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The Mercy of Hell

“Justice moved my high maker, in power divine
wisdom supreme, love primal. No things were
before me not eternal; eternal I remain.”

( Dante’s Inferno, Canto III, lines 3-6)

This is the inscription on the gates of Hell. They reveal how Dante thought of God. They reveal His power, His justice, His wisdom, and His love. The Creator of the universe is not a soft God, and He didn’t make a soft Hell. There is no softness in Dante’s Inferno, and we should realize the wonder of this. It is certainly difficult to come up with a Hell that can present all of God’s attributes at the same time. Dante was one of the great Christian poets in history, and we should treat him as such.

The inscription is a summary of Hell. God’s justice required a form of punishment for the sinners. His power enabled Him to create one that could fit the infinite pride and arrogance that would be brought along by the sinners. His wisdom let Him make the punishment fit the crime perfectly, and His love made Hell the last resort. Only after we have rejected God continually for our whole life will He let us be fully punished as we deserve.

Dante’s motivation for making this the inscription on Hell’s gate was to show us the immensity of God. His infinite attributes were the only things that could possibly come up with the universe we have, and that includes Heaven and Hell. There could be no doubt as to the awesomeness of God after seeing the inscription, and if there was, the rest of the poem would quickly fix that.

If there had been no creation of Hell, then there would be only two possible explanations. First, it could be possible that Adam and Eve had never sinned. However, that has happened, so we must figure out what other reason there would be. The only other option is that our God is not the God of the Bible. His justice would not allow sinners to go unpunished. His love would not allow them to spoil paradise for everyone else. His wisdom would make the solution clear, and His power would make a solution clear. For there to be no Hell, one or more of these attributes would not be functioning.

The creation of Hell was like the creation of jails. There are criminals (sinners) who need to be punished. Government (God) cannot allow them to go unpunished, as that would make everything worse. So a solution must be found. The solution is to lock the criminals up in jails (Hell), until their crimes have been paid for. Because of the eternal nature of their sin (putting themselves before their Maker), the punishment must be eternal.

The wisdom of Hell is seen every day. The sinners throughout the world, including you and me, need to either repent or be punished. Not everyone repents, so they need to be punished. If there was no Hell, there would be no possible punishment worthy of any sin. Therefore, one or more of God’s attributes would be violated, as we have already seen.

Christ himself, in Matthew 25, blatantly stated the existence of Hell, in His parable of the sheep and the goats. The goats, those who have rejected Him and His message, will “go away into everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46).” What more does any Christian need?

The message of Hell is clearly taught throughout the Bible. Those who say God’s love would not support the idea of Hell do not realize what the Bible teaches. There are few subjects as clearly taught in the Bible as Hell, and none which causes as much consternation. Shouldn’t we try to learn a little more about it?


What the Bible has to say about: Marriage

This essay is actually going to be primarily about who we should marry. The Bible never says anything about this, except for two basic principles. One: make sure that this is God’s will for your life. Marriage means that you hope to spend your life with someone. Second, which goes along with the first, you should not marry an unbeliever. 1 Corinthians 7 deals with marriage issues, and gives commands that help us decide our partner. Some of the commands include not marrying someone outside the faith, not divorcing your spouse, and if you find yourself in a situation where you have lost your spouse, do not marry again, unless it is to that person.

in 1 Corinthians 7, Paul states what he thinks is the best reason for marriage. He says that people should be married if they can not withstand the temptation to immorality of a…..private nature.

First, let’s look at the reasons for abstaining from marriage with a non-Christian. The biggest reason is about principles. You should be marrying somebody who you can accept as they are, but we can’t do that with unbelievers, as we can’t accept the fact that the person we love enough to marry is going to be eternally separated from us and God.  Another reason is that the family is supposed to be one unit. No unit that is truly one can pull in different directions and be anything like it is supposed to be. Take a government, for example. Ours is sufficiently split to render it incapable of ever reaching a completely correct decision, when the government is supposed to be the final authority on everything. The same goes for the family.

