The Hellfire Piece
All Christians who experience the resurrection to life will be able endure the judgment, of course, through Christ’s imputed righteousness. These are those who will put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:53-55 is clear about this. But where does Scripture ever indicate that the ungodly, those experiencing the resurrection to judgment, will ALSO become immortal for the rest of eternity, even after experiencing their righteous judgment? The immortality of the soul, as a default position for every person, seems to be assumed and imported onto the text. Honestly, that “the worm does not die” still doesn’t say anything about the person(s) being consumed by the worm. We are told, however, that “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:20). What about Scripture’s continual discussion of the wicked withering, vanishing, and being destroyed, etc. ever indicates a life after death for the wicked of being punished without any end? A legitimate question.
Chris, yes, a legitimate question, as I acknowledged in the post. But to your point, the Scripture says this: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matt. 25:46). The adjective describing the punishment and the life is one and the same adjective in both cases (aionion). Whatever the life is, so also the punishment is. And besides, all descriptions of eternal fire are completely beside the point if the lost are to perish in the first ten minutes of it. A house fire could do just as well as that.
Thanks for this post Pastor Wilson, Sermons which warn of the dangers of hell for covenant children are hard to come by in my circles. We like to think that those Federal Vision people are in deep danger, but we need to remember not to just call Federal Vision people to believe in Christ but also ourselves. Blessings!
Nathan, thanks and amen.
It Is Too a Free Book . . .
I may be doing something wrong, but it looks like the Kindle version of Why Children Matter still costs (it’s Monday afternoon at 4:30 at the time of this writing). Did I miss it? I’m working through Standing on the Promises now and really wanting more . . .
Joseph, there was a glitch, and our apologies. Why Children Matter is free now.
That Invisible Tape Recorder
What’s with the Invisible Tape Recorder illustration? Our pastor used the same one in his sermon on Sunday. I thought he credited Francis Schaeffer, but I am not sure. Odd that it would come up twice in the same week though.
Bob, I have been using the illustration for very many years. But it is entirely possible that I first got it from Schaeffer. Perhaps some of our readers might come up with a citation?
Thank you so much for these posts. I am thankful for your faithfulness to the Lord and the impact you have had on my life and community. Sorry this reply is well after the original post, but I’m just now getting around to some of this reading. I want to preface this with saying that I am fully on board with complementarianism. I believe that God created men and women for different roles in the home, the church, and the world at large. What I found difficult to swallow in this article was your claim that “if women rule, given the fact that they are more likely to be deceived, this means they are more likely to pass such deceptions on to the congregation.” I have read that passage in 1 Timothy a couple times, but am not convinced that Paul is suggesting that women are more gullible than men which is why they can’t lead. I’m not convinced that God is prohibiting women from ruling because they are less competent than men and would mess everything up. Don’t get me wrong here. I absolutely believe that God prohibits women from ruling church congregations. Male leadership is rooted in creation, and paints a beautiful picture of the gospel to the world. However, I don’t believe that male headship is due to a deficiency in women. Family, church, and society crumble when men abandon their leadership and women try to grab the reins. I don’t think that has anything to do with the competency of men vs. women though. Everything crumbles because that is rebellion against God’s commands. And when we don’t live according to the creation order set out from the beginning of time, things don’t go so well. Perhaps I am misrepresenting your own position on this subject, and if so, please forgive me. It’s also possible that I need to adjust my understanding of the creation order. As a rather strong-willed, opinionated young woman, I am fairly regularly having to wrestle my heart into submission to the Scriptures. Thanks again,
Betsy, thanks for the push back. Whether it is true that women would make a hash of the men’s job, it is most certainly true that I would make a hash of it if given the work that my wife does. This is just another way of saying that I don’t think God’s restrictions are arbitrary. I believe He fits His tools to the tasks. The fact that a crescent wrench can be used to place a nail doesn’t mean that it fits the design—and to say that a poor job would likely result is no criticism of the crescent wrench.
In Defiance of the Schoolmarms Thanks for this. I am a literal schoolmarm (homeschool mom) trying to take my job seriously, yet perhaps too seriously in the way that you suggest. I found your cautions helpful and have been convicted of these pitfalls before—love the image of being a ninja instead! Is it just me, or is this not a very No Quarter-y kind of post? Just found it helpful.
