Jesus says a lot about hell fire and brimstone as the punishment for the wicked. Why don’t Christadelphians believe in it? ED: JESUS MADE IT CLEAR that when he returns there will be a judgement of those who know the Gospel. And he described this judgement in very colourful ways: But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matthew 5:21–22). The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:41–43).
AN EMINENT PSYCHOLOGIST has promoted the idea that people have a hierarchy of needs. By this he means that some human needs are basic to existence, and take precedence over everything else. Others are less vital, and only begin to be important to a person when they have satisfied the basic ones. One of the most fundamental needs of all, he said, is food. He pointed out that a starving person will steal, fight, and even kill to satisfy his hunger, overcoming all his normal, civilized restraints. Hunger Strikes! Well, the people of Israel began to go hungry, six weeks after leaving Egypt. The euphoria of the escape from slavery had worn off, and many miles of footslogging across a bleached, sterile wilderness had tried their patience. Now a serious threat hung over them. The supplies of grain and dried food they had brought with them from Egypt were dwindling
PAUL SENT THIS LETTER from Corinth during his third missionary journey. He hoped to come to Rome (15:22–29), but when he eventually came it was as a prisoner to await trial before the Emperor Nero (see Acts 28:17–20). Romans is Paul’s magnificent summary of the way God’s righteousness is shown in the death of Jesus Christ; how salvation is by God’s grace, and is dependent on faith, not on the works of the law; and that it is available to Gentiles as well as Jews. Israel in God’s Purpose Now that the Law of Moses has been fulfilled, some were asking “has God rejected his people?” (11:1). With obvious emotion, Paul points out that the Jews, if they believe, are most certainly still within God’s purpose —‘to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises’ (9:4). Using the symbol of
THE GOSPEL is about the Kingdom of God. That is what Jesus and the apostles preached (Mark 1:14–15; Acts 28:30–31). It is what disciples died for. We know the names of some people who will be in the Kingdom. For example, Jesus named ‘Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets’ (Luke 13:28). He also said of the faithful apostles: … when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). Hebrews chapter 11 lists faithful people (in the Old Testament) who were, and still are, dead awaiting the fulfilment of God’s promises. They will be in this kingdom (Hebrews 11:4–16 and 39–40). Immortal Saints In order to live in the Kingdom, all of these named, and many more unnamed, faithful people need to be raised from the dead.
This must be one the most amazing and moving stories in the Bible—except for the life of the Lord Jesus. It is a story of power, zeal, religious passion and hatred, and it ends with humility, grace and love. You may be more familiar with Saul by his later name—the Apostle Paul. To fully appreciate the incident we need to examine his background, and very interesting it is. Saul was born in Tarsus in the province of Cilicia, said to be ‘no obscure city’ (Acts 21:39). By birth a Jew of impeccable pedigree, his father a Pharisee, a Roman citizen. He quoted this when arrested (Acts 16:37, 22:25–26). It was the Jewish custom to teach boys a manual trade, and Saul was a tent maker (Acts 18:3). He would have left his home as a young man and gone to Jerusalem, where he would be educated in the Jewish laws
WE HEAR SO MANY promises of changes yet to be, but the evidence of climate change is here for all to see. The greed of mankind caused this, and our planet groans in pain; can governments be trusted to restore the earth again? Can we trust mere mortals to restore what nature badly needs? I think we have to turn to God, if only we will read. It’s all there in His written word, but so few want to know. They think that they can solve the mess, but time will surely show. It must cause grief to God to see the wickedness of man. He sent His Son to save us, and look at what we’ve done! The kingdoms of the earth, we’re told, by God alone are ruled.1 Things will get worse until at last by God, the earth is cooled. You may well ask how this will
THE PLANET IS IN PERIL, and something needs to be done about it. It is generally agreed that the temperature of the earth’s surface is rising, along with the temperature of the oceans. Polar ice and glaciers are melting. Sea levels are rising, presenting a danger to low-lying land, and the world is experiencing a dramatic increase in extreme weather events such as heat waves and storms. It is also generally agreed that climate change is due to humans loading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as a result of burning fossil fuels, intensive agriculture and deforestation, and modern industrial processes. And most experts agree that unless swift action is taken to limit the rise in global temperature there will be an environmental catastrophe. The 2021 COP26 Climate Summit established targets which nations are working towards. All over the world concerned people are taking action, in a