Friday, October 28, 2011

A Fire that is not Quenched

Where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:48)

Where is that place where the worms do not die? Jesus in Mark 9:48 tells us that Hell is the place where the worms do not die, and the fire of hell is never quenched. How powerful is this passage? Not this passage so to speak but passages like it ( some listed below) were a deciding fact in my walk with Christ.

I came to Christ not for a better life. The often misused method of witnessing that says “Jesus will fix your health, finance marriage or whatever wrong in your life” would have never worked on me, because I was content where I was, I was in sin where I was, and I was making a lot of money where I was. As a matter of fact my income right now about 65% less than it was since I’ve come to God through Jesus Christ as compared to when I was in the world.

What I’m saying is I did not come to Christ for what He could give me, I came to God and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior because I fear (note present tense) going to hell. My desire is to never know that place where the worms do not die and the fire is not quenched. I came to Christ because I wanted the salvation, the other stuff I consider a bonus. That is way even in my witnessing I will never tell someone that “Jesus loves them”. Nor will I ever tell someone that they are now saved, They must know their salvation themselves.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2 Corinthians 13:5

Who Are the Reprobate?
The reprobates are those that have been rejected by God and because of their unrepentant sin are condemned to the eternal damnation in hell, that place where the worms do not die and the fire is not quenched. The Apostle Paul is asking us to check if there is any unrepentant sin, if we truly believe the doctrine of Jesus Christ and have we adhered to that doctrine. Paul is saying consider heaven where there will be no pain (Revelation 21:4)[1] and hell where there is continual pain (Matthew 25:30[2]) and decide by the doctrine of Jesus Christ where we might go.In spite of what is clearly written in scripture, we live our lives for the present not taking into consideration what may become of us after our time on earth has ended.

Understand Paul's letter was not to the sinner, it was to those that professed that they were Christians. Paul was asking to the church at Corinth “Are you really Christians or are you just pretenders? Are you walking that walk of a Christian counted among the elect, or are you straddling the fence of between saved and reprobate?”

Lets us not make a mistake the reprobates are in the church as well as outside the church. The bible is full of examples of those that profess to believe but have failed to value their relationship with God. When you ask them if their profession of faith in Christ is true, they get angry, jump down your throat and want to fight you. (All of which answers the question for them) Sadly they are convinced that a sinner prayer, (which is not in the bible anywhere) or baptism, or pretending to keep the law, or some other work has assured their salvation, and all is well with their soul.

Paul’s task to the Corinth brings to light the deceptive powers of Satan and a warns the elect against having a complacent attitude toward salvation. Many Christian profess Christ however their lives do not support such claims. Most people can’t tell the difference between the life of a non-believer and the life of a believer. (See  Peculiar People)

Complacent Salvation
There is continual argument as to whether a Christian can lose his salvation [3] (Hebrews 6:4-6though it may seem otherwise I am confident that the scripture teach that a true Christian cannot lose their salvation. However, a Christian may give away his salvation, and even worst there are those that have been deceived into thinking they are Christian and think they are saved, when in fact they are not.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:22-23

I think it is clear that Jesus is not talking about sinners in the above passage. An unregenerate sinner would never knowingly profess the name of Jesus nor would he prophesize or cast out devils in Jesus’Name, or do any wonderful works would he do in the name of Jesus. (Matthew 12:25) However, if he believes himself to be a disciple of Jesus, and having a intellectual understanding of scripture, he might think he could do these things in Jesus' Name. Matthews 7:22-23 leads us to believe that because they went to Jesus to confirm their actions, they did in fact prophesize, and they did cast out devils, and they did do many wonderful things. Moreover they may have even said while they were doing these things "In Jesus' Name" However because Jesus denied even knowing them they did not have Jesus' authority to do those things, or they were deceived by Satan into believing they had actually done those things.

So often we the elect see wonderful works of healing, and prophecy, and we think that because a individual does these thing they are of God. We become so impressed with he works that we don't see the spirit behind the works therefore we can quickly become deceived.. Satan used Jannes and Jambres the Egyptian magicians to opposed Moses with their magic which appeared just like the works of God, but they weren't of God. In the same way Satan can and will use his minions to fool the elect if we are not grounded in prayer and knowledge of scripture.

For this reason the Apostle Peter wrote to make your calling and election sure through faith and other virtues (2 Peter 1:5-10)[4] that we do not become deceived by the assurance of salvation. This issue of salvation should not be taken lightly, hell is not to be taken lightly. Because if we are wrong the penalty is too great, and there is no do over in salvation we must get it right the first time. Therefore as Paul says “knowing the terror of the Lord” I persuade you to examine yourselves and prove yourselves, that you can make your election and calling sure.

Your Brother in Christ
T.Charves FireSpeaks

 About the Author:
Troy Pearsall is the author of FireSpeaks prayer and meditation blog, a blog dedicated to the practice and discovery of Christian Prayer and Meditation

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[1] And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
[2] Other verses of hell, ( Matthews 22:13, Luke 16:23, 2 Samuel 22:6,  II Thessalonians 1:9, Revelation 21:8, Revelation 9:2, Revelation 14:11, Revelation20:14, Luke 16:24)
[3] For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:4-6
[4] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 2 Peter 1:5-10 (King James Version)