Mary, I was trying to have it be a No Quarter post.
Vance’s experience is ridiculously similar to mine, except I landed in seminary and he in law school. Trump’s victory was not a surprise to me, at all, and I hope he wins again for the same reason. But I must note one correction. At this point, Trump’s victory is not a mystery to most. It is frustrating for them and they don’t want to admit that it is true, because it would require them to openly admit their hatred of our people. What is sad is how many elite Evangelicals are in that group.
BJ, you make a very strong point, one which grows increasingly obvious by the day.
That Surplice Thing
There is a man who serves as an acolyte in a Continuing (that is, orthodox) Anglican parish in the heart of Dixie—a burly ox of a former rugby player, who is raising 4 energetic young sons together with his demure, yet regal wife (who, not incidentally, runs the homeschool co-op and humbly covers her head before the presence of the Lord). He is intelligent, good, strong, and decent: the very manifestation of his cavalier blood. And this man was recently overheard to say, “He should really get on a plane, fly down here, and tell me to my face that I look like a fag in my surplice.”
Joey, he sounds like a beefy curate in the Wodehouse line, and I would never dream of saying anything so slighting of such an outstanding personage. I mean, masculine curates are a thing in Wodehouse. And there is also a reason why a comedic master like Wodehouse came up with that . . . shall we call it an incongruity?
Texas & America
“America is to the world what Texas is to America.” I’m flat out stealing that! TEXIT!!
Thank you for sharing your feelings, Malachi.
Thanks for the Correction:
Re: this post: As a trans-Atlantic brother, I enjoyed this article but wanted to point out a factual error: The fastest Liberty ship built was the SS Robert Peary, built in 4 days, 15 hours—not one day as stated. I mention this, not to nit-pick nor thinking you intended to deceive, but believing (as you do) that truth matters. Thank you for your writing ministry which blesses the wider church.
Matt, I got the one day figure from a lecture here in Moscow by Larry Schweikart, author of a Patriot’s History of the United States. And I think it might be a matter of definitions (i.e. did it include laying the keel?). But also happy to stand corrected.
Re: “In Praise of America” “the fact that he shed his blood there means that this island will most certainly be secured for Christ” These words, although a quotation, are, by far, the most catholic ones that have ever bounced out of your typewriter, Pastor Doug. The fathers are no doubt raising a defiant fist in the crisp air of Heaven right now, as they most certainly will give a manly nod and wink all around on the day of your confirmation.
Joey, confirmation? You say that like it is a good thing.
No Quarter November
This no-quarter November has been great. The current state of affairs in the American Church and our “almost to the bottom of the slippery slope” culture indicates the need for a no-quarter December and certainly a no-quarter 2019. Shucks, you might as well throw in the next decade.
Larry, thanks. But I think I need to sit down and pant for a bit.
Doug, I’m probably not alone in thinking we need Mablog shirts. I wait in anticipation.
Jordan, okay. Our shirt team is on it.
Percussion and Using Both Sticks
I agree with all of the baseline assertions here (there is a time and place for different genres, music is a language, appropriate worship in a congregational setting requires reverence and awe, the purpose isn’t to pull people off the streets, etc.). But what I’m not sure I understand is the assumption that modern worship styles are innately opposed to this. Can reverence and awe truly not be effectively communicated via guitar and drums? It seems to me this would be largely dependent on the culture.
Andrew, now that November is over, and qualifications are permitted, I am happy to grant the point. I have certainly heard worship music accompanied by guitar and drum that was God-honoring and fully appropriate.
So I get that with the use of percussion or contemporary music that the quality of the music can go down, but I don’t understand the inference that it must necessarily go down. In my previous church the quality of worship soared after we sent the 19th-century dirges and Fanny Crosby packing in favor of some excellent, contemporary music.
DC, now that November is over, and qualifications are permitted, I am happy to grant the point. I certainly think there were some churches that improved the quality of their worship when they abandoned traditional hymns. But I don’t believe that has been the case across the board.
Thank you so much for your blog “Your Suburban Church Needed a Drum Kit the Way J.S. Bach Needed a Kazoo”. I am often unsettled by the music during worship but have been unable to put my finger on why. As always, you are able to articulate so well what I am thinking or feeling. When the body of Christ sings together as one voice, if just feels like reverent worship. The “worship team” seems to be performing rather than leading the body in reverential worship. Rather than preparing me for the preaching of God’s Word, it results in my discombobulation and irritation. I was starting to feel like a grumpy old curmudgeon but your blog has encouraged me. Many thanks!
Scott, you are very welcome.
I love God’s providence. I stumble upon this article two days after stumbling upon a new drum kit hidden away in the practice room at my church, ready to be “surprise-unveiled” at our upcoming seeker-friendly Christmas program.
Bernard, it is probably a false alarm. Probably just a Christmas present for the youth pastor’s son, and he is hiding it from Dylan at the church. But maybe not. I merely speculate
Re: Your Suburban Church Needed a Drum Kit In your CrossPolitic appearance, you said that Jesus could condemn Pharisees generally without having to explicitly state that some Pharisees are, of course, fine folks, and that this is part of your motivation for No Quarter November. However, there is a difference between refusing to say what’s obvious—that some Pharisees are fine—and refusing to clarify what is unclear—whether drums are inherently unfit for a worship service where there should be “an atmosphere of reverence and awe.” You say: “So the problem is not so much the kind of music people like. The problem is what kind of occasion they think a worship service is.” This sounds like you are indeed condemning drums themselves as unfit for worship, because the style of music drums bring with them is, in your mind, contrary to worship in reverence and awe. So here I would ask for clarification. Are you opposed in principle to the use of drums? Have you seen services where drums are used appropriately? Off the top of my head, the best example I could offer you of contemporary worship that seems reverent would be the Norton Hall Band from Southern Seminary: link here. David danced like a fool before the ark and the entire congregation, and the Jews worshiped with tambourines and cymbals. Probably not snare drums, so I suppose we should repent on that one. As for the cymbals and tambourines, you’ll have a hard time convincing me that bringing those into a service today would create an atmosphere of reverence and awe. And David’s wife was the one in the wrong for him behaving in what she deemed an unfitting manner in the congregation. Refusing to qualify everything as an apology to the perpetually offended is well and good, but you seem to believe you are doing so when in reality many times you are simply being unclear. And since you don’t think noisy gongs belong in a service of reverence and awe . . . A clear note on the trumpet, how can they say amen without an interpreter, all that. What we truly don’t need is female worship leaders or women sharing special music, as women are to be silent en ekklesia. I wonder if that’s a truth we have the humility to accept, or if the drum-despising folks in Idaho might find that to be too much humility. Would the old ladies leave then, or would they wait until you told them to cover their heads when praying in a group? If you thought coming out as a paedo-baptist was hard, wait until you come out as someone who can honestly exegete those passages and actually wants to live them out. It’s No Quarter November, but you’ve only gone after the hipster rock bands. When will you go after the traditional and respectable old folks in their shirts and ties and calm demeanors? I thought you were going to be saying the hard stuff.
Mike, we use drums every week in our worship at Christ Church.
As a drummer, and a veteran of the Worship Industrial Complex, I agree with pretty much all of this. I do think the drum set or other percussion can be used with reverence and awe (visit Church of the Holy Trinity sometime and see) but it takes wisdom. A lot of the great hymns we sing are martial in nature, and a good snare drum part only enhances that. And yes, on occasion, so can boom boom bap. But you have to be careful. In my professional life, it’s just about copying the music with which the congregation entertains themselves. That’s what has to stop.
Johnny, thanks, and amen.
I believe it was you or Pastor Toby that said on a recent Crosspolitic episode something to the effect, “raising godly children is God’s primary weapon.” As a refugee from American evangelicalism, my past raises red flags with a statement like this, but it sounds right to me now (especially with 4 kids) What resources, articles etc. lay out a chapter and verse apologetic for viewing child rearing as the primary means for God’s Kingdom fighting? Thanks for your boldness,
Garrett, sorry I don’t know of a book like that. There needs to be one.
My thoughts here: