Pastor Herman Kneller Editorials
The Dark ages became a dreary place and the church went through some big changes, but God's children never lost their faith or trust in Him. At the beginning of this time the day of worship was changed from the seventh day Sabbath to Sunday, the first day of the week for which there is no Biblical word. Then came the theory that the righteous dead go immediately to Heaven. There is no Bible proof of that nor the belief that the unrighteous go down to hell. Also, the theory that they who go down will burn in continual fire came about at the same time. This theory came in to scare people into going to church, believe in its teachings and pay to have forgiveness.
What kind of picture does this give us of God when we say He is a God of love? Will a God of love — who gave His only Son to suffer such pain on the cross to give His created children salvation — just burn the disobedient for eternity?
In God's word both “good” and “bad” go to the grave at death. The Bible calls death a “sleep.” The resurrection at the end when Jesus comes, will be the time of rewards. Those who have done God's work will go to Heaven, then the unrighteous will receive their punishment in the fire of hell (which is NOT ever burning.)
God is a God of justice and mercy; justice for rebellion against God requires His will to be paid. It is paid in mercy but only as much as the sinner deserves. Jesus, in His mercy, understands pain and suffering and will match it in mercy.
Revelation says, “...fire comes out from God, out of Heaven and devours them.”
The old testament prophet, Malachi says, “...they will burn as in an oven and burn root and branch.” As the root of the tree feeds the branches, so the feeder will be given greater punishment. According to the scripture, all end up in ashes. Sin and sinner will be completely destroyed. There will be no trace of sin in the whole universe except the nail scars in the hands of our Saviour and the spear marks in His side.
These are the only reminders of the cost of sin and the great love of God and the price He paid for you and me.