Monday, September 27, 2010

THE CULT CHRONICLES: Does God Kill?

On our evangelistic outings to downtown Guadalajara we come across people from all walks of life, religions and beliefs. In the course of our conversations with such people many raise interesting questions and objections, especially those in cult groups. This new section of my blog will tackle some of these issues. May it be of blessing and edification.
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The above issue came up two Saturdays ago. After I open air preached, a "prosperity" pastor and his family, and some members of his congregation, came up to talk to us. Now, many things can be said about the Prosperity/Word of Faith movement...hopefully I will get to some of the main tenets of their false doctrine another day. But in the course of a discussion that I had with the pastor's wife and two other girls, one of the main problems that they seemed to have with what I believed, and with the message that I had just preached, was my absolute declaration that God not only kills, but sends people to hell. One of the girls displayed utter shock after I told them that God kills people. They told me that God is good, and therefore would never kill anyone. According to them, Satan is the only one who steals, kills and destroys. God only brings good things, and only desires to bless His people. Death is simply a "curse" that we brought upon ourselves, God had nothing to do with that. Sickness, suffering, and short life-spans are a result of our "negative affirmations"; and as far as future punishment goes, we send ourselves to hell by choosing to reject Christ.

Well, what saith the Scriptures? Is God so loving that He would never kill anyone? Do we send ourselves to hell, or does God? Let's let the Lord speak through His Word:

"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand."
Deuteronomy 32:29

"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear Him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!"
Luke 12:4-5

The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
1 Samuel 2:6

In addition to the above clear verses, there are many other passages, including:

-The parable in Luke 12:16-21, where God kills a rich man;
-Acts 5:1-11, where Ananias and Sapphira are struck down dead by the Lord for having lied;
-2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, which says that Christ will return "in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel";
-And, of course, the book of Revelation which from beginning to end is filled with descriptions of the Lord pouring His terrible judgments over the earth and casting sinners into eternal hellfire (see Rev. 2:16, 22-23; 19:11-16; 14:9-11; 15:7; 20:11-15; 21:8, etc.). 

The god of the Prosperity Movement is appealing to fallen man because he is presented as a well-meaning Santa Clause figure who leaves salvation, prosperity, sickness, and death in our hands. Apart from our cooperation and positive declarations, he can do nothing--not even counter the works of the devil.  Theirs is an impotent god, and the human creature is the sovereign. What depraved sinner wouldn't want that?

No, the reality is that the God of the Scriptures, as we have seen, is an omnipotent and righteous judge who has the authority and power to give life and to take it. And because He is holy and just and good, He must give guilty sinners what they deserve: an eternity of His wrath in hell. He therefore commands all men everywhere to repent and turn to Christ, the only one who has the power to save us from our sins and from His wrath.

3 comments:

Koplin Familia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Koplin Familia said...

Great point, thanks for bringing it up! Many more examples come to mind too, especially in the OT.

Aaron the Levite said...

Amen, you really have to ignore the Bible not to see it.