Keys In Hand
By: Danny Wallace
There is a phenomenon within most Christian circles that eludes me. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, but more a matter of the concept going completely over my head. I hear it a lot. In fact, I just read it in a post circulating on Facebook this week. It goes something like this:
“How many people want to hear more preaching about Hell? Who wants preaching to get real again and call out sin wherever we find it? Who is tired of the watered-down, ‘feel good” Gospel? If you want to get back to attending church where you feel guilty, ashamed of your sin, and heavily convicted, please repost.”
Though there are multiple versions of the thought – the sentiment is always the same. It is a passionate plea for church attendees to get back to good ole’ time religious negativity. It is a mandate that asks us to tell those “love promoting,” positive thinkers to shove their sugary positivity where the sun doesn’t shine! At least, that’s the nature of the comments that follow such passionate pleas for a resurrection of the Bad News of Hell, over the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is a plea that always brings out the very worst in people. If you don’t believe it – just read the comments that follow the plea.
These “Hell Ambassadors” are always quick to state that Jesus doesn’t send anyone to Hell. They say that if you go to Hell you will go there by your own arrogance and absolute refusal to live in a way that sufficiently verifies your allegiance to God, Jesus, and all things religious. Just to set the record straight – this is a blatant, law-entangled, lie. If anyone ends up in Hell they would have to most certainly be sentenced, sent, and locked away there by the hand of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Jesus holds the keys to death, Hell, and the grave, and in His nail-pierced hands, they will remain for all eternity.
As a glorious part of the New Covenant, Jesus went into Hell and set every single captive free. He seized the keys to the gates of Hell and “in His glorious hand,” those keys remain. You can’t slice this piece of religious bread both ways. If Jesus has nothing to do with anyone going to Hell, then Jesus is a liar, and He does not hold the keys to death, Hell, and the grave. If your life decisions, lack of faith, unbelief, or anything else is going to sentence you to Hell, just how do you propose to enter in without a key? You do not hold the keys to death, Hell, or the grave, Jesus does.
The state of America is grave. It is a clustered, viperous pit, far exceeding the one described by Jesus in Matthew 23. Though there are many theories as to how we got here, I have one that probably rests solely with me. In my opinion, this nation took a tragic, and negative turn the moment a single Ambassador of judgment introduced a concept known as, “The Moral Majority” into the fabric of this great nation. Though the concept sounded all righteous and spit-shined on the surface, the heart of the concept was born of the pit it both cherished, and preached. It was largely comprised of nothing more than a bunch of angry, self-righteous, and fire-breathing, “Hell prophets,” who consider a fear of Hell to be “Good News,” and the beauty of Grace to be the fodder of deceptive, false prophets – wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The beauty of Grace is unsurpassed. The preaching of Jesus sentencing people to the fires of Hell is unbelief at its highest level. It says that Jesus did not save the world, though that’s exactly what Jesus said He came to do. It says that God did not accept the sacrifice of Jesus for ALL sin, and there is “indeed” further need for sacrifice. In fact, a sentence to Hell says that Jesus failed – Grace does not exist – and God is a liar.
It might surprise you to know that “Hell,” as the Ambassadors of judgment want it preached, did not exist in any shape, form, or fashion until the King James translators introduced the concept in the early 1600’s. Until then, the closest scripture came was a reference to Hell (Sheol) as the grave. So forget what you’ve heard for a moment. Forget all of the fire-breathing, Hell-fire and brimstone sermons you’ve heard. Employ common sense for 10 seconds.
God relinquished ALL judgment to the Son (Jesus). Meaning: God will not judge the world. In fact, John 22 says that God will judge no one. Instead, He has entrusted ALL judgment to Jesus.
Jesus died for the sins of the entire world – for all who have ever lived, for all who live, and for all who will ever walk the earth. He is the perfect sacrifice. God has accepted His sacrifice and said that no more sacrifice would ever be required. God said that IMMEDIATELY, all sin is forgiven, and remembered no more.
Therefore, Jesus, the Savior of the world, will conduct the Judgment Day that the Hell Ambassadors of religion are salivating over. The One who died for ALL sin will rise to judge His work, not ours. Jesus either did what He promised, forgiving and forgetting ALL sin, or He fell tragically short.