Can we bargain with God about our eternal destiny
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Eternal Destiny, Holiness of God, Unrighteousness, Judgment, Salvation, 1 Peter 3:18, Romans 3:21, Titus 3:5, Romans 6:23, 1 Peter 2:24
- Ankerberg: When I get there, I’m going to talk to God.” Okay? I remember the first time that I read the book of Leviticus straight through, I thought there’s no way that I could ever be friends with that God, because everything He said it seemed like I had broken that – and the penalty was death! Okay? And then you come over to Hebrews and you read how God had provided the righteousness that we don’t have that we need to stand in front of His utter holiness. It’s not a righteousness we have. It’s the righteousness that Christ provided for us, okay? That’s the furthest thing from people’s mind, is that God is that holy, that scary, and this idea we’re going to talk to Him and He’ll understand is really messed up. Do you have any other way of illustrating that?
- Geisler: Well, God’s not a “chum.” He’s not somebody you just chitchat with. You know, the people in the Bible when they met Him, they fell on their knees, fell on their face, and said, “Woe am I. I’m a sinful man.” So we’ve got to get an idea of what God is and how holy He is.
- Also, we have to get an idea of what penalty He paid and provided a free gift of salvation for us. That holy God paid His own penalty. He sent His own Son to die for our sins to pay the penalty so that He could satisfy His justice and release His mercy. He had to satisfy His justice because He has to justly punish everyone. Jesus, the Just for the unjust, suffered for our sins, the Bible says in 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:24. And the best paragraph in the Bible, I think, the most important one: Romans 3:21 and following says that God might be just and justifier of the unjust. Now, how does He do that? By the Just One suffering for the unjust – that’s us – He paid the penalty for us and God can offer to all of us a free gift of salvation. All you have to do is take it and admit that you didn’t deserve it; you couldn’t earn it. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” [Titus 3:5], and Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” It’s a free gift. All you have to do is reach out and take it by faith.
- Ankerberg: If mass murderers occasionally get a parole here, okay, how come hell is not appealable? Is God less forgiving than we are?
- Geisler: There is a place that’s appealable and there is a place that’s parole-able and there is a place where reformation goes on. It’s called “life.” And once you blow it, it’s called “eternity.” “It is appointed unto man once to die and after this, the judgment.” [Heb. 9:27] Yes, God does believe in reformation and you have a whole life to reform. Everybody gets a lifetime – some shorter, some longer – and if they don’t reform in that lifetime, “whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven.” [Matt. 16:19]