The interconnectedness of the biosphere expands the consequences of humanity’s fallen nature to the earth itself.
“The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word…The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.” (Isa 24:3-6, 19-20)
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven [don’t forget this means angels as well as lights in the sky] fell unto the earth…and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man...said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? [It’s at this point that Antichrist offers himself as an alternative to kneeling before Messiah/Christ.] (Rev 6:12-13)
Sounds like a black hole.
Heavy stuff. This is where most people choose to reject the Bible on the basis of “A good God wouldn’t send anyone to hell.” Admittedly, the idea of burning for eternity is absolutely horrible. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. The easiest way we can understand God is to put ourselves in his place. Do you have children? We’re not talking about damnation over breaking some arbitrary rules against feeling good. Can you imagine watching your beloved children suffer at the hands of evil people? What punishment is appropriate for someone who deceived most of your children into hating you and running away from you in order to betray and trap them into a lifetime of misery and eternity separated from you, while torturing and murdering as many of your faithful children as he can? The attached clip from Game of Thrones shows scenes of horrific cruelty. I don’t recommend you watch it, but if you do,you can always click off. Unlike the millions of real life victims of persecution.
The God of the Bible is not a wuss. His war banner reads “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” His fight is with Satan and his angels, but he will take down anyone who joins them.
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matt 25:41)
So who goes to hell? The short list includes the devil, for sure, also the enigmatic “beast”, the false prophet, the abominable, and, to sum it up, “whosoever was not found written in the book of life.” How do we make sure we are written in the book of life? What is this book of life?
According to the following psalm describing the development of a human embryo, God keeps a register, a log book of all human beings ever conceived. An aside note – if we take our convictions from the Bible, then this establishes that life begins at conception.
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psa 139:14-16)
From Moses we learn that that God will blot out, from this book, the names of people who have sinned grievously against him. This would account for individuals who are “not found written in the book of life.”
“And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” (Ex 32:31-33)
Centuries later, in the letters written to the congregations that were under great pressure to forsake Messianic Judaism (or nascent Christianity depending on your viewpoint), we find the same potential to be blotted out of the book of life.
“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write…I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead…He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Rev 3:1,5)
The threat of being blotted out of the book of life gives us to understand that the members of the Sardis congregation were in the same set of circumstances as the members of Moses’ congregation. Both groups had not yet overcome the obstacles to resisting the lures of lies in order to believe the hard truth spoken by Lord Yeshua Messiah. Both groups had yet to decide whether to 1) surrender to an easier life in allied to, i.e. in slavery to, the gods of this world, or 2) take up the fight for reclaiming our territory.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God…lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Messiah/Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end…And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Heb 3:12-19)
The apostle Paul relates his willingness, like Moses, to be accursed – sacrifice his eternal destiny which would involved being blotted out of the book of life – to save his beloved people.
“I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Messiah/Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites…(Ro 9:2-4)
However, neither one of those men, nor any regular human, can trade places with another. There is only one, the man Yahweh’s Chosen Savior/Messiah Yeshua/Christ Jesus. In the following passage referencing the book of life, notice the lack of boundaries between two authors – David as a sinful human and the sinless Consecrated One/Messiah/Christ, confirmed as such in later references. This is a poetic means of demonstrating David’s merged identity with Messiah, made possible because Messiah took on David’s human identity.
“Save me, O God…I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me…They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children…But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation…And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink…Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents…Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.” (Psa 69:1-29)
Here we find that there is not only the book of the living in which are written the names of all humans born into this physical dimension and from which the names can be blotted out, there is also a second book in which are written the names of the righteous who are born again into the spiritual dimension. In context, the righteous are those who acknowledge their need for a savior/Yeshua/Jesus and put their trust in The Consecrated One/Messiah/Christ’s atoning sacrifice for sin.
“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Ro 4:3)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Joh 3:16)
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:4-9)
The general life book lists those individuals who came to life physically, die a physical death, and are resurrected to face an accounting for their actions while alive. Interestingly, the Egyptian Book of the Dead describes this same fate.
Does this include hybrid human/angels? I don’t know, but a bigger problem is that no-one can face God and claim to be righteous on the basis of their own works.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Ro 3:10-14)