Category Archives: Kingdom Of God

Avoiding Hell

Avoiding Hell and going to Heaven?

The average Evangelical Christian thinks that avoiding Hell and going to Heaven is the Gospel or Good News. Well, I suppose avoiding being tortured for ever and ever would be something that you would want to avoid – if it were true.

Therefore, according to the traditional Evangelical, the Gospel is not really something you experience much in this life but what you experience way in the future. The bonus, is that you may even get to escape a sort of ‘hell on earth’ (the tribulation)- if of course you are fortunate enough to be raptured!

Is it Good news?

lostTherefore, is what we are proclaiming Good News to the average person around us? To a single mother depressed and struggling to look after her young kids, does the Gospel of Hell avoidance seem at all attractive? Likewise, to the young man with a drug addiction; the man who has recently been made redundant or the housewife facing cancer? No, some people are already in a kind of hell – they really don’t need to be told its going to be even worse!

If the Gospel is nothing except an escape from future punishment then it’s not good news at all by any stretch of the imagination. Good news is when you win the lottery or get a tax refund – not the avoidance of certain death in a car crash because your remembered to wear a seat belt! When Noah preached to his generation, warning them of the coming flood – that wasn’t good news! It was bad news! Yes, it was the truth but it wasn’t the Gospel!

Its about Jesus

No, the Good News is about Jesus Christ! It’s that God so loved the world that he gave his only son that we might not perish but have eternal life – not escape from hell. Without Jesus in our lives, we are indeed perishing! Some of us maybe do better in life for a while but all of us eventually die!

However, the true Gospel is a Gospel of hope because its the good news of how God intervenes and intervened in human history through the person of the son Jesus Christ. At the cross Jesus overcame death and brought the possibility of immortality and life after death through physical resurrection!

2 Timothy 1:10 “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

The Gospel therefore, is great news when you realise that it proclaims an end to the the blood shed and the hatred in the world at the moment: a coming kingdom and age in which will righteousness will dwell but a kingdom that can be tasted now!

 

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Previous related post on the topic of Hell:

The first person to preach Hell?

Love never fails (Part 1)

Gods brilliant plan (Part 2)

How big are God’s plans? (Part 3)

God is a universalist (Part 4)

Jesus is God’s plan (Part 5)

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You Must be Born Again

you must be born againIn the dead of night two thousand years ago, a healer and radical teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, met a Jewish religious leader by the name of Nicodemus. What Jesus privately revealed to Nicodemus, was a mysterious teaching never heard of before. This teaching explained the necessity of what Jesus termed ‘new birth’. This meeting is recorded for us in John Chapter 3.

 

A shocking theology

Basically, Jesus says to this religious and scholarly man, unless you start again from scratch, like being born as a baby,  you can’t even see the kingdom of God because you are spiritually blind. Not only that, but without new birth you can’t enter it either – you are on the outside. Nicodemus , you need not only to be physically be born (born of water) but be spiritually born (born of wind or spirit).

These statements of Jesus, must have been totally shocking to a religious man like Nicodemus who had spent his whole life in religious performance and self-righteousness. Yes, he was not a bad man: he went to church (synagogue) and in many ways was a pillar of society and respected by many. However, Jesus showed in stark clarity, that for all this knowledge and works, it counted for nothing in terms of a relationship with God. What he needed, was to be born again. Of course,  if this was true of Nicodemus, then it is true of every human being on the planet. You must be born again!

Why are we spiritually dead?

So then, why are we spiritually dead and what does it mean to mean to be spiritually dead? How did we get there, how did this happen? Firstly, we must understand that God did not create human beings like this. In fact, Adam was created a living soul. He was created perfect without sin.

Genesis 1:24 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;  and man became a living soul”

Spirit, soul and body

Man therefore, was created as a tri-part being (reflecting the image of God and the trinity):  spirit, soul and body.

1Thess 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

  • The BODY is visible and gives us world-consciousness. It is our interface to the physical world. We perceive the world through our five senses.

  • The SOUL is invisible and gives us self-consciousness. It is made up of mind, will and emotions and includes our memories and personality.

  • The SPIRIT is invisible and gives us god-consciousness. It is our interface to the invisible spiritual dimension. We perceive this world through our spiritual senses.

What makes us radically different therefore from the animal creation, like God, the devil  and the angels (who are spirits) – is that we have a spirit.

What is the flesh?

