Don't Quench The Spirit

Written by Stephen Kingery

I started this ministry because I see something happening in our churches that is a deep concern to me. There are far too many of our members who attend worship services who are not, and are not becoming, grounded inrepparttar word of God. I also see many members who are drifting away fromrepparttar 140695 fellowship ofrepparttar 140696 church. If their faith was strong and their love for God mature, I don't think this would happen.

Also,repparttar 140697 reasons people give for staying away fromrepparttar 140698 fellowship is puzzling to me. It seems that whenrepparttar 140699 slightest occurrence of some out-of-the-way comment that tends to hurt someone's feelings is made, people simply "quit church." Does this mean that they no longer want to be a Christian? That is certainly whatrepparttar 140700 term "quit church" implies. I've often said that I can't imagine what any person could do to make me want to end my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

The Holy Spirit is a real and vibrant part of every true Christian. In order for a true Christian to "quit church," there must be a tremendous quenching ofrepparttar 140701 Spirit. Let's take a look atrepparttar 140702 Holy Spirit specifically as He relates torepparttar 140703 life of a Christian. In this study I hope that we can learn more about whatrepparttar 140704 Holy Spirit does, or at least should be allowed to do, in our daily Christian lives.

"And I will prayrepparttar 140705 Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, evenrepparttar 140706 Spirit of truth, whomrepparttar 140707 world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." (John 14:16,17) Jesus told us that we would haverepparttar 140708 indwelling ofrepparttar 140709 Holy Spirit, that He would be in us, actually living in us. This is an awesome thought indeed,repparttar 140710 Holy Spirit being in us and a part of us. However, He does not impose His will on us. We are not robots occupied by a "spirit" going about doing whatrepparttar 140711 "spirit" wants us to do. Quiterepparttar 140712 contrary is true. We still have a free will, fully able to exercise it at our discretion.

The Holy Spirit is living with us to be a "Helper," someone to guide and direct us as we strive to live a Christian life. If we allowrepparttar 140713 Spirit to serve as our guide, He will give us those answers to questions that sometimes we seek. Onrepparttar 140714 other hand, we can quenchrepparttar 140715 Spirit and not allow Him to help us in this manner. The Apostle Paul says in Romans, "For those who live according torepparttar 140716 flesh set their minds onrepparttar 140717 things ofrepparttar 140718 flesh, but those who live according torepparttar 140719 Spirit,repparttar 140720 things ofrepparttar 140721 Spirit." (Romans 8:5) What we allow to occupy our minds determinesrepparttar 140722 extent to whichrepparttar 140723 Spirit can serve as our Helper.

If we dwell onrepparttar 140724 negative, always looking for a fault in someone or inrepparttar 140725 body as a whole, we are not thinking of things ofrepparttar 140726 Spirit. If we dwell on soap operas, secular music, movies, our jobs, money, and a host of other worldly things, we are quenchingrepparttar 140727 Spirit. As we allow these worldly concerns, activities, and things to take up all of our waking time, we have no time for things ofrepparttar 140728 Spirit. Our minds and daily schedules are full of worldly activities and these things shove thoughts ofrepparttar 140729 Spirit out. If, onrepparttar 140730 other hand, we dwell onrepparttar 140731 fruits ofrepparttar 140732 Spirit, Bible study, prayer, helpingrepparttar 140733 needy, visitingrepparttar 140734 sick, servingrepparttar 140735 church, andrepparttar 140736 like, we are allowingrepparttar 140737 Spirit to work in our lives. The fruits ofrepparttar 140738 Spirit become more noticeable in our lives.

What arerepparttar 140739 fruits ofrepparttar 140740 Spirit? "Butrepparttar 140741 fruit ofrepparttar 140742 Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22,23)

We really only have two choices; to set our minds on things ofrepparttar 140743 Spirit, or things ofrepparttar 140744 world. Paul puts it this way, "For he who sows in his flesh will ofrepparttar 140745 flesh reap corruption, but he who sows torepparttar 140746 Spirit will ofrepparttar 140747 Spirit reap everlasting life." (Galatians 6:8) As we allow our lives to be corrupted byrepparttar 140748 things ofrepparttar 140749 world, we quenchrepparttar 140750 Spirit. Eventually, when we have quenchedrepparttar 140751 Spirit so long, getting back into a right relationship with God is all but impossible.

