your children need FREE grace preached to them. Come out of Babylon; it is a church not worth saving. In Gal 1:6-9 God told us what to do with those preachers who preach another gospel than the Gospel of the Bible. God did not say, "pray for him", but God said, "let him be accursed". They are forsaken by God.

Read Rev 14:9. When we are worshipping a god of free-will religion, we are worshipping the beast and his image. Instead we should tremble in fear, checking and double-checking that we are not worshipping a different god than the God of the Bible. Read Rev 14:10. Does anybody fear this wrath of God? Apparently not! And what does this verse say? If any man worships the beast and his image, he shall be tormented in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. It does not say that the angels and the Lamb will be the tormentors. O No! When people are cast into the Lake of Fire, who is there already? Satan is there already, and he is waiting for these little creatures who he thinks were the cause of his sufferings in Hell, and Satan and his demons will be the tormentors of people who are cast into the Lake of Fire. Does no one fear? The Lord Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction (a synonym for Hell), and many there be which go in thereat". On the other hand Jesus said, "narrow is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life (a synonym for heaven), and few there be that find it". What is the probability that any of us find it? It is an incredibly small probability. It is so small that God Almighty must give it to us as a free gift, or else we will not find the narrow gate and the narrow way. What does then this narrow way represent? It is the narrow way of the Gospel of grace alone, and no free-will. That is why it is a narrow way, because it is not a popular way at all. It is only a remnant chosen by grace who will end up on that narrow way. But what then is the way of escape from this slippery slide into Hell?

#4.      Is There a Way of Escape? (Rom 5:15-17, Gen 15:16)

Please turn again to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 5:15 (2X), and let us hear the conclusion of this matter. Here is the Representative Principle again. It is worth repeating, because this is the only way out of our predicament. Let us briefly summarize what we have learned so far.

#1. We have seen that God in His wisdom created the world in such a way that the world by their wisdom knew not God. That is why the world of the unsaved is bound for Hell. #2. Spiritual death is far worse than physical death, because spiritual death leads to the second Death in the Lake of Fire, where people are tormented forever and ever. #3. Adam was the ROOT of the human race, and Adam's sin was the ROOT Sin. This ROOT Sin must develop until its fruit is ripe, or in the terms of Gen 15:16, "Until the iniquity of the Amorites is full". #4. Hell is now a condition, because Hell is now not yet a place. But on the Last Day God will open up a super terrible place, which is called a Lake of Fire, and which is also called the second Death. #5. The full wrath of God is an awful penalty to pay, but Christ came to pay for His Elect that awful penalty, equivalent to us spending an eternity in Hell. We do not know how God counts "equivalent", but we do know that Christ's payment was accepted by God to the full satisfaction of His righteousness.

Then we read in Rom 5:15-17 about Adam's gift of sin and about Christ's gift of the full payment.

Ro 5:15  But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  16  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.  17  For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Literally God says in verse 15, "The free gift shall not be also like the offense. For if by the offense of one many died, much more the grace of God, and the gift in grace, which is of the one man, Jesus Christ, did abound to many". And then God goes on in this passage to speak about our father in the flesh, Adam, and about the Father of our new family, the family of Christ. Adam is our representative in the flesh. When we are saved we still walk around with a body, our Adamic body, that lusts after sin. But if we are saved, our souls have a different representative. Our spiritual representative is Christ. And Christ can be our representative because we have already a representative principle in place. If we do not want Adam as our representative, then Christ cannot be our representative, because we do not believe in representatives. If all human beings are a bunch of individuals, we do not have a representative principle. But if all human beings belong to one organism, then we do have a representative in the flesh, Adam. Therefore Christ, the second Adam, can be the representative of His people, the Elect of God. This is how God designed salvation, and we better listen.

Therefore it must be a FREE Gift. Adam's guilt was passed on to us as a free gift. We do not like this gift, but it is passed on to us whether we like it or not. We did not ask for it, but we found out that we belong to Adam's family. In like manner the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is passed on to us without asking for our permission. This gift of righteousness is given to us through the operation of God the Holy Spirit in our hearts, giving us a regenerated soul, and giving light to our understanding that the Lord Jesus Christ has suffered on behalf of our sins and has paid the full price for all our sins. This He did when we did not exist yet, even our souls did not exist yet, and all our sins were still future sins. But this was no problem to God, because Christ was our Representative. Likewise when Adam sinned, we also did not exist yet, and our souls did not exist yet. Nevertheless, Adam's sin was accounted as guilt to our souls, and Adam's spiritual condition became our spiritual condition in body and soul. This could happen because Adam was the representative of the entire human race.

But if we have faith in Christ, and faith that Christ paid it all, and faith that the Bible in its entirety is the Word of God, and faith that this Word of God circumscribes for us the God whom we worship, then we know that God has given us this faith. By the grace of God we have escaped the slippery slide into Hell. God has given us this gift of righteousness by His irresistible grace. And now look at the contrast. Please turn again to Revelation chapter 14:10 (2X).

Š      In the Presence of the Lamb (Rev 14:10, 22:3-4)

In Rev 14:10 we saw the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture upon idolaters.

Re 14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

The unsaved of mankind, called the Reprobate, suffer in the presence of the Lamb. But we are thrilled for the privilege to be continually in the presence of the Lamb. Please turn a few pages to Rev 22:3-4, and there we read:

Re 22:3  And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:  4  And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

We rejoice to be in His presence as the Bride of Christ. That is why His name shall be in our foreheads.

AMEN.                  Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.