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: (Revelation 14:10)
Recently, I was visiting with a lady in a nearby neighborhood discussing salvation and what it means to know Jesus Christ personally as Saviour. At the beginning of the conversation, this lady freely admitted that she had not read much of the Bible because it was too hard to understand. And yet, she had opinions about Christ and what He taught.
I find in my discussions with many people there is a great deal of misunderstanding about who they think Jesus is and what He said and did as opposed to the Bible’s record of His words and deeds. It is very rare to meet people that are adverse to Jesus Christ since He is universally recognized for His kindness, care and compassion for those that are downcast and hurting. Without having read the Bible, many assume they know exactly who Jesus is and most of the time He thinks and acts just like they do. If their politics are liberal and they support such things as gay rights and gay marriages, they will appeal to Jesus and say it is unchristian not to fight for the equality of all people. On the other hand, if the person is very conservative and does not favor things such as gun control, the argument is that Jesus and the Bible favor strong protection of families and these types of personal individual rights. Whatever our politics or religion may be, no one wants to think their position is opposed to Jesus Christ. You will never hear a churchman or a politician say, “I don’t care what Jesus taught or did, He was wrong!” So, they just pretend Jesus thinks the same as they do.
In my conversation with this neighbor, the statement was made, “I think we are all God’s children and all will eventually find our way to God and everybody will be in heaven.” When I asked, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” the answer was affirmative. “Do you believe He is God?” The answer again was “Yes.” “Do you believe if Jesus is God that He must always tell the truth?” Again, the answer was “Yes.” I then asked, “Did you know Jesus said there are some people that are not the children of God? Did you know He said some have Satan as their father and they do the works of Satan? Did you know Jesus said that all people are not going to heaven?” At this point, I gave the scripture references where these statements of Jesus are found.
As I said, this is not really uncommon. Perhaps we should not be too surprised that the average person really doesn’t know much about Jesus and the Bible. We should be surprised, however, when we find the same abject ignorance among those that stand in pulpits and preach from the Bible! We could go down a long list of Bible doctrines and show how convoluted the teachings of pastors and teachers are that claim to believe what the Bible says. None of them will happily admit they are opposed to Jesus and the teachings of scripture.
This thought comes to my mind when reading Revelation 14:10-11. There are those that deny the eternity of hell, and either believe hell does not exist, or is a place of annihilation. This is an opinion unsupported by the word of God. Those that refuse the gospel of Christ and will not submit to His authority, “…shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever…” These words were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and agree with Jesus’ words in Mark 9:42-48.
If Jesus is God, then knowing exactly what He said and meant is the most critical information you could ever know. You may think you know Him and you may think He thinks like you. Don’t make the mistake of finding out otherwise when it is too late. Hear Him now and believe Him now. Tomorrow may be too late.
Pastor V. Mark Smith