You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Charisma House; Har/DVD edition (July 6, 2010)
Bill Wiese is the New York Times best-selling author of 23 Minutes in Hell. A dedicated Christian since 1970, he has served in various capacities, including teaching and leading worship. He is an accomplished speaker and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows. He lives with his wife, Annette, in Southern California.
Visit the author's website.
List Price: $15.99
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Charisma House; Har/DVD edition (July 6, 2010)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Would you say that the leaders of our country are mean for constructing prisons? No, it’s your choice; you don’t have to go there. (See Deuteronomy 30:19; Psalms 9:17; 86:5; 145:8–9; Proverbs 11:19, 21; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 2 Peter 2:9; Revelation 20:13–15.)
Besides, hell was not prepared for man but for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). God never intended for man to go there. Even now, He is preparing a place for us in heaven (John 14:2). It is only by man’s stubborn will that he rejects the provision God has made
for our access into heaven. It is arrogant of man to desire to go to heaven yet demand his own terms of access. If you want to live in God’s house, you come by His way and not your own (Luke 13:3; John 3:36; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9–10; 1 Tim. 2:4–6).
Why is hell so horrific? Because God’s attributes are not present there. Many do not realize that the good we all enjoy is from God. Good doesn’t exist apart from Him. James 1:17 states, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.”
The same word, hetoimazo, is used in Matthew 25:41, where God prepared hell for the devil, as is used in John 14:2, where Jesus says, “I go to prepare a place for you” (emphasis added). God prepared heaven as His eternal home, filled with all the attributes of His holiness and glory. But in God’s preparation of hell, He removed all of His attributes, or goodness, from that place of torment. Spiritual death means to be separated from God, and to be separated from Him is to be separated from all good. As a consequence, this is the result:
• Hell is dark because God is light (1 John 1:5).
• Hell is only death because God is life (John 1:4).
• Hell is hatred because God is love (1 John 4:16).
• Hell has no mercy because the mercy of the Lord is in the heavens (Ps. 36:5).
• Hell is only weakness because the Lord is the giver of strength (Ps. 18:32).
• Hell is loud because “My people will dwell in . . . quiet resting places” (Isa. 32:18).
• Hell has no water because water is the rain of heaven (Deut. 11:11).
• Hell has no peace because Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).
The good we experience is because God allows us to enjoy it while we are here on the earth. Psalm 33:5 states, “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”
However, if you want nothing to do with God, then there is a place prepared that has nothing to do with His goodness. His presence is there (Job 26:6; Ps. 139:8; Prov. 15:11; Rev. 14:10–11), in that it is before His face. However, His goodness and influence are removed.
He looks down upon it from heaven (1 Kings 8:30; Job 22:12; Ps. 11:4; 33:13; 102:19; 123:1; Prov. 15:3; Eccles. 5:2). Of course, God is in all places and sees all. I am simply saying that He has withdrawn His goodness from hell.
Proverbs 15:29 says, “The Lord is far from the wicked.” In 2 Thessalonians 1:8–9 we read, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
Cast out from the presence of the Lord is the idea at the root of eternal death, the law of evil left to its unrestricted working, without one counteracting influence of the presence of God, who is the source of all light and holiness.1 —Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Essentially, hell is the place where all aspects of the presence of God will be completely withdrawn forever.2 —Henry M. Morris and Martin E. Clark
Dr. Robert Peterson said in his book Hell on Trial, “God is not present in hell in grace and blessing . . . He is present in hell, not in blessing, but in wrath.”3
However, there is one additional thing in hell. God’s wrath is present in the form of fire. The fires of hell are representative of His wrath (Deut. 32:22; Ps. 11:6; 21:8–9; Isa. 30:33; 33:14; 34:9; 66:24; Jer. 4:4; Mal. 4:1; Matt. 13:49–50; 18:8; Mark 9:43; John 15:6; Jude 7; Rev. 14:10–11; 20:10–15). The reason for this wrath is because sin must be punished (Rom. 6:23). God took out His anger on sin at the cross, as He poured out His wrath on Jesus (Ps. 22; Isa. 53; Matt. 17:12; Mark 9:12; Luke 9:22; 17:25; 24:26, 46; Heb. 9:26; 1 Pet. 2:24). However, if we don’t acknowledge Him and receive Him as our Lord, then we will take the punishment (2 Thess. 1:9–10; 2 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 14:10–11; 20:13–15). It is our choice.
Most of the other terrible things in hell are not experienced because of His wrath but because of His absence—the absence of His attributes and goodness (Prov. 15:29; 2 Thess. 1:9). We need to understand that good things are not just here by a series of coincidental random events but because they emanate from the presence of God (Ps. 90:2; Matt. 5:45; Luke 6:35; Col. 1:16; 1 Tim. 6:17). When some say that hell is only “separation from God,” as if that is no big deal, we can now grasp what that really means.
Many will look at the trees, the sky, the ocean, and so forth and comment, “Isn’t Mother Nature wonderful?” Well, it is not “Mother Nature,” but rather, “Father God” who provided all of the beauty we enjoy.
Just as prisons have been constructed to protect the innocent from those who are breakers of the law here on Earth, hell has been prepared for the offenders of God’s law. The simple solution is, don’t break God’s law. “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3; see also John 3:36; Rom. 10:9–10). Proverbs 27:12 says:
A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.
Remember this point: Just as prisons were not the first thing in mind when men came to this country, so too hell wasn’t God’s first intent when He made the earth and man. Nevertheless, hell exists— and it will be your own fault if you go there.
Salvation is a free gift, but we must receive it in order to be saved. God loves you and is a good Father. He is trying to keep you out of hell and to divert you from your misguided course.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound.
This book is every bit as captivating as Bill Wiese's 23 Minutes in Hell. I appreciate the many scriptural references in the answers to the questions. This is a great read, very informative. I would recommend this book to anyone.