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Pastor John MacArthur #fundie gty.org

If it weren’t for human care, the earth would be uninhabitable. You try. Take your little backpack, wander up in the mountains, see how well you do. The most advanced societies in the world subdue the earth. Thank God for those who have even been able to subdue bacteria, viruses. Thank the Lord for the people in the government of the United States who work for so many years to develop the food and drug administration, so that we’re not at the mercy of unscrupulous people like those over in China who put poison into baby milk. And we’re protected by that. That’s part of subduing an otherwise toxic creation. We don’t need less development, we need more development. God intended us to use this planet to fill this planet for the benefit of man. Never was intended to be a permanent planet. It is a disposable planet. Christians ought to know that.

Tommy Clayton #fundie gty.org

(=A comment on a article written by Tommy Clayton on God loving both the elect and non elect=)

The short answer to your question is no, the apostle John was not teaching that God’s wrath has been satisfied toward both the elect and non-elect. Since the word propitiation means "appeased," we can be certain John was only talking about those who would believe in 1 John 2:2.

There is a lengthy, but extremely helpful footnote on that passage in the MacArthur Study Bible. With simplicity and clarity, John explains what the apostle meant by the phrase “the whole world.” Take a look:

for the whole world This is a generic term, referring not to every single individual, but to mankind in general. Christ actually paid the penalty only for those who would repent and believe. A number of Scriptures indicate that Christ died for the world (John 1:29; 3:16; 6:51; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9). Most of the world will be eternally condemned to hell to pay for their own sins, so they could not have been paid for by Christ. The passages which speak of Christ’s dying for the whole world must be understood to refer to mankind in general (as in Titus 2:3,4). “World” indicates the sphere, the beings toward whom God seeks reconciliation and has provided propitiation. God has mitigated His wrath on sinners temporarily, by letting them live and enjoy earthly life (see note on 1 Tim. 4:10). In that sense, Christ has provided a brief, temporal propitiation for the whole world. But He actually satisfied fully the wrath of God eternally only for the elect who believe. Christ’s death in itself had unlimited and infinite value because He is Holy God. Thus His sacrifice was sufficient to pay the penalty for all the sins of all whom God brings to faith. But the actual satisfaction and atonement was made only for those who believe (cf. John 10:11,15; 17:9,20; Acts 20:28; Rom. 8:32,37; Eph. 5:25). The pardon for sin is offered to the whole world, but received only by those who believe (cf. 4:9,14; John 5:24). There is no other way to be reconciled to God. (The MacArthur Study Bible, 1 Jn. 2:2)

Concerning God’s wrath being unsatisfied toward unbelievers, Paul said this in Romans 2:5, But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds.

Also see chapters 6-19 of Revelation, which chronicle the future judgments of God. That section is characterized by one wave of wrath after another. 6:16-17 says, And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

I hope that helps answer your question, Caleb. Thanks for your comment.

Tommy Clayton #fundie gty.org

The short answer to your question is no, the apostle John was not teaching that God’s wrath has been satisfied toward both the elect and non-elect. Since the word propitiation means "appeased," we can be certain John was only talking about those who would believe in 1 John 2:2.

There is a lengthy, but extremely helpful footnote on that passage in the MacArthur Study Bible. With simplicity and clarity, John explains what the apostle meant by the phrase “the whole world.” Take a look:

for the whole world This is a generic term, referring not to every single individual, but to mankind in general. Christ actually paid the penalty only for those who would repent and believe. A number of Scriptures indicate that Christ died for the world (John 1:29; 3:16; 6:51; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9). Most of the world will be eternally condemned to hell to pay for their own sins, so they could not have been paid for by Christ. The passages which speak of Christ’s dying for the whole world must be understood to refer to mankind in general (as in Titus 2:3,4). “World” indicates the sphere, the beings toward whom God seeks reconciliation and has provided propitiation. God has mitigated His wrath on sinners temporarily, by letting them live and enjoy earthly life (see note on 1 Tim. 4:10). In that sense, Christ has provided a brief, temporal propitiation for the whole world. But He actually satisfied fully the wrath of God eternally only for the elect who believe. Christ’s death in itself had unlimited and infinite value because He is Holy God. Thus His sacrifice was sufficient to pay the penalty for all the sins of all whom God brings to faith. But the actual satisfaction and atonement was made only for those who believe (cf. John 10:11,15; 17:9,20; Acts 20:28; Rom. 8:32,37; Eph. 5:25). The pardon for sin is offered to the whole world, but received only by those who believe (cf. 4:9,14; John 5:24). There is no other way to be reconciled to God. (The MacArthur Study Bible, 1 Jn. 2:2)

Concerning God’s wrath being unsatisfied toward unbelievers, Paul said this in Romans 2:5, But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds.

Also see chapters 6-19 of Revelation, which chronicle the future judgments of God. That section is characterized by one wave of wrath after another. 6:16-17 says, And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

I hope that helps answer your question, Caleb. Thanks for your comment.

Tommy Clayton #fundie gty.org

Nearly fifty years ago, the British agnostic Bertrand Russell penned these words: “There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment” (Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian).

Philosopher John Hick echoed those sentiments when he called hell “a perversion of the Christian gospel.” He believed the doctrine of hell attributed to God “an unappeasable vindictiveness and insatiable cruelty.”

We expect statements like that from fallen, unregenerate minds. But what do we do when we hear similar things from prominent, professing evangelical writers? “How can Christians possibly project a deity of such cruelty and vindictiveness whose ways include inflicting everlasting torture upon his creatures, however sinful they may have been? Surely a God who would do such a thing is more nearly like Satan than like God . . .” (Clark H. Pinnock, “The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent”).

It’s become popular today for professing evangelicals to join the ranks of Pinnock, atheists, and agnostics in protesting the doctrine of hell. They are preaching sermons, writing articles, and publishing books, and some are wandering into the comment threads of Christian blogs. Here’s a small sampling from Grace To You’s blog in our recent series on hell:

“What kind of God torments people for all eternity?”
“. . . Satan loves the false doctrine of eternal torment”
“[eternal torment is] cruel and unusual punishment”
“[eternal torment] makes God out to be a cruel tyrant,” “absolutely cruel and malevolent”
“How can you in your right minds even consider this to be justice?”
If the doctrine of hell as eternal, conscious torment hadn’t been the position of the Christian church for two millennia, it might be easy to think we’re seriously out of step—a bunch of mindless minions who worship a monster-god! But when you examine the biblical evidence, without an agenda, you’ll find we sound a lot like Jesus and the apostles.

So, how could someone who claims to be faithful to Scripture ridicule the idea of eternal punishment? What is at the heart of their rejection of a never-ending hell? It’s simple, really—they minimize the seriousness of human sin and guilt, and they distort the perfection of divine justice. That’s the crime of Protestant Liberalism and every false religion.

Minimizing the Sinfulness of Sin

To one degree or another, we’re all guilty of minimizing sin. I remember the first time I read the account of Lot’s wife. God turned her into a pillar of salt as she was leaving Sodom. Her crime? A backward glance (Genesis 19:26). Reading that story as an unbeliever provoked me to ask the question: “Was that really an offense worthy of death—turning your neck to take one final look at your home?” As I explored more of the Bible, other accounts of God’s judgment appeared equally capricious and severe to me.

Nadab and Abihu deviated from the priestly procedures. God consumed them with fire (Leviticus 10:1-2).
One man gathered wood on the Sabbath. God commanded Moses to stone him (Numbers 15:35).
Achan took a few forbidden items from the spoils of Jericho. God commanded Joshua to stone and then burn Achan along with his entire family (Joshua 7:24-25).
Uzzah kept the ark of God from falling into the mud by reaching out his hand and taking hold of it. God immediately struck him dead (2 Samuel 6:6-7).
Ananias and Sapphira lied to the apostles. God killed them both in front of the entire church. (Acts 5:1-10).
We often struggle to understand how something seemingly so trivial could enact such a severe judgment. Our flesh wants to cry out in protest, “That’s not fair!” But responses like that reveal our failure to grasp the depth of sin. We see only actions—a devoted father gathering firewood to keep his family warm; a zealous Israelite anxious to keep the Ark of God off the ground—but God sees things differently, more clearly, than we do. He sees our sin as insurrection, rebellion against His holiness (Exodus 31:14; Numbers 4:15). What’s more, He sees the hidden motives and intentions at the core of our actions (Matthew 5:28; Hebrews 4:12).

One of the most basic tenets of justice is that the punishment must fit the crime. So, if the ultimate punishment for those who die without Christ is hell, then what is the crime? What do men do to merit the eternal sentence of hell? Put plainly, they sin.

You may think that’s a small thing, but the way John MacArthur explains sin, it puts it in its proper perspective. Essentially, sin is “an act of treason against the Sovereign lawgiver and judge of the universe.” The Bible describes our sin as “rebellion,” “ungodliness,” “lawlessness,” “wickedness,” and an “abomination” (Leviticus 26:27; Isaiah 32:6; 1 John 3:4; Ezekiel 18:27; Proverbs 15:9). Sinners then, are traitors, refusing to love, thank, serve, and obey the God who gave them life, breath, and every good thing.

Sinners spurn God’s love, despise His sovereignty, mock His justice, and view His commands with contempt. They are thieves and murderers, stealing God’s glory and assaulting His holiness. In fact, as Martin Luther once remarked, if sinners had their way, they would dethrone and murder God, which is exactly what they did at Calvary (Acts 2:23). Viewed through the lens of Scripture, sin appears exceedingly sinful (Romans 7:13).

I find it ironic that those who protest the idea of eternal, conscious torment deride the doctrine with words like, “cruel,” “morally revolting,” “monstrous,” and “repugnant.” Why don’t they employ the same terms of outrage to describe sin? Simple: they fail to see as God sees. God finds our sin “cruel,” “morally revolting,” “monstrous,” and “repugnant,” and He’s absolutely right. If we can’t see our sin as God sees it, it stands to reason that we don’t see the just judgment of hell like He sees it either. We’re just going to have to trust Him.

Divine Justice

People who reject the doctrine of eternal hell also stumble over the justice of God. It seems unjust of God to cast someone into a lake of eternal fire for thirty years of sin. Is sin really that bad?

Yes, it is. In fact, you readily accept that there are escalating levels in the seriousness of offenses. For example, if you punch your neighbor, he may punch you back, slash your tires, or even report you to the police. If you assault your boss, he’ll fire you. If you strike a policeman, you’re in danger of getting tased, pepper-sprayed (or worse), and you’re definitely going to jail. Take it up a notch: if you even attempt to assault the President of the United States, you’re going to prison for a long, long time. And if you try those shenanigans with any other head of state, you’ll probably be executed.

Clearly, we live by an established principle—the seriousness of a crime is measured not only by its inherent nature, but also by the one offended. Furthermore, we readily accept the escalation of punishment, based on the status and position of the one offended. If that makes sense on a human level, why are we tempted to ignore the status and position of God? If we live by that principle on a horizontal level, why not on a vertical level?

Our sins have offended an infinitely glorious and holy Being, and punishment must correspond to that offense. God will by no means acquit the wicked (Exodus 34:6-7). He will give the unbeliever exactly what he deserves. Isaiah said “Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him, for what he deserves will be done to him” (Isaiah 3:11). God warned the children of Israel: “If you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins” (Leviticus 26:27-28).

The righteous Judge of all the earth will one day rise up and call every creature into account (Genesis 18:25; Hebrews 9:27; 1 Peter 4:5). He will open the books and mete out a just sentence for every sinful thought, word, and deed (Romans 2:5; Revelation 20:13).

We’ve all assaulted God (Romans 3:23), and we all deserve hell. Reject Christ, and hell is exactly what you’ll get. God will rise up in judgment and cast all unbelievers into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14), and all creation will praise His justice. To accuse God of injustice for sentencing sinners to hell is the height of arrogance and audacity.

Yes, God’s judgment is unbearable, but it is never unjust (Genesis 4:13). And that is why “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

gloria copland #fundie gty.org

GLORIA COPELAND: You know, you’re supposed to control the weather. I mean, Ken’s the primary weatherman at our house, but when he’s not there, I do it. You can even see what’s happening out there. It shows just like they have at the…like the news, I mean, he’s got the computers, got the current weather on it and all that for flying. So sometimes I’ll hear something, I’ll hear the thunder start and maybe he’ll still be asleep and I say, “Ken, you need to do something about this.” And knowing that…but you are the one that has authority over the weather. One day Ken and Pat Boone, we were in Hawaii at their house and they were sitting outside and there was a weather spout out over the ocean. And that’s like a tornado except it hits the water. And so they were sitting there and they just watched it, rebuked it, it never did anything. One day I was in the airplane in the back and my little brother was in the back with me and Ken was up front flying. And we were not in the weather cause we don’t fly bad weather. But we could see the weather over here. And I looked out the window and that tornado came down just like this —- down toward the ground and Ken said, “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus, you get back up there.” So this is how I learned how to talk to tornados, I saw this. And that tornado went whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop, even while I was watching them. My little brother was not a devout Christian at that time and that was really good for him to see. So you’re the weather man. You get out there or the weather woman, whichever it is, and you talk to that thing and you tell it you’re not coming here, I command you to dissipate and you get back up there in Jesus’ name. Glory to God. I won’t charge you extra for.…” (END)

Rick White #fundie gty.org

If we are, as the Evolutionists claim,just another animal in the struggle for survival what could we possibly use as a moral restraint? What could we possibly use as a guide to what is right or wrong? So,yes there is a connection between evolution and social evils. A good example would be Nazi Germany and the social Darwinism Hitler espoused. There is no way he could have accomplished what he did without the underlying philosophy of Darwinism. If a man is taught and believes that he is just another animal in the struggle for survival,he will act accordingly

Tommy Clayton #fundie gty.org

For the sake of clarity, I wasn’t defending God’s actions. He doesn’t need me to defend His actions. God’s not on trial here.

Let’s talk about you.

As a sinner, you are a thief, Steven. That’s a serious crime—certainly you’d agree if you’re the victim. What do thieves deserve? They deserve to be punished. How severe should the punishment be? That depends on the value of the item stolen and the authority of the one from whom it was taken. What should be clear to you—and to all who protest the severity of hell—is that to ask the thief what kind of punishment he deems appropriate is madness. But yet here you are, a glory thief, accusing God of injustice, claiming His punishment is atrocious.

Frankly, you don’t have the right to weigh in on that discussion. In court, when the gavel hits the desk, it’s all over. Once the prosecuting attorney establishes guilt, the criminal has nothing more to say. He certainly won’t be consulted to determine the severity of his sentence. The judge makes that decision independently.

What sentence do glory thieves deserve? Let’s ask the One you stole from—the righteous judge—what He thinks is a just sentence. God says those who steal His glory deserve hell.

You disagree. But there’s no appellate court here, Steven. Your thoughts on God’s punishment are—to state it bluntly—irrelevant. The evidence is in, the jury is out, the verdict is guilt, and the sentence is hell. What I hear in your comments is a handcuffed criminal protesting the judge’s sentence as they escort him away.

Steven, a review of all your comments in this series demonstrates a low view of Scripture and consequently, a low view of God, a high view of self, a distorted sense of justice, a twisted understanding of human sin, and a gross misunderstanding of the gospel.

My advice to you is to repent of your sins and ask for God’s forgiveness. He’s a merciful judge, Steven. It’s hard to kick against the goads, friend. Come to Christ, and find rest for your soul (Mt. 11:28-29).

Andy Bailey #fundie gty.org

The reason why people think that God is cruel, violent, malevolent, and a tyrant is because they fail to understand their own wicked sinfulness!

To drive this point home, I want to take it to a personal level, though it might make you uncomfortable to think about.

How many of the ten commandments have you broken? All of them? Most of them? Have you ever told a lie? Have you stolen anything (regardless of the item's value)? Have you lusted after another person? Jesus said that you have committed adultery with them in your heart. Have you ever wished someone dead, or hated them? God sees you as a murderer!

How would you feel if every single one of your thoughts were revealed to the entire world? How would your friends and family feel if they knew EXACTLY what you thought about them all the time? Would you have any friends left? Would your family disown you?

How would your wife (I don't know if you are married or not, but let's say you are) feel if she knew what you were thinking every time an attractive woman walked by and you lusted after her? Would you still be married? Would you still be alive?

God knows your deepest, darkest, wicked sinful thoughts. God is showing mercy by not casting us forever into hell the very minute we sin against Him. He has given you years of life on this earth even after your first rebellion against Him, He's giving you a chance to repent and turn to Him. God is actually very merciful and kind.

God is just because He knows EVERYTHING. He will judge not only your actions, but also every one of your words, and every one of your thoughts and motives.

Sin is rebellion and treachery against God. When you finally start to get a sense of how God views sin, you realize just how merciful He has been. He sent His own Son to His death as a payment for your sin, so that you wouldn't have to go to hell.

How could you reject a God who, despite your sinfulness, loved you enough to provide a way for your sin to be paid for? People will spend an eternity in Hell for rejecting God and His sacrifice, and God will be completely just and fair in casting them there.

John MacArthur #fundie gty.org

If you’ve been a parent for any time at all, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that your child came into the world with an insatiable faculty for evil. Even before birth, your baby’s little heart was already programmed for sin and selfishness. The inclination toward depravity is such that, given free reign, every baby has the potential to become a monster.

John MacArthur #fundie gty.org

The earth we inhabit is not a permanent planet. It is, frankly, a disposable planet--it is going to have a very short life. It's been around six thousand years or so--that's all--and it may last a few thousand more. And then the Lord is going to destroy it.

I've told environmentalists that if they think humanity is wrecking the planet, wait until they see what Jesus does to it. Peter says God is going to literally turn it in on itself in an atomic implosion so that the whole universe goes out of existence (2 Peter 3:7-13).

This earth was never ever intended to be a permanent planet--it is not eternal. We do not have to worry about it being around tens of thousands, or millions, of years from now because God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth. Understanding those things is important to holding in balance our freedom to use, and responsibility to maintain, the earth.