November 15, 2008

Flames of Judgment

The story is told of pioneers who were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow.

One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly.

They had crossed a river the day before, but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them. One man only seemed to have understanding as to what could be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then, when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it.

As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, "Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?" The leader replied, "My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!"

What a picture of the believer, who is safe in Christ! "On Him Almighty vengeance fell, which would have sunk a world to Hell. He bore it for a chosen race, And thus becomes our Hiding Place."

The fires of God's judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been. (Sermon Illustrations)

24 comments:

  1.      I think it rather fitting that the flames in the story are mindless. They do not burn based on someone having "broken the law of the fire." They burn mindlessly.

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  2. Pvblivs,

    And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Rev 20:10)

    Keep in mind we all will be judged. Saved, unsaved and yes even angels (1 Cor. 3:12-15, 2 Pet. 2:4) No one can escape that judgment.

    "They burn mindlessly"

    Mindlessly? The punishment is properly related to the value of the One who was offended. Since God is infinite and eternal, so too must the punishment be eternal.

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  3.      Yes, mindlessly. I specifically stated the flames in the story. The flames that the pioneers faced in the story were unquestionably mindless. Now, I think the biblical claim of judgement is equally mindless and that's why I think it fitting. The proper punishment for "offending someone" is nil. For that matter, punishment for its own sake is always wrong. The desire to see someone suffer is, itself, immoral. The only proper reason for prisons is because the inmates are a danger to the general public and we need to separate them. But not one dime should be spent with the express purpose of making them more miserable.

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  4. I'm glad (sincerely) that you've found something you have absolute faith in. It must be very comforting...

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  5. Was this your writing Dan?
    Or from the link?

    These fires came on the day of large sodomite protests nationwide and are surely not "mindless".

    They are God's wrath revealed.

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  6. Pvblivs,

    "The desire to see someone suffer is, itself, immoral."

    I am going to have to agree with you. It reminds me of a time when people gathered in the Diocletianic Persecution days and watched it like it was Monday night football! What were they thinking!!!!

    Whateverman,

    "It must be very comforting..."

    Humbly I must say it is. Once you are a Christian, you see God quite often, in many situations. Very, very difficult to explain but as promised in John 14:21 He will manifest Himself to you.

    It sure is frustrating that God will not move some of your hearts towards Him. The prayers have been made and now we wait for the results. I am looking forward to hearing that you are a Christian. It will be a wonderful conversion story that you tell me if you decide to share. I look for that day with eagerness.

    Dani'EL,

    "Was this your writing Dan?"

    Welcome. No it wasn't from me, yes from that link under Judgment.

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  7. The fires of God's judgment burned themselves out on Him

    What's with your gods fixation on blood, fire and torture?

    It sure is frustrating that God will not move some of your hearts towards Him.

    Probably because He is just imaginary.

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  8. These fires came on the day of large sodomite protests nationwide and are surely not "mindless".

    Really? I wasn't aware that there were any kind of sodomite protests in the middle of the 19th century...

    --
    Stan

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  9. Jesus will save every man and woman.
    John 12:47 "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." Peter taught that Jesus "died for sins once for all"

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  10. jesus will save: that's great news! That means I can continue not believing in God, and go on with my orgies, blasphemy, worship of Darwin, and knitting, and I'll still get to Heaven! Hallelujah!

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  11. Zilch: Knitting? You, sir, disgust me. ;)

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  12. Aww UCT beat me to it.

    Look Zilch,

    You may get away with all the other stuff, but knitting? Even you push it too far sometimes.

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  13. I'll hop on the Zilch-bashing bandwagon...

    Only charlatans knit. Real men crochet.

    --
    Stan

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  14. Now Stan is preaching to the choir.

    Preach it brotha!

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  15. Dan quoting Whateverman,

    "It must be very comforting..."


    Humbly I must say it is. Once you are a Christian, you see God quite often, in many situations. Very, very difficult to explain but as promised in John 14:21 He will manifest Himself to you.

    It sure is frustrating that God will not move some of your hearts towards Him. The prayers have been made and now we wait for the results. I am looking forward to hearing that you are a Christian. It will be a wonderful conversion story that you tell me if you decide to share. I look for that day with eagerness.

    And if that day never comes, Dan? Are you going to doubt that there is a god who "moves some of our hearts towards him"? By saying that, are you then stating that it's your god's fault that we're still non-believers since we haven't had our hearts "moved towards him"?

