16. The way to heaven
||2013-06-16 01:20:32, 조회 : 2,799, 추천 : 597
| Michelle Yim|
The way to Heaven
So we are finally at the last chapter of the book and I feel rather bittersweet. The reason being is because although I’ve been summarizing each chapter for you guys and also teaching, I’ve learned a great deal throughout this entire process. Initially, I had to forcefully write each summary but after a while I enjoyed writing and reading what I learned. Looking in retrospect, it’s interesting that I was assigned this particular book. I’ve had so much controversial feelings towards this topic of hell, many of which was endorsed by my fears. I am almost certain that there is someone out there that has or is going through the same things that I have. Although, Blanchard’s intentions wasn’t to ease our fears and feel comfortable, he gives us a direct look at what exactly hell is (minus the speculations). He paints the picture of the harsh reality that we would be heading to, if we don’t turn to God. So for those who are intrigued and feel like they want to be on the narrow path, Blanchard writes this last chapter for you.
Firstly, we must understand the meaning of “knowing God”. What does that mean? How are we supposed to know God? The Bible gives us several analogies of what it is to know God:
1) Son knowing father - Paul wrote to a believer “So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you an heir” (Galatians 4:7). Also in 1 John 3:1 it says “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”. These two verses show us a warm personal relationship.
2) Wife knowing her husband- This is also having a companionship with love and care. It states it clearly in Isaiah 54:5 “Your Maker is your husband”.
3) Knowing a King- This is when the subject (you) acknowledges the kings right to reign over his life. Always looking at Him for help and praising him for his goodness. We can see that in Psalm 145:1-2 “I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name forever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name forever and ever”.
4) Sheep knows its shepherd- A sheep that knows its shepherd will ignore every other voice but recognize his and obediently follow. We can see this in Psalm 100:3 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”.
There are a couple of things that Blanchard wants us to realize. Firstly, we have to know that we are “without hope”. If we chose to remain as we are and feel that we can get to heaven by ourselves, there is absolutely no hope for forgiveness or heaven. Secondly we are “without God”, although we enjoy God’s common grace, we have not personal experience of God himself. Blanchard says it simply “without knowing Him as your Father and Friend, You are truly God-less”. Lastly, we are “in the world”. What’s the point of having great wealth and popularity when it cannot be taken into heaven? The Egyptians believed that they could take their wealth with them in the after life, however the Bible doesn’t have a shred of evidence in supporting this.
Luckily, God has provided us with good news! Another word for “good news” is the gospel. We can see the good news in 1John 4:14 “The Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world”. Why is this good news to us? Because without God sending his son to die for our sins, our eternal destiny will be a very very unfortunate one. We cannot go to heaven with our own efforts and the Bible says it exactly in Isaiah 64:6 “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags”. This means that trying to get right with God by going to church, or praying religiously, donating to charity will not get us into heaven.
Jesus Christ came into the world as a human being, lived a perfect life, then died in the place of sinners, carrying our sins on his back and obeyed Gods demands. The question that comes up is “Then how can the Bible say that sinners will be condemned if they fail to obey the gospel?”. Its true that we can be saved only through Jesus Christ, however as far as obeying the gospel goes, Acts 20:21 says “turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus”. Repentance means to “wholeheartedly turning from sin”. Are you willing to do this? Are you prepared to acknowledge that you are a sinner? Firstly, we must think about the numbers of sins we have committed. If our actions and our every thoughts are considered a sin, then I wouldn’t be able to count how much I’ve sinned thus far. One of the greatest commandments that Jesus tells us is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Are you doing this? If not, then we are committing a great sin before God.
Repentance involves actual confession! This means that we must acknowledge that we are sinners by nature and sinner by heart. Jesus says in Matthew 9:13 “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners”. If you keep thinking that you are self sufficient and you do not need God, then you are not obeying the gospel. Repentance also needs feeling sorrowful for the sins you’ve committed. This doesn’t mean to wallow in self-pity but a God centered sorrow. Self-centered sorrow concerns only us; however God-centered sorrow grieves over the wickedness of sin. In 2Corinthians 7:10 it states “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death”. True repentance is to have a “genuine desire to turn from sin and to live a life that is honoring to God and obedient to his word”.
So I urge you, do not delay! Blanchard gives us several reasons why we shouldn’t. Firstly, every rejection of the Bible hardens the heart. Each time we reject the Bible, it leads to more excuses, day to day business and the realities of hell becomes more distant. Another reason why delaying is dangerous, is because you can come to God only when the Holy Spirit calls you. It states it in Genesis 6:3 “My Spirit will not contend with man forever”. Every time we reject God’s invitation, we are throwing it in His face. Lastly, we shouldn’t delay because tomorrow isn’t promised to us. We do not know when we are going to die, so you may think “I’ll do it tomorrow or later” unfortunately there may not be a later or tomorrow. In Ecclesiastes 7:2 it says “Death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart”. God has made a date for your death as He did your birth and time is always ticking away.
Blanchard states that “Death is the great uncertain certainty”. Although we may not know when we are going to die, we will all face it eventually. He closes this chapter by saying:
“What reason can you possibly give for not accepting God’s invitation and taking him at at his word? You are already on the road to hell, but in his amazing love God has set before you the way to heaven. May he graciously enable you to find it and follow it!”.
책도 두껍고 주제도 무겁고
내용 면에서는 책이나 주제보다 이해하고 가르칠 양이 훨씬 많았음에도 성실하고 열심으로 끝까지 준비하고 가르쳐 주신
임 미쉘 선생님께 감사합니다.
왜 우리가 '지옥'에 대해서 알아야 하는가에 대한 의문점을
하나 하나 이해해 가는 것이 쉽지만은 않았을 건데,
학생들도 끝까지 함께 배우느라고 수고했습니다.
임 미쉘 선생님의 말처럼
천국으로 가는 우리들의 소망과 확신이
이전에 우리가 가야만 했던 지옥을 돌아봄으로서
삼위일체의 하나님이 주신 놀라운 은혜와 감사가
더 커지는 것을 봅니다.
동시에 우리 주변에 혹시 이런 곳을 향하는 사람이 있다면
안타까움과 더불어서 이들을 위해 기쁨의 소식인 복음을 전하는
간절한 우리의 마음도 함께 가져야 하지 않는가 하는 생각을 해봅니다.
이 공부를 통해 그리고 임 미쉘 선생님과 공부하면서
하나님의 진리를 함께 깨달아가는 동역자로서의
큰 기쁨을 가지도록 하여주신
가끔 베냐민하고 아브라함이 성경공부를 하면서 , 이 책에서 배웠던 것을 인용하는 것을 보았습니다. 저의 교회에서도 청년들이 성경을 읽고, 신학책을 읽고, 기도를 하는 사람으로 무장되어서 오늘날 일어나는 여러가기 사회문제에 대처할 수 있는 능력을 갖추었으면 합니다. 며칠 전에 동성연애가 대법원에서 합법적인 것으로 발표가 났습니다. 어떤 분이 거듭난 동성연애자가 있느냐라는 질문을 했습니다. Dr. Michael Brown이 오늘날 기독교에서 이런 질문에 대한 답을 갖고 있는 사람이 많지 않다고 합니다. 우리들 청년들이 이런 사회적인 문제에 성경적인 답이 무엇인지를 알았으면 합니다. 거룩한 삶을 살지 못한다고 해서, 답까지 가져서는 안된다는 것은 논리적인 오류입니다. 답만은 확실하게 .