When man sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, he joined in the already, ongoing rebellion of the fallen angels. God had prepared hell and the lake of fire for these demons.
God is the builder and architect of hell. Every attribute of hell: eternal, fire, outer darkness, pit, lake of fire, torment, weeping, gnashing of teeth, etc. is by God’s design. God made everything, and it was judged: very good. Hell is the right place for lawbreaking rebels. Man is guilty and lives out his days at enmity with God, preparing himself for hell.
Man lives in a deluded world where he thinks he is good. He reasons that he deserves good things. This spirit of entitlement is the product of man-centered theology. When God does not give proud man these entitlements, then in his frustration, man is angry with God. In reality, everyone deserves nothing.
Is man really that bad? Should man be punished forever? What hope does man have?
Man has participated in a coup d’etat against Almighty God. Man is ungrateful for all the goodness God has shared with him. Man thought he was to be like God, when Satan deceived him, “How is that working out for you, man?” Let us be honest, man is blind to his personal condition and general state. He is also not believing his future is as dire as stated here. Instead, man is filled with pride, boasting of his many accomplishments.
Man developed accounting to make sure he gets and keeps what is his; but man never accounts for the fact that God has declared, “The earth is mine and all that is in it.
Man keeps statistics to measure everything, so he could prove himself to be the champion; but man refuses to acknowledge that Christ alone is triumphant.
Man invented science to record all that he has discovered; but man, in his brilliance, has taught himself to deny the Creator, who has made all things: seen and unseen.
Man continues in sin against God. Without God’s gracious intervention, all men would be vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. Man’s infinite volume and varieties of iniquities warrant infinite punishment. God has issued a warrant for man’s arrest, and on the day of his death each man will cease from his life of sin and face the righteous Judge of all the earth.
The eternal fire is just, for the single reason: God is just. God is right to do with His own creation as He pleases. Man balks! If God decrees that man will pay for his sins himself, then man is responsible for the payment-in-full. The responsibility of sin is man’s alone. The fact that God has left man to his own devices, and to his own consequences, does not reflect negatively on God.
The only hope of man, who deserves nothing but hell, is if God, by His free grace, saves him. Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. Men either repent of their sins and believe in Christ…or they do not. Without God’s intervention, no man has the will, nor ability, to turn away from sin and to turn to God. Man’s plight is so bad that he has no interest in God, nor God’s exclusive salvation. No man is pushed by God toward the edge of the fiery abyss. Each man is willfully heading to destruction. He loves sin and hates God.
Man deserves nothing, and God owes man nothing. The wonder of salvation is that God has had mercy on so many people. God displays His vessels of mercy, which He is preparing for glory, by positioning the jeweler’s black cloth of reprobation, as the backdrop to His brilliant craftsmanship. Reprobation serves election in this way.
In conclusion, we have challenged the notion of bold entitlements, which men think they deserve. We have shown that men deserve nothing but eternal hell. Man’s only hope is the mercy of Jesus Christ, the Righteous. Without God’s grace there is no mercy from God.
The produce of this distinction of particular grace is a people that cannot stop praising Him, who are set apart from those who grumble, murmur, and curse God because they imagine they deserve better.
August 31, 2021