    I doubt it; I suspect I already know the dodge you'll use.

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  16. "By saying that, are you then stating that it's your god's fault that we're still non-believers since we haven't had our hearts "moved towards him"?"

    In the grand scheme of things, Yes, but I wouldn't use the word "fault."

    Since you are unrepentant no one has any choice but to watch you perish.

    I don't understand the whole of the universe so I will trust God. If free will paved the way for us to sin then maybe we should of never had it in the first place. Too powerful of a gift. Which brings me back to this post.

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  17. Dan +†+ said... quoting me:

    "By saying that, are you then stating that it's your god's fault that we're still non-believers since we haven't had our hearts "moved towards him"?"


    In the grand scheme of things, Yes, but I wouldn't use the word "fault."
    Uh, since you just agreed with what I said, why wouldn't you?

    Since you are unrepentant no one has any choice but to watch you perish.
    There is that thing about your god "drawing me towards him" that he could do. You didn't forget that, did you?

    I don't understand the whole of the universe so I will trust God. If free will paved the way for us to sin then maybe we should of never had it in the first place. Too powerful of a gift. Which brings me back to this post.
    Would you be disagreeing with your own god here?

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  18.      You know, Dan seems a lot like a representative from the fictitious land Caelum from a recent post on my own blog. He seems to be trying very hard to avoid a logical conclusion of what he believes and that is that this being he worships is not good or praiseworthy.

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  19. Pvblivs,

    "He seems to be trying very hard to avoid a logical conclusion of what he believes and that is that this being he worships is not good or praiseworthy."

    Is this your best Freud? Fail!

    I am being honest when I say I don't know or I don't understand. We have less then 1% of God's knowledge on these subjects. I am small and do not understand everything. That does not mean I don't think God is worthy of my praise, it means I don't understand but I fully trust Him.

    Why did he give us free will? I don't know maybe the same reason why I will release the chains and let my daughter out of the basement when she turns 25. We have to trust them, at some point, to do the right things.

    No go hit those books you little Freudian slip.

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  20. Dan:

         Just in case I was unclear, I am stating that your god being unworthy of praise is a logical conclusion of the beliefs you admit. However, you are trying to avoid that conclusion. Whenever people talk about the moral implications of the supposed actions of your god, you throw up "but I trust him."
         So, no, I didn't say that you said this god was unworthy of praise. I said that that is a logical conclusion of what you admit to believing and that you are trying to avoid the conclusion. If the same actions were attributed to any other being (one to whom you don't apply "but I trust him") you would regard the being as a despicable monster.

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  21. Dan,

    "Why did he give us free will? I don't know maybe the same reason why I will release the chains and let my daughter out of the basement when she turns 25. We have to trust them, at some point, to do the right things."

    You want to be careful who you're calling Freud, with statements like that, my friend!

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  22. ExPatMatt,

    "You want to be careful who you're calling Freud, with statements like that, my friend!"

    Thanks for answering a resounding 'NO' to the long standing question that I have had. Unless your humor is drier then the desert that is.

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  23. Dan,

    I thought the exclamation mark at the end of my sentence would have made it clear that I was having a bit of fun. Obviously not.

    Actually, I thought the fact that you were calling someone Freud and then posted an example that involved you locking up your daughter was pretty obvious irony (whether you did it deliberately or not is moot) - to be honest, I thought it was a little redundant but it gave me a wee chuckle anyhow.


    In the future I will be sure to provide a clear indication of when humour is being used so that those without a discerning eye can enjoy the joke along with those of us that don't take everything so seriously.

    As a side note. Even if I was being deadly serious; how would that answer the question of atheists having a sense of humour or not? Do I speak for all atheists? No. Did George Carlin speak for all atheists? No. Does a lack of belief in gods have any bearing on a person's sense of humour? No.

    Honestly Dan, your assertions get more and more bizarre by the day...

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  24. Oh, and for what it's worth; I thought the 3 jokes in that thread (well, 2 jokes and a straw man) were pretty funny, the bear one in particular.


    However, I have to wonder if your criteria for judging someone's sense of humour should really be whether or not they can laugh at jokes that you've posted with the deliberate attempt at testing their humour? Not exactly a controlled experiment, eh?

    You'd be best off looking at the biggest comedians on the circuit today and finding out what their beliefs are. Just a thought.

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