Good Theology, Going to Hell

Like many of you reading this who do not know God or desire or love God, the devil goes to the Lord for his prayer requests too.

Job 1-2

The devil also experiences answered prayer- though things turn out differently than he wants: GOD GETS THE GLORY! I do not see anywhere in scripture where answered prayer tells about the person’s salvation or eternal status with God. The devil himself sometimes sees his prayers answered so this cannot be an indication of salvation either because we know the devil is going to hell. Answered prayer tells more about God than about us.

A simple answer to why the devil is going to hell is that he wants to. The devil simply does not delight in obedience to God, neither does the devil marvel in awestruck reverence at God’s amazing ways. He is going to hell because that is where he wants to be: apart from God. The Lord ultimately gives created beings what they want. People who do not want God get to finally get away from Him: they go to eternal separation from God when they die, otherwise known as hell.

Matthew 10 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. 34 ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 40 ‘Whoever receives you received me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Revelations 20 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judge according to what he had done. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Jesus gives to people what they want. If they do not want Him He gives them what they do want: life without God.

Note, as well, how the devil responds to God.

Revelations 12 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his head.(4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.

The devil is neither amazed or inspired by the miracles God does. When he sees God act he thinks only of himself. People like this witness God move, but instead of giving God glory and being awe-inspired that such things have been done in their presence or to their knowledge they resort to their preoccupation with physical things.

Mark 5 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man – and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

Mark 6 1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that had been given him, that he even does miracles! 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor. 5 He could not do miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their lack of faith…”

Scripture shows that people with hard hearts focus on the instrument God chooses to use- in the case of this scripture, a man, just like them with a father, mother, and siblings- rather than God. Or they focus on whether or not God got around to every single criteria on their prayer list instead of humbly approaching God and asking for more of Him and His ways. Witnessing God and then immediately thinking of your own opinions and desires as opposed to humbly admiring the sovereignty of the Holy One is a sure sign that you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. In these types of responses, there is no intimacy or loving feedback that a person would have for someone they all-out adore. Instead, that kind of response is cynical. It arrogantly restricts God to a man-made creature who we can understand and find interesting, but who we have no desire to submit to, not the almighty Creator. According to scripture such people are “lovers of themselves,” 2 Timothy 3:2-5, and what scripture calls “earthly, sensual, demonic,” James 3:15, because they “do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of man” Mark 8:33. These people, if they do not repent and change, are going to hell.

John 6 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it? 61 But Jesus, ‘knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, ‘Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see  the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?

John 12 25 Whoever loves his life will lose it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

The devil takes pride in himself and his abilities and thus is going to hell. The devil feels confident in himself, his ideas, and his plans, not in God so he persists in doing things his own way.

Revelations 19 11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in mid-air, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great. 19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With thee signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshipped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest of them were killed.

Revelations 20 7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for the battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Even when his plans are not working out and there is NO reason to think they will work out the devil persists in rebelling against God like he just can’t help it. The devil also thinks he is lovely and he should be admired, not God.

Ezekiel 28 14 You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in he midst of the stones of fire you walked. 17 Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.

This demon persists in his blasphemous chatter despite being in the presence of the Holy One! He is brazen and completely insolent.

Daniel 7 11 I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

If you don’t have a problem with God to the degree the devil does, are you safe in terms of getting into Heaven? Scripture teaches us that such tolerance of the Lord will not be enough to make Him want to be married to you in Heaven for ever and ever.

Revelations 3 14 ‘And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

I doubt heaven will be the trash receptacle.

The Lord’s jealousy makes sense from what we know of earthly marriage. No one wants to be stuck with someone who can tolerate them or are generally pleased with them. Rather we desire to be united with someone who is passionately devoted to living a life that loves us. The same goes for the Lord. Except the Lord’s jealously is fiercely more intense than ours. When is the last time you were jealous over something? Think about the burning passion that consumed your flesh from head to toe. Now consider the infinite God and the magnitude of His righteous, all-knowing, and completely pure jealousy. Ours doesn’t hold a candle to His right? Again, consider whether God who is infinite and mighty would mind sharing your affections with one of your other false gods. Consider His response to people who ask Him to. Not Heaven, right? I mean what would be your response? A nasty comment, not inviting them to your wedding, destroying their property… Now to quantify God’s response to people who do not love Him above everything else, multiply your jealous rage by a factor of infinity and to the exponential power of eternity (that is a lot of rage right?). If you do the math correctly your equation should equal a value of lake of burning fire for ever and ever. Again, the answer is not Heaven.

Joshua 24 19 But Joshua said to the people, ‘You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.

The Bible teaches that people who know Jesus is a teacher will not necessarily get into heaven.

Luke 13 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.

The Bible also teaches that even some people who prophesy or do great works in the name of the Lord will not get into heaven.

Matthew 7 21 ‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast our demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Recall the parable of the 10 virgins and how five of the virgins who showed up to see the King did not get into heaven.

Matthew 25

The five virgins who were rejected by the King and kept from entering the kingdom feast at least took the time to show up to see Jesus i.e. They went to church on Sunday or even Bible study or prayer group during the week. However, they were not head over heels, sneak out of my parents’ home to see a celebrity, don’t want to miss a single second, excited to see Jesus which we know because they didn’t even make sure they were going to have enough oil to see Him if He took a long time. They were looking for more oil and were not prepared to meet Him when He finally did come. Large numbers of folks in the american church would like to see Him but are not willing to move hell and high water to do it.

Likewise, the Lord goes where He is wanted. That is, Lord desires to dwell where He is treasured.

Mark 6 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!d 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their lack of faith. 

Here, Jesus does not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith or disbelief. Scripture supports time and time again that God desires to be in the company of those who want Him- that is those who crave Him deeply beyond anything else and are moved by his presence.

If you are clinging to false gods and asking God to share your heart with other things you love just as much or more than you love Him, then be warned: as much as you would not want to share your spouse’s affections with someone else the Great God of the universe does not want to share your affections to an extreme, incomprehensible degree – like to a level that should make you tremble if you have the slightest bit of doubt about your true allegiance being with Jesus. My advice is to panic. If you do not respond to learning about who God is or seeing God work by giving over your entire life to Him- including hopes, dreams, and prized relationships- then you are not pleasing to God and He wants no part in you. Simply put, you are not saved and will spend eternity in hell where created beings go who do not treasure God as the best thing since…. Well, ever! If you are honest with yourself and find that the Lord God is not in fact your highest treasure, do panic. That is, in a good way. Here is my basis for saying this:

2 Peter 3 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promises, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

Again, if you know in your heart that you do not treasure the Lord above every other thing – good or bad- go to God immediately (as in, stop reading this!). Repent to Him and mourn (like tears and snot streaming down your face) over your sin and ask Him to give you a new heart that truly believes and truly loves Him more than anything else. Though God hates the rebellious He loves a repentant sinner.

Luke 15 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

He will have whoever honestly and truly wants Him. To God be the glory for the things He has done!