Do We Really Believe the Word of God?

Do We Really Believe the Word of God? February 11, 2019

If you think carefully about it, I think you’ll come to realize that many evangelical Christians do not really believe the Word of God. And this is especially true of the Scripture passages that talk about hell and judgment. Instead, many believers selectively accept only the portions that allow them to continue living in their current lifestyles.

C.S. Lewis, that great British defender of the faith, wrote,

There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this [hell]. . . . I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully, ‘All will be saved.’”

But Lewis realized that was neither truthful nor within his power to change.

Do We Really Believe the Word of God? - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia

Wishful Thinking

It is painful to think about hell and judgment. I understand why preachers do not like to talk about it, because I don’t either. It is so much easier to preach that “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” or to focus on the many delightful aspects of “possibility thinking” and the “word of faith” that brings health, wealth and happiness. 

The grace and love of God are pleasant subjects, and no one more beautifully demonstrated them than our Lord Jesus. Yet in His earthly ministry, He made more references to hell and judgment than He did to heaven. Jesus lived with the reality of hell, and He died on Calvary because He knew it was real and coming to everyone who doesn’t turn to God in this life.

Believers are willing to accept the concept of heaven, but many look the other way when they come to passages in the Bible about hell. If we knew the horrors of the potential judgment that hangs over us—if we really believed in what is coming—how differently we would live. 

Why aren’t Christians living in obedience to God? Because of their unbelief.

Why did Eve fall into sin? Because she did not truly believe in the judgment—that death really would come if she ate what God forbade. This is the same reason many continue in lives of sin and disobedience.

Let us think honestly about our lives and whether they match up with what we say we believe. And may God give us the grace to live according to the light He gives us.

Shoot Straight
Do you believe the whole Bible or just the convenient parts? Seek out a difficult passage of Scripture today. Challenge yourself by prayerfully studying and wrestling with it. Let it affect the way you live.

Dr. KP Yohannan, founder and director of Gospel for Asia, has written more than 200 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families. 

Gospel for Asia has been serving the “least of these” in Asia since its beginning in 1979, often in places where no one else is serving. GFA supports national workers who are serving as the hands and feet of Christ by ministering to people’s needs so they can understand the love of God for them for the first time. GFA is engaged in dozens of projects, such as caring for poor children, slum dwellers and widows and orphans; providing clean water by funding wells; supporting medical missions; and meeting the needs of those in leprosy colonies. Through GFA’s Bridge of Hope Program, tens of thousands of children are being rescued from the generational curses of poverty and hopelessness.

Click here, to read more articles on Patheos by Dr. KP Yohannan Metropolitan.

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  • Monty

    “Hell” is difficult because much of what we are taught is misleading. It is not so much a place that we go as a condition that we are born into. I was witnessed to as a young man. There was no mention of hell, but there was of certain judgement as a sinner. I realised that I was not going to be accepted into heaven and that scared me. It was easy for me to accept Christ as my Saviour. At that time my life was living “hell”. I reckon many so-called Christians are under the illusion that they are accepted by God because they invited Christ into their heart. Not true. Unless there is real conviction of sin, there is no salvation.

    Another problem is the concept of salvation. Jesus did not emphasise personal salvation. He preached the Kingdom of God. Our salvation is wonderful, but it is not just for our personal benefit. We should be focused on the Kingdom of God, not just our own ambitions and interests.

  • Cherokee Strip

    Do you remember the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16: 19 -31). Lazarus went to heaven and the Rich Man went to hell. We all know what’s going to happen in the story, what I want to emphasize here is that hell is real.

    What do we know about the rich man and his journey to that place we think of as Hell? We know that for him and for those who go there, Hell is a place of horrible torment. Listen to Luke 16:23 the Bible says, “And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom.’ This man awoke, and he was in horrible torment. Can you imagine the idea of torment? When we talk about torment, we’re talking about unbearable pain. We’re talking about that which creates mental, spiritual, psychological habit in one’s life. Imagine being so sick that you wished for death but always living. Imagine having so much pain that you long for the day it would go away and that day and that moment in time, continuing forever. Friend that’s the idea of torment, unbearable pain and anguish and heart ache for all eternity. Who would go to a place like that if they could help it?

    God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth, 1 Timothy 2:4. “God is not slow about His son’s coming as some men count slowness, but he is long-suffering toward us not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” God doesn’t want somebody, that’s not what he longs for; he’s not enjoying that idea. But for there to be a reward, there was also be punishment. For there to be right, there must also be the justice of those who have done wrong for justice to occur. God indeed wants people to be saved.