God intended the family to be a stronghold of stability, even when the world is in turmoil. In times of war, this seems to work surprisingly well. Well, not so surprisingly when you consider who made it. However, it is in times of peace, when we have been lulled to sleep, that Satan comes and infiltrates the heart. He seeks to divide the family, because he has already divided everything else. The church, the government, the world; everything is divided against itself. If he can make the family the same way, then the closest tie with each other, that of hearth and home, will be snapped.

Divorce is a big one today. I’m sure that at one time or another we’ve all heard the statistics on divorce. Nearly half of today’s marriages end in divorce. And Christian marriages are almost as bad! Obviously, something has been missed by the Church. I think it is quite simple. Today’s popular pastors often preach a feel-good sermon to their congregations, one that everyone can be happy about. Therefore, in order to keep the members of a divorced household (and their large offering check) in the church, they conveniently forget the Bible’s words on divorce, and emphasize the assurance of heaven to all believers. Depending on the preacher, to all unbelievers as well. If only people would look to see what God’s word says.

If you married a non-Christian, divorce is never the answer. However, if your spouse chases that option until it becomes a reality, Paul has a quick, easy answer. Don’t marry again, except to that person. And usually, that will mean that you don’t marry again. Paul’s letter to the Christians in Corinth emphasized that point. He believed that it was best for a Christian to remain unmarried, but if you felt strongly enough about somebody, then stay with them. Don’t divorce, and then immediately go traipsing off to your next spouse.

This was one of my essays where whatever fire may be in me made its way to my fingers on the keyboard, so if I offended you, I apologize. On that note, I bid you good day. At least until my schoolwork throws another essay at me!

What the Bible has to say about: Life

Does the Bible talk about what I should do in life, like jobs and education? While the quick answer is “Duh!” the Bible never directly addresses those specific issues. Some would stop there and say that since the Bible doesn’t talk about them, anything goes. That is not the case. Instead, I think that the Bible has a lot to say about such matters. We just have to look at the principles behind it. As always, feel free to comment on this post. It would be a big help.

When we speak about jobs, we must consider several things. First, we must see if the job contradicts the Bible. Jobs that have to do with prostitution, occultism, and others like them are obviously out of the question. But is that all? There are also those that could be worse. An atheistic speaker is at least as bad as the others, as they would lead them away from God, and therefore, indirectly to those people. Also, we should consider whether or not the job depends on others being led astray. A bartender’s job depends on this. To make the most money, he needs to get people drunk, and preferably to be an alcoholic.

If a job requires you to consistently work on a Sunday, then there a couple of questions I have to ask. Number one is whether or not you get a break at any time during the week. The reason for a day of rest is that God knew we could not be the loving people we should be and work seven days a week. So long as we have a day of rest and fellowship with other believers, I think that it would be alright. The second question has already been answered. This question is whether or not you can have fellowship with other Christians. If both are a yes, then I can’t think of why you can’t work there.

Some people would want to ask whether or not the Bible even says to work. The answer is yes. Even before the Fall, God commanded Adam to take care of the garden. Living off of other people is not what the Bible says to do. If we love other people, we would not, and do not, enjoy living at their expense. And since we are called to love everybody, then we must not be an unnecessary burden. Now, if you can not work, then you have to depend on others. However, the stories I have heard about people who can not work lead me to believe that it is not a very fun life.

As far as education goes, the main question is what we are seeking it for. If you want a diploma in order to impress people, then you should think again. If you want it to get a good job so you could make a lot of money, then you still are missing the mark. But if you are doing it in order to bring glory to God by learning what you need to do what you are called to, then you are doing just fine. One of the principles that is in nearly every sentence of the Bible is to do everything for the glory of God. Jesus said to pray in secret, not for attention but to talk to God.

I hope that I have shown you what our motives should be in those instances. I also hope that you see that the Bible addresses these issues, as it does everything. Lastly, I hope that I have shown that we must always follow the Bible. Good-bye!

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