Unfortunately, Adam didn’t stay a living soul, because sin and death entered the world through his act of disobedience. The moment therefore he disobeyed the commandment, spiritual death occurred. Immediately, he was self-conscious: he knew he was naked, and he was afraid. The soul and body now ruled. In the Bible this is called the flesh. The spirit was now dead (called the old man) and Adam was now carnal and driven by his 5 senses, his thoughts and his feelings. Eventually, he physically died and every human being born afterwards took on his fallen and sinful nature described in Ephesians 2:1.

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

How do we get born again?

Now we understand  why we need to be born again, the next important question is: How  that can happen?

Firstly, like in the natural, we have nothing to do with the process. We are not the initiators as we are dead. For example, in the natural a baby is conceived by the coming together of two people in love and intimacy. The baby doesn’t decide it is going to be born. In fact,  it has no choice in the matter. Similarly, the work of new birth or regeneration is the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

Therefore, we are born again not by our actions but by the action of the Holy Spirit and by the seed or sperm of the word. This seed of the word is incorruptible and eternal. It is Jesus.

1 Peter 1:23  “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

This is spiritual reproduction. This is how God reproduces Christ in us. This is how we become born again and a Christian (a little christ or anointed one).  So, if you are born again you have a brand new spirit that is alive to God. It’s just like Jesus. Christ is alive in you!

John 3 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

Further Reading:

Why you need to repent
The enterprise six month review
What is the kingdom of God

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School of Power And Love – Bob Hazlett

Some great teaching on the prophetic at the School of Power and Love by Bob Hazlett

School of Power and Love Session  4 – Bob Hazlett

School of Power and Love Session 5-  Bob Hazlett

School of Power and Love Session 9 – Bob Hazlett

Further Watching:

Dan Mohler Testimony
School of power and love session 1 & 2

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What is the kingdom of God?

Romans 14:7 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

It’s not what you eat or drink!

Eating and drinkingThis Bible verse first tells you what the kingdom isn’t: it’s not what you eat and not what you drink. Your choices concerning food and drink are nothing to do with the Kingdom of God!

If you want to eat curry, love a steak, pork loin, drink wine, beer or even coffee – do it for the glory of God. If you are a vegetarian or teetotal and that’s your choice – great.

1 Cor 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Does this mean that you can eat and drink what you like? Yes, technically you can, but practically if you do that, then you are acting foolishly and will end up in the kingdom of ‘heaven’  faster than probably intended!

Staying fit and healthy

Looking after your body and staying fit and healthy is wise. However, it is not the focus of Christianity. I mean, I own a ladies gym www.curvesgosport.com and see the positive effects of exercise in the lives of hundreds of women but that doesn’t bring any of those women into the kingdom – only new birth does that.

1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

For example: a believer is free to drink wine but if you get drunk, then you have come under the power of alcohol – you are acting foolishly!

Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”

1 Cor 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

The kingdom is about love

The main key principle of the kingdom is love. It is not about being free to do what I like, it is about whether I am acting in love towards my brother or sister. Therefore, if I know that you have a problem with alcohol (maybe it’s a strong temptation to you) then I am acting in love when I restrict my freedom and choose not to drink around you.

Romans 14:15 “But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.”

Therefore, even though all things are lawful and all foods clean, yet, I make a freewill choice of love and faith (Romans 14:23).

Romans 14:14 “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.”

 1 Cor 10:12 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

It’s an emotional kingdom

The Kingdom is a trinity of three things: righteousness, peace and joy. Two of those: peace and joy, are emotions and they flow out of the first: righteousness. If you know and believe you are righteous by faith then the emotions of peace and joy automatically follow.

This explains why many Christians are unhappy, unsettled and depressed: they are not walking in God’s imputed righteousness but their own! They are not dead to sin and the law.

Col 2:20 “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (dogma or rules). Touch not, taste not, handle not.”

Col 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”

Walk, live and breath the kingdom

Therefore, let’s stop focusing on behavior (our own and others) and walk, live and breath this kingdom. I mean, how much peace and infectious joy are you transmitting to others? What’s the point of claiming to be subjects of the kingdom of God and yet kick the cat and yet make the  lives of everyone around us hell – that is not the kingdom of God!

1 Cor 6:9 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Jesus sums it all up quite nicely in Matthew 15:10:

Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

Further Reading:

Awake to righteousness

Holiness
Self-Consciousness
Is it possible to preach to much grace
The Shadow of the law

Download my Kindle books on Amazon:

Christ the End of Law
Christ in you the hope of glory
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