Summary: A look at the foundational truths of the Christian faith which must be wholly understood before believers can move on to maturity in Christ. This one focuses on "eternal judgment"
Dakota Community Church
January 11, 2009
Foundational Truth 8
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.
Introduction and review:
1. Christians are to grow up spiritually.
2. Repentance from acts that lead to death.
3. Faith in God.
4. Water baptism
5. Holy Spirit baptism
6. Laying on of hands
7. Resurrection of the dead
8. Eternal Judgment
Eternal judgment, it isn’t something you hear talked much about in church these days. A dozen years ago as a young church planter it seemed like the message we needed to convey was that God loves people and He isn’t some big bad ogre in the sky who is out to “smote” everyone. The prevailing view of God amoung my peers at the time was that God was mean and against any form of pleasure and I wanted to be a part of changing that view.
Mission accomplished! The prevailing view in our culture is no longer one of an angry and austere God with a giant bat waiting to strike people down, the pendulum has swung the full arc until now it seems that most people believe if God is there at all He is a big cuddly teddy bear who forgives all and sees no evil in anyone.
I think the latter state is worse than the former, it certainly is equally inaccurate.
What has happened to the teaching of eternal judgment?
Ungodly patterns of this world have infiltrated the Church:
- There are now no consequences for wrong doing. (liberal permissiveness)
We are living at a time when victim’s rights groups have become a necessity. The law itself is supposed to look after victim’s rights but we have in many instances become more merciful to offenders than to their victims.
Personal responsibility has become an old fashioned notion.
16 But the LORD Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will show himself holy by his righteousness. Then sheep will graze as in their own pasture; lambs will feed among the ruins of the rich.
18 Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes, to those who say, "Let God hurry, let him hasten his work so we may see it. Let it approach, let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come, so we may know it."
20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.
22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.
24 Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Woe to those who call evil good!
- A “What’s in it for me?” mentality has invaded our presentation of the gospel.
We don’t speak of eternal judgment because we would rather have crowds than conversions.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I am not saying we should go out of our way to turn people off but I fear that some churchgoers have accepted a religion that is not Christianity; some have bought into a happy life theology, with a do-gooders heaven and a Lord-less, Christ-less Christianity.