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Living life with a Biblical worldview can sometimes be uncomfortable when conversations with certain people reach a point of contention. Such a moment occurred with me the other day when I was asked, very frankly, by a self proclaimed atheist if I believed in a literal hell. My answer apparently enraged her. She considers the notion of hell to be a contrived means of manipulating weak minded people into following a bunch of made up rules so that organized religion can manipulate people to eventually drain them of all their money, intelligence, and free-will. (or something like that) Though it is not a very original argument, I was enjoying the conversation.
She told me that I can only compel others by fear because of the prospect of hell. This brings up an interesting point. Can we effectively preach the gospel without preaching hell?
A couple of points to ponder.
1. Jesus clearly taught on hell.
Matthew 8:11-12, Mark 9:42-48, Luke 16:19-31
2. Since God is omnipresent, hell is the presence of God in His full judgment and wrath.
3. Hell is just because God is just.
4. Hell is …
After Elijah called down fire against the prophets of Baal in the spiritual Superbowl, he informed King Ahab that there was a “sound of heavy rain”. Ahab had just been through 3 years of being called out by God. Elijah had prayed for the drought and God brought it to humble Ahab and the nation. The Baal’s they worshipped were specifically honored for things like fertility, harvest, and…RAIN. After Elijah proved, by God’s mighty hand, that there is no question whose God is the strongest, there was no need for the drought so Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of heavy rain”.
Even when you are a great person of faith who has seen the miraculous, there is always a moment where a huge demand is put on your faith. Elijah knew that God had caused the drought and he knew God would end it. Still, Elijah climbed to the top of Mt. Carmel (revisiting the place where God had done amazing things before ) and bent down with his face between …