There is another aspect of allowingrepparttar 140752 Spirit to work in our lives that is equally important. We must individually work forrepparttar 140753 unity ofrepparttar 140754 church. We say that we believe thatrepparttar 140755 church was instituted by Christ, and that we strive forrepparttar 140756 restoration ofrepparttar 140757 church both in unity and practice on a New Testament basis. But how often do we practice this belief on an individual basis? Paul exhortsrepparttar 140758 church in his letter torepparttar 140759 Ephesians, "I, therefore,repparttar 140760 prisoner ofrepparttar 140761 Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy ofrepparttar 140762 calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keeprepparttar 140763 unity ofrepparttar 140764 Spirit inrepparttar 140765 bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:1-3) How does this tell us that we should behave as a member of a local congregation? We should love each other inrepparttar 140766 Spirit. That means that we should be very careful not to say things to each other that are hurtful. It also mean that if someone does say something that hurts us - even if they do it on purpose - we should forgive them and continue to love them! And I realize that each of us may on occasion accidently make a comment that hurts others. When we know that we have done this, we should show our love forrepparttar 140767 brother or sister and apologize. I truly wish that all our members would live by these principles.

The above principle is further emphasized in Philippians, "Only let your conduct be worthy ofrepparttar 140768 gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together forrepparttar 140769 faith ofrepparttar 140770 gospel,..." (Philippians 1:27) I sometimes wonder what we could accomplish if we would do as Paul tells us here, to be "with one mind striving together forrepparttar 140771 faith ofrepparttar 140772 gospel." Those things which so many of our people do which I am talking against here serve to destroyrepparttar 140773 body. Remember that we are speaking ofrepparttar 140774 church which is "the bride of Christ." Jesus will be coming after His church. Will He accept a divided church? I would not think so.

Is Hell A Real Place?

Written by Stephen Kingery

Is Hell a real place, or is it just a symbolic representation of a place where bad people should go? Does it really exist, or isrepparttar Bible trying to give us some insight intorepparttar 140694 torment that non-believers have in their final days of existence on earth? Or is it just fantasy put inrepparttar 140695 Bible to persuade people to believe in God? I once heard a preacher say, "You can believe whatever you want to about whether hell is real or not, but it does not changerepparttar 140696 fact that it is a real place of torment for non-believers." Let's take a look at whatrepparttar 140697 Bible has to say about hell.

By examiningrepparttar 140698 scriptures, we can learn a great deal aboutrepparttar 140699 place we call hell. We see that there is going to be everlasting destruction. " flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and those who do not obeyrepparttar 140700 gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction fromrepparttar 140701 presence ofrepparttar 140702 Lord and fromrepparttar 140703 glory of His power,..." (II Thessalonians 1:8,9) We see in this passage a glimpse of hell. It is for those "who do not know God, and those who do not obeyrepparttar 140704 gospel." In other word for those people who fit two categories: (1) those who do not know or believe in God, who voluntarily choose not to, and (2) those who profess to believe but by their actions andrepparttar 140705 way they live their lives, do not follow or obeyrepparttar 140706 gospel.

There are millions of people who have heardrepparttar 140707 gospel message, some I am sure dozens of times, and reject God and His Son. They do not give their lives to Christ, choosing rather to go their own way or perhapsrepparttar 140708 way ofrepparttar 140709 world. According to this passage, these people will spend eternity in hell.

I am convinced there is also a large number of people who claim to be Christian and simply go throughrepparttar 140710 motions, never really obeyingrepparttar 140711 gospel or followingrepparttar 140712 teachings ofrepparttar 140713 New Testament. Their lives and hearts were not changed. These too shall spend eternity away from God.

So what is hell? The above passage again gives us a glimpse into this. "These shall be punished with everlasting destruction fromrepparttar 140714 presence ofrepparttar 140715 Lord..." The fate of those we are speaking of is to be banned eternally from being near God, or to be out of His presence. What is being "destroyed" inrepparttar 140716 passage isrepparttar 140717 ability or opportunity to be inrepparttar 140718 presence of or near God. Death, by spiritual definition, is separation. The first death is when our spirit is separated from our bodies. The second death will be when a person's spirit is eternally separated from God.

I think we can see fromrepparttar 140719 above passage that hell is a real place. We can also see that it is for certain that it will exist. Inrepparttar 140720 book of Mark we see another glimpse of hell as a terrible place. "And if your hand makes you sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go into hell, intorepparttar 140721 fire that shall never be quenched -- where 'their worm does not die andrepparttar 140722 fire is not quenched.'" (Mark 9:43,44) The last part of this passage, "their worm does not die andrepparttar 140723 fire is not quenched,"is quoted from Isaiah 66:24. It simply tells us that thoughrepparttar 140724 physical body is dead,repparttar 140725 spirit is still in existence. The spirit of those going to hell will be an existence as of a worm, or as Isaiah put it, "They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." (Isaiah 66:24) If we "inrepparttar 140726 flesh" could actually see exactly what hell is like we would truly be horrified. It is a terrible place of eternal existence for those who do not know God and those who will not obeyrepparttar 140727 whole gospel.

Not only is hell a terrible place, but it is also a place of eternal existence. "Then He will also say to those onrepparttar 140728 left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, intorepparttar 140729 everlasting fire prepared forrepparttar 140730 devil and his angels,...'" (Matthew 25:41) "And these will go away into everlasting punishment, butrepparttar 140731 righteous into everlasting life." (Matthew 25:46) The judgement, once pronounced, will be final, irreversible, and unending. For those of us that are obeyingrepparttar 140732 gospel of Jesus Christrepparttar 140733 thought of eternal life with God and Jesus is joyous. However, justrepparttar 140734 thought of eternal existence in hell makes me shutter. I cannot imagine -- and I don't want to -- what it would be like to spend eternity in a place where I could not praise and worship my Heavenly Father. That alone, for me, would be terrible.

It is difficult for us to conceptualize what eternity will be like. Everything which we experience here on earth is limited by time. We tend to think of a lifetime as a very long period. In reality, inrepparttar 140735 frame-work of eternity, a lifetime is but a twinkle of an eye. It is but a fraction of a second in comparison. I likerepparttar 140736 wayrepparttar 140737 song Amazing Grace phrases it, "When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining asrepparttar 140738 sun, we've no less days to sing God's praise than when we first begun." How glorious that will be for us, and how terrible it will be for those in hell.

Specifically, who will be in hell? The Bible tells us exactly who will be in this place of eternal torment. "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose facerepparttar 140739 earth and heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I sawrepparttar 140740 dead, small and great, standing before God, andrepparttar 140741 books were opened. And another book was opened, which isrepparttar 140742 Book of Life. Andrepparttar 140743 dead were judged according to their works, byrepparttar 140744 things which were written inrepparttar 140745 books. The sea gave uprepparttar 140746 dead which were in it, and Death and Hades delivered uprepparttar 140747 dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast intorepparttar 140748 lake of fire. This isrepparttar 140749 second death. And anyone not found written inrepparttar 140750 Book of Life was cast intorepparttar 140751 lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15) This is a long passage, but it shows clearly that everyone will go throughrepparttar 140752 judgement. Those whose name is found written inrepparttar 140753 Book of Life will be entering into eternal life with God. Those whose name is not found inrepparttar 140754 Book of Life will be cast intorepparttar 140755 lake of fire, or hell. In other words, to put it in simple terms, all who are not saved byrepparttar 140756 grace of God throughrepparttar 140757 blood of Jesus Christ shall spend eternity in hell.

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