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Found 5 results

  1. What a privilege to share about God's Discipline at Angle Lake Neighborhood Church on Thanksgiving Sunday! We learned that we really are His children and that He never condemns or leaves us. God is a good, just Father who rescues us from hell and secures us in heaven. Many will join with family this holiday season. Please know that our Creator Dad joins us to eternal family. Thank you, Lord! Pastor Tom Ellis | God's Discipline Play video Pastor Tom Ellis | God's Discipline
  2. The Silence of the Lambs has telling scene—one that lays out the two main worldviews of our day. Clarice Starling, the young FBI agent from the Behavioral Sciences division, attempts to assess Dr. Hannibal Lecter, experienced psychiatrist—and serial killer. He looks at her questionnaire and scoffs. Their conversation goes something like this: “Clarice, I kill people and eat them, because I like to, and you can’t call this evil.” She responds that she thinks he may have made some questionable choices, and she would like to if they might work together towards healthier future decisions. Again Lecter laughs and says, “You have traded good and evil for behaviorism.” Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ to his enemies for 30 silver coins. Jesus welcomed him, gave him a position of leadership, and entrusted him with the group’s finance. He had community, authority, and purpose. Maslow would have said that Judas achieved self-actualization—all thanks to the Savior. The betrayer rewards Jesus by stealing from the accounts, turning him over to corrupt religious leaders, and then, even after realizing the error of his ways, by refusing to reconcile—choosing instead to take his own life. Jesus says Judas is in hell. He declares, “Woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” The only result worse than non-existence is hell. A philosophy professor once suggested to me that since God knew Judas would betray Jesus, the traitor cannot be blamed. It is true that, “the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought.” However, the Bible continues, “If you seek him, he will be found by you.” No one has to sin. The book of James tells us, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” God is good, righteous, and has prepared Heaven for us. Satan is bad, evil, and will be bound in hell for eternity. Will we turn to God or continue in the ways that seem right to us, but which end in death?
  3. Satan started as “The Angel of Light.” He was beautiful, powerful, and gifted. Seeing how others looked to him, and finding their admiration justified, he determined to overthrow God, and make himself Master of Heaven. One-third of the angels joined his rebellion, and they quickly lost. God cast them out of heaven. Misery loves company, so Satan goes after God’s highest creation—humanity. Pride worked with the angels. For us he used deception. He encounters Adam & Eve, and asks whether it is true that God has forbidden them from eating all of the trees in the garden. Eve’s smart enough to know that Satan has it wrong, but does not realize his real aim—to convince her that God is unjust. She falls into his trap, and responds that no, God is not so mean, he only prohibits her from one tree. Then Satan delivers the First Lie—eat the fruit—you will not die! 6,000 years later we’re still hearing this lie. Ministers, wanting us to know God is not so bad, try to help him out, by downplaying, or outright denying the doctrine of hell. The most notorious recent example is the book Love Wins. The idea is that hell is not very loving, so maybe the traditional doctrine is flawed. Maybe hell is allegory. Maybe it is temporal. Never mind that Jesus said it is better for a man to enter heaven partially blind or maimed, than to go into hell with full-vision, and complete mobility. Then there is that account Jesus gives of Lazarus and the rich man—how the latter ends up in painful fire. We know he’s not making a parable or story, because he names the key player. What we can learn from Satan is quite direct and clear. Pride leads to rebellion against God. Further, the idea that God will not judge, and will not condemn souls to hell is the First Lie humanity experienced. Humility and love towards our Creator—these are what give us true and eternal purpose. For an audio podcast of the full version of this teaching see:
  4. There is a powerful dialogue near the beginning of Silence of the Lambs. Clarice is a young, pretty FBI agent from Behavioral Sciences (i.e. she has a B.A. in Psychology). Dr. Hannibal Lector is a psychiatrist, a serial killer, and a cannibal (i.e. he would eat parts of his victims). During her initial visit Clarice tries to get Dr. Lector to take a psychological assessment. He despises psychology as pseudo-science. So, he says to her (my paraphrase): You've read my file. You've seen what I have done, and why I did it [simply for my own enjoyment]. Clarice nods. He continues: You can't bring yourself to call it evil, can you? The devil swiped evil from our vocabulary. Now, post-modern society has filed a charge against God. Their claim is that hell is immoral, cruel, and mean. Many Christians are caught flat-footed by this allegation. For centuries the fear of hell drove many into the Kingdom. Suddenly, this doctrine has become a seeming albatross. Even C.S. Lewis said he detested the doctrine of hell--though, he admitted, his opinion of it mattered not, if the teaching was true. There is an element amongst younger clergy that also struggle--some even denying--against the idea of an eternal hell that is literal, physical punishment. One well-known TV evangelist was asked why he doesn't talk about hell. Without denying the doctrine, he responded that he was called to build up, not tear down. That sounds good, but I suppose it means that those of us who teach the whole counsel of God are guilty of tearing down. Without evil hell makes no sense. Rather than defend the doctrine of hell, we must needs revive the doctrine of evil. Opposition to God's reality, role, authority, and love is not a mental disorder, a result of various traumas, nor a genetically predetermined outcome. It is evil. After the final judgment the eternal kingdom will contain no evil. Hell will. So, what says the board? Am I right? Partially? What of the lower kingdoms--will they contain lesser evils, or will all of the kingdoms be sin-free?
  5. It is a very common religious belief that there is some kind of heaven and some kind of hell. As I have studied the Plan of Salvation it seems that the LDS church does not really believe in hell in the same way that other religions do. Yes, those that do not accept the atonement will suffer for their sins, but once they have "paid" for their own sins they are admitted to one of the three glories, not with God, but also not a place of eternal torment either. I wonder if this is a false interpretation on my part or if we don't actually believe in hell... Basis for my thinking that we don't actually believe in a traditional hell is based mostly on the idea that just about everyone who has ever lived on the planet or will live on planet will be headed to one of the three glories - telestial, terrestial, or celestial. All three supposedly glories and heavens. There is of course outer darkness which is technically the "hell" that we believe in, but based on lots of gospel discussions with leaders, very people will qualify to go there. So does the general population really have to worry about ending